Nov 17

StepMania on the Raspberry Pi 4!

For anyone that knows me, Dance Dance Revolution and StepMania were a large part of my life years ago. It’s how I lost a ton of weight.

6 years ago was my first attempt to get StepMania running on a Raspberry Pi…and it was a horrible experience.

Today I’m proud to say that StepMania runs GREAT on the Raspberry Pi 4!

I’ve hosted the shell script / step by step instructions on how to compile and run StepMania on your own Pi4 as a GitHub Gist:

Just run these commands in a terminal on the Desktop GUI version of Raspberry Pi OS and you will be up and playing StepMania in about an hour.

Enjoy!

-Shea

Nov 16

Things I did in 2020

So, like my last post stated, I did some things while stuck at home.

My absolute favorite project was this:

I followed this guide (https://github.com/geaz/simplyRetro-D8) and built this awesome 3D printable desktop arcade cabinet. It of course uses a Raspberry Pi running RetroPi and uses an awesome readily available 4 x 3 LCD screen!

And of course my little guy helping me build and test it 😀

I got a small CNC machine in January and hadn’t had time to use it until recently but I have been having fun making some videos of it in action.

That’s a 3040T CNC Machine. You can find a lot of them on eBay and various other importing sites. More fun hobbies that involve turning one thing into another thing 🙂

On that note, I repurposed my 4k LED display for a lot of statements this year!

Image
ImageImageImage

My house got egged for one of those statements. Worth it.

Image

I edited and 3D Printed a mini Dreamcast case for the Raspberry Pi! Did you know you can play Dreamcast games at 60FPS on the Pi4 now? No? WELL YOU CAN! Using Redream it’s totally possible! You can download the case files here https://thingiverse.com/thing:4539273.

And we got a new kitten!

Image

Say hi to Dash. Our Manx kitty. He’s kinda awesome.

If you’ve gotten to this part of the post, all I can say is thank you! It’s been a year. Please stay safe out there. Wear a mask. Keep on making. I’ve missed y’all!

-Shea

Dec 31

2018

Hey All,

I almost didn’t blog for the whole year. To be truthful, it’s been hard to write this past year. Lots of amazing wonderful things have happened to me in 2018, but I’m exhausted. And this blog was easy to overlook. I want to write again, but at my own pace. I’m going to try to start again.

That said…. BEING A FATHER IS AWESOME! I have an amazing little mini me who is 20 months old and is just so much fun. He has made me grow in ways I never even knew imaginable.

Maker Faire Orlando 2018

My friend Jacob and I worked on an awesome project for Maker Faire Orlando this year, and I am so proud to say we won Maker of Merit! It is a deep honor to me to win that award. And of course it’s Raspberry Pi related 😀

We made a 4096 LED pixel framebuffer display powered by the Raspberry Pi!

LED Display playing a clone of Snake
Prototype at the Orlando Science Center

How it works?

We are using P10 LED panels as the basis for the screen. P10 means a 10mm dot pitch, so 10mm between each LED. They range from 3 – 10mm. The panels also usually come in a size of 16 x 32, but luckily they are daisy chainable!

The Raspberry Pi can even handle upto 32 of them in 3 chains! For our purposes we only used 8 16×32 panels in one chain.

8 P10 Panels, daisychained to an Adafruit LED matrix bonnet, connected to a Raspberry Pi 3b+, with power distributed via a CFOL Distro 8 board.

The above picture may look complicated, but it’s not that bad.

8 P10 panels are daisy chained together using a standard HUB75 cable (it’s like an smaller IDE cable).

The panels are mounted together with the orange and red 3D printed brackets.

The first panel is connected to a Raspberry Pi 3B+ via an Adafruit LED matrix bonnet.

The power for the panels and the Pi comes from a 10amp DC supply, which plugs into the bonnet. The bonnet powers the Pi, and has two screw terminals for the voltage output. The +/- screw terminals connect to a CFOL Distro 8 PCB (in the center of the board) which takes the input and breaks it out to 8 screw terminals. We only need 4 since each cable powers two panels, but it gives us room to expand.

After that we use https://github.com/adafruit/rpi-fb-matrix to copy whats on the HDMI framebuffer out onto the LED matrix!

and Voila! You now have a giant low resolution display!

Many thanks to Adafruit for making such a great beginner tutorial that we could jump from, and building a great bonnet for the Pi!

Happy Making and a Happy New Year! Here’s to a wonderful 2019 everyone!

-Shea

May 26

Friday Post: PiPlay Portable funded :D

Hey All,

Thank you, to my backers, and supporters, for helping to fund the PiPlay Portable. I’m so excited to get to make this.

We just got the latest prototype boards in, as well as our stickers from StickerMule.  We were also able to get some polybags for real cheap (they are in beta, so why not!)

Also MegaCon is this weekend!  I finished making my Nintendo Switch Arcade Machine and made it an Ultra SF2 Machine.

Have a great weekend all!

-Shea

May 20

PiPlay Portable – Last Day

Hey All,

This has been an exciting week.  The PiPlay Portable is fully funded, and we have less than 12 hours to go on the Kickstarter!


Sam has been growing so fast!  I love being a Dad.  It’s an experience I am so happy I get to have, and of course I have 3D scanned him and got him 3D printed…

 

I also won the Community Leadership award from IMS Global at the LILI conference.  I had no idea I was even nominated!!  I am really humbled by this.  Thank you IMS!

Apr 28

Friday Post: PiPlay Portable is fully funded! And meet the newest member of the PiPlay Team!

Hey All,

The PiPlay Portable Kickstarter is fully funded!!!  Thank you to all of you.  We are super humbled and excited that we get to see this kit succeed.

In even more incredible news….

I’m super excited to introduce our son, Sam, born Monday April 24th.

Mother and Baby are doing great.  We came home from the hospital yesterday.  I’m so excited for this new chapter in our lives.

Have a great weekend all,

-Shea

Mar 31

Friday Post: Fix It Felix Jr. running on the Raspberry Pi!

Hey All,

This post is made possible because ELTechs has provided me with an early version of Exagear Desktop 2.0.  This is commercial software that was provided to me free of charge.

One of my game room goals has been to have a full sized Fix It Felix Jr. arcade cabinet, and now that I can run the game on the Raspberry Pi, I’m one step closer!

The desktop version of Fix-It Felix Jr. has been notoriously hard to find.  It has been released as a flash game, an Apple iOS app, Android app, and even a homebrew Sega Genesis/MegaDrive ROM, but never as a stand alone application.

The version that ran at Disney Quest, and which was on tour at some of the themeparks, was never officially released.

Recently though, it got released to the internet, and I quickly grabbed it and ran it through a hex editor to see what makes it tick.  

It uses a 3rd party framework called FOCAL, which powers many small games on desktop and mobile, made by Code Mystics.  I was excited to finally have the software, but I wasn’t thrilled that I needed a Windows machine to run it.

Enter ExaGear Desktop.  An inexpensive (~$27) x86 emulator with OpenGL support for the Raspberry Pi.  It’s acts more as a virtual machine, running an x86 distro of Debian (or Ubuntu) inside a shell on top of Raspbian.

To get it working once you have purchased Exagear:

In a fresh install of Raspbian, you need to make sure to run sudo raspi-config and enable FULL Open GL support.  After that, install ExaGear ( sudo ./install_exagear.sh ), and then double click on the exagear icon on the desktop to bring up the shell. Run sudo apt-get install wine, then run wine FixItFelixJr.exe .

Wine should start up and asks to install some dependencies.  And then the moment of truth, the Fix It Felix Jr. window should pop up, and the game will be fully playable!

You can even change the window orientation and run it full screen!

I’ll be uploading video of the game in action ASAP!

Have a good weekend all!

-Shea

P.S: Baby Silverman is expected any day now !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

 

Mar 14

Pi Day Giveaway!

Hey All!

Happy Pi Day!

For Pi Day, I am going to be giving away TWO things.  A Raspberry Pi 3, and a PiPlay Portable kit.

All you have to do to enter is enter your email address in the form below.  I will be closing the submission at the end of the week!  Look for the PiPlay Portable Kickstarter this month!

-Shea

Mar 07

AdvanceMAME 3.4 for the Raspberry Pi Zero

Hey All,

AdvanceMAME 3.4 has been released with a lot of enhancements for the Raspberry Pi.

I got a message that it wasn’t working, so I recompiled a version JUST for the Raspberry Pi Zero.  This is meant to run on the latest version of Jessie with Pixel.

Get it here

To Install and play, run these commands from the command line

sudo dpkg -i advancemame_3.4-1_armhf.deb
advmame

This will install and create your AdvanceMAME folders.  Now place your ROMs in:

/home/pi/.advance/roms

Then run:

advmame romname
example: advmame sf2

AdvMAME should now start playing your game file.

Have fun!

-Shea