Archive for the ‘Projects’ Category

well, my little overdrive pedal is done :)

I just finished my overdrive pedal 🙂 It can be powered off a 9v battery or wall adapter. The control across the top from left to right are hotness, tone, gain. The bottom two knobs are variac and volume.

The “Hotness” control allows fine tuning of the internal amplifier to accommodate different guitar pickups. Basically it compensates for different pickups to allow for a nice variety of tone.

Tone and gain should be pretty easy to understand for most.

Variac allows me to adjust the input voltage powering the logic IC used in this overdrive pedal. I can starve the input voltage to give it some subtle changes in tone.

And the volume… lets me adjust the volume 🙂

Anyway, I don’t have labels for it and am considering a name for it. Perhaps… Thundersqueak 🙂

Ube Screamer

Posted: September 3, 2013 in Projects

Ube Screamer

Today I decided that I wanted a new overdrive pedal, something that I couldnt readily buy. A new sound. After digging around a bit and looking at the jabillion (yep jabillion) tube screamer clones out there, I came across this little circuit at http://www.runoffgroove.com/ubescreamer.html The “UBE SCREAMER”.

Unlike other overdrive pedals, this one is based on a logic IC instead of your standard opamp.

Someone was kind enough to post their results of this build on youtube If you are interested in taking a peak on what this little circuit can do..

I am going to be implementing a Volume, Gain, Tone, and Variac pots (see circuit) , as well as a 3 way rotary switch to allow for different types of guitar pups and sounds.  Another addition is a true bypass switch and the ability to power it off a 9 volt battery or power supply, for this I am implementing a DPDT switch.    I had all the parts for the main board in my junk box, so this is a total win 🙂

Now just to find a nice enclosure for it.

No Emulators, just REAL Hardware!
I picked up a super common game for $1 USD the other day, and honestly it was too dull to play, so this is how to deal with such a beast 😉

If you have further questions on what was actually done, take a look at my two other videos on it Creating a Mr Gimmick Cart  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xRGJdU…
and Earthbound  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3D0YnW…

So far, I give the gameplay a thumbs up 😀

Thanks for watching!

Today I felt like playing a game that was never released “Mr Gimmick!”.   Who wants to wait for another person to make a reproduction and ship it…. when you can just do it yourself! 😀 Also If you want to see me play it for the first time badly, skip to 10 minutes in.

I did speed up the boring parts, but left them in so that you could see what creating a reproduction cartridge actually entails. This was the first time I have tried making a reproduction cartridge and the total real world time was about an hour 😀

For the CHR eprom I used a 27c1001 128k
For the PRG eprom I used a 27c020 256k
The game sacrificed was Batman Return of the Joker by sunsoft as it is the only released North American game that used the FME-7

To split up the PRG and CHR files from the original NTSC version of the rom I used a program called TNINES under dosbox.

The NES I used is modded for full true stereo audio and proper composite output, sadly my camera simply cannot pick up the wonderful audio I was hearing 😦 I also still need a bit of practice with recording 😛 I will get better! I promise! 😀

Thanks for watching! 🙂

An overview and demonstration of my custom Atari 5200 controller.  This video goes with http://retrogamegirl.com/2013/03/26/atari-5200-custom-controller-build/

🙂 Enjoy!

Have you ever tried playing a retro-game and even though you really want to like the game, the controller just seems to get in the way?  Well that is what happened to me! This is a description of my journey to fix the situation.

The problem child was an Atari 5200, a device that is notorious for having some of the worst controllers in the entire history of video gaming.  The unit itself is actually quite nice and is in most respects an Atari computer in a console skin.

The problem lies in the lack of response, over time the little pads inside become corroded and unresponsive. Eventually, no amount of cleaning and disassembling actually fixes this and you end up replacing either the entire controller or purchasing one of those repair kits off the net. I ended up trying several different methods to solve the issue, first was just to replace the momentary contacts with micro switches.

Image

This worked, but was severely uncomfortable to use and was just an experiment anyway 🙂 With a bit of tracing around with a multimeter and a piece of paper, I came up with a schematic.

Image

So, I decided that I wanted to make an arcade style controller. After a bit of pricing out “kits” and the cost of building it from scratch, I stumbled upon the Generation NEX controllers. They were cheap… very cheap and looked perfect! I ordered two.

Image

Image

Upon receiving them, and a quick tear down, things were looking up. They were perfect for my purpose and the switches all were actually quite high quality for the price paid 🙂

Image

The only issue I really had was deciding what color to make the paper under the glass, and where to put the keypad that is found on the original controller. The keypad is your typical 3×4 matrix style. For this I made a quick pit stop at the local hardware store and 80 cents later I had some outlet covers to try.

Image

After drilling lots of holes in the covers and installing momentary contact switches, and using my dremel with a fine tip to engrave what button it was right on the button, the assembly was almost complete. At least the hard part was done.

Image

Oh, and I engraved the other switches too, just so I would remember what they were for…

Image

The next step was to make a rough cut in the wood to allow access of the keypad wiring for installation, as there is a plexiglass top on this controller, it didnt have to be accurate, just a rough cut was fine.

Image

Image

Then a dry fit of everything and to make sure that it would all work, I did end up shaving off a corner of the outlet cover :>

Image

Image

The next bit was simply running a lot of wires and mounting the potentiometers in a nice spot to allow centering adjustment. This controller is essentially a digital device that converts the digital input to an analog resistance to be interpreted by the console as if you were using those horrible “full analog” stock joysticks.  Yep, my wiring is a bit sloppy but in this case, that doesn’t really matter, the extra length allows me to easily open the bottom panel and not worry about ripping things apart.  I used a couple staples as strain relief near the potentiometers.

Image

The potentiometers are mounted so that they were accessible through the old battery compartment and can be hidden simply by closing the cover.

Image

How does it work? For most games, it works beautifully! Games like Defender and Space Dungeon (you need two controllers for this one and why I built two) are absolutely wonderful to play! Games that do not work quite right with them are the ones that read an analog signal from the controller, this would include super breakout. I have considered installing a “spinner” type controller that is easily accessible to allow this type of game to be played or simply moving the horizontal pot. Another option would be to just add a DB9 port to allow the original Atari paddle controllers for the 2600 to be used.

Image

I will post a video of it in use soon… stay tuned 😀

Oh and a sneak peak for my custom Atari 7800 controllers, and unlike simply plugging in a standard sega gamepad, both buttons function properly. 😀

Image

I got my first Nintendo since I was like 12!  Finally something new to play games on!

But… it just wasn’t to my liking on my HDTV, especially when compared to my other consoles and 8 bit systems that output RGB.  Sorry for the length of the video, and I know it may be a dull topic but I figured since I was doing the mod anyway… why not make a video out of it!

The result is a Nintendo with the best all around capabilities.  It has no jailbars or banding, the resolution and such look great on my LCD TV and you also get the reliability of a top loader with a much smaller footprint than the front loader.  There is also no NES lockout chip in these systems so that is also a plus ! 😀

I know the final result video is a bit darker, in person this is not the case 😀  My camera was set to manual to get the most true image on the first one, half way through (hot glue area) the battery went dead and it lost those settings.  I didn’t think to reset it up for the final video,  the auto adjust made the image darker.  I will be sure to get a video review up soon to show off the results better! 😀

Thanks for watching!