Bacteria's Project "Unity" (aka Alpha Omega project)

This section is where anyone can post their projects as "work in progress" threads, share their project and it's progression, share tips and also comments. When key information is posted within the project logs, they will be copied into the Reference section as suitable!

Moderator: MBB Moderators

Re: Bacteria's Alpha Omega project

Postby Bacteria » December 22nd, 2011, 1:56 pm

Have to use two 8PDT switches for the video and controller connections from each console to the controller and A/V; lots of connections and all need to be isolated, otherwise systems won't work due to conflicting data on lines.

Here's the 8PDT switches, they cost a few quid each.

Image
Image
User avatar
Bacteria
Bacman
Bacman
 
Posts: 2359
Joined: December 10th, 2011, 3:13 pm
Location: Hampshire, UK
Top

Re: Bacteria's Alpha Omega project

Postby Bacteria » December 22nd, 2011, 1:58 pm

Making the innards for the controller section for the Intellivision didn't need a board, just the diodes!

Image

Example of a "blank" referred to in post above:

Image
Image
User avatar
Bacteria
Bacman
Bacman
 
Posts: 2359
Joined: December 10th, 2011, 3:13 pm
Location: Hampshire, UK
Top

Re: Bacteria's Alpha Omega project

Postby Bacteria » December 22nd, 2011, 1:59 pm

The maximum amount of wires i've found in a controller is 9 (including ground), so therefore there are 9 wires in the cable from the console to the master controller.

Going to use an 8P2T switch to connect each set of wires from each console to the master controller so they are all independent. The 8 connections in the switch will do all but ground, ground will be switched by a main on/off switch that will turn a system on and off. That therefore covers 9 connectors and the fact that a small switch can only handle up to 0.5 amps load and I need up to about 3 amps (hence one of the reasons using ground to switch a system on and off, as its easy to get switches that can work with 3 amps).

Each controller section that goes into the master controller is independent, and has to be as most are proprietary and will not work with each other, hence a reason the controller boards are not in the base unit. To provide all the contacts between a console controller and the master controller (ie action buttons, shoulder buttons, analogue joysticks, analogue shoulder buttons, keypad) and extra grounding to reduce interference on the lines, there is an N64 cart port that connects to all the connections in the master controller. The N64 cart port has 50 pins instead of 48 (I added 2 more), so sufficient. Each N64 game cart has a nice board with 50 traces to go into the N64 cart port; so each console i'm using (with its own controller of course) needs me to butcher an N64 game for the board (for the traces). I'm using crap N64 game titles like the racing games (F1 Pole Position, GT64, etc), not using good games as that would be sacrilege! lol

There are pics in this (long) thread to explain more, this is a summary though. I'll cover this in more detail though in the video.

In effect, this means each console is independent regards power, all the controller cables are independent to one console at a time, only one controller is used at a time so no clashes.

The benefit of using one master controller of course is keeping things uniform, without having lots of controllers of different sizes, etc
Image
User avatar
Bacteria
Bacman
Bacman
 
Posts: 2359
Joined: December 10th, 2011, 3:13 pm
Location: Hampshire, UK
Top

Re: Bacteria's Alpha Omega project

Postby Bacteria » December 22nd, 2011, 2:00 pm

As i'll mention in the video, there are various benefits in the one-controller-for-all-systems i've adopted:

* Only one cable, so no spaghetti maze of wiring (each controller normally has a 6 foot cable after all, which easily tangle with others). This cable is about 12-13 feet long, a good length for my needs; compared to the usual 5-6 feet with normal controllers. 12-13 feet means I can use the controller whilst sat on the sofa without needing to move the base unit!

* Standardised controller - some controllers are naturally excellent, like GameCube and DreamCast, some are hard to hold eg Jaguar or not ideal in size eg NES and TurboGrafx, some are downright awful eg Intellivision, ColecoVision, Atari, Philips CD-i. This means that all systems will use the same well designed controller and no awful controls like ColecoVision to have to put up with. One size fits all.

* Makes the system look integrated, because it is. One base unit, one power supply, one controller, one cable, one SCART A/V cable. Neat and compact. Not lots of game ports and a large box of controllers, several power supplies and a mess of video cables.
Image
User avatar
Bacteria
Bacman
Bacman
 
Posts: 2359
Joined: December 10th, 2011, 3:13 pm
Location: Hampshire, UK
Top

Re: Bacteria's Alpha Omega project

Postby Bacteria » December 22nd, 2011, 2:01 pm

Ok, here's the video:

Image
User avatar
Bacteria
Bacman
Bacman
 
Posts: 2359
Joined: December 10th, 2011, 3:13 pm
Location: Hampshire, UK
Top

Re: Bacteria's Alpha Omega project

Postby Bacteria » December 22nd, 2011, 2:08 pm

Opened up my PS2 fat console:

Image

Ok, looked at the 5 ribbon cables from the motherboard on the PS2 to the disc drive unit.

Three of them are easy enough to relocate, the wires are about 1mm apart so not too hard to solder to these points and extend the distance with wires; one of the other ribbon cables has wires about 1/2mm apart so too small to solder to by hand, however fortunately, the ribbon goes only to the eject button and on/off/reset button by the drive unit, so that is easy to remove and better to anyway so can move the buttons elsewhere; however the issue is this: the ribbon from the motherboard to the laser unit. There look to be 32 connections over 16mm, problem is the ribbon cable is short.

I can't solder connections that close together, makes my eyes boggle trying to focus on such small connections as it is. Only have two options, one is to buy a longer ribbon cable, 32 connections over 16mm wide and the other is to find each connections' termination and wire to that point; and hope I can remove the port with its tiny connections without damaging it.

Ok, I know this is expensive but have little choice, bought a 30 pin 16mm connector as per this listing on ebay costing about £8.41. For about £20-£25 I could get a PS2 slim I know however it might not work (car boot sale purchase) as opposed to using my PS2 phat that does (at the moment) work and are cheap to buy.

The connections are so tiny on the ribbon cable it is hard to count them, tried tracing the connections, found some, however was still in the issue of wiring to the tiny connections on the port; high chance of ruining the port by removing it anyway to do this, so instead, paid for a 250mm long ribbon connector.
Image
User avatar
Bacteria
Bacman
Bacman
 
Posts: 2359
Joined: December 10th, 2011, 3:13 pm
Location: Hampshire, UK
Top

Re: Bacteria's Alpha Omega project

Postby Bacteria » December 22nd, 2011, 2:10 pm

Removed the first port; squeezed a screwdriver head gently under the edge of the port to give a little leverage, and then got a needle into the corner of each pin in turn to try and lift the pin upwards a bit when the soldering iron is applied to melt the solder on the pin itself.

Image

As you see, it worked, after a while the port is released. This will allow me to use some wires to attach to the port pins and then to the board, in effect providing a cheap cable extension. It is fine for these ports, as the gaps between the pins are 1mm, however the drive ribbon drive - forget it, it's 0.5mm between each pin, which is why I bought an extension ribbon for that one.

Image

The cable for the eject / standby board is similar however it is easy to just wire to the button contacts themselves, so that's easy enough.

The other three ports have a distance of 1mm between the pins so extending the ports by wires, so the original ribbon cable can extend the overall distance (on this larger port); will do this for the others too. It means if the drive unit dies in the future it will be easier to replace it as well.

Two chips on the back of the board get very hot, which explains why on the original shielding plate there were raised areas on the metal to press against those chips to keep them cooler. I'm not using the old shielding as it makes everything too large, so instead, cut out some metal strips and screwed them to the grounding on the edge of the board, pressed against the two small chips (using a small amount of Arctic Silver thermal paste of course) to reduce the heat. On the larger of the two, found a suitable place on the board where there were no traces and drilled a hole through the board for a screw to go through to keep the metal piece in place. The PS2 motherboard is only two layer so not hard to work out spaces.

Image
Image
User avatar
Bacteria
Bacman
Bacman
 
Posts: 2359
Joined: December 10th, 2011, 3:13 pm
Location: Hampshire, UK
Top

Re: Bacteria's Alpha Omega project

Postby Bacteria » December 22nd, 2011, 2:11 pm

Spent a couple of hours, removing the digital port, A/V port, USB port, wiring composite, making basic legs for the drive unit so it can have the memory card in place; which is attached into place and done. Tested system, all works fine.

Image

Image

Next job will be to turn the system over, secure drive unit into place, secure motherboard into place. As before, will mount onto foam board before going onto the wood, just a bit easier to work with.

Turned system over and secured to the backing board with hot glue. As the drive unit doesn't need to be removed, going to have the PS2 at the bottom of the final system casing, and alongside the PS2 drive, i'll mount a strong 12v fan exhaust to give good airflow; if needed; otherwise will use the surrounding space for some other console boards; not sure yet.

Image

The black piece is to keep the ribbon working correctly and without catching. On top of this will be probably mounted the controller board.
Image
User avatar
Bacteria
Bacman
Bacman
 
Posts: 2359
Joined: December 10th, 2011, 3:13 pm
Location: Hampshire, UK
Top

Re: Bacteria's Alpha Omega project

Postby Bacteria » December 22nd, 2011, 2:13 pm

Start of the skeleton casing done, metal contact points to solder wires to; there will be a lot!

Doesn't matter what the skeleton looks like, it is just a WIP shell.

Image

Connected the power regulators to the casing, removed the crocodile clips and wired the power lines to the metal pieces, and the power lines from the GameCube are connected up. The video lines for the SCART are connected, going to rig up the SCART connector cable to the points tomorrow, then wire up the controller connectors to the 8P2T switch and the on/off switch to the system too. Then, testing.

Secured struts of wood to act as runners for the GC/CD32 consoles to move in and out to load discs. They will keep the system in place.

The wires are long enough for the movement of the section in and out of course.

Image

Later pic:

Image
Image
User avatar
Bacteria
Bacman
Bacman
 
Posts: 2359
Joined: December 10th, 2011, 3:13 pm
Location: Hampshire, UK
Top

Re: Bacteria's Alpha Omega project

Postby Bacteria » December 22nd, 2011, 2:17 pm

More success!

This was my work in progress connector from the console cable to the master controller:

Image

Opened up a Playstation controller connector and wired it up, retaining the outer covering to make it look nice afterwards. The yellow wire is just to make the cable stay in place against the outer covering (I didn't have any more cable ties).

Image

Done, and the covering in place - nice!

Image

This is the new cable connector connected to an 8P2T switch, wired up and finished. Did some preliminary testing on the GameCube, and it works fine; will do more testing tomorrow. All looks fine though. The battery changed for the GameCube settings is also working nicely - the old battery died.

Image

Assuming it passes final testing, the GameCube will be finished, will then get the Amiga working in the same way.
Image
User avatar
Bacteria
Bacman
Bacman
 
Posts: 2359
Joined: December 10th, 2011, 3:13 pm
Location: Hampshire, UK
Top

PreviousNext

Return to Project worklogs

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Alexa [Bot] and 0 guests