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

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Re: Bacteria's Alpha Omega project

Postby Bacteria » December 22nd, 2011, 2:20 pm

Constructed some of the 8PDT switches onto wood, with hot glue. More to do yet!

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Video uploaded - this is a major update to the project. Even my wife, who has little interest in my modding, found this video captivating and she understood what it was all about - that's a compliment! lol

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Re: Bacteria's Alpha Omega project

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

First two systems were in place, so mounted a top for the next layer:

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Re: Bacteria's Alpha Omega project

Postby Bacteria » December 22nd, 2011, 2:25 pm

Philips CD-i


The CD-i takes two voltages, 5v and -5v

In the pic below is my CD-i; it uses an unusual small star hex screwdriver, I forgot I had one before so had to butcher the CD-i controller casing to get to the board inside, found a couple of suitable screwdrivers since then, hope they fit ok!

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The two parts on the left are for CD playback and Photo-CD - I have no use for these functions so removed the section.

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Worked out that I can mount the CD drive upside down in the space it was going to be in originally, so secured the drive to the board with cable ties (no risk of glue getting weak and making the drive unit drop), and removed the large CD cartridge add-on for the FMV video which I don't need as Mario Hotel doesn't seem to need it, and removed the port, so it now sits flat against the fan on the Playstation 2 system - just the right overall height!

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Mounted into the place.

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Just need to work out the voltage lines and make the -5v regulator for it (the CD-i uses 5v and -5v).

The controller is wired into place; only 4 wires.

As you know, on the master controller I have a plug-in controller case for each console (the Intellivision, GameCube and Amiga CD32 ones are already made), will have one for generic ones that don't need their own controller section - no point having one if not needed after all; eg if there are no chips or other components on a controller and the wires just go to the button traces, I can have a generic controller section for them - eg TurboGrafx, NES (as I wired the controller to the NES console a while back), CD-i and others. The criteria are simply that the console controller doesn't have any components (as mentioned) and also basic - ie no joysticks, up to a maximum of 8 buttons on the controller. The NES has 8 buttons, TurboGrafx has 8, CD-i has 6; for example.
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Re: Bacteria's Alpha Omega project

Postby Bacteria » December 22nd, 2011, 2:25 pm

Ok, video 9 of the series is released - Philips CD-i. Just need to make the controller (generic one for this system).

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Re: Bacteria's Alpha Omega project

Postby Bacteria » December 22nd, 2011, 2:26 pm

System getting a bit taller:

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Re: Bacteria's Alpha Omega project

Postby Bacteria » December 22nd, 2011, 2:29 pm

DIscovered two more interesting factoids, one about the PS2's needs and other more to do with working with multiple systems.

The PS2 needs not only a different ground for the buttons than normal ground (!) as mentioned before, but also, if you want to get rid of the video interference lines from ground, then you can't use the ground to the video ground from the power supply ground, like you can with other systems; no, that would be too easy - you have to ground directly from the PS2 ground to the video ground and the wire can't be too long either, just a few inches. That meant a bit of a redesign but nothing major.

The other factoid, regards working with multiple systems - when I used the PS2 and turned off it's power but kept the mains running into the main system, and then tried turning on different console system (GameCube), the light came on but the system refused to boot. Turns out I have to turn off the power at the main input, turn back on again, then all works fine. Not sure why that's the case, however not an issue.

I've now tested on the PS2 and GameCube independently and the Alpha Omega works great; just a couple of minor adjustments and the CD32 and CDi will also work too.

Here's my PS2 video for the Alpha Omega system - enjoy!

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Re: Bacteria's Alpha Omega project

Postby Bacteria » December 22nd, 2011, 2:31 pm

The section with the switches is screwed into the skeleton case for strength; the wires are all shielded cables so reduces interference.

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Re: Bacteria's Alpha Omega project

Postby Bacteria » December 22nd, 2011, 2:34 pm

Making buttons:

Well, using normal switches now for the on/off of each console system, and going to home-make circular buttons, made with clear perspex so an LED can shine through to indicate a console system is selected; and on the button front will be printed the console logo.

Bear in mind these will be mounted onto the middle of each pair of 8PDT switches, making in effect a button to activate 2 x 8PDT.

The plastic sheet the switches and buttons will be mounted against is now finished and varnished, and ready to install into the system.

Cut through 3 pieces of clear perspex and stuck them together with "liquid poly" glue - a poly-weld clear liquid that sets in seconds. Onto that, a white piece (so no light will get back into the casing) and a larger backing piece. A hole is then drilled into the back for a 5mm LED to go through, and shine when the button is pressed. I have one pin on the pair of 8PDT switches assigned to the LED illumination.

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Illuminated

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Orange LED!

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Wired the LED's to the main power input, using a resistor so the LED's can be connected to the 12v input fine. There is only one resistor for all the LED's as only one LED will be on at a time.

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Re: Bacteria's Alpha Omega project

Postby Bacteria » December 22nd, 2011, 2:36 pm

Major update! Had a few hours today so concentrated on the project!

The new design for the front is now available for showing for the first time - circular buttons. The black switches will be made to have sliders (home made) to go over them for appearances to look nicer.

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The buttons I made before were mounted with a plastic bead behind (after making the inside hole big enough and tow slit grooves for the LED pins to go through).

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The bank of switches were wired up (for the side going against the case), the buttons had to be inserted into place roughly.

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The bank of switches are then screwed against the case with long screws, more than I used before, so structure is strong enough to be used in earnest. The gap between the back of the buttons and the switches are filled with hot glue to keep them secured into place. I designed it so when the buttons are depressed, there is one layer of plastic showing above the case surround, ie 2mm. Also, securing the buttons to the switches that way means they are in the best place and the most central place.

This pic shows the bank of switches secured into place, the LED's wired up, and one depressed.

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You can see the sheer amount of wiring involved, and this is by no means all there will be! After all, only 4 of the 17 systems are wired for audio and video; and only 9 of 17 systems are wired for controller; in other words, a lot more cables and wiring!

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Next job will be to finish the front of the buttons. The orange LED, when glowing, shines through the clear perspex as expected, however as I want to impose each console logo onto the buttons, I don't want the light to shine through the buttons but around the sides; tried putting a piece of white styrene on top (with intention of sticking a printed paper logo on top) but the LED shines through too much, so will use a piece of cardboard instead as that will barrier against the light.
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Re: Bacteria's Alpha Omega project

Postby Bacteria » December 22nd, 2011, 2:39 pm

Going to probably incorporate one of these into the front:

I've seen a few of these at car boot sales and not given them a thought before - today decided to get one - a photo frame! Only cost me £3 (she wanted £4, but hey!), reason being, will be a very nice way to show different images at the front of the Alpha Omega case - to show a few relevant screens like my username, project name, web link, etc. I want to see if I can get this project onto the Gadget Show when done, it is a very popular television program in the UK for all things "tekkie" with millions of viewers. What better way to finish off a casing but by putting in such a personalised screen?

Spent a while working out screen resolution from scratch, and using the gadget; all working now. Uses 5v at 1.5 amps which is no issue.

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It's in slideshow mode, so plays and loops the images. I'll get more pics on there in time.

I thought this was a rather nice idea!
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