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

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Re: Bacteria's Alpha Omega project

Postby Bacteria » December 22nd, 2011, 2:41 pm

OK, that's the important parts of the old worklog uploaded - next postings by me will be when back on the project in the new year!
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Re: Bacteria's Alpha Omega project

Postby Bacteria » February 12th, 2012, 1:42 pm

Ok, commissions and other jobs are completed now, clearing my desk of the litter that always accumulates, along with lots of bits of wires, dust, etc.

Going to then test all the parts of the Alpha Omega system still work ok, give it also a blast with the compressed air can (!), and i'll be back onto the project. It's important to check all works fine as-is, and also, I need to re-familiarize myself with the system as it's been a few months.

I want to see if can get the CD32 working with more games than it does, it works for the two or three titles I want it to but not on others, either the wires to the drive unit are caught, or the laser needs a clean, or frankly the system is past its best and i've got what i've got (which isn't a problem).

Next system i'll be doing, assuming of course the Sega Saturn as mentioned. Only other disc based system i'll be doing is the DreamCast.

Going to make all the cart based systems into a slide-in section unit so it is easier to get to everything if repairs needed. More on that to come.

My plan is to do the Saturn and Dreamcast section, then make the slot-unit for the cart systems, then either do the N64 commission the guy in the UK wants (not taken his money as i'm not at stage of doing the work yet, and also he might change his mind in the interim), do the next stage on the system, or make a start on the Alpha Omega Jnr system. That system will be in some ways, even more complex than this one given what i'll be doing in it.
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Re: Bacteria's Alpha Omega project

Postby Bacteria » February 13th, 2012, 1:04 pm

Well, thought i'd test the Alpha Omega system last night, as one thing had been an issue on the Amiga CD32, when i'd first had the unit off ebay, it worked with some titles I had and some compilation discs, although they took an age to load into the menu. When modding the system, a couple more of the games failed to load, and before I put the system on hold whilst doing commission work, had two games working fine but that was all - D-Generation and Sleepwalker. Frankly, i'd tried a number of the games on the compilation discs I had and wasn't impressed with them anyway, had Little Devil working but actually it annoyed me in the '90s when the game first came out and was more annoying now anyway; and Sleepwalker is one of those unforgiving games that makes you play the same level repeatedly until you work the level out and solve the screen - yawn! D-Generation was the only game I wanted to play really as i'd played it all the way through in the '80's and actually, it's still a very good game.

Anyway, checked the wires were'nt pulling on the drive unit and laser, as no games worked last night; cut through part of the perspex disc area on the top of the case i'd made for it, and cleaned the plastic cogs as they were not moving freely, and used 3-in-1 oil to get them moving freely - after all, the grease was the original 1994 stuff. Got it moving much more free; Sleepwalker had graphics not working properly, however D-Generation is working fine. Frankly, if that game wasn't working, i'd have dismantled the CD32 from the project and scrapped that from the unit. As it is, going to cut the CD down in size to the size of the game on the disc (about 1/4" of the disc area) and mount the CD drive unit inside the base unit and replace where the CD drive unit was with a fan exhaust as the Alpha Omega system needs airflow; I was wondering how i'd be best doing this, the failing CD32 system (old electronics after all), answered that question.

That means therefore that the Philips CD-i is only playing Mario Hotel as that's the only game on that system i'm interested in (so unit held inside base unit and not accessible) and the Amiga CD32 only has D-Generation - frankly that's the only game i'm interested on that console anyway. The accessible disc systems to change games on are GameCube, PS2 (also PS1 games of course); and Saturn and DreamCast when they are wired up.

Having to familiarise myself with how I did things before, I did document quite a bit of course, however "the system needs to be understood" to carry on at speed as before.
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Re: Bacteria's Alpha Omega project

Postby Bacteria » February 13th, 2012, 10:44 pm

Well, the Amiga CD32 seems to have packed up. Not going to replace it, not worth it.

The CD-i seems to be playing up a bit, will investigate a bit more.

Neither of these systems are important, one game only for a system of interest is hardly a compelling argument to have the space needed in a system for it.

Nothing wrong with the PS2 and GameCube parts of the system in here, however due to above issues now, I intend to remove the console systems from the unit and remake the sections again. It is a backwards step however makes sense.

When I first started this project I figured i'd covered all the systems apart from Vectrex and Virtualboy; however of course this was wrong, there is the Pipin, 3DO, other failed systems too; so in hindsight, putting in two failed systems in there for one game each (CD32 and CD-i) is a bit of a waste.

Finding it hard to get back into the mindset for this system, i've forgotten most of the tricks and techniques i'd used before in this system, so probably a good idea to strip the system back to basic components and remake them, although obviously i'll keep the switches section as is, no benefit changing that and it wasn't easy to get that all worked out in the first place!

So what this means in reality, is I can't afford to deviate from this project now, once I get into remembering how the puzzle all slots together I don't want to forget it all again!

So, here's where the system stands and where it will stand:

Already made and working
GameCube
GBA via GameCube player
PS2
(PS1 games via PS2)

No longer part of the gameplan
Amiga CD32
Philips CD-i

To incorporate (pending)
Saturn
DreamCast
NeoGeo
SNES
MegaDrive
N64
Turbografx/PC-Engine
NES (already made)
Intellivision (already made)
SMS (have to make again, old one fried)
Amstrad GX4000
Jaguar
Atari 7800 (which plays Atari 2600 carts)
Colecovision

That's 19 systems included (the GBA is via original hardware as Nintendo product on GC hardware, PS1 on PS2 is obviously original hardware, Atari 2600 on 7800); 16 unique consoles giving 19 formats. Was going to be 21 when started this, so hey, if ends up around 19, that's no issue.

Anyway, means i'll have to take 2 steps back to make two separate steps forward, before can move forward on this project; such is life. At least the main systems work fine, it's the two expendible vintage CD systems that are the ones being flaky.

Another reason of course to remake the main system again is by removing the CD-i and CD32 i'll have to change the order things are in the casing too, and spaces.
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Re: Bacteria's Alpha Omega project

Postby Bacteria » February 14th, 2012, 10:59 pm

Gawd, it is soul destroying to cut out the wires for the systems with the intention to basically start a lot of the work again. Has to be done though.

Going to have it now so the bottom section has PS2 and quality fan exhaust for the whole system; 2nd layer will have DreamCast and Saturn, 3rd tier GameCube and NeoGeo (very large game carts after all).

Going to make it easy to remove sections, especially now as going to make an important change to the design - either going to make drive eject systems so no home-made looking pull-out CD section, or custom make it to look far nicer. Not going to have sections pull-out now, so can be better with wiring. Going to streamline some parts too.

This also means I have to dis-assemble the LED button sections with the 8PDT switch banks which is annoying, to refine a couple of bits.

Going also to design the improved sections with airflow in mind.

Have to also read through my old notes to try and remember how I did stuff before.

Yes, this really means i've got to get this project with all the above completed, totally, just cart systems remaining (apart from NeoGeo that will be in there anyway), before even consider any other work on other stuff.

Also going to give more consideration this time to shielding between systems a bit more - was lax on this before. Nothing great, but will be making a number of tin foil sheets inside paper (to stop shorts) on systems now to help with shielding interference.

Dismantled the CD-i already, and removed the PS2 from system, tomorrow i'll remove the CD32 board and throw it out as dead, and remove the GameCube section for later.

Good thing I cleared my desk yesterday - going to get messy again rather fast!
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Re: Bacteria's Alpha Omega project

Postby Bacteria » February 15th, 2012, 9:30 pm

Right, disconnected all the wires to the consoles. Removed and discarded the CD-i and CD32 motherboards. Not thrown the CD-i away as still works after all. The casing is just an empty shell now.

Going to make the system again, and improved.
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Re: Bacteria's Alpha Omega project

Postby Bacteria » February 16th, 2012, 1:39 pm

Thoughts on a different name for this project....

Originally, I chose "Alpha Omega", the beginning and the end; as I thought i'd covered all the console systems from Atari 2600>PS2 in the system. It was also because after making that system, i'd have no other modding projects left (of any substance) of interest.

Well, actually discovered of course there are about a dozen other console systems not covered, obscure systems like the Commodore 64 cart system, Eye, 3DO, Pippin and a few other systems - all failed and not great systems, and also very expensive now. That means my system is more a cost of "more than half all systems from end of the 1970's to mid 2000's! One of the reasons I perseveared with the tempremental CD32 in my system before was I wanted "complete"; and put in CD-i although only wanted one game on it.

The reality is I have the Alpha Omega Jnr (or whatever I end up calling it) to follow, and that is liable to be as far as my modding will go (that system and this one).

Therefore, I was thinking about a name change for the system, as the old name and its reasons are not as relevant as was.

Any suitable names for the system? You know the many systems this will include and a rough idea of what it will probably look like.

I'm thinking something along with the word "Bacman" in there - after all I don't see any copyright issues as the avatar I have is edited from original ("T" to a "C") and Bacman isn't "Batman", also non-profit application (i'm not selling my system, it stays a fully functional one-of-a-kind system).

Was trying to think of two or three words, ending or middle word "Bacman". Would also give a good opportunity to have for example first word in red at a diagonal and then the Bacman logo with the "Bacman" word in it.

Ideas/thoughts?
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Re: Bacteria's Alpha Omega project

Postby Bungle » February 16th, 2012, 4:40 pm

Maybe play around with E Pluribus Unum - Latin for "Out of many, one."

Bacman 2012 Olympic Gaming System? :XD

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Re: Bacteria's Alpha Omega project

Postby Bacteria » February 16th, 2012, 4:48 pm

Keep brainstorming, let's have ideas!
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Re: Bacteria's Alpha Omega project

Postby Bacteria » February 16th, 2012, 10:52 pm

Making good progress in remembering/cataloging what I did and need to do. To save work, the part that had the CD-i will now house the connections for the N64 for convenience, as the CD-i was composite (as with N64) and also less connections on the controller than for other systems (also as with N64).

Got another couple of hours of cataloging, probably tomorrow, then can make a start on the new system.

Broke open an old computer DVD drive unit, for the motor that opens/closes the drive unit, a couple of cogs and also the runner; going to try and make a CD section that opens and closes with the console drive unit inside. Worth a try anyway!
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