66% or better

Using arcade monitors with the Raspberry Pi

mame

Along with the growing popularity of the Raspberry Pi, we’ve also seen a related uptick in MAME arcade cabinet builds. Putting this $35 computer in an arcade cabinet makes a lot of sense, but connecting it to one of the monitors found in old arcade cabinets is a bit of a pain. Luckily, [Celso] figured out how to connect a Raspi to one of these 15kHz RGB monitors, making for a much more accurate emulation of old arcade classics.

The Raspi only has two video outputs – an HDMI port and an RCA composite jack. The old arcade CRTs have an RGB input, so directly connecting a Raspi to one of these CRTs is a no-go.

The solution comes from two converters: one to convert the HDMI output to VGA, and another video downscaler that takes the 31kHz VGA signal and translates it into a 15kHz RGB signal. [Celso] settled on the GBS-8100 video converter, a rather uncommon piece of kit that can fortunately be found on a few Chinese eBay auctions.

After connecting the old arcade cabinet power supply to the Pi, hooking up an audio amp, and converting the controls to USB, [Celso] has a very accurate MAME machine.

Electronically controlled NFC tag

P1010393

[Per] is replacing his car stereo with a Nexus 7 tablet. It’s a great modification to add GPS, navigation, and a good music player, but [Per] wanted to pause his tunes and tell the tablet to go to sleep with an NFC tag. This means building a an NFC tag he can turn on and off, an interesting problem to say the least.

The easiest way to do this is with a CMOS switch, but a chip like a 74HC4066 is overkill for a project this simple. What [Per] needed was a single CMOS switch, something he found and fabbed a board for.

Now, with a press of a button, [Per] can activate his NFC tag and pause the music in his new stereo. Check out the video of this electronically controllable tag after the break.

[Read more...]

ATTannenbaum

attiny

It’s that special time of year again where the smell of baking cookies fill the house and shopping mall parking lots are filled with idiots and very angry people. [Kevin] thought it would be a good idea to build an LED Christmas tree and ended up building a great looking tree that’s also very simple.

In the video, the imgur album, and the github, [Kevin] shows us the simplest way to make a color-changing LED Christmas tree. The circuit uses LEDs to drop the voltage and to provide a nice glow around the base of the tree. After that, it’s just an ATtiny13 and some LEDs in a very nice freeform circuit.

Of course, if LED Christmas trees aren’t your thing, [hb94] over on reddit created an LED menorah. Pretty nifty he used an 8-position DIP switch for the circuit. Let’s just hope someone gave him a soldering iron for the last night of Hanukkah.