Sixty4Racer an 8×8 Game

[Pete] has a cool new tutorial creating a re-imagining of the Atari classic “River Raid” for the PIX-6T4 micro controller based game system. The PIX is a netduino on a larger board featuring 2 analog controllers, a speaker, an sd card and an 8×8 monochrome LED display. With a resolution that low, it may make the good ole VCS look like a 360, but there is still a lot to learn about making a game at this low of a level.

The tutorial [Pete] has put together covers concept, gameplay, progression goals, screen handling and a boat load of code to show how it all goes together. Though this is for a C# based system many of the basics apply to just about any system you can imagine. So if you’re looking to learn how to handle graphics in C, sprite animation, collision, or randomly putting levels together out of tile blocks then you should take a look.

Join us after the break for a quick video.

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Analog Joypad for your Retro PC

Part of the fun with old computers is playing some old school games, and while you could play them with a keyboard it is much more fun with a joystick. You can get old joysticks all day long on auction sites, but you have to watch out. Some are digital, which wont work for many games on many systems. Some were cheap to begin with and probably worn out, and many are flight sticks … ever play pac-man with a giant flight stick?

What I really wanted was a game pad like device for my 1986 Apple //c , using one of the modern thumbstick analog controllers. Using a thumbstick out of an old XBOX(1) controller, some generic parts from Radio Shack, and a little bit of effort , I ended up with exactly what I wanted.

Join us after the break and I will show you how to get there!

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Jam a remote helicopter

The Syma S107 IR is a popular little remote controlled helicopter. When a friend of [Michael]‘s started flying one around the office he decided to try and jam the signal, creating a no fly zone. Luckily some people on the internet have already decoded the IR signals used by the flying menace. From there, a quick browsing of Mouser to source some LEDs, and to whip up some code for a TI MSP430 was all that was left.

The software on the micro controller is set to broadcast a “thrust off” signal, but [Michael] admits he is not 100% sure if the helicopter is actually receiving that, or if the signal from the no fly zone is mixing with the remote’s signal, causing garbage to be received. Either way when the helicopter gets in range of the no fly zone pad it drops from the air.

Things didn’t go perfectly though, overestimating the current capabilities of the MSP was causing the micro controller to reset and crash the debugger. But a simple rearrangement of how the signals are sent quickly solved this problem.

Join us after the break for a quick video.

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Hide your repeater and gain a radio

[Bradley]‘s workplace was recently put into a position where they needed to install a WIFI network to operate some wireless barcode scanners, which was left open for anyone to connect to. Management thought that the people in the shop, who didn’t really need internet, would get less work done if they had access to it. So they just simply stuck the access point as far away as they could. Problem with that theory is that the signal still reaches a little bit where they don’t want it, and people in the shop really want access, so a repeater is needed.

Of course this repeater cant be just sitting out in the open. so [Bradley] decided to hide the it inside of an old radio. Searching around he finally settled on a 10$ ebay radio from the 1980′s, which is large enough to hold the guts of a WRT54G. The routers AC adapter was popped open and wired into the AC input of the radio, the main board and antennas were epoxied to the back. Once everything is buttoned back up you’re left with a hidden repeater, and a fully functional radio.

Now hopefully none of his bosses read his blog!

The Phone Box

[Nerdindustries] had a interesting idea; “what if you could just flip a switch and call someone?”. This happens a lot, especially in companies where your trying to catch a certain someone who is always swamped in phone calls. The Phone Box is a basic Nokia cellphone that has a number stored into its speed dial. To help aid in communication the phones output is directed to a three and a half watt amplifier module ensuring that your going to hear it.

A delay circuit was made out of a basic RC network, so when you hit the switch the phone has a chance to power up and fully boot. Once the delay triggers it presses the speed dial button and off you go. Now someone has already asked “Why don‘t you just call them?”, and we got a kick out of the first answer “calling someone is NOT nerdy.”

Join us after the break for a quick video.

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Remote entry via Android and Launchpad

[MarkoeZ] had an issue with keys breaking off in his door lock, and while normal people might try to simply replace the lock all together, [MarkoeZ] decided to do it the “Hackaday” way by adding a bluetooth lock to his door. His door is already setup where someone can walk up to it, page an internal intercom and have someone buzz you in. From the inside the intercom was modded with a TI Launchpad with a “deal extreme” bluetooth module and relay.

Access is granted by the use of an android phone running “BT_Serial_Tester” which is a simple app that allows you to send characters over bluetooth. Just enter a pin, grab the door before the buzzer times out, and you’re in! A starting point for the MSP code and schematics are available on his blog. Join us after the break for a quick demonstration video.

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Shove a Hub into That Keyboard

As masters of technology, our desks are often cluttered with odds and ends. We have cables spewing out of every nook, and our computer ports full. The last thing we really want is more stuff getting in the way or buried under piles of technical documentation when adding something like a USB hub. That is where [Michael] comes in, shoving a small USB hub into his Logitech keyboard.

The keyboard is already USB, and the hub has 3 forward facing ports and a fourth single port in the rear. Taking the 2 devices apart he used the already there USB cord from the keyboard replacing the input cord of the hub. Then he removed the rear port and directly wired his keyboard onto the hub.

From there, its just a matter of figuring out where he wanted the hub, and cutting out the plastic. He used a knife, and had fond memories of some minor cuts, which leads us to recommend being (more) careful. A little application of fire to blade goes a long way.

Once the keyboard is back together he has a convenient 3 port hub on the back of his keyboard that looks factory and saves clutter.