Sequencer built on a Cycle II FPGA board

[Matt’s] finishing up his computer science degree. As part of a class assignment he programmed his own sequencer which runs on a Cyclone-II FPGA development board. We’ve embedded a video below the fold that shows you what it can do. The buttons and LEDs offered on the board actually allowed him to create a nice user interface. Each slide switch has a surface mount LED above it, giving feedback for which beats in the loop are on and off. There’s also a bank of momentary-push buttons seen in blue above. [Matt] uses these to tweak settings like the pitch that is stored for each slide switch. He even puts on a light show with the VGA output.

We’ve seen this Altera board before, used to drive a falling sands game. The hardware will run you around $200 but that’s not bad considering all of the fun things you can do with it.

Continue reading “Sequencer built on a Cycle II FPGA board”

Falling sand game on an FPGA

This falling sand game runs on a field-programmable gate array. The Altera Cyclone II resides at the heart of that development board, running the game which was written in Verilog. [Skyler Schneider] modeled his project after a Java version of the game called Pyro Sand Game. He treats each pixel of the 640×480 VGA screen as its own cell, following a set of rules to change the cells around it. This is very similar to Conway’s Game of Life, except that there are different categories of cells that behave uniquely (oil, water, plant, fire, etc.) and gravity is a key factor. Of particular interest to us were the rules for each cell, and the method [Skyler] used to feed and sync the VGA output. After the break you can see his demonstration videos, which walk through all of the features including the Troll button.

Continue reading “Falling sand game on an FPGA”

Game Boy VGA using an FPGA

[ViDAR] was looking for a project to keep him occupied and settled on creating a VGA converter for his Game Boy. He had some difficulty finding pinouts for the LCD and CPU but working with what was known, and an oscilloscope, he found the necessary signal. Tap into just a few lines using those thin blue wires; Vsync, Hsync, clock, and two data pins. From there a development board with an Altera Cyclone II field-programmable gate array takes care of the heavy lifting. The board already has hardware for a VGA connection so it was just a matter of processing the incoming signals into the VGA standard. His demo video is embedded after the page break.

Want a dedicated solution? Check out this Game Boy video adapter inside a VHS cassette.

Continue reading “Game Boy VGA using an FPGA”

Robot follows the rules of the road

This is a fantastic high school project. [Shmendrik213] built and robot a programmed it to follow common traffic rules. The robot drives itself with a DC motor, using one servo for steering and another to pan a webcam back and forth. The netbook that comes along for the ride is running a VB.NET program that can detect an upcoming intersection, read the street sign, and react based on other cars currently at the intersection.

The hardware is running on an Altera processor using firmware programmed in VHDL. We remember building a tissue box holder for one of our high school projects. Looks like the times have changed since then.

SEGA Genesis cloned with an FPGA

[Greg] managed to clone a SEGA Genesis using a field programmable gate array. He used a Terasic/Altera DE1 board, which will set you back about $160, during development. The onboard push buttons are currently used as the controller with VGA for the display. Who knows, maybe there’s enough programming space left to drive a PSP screen and turn this into a handheld?

You can see some gameplay footage after the break. If SEGA was never your thing don’t forget that there is an NES FPGA hack out there too.

Continue reading “SEGA Genesis cloned with an FPGA”

Suska open source Atari ST

Got a special place in your heart for Atari computing? Now you can quench that need using new hardware. The Suska project has achieved complete hardware emulation of the Atari ST using an FPGA. The project’s progress tracker shows implementation of the major chips at 100%. They are running EmuTOS, an Atari emulator, as the operating system because running the original would violate copyright. The chip used is an Altera Cyclone III. You could load up the code on your own hardware but judging from the number of connections needed it might be less of a headache to buy a board from these guys.

[Thanks Erik]

Pinball build throws down the gauntlet

[Jeri Ellsworth] is building her own pinball machine. Her build log is delivered in the form of daily videos that walk through the progress. In addition to seeing the intricate ramps, traps, and controllers she outlines her build techniques. These include reproducing parts based on old pinball machines and bending acrylic with a custom tool or a toaster oven.

The driver she’s planning to use is an Altera FPGA with a bunch of FETs to control the heavy-load components. There’s not a ton of info on the actual electronics but we had a heck of a fun time looking at the creative field components. Our favorite by far is the television from Day 7. The screen is translucent with a rear projected image. When the ramp in front of it is raised the pinball can be jumped right through the screen!

We couldn’t find a project page for this but we’ve embedded [Jeri’s] videos after the break. Continue reading “Pinball build throws down the gauntlet”