We’ve been following the Retrode since it was an obscure video on YouTube that we swore was an elaborate hoax. Now, [Matthias] tell us it’s getting its third major upgrade, and it is really starting to resemble a commercial project. The video features the new prototype case for the Retrode II, which has been 3d printed. The fact that such advanced protyping facilities are availavble to the common hacker is just incredible. The new Retrode II will have ports built in so SEGA and SNES controllers can be plugged in. Since its launch the community has been collaborating to build plug-in boards allowing people to play Virtual Boy, Atari 2600, GBx, Turbografix-16, Neo Geo Pocket, and even N-64 cartridges directly from the cartridge on their computers. Very Cool.
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3D holographic fog display
Some researchers in Japan are hard at work building a 3D volumetric fog display that would allow you to live out some of your Leia-related Star Wars fantasies. Using a column of fog and three projectors, they were able to create a display that looks three-dimensional from any angle. It might be a while before the technology hits your living room, so don’t clear your calendar just yet, Obi Wan. [via Neatorama]
The Claw – a three-fingered robotic gripper
Instructables user [AntMan] has been hard at work revising his robotic claw gripping mechanism. Laser cut from wood, this servo-driven claw can easily grasp small objects with little effort. We can’t wait to see someone build a version from milled aluminum!
Ben Heck’s retro Xbox 360
[Ben Heck] is at it again, and has recently given the Xbox 360 a sweet retro makeover. Taking inspiration from gaming consoles of the 70’s, he converted an Xbox 360 into a laptop-style portable (again), but this time with the look and feel of an old Atari 2600. Retro gamers rejoice, you can now get your Xbox on while enjoying the sweet simulated wood-grain you grew up with.
Rocket-based ice fishing notification system
What fun is ice fishing if you have to sit outside freezing your butt off? We’re assuming that was the driving thought behind [Mike’s] rocket-based ice fishing rig. A model rocket is attached to his fishing sledge, which is triggered when a fish is detected on the line. Using a low-tech detonator, the rocket lets him know it’s time to check the lines. Now only if we could get the fish to fillet themselves…
Case modding video series hits the web
The “Mod Men” is a fairly new web series that takes you out of the basement and into the garage for some professionally constructed case mods. Described as “American Chopper for geeks with a dash of This Old House”, the creators aim to showcase over-the-top case mods with a professional flair. They already have three episodes under their belt, all of which are available on their site.
There have been a fair share of portable video game console conversions over the years, but few tug at our retro-loving heart strings more than this one. Modretro forum member [Mario] constructed a fantastic looking portable Atari 2600 using a Flashback 2 Atari console clone.
He hacked apart the Flashback board to fit inside a small plastic case, then added a 3.5″ LCD screen, as well as some donated controller bits from other portable game systems. A pair of rechargeable batteries were added along with a small amplifier and speaker for sound.
While the Flashback comes with 40 games built in, he really wanted to add a cartridge port, so with the little bit of space he had left in the case, he did just that. When everything was finished, he sprayed on a few coats of retro orange paint and called it a day. Really the only thing that’s missing is some nice fake wood veneer and maybe some shag carpet.
Continue reading to see his portable creation in action.
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This portable Atari is the result of [Mario’s] toils. The core system is an Atari Flashback 2, an embedded system released in 2005 with several built-in games. The stock titles weren’t enough so [Mario] added a cartridge slot in order to play whichever games he wishes. The case was originally the packaging for an iPod touch so you know it’s sturdy. We also like the free-formed audio amplifier as seen in the work log. Does anyone know if the Flashback 2 has a pause feature?
The Atari 2600 pause circuit is now available in a kit form. We saw this pause method back in February and the kit uses the same circuit. We don’t really need a kit for this, the board is very simple to throw together. But we do appreciate the detailed installation instructions (PDF) that accompany it. After all, you don’t want to kill you classic gaming rig with a botched install.
[Luis Cruz] built a gaming console with motion control. The circuit above connects via composite video to a television and communicates with a wireless controller. The controller is on a smaller breadboard which includes an accelerometer for the input and the infrared circuitry necessary for wireless data transmission back to the home system. Take a look at the first game he developed for it in the video after the break. There’s some details available (ie: he’s using ATmega168 and ATmega328 chips) but we’ve asked him to post code and schematics which he is currently cleaning up for mass consumption.
Ah, the 8-bit sound in that game takes us back to the glory days of Atari and Intellivision.
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[The Longhorn Engineer] is working on a portable Atari 2600. Instead of taking the old gaming system and cramming it into a portable form factor he’s designed his own circuit board in a new-hardware initiative he calls Project Unity. The handheld will include everything you need to play, including video, audio, controller buttons, paddle control, and a cartridge connector. For the demonstration, embedded after the break, he’s using the Harmony Cartridge to store his Atari ROMs but do note that the system is designed to use cartridges rather than work solely as a game jukebox.
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