Using Cell Phone Screens with any HDMI Interface

Thanks to the worldwide proliferation of smartphones, tiny high-resolution displays are common and cheap. Interfacing these displays with anything besides a phone has been a problem. [twl] has a board that does just that, converting HDMI to something these displays can understand, and providing a framebuffer so these displays can be written to through small microcontrollers.

[twl] is using a rather large FPGA to handle all the conversion from HDMI to the DSI the display understands. He’s using an Xilinx Spartan-6-SLX9, one of the most hobbyist friendly devices that is able to be hand soldered. Also on the board is a little bit of SDRAM for a framebuffer, HDMI input, and a power supply for the LCD and its backlight.

On the things [twl] has in his ‘to-do’ list, porting Doom to run on a cellphone display is obviously right at the top. He also wants to test the drawing commands for the Arduino side of his board, allowing any board with the suffix ~’ino to paint graphics and text on small, cheap, high-resolution displays. That’s a capability that just doesn’t exist with products twice [twl]’s projected BOM, and we can’t wait to see what he comes up with.

You can check out the demo video of [twl]’s board displaying the output of a Raspberry Pi below. If you look very closely, you’ll notice the boot/default screen for the display adapter is the Hackaday Jolly Wrencher.

Continue reading “Using Cell Phone Screens with any HDMI Interface”

Hard Core Nintendo DSI hacking

dsi (Custom)

So, you hacked your DSI did you? Let me guess, you ran a flash cart. No? You probably added some LEDs then right? No? You must be pretty hard core, did you add a NES controler? No? Well what did you do?

We still have no idea what this guy is doing. But he is doing it very meticulously. We found [Micah Dowty]’s photo stream on flicker and we were instantly pulled in. He has done some extensive modifications to his DSI. He has spread its innards for all to see and begun hacking. It appears as though most of this is for memory dumps and direct access to the RAM in the unit, but frankly we just want to stare at these pictures.

Nintendo DSi teardown

dsiteardown

Now that the Nintendo DSi has been officially released in the US, the team at iFixit has worked their magic. That magic being: completely disassembling it. They found the new 840mAh battery to be much smaller than the DS Lite’s 1000mAh. The device features two cameras, but both are a paltry 0.3megapixels. They note that this is the first Nintendo device that they’ve taken apart that didn’t require a tri-wing screwdriver.

Many more DSi compatible flash carts are available now than our initial report in December, so you can pick up a Nintendo DSi for homebrew without worry.

[via iFixit blog]

Nintendo DSi gets its first flash cart

ak2i_power_on

A month ago, we reported that Nintendo’s new DSi portable didn’t work with any of the current crop of flash cartridges. Things didn’t look good for homebrew. Here we are a month later and looking at the release of the Acekard 2i. It’s the first DSi compatible flash cartridge. The features appear to be identical to previous versions and we expect other manufactures will be updating their product lines in short order. You can find a video of the Acekard 2i after the break.

These carts may exist because of pirates, but we happily use them for homebrew. There are a lot of great programs out there; here’s a list of 24 apps that are dedicated to music creation. You can run Linux on it too. It’s as easy as copying a file to a flash drive. If you have a DS and aren’t using homebrew, you’re wasting it. We’ll be picking up a DSi as soon as they’re in the US (they’re region locked).

Continue reading “Nintendo DSi gets its first flash cart”

Nintendo DSi teardown

dsi_teardown

[bunnie] managed to pick up a Nintendo DSi while in Japan. It seems he had the device running less than an hour before he tore it down for an impromptu hotel photoshoot. There’s nothing too surprising and he mentions that the CPU certainly feels more capable than the previous model, which may explain the shorter battery life. The ARM processor sits under an RF shield directly below the WiFi card. The best photo is the top side of the board with every single debug point labeled in plain English on the silkscreen. We’re sure that’ll help with the development of new homebrew hardware.

[bunnie] has posted some interesting teardowns in the past. Have a look at his Sony XEL-1 teardown to see the inner workings of an OLED TV.

No Nintendo DSi homebrew

The latest version of the Nintendo DS, the DSi, has officially launched in Japan. It features larger dual touchscreens, dual cameras, and an SD card slot. The members of GBAtemp.net have decided to tackle the most important question: will it run homebrew? Current DS systems just need a purpose built flash cartridge to load homebrew software (usually stored on MicroSD). Forum members have tested at least 10 different flash carts, and none of them worked. While not completely exhaustive it’s proof enough to us that current generation carts will not work. We hope this is something that can patched with a new firmware. Most carts load their firmware off the flash, so upgrades are easy. The blocking of homebrew maybe a side-effect of Nintendo’s announced region-locking on the DSi.

We hope this gets sorted out soon. Maybe we’ll see hackers figure out how to take advantage of the SD slot instead. If you’ve got a Nintendo DS, there’s no excuse not to be playing with homebrew. It’s as easy as copying files to a card. We’ve had success with the DSTT, which you can find on DealExtreme for just $10.

[via Gizmodo]