Tired of messing with the hardware of the Didj you picked up? Now you can use it for gaming on that last road trip of the summer. A Game Boy Advanced emulator has been ported for use on both the Didj and the Explorer. You’ll have to dig up a copy of the original bios for a GBA as well as some ROMs, but the rest seems pretty straight forward. We are still holding out hope for Doom or Quake on the Didj, but this will help us wait a bit longer.
[Thanks Nirvous via Rosincore]
Leapfrog has a new device out called the Leapster Explorer. [The Moogle] has been poking around the insides and he patched into the serial bus to get USB host mode running. Because the same cartridge interface is used for the Didj and the Explorer, tools like the DJHI should continue to work. The $70 price tag makes this a no-brainer if you interested in doing some portable hacking. We’ve seen promising Didj hacks such as OpenGL and Video out, hopefully the new hardware will help advance the cause.
[Nirvous] managed to get composite video out working on the DIDJ. He knew that the CPU had the ability to generate the signal, and that similar devices already had this capability. After studying some DIDJ teardowns he figured out which connection on the processor should provide the appropriate signal. Next was the firmware side of things and after sifting through a lot of code he was pleased to find a flag that looked like it would enable video out. Some cross-compiling, soldering, and a low-pass filter got it to work.
If you’ve been hacking around on the device you might try this. The CPU uses a ball grid array so soldering is a bit difficult. We covered a BGA soldering trick that might be just the thing so check it out before you retreat into your soldering-fortress of solitude.
[Losinggeneration] managed to get a homebrew OpenGL application working on the Didj. It’s nice to see the community driven work advance on this device but something else also caught our attention from the forum post. Another poster pointed out that [losinggeneration] has files in one of his directories called “glquake-didj” and “glquake-didj.dbg”. We hope that means a working version of Quake is on the way for the hackable handheld.
[Thanks JJ Dasher]
The DJHI 2.8 is now available for preorder. The DHJI acts as an alternative serial connection in order to protect the Didj from the 12V signals it would be exposed to with a direct serial connection to your PC. It also adds in a microSD card slot and makes the connection process as simple as plugging it into the cartridge slot.
[The Moogle], who was the winner of our second Barcode Challenge, also tipped us off about his hack that upgrades the Didj to 64 Mb of RAM.
Since we first mentioned the Leapfrog DIDJ, a lot has happened. A number of avid readers of Hack a Day teamed up with a couple hackers experienced with the DIDJ, and have managed to make some huge progress into making a linux based game console on the cheap. For all the readers who missed out on the last sale on Woot, its about time for a second chance.
The team working over at the HackerFoundry forum have managed to gain serial console access, map the file system, create a fake update server, and are almost at a point where replacing the stock OS and firmware can be done with software alone. They have also designed and tested a homebrew cartridge with a slot for a microSD card and breakouts for expansion and debugging.
Right now they are looking for someone with experience snooping USB protocols to figure out how the device communicates to the computer, as well as anyone who is interesting in just testing or playing around with what they have done so far. There are a number of tutorials and walk-throughs on the eLinux wiki. Its amazing how far this group has come in just two months.
Yesterday we mentioned the Woot! sale of the Didj, and we had some comments and emails from readers who had purchased one. We couldn’t resist either, and ordered a couple to take apart and modify. We will probably be following the work laid out by [Claude Schwarz], who seems to be one of the leading hackers on the scene. [Claude] has done some work in porting the GP2x libraries to the Didj, which gives a tremendous head start to anyone looking to have a working game system any time soon. There will also be a build log for everyone to follow along at home, and contribute what you want and have, as well as a follow up How-To when a working system is attained. Happy Hacking, everyone.