If you are a process junkie and love seeing the end-to-end of how a thing is made and with what tools, then watch [Michael Klements] show off his Raspberry Pi case design. His case has quite a few cool-looking elements to it, and incorporates 3D printing as well as laser-cut and clear bent acrylic for a gorgeous three-quarter view.
[Michael]’s write-up (and accompanying video, embedded below) are partly a review of his Creality 3D printer, and partly a showcase of his Raspberry Pi case design (for which he sells the design files for a small fee on his Etsy store.) But the great part is seeing the creation of every piece that goes into the end product. Not everyone is familiar with the way these tools work, or what they can create, so it’s nice to see attention paid to that side of things.
Both the blog post and the video nicely show off what goes into every part. The video opens with unpacking and setting up the 3D printer (skip ahead to 4:58 if you aren’t interested), followed by printing the parts, laser-cutting the acrylic on a K40 laser cutter, bending the acrylic using a small hand tool, and finally, assembling everything. For the curious, there are also links to the exact parts and equipment he uses.
To be a professional card dealer takes considerable skill, something that not everybody might even have the dexterity to acquire. Fortunately even for the most ham-fisted of dealers there’s a solution, in the form of the Dave-O-matic, [David Stern]’s automated card dealer using a Raspberry Pi 4 with a camera and pattern recognition.
It takes the form of a servo-controlled arm with a sucker on the end, which is able to pick up the cards and present them to the camera. They can then be recognized by value, and pre-determined hands can be dealt or alternatively a random hand. It seems that the predetermined hands aren’t an aid in poker cheating, but a part of the bridge player’s art. You can see it in action in the video below the break.
We like the project, but sadly at this point we must take [Dave] to task, because while tantalizing us with enough detail to get us interested he’s slammed the door in our faces by failing to show us the code. it would be nice to think that the clamor from disaffected Hackaday readers might spur him into throwing us a crumb or two.
In terms of units sold, it’s no secret that the GameCube was one of Nintendo’s poorest performing home consoles. You could argue increased competition meant sales of the quirky little machine were destined to fall short of the system’s legendary predecessors, but that didn’t keep the Wii from outselling it by a factor of five a few years later. Still, enough incredible games were released for the GameCube that the system still enjoys a considerable fanbase.
Now, with the release of PicoBoot by [webhdx], we suspect the GameCube is about to gain a whole new generation of fans. With just a Raspberry Pi Pico, some jumper wires, and a widely available third-party SD card adapter, this open source project bypasses the console’s original BIOS so it can boot directly into whatever homebrew application the user selects. With how cheap and easy to perform this modification is, we wouldn’t be surprised if it kicked off something of a renaissance for GameCube homebrew development.
In the video after the break, [Tito] of Macho Nacho Productionsprovides a rundown of this new project, including a fantastic step-by-step installation guide that covers everything from soldering the jumper wires to the console’s motherboard to getting the firmware installed on the Pico. He then demonstrates booting the console into various community developed front-ends and tools, showing just how versatile the modification is. While some will see this as little more than an easier way to run bootleg games, we can’t help but be excited about what the future holds now that getting your own code to run on the system is so easy.
Alright, maybe it’s not so easy. To solder on the five wires that will eventually snake their way to the GPIO pins of the Pi Pico, you’ll need to strip the console all the way down to the main board. That wouldn’t be too bad itself, but unfortunately to reach two of the connections you’ll need to remove the system’s massive heatsink — which means you’ll need to clean up the old sticky thermal pads and apply new ones if you don’t want your GameCube to turn into a GameCrisp. It’s nothing that would scare off the average Hackaday reader, but it might give pause to those less handy with an iron.
The release of PicoBoot comes hot on the heels of the revelation that the Raspberry Pi Pico can be used not only as an N64 flash cart but as a supercharged PlayStation Memory Card. These projects would all be significantly improved with a custom RP2040 board, and no doubt that’s the direction they’ll eventually head, but it’s hard not to be impressed by what the low-cost microcontroller development board is capable of in its native form. Especially now that it comes in WiFi flavor.
Elliot managed to stump Kristina with this week’s What’s That Sound, though she probably should have made a semi-educated guess. From there, it’s on to missing moon rocks and the word of the day before we get into a handful of contest entries, including a mechanical keyboard to end all mechanical keyboards.
This really just scratches the surface of this week’s show, which includes some new hardware stuffed into old, as well as modern implementations of old technology. And in case you didn’t get enough of Kristina’s childhood memoirs, she goes a bit deeper into the teddy bears and telephones rooms of her memory palace.
News just in from the folks at Raspberry Pi: the newest version of their Pico has WiFi and is called, obviously, the Pico W. We were going to get our hands on a sample unit and kick its tires, but it’s stuck in customs. Boo! So until it shows up, here’s what we can glean from the press releases and documentation.
As of now, the WiFi is supported in both the C SDK and the pre-baked MicroPython image. It looks trivially easy to get it working, and it’s based on the time-tested lwIP stack, a classic in the embedded world. The CYW43439 is also Bluetooth capable, but there’s no firmware support for that yet, but we wouldn’t be surprised if it showed up soon.
The price? $6 for the whole shooting match. You can view this two ways: a small $2 premium over the old Pico, or a price increase of 50%. How you see things probably depends on your order quantity. Either way, it’s firmly in the ESP32 module price range, so you’ve got some comparison shopping to do if your project needs a microcontroller and WiFi. And in these days of silicon shortages, it’s nice to have a couple of options.
The joke was when the Nintendo 64 first hit the streets around a quarter century ago, that the 64 in the name referred not to the technology on board, but to the excessive cost of the cartridges. Whatever the truth in that, it’s something now completely laid to rest by [Konrad Beckmann] with his Nintendo 64 flash cart powered by a Raspberry Pi Pico (Nitter Link).
The schematic is surprisingly simple, in that the Pico does everything required to both interface to the N64 and to an SD card to hold the software. The clever work is done by the RP2040 firmware, which can be found along with the hardware details in the “develop” branch of the project’s GitHub repository. And while the earliest version was a Raspberry Pi Pico with a host of jumper wires, the more polished version focuses on a custom PCB and bare RP2040 chip.
Perhaps the N64 hasn’t received the attention it should have over the years, overshadowed as it was by its competitors such as the original PlayStation, but it’s projects like this one which remind us that there’s still life in Nintendo’s ’90s flagship. Speaking of which, if you were on Team Sony back in the day but still want to put your Pi Pico to use, check out this DIY PlayStation Memory Card we covered recently.
If you’ve laid hands on a retro analog TV, have the restoration bug, and you plan to make the final project at least somewhat period-correct, you face a bit of a conundrum: what are you going to watch? Sure, you can serve up just about any content digitally these days, but some programs just don’t feel right on an old TV. And even if you do get suitably retro programming, streaming isn’t quite the same as the experience of tuning your way through the somewhat meager selections as we did back in the analog days.
But don’t worry — this Raspberry Pi TV simulator can make your streaming experience just like the analog TV experience of yore. It comes to us from [Rodrigo], who found a slightly abused 5″ black-and-white portable TV that was just right for the modification. The battery compartment underneath the set made the perfect place to mount a Pi, which takes care of streaming a variety of old movies and shorts. The position of the original tuning potentiometer is read by an Arduino, which tells the Pi which “channel” you’re currently tuned to.
Composite video is fed from the Pi’s output right into the TV’s video input, and the image quality is just about what you’d expect. But for our money, the thing that really sells this is the use of a relay to switch the TV’s tuner back into the circuit for a short bit between channel changes. This gives a realistic burst of static and snow, just like we endured in the old days. Hats off to [Rodrigo] for capturing everything that was awful about TV back in the day — Mesa of Lost Women, indeed! — but still managing to make it look good.