TVout Library Brings Cardboard Arcade To Life

Recycling old CRTs is a true Hackaday tradition, and [Rob’s] mini arcade is sure to grab your attention.

First of all, you’ll probably appreciate [Rob] circumventing the supply shortage by getting all his components from recycled material. That’s probably the only way to get anything these days. He salvaged a small CRT from an old-school video intercom system and snagged the buttons, speakers, and switches from other unused devices laying around. Not all is lost, however, as [Rob] was able to purchase an Arduino Nano and a few resistors online. So maybe things are turning around in that category, who knows?

You’ll probably also appreciate how remarkably simple this hack is. No need for a Raspberry Pi as your standard 8-bit microcontroller will do the trick. And, fortunately, [Rob] found a nice library to help him generate the composite video signal, doing most of the work for him. All that was left to do was to build the arcade cabinet. Recreating the classic design was a pretty easy step, but you might opt for something a little nicer than cardboard though. But, hey, if it does the trick, then why not?

Cool project, [Rob]! We’re definitely happy to add this project to our retro collection here at Hackaday.

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Pacman and Ghost custom-LED dispay

Temperature-Sensitive Pac-Man/Ghost LED Matrix

If you’re like us, you never get tired of retro game-inspired projects, and the dynamic duo, [monsely], seem to love them too. Their Temperature-Sensitive Pac-Man/Ghost LED Matrix would make a great desktop display for any gaming enthusiast.

First, they did a bit of sketching on good ol’ paper and pencil to organize all the LEDs they would need and work out the connections. With this many LEDs, coordination is pretty critical or you’ll quickly end up with a big mess on your hands. Luckily, WS2812/Neopixel-style LED strips minimize most of the necessary connections, so that was a relief. These LED strips only need a single GPIO for control, making it easy to get this project going with a pretty basic microcontroller.

Just displaying an animated graphic was a bit too simple for [monsely]. They decided to make the Ghost temperature-sensitive, changing to blue if it’s cold outside and red if it’s warm. Of course, you’ll probably want to tweak the thresholds based on where you live or how your HVAC system is doing. Pac-Man stays the classic yellow, which we would expect.

Of course, no good desktop display would be complete without a proper enclosure. [monsely] opted for a cardboard box, but we’re sure you could laser cut or print something a bit sturdier and a bit more aesthetically pleasing. But, hey, whatever works, right?

PS3 Gun/controller Hybrid

[Luis] is very particular about his gaming controllers. He wanted to mod a Six Axis controller to fit into a Nerf gun body but there wasn’t really enough room for all of the components. After shopping around for a while he discovered a wired gun controller made by Namco which was developed for use with the game Time Crisis. He picked one up and went to work replacing the guts with a set pulled from a wireless controller.

The majority of the work on a mod like this one comes in extending the reach of each component. After cracking open the gun controller’s case, [Luis] begins preparing and soldering all twenty contact on the Six Axis controller PCB, then completing the connections necessary for each relocated component. This does make us wonder if there won’t be some element of noise introduced to the signals coming from the analog sticks? He mentions that one of them is ‘glitchy’ but that could be because he started with a used controller from eBay.

We took a couple of good tips out of this. Since the plastic housing is designed to hold each of the original PCBs securely, [Luis] reused them as a mounting surface for the replacement components. A little creative use of protoboard and some time in the paint shop and you’re done. Check out a video of the entire process, which also shares the finished results, after the break.

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