I’m doing a “build your own single board computer” workshop at the Midwest Gaming Classic 2020 in downtown Milwaukee this April.
The design is based on the classic Z80 (which they still manufacture believe it or not) and is quite small, only 3 x 3″. It has an expansion port, build-in OLED screen, Atmel MCU as screen driver/USB serial port converter and an SD card adapter for loading BIN, HEX and saving files or doing RAM dumps.
This workshop is meant to teach how memory addressing works and you also get to take home the sweet computer you build! Basic soldering skills will be helpful and there’s also a decent amount of surface mount (fairly large parts to make it do-able) so tips and tricks on how to work with that are also part of the experience.
Sign up using the links below! (limited to 25 spots)
Here are the YouTube videos I’ve made discussing the design process. Once the design has been verified it will be posted to my Github if you can’t make it to the workshop but want to order your own copy of the PCB.
When I first starting buying Atari 2600 consoles for modding purposes back in 2000 (right after my website became famous) I was lucky enough that my first Atari 2600 Junior had the ultra-rare “single chip” variant inside.
Of course this was “portablization catnip” for me so I desoldered it and tried to make a custom PCB. My skills at the time weren’t up to task and I feared the chip dead. Had I know then how rare it was (I’ve never found another since) I probably wouldn’t have tried but can’t change that now.
Flash forward to fall of 2018 and I come across the project in a junk box while moving out of the Ben Heck Show shop. Decided to give it another go and I have help this time – my friend Parker Dillmann has an intact single-chip 2600 Junior so we can cross reference to it.
Using a flex PCB adapter and some bodged IC’s inside the monitor itself I have achieved PS4 compatibility for the 2018 model Controller Monitors! Has all the same features as the XB1 controller including data logging and automated playback.
I plan to now offer a choice of what controller comes bundled with the package or you can choose to order both controllers for an additional charge.
The monitor’s mode can be toggled by holding USER button as you power up the unit and will stay in that mode until you toggle it back. I have also sectioned off separate banks of EEPROM so the XB1 and PS4 controller fine-tuning adjustments are preserved no matter what mode you’re in.
I will update the product page and documentation soon, in the meantime if you’re interested or want to inquire about getting an existing unit upgraded let me know!