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Various ramblings – Electronics, radio, old computers, cars & other junk…

Monthly Archives: June 2011

Gameboy PLCC EEPROM Cartridge

Some pictures of a failed project that I never got working properly and lost interest in.

I removed the standard ROM on a Gameboy cartridge and soldered a bunch of wires in its place. I then wired in a PLCC socket with the intention of burning ROM’s into a PLCC EEPROM, but the games never got any further than the Gameboy boot logo (which is actually used as a form of verifications and basic copy protection).

I still have the cartridge in with my Gameboy collection, so I might have a crack at making it work one day.

PLCC adapter

I ordered a set of DIP-PLCC adapters off eBay so I could program a chip to test a Gameboy cartridge I had modified (my EEPROM burner has a 40pin ZIF DIP socket), but there were delays in the postage. I was sick of waiting so thought I’d have a crack at making my own. I drilled out the centre of an atmel MCU, made sure the drill bit broke all the connections, and started to wire up a PLCC socket I salvaged off an older PC motherboard.

Got most of the way around the chip, but I managed to wrap the soldering iron cord around the drill vice I was using to hold the chip steady, and it fell from the bench onto the ground. The PLCC socket got a crack in it, and rather than admit the last hour of work had been a waste I finished off the wiring and tried to glue and melt the socket back together. Of course the socket disintegrated as soon as I pressed a chip in to it…

Wireless Hori EX2 Arcade Stick Mod

I picked up a Hori EX2 arcade stick to play fighting games on my Xbox 360. Great unit, though it always bugged me that it was USB and not wireless. I finally decided to investigate converting my arcade controller to wireless after having owned it for a few months. After some googling, I found out that a few people had managed to convert the EX2 (and similar arcade controllers) to wireless by gutting the arcade controller and cramming the board out of a regular Xbox 360 wireless controller into it.

These controllers aren’t exactly what most people would call throw away items at around $70 each, and it would be fairly easy to make a mistake turning both into paper weights. It seemed like a fairly simple process, and for the bulk of the wiring it was. Unforunately some of the digital buttons on the Hori controller are mapped to the analogue triggers on the wireless controller. I had a play with rigging up some circuitry to make the digital button presses register as a voltage level on the controller, but managed to damage some traces on the multi-layer board when desoldering the trigger pots… I thought I’d have to start again on new board, but luckily all of the fighting games I had at the time have the ability to map buttons, and I was able to use different buttons in their place.

Did it end up working? Yep! No more tangled cords while handing controllers around and one less cable to trip over. Every game I’ve tried with the controller so far has had the ability to map buttons, so my stuffup with the triggers didn’t turn out to be a complete disaster, it’s just a minor annoyance as I have to map the buttons before playing a new game.

ArduinoISP adapter

A small adapter I made for programming Atmel chips, based on the ArduinoISP circuit from the Arduino website.

I managed to cram the circuit onto a fairly small piece of veroboard by hiding the crystal capacitors inside the socket along with some of the links to get power to both sides of the chip being programmed

The circuit performed flawlessly. After burning the bootloader I dropped the freshly programmed chip into the socket on my Freeduino, programed it with the blink sketch and was greeted with a blinking LED. Now to get stuck into building the circuit I plan to use this chip in…