Saturday, 25 January 2014

Hardware Version, progress report #4

10k Pot added to the breadboard
Well, I think I've pretty much finished.

I found a 10k Pot in my box, from memory it was one of a batch I bought to repair a Microvision unit where the rotary controller was broken, and wired it into the remaining analogue port, and it plays fine.

Sound and Graphics work okay. There are a few minor graphic problems which relate to the incomplete emulation of the LCD.

Tomorrow I'll try the full LCD latency emulation and see how it works, it might well still be quick enough.

I will pinch our camera and make a video of some sort of the game being played, so you can see it is for real :)

One thing I forgot is that gcc-avr and gcc-x86 have different ideas about how big ints, longs and so on are - this was causing an overflow on the potentiometer calculations on the AVR, but it now all seems fixed and running nicely.

Hardware Version, progress report #3

After a lot of cursing regarding the Keypad library - the people who wrote it, it didn't seem to occur to them to have a simple 'is a key down' test, which is pretty helpful if you are programming games, I've got the keypad working.  I might just chuck the keypad library and access the controls directly, rather like the LCD4884 library it is a bit limited.

I've also added the sound, which worked very well. The thing now beeps at me if I leave it alone though, Microvision carts do this to warn against battery usage.

So in BlockBuster you can now set the parameters and start the game up, of course you can't play it because I have done the pot (yet).

I always found Block Buster really difficult anyway, even on a real Microvision.

Hardware Version, progress report #2

Dracula has risen from the grave
More progress this morning. As you can see from the photo on the right, the Emulator now seems to be working okay under the Arduino. The beeper and keyboard don't work yet. I will try and getter picture later on, but it does display "7 ST" which is the opening screen of Block Buster.

If I'm going to test it with Block Buster I'm going to have to add the potentiometer to the circuit, I think I have a few in the spares box somewhere.

It took longer than I though, because when I actually came to look at the LCD4884 library it is pretty useless except for drawing text (actually it doesn't do anything else at all !), so I had to grab the driver data sheet and poke the controller directly. This ended up being beneficial as the "dirty screen code" ended up being optimised for the way the controller worked, not the way the library worked.

Strange fact of the day : My watch was an hour fast for most of yesterday and I didn't notice......