Project Details

Ultratroninator 3000. Yes, that is a silly name.

Catching Up…

About that key scan chip and rotary encoders

The HT16K33. Wonderful little chip for LED blasting and key scanning. The Ultratroninator3000 has four of them; mainly ’cause each 4-alphanum display has a single one, then a fourth to control discrete LEDs and perform keyscan. The keyscan works great on the toggle switches, selectors, joystick, arcade buttons. The rotary encoders, well that’s a different…

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[Video] Hex Invaders

New game: Hex Invaders! In this Space Invaders clone, it’s up to you to defend the galaxy from merciless invaders. Attract screen does some blinkenlight stuff and shows an invader at the top of the screen with the player ship at the bottom. Move the ship across the screen and fire lasers to hit the…

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[Video] Auto Calc: Fun Hack

Finished a little program I’m calling Auto Calc. Basically take two registers (green and blue), show them on the displays and the LEDs, apply a function, show the result on a third register (red) and it’s LEDs. Knobs, buttons, switches modify how the registers behave from incrementing, decrementing, random, etc. Or the function to be…

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Hardware Complete

Milestone: hardware complete! At least til something breaks… Boxed it up after completing install of a navigational joystick and the last couple toggles switches. It sure looks like a mess inside, but hey, things are working so just don’t look at it funny. Box from Hammond Manufacturing, it’s their sloped metal console box. The front…

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Electrocookies and Getting Things Done

Electrocookies are my new best friend. I’ve fit four of these things under the hood to hold all the diodes and resistors necessary for the project to work. Two are full sized and the other two have been nibbled down to half cookies. Useful stuff! Plain old paper for the Electrocookie layout and a spreadsheet…

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Slow and Steady

Illegible sketches of Electrocookie perf boards with jumpers, diodes, connector posts thrown into them. Every input row requires a resistor (14 rows) and every input switch needs a diode (33 input switches). Holy crap I’ve got a lot work ahead of me.

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PulseAudio: Now I’m Hearing Something

Crank up the speakers, the Ultratroninator 3000 now includes audio! I added code to integrate with PulseAudio for playback of samples. Works pretty good and latency isn’t all that bad. Hook up a knob to play a sample when it’s turned and instant audio out of the speaker. The first playback seems a bit latent…

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Code Updates

Spent some time getting some foundation code together for the Ultratroninator 3000 project. The focal point is the MCP: Master Control Program. The core concept is to have a set of executables, games, where the MCP provides a list of them and launches the one selected. The basic functionality is there: Get environment variable GAMES_LOCAL…

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Reworking Front Panel

I’m already thinking of changes to the front panel. What I’ve got is pretty good, it could be a lot better though. A couple things to motivate this: Change from using 7-digit displays to alphanumeric displays Move the displays closer together so they can “interact” with each other easier That said, I’m having a tough…

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Rows and Columns

Both the discrete LEDs and the buttons/knobs/input devices are hooked up to the Holtek’s rows and columns for addressing. I needed to determine how these would be wired– their addresses in the keyscan & LED matrix. With the Holtek chip each column provides 16 rows for LEDs, key scan 13; and not all 8 columns…

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