Sunday, August 19, 2018

Bartop Arcade Cabinet

Another summer side project has been to build a bar-top (tabletop) arcade cabinet.

Multiple times over the years I've prepped the pc/monitor/controller parts of an arcade project and put them together, but then after a month or two I never started the cabinet build and the project got pulled apart, usually for parts.

Recently I had a suitable micro desktop PC, LCD TV, and USB arcade controller that weren't being used.

I did some new research and used the RecalBox software platform.

RecalboxOS is the Linux operating system of the recalbox project, an out-of-the-box emulation console.

RecalboxOS uses many awesome existing components, like EmulationStation2 as frontend, piFBAand Retroarch as emulators, RaspberryPI NOOBS as installation/recovery system.


Supports: Atari 2600, Atari 7800, NES, Game Boy, Game Boy color, Game Boy Advance, Super Nintendo, Famicom Disk System, Master System, Megadrive (Genesis), Gamegear, Game and Watch, Lynx, NeoGeo, NeoGeo Pocket, FBA (subset), iMame4all (subset), PCEngine, Supergrafx, Amstrad CPC, MSX1/2, ZX Spectrum, PSX, Sega Cd, Sega 32X, Sega SG1000, Playstation, ScummVM, Vectrex, VirtualBoy, Wonderswan ! See here for more details
  • Wifi support
  • Online updates
  • Network access to ROM folder, screenshots, saves, configuration file (via SAMBA and HTTP-Webfrontend)
  • Controller configuration in the frontend: configure once, play everywhere
  • Built-in controller support for PS3, Xbox360, 8BitDo and Bluetooth (associate a controller and play)
  • Packaged GPIO drivers, for arcade controls, or original Nes, Snes, Megadrive, PSX controllers, XinMo 2 players
  • Miroof's Virtual Gamepad support (use your phone as a controller)
  • Frontend based on the great EmulationStation2 by Aloshi
  • Background frontend music (I loaded a playlist of hits from the 80's)
  • Favorites feature (mark your games as favorites and hide others)
  • English, French, Spanish, German, Italian and Portugues, maybe other to come if you participate
  • FBA optimized version with 4 player support

After getting the hardware working (mostly to my satisfaction) I plowed ahead with the cabinet build.

After the construction I tested the fitted hardware.

After a week of finishing touches and painting the until is now assembled and on my desk. 

I'm still researching a strange Linux audio bug, but more importantly it's working and very fun to have in my office.

Wednesday, August 15, 2018

The Price Is Right - Hybrid Quad

Behold the Canadian made T.G.M. Communications - - MQ-1 Hybrid Quad Antenna.

This is a HF compact 2 element antenna supporting 3 primary bands and one extra 'tuner' band. A friends advertised it locally for free, that was a price that I couldn't pass up.
  • 20m
  • 15m
  • 10m
  • 6 meters (tuner required)
More to come as I set it up and put it through it's paces.

UPDATE (8/16/2018) I've had a 'new old stock' light duty antenna rotor kit on a shelf for about 5-6 years. I'm guessing it's a good match for this small antenna on my roof.

UPDATE (8/18/2018) At the advice of the previous owner I ordered a 1:1 balun to go with the antenna. I'll hold off installation until that arrives next week.

UPDATE (8/19/2018) Why wait for the balun (ha ha) I had everything needed to go ahead with the physical installation. Now when the balun arrives I can wire it up and tune. :)