Friday, June 21, 2013

Year in review

Well, school really caught up with me, and although I've had a few pretty neat projects over the last several months, I haven't had the time to post any of them here.  For one, I finally got around to trying reflow soldering, and created a second revision of my SNES Wii Classic Controller mod which turned out really nicely.  I'm actually working on a third revision now, which may not actually be possible, but if I can manage to get it working, it'll be REALLY nice, so fingers crossed there.

Another project I put a lot of time into was the Altera EMP7064S development board I built for my CST231 class.  A large part of this class was devoted to building a wire-wrap board around the Altera CPLD for the purposes of simultaneously building the board and learning to program it in Verilog.  I chose to put my PCB manufacturing experience to good use and go ahead and build a PCB version of the wire-wrap board we built in class.  Here's the board we built in class (the wiring wasn't *quite* complete in the second photo, but it gives a pretty good indication of how much wire wrapping was involved)

And here's the PCB that I made from the same schematic:

As you can see, I made good use of surface-mount parts for the LED current-limiting resistors, as well as the traffic light LEDs.  I also added a DC power jack and a 7805 regulator so I can just hook up a power plug without the need for a bench power supply.  I also made a nice little clock generator from a dual 555-timer IC that plugs into the 4-pin header directly above the main chip socket, so I don't need a function generator for most stuff either.  I'm pretty happy with this board.  My professor really liked it too, and he bought one of the extra boards from me.

In other news, I'm also still working on the Zelda: Parallel Worlds mapping/walkthrough site.  I finally managed to build my first SNES reproduction cart, of ZPW, of course (I built one of Metroid: Super Zero Mission as well...), and have managed to play through the entire game on the actual console hardware, so yay :)  The one major change coming to the website is that I hope to replace WorldKit with Google Maps API.  I currently have a test page up and running and properly displaying the overworld map, but I'm having a few issues, most of which probably stem from my lack of understanding of the Projection class.  I also have yet to try messing around with markers to see if they'll work for my purposes, but I suspect they'll do fine.  So, be watching for that to roll out site-wide soon (I hope...).

I have a bunch of other small projects I've been working on that aren't really in any shape for a write-up yet, lots of fun with the Super Nintendo and other stuff, but I'll get around to them eventually...