Zuzebox – A Uzebox compatible retro-minimalist homebrew game console

September and the start of October have been a busy time for me but I’ve finally managed at a last to capture to schematic my interpretation of the Uzebox the retro-minimalist homebrew game console. I’ve extended Uze’s design to include a USB and Ethernet interface and also Atari / Commodore 64 / Sega Mega (Genesis) style joysticks / d-pads through a classic 9W D interface.

The USB interface is based on the ubiquitous FDTI FT232 USB to serial UART chip. So far I’ve only connected it to the 644’s serial Rx and Tx and RESET lines but I will investigate if the USB interface can also be used as a AVR programmer as well.

The Ethernet interface is based on WIZnets WIZ810MJ module with a W5100 hardwired TCP/IP Ethernet on a chip. It’s available as a low cost simple drop in module that can be driven either through a traditional address / data bus scheme or through a 4 pin SPI interface. The Wiznet W5100 is used by the Arduino community so AVR drivers already exist to drive the chip.

Finally the Atari/C64/Sega joystick interface is provided by a 4021 parallel to serial chip for each port. The 4021 is used in the SNES controllers so the Uzebox kernel can read them without any changes. The small downside is the Atari/C64/Sega joysticks lack the SNES “Start” or “Select” buttons so I may have to add a couple of switches/buttons to the final design to allow existing games to detect these buttons.

A pdf of the prototype schematic is here. I hope to spend some time on the PCB layout in the coming weeks.

6 Responses to Zuzebox – A Uzebox compatible retro-minimalist homebrew game console

  1. Andreas Rickert says:

    Do you already have a layout for the zuzebox?
    What about adding a PS/2 Connector?! Would this be possible?
    I think, from SW side, it would only be possible, if a USART could be used for this.
    Using GPIO pins will probably not work, because the uzebox needs many CPU power for generating the video output…

    Anyhow, it would be great to have TCP/IP, USB and PS/2 available on the uzebox!

    Kind regards,
    Andreas from Germany

    • zuzebox says:

      Hi Andreas

      I’m still working on the layout so the layout is not available at the moment, but soon.

      Adding a PS/2 connector the design is possible but the Uzebox kernel hasn’t got support for one at the moment but its something we could suggest to Uze6666.

      Thanks for you comments.

  2. charliec114 says:

    hey tony good job. I know the ethernet is not for these things, but I would like to schedule a twitter client for your console. I am programmer. where I can get a code sample where you use the ethernet interface?

    Greetings!. sorry do not speak English, a translator working.

  3. D3thAdd3r says:

    Any updates on this one? With the ethernet and USB in particular, I find this quite interesting.

    • zuzebox says:

      wow a blast from the past.
      If memory serves me right, I laid out the PCB’s using EasyPC but never got around to getting any PCB’s made. Getting PCB’s made in 2009 wasn’t as cheap or as easy as it is now (2016). I also think I got distracted by some new multi-core cool chips from Xmos and went off in a different direction for a while.
      But thanks for reminding me about it D3thAdd3r and I’ll see you around the uzebox forum

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