R-Kade Mini pictures

May 30, 2016

It’s been a while since I last wrote about R-Kade Mini so I thought I would share a couple of new-ish pictures. These were taken at Maker Faire UK in April.

R-Kade Mini Makerfaire2016-small

Instead of painting the cabinet I used black clothes dye instead. I’m please to report it work much better than I thought it would, giving it a nice flat black finish with no brush marks or paint smears. The decals were a mix of ones I printed off and some I bought off ebay. All in all I very pleased how it all turned out.

R-Kade Mini & Zero Makerfaire2016-small


Kickstarter: R-Kade Zero

February 22, 2016

As many may already know I’ve built a number of Raspberry Pi based arcade systems over the last few years starting in 2012 with R-Kade, last year with R-Kade Mini and now my latest endeavour R-Kade Zero which fits into the palm of your hand.

So after receiving encouragement from a number of members at our local Maker Space I’ve took the plunge and started my first kickstarter for the R-Kade Zero mini arcade platform.

You can check it out at:

www.kickstarter.com/projects/1120658355/r-kade-zero

R-Kade_Zero_All_small


Son of R-Kade update

October 31, 2015

After five or so prototypes, I’ve finally arrived at a mini cabinet shape I’m happy with. The last few prototypes were made to experiment with the optimum viewing angle for the display, but I think I’ve got that right now.

R-Kade Proto5_4buttons

R-Kade Prototypes
Full size arcade joystick and buttons are a little too big for the mini cabinet so I’ve decided to go with a mini joystick and 16mm push buttons.

One of the design features I’m going for, is to have swappable control plates. I’ve mocked up a couple of control plates with various button combinations as well as a control plate with full size arcade joysticks and buttons.

R-Kade Control Plates
The next step is to cut the cabinet design from 6mm plywood and see how that looks.


R-Kade getting a upgrade

February 27, 2015

The wiring in my Raspberry Pi mini arcade cabinet is getting a much needed upgrade.

I originally build R-Kade for Maker Faire 2013 and its been at various other Faire’s around the country and at eDay for the last two years. It was quickly build out of a bookshelves, old VGA monitor, WII arcade controller and a raspberry pi. The control board was removed from the WII arcade controller and the joystick and buttons wired directly to a prototyping board on the Pi. Unfortunately, it’s this wiring which is becoming a problem and needs redoing.

Rather than just strip out the wires and rewire new, I decided to make myself a better solution and have designed a Pi ArcadeIO board. The ArcadeIO board has screw terminals for connecting the wires to the Pi’s GPIO signals. In addition the GPIO signals have in-line resistors to limited the effects of any short circuits. There are addition screw terminal positions for connecting common grounds for the arcade switches and joystick.


An update to “List of Homebrew Video Games Consoles”

January 31, 2011

I’ve neglected my list of homebrew video game consoles, so here’s a update:

  • www.xcores.orgMy friend Yvo’s site related to the awesome Xmos chip.
  • mikronauts.comPropCade is a self-contained and affordable Propeller platform for emulating old computers (Z80, 6809, etc) and old game consoles.
  • www.retrode.orgNot a console as such but a handy way feeding games to your SNES or Mega Drive / Genesis emulator from your original cartridges.
  • www.4dsystems.com.auPoGa, a Portable Game Development console looking a lot like a SNES controller.
  • www.chameleon-dev.comChameleon PIC 16-Bit and the Chameleon AVR 8-Bit are yet another Propeller based systems this time with the addition of a standard Microchip PIC or Atmel AVR microcontroller.
  • www.fpgaarcade.comA site dedicate to recreating gaming hardware from the past in modern programmable FPGA devices.
  • www.lucidscience.comA beautifully documented insight to designing and building your own classic console
  • www.microvga.coma design offering a low-cost Microcontroller to VGA interface
  • www.ladyada.netA new system from LadyAda offering a 320×240 TFT color display with resistive touch screen.
  • rossum.posterous.comRBox: A diy 32 bit game console for the price of a latte
  • www.linusakesson.net linusakesson “craft”

the original list is still here:


The ZX Spectrum ULA: How to design a microcomputer

December 29, 2010

I’ve been following Chris Smith’s zxdesign.info web site for a number of years. His redesign of a ZX Spectrum ULA using only logic IC’s was an awesome achievement.

In addition he’s wrote a wonderful account “The ZX Spectrum ULA: How to design a microcomputer” on the forerunner of programmable logic – the Uncommitted Logic Array (ULA). I was lucky enough to get his book as an early Christmas present and I found it a great read.


Super VDP2 !?

August 29, 2010

I’m pleased to say our good friend Yvo is back. You may remember his brilliant VDP1 (Video Display Processor) video engine for the Xmos and his great Mario demo video. Yvo has said he’s working the specs for VDP2 and promises some great new features. In the meantime check out his VDP1 video engine on the Xcore Exchange.