Weekend Project - AKA - Spectrum PI MKI

Ok, after my disapointment with the ZX Vega it made me want to build a simple Raspberry PI build to support a vision that is right for me.

Here is MKI of my Spectrum PI.

Front.jpg

The Raspberry PI is inside the Microdrive case and the slot is at the front for the MicroSD card.

This is running FUSE and goes straight into the emulator and has every version of emulator that FUSE supports up and running. The joystick support is setup as Kempston and the screen loads full screen with the TV lines for the retro feel. When you hit F1 to open the loader, it defaults to the Specturm directory where the games are. Simple, crisp and clean.

SMB has been setup so you can simply browse to it from your PC and drop whatever roms you want into the Spectrum directory.

Here it is with a USB joystick and keyboard attached.


Running.jpgThe back of the unit has the ethernet and the USBs available.Back.jpgThe side has a hole in the side to plug in the power ( I use a USB lead with power toggle switch ) and HDMI.Side.jpg


One final picture of the unit...


Close_Up.jpg


I am still working on the image, just making things a bit more flash ( show your IP at boot etc ) and a couple of other bits. I will make available when ready...
Post edited by Hammer09 on
Thanked by 1JasonUK
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Comments

  • I didn't know that the Pi board was that small. It's a shame that the MD case is a hack job though, but on first glance it could be a winner!
    I am from that generation, when Pluto was still a planet, and the Earth is round.

    Bomb Munchies on WOS thread
    Bomb Munchies Ver1930 17th Nov 2017 (look for the blue download box ) If you get a time-out message and live in the UK then try after 9pm-3am.
    Send me a PM and I can email it to you too. Kent, UK
  • Get yerself a quote to mass produce some cases and add a built-in controller. Let's see how much it would cost for a run of say, 100?

    D.
  • MatGubbins wrote: »
    I didn't know that the Pi board was that small. It's a shame that the MD case is a hack job though, but on first glance it could be a winner!

    Yeah it was not in a good state anyway. I have some "green stuff" on order, that will be used to rebuild the case so the gaps at the back will be filled and leveled and it will also be filled in on the side so that is neat. This is really a proof of concept.

    I could not find any HDMI / mini USB port extenders that would fit within the case

    What never made it was the working LED. I have some fibre that I was hoping to use to light the LED, but the light coming from the PI is simply not strong enough. The Pi2, is not a bright and have as many LEDs as the original one.

    The one thing I am looking for now is I want some really fine black mesh for the bottom left and right where the connectors would be. I want to spray that black and use it to block the holes but allow air flow. I can't find anything to cannibilise. :(
  • Dunny wrote: »
    Get yerself a quote to mass produce some cases and add a built-in controller. Let's see how much it would cost for a run of say, 100?

    D.

    Pretty much anything can be mass produced for less then £100 with cases and controllers and firmware.
  • Why not just plug a controller/joystick into a laptop and the laptop into your telly via HDMI?
  • Really nice !

    Two questions:

    1) Can we have an image of the SD-Card ? If needed, I can give you a webspace for uploading it (just drop me a PM)

    2) Whats the brand / model of the black compact keyboard you used ?
  • Congrats, that's a marvellous idea! ^:)^
  • edited August 2015
    Hammer09 wrote: »
    Pretty much anything can be mass produced for less then £100 with cases and controllers and firmware.

    100 items is quite far from mass production :) EMC testing alone is usually around 5-10 thousand dollars. I don't know what it costs for getting a PEGI rating for included games -- 250 euros minimum according to one website. The latter might be optional but is probably required if you want to sell through retailers.

    For small volumes, the NRE costs are not going to distribute well so unless your first run is large, I don't think 100 pounds is easy to meet for a commercial product that is intended to create profit for maker and retailer. I'm not an expert though it just seems to me small volumes would lead to high unit costs.

    Post edited by Alcoholics Anonymous on
  • Luzie wrote: »
    2) Whats the brand / model of the black compact keyboard you used ?

    It looks identical to the one I used to carry about - A4Tech KL-5. It's ok for casual use but it doesn't have feet to tilt it, so I always ended up having to rest it on a folder which kind of defeated the whole small-footprint thing! If you're in the UK, you can have it as it gets no use from me now.

    If not, it's not worth posting as they're only about £15 from Amazon/any PC parts place.

    Anyway, this project (which is great btw) is a prime candidate for 3d-printing, rather than tooling up a production line, but the time it would take to do all the sanding, filling and finishing afterwards would, again, render it fairly non-commercial. Unless you have children who need pocket money...

    As for mesh - raid your OH's underwear draw and see if she has any 15-denier black tights. Stretch over the opening and voila. It's a cheap hobby electronics dust filter substitute and they don't block air.

    Don't blame me if you get a slap for this though :)

  • Luzie wrote: »
    Really nice !

    Two questions:

    1) Can we have an image of the SD-Card ? If needed, I can give you a webspace for uploading it (just drop me a PM)

    2) Whats the brand / model of the black compact keyboard you used ?

    1. Sure - PM has been sent.

    2. Here is the keyboard...

    http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/141691477662?_trksid=p2057872.m2749.l2649&ssPageName=STRK:MEBIDX

  • Update

    So my green stuff has been dispatched by Amazon now, should not be long before I can fill the gaps on the case. :)
  • My plan is to stick one in the base of a table-top fighting-stick, then have MAME as well as FUSE etc. on it.
    Joefish
    - IONIAN-GAMES.com -
  • edited August 2015
    Ok, here is the boot image location.

    https://www.dropbox.com/sh/cuoidiz5y094qn5/AABlHmVGGPeAbq2zg5sCfc29a?dl=0

    It is double zipped firstly with WinRAR and then with WinZIP. It seems when I uploaded it to DropBox it zipped it up as well.

    The file once unzipped twice, should leave you with...

    WOS_V4.IMG @ 3,931,136 KB in size.

    ...I have redownloaded this and it works.

    When the system boots, it will show the PI screen, keep a watch out for the IP address of it if you need it just before this.

    Press ESC and it takes you to a second screen that I have here that also needs an ESC key pushing.
    ( At some point I am putting a picture there with the FUSE commands, for the time being it's a simple testcard. )

    When FUSE loads, you press F1 and you will bring up the popup box to open games.

    It defaults to the /home/pi/Spectrum/ directory and I have made various sub-directories to drop whatever you want in each by format.

    SSH and SMB have been enabled, no password for SMB and SSH uses password.

    From your Windows machine, if you open file manager you can go to \\LINUX\Spectrum to get to the Spectrum file share.

    The two user accounts, pi and root both have the password set to password.

    From the command prompt the following commands are worth knowing:

    fuse-sdl
    This will reload the emulator ( not that the /home/pi/Spectrum dir won't be default unless you launch from there )

    startx
    Loads the GUI enviorment for Windows fans

    sudo raspi-config
    Loads the configuration menu. Select option 1 to expand the file system to use the whole SD card.

    passwd
    Change the password for whatever your logged in as.

    sudo nano /etc/samba/smb.conf
    Edit SMB settings for file sharing to create / remove shares.
    Post edited by Hammer09 on
    Thanked by 1izebigyo
  • Downloading... just wanted to say a big thankyou for sharing that image... Working nightshift now, but looking forward to trying it out some time when I can find a spare miniSD card to test it with... :) Thanks!
  • A few more pictures of it...

    Back.jpg

    Front.jpg

    Left.jpg

    Right.jpg
  • Instead of adding "Sugru" or similar filling material, it would be best to avoid making those big holes on the case, and instead, just make the required square holes for external connectors applied at box surface

    You can then make internal connectors that will connect to the external ones, or in alternative, desolder all required connectors on board, and just solder new wires from board to case surface applied connectors.

    If you do it like this, it will look a lot smoother and prettier, it will probably release some required premium space inside, and also allows you to re-position connectors in better or more suitable locations.
  • Yeah, had to work with what I had. Next time I will try it a different way. My soldering skills might set the house on fitre, so err, I'll have to be ceareful there... :D

    Live.jpg

    Back_Plugged_In.jpg

    Front_Plugged_In.jpg

    This is doing everything I wanted to - the entire Spectrum catalogue with every WOS / TOSEC image running off a device powered from the USB with a wireless keyboard. :)
  • looks great, now why can't my desk be as tidy as yours.....
    I am from that generation, when Pluto was still a planet, and the Earth is round.

    Bomb Munchies on WOS thread
    Bomb Munchies Ver1930 17th Nov 2017 (look for the blue download box ) If you get a time-out message and live in the UK then try after 9pm-3am.
    Send me a PM and I can email it to you too. Kent, UK
  • Got one of these on order for it...

    41gUuEeOuOL.jpg

    ...then I can use my old joysticks. :)
  • ...hold off on buying this adapter. The 9pin joystick I had only works in 2 directions on it. Going to get another old joystick to test.
  • or you can just do this to a Logitech Wingman USB game pad
    http://www.vilminko.net/henri/projview.php?id=19&lang=en
    it works a treat :)
  • That looks a very neat job, just the right size for the Pi. Here is an alternative 9way D Joystick to USB adapter that I make.
    il_fullxfull.754800177_jmbc.jpg
    These work with standard 9 way Atari or Commodore joysticks. I can also produce a special build for SJS1 style joysticks. The default option is to appears as a standard USB joystick, but I have alternative firmware which will make it appears as a keyboard and press keys 1-5 or 6-0.
    https://etsy.com/uk/listing/229277172/usb-joystick-adapter-for-9-pin-d
    This is also a version which fits internally in the ZX Spectrum / Raspberry Pi casemods I do.
    https://etsy.com/uk/listing/170352136/raspberry-pi-inside-sinclair-zx-spectrum

    Thanks,

    Dave
  • That looks a very neat job, just the right size for the Pi. Here is an alternative 9way D Joystick to USB adapter that I make.
    il_fullxfull.754800177_jmbc.jpg
    These work with standard 9 way Atari or Commodore joysticks. I can also produce a special build for SJS1 style joysticks. The default option is to appears as a standard USB joystick, but I have alternative firmware which will make it appears as a keyboard and press keys 1-5 or 6-0.
    https://etsy.com/uk/listing/229277172/usb-joystick-adapter-for-9-pin-d
    This is also a version which fits internally in the ZX Spectrum / Raspberry Pi casemods I do.
    https://etsy.com/uk/listing/170352136/raspberry-pi-inside-sinclair-zx-spectrum

    Thanks,

    Dave

    Can these be made to work the other way round - Plugging a PC USB joypad in and the adapter converts it to work on the Spectrum via a Kempston interface? I don't mind that it will only have one fire button.
    I am from that generation, when Pluto was still a planet, and the Earth is round.

    Bomb Munchies on WOS thread
    Bomb Munchies Ver1930 17th Nov 2017 (look for the blue download box ) If you get a time-out message and live in the UK then try after 9pm-3am.
    Send me a PM and I can email it to you too. Kent, UK
  • This was really an inspiring project and thanks a lot also for providing the card image! I have only one problem with my USB retro styled gamepad as I couldn't figure out yet how to configure the emulator to make it work. Can the gamepad be set up within the emulator itself or do I need to run some configuration utility from shell? Any help in this regard would be greatly appreciated!

    Cheers!
  • edited September 2015
    That looks a very neat job, just the right size for the Pi. Here is an alternative 9way D Joystick to USB adapter that I make.
    That ain't cheap, given that a commercial offering does two sticks for half the price. I'll give you credit that you can make it operate Sinclair keystrokes, but it would still look more viable supporting at least two sticks. Make a box with four 9-pin sockets and you might have something unique on your hands...

    I also question whether joing a forum purely to plug a device for sale is strictly within the spirit of the forum rules. There's someone does exactly this over and over again on Retro Gamer, though I don't know if this is the same guy as their moderator deleted all the links as spam.
    Post edited by joefish on
    Joefish
    - IONIAN-GAMES.com -
  • Just an update to my previous msg: I managed to have it work. Really enjoying my "new" ZX Pi!
  • robertod wrote: »
    Just an update to my previous msg: I managed to have it work. Really enjoying my "new" ZX Pi!

    Ah fantastic! Great to hear its sorted, just logged on.

    It's great to see you enjoying it. :)
  • joefish wrote: »
    That looks a very neat job, just the right size for the Pi. Here is an alternative 9way D Joystick to USB adapter that I make.
    That ain't cheap, given that a commercial offering does two sticks for half the price. I'll give you credit that you can make it operate Sinclair keystrokes, but it would still look more viable supporting at least two sticks. Make a box with four 9-pin sockets and you might have something unique on your hands...

    I also question whether joing a forum purely to plug a device for sale is strictly within the spirit of the forum rules. There's someone does exactly this over and over again on Retro Gamer, though I don't know if this is the same guy as their moderator deleted all the links as spam.
    I was sent a link to this thread by someone who had one of my adapters and suggested I offer these as an alternative to the one which was reported as not working. Just trying to help. I work in small quantities, and build and customise to order, so I can't compete with mass produced items. I have a dual version, but haven't found a suitable box that looks neat for external use. I use these on Spectrum +2 and Commodore 64 casemods as the connectors fit into the original moulding. I could do a 4 way version, but would anything support that?

    Thanks,

    Dave
  • MatGubbins wrote: »
    That looks a very neat job, just the right size for the Pi. Here is an alternative 9way D Joystick to USB adapter that I make.
    il_fullxfull.754800177_jmbc.jpg
    These work with standard 9 way Atari or Commodore joysticks. I can also produce a special build for SJS1 style joysticks. The default option is to appears as a standard USB joystick, but I have alternative firmware which will make it appears as a keyboard and press keys 1-5 or 6-0.
    https://etsy.com/uk/listing/229277172/usb-joystick-adapter-for-9-pin-d
    This is also a version which fits internally in the ZX Spectrum / Raspberry Pi casemods I do.
    https://etsy.com/uk/listing/170352136/raspberry-pi-inside-sinclair-zx-spectrum

    Thanks,

    Dave

    Can these be made to work the other way round - Plugging a PC USB joypad in and the adapter converts it to work on the Spectrum via a Kempston interface? I don't mind that it will only have one fire button.

    Not at the moment, but I could do something like that if there was interest.
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