I’m in the final straight of the Retro Challenge, so trying to get all the components of my RetroMatic 2000 to come together in one package.
But I’m running out of pins on my Arduino!
It’s time to return to my Gotek USB floppy disk emulator, and see if I can add some authentic-sounding sound effects.
I’ve previously written about my plans to interface to the Gotek hardware. In that post I linked to solutions other people have already used for sound effects.
They generally involve a pure hardware solution that generates a ‘click’ on a speaker every time the drive receives a ‘head step’ signal (to simulate the sound of the stepper motor). But that means the sound effect happens if any drive attached to that cable is active, not just the Gotek drive.
As part of my RetroMatic project, I’ll be using a rotary encoder to control an Arduino. This will control menus on an LCD display, which will set the parameters on a video converter board, and the configuration of a scanline generator.
But my RetroMatic also contains a USB floppy drive emulator. Since I have the Arduino there anyway, and the video converter is controlled by a rotary encoder, I wondered if I could also control the USB floppy emulator via another rotary encoder?
We’re in the home stretch for the Retro Challenge – it’s supposed to finish on the last day of April, which gives me only 5.5 days left.
Realistically I won’t have everything done by then, so it’s time to re-assess what’s achievable to get a ‘minimum viable product’, and work towards that.
And that means buying the last tranche of components I’ll need – it’s time for some shopping :-)
As my RetroMatic project builds and takes shape, I’ve become conscious about how I’m going to be powering it.
I have an assortment of pre-existing boards with their own voltage regulators, plus a handful of extra components (currently on bread boards – eventually to be transferred to strip board).
So far I’m using a 1200w universal power supply set at 6v, and relying on harvesting a regulated 5v output from my Arduino board for prototyping each bit in isolation.
But as I put everything together, I’ll exceed the limits of its power supply, so I’m going to need to think carefully about what I power from where.
So time for a power audit!
It’s now time to start prototyping the user interface for my RetroMatic 2000 box. As a reminder, the box will have two functions: a video converter to allow an 8-bit micro to be used on a modern monitor, and a USB stick floppy drive emulator.
The plan is to have each function controlled by a rotary-encoder (with a click button) with feedback via 16×2 LCD displays.
In my last update I experienced problems with the i2c interface on my HD9800 video conversion board. I thought I’d fixed it. Sadly, nothing is quite that simple…
After a week’s holiday (including a very enjoyable visit to Spencer Owen’s Nottingham Monthly Hardware Meetup) it’s time to get back to the Retro Challenge.
Most of the big tasks have now been done, so it was time to make a to-do list of all the little jobs left to do.
In my previous posts I flashed HxC firmware onto a Gotek USB floppy emulator, and tested it with my Video Genie.
I’m now going to delve into the intricacies of the Shugart 34 pin floppy disk interface (emulated by the HxC firmware); the jumper settings on the Gotek hardware; and how to extend the hardware to do some cool stuff :-)
In my last post I managed to flash the HxC firmware onto Gotek hardware, add a display, and test it on my Amstrad CPC 6128.
Next up: get it working with my Video Genie II (a TRS-80 clone).