Electronics, coding and hacking. And ADD.

Dead basket arcade reborn with Arduino


Here's just a quick update on one of the projects I'm involved with these days. What you see below is an Grayhound Championship Basketball, an arcade game owned by a friend. The original hardware was a Z80 system, but this is now being replaced with an Arduino Uno.

The current version only supports 1 player mode, but a variety of 2 player modes will be implemented soon.

The arcade to the left contains the original hardware and is working just fine.

The original power supply conveniently provides 0/5/12V, as well as a 110V for the solenoid releasing the basketballs to the player.

The Arduino is equipped with a prototyping shield where we soldered the connector for the back panel and the various buttons in use. A proper, more professionally looking shield will be designed at a later point.

Arduino General Purpose Floppy Driver


There's something about old hardware that fascinates me, and I have an urge to incorporate this into modern hardware somehow. This is basically what I keep telling myself for creating this project on

As stated on the project page, the goal is to provide read/write access to floppy drives from the Arduino. Sure you have flash memory, EPROMs and SD cards, but nothing really compares to the comforting hum from a mechanical floppy drive.

And, hey, it can probably be used to play music on the floppy drive as well.

Amiga 500 rescue: well that was easy


After replacing a few suspiciously looking capacitors, I decided to try replacing a few more chips again. Turns out one of the CIA chips I was testing with was also faulty. The Amiga 500 is back in business, running kickstart 1.3 and has a GVP harddrive on the bench as well as a Gotek floppy emulator installed.

Pardon the mess

Next modification is an ATX connector for the power supply, as well as a new HD for the GVP drive. The one installed is a whimpy 80 megabytes (!) and sounds like an idling jet carrier. It's too noisy, not even worth the extra 8MB of memory it provides.

The Gotek emulator is an interesting story, too. Back when I bought the drive, for reasons unknown, I decided to go for the lowest spec model possible. No fancy features, no 7-segment LED displays, no pushbuttons. Turns out, these features are very nice to have when emulating more than just one floppy image. So, I've started to upgrade the drive by adding a missing capacitor, an extra indicator LED and two pushbuttons. As soon as I find a couple of 74ls164's I will add the image number displays as well.

Amiga 500 rescue


I dug through the pile of old computer stuff and stumbled across my old Amiga 500, which I bought for a fortune back when I was 15. This computer stuck with me through sickness and health and survived countless number of copyparties. It also took a fair amount of beating when the code I worked on crashed and I didn't have a single backup.

It was a huge disappointment to see that time had not been gentle with this little guy. I decided to strip it down to the bare minimals and start debugging.

The three burnt out resistors at E502, E503 and R408 have been like this for ages and is not the cause of death.

An ATX bench supply now provides a stable -12/0/5/12 volts, but the video output is just pitch black, although the VSYNC and HSYNC signals are generated. I've tried replacing the CPU, Kickstart ROM, PAULA, GARY, AGNUS, DENISE, CIA1 and CIA2 but to no avail. Looks like this may be an electrical error, so I'll fire up the scope and start working on it.

I'll keep you posted on the progress. It shall live to see the light of day again!

C64FC carts to the beta testers!


These days a handful of brave souls will receive their C64FCs in the mail. Since the software is currently running on Mac OS X and Linux only, the Windows users will have to wait. It's currently on the to-do list, and will be prioritized once the development platforms are stable.

The one I'm soldering here is a standard 16K RC3 board, and will be shipped to a fellow Hoaxers member this weekend.

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