Saturday, July 30, 2011

Still working on pin issue

Looks like we have agreed on how to solve the extra AVR pin issue which means the schematic for rev2 is pretty much finalized and now the task is to place the components on the PCB.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Added output RCA jacks to dexter schematic

So as to make some progress, I tackled one of the things on my TODO list which can be solved independently of the current AVR dilemma: adding RCA audio output jacks to the schematic. I finished this up so now the two main obstacles to a rev2 PCB are settling on how to get the functionality that we could have if we had an extra pin, and also doing the actual PCB layout.

Considering ATMega325P but running into trouble

We are short 1 pin on the ATMega324P so we've been considering the 325P instead which has a lot more pins on it. Unfortunately, this morning I just discovered that the 325P seems to be light on features that the 324P had such as multiple USARTs and multiple external interrupts. So now I'm stuck. Maybe we can consider the surface mount version of the 324P which probably has a few more pins on it.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Back from vacation

I'm back from my vacation and am ready to resume work on Dexter.

I wanted to get my presentations from CAX online before I did anything else because I knew if I didn't do it soon, I would never get around to doing it. Now that that's out of the way, I can resume the fun stuff.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Going out of town

I am going out of town for the weekend. I will have limited access to the internet. I will try to do some work on rev2 on my laptop while I am gone (that's what vacations are for, right? working on cool projects!)

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

CAX Presentation part 3 of 3

Here is the final part of the CAX video. It is mostly questions & answers.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Part 3 coming soon...

I will have part 3 with subtitles posted next.

Possibly some time today... :)

After I get the CAX presentations posted then I can get back to the rev 2 PCB design.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Part 2 of 3 from CAX Presentation

Here is part 2 of 3 from our CAX presentation. Be sure to enable subtitles (CC) you can follow what we are saying as the audio is sometimes hard to understand.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Been busy with my yard

We are finishing our backyard and I've been very busy getting ready for that. Hence, not much in the way of blog updates. We ordered 16 pallets of sod (6400 square feet!) and it looks like we're going to have at least 3 full pallets leftover. So I need to water them regularly so we can sell them off.

We advertised them on the local classifieds and within 10 minutes had our first caller, so we won't have any trouble selling them. But there's a lot of high maintenance going on right now that is taking me away from working on my cool projects.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Part 1 of 3 from CAX Presentation

Here is the first 16 minutes of the CAX presentation about Dexter.

Be sure to enable subtitles by pressing the 'CC' button! Otherwise you may have a hard time understanding what we are saying.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Had a great time at CAX

I got back from CAX tonight. I had a great time!

I just dumped my CAX presentation from tape and probably will need to add subtitles to it before posting it to youtube so it could take a little while but I know some people who weren't at CAX want to see it so I will get working on it.

Friday, July 8, 2011

Just got dexter working on Badlands!

We plugged Dexter into BJZ's Badlands cabinet at CAX and it worked great! Steve Hertz even beat the game while we watched. It was really exciting because we have never tested it on Badlands before and didn't know whether it would work. It had a few minor issues but nothing that can't be overcome in software.

At CAX, got some interesting hurdles to overcome

Well, we're testing the dexter hardware here at cax to prepare to show it off only to discover that the dragon's lair image file I brought seems to be missing audio. So now we are coming up with creative ways to rectify that situation.

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Dexter PCB ready for CAX demo

My Dragon's Lair arcade monitor suddenly decided to start working again. So here's the current state of Dexter. As you can see, it has a few minor issues but otherwise works great!

Saturday, July 2, 2011

My Monoprice VGA->NTSC RCA converter came today. It is extremely well designed and I am quite impressed. So far it seems to perform to my level of expectations also which is great.

For fun, I hooked up Rockford's projector that he shipped me. I plan on using this projector at CAX if necessary so this is a good test.

I took a picture from my wife's phone so the quality isn't that great but you can still get the idea.

Consolidated two DB25 ports down to just one

This morning I consolidated the two DB25 connectors I had on the rev 2 design down to just one by adding a relay. This should free up space on the PCB and also make it easier for our primary persona to figure out where to plug his cable into when he is looking at the PCB (now there will only be one place his cable will fit into whereas before there was two).

The next challenge is figuring out how to control the relay since we are out of AVR pins.

Friday, July 1, 2011

Design Personas identified

I also wanted to mention that I am zeroing in on design personas, which are imaginary people that represent the users for the dexter product.

To summarize, there are four of them right now and here they are:

The Nostalgic : Person who wants to relive childhood
The Restorer: Person who likes restoring old stuff
The Tinkerer: Person who likes to modify stuff
The Preservationist: Person who likes to preserve childhood

We will be targeting Dexter primarily toward the first one. The others may get their own interfaces if appropriate.

MAX11503 chip finished

I've finished adding the s-video port and the MAX11503 chip to the schematics.

The only thing left before doing the layout is merging the two DB25 ports down to one and adding a relay. Then I'll see the bad news about how much space we _don't_ have on the PCB.