The Setup

InitialĀ  attempt

Time: 3 hours

  • After physically setting up the router, I sought to connect it to Mach 3. I installed the Parallel card into my computer and installed the drivers without significant issue. After watching several videos to try and configure Mach 3 with my Windows 10 PC, I found out that windows 10 is not compatible with the parallel port drivers that need to interface with Mach 3.
  • I also broke my camera!!! Dropped off the tripod and now the lens is jammed. Another project for another day.
  • Solution: I will buy an ex office desktop with Microsoft XP and a parallel card. This will be my workshop PC and I will attach my old 24″ monitor to it.

Purchased new computer.

Time : 2 hours. $40

Ran through configuration video

Figured out soft limits

Had some issues with stepper motor stalling and direction,

Advertisements

Setting up the 3020 router (finally!)

I believe I have all the minimum parts required in order to get the router working, including a serial card, collets and a few router bits.

3020-cnc-router1

This weekends mission is simple, get the damn thing working…

Objectives this weekend:

  1. Setup Router Hardware
  2. Setup CNC control software (mach 3)
  3. Generate a simple CAD file using CATIA and generate a toolpath.

Subsequent tasks will include purchasing 6.35mm router bits, and finishing the design for the vacuum table.

Shopping list for this weekend:

  1. Router Bits
  2. Another pelican case (maybe)
  3. MDF cut to 440mm x 240mm squares

Further thought required – What software combination to use:

  1. CAD : CATIA, CAM : CATIA
  2. CAD : SW, CAM : SW
  3. CAD : Autodesk Fusion, CAM: Autodesk Fusion.
  4. CAD : SW / CATIA, CAM : Autodesk Fusion.

RetroPi Familarisation

Some of the prototyping parts have come in already, and while I wait for the remainder to come in I want to get familiarised with how Retro Pi works. The main objective for this part of the project is to identify any quirks that I need to know about the Retro Pi (random USB ports required, extra functions that need buttons to be tied in etc etc) that I will only know after having a play.

Stupidly, I have forgotten to order a micro USB, however for this phase I will use my Raspberry Pii 2 that I purchased for a previous project and an old full size SD card.

Acknowledgment of SpaceAgeWizard

I wanted to make mention of a fantastic project, the kind that made me want to get more involved in the community.

He had the vision to execute despite the design problems he encountered. He took the hard first steps to which I will seek to add two or three more.

I also wanted to take this opportunity to address (mainly for my own benefit) why I didn’t take an existing console (Wii U, PSP or PSVita) and try and find firmware hacks / jailbreaks to install emulators without massive hardware modifications. Several reasons:

  1. I identified that the button configuration of the Wii U Game pad was the most flexible and covered the most consoles. For example, the PSVita in its current form does not have dual shoulder pads for the PS1, nor would you be able to effectively emulate a N64 controller triggers and shoulder buttons.
  2. As far as I could tell the Wii U gampad has neither the processing power nor the community behind it to support emulation. I could only find people who have hacked the Wii U and then stream to the gamepad.
  3. The jail breaking option is heavily software focused, as I mentioned earlier, software is not my strong suite and I would therefore be relying on others to release specific edits. I am relying on others from the Raspberry Pi community but I think the platform is more flexible and frankly I think it will last longer than any individual platforms jail breaking solution.

EAGLE Experimentation

I was searching for connectors last night and identified that the bulk of the power connectors on the Wii U Gamepad are various series of JST connectors (Japan Solderless Terminal). I have already identified that the speaker terminals are both 2 pin JST ZH series, however I was having difficult finding an eagle library.

During my experimentation I have created what I believe is an early draft of what the final mod board will look like…

1

Key details to note are the board looks as though it will have a small enough form factor to be a Pi shield. The row of pads seeks to flat mount a Teensy LC to the board via a method called castellation. I found some discussion regarding castellation of the Teensy LC here.

Alternatively I will use some headers as shown below, however this will add to the total height.

Things to check in the final draft include:

  • Will the Teensy LC fit on the Pi side or will it have to go on the outside. [YES! The underside looks pretty flat to me]

teensy-lc-rear-500x500

  • Find an accurate representation of the speaker terminals and the joystick terminals. [Found, M02-JST-2MM-SMT item found in SparkFun Eagle Library]
  • Are the terminals on the right side when the Pi is mounted (which way will the Pi be mounted?)
  • Are the wires far enough apart?
  • Will they be able to handle the required power?
  • Will the Teensy sit flat / can it be castellised.

I will have to answer these questions prior to manufacturing this board, however I believe this will be key to fitting everything inside the case as is.

Meanwhile I have ordered my prototyping gear so I can get started on the prototype build.

 

Prototype Plan

After conducting some analysis of the available internal space after removing the battery compartment, I am guessing this is going to be quite tight. I did a bit of modelling on Solidworks and I am reasonably confident that I will be able to fit all the physical components in (except maybe as many batteries as I might like).

I will seek to do a 3D scan of the internals to 100% verify the configuration, however at this stage I need to confirm exactly which components are required. I still have my rough plan from last month, and put together a fritzing schematic to identify parts to purchase.

Priority for the first prototype is to verify the Pi3 will be able to do what I want it to, verify button connectivity through ribbon cables and verify circuitry requirements for the joystick.

This will also generate a parts list for prototyping parts. This will come in handy during future builds.

I examined the PJRC website for example code and a schematic layout of the Teensy LC board being used as a USB keyboard. My intent will be to connect the Teensy LC as a USB device to the raspberry Pi, program accordingly and configure the RP to recognise button presses as key strokes. The schematic seemed to show a simple switch with 5V supply circuit back to the input ports of the LC board.

Joysticks and interfaceing with the Retro Pi operating system will be somewhat more difficult. I examined numerous websites that discussed using Analogue to Digital I/C chips to turn the analog signal into something usable by the Pi, or use of third party boards to interface. Noting the shortage of space within the enclosure, I want to avoid additonal boards if possible.

I found this album by MrWalkway which demonstrated that you can actually connect joysticks to the Teensy in a similar way to buttons.

Below is the first pass at the prototype layout.

Prorotype Sketch_bb.jpg