Strong hints, and the leaving out of strategic printouts on the run up to Christmas saw Santa drop a Euzebox in my stocking.
A Euzebox is the European variant of the American Uzebox project.
"The Uzebox is a retro-minimalist 8-bit open source game console." and when I chanced upon it I thought I would love to have a go at building my own Games Console from scratch.
I finally got an evening when I set aside a bit of time to put it together. It only took a couple of hours over one evening.
Opening the pack gives a couple of detailed spec sheets, one PCB and 3 bags if components.
There are a lot of nice easy through hole parts to solder in, and the board is really well spaced out and easy to work on.
I built it in stages, first all the resistors and Power supply..
Next was the IC socket, caps and oscillator...
SCART socket, reset switch and ISP Header next...
Next was the only bit of surface mount soldering for the SD Card socket, which is much more straightforward than it would appear...
Finally, the SNES sockets at the front. Plenty of solder here to ensure a good strong bond able to resist the pull and push of regular use...
A shot of the base once all the components were welded in. Looks good to me, lets test her out...
A power on test utilising a SNES psu (9v 1a), unconnected to the TV and left for a few minutes to check for unexpected behaviour. The LED is lit, as it should be, and there is no evidence of any shorts, heat or smoke.
Plugging it in to the TV and she immediately came up with the startup splash screen for the built in Tetris clone.
It's a fun version actually, and graphically much better in real life than I was expecting TBH.
I really enjoyed building this, and I'm looking forward to putting a few more of the games available for it on an SD card and putting it through it's paces.
I'll be finding a nice clear perspex casing for this, so expect to see it at future Amibay events.