Attack of the tiny cabs
The arcade bug bit me once more. To be honest it came as a total surprise. While sitting at cAos workshop, which is stuffed with all kinds of electronics, I noticed a tiny TV set. This would be a great screen for a tiny cab, I thought and cAos said that I can have it, “but it is only monochrome”. Puhh, arcade games with no colors are only half the experience or even less. After another beer it struck me: Pong! I took the little thing with me and the same night – although quite drunk – I searched the net for a suitable pong hardware. Mainly ther were two possibilities: go with a “pong on a chip” that was build in the eighties, after pong got big and that is basically the heart of all the pong consoles that were released by countless manufacturers. This would have meant to go the full way of building a pcb as the chip requieres a fair amount of switches and stuff around it. The other option was to go with an arduino version of it – I still had an UNO lying around. A quick search on google revealed that there are some ports and a TVout lib. The next day I got the missing parts and an hour of soldering and flashing later the familiar screen came to live on the telly.
Here’s a short video of it.
Starting with a scaled down version of the original cab using Forex (gator board) I had some time to wait on matrlerials and spent it with research on how the pong cab looks.
On Youtube I tripped over those tiny cabs and fell in love with them right away.
Victor has done an extremly good job and using an old gba sp keeps down the coasts per unit. However the cabs do all look the same and only distinguish themselves by the artwork. To cut it short: I sat out to build such a tiny Donkey Kong machine, but with the right, scaled down dims of the original cab sticking to the original shape. Here you can see the prototype being put together.
For the final version I to use professional milling machine for cutting out the parts. Hacking the GBA is next. So far I had bad luck and only got AGS-001 models of ebay that sport the far infireior backlight, which is very dark, but for the prototype it will probably be just fine.