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Repairing a PlayStation controller to USB adaptor

Posted by benryves, 20 April 2013 · 1,703 views
PlayStation, electronics and 1 more...
I recently purchased an inexpensive PlayStation controller USB adaptor for my PC. Several reviews confirmed that it was compatible with the controller's analogue joysticks so I thought it would be what I was after. Life is rarely that easy with cheap electronics, unfortunately!http://benryves.com/images/ps2-to-pc/adaptor-product.jpg  When it arrived I plu...

Laserstrike for Zen X-Fi 2

Posted by benryves, 23 October 2011 · 1,759 views
Laserstrike, Zen X-Fi 2, Lua
It's been a long time since I posted about any of my projects for the simple reason that I haven't had any real time to work on them this year. Work commitments have not been particularly kind to my free time and there has been no progress on my 3D engine for TI calculators or any new electronics...

Back in Classic Black

Posted by benryves, 27 January 2011 · 994 views
gamedev.net, classic black, css
I've been working on a "classic black" style for the GameDev.net website for a little while. Being a creature of habit I could never get used to the lighter skins that the site has tended towards in recent...

Watched Forums Userscript

Posted by benryves, 10 January 2011 · 680 views
gamedev.net, watched forums and 1 more...
I hope everyone had a very pleasant Christmas and New Year break. It's been a while since I last posted — I've been very busy with work of late and as such have not had much to report on my own projects.

As you have no doubt noticed GameDev.net has undergone some fairly radical changes recently; most of these seem to be for the better, but as...

A larger level, moving sectors and failed optimisation attempts

Posted by benryves, 29 November 2010 · 1,319 views

I've made a few attempts to boost the performance of the 3D engine for the TI-83+ I'm working on with little success. I had previously failed to get any improvement by adding bounding boxes around each BSP node (the idea being that if a node falls outside the view you can discard it and, by extension, all of its children) but the act of transforming...

Collision detection makes the world feel solid

Posted by benryves, 21 November 2010 · 1,309 views

One of the larger problems with the 3D engine for the TI-83+ calculator series I have been working on is that it's possible to move the camera through walls. This doesn't make the world feel especially solid, so I've started working on some collision detection routines.

Work commitments have left me with little time to spend on this project...

Enlarging the world

Posted by benryves, 07 November 2010 · 1,293 views

There have been very few changes to the features of Nostromo recently. I have tried a number of ways to optimise the performance and whilst the handful of micro-optimisations I have made have boosted the frame rate a little none of the higher-level optimisations have done much. I did try, for example, storing a bounding box around each BSP node and ignoring...

Adding sprite objects to the 3D world

Posted by benryves, 02 November 2010 · 1,081 views

The previous entry showed a room from a map copied from DOOM's E2M7. I have since added the adjacent room:


It may not look as interesting as the other room but it is significantly more costly to render due to the sheer number of lines visible at a time in it. Looking across it from the far corner dropped performance down to around 2 FPS on...

Adapting a room from DOOM's E2M7 to the TI-83+ calculator

Posted by benryves, 28 October 2010 · 895 views

The level I've been working with as a test for the TI-83+ 3D engine was something I quickly threw together. I've never been much good at the design side of things, and my lack of imagination was producing something very simple that wasn't really challenging the engine and testing whether it could be used in a game. Looking for inspiration, I played through...

Varying wall heights in a 3D engine for the TI-83+

Posted by benryves, 25 October 2010 · 595 views

I've done a little more work on the 3D engine for TI-83+ calculators that I mentioned in the previous entry. The main difference is in limited support for varying the heights of floors and ceilings, illustrated in the following screenshots.


Walls now refer to one or two "sectors". A sector is a 2D region of the map of any size or...

A primitive 3D engine for the TI-83+

Posted by benryves, 17 October 2010 · 1,308 views

As you may have guessed from the number of spinning cubes in my projects, I am quite fond of primitive 3D. As you may also have guessed from the number of TI-83+ calculator projects I have undertaken, I'm also quite fond of programming on low-end machines. I have never really successfully put 3D and the TI-83+ together, though.

One way to build a 3D...

TV Demonstrator for TI calculators

Posted by benryves, 11 October 2010 · 726 views

I've been tinkering with a number of small projects recently. I've resumed work on an LED clock for my bedroom (using a 32×8 LED display) and written an experimental BASIC interpreter in C# which I may try to turn into an assembler (implementing assembly statements as BASIC ones). In the mean time, I have finished one project — a...

A parallel port and a demonstration of the Z80 computer

Posted by benryves, 05 September 2010 · 732 views

The last piece of hardware to add to the computer was a parallel port. These have eight data lines and nine assorted control and status lines. My last two 8-bit I/O expanders provide sixteen of these seventeen lines, and the final one was provided by the DS1307 real-time clock chip which happily has a spare pin on it that can be used as an...

A clock and a serial port for the Z80 computer

Posted by benryves, 17 August 2010 · 954 views

At the end of the previous entry I mentioned that I was going to start developing my own programs for the Z80 computer. The first is a graphical clock, taking advantage of my implementation of the BBC Micro's VDU commands and the ability to use those commands to draw graphics onto the screen as well as text:

I have uploaded the code and binary to my...

A useful Z80 computer in a project box

Posted by benryves, 14 August 2010 · 1,638 views

Work continues on the Z80 computer. The two final modifications to the box itself are the holes for the status LEDs and the power switch.

The green LED indicates power and the orange one disk activity. Unfortunately, the project box is fairly scratched on the outside (one scratch on the front is my own fault, but the sides and back...

Mounting circuit boards and rear panel connectors

Posted by benryves, 09 August 2010 · 1,671 views

One of the fun things about working with electronics is that you can end up with a physical product at the end of your hard work. To this end I have started moving my Z80 computer from its current breadboard to a more permanent enclosure.

Large project boxes can be quite expensive (around £40, it seems), but the one I picked out was a slightly...

Integrating the dsPIC33 VDC with the Z80 computer

Posted by benryves, 31 July 2010 · 859 views

The ultimate goal for the video display controller module I have been working on is to drive the display in my Z80 computer project. As I have now got a pretty good set of features I thought it would be a good idea to join the two projects together.

The big board in the lower middle of the above photograph is the main body of the computer, including...

VGA output for the dsPIC33 VDC

Posted by benryves, 25 July 2010 · 1,784 views

I have spent quite a while working on different projects that generate PAL video signals in software. This may seem a bit odd if you consider the fact that I don't own a TV, so tend to rely on a video capture card or VGA box to see the output of these projects on a computer monitor — something I do have a fair number of.

This reliance...

Text and filled shapes for the dsPIC33 VDC

Posted by benryves, 22 July 2010 · 736 views

The dsPIC33 video display controller project I am working on needs to support several common text output and drawing operations offered by existing BBC BASIC implementations. The previous demo included basic point, line and circle outlining functions, but I also need to output text and outline (or fill) rectangles, circles, ellipses and triangles....

360 degree photos from Lego, a PICAXE, C# and JavaScript

Posted by benryves, 08 July 2010 · 1,032 views

As you may have guessed from the ratio of photos to actual content in my entries I do quite enjoy taking photos of things. One of the reasons I enjoy working with electronics over writing software for computers is that a finished product results in something physical, which I find much more rewarding than a purely virtual hobby.

One type of photograph...