Posts with «snes» label

Controlling a Broken Super Nintendo With MIDI

A Super Nintendo that has trouble showing sprites doesn’t make for a very good game system. As it turns out, Super Mario World is a lot less fun when the titular hero is invisible. So it’s no surprise that [jwotto] ended up tossing this partially functional SNES into the parts bin a few years back.

But he recently came up with a project that may actually benefit from its unusual graphical issues; turning the glitched console into a circuit bent video synthesizer. The system was already displaying corrupted visuals, so [jwotto] figured he’d just help things along by poking around inside and identifying pins that created interesting visual effects when shorted out.

Installing the new electronics into the SNES.

Once he mapped out the pins, he wired them all up to a transistor switching board that he’d come up with for a previous project. That would let an Arduino short out the pins on command while still keeping the microcontroller relatively isolated from the SNES. Then it was just a matter of writing some code that would fire off the transistors based on MIDI input.

The end result is a SNES that creates visual glitches along with the music, which [jwotto] can hook up to a projector when he does live shows. A particularly neat feature is that each game responds in its own way, so he can swap out the cartridge to show completely different visuals without having to change any of the MIDI sequencing.

A project like this serves as a nice introduction to both circuit bending and MIDI hacking for anyone looking to get their digital feet wet, and should pair nicely with the MIDI Game Boy Advance.

[Thanks to Irregular Shed for the tip.]

Interfacing a Retro Controller using the USBASP

An ISP dongle is a very common piece of equipment on a maker’s bench. However, its potential as a hackable device is generally overlooked. The USBASP has an ATmeg8L at its heart and [Robson] decided that this humble USB device could be used as an interface between his PC and a SNES Joypad.

A SNES controller required three pins to communicate with a host: clock, data and latch. In his hack, [Robson]  connects the controller to the ISP interface using a small DIY adaptor and programs the AVR using the V-USB library. V-USB is a software USB library for small microcontrollers and comes in pretty handy in this instance.

[Robson] does a pretty good job of documenting the entire process of creating the interface which includes the USB HID code as well as the SNES joypad serial protocol. His hack works on both Windows and Linux alike and the code is available on GitHub for download.

Simple implementation like this project are a great starting point for anyone looking to dip their toes in the DIY USB device pool. Veterans may find a complete DIY joystick more up their alley and will be inspired by some plastic techniques as well.


Filed under: Arduino Hacks, hardware
Hack a Day 23 Jun 06:00

Turn your SNES gamepad into a USB controller

If you grew up in the ‘90s, chances are you have an old SNES controller lying around somewhere. Well, thanks to a recent project from CompSci Studio, it may be time to blow off the dust and transform it into a modern-day USB gamepad using Arduino.

By following the instructions detailed in the video below, you’ll be able to use the retro controller to play arcade games like Super Meat Boy and Fez on either your Mac or PC. To get started, you’ll need an Uno, five jumper cables, and a simple Arduino sketch that creates an HID compliant joystick out of the SNES device.

NES controllers for any Bluetooth application

[Dustin Evans] wanted to used his original NES controllers to play emulated games. The problem is he didn’t want to alter the classic hardware. His solution was to use the connectors and enclosure from a dead NES to build a Bluetooth translator that works with any NES controller.

Here he’s showing the gutted half of an original NES. Although the motherboard is missing, the connectors for the controllers are still there. They’ve been rewired to an Arduino board which has a BlueSMiRF modem. The controller commands are harvested by the Arduino and sent to whatever is listening on the other end of the Bluetooth connection. He also has plans to add a couple of SNES ports to the enclosure so that those unaltered controllers may also be used.

In the video after the break [Dustin] walks us through the hardware setup. He then demonstrates pairing the device with an Android phone and playing some emulators with the pictured controllers.


Filed under: nintendo hacks, peripherals hacks

Exercise bike connects to original Mario Kart, Rainbow Road shortcut gets even trickier (video)

Canadian modder Brent Smith has managed to connect an aging exercise bike to Nintendo's perennial racer. Naturally, there's some Arduino involvement, but the whole setup plugs directly into an original SNES console -- no emulation necessary. Power-ups are accessed with a button in the center of the exercise bike's handles, each of which has a directional button for steering, while the pedals function as the acceleration button, accurate to one sixth of a rotation. According to Smith, "it's a lot harder than it looks" -- and we believe him. Watch his test-drive kart plow off-track in the video demo after the break.

Continue reading Exercise bike connects to original Mario Kart, Rainbow Road shortcut gets even trickier (video)

Exercise bike connects to original Mario Kart, Rainbow Road shortcut gets even trickier (video) originally appeared on Engadget on Mon, 16 Apr 2012 05:02:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

Permalink | Email this | Comments