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Retrode-to-console conversion, Part 1

Finally found a little time to destroy my new Raspberry Pi. Check it out:

Retail packaging

Effective immediately, Retrodes shipping from our warehouse will come in a pretty custom box. At last, no more ugly gray cardboard abominations!

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Firmware update – Lots of good new stuff

D-pad settings
Button mapping for HID mode selection

Dear all,

A firmware update is knocking on the door. Besides a few technicalities, there are two main features in the new version: support for two N64 controllers (yay! Played my first round of Super Mario 64 last night, with proper analogue controls), and an option to set the HID Mode upon startup without having to edit the config.

Please find the firmware and updating instructions on this page. As always, I’d be glad if you could give it a test run, and report if something doesn’t quite work the way it’s supposed to. Here’s the full list of changes:

v0.17h alpha (2012-05-08)
- KB Mode ([HIDMode] 3) now supports 4 players
- Streamlined config file (no more key mappings, file
extensions for plug-in prototypes)
- Added config options for SMS and GG rom extensions
- A dedicated USB PID per HIDMode setting, for
smoother enumeration, and driver handling by OS
- Fixed overdump mode (HWB button)
- HID joystick (HIDMode 1, 2) now reports 16 buttons
- N64 controller support: Connect data line via 220ohm
resistor to Sega slot pins A7 (controller #1) and
A5 (#2).
- Startup HIDMode setting: Hold down D-pad to choose
values 0 (up), 1 (up+left), 2 (left), 3 (down+left),
4 (down). Also press Start to make the setting
permanent

 Read more… »

Packaging Fantasies

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No text today :)

New Tutorial for Windows Users

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Our new tutorial section is beginning to grow – our old friend Muzer has just written up a detailed tutorial for Windows users. If you are having trouble setting up your Retrode, make sure to check it out. Thanks Muzer for your effort!

→ Want to contribute a tutorial? Let us know at editors@retrode.org!

Firmware Update: Controllers

We recently received reports about glitches with the SNES controller readout (controller doesn’t work, sometimes works, or goes nuts when you press B button). If you are suffering from such problems, please make sure to flash your device to the latest firmware v0.17f, and let us know if it helps. We consider this an essential update since it also fixes a nasty glitch with savegame writing.

Find the latest firmware here.

v0.17f (2012-03-19)
- Essential fix for SNES controllers ("B Button
  Problem" and others)
- Bugfix SRAM writing: didn't check against total size

Plug-In Prototypes

Plug-in circuit boards and raw shell

Assembled and with sticky labels

At last, I have managed to find some time and prepare a set of plug-in prototypes! Those beauties are already pretty close to the real production run that is planned for later this year. The three models are as follows:

  • Game Boy (GB/GBC/GBA) plug-in with additional unpopulated N64 slot because, well, why not? :)
  • Nintendo 64 (N64) plug-in
  • Master System (SMS) plug-in

These are plug-ins for the three cartridge systems for which we managed to source connectors. Always eager to hear about potential suppliers for historic cartridge connectors so we can grow our plug-in range! Since people keep on asking: We currently do NOT plan for a commercial NES plug-in since technical limitations of the NES cartridge system would not make it a lot of fun to use anyway.

Those of you who have been following the project closely may notice that there are a few design changes compared to earlier versions. The GBx and N64 combo plug-in was split into two separate boards (although the GBx one still has the soldering pads for a N64 slot because it doesn’t cost anything extra). The SMS plug-in in its current revision does not feature solder pads for an optional Game Gear connector (had been planned as a user retrofit but didn’t make it into this prototype for lack of space).

And now, tell me: Are they not lovely? :)