The new Beta has arrived and if fits *Perfectly*Continue reading “Super LED Blinkenator 2000 – a little update December 1st”
Month: November 2020
Something Old, Something new. Joystick Upgrade!
Some time ago, I ordered a Joystick from Retroradionics.
In Transparent Black! Has a few nice features, such as Autofire on two buttons, and togglable mode for C64 or Atari for example.
Inside, there’s a PCB that looks quite bare
So, I did gone glitz it up a little.
I figured that a joystick could do with some LED’s, there’s plenty of space inside for big ones!
and, maybe it could have some extra functionality
So, after knocking up a schematic, I measured up and drew a PCB , well, had a little help from the developer of the joystick who sent me some dimensions of his PCB to get started with!Continue reading “Something Old, Something new. Joystick Upgrade!”
Super LED Blinkenator 2000 – Beta 8 Ordered
Been a busy few weeks here at Bleugh.Biz industries, working ridiculous hours at my day job, keeping kids from murdering each other during the evenings……But, i’ve been getting some good tinkering time in.
Some very good progress has been made! – and this is the board that’ll hopefully, finally, once and forever physically fit perfectly
Some Notable changes
- Balls! – A revised J15 connection method that’ll provide a simple and very robust connection method
- Spacings – The holes for the LED inserts have been altered a little to allow easier assembly. It’s still mildly fiddly but easy enough.
- Fixtures – The J15 are has now two horizontal slices cut into it – this provides a spring mechanism for the balls. it helps to PCB distortion locally without warping all of the board from Next PCB to inserts
- Holes – The whole board is now held with press fit type connection. The two screws holding the Next PCB are removed and replaced with two new ones. this holds the Blinkenator board to the next PCB and the Next PCB to the case. The two holes for the screws have been changed to 5mm!
- Positions – The JST style connectors have been re-located and changed from Right angle to Vertical. Now the board’s mounted above the next board there’s plenty of space underneath. The path from the Arduino USB connector is now also free so you can tuck a cable into the board permanently
- LED’s – Moar Bling! Each insert location now has a LED colour on the main board. No real purpose other than to look great and provide the end users with some assurance that the board is powered up when they do their first tests with a USB cable outside of the Next
- ESP-01 – CPU_RST has been changed to a JST style connector to make ease of fitting. This whole feature is still highly experimental and may not make it into final production (if it doesn’t work, there’d be no point!)
- Inserts – There’s now a 0.56mm gap between the jumpers – to fit a 0.6mm wide PCB!. makes a nice snug fit. and easy also to work with – simply trial fit once when you receive your board, that’ll loosen them up. remove and re-fit into the Next
- Jumpers – Lots of experimental jumpers! GPIO to arduino, TX/RX to arduino, DB+ integration enabling / passthrough…….and some secret sauce also
- THICKNESS – The board’s back to a phat 1.6mm thick. this provides significant stability to the jumpers that hold the inserts in place. Much easier to repeatedly get them soldered straight when assembling
- Components – The whole board’s been rationalised for component price – and where possible using @JLCPCB’s BASIC library – that saves quite some amount in production prices as non Basic items incurr an engineering fee per component. Previously 3/4 the components were Extended, now 3/4 are Basic!
- Silkscreen – Tidied up and made a bit more slick……..
I’m sure there’s a few more changes i’ve missed, but that’s the important stuff.
Where from here……….IF this last board plugs in, fits well, i’ll be sending out to the key Dev team. I can then kick back, relax a little and start again playing with the software side of things, Both Next side and Arduino side!.
I’ll eventually also need to consider switching over the whole board to SMT, or as much as possible. I’m not that daunted by this as there’s quite a number of ways this can be achieved, including just putting the 32U4 straight on-board, or considering changing the micro type entirely. After all, the main reason i’m using a 32u4 is that it’s cheap, Arduino compatible, has USB built in. All those things give a great ‘dev board’ capability that people can use to simply plug in and tweak!
Another C64 Mini keyboard kit success
A very talented Hans Liss from the Facebook group – TheC64 Mini has make a perfect assembled kit.
Drool over the photos below
Note the extras like the hacked up USB hub to make it slimline
The Extra UART connector that he’s added, and the nigh on perfect Keybaord keycap butchery!
Hans also helped by pointing out a few errors i’ve made with the original firmware sent out with the kits. I spent a couple of weeks figuring out how to fix it and have a new HEX file for those that want it.
There’s still some ‘not quite exactly commodore’ quirkery happening – which i’m working on, but i’ll bet that 99% of you won’t be able to figure it out. I’ve only found out due to Hans’s extensive knowledge of the C64 inner workings and also me, downloading the original user manual for the Commodore 64.
C64 Mini Keyboard Kit – New Firmware available
New Firmware upgrade available
It’s been an intense and frustrating few months trying to figure out QMK in spare time here and there – today, something ‘clicked’ and…..I’ve made a new keymap.
Please email me – KEYBOARD AT BLEUGH DOT BIZ for a new HEX file. also happy to help you flashing the thing with the Arduino IDE (it’s quite easy!)
Why I developed a new keymap
A couple of users have reported that the key mapping is a little wrong when plugged into the mini.
By ‘key mapping’ it means, when you press a key, or combination of keys, you don’t get the character that’s shown on the keycap.
Most people will know this if they’ve ever used a US keyboard on a UK computer or vice versa, that Shift and 2 gets annoying after a while when you’re trying for the @ sign!
So, I’ve dun fixed those minor niggles that people observed….AND, i’ve gone and added quite a bit more!Continue reading “C64 Mini Keyboard Kit – New Firmware available”