Tuesday, December 29, 2009

3D Demo - Final redesign choices

This is a small 3d demo I've slapped together. It's unoptimized, it uses direct sin/cos calls, float point math and the lines are overdrawn twice. I plan to switch to fixed point for math and model representation. Poly filling, textures and lighting are on the menu when I get around to it.

I have ordered some pic32 chips and will build a simple board to test out some features. If all goes well I will be switching to the pic32 for the redesign. The micro I have my eye on is also a 64pin chip. It operates at 80mhz(1.56 dmips), has 512KB of flash and 128KB of ram. Its more powerfull and requires fewer components. I keep changing things around but this time I will stick with the choices I make and build the final device. Also I may switch from pwm audio to a stereo dac and I have found a cheap source for bluetooth modules and will be switching back for this device and my other projects.

Sunday, December 27, 2009

New Platformer Demo and Mandelbrot Generation

Its been a while. Other projects get in the way and untill I have the money to build the new system I put this on the back burner. I am currently working on a 2d game for the xbox 360 indie games. I thought it would be sweet to port it to my own game system as it progressed. This is the first working platforming demo of my game ported over to the TGS. Simple movement, collisions and gravity are working. The second part of the demo is a mandelbrot image being drawn. No real reason for doing this, just thought it looked nice. Ive also been working on a 3d engine for the TGS and will post the 3d wireframe demo in a day or two.

Sorry about the crappy image quality... damn you ebay!

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Small update

I have found a source for the s65 lcd and have decided to keep this lcd rather than change to the 6610. I will be using a regular size sd rather than the mini, I will be removing the eeprom and adding four 32k 20mhz serial ram chips. The extra ram will relieve some strain and any system settings can be stored in flash. I know there will be a performance hit but it is better than having to parse the sd card constantly. Also I will be using a 1200mah 4th gen ipod battery. The current 850mah battery gets around 4-5 hours of life with 100% backlight.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

GUI pics

Here are two quick shots of the gui I am developing for the TGS. Pressing left or right moves between them though no sub menu's yet. The Tome Media Player might use this interface.

Friday, August 28, 2009

Webcam Troubles

My webcam went and died on me so It will be a week or two before I can post any new videos. Since the new unit will be using the nokia 6610 lcd I have to rewrite some of the display code and change a few of the icons the gui uses. Tomorrow I will post a few shots of the current gui interface.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Tome GS Specs

A few people have asked about the specs of the current and planned devices. Later I will put project info and progress on the sidebar.

Current Device Specs:

cpu: at91sam7s256
speed: 55mhz
ram: 64k
flash: 256k
storage: minisd(4gb maybe HC) and 32kb eeprom
display: siemens s65 16bit color lcd
communication: bluetooth, usb, serial
audio: sterio using two pwm channels
power: 850mah li-ion battery, 500mah charger

New Device Specs:

cpu: at91sam7s256
speed: 55mhz
ram: 64k
flash: 512k
storage: minisd(4gb maybe HC) and 32kb eeprom
display: nokia 6610 12bit color lcd, adjustable backlight using pwm
communication: zigbee(MRF24J40MA), usb, serial, jtag(allow debug)
audio: sterio using two pwm channels, 3.5mm headphone, internal speaker
power: 850mah li-ion battery, 500mah charger

I might add a small expansion port with analog, digital and power pins.

The best thing about my design is that you don't have to reprogram the device every time you want to play a new game since they can be dynamically loaded from the minisd and execute in ram. The firmware will handle all the dirty work while and provide a simple interface to the hardware. The zigbee module can be used to communicate with other TGS's or other project utilizing zigbee communication. For example I'm building a quadruped robot and plan to control and monitor it with this device.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

I've Moved!

For the two of you following my game system development this will be the spot to check in on the progress. I've moved over my previous posts and will be using this site from now on. When I get some free time I will be updating the Tome GS project and adding a few others. I will be changing the design of the TGS to use the nokia lcd instead of the siemens s65. Also I will be removing the bluetooth module and replacing it with zigbee(cheaper and can use it to control my robots).

The Tome MP will be redesigned too and since it will use the same microcontroller and display as the TGS software development will go faster. Here is an old video of my TMP progress.

Tome GS Software Demo 1

Originally posted Feb. 24th, 2009

This is a simple demo that allows you to move a box around the screen and change the background color. This was mainly used to test out the buttons. The picture is too blurry to tell but it is a "@" image being moved around.


Tome GS demo

Originally posted Feb. 23rd, 2009

This video shows the completed device and a simple demo that changes the screen color depending on what button is pressed. I nearly went insane trying to get the lcd to work. I took the entire thing apart to double check the connections and even tried software spi to no avail. But I eventually found my mistakes and bingo The next step will be firmware design..The firmware will provide a basic operating system with abstracted hardware interfaces to simplify game design.

Completed Hardware photos

Originally posted Feb. 23rd, 2009

All my hard work and determination has finally produced results. The redesign has been completed and now I can move into the firmware design phase. It has taken a lot of work to get it this far and there have been numerous time I felt like quitting but now that I finally got the little bastard working I'm glad I kept trying.

Tome GS construction photos

Oiginally posted Feb. 16th, 2009

I nearly gave up after I made a new board and I couldn't get it to work By the time I realized the microcontroller was mounted incorrectly I had damaged the board beyond repair. To make things worse I made this same mistake with the first version and swore never to let it happen again. But things seem to work out in the end because while I was troubleshooting I noticed that the microsd card detect was unconnected. I made a few more tweaks, double checked the connections and decided to make a slight upgrade. I had a Bluetooth module collecting dust so I thought why not. There was a perfect spot available and signal routing was a breeze. Here are some photos I took as I built the circuit board. I will post a video of the completed system when I finish the new casing.

Tome GS revived!

Originally posted Jan 29th 2009

It has been a while since I have had time to work on this project. I'm trying to get a game project going and find it difficult to find time to work on both at the same time. But in my spare time I completed the redesign of the circuit board and in the next day or two will have it etched, drilled and populated. I decided to scrap the old prototype due to bad layout choices and a few issues with the traces. This time around I will be using a product called TINNIT to coat the copper with tin which will fight corrosion and make the solder flow easier.

When completed it should measure 117 x 42 x 25mm. Hopefully I will post some pictures of a silvery circuit board in a day or two so check back.