Posts Tagged ‘Downing’

Probably the only thing cooler than actually building a portable gaming system is when you show off your creation playing somebody elses, and then having them be very excited to see it in action! Such is what happened when I took a picture of Extend Interactive’s new game “So Many Me” on my portable OUYA and released it on Twitter! It’s very flattering to see such a positive response to this project and is constantly inspiring me to strive to make something better.


As for the game developers of So Many Me, they liked it so much they then wanted to see if I could do a short video of the game in action. So I kinda just threw this together quickly as I’m no game reviewer or anything of that nature, but they made a great game and I’m still having a great time with it and love helping those who create further their reach in anyway way possible!

Again, great work guys and I deeply appreciate the positive response this has gotten!

Hey Everyone! Sorry it’s been such a long time between posts. I’ve been up to my ears in projects as well as finally getting a new job that I should hopefully start at the end of the month!

Anyway, here’s just a quick example of what I’ve been up to, still plucking away at this Cross Plane commission I took on for an enthusiastic KickStarter backer that really just had to have one of these! It’s flattering and I do appreciate the gesture, but man these things are a lot of work! hehe. Not that I’m complaining as this is by far the prettiest work I’ve done to date as I’ve been able to utilize a lot of the skills I learned about 3D printing, CNC machining, case finishing and wireless/HDMI technology. But again, this particular unit is trying to be better in every way to the prototype and in doing so, has made changes that have needed to be tested and troubleshot.

HDMI is a sensitive little bitch that will cause headaches for the simplest reasons. However, these headaches will be totally worth it once the final product is functional.

Still, have quite a bit of work to do on this, the next process being the most time consuming part, the control paks. However, RDC helped me out with these last month so we can actually utilize them the way they were intended to be used back when we did the first prototype, and not the hack job we ended up with.

In any case, I’ll try to be a bit more on top of the postings, as well as looking into maybe bringing on another writer to Downing’s Basement Blog so the down time won’t be so boring and you can have something to read more than once a month! But anyway, I’ll be making more updates soon and hope you have a happy holiday next week!

Oculus_Color_logoWe shall soon see! It’s now official that I will be hopping a plane to the Gold Coast a week from today to have an interview with the team at Oculus VR!

Now most people in the tech sector know full well what Oculus is and what it’s doing to change not just the face of video games, but change the way we interact in a virtual environment. I encourage you to click the logo above to get a glimpse of what this company is about and how they were founded. I never thought that my hacker/maker hobby would hold such professional potential, especially after a few failed attempts to give it a go on my own. But we’ll put a bit of perspective to this as well. As most of you who read this blog know, I held a meet-up back in April that brought 6 amazing modders to my little corner of Concord, NH. This in itself was awesome because of both the caliber of the modders invited and distance everyone traveled to attend. It meant a great deal to me to have them willing to make the trip and was all the more amazing when it actually played out the way it did!

Now, 3 of those 6 that came to the meet-up are now employed at Oculus, sooo yeah…that says something about the company I keep in terms of the hacker/maker circles I’m a part of. And that’s not an arrogant remark, it just states that maybe this hobby of mine has grown a bit more than I thought it was and suddenly I have a chance to be a part of the big league!

I don’t know where this will end up. I’m scared shitless to be all honest with you. I’ve never been to CA, never left NH, no idea if I’ll like the life style, no idea what kind of pressures it will bring having to be on both sides of the country for a time as well. But I do know that good opportunities are seldom given, great opportunities are seldom available and life changing opportunities are only earned. I hope I’ve earned this one.

So for the fun of it, I decided to enter the Hack A Day Trinket contest. Basically they want to see the most creative and fun way their logo can be slapped on something so I figured why not engrave it into the back of my latest project? The PlayStation 2 Advance has now been permanently branded with my favorite blogs likeness.  There are 20 winners and a cool prize (an Adafruit 5v Trinket Micro Controller) for all 20. So we shall see if they like my efforts!

One of the fastest projects I’ve been able to design, cut, assemble and test, the PS2 Advance is a simple but cool looking mod that goes along the lines of the original Cross Plane and makes use of its Breakout Box. Not a portable, but just a dedicated controller with Audio/Video capabilities.

Basically this mod was done as a side project as I was waiting on parts for the N64 project as well as the Cross Plane commission that I’ve taken on. Honestly though, I did this just because I wanted to use up a bunch of loose parts I had laying around the shop and since I’d never done anything with a Sony product outside of the control pak for the Cross Plane, I thought this would be fun.

The build consisted of two AG-85’s from Poly Case. Though originally I planned to use the case as it was, I found that it was very thick and wasn’t all that comfortable to hold. So then I got to wondering, what if I could use two back halves of the case? Well, giving that a shot I found that yes, it would work and felt very comfortable and natural in the process.

A main issue I had to fix though was the top panel that holds the two halves together. I ended up having to mill out my top and I was extremely pleased with how well that fit together. Also, because the back halves were meant to have the screws just slide in and screw into the front half, I had to ditch the screws that came with it mill out a hex slot for an Acorn nut to fit into. This allowed me to use 4 #6-32 x 1.25″ pan head screws painted black to hold the two halves together nice and secure.

As mentioned before, this was just a mod made of parts I already had, with the exception of:

RDC’s PS2miniDS2 Controller Board

Which is a freaking amazing piece of modding technology. The controller board is an alternative to using the real PS2 controller board, which is beneficial as a space saver and is designed for modding situations. Because most controller layouts don’t work for 90% of the modding projects we do, we always end up just running wires to the controller and use a variety of tact switches or custom PCBs anyway, so stripping away all that from the board and replacing them with test points saves a great deal of space. The only downside is the boards need to populated with the original controller components, which can be a bit tricky as it involves hot air rework and a fair amount of time to swap them over correctly.

All in all though, I’m very happy with how this came out and in such a short amount of time. Now that this is cleared off my work bench, I can concentrate on the N64 as well as the Cross Plane commission I took on and am waiting on parts for.

The whole unemployed thing sucks like you wouldn’t believe, but if I look at it on the bright side, it has given me a chance to pursue what I love at the same time while I wait.

Anyway, here is a video of the build process and a demo of the handheld in action. Hope you enjoy!

Shock Slayer finished up a meet-up video from last week and posted it up last night! It’s pretty cool but really just shows a glimpse of what happened over the weekend, but it’s still pretty cool. I really wish we took more pics and video, but the coolest part of this video is a time lapse he did of me doing some recessed cuts with my CNC for his N64 project. That starts at 5:44 on the video time line so skip ahead if you’re in a hurry (and don’t want to get sea sick).