Author Archive: 8bitplus

Current Status – Workshop/Arcade plans

Hello. Its been a while since I last posted an update. We moved into our new house in the middle of February. The house had been empty for 4 years and is completely outdated, so we have a huge amount of work to do.

During this lock-down I’ve been able to start planning my new workshop. I’ve marked out the area I should be able to build in. It gives me an area of 19 x 8 foot. That should be plenty for a decent sized workshop and space for my arcade machines. The building will be breeze-block construction, and too keep the cost down, I’ll be building it myself.

I’ve also been brushing up on my Sketchup skills and done some renders of how it might look.

To get a better sense of the space I wanted accurate models of my 3 arcade machines, but couldn’t find the exact ones in the 3D warehouse. I finally found a model of the Naomi Universal, but not for the Electrocoin Neo-Geo or my Scud Race cabinet. So I made them in Sketchup too 🙂

So As you can see, its a long way to completion. I need to remove the old greenhouse foundations first, level the ground and get a new foundation ready. This project needs to be done alongside the house renovation when I can afford it. Until its build I have nowhere to work and understandably I still cannot accept and work requests. I’ll post more updates as the work starts.

RetroFlag cases for Raspberry Pi

With all my game collection, tool and most of my equipment packed up for the move (see here for details), I’ve been looking for an easy project to keep me busy. Something that doesn’t involve soldering for once.

I recently found out about the RetroFlag line of retro console inspired cases for the Raspberry Pi. Some while back I started looking into RetroPie for a friend, so I decided to build a couple of emulation machines for the living room. One based on the Megadrive case, and the other Nintendo SNES case.

Both cases are very good and could easily sit along the lines of the current mini consoles from Nintendo and Sega. The even feature working buttons for power and reset.
I’ll post more info and details of how I setup these machines soon.

8BitDo MegaDrive Bluetooth Controller DIY KIT

Just finished an article about the 8BitDo Bluetooth controller kit and receiver for the Mega Drive. With this kit you can convert an original 6-button Mega Drive controller to Bluetooth and ditch the wire. It also works with Windows, Mac, Linux and Nintendo Switch as a bonus. Glad these turned up before I packed away my Mega Drive for the move 🙂

Very easy to install and sync, works just as expected. I’ll be getting more 8BitDo kits later for other consoles.

Click here for the full article/review

Keeping Busy Sept/Oct Last Jobs

I was very pleased this month that I got time in between packing up our house to finish the last few jobs I has in. Again I’m very sorry, but no more work will be accepted. So what did I manage to get done? Lets take a look.

Firstly we have a very nice Sega Saturn with a full list of mods. Its got a Region Free Bios, FRAM save memory, Phantom chip, Switchless 50/60hz selector and a PICO 12v PSU. All worked out very well, but I had to adjust the CD-Rom pickup laser to read CDR’s more reliably.

Next I had a large package with two PC Engine GT’s and two Game Boy Lights to recap. The GT’s had display and sound issued which is common when the caps start to fail. All working well now. Game Boy’s were fine and just recapped to prevent problems later.

Then another PSIO to install. Love the stickers on this console. Its well loved and should be even better now with a PSIO.

Finally I had a SSD3 sent over for the RGB and Stereo bypass mods installing. Gives a very sharp picture now and look great on the HD monitor too.

So that it for now. Time to pack up my tools and get moving. I’m planning on building a whole new workshop at my new house so its gong to be a long time before I can take on more work. Dont worry 8bitplus will be back and I’m sure I’ll be sharing my workshop progress later.
Neil.

Sega Neptune mod

Neptune

Almost finished working through the last jobs I need to get finished when time allows. One of which was to build a Sega Neptune console for a customer.

If you haven’t of a Neptune, its a name given to the combination of a Mega Drive 2 and 32X in the same case. This was a fun build and although not as technically difficult as some jobs, just very time consuming.

Basically the consoles are stripped to their boards. The Mega Drive cartridge socket is removed and the 32X is hard wired in place. The video mixing cables are also wired in along with power from the Mega Drive power socket. 

Outwardly it looks like a stock (if slightly heavy) Mega Drive 2. I was even able to keep the cartridge dust flaps working with some modification and trimming. The whole unit only needs one power cable too. I did recommend to the owner to get a new regulated power adapter, and not to rely on the original Sega adapter as this mod will draw more power now.

More info and photos here.

Rare PC Engine LT repaired

I’m still slowly making progress in finishing the last few jobs here. This one was very interesting. A PC Engine LT that would not power up. The power supply was tested and working correctly by the owner, and the LED on the front would light up indicating there was power getting in to the console, but no picture on the screen or sound. Also nothing when plugged into a TV via the Interface unit IFU.

Just like the PCE DUO and GT, the LT’s are prone to capacitor leakage and damage.
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Moving – Decision Time – Status

(Update 26/02/20)

Well the move went ahead. The new house needs a HUGE amount of work. I’m currently living in a construction site. The first week we had no heating or hot water. As quotes are coming in for the work we cannot do ourselves Its becoming clear that I will not be able to afford a new workshop. Therefor its very likely that I’ll not be able to accept work again in the next year (2021) or perhaps ever. I cannot do my console work on the kitchen table for example, or take up any space in the house with children around. A workshop was my only answer.

Most of my collection will have to be sold off too I expect, but I’m dealing with that when I have too. 

(Update 08/01/20)

Finally progress from the solicitors and estate agents. Looks like things are progressing and the move can happen after all. Its caused stress over Christmas not knowing what was happening on top of everything else.

So this will mean I wont be unpacking my tools for work this month, and will almost certainly mean no work orders this year at least. Sorry, but until the house is complete I won’t be able to start working on a new work area.   

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