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Everything posted by StarForcePilot

  1. See the original blog post here After building a few all-in-one systems like the STARFORCE PI and STARFORCE NEO I realized that I wanted to do something really special with the console that I grew up with and had the fondest childhood memories: The Sega Mega Drive. Additionally, I wanted to be able to connect other oldschool consoles to it, making a central game feature with a true arcade edge! After nearly a year of testing my girlfriend’s patience I finished it: The Sega Omega Drive Dedicated Oldschool Entertainment System (DOES). Built inside a 1987 Sega AfterBurner arcade bezel imported from the US, this system features an original Sega Genesis 2 motherboard which means the games aren’t emulated and play supremely well via one of the two dedicated systems inside, that collectively support all the popular high-quality analog and digital video inputs. The 4:3 aspect ratio 19″ LCD screen fits snugly into the bezel, and the black matte exterior houses a 5 Watt dual stereo speaker system by Logitech, delivering an impressive deep sound, with the option to connect external audio capture devices or headphones through the 3.5mm audio jack. The Genesis cartridge slot blends neatly into the bezel, supporting the entire library of Mega Drive/Genesis and Master System (via adapter) games, and brings thrilling 2-player arcade action with two essential Genesis compatible controller input ports. The real power lies behind the control panel, which houses an array of video input options, all needed to play those classic video game systems. SCART, VGA, RGB, YPbPr and even HDMI inputs run through internal scanline generators to pump out an awesome arcade experience. Two faders allows for a greater control of the stereo sound from the Genesis, SCART or RCA audio input, while an additional HMDI-output allows this system to run the Genesis in parallel to a connected second console on a second screen! A power port at the side means any console can just be plugged into a video input port, and powered by the system itself – no extension cords needed. Rubber grips are able to hold a Sega cartridge case firmly above the cartridge slot, between the fully functional blazing red AfterBurner lights, giving the gamer an interchangeable marquee and a satisfying arcade environment, every time. The transparant backpanel keeps the internals shielded, while allowing the lights to emit ambient background lighting. The PC Engine SD This was a little sideproject while I was waiting for parts to finish the Omega Drive, but I think it turned out pretty neat! You can read more on the PC Engine SD in my previous post, but as you can see I made it to fit nicely with the look of the Omega Drive. The Sega Omega Drive Dedicated Oldschool Entertainment System cost roughly the same as the STARFORCE NEO to build, around €600, coming mostly from the upscaler/scanline generator setups and bezel. However, it was considerably more time consuming to construct due to the size and the rather complicated wiring. Nevertheless, the end result is very exciting and unique. Marcel J. de Haan SFP Development Team SPECS: Authentic Sega Genesis Model 2 hardware JAP|US|EU Mega Drive/Genesis Cartride Compatible 2x Genesis Controller Inputs (Player 1 & 2) Integrated 19” 720p LCD Screen (4:3) Video Input: HDMI, VGA, RGB, YPbPr & SCART. Output: HDMI Vid1: ArcadeForge’s SLG-in-a-Box (scaler board, Sync Strike and SLG3000 in one) Vid2: ArcadeForge’s Scanline Generator + HD video converter Audio Input: Left/Right stereo RCA Logitech Z130 Internal 5 Watt Stereo Speakers 3.5mm Headphone Stereo Jack Fully Functional Arcade Lighting through 12v cold cathode tubes Extra power output port for additional console (230v) Classic 1987 Sega AfterBurner Converted Bezel Dimensions: 80 x 60 x 30 cm, Weight: damn heavy
  2. Finally finished the Sega Omega Drive - pix/vid coming soon, but here's a preview!
  3. Finally finished the Sega Omega Drive - pix/vid coming soon, but here's a preview!
  4. Amen, it's one of the reasons why I haven't really attempted an NES build just yet. I have a very neat idea in mind though. But first let's finish the one that matter to me: Sega!
  5. Awesome! Just in time, I'll send out a newsletter by the end of next week with more information on the build and SFP development. I'm really close, I have to finish the stickers and add a small cover at the back and then it's done. I'll probably do a photoshoot of it this weekend, but the video will take some time to make and edit. But it will feature the PC Engine SD, as well as the Sega Omega Drive
  6. Cheers Gulps! I'm just finishing my big Sega build so stay tuned for that.
  7. If it went into production, certainly, but it's just a one-off build, and I bought an empty case for 10 pound on eBay. I'm always looking for empty cases online, they're cheap and full of potential.
  8. It's what I was gonna do originally, but adding SCART output made the whole thing full of bare PCBs, hence the GX4000 enclosure. Needn't cost a great amount, everdrive is about 80 euro, and I got a GX4000 empty case for roughly 10 pound.
  9. Few more pics of boxart: Pics & video of it playing incoming. Find the original blog here: https://starforcepi.wordpress.com/2017/04/19/the-pc-engine-sd
  10. It's a one-off, to go with my more grandiose Sega build, but I'll make a build-blog like I did for the STARFORCE NEO so people can make their own. It really is a fairly easy build, the costs go mainly into getting the PC Engine and the EverDrive, the rest is peanuts, even the GX 4000 case I got for 12 euro on leboncoin.fr. I originally bought a different generic case for it, but I wanted something more sleek.
  11. I got a PC Engine for Xmas, and the thing didn't have AV, just RF. So I bought a booster PCB for it that supported SCART, and then I played the R-Type port on it and I was hooked. Then I looked at the prices of hucards and thought, yeah I'm never going to get more than a few games, I'll stick with buying mega drive games. So, one Everdrive card later I had my PC Engine setup and it was ugly, full of bare PCBs. This is why I put it in a GX4000 case, it was slightly bigger and much cooler looking. I definately coulda done white, but this was just sort of a quick little side venture to my main Sega build. Besides, black is more forgiving, and it fit better with the controller (I had a white controller, but it was very yellowed). It's trivial, but I like the entire look of the thing to gel, even going so far as to make boxart for it! I don't plan to sell these individual builds, I mean not directly, maybe when I leave my current contract and I just do a fire-sale of everything, but I like building up systems to a point that they look store-bought. The STARFORCE PI is the system that I'm trying to get off the ground, but that's a bit more complicated than a single system. Thanks for the comment! Cheers! It's a good point, and to be honest, I blew out the first board I used. But I got the second one straight outta japan, seemed pretty legit and I've seperated the boards inside. Also, I make all my systems accessible for later tweaking, I don't always get it right the first go, so I invariably have to go back in. Hot glue is only for last resort or trivial fixins A very particular reason, I was going to have it in the original way, but then I thought that makes little sense: I want the output ports and DC adapter covered up more, and the power button/controller port/sd card reader visible and easily accessible. Especially because the PC Engine has that round 8 pin connecter that has to go in just right, this would be under the GX 'wing' as it were. I'd have to lift up the front, peek under the wing, align the controller plug right, nah. Or I would have to have the controller at the side, but with the PC Engine having only 1 controller port, the symmetry was more pleasing to have it in the middle, and the power button and sd card reader flanking it. SO... to cut a long story short, it was esthetics more than anything.
  12. Ola Retronians, It's been a while since my last build, about a year to be exact, with the STARFORCE NEO. Since then I've been still hard at work with the STARFORCE PI, but in parallel I've been working on my own side project. One major system I built is almost done, the Sega Omega Drive, but in the meanwhile I made a fun little side project with a PC Engine I got for Xmas last year. My latest creation: the PC Engine SD: Built inside a converted 1990 Amstrad GX4000 case, the system features an original first-model PC Engine motherboard which means the games aren’t emulated, the best RGB analog audio/video signal through component, composite or SCART output, full compatibility with PC Engine peripherals such as controllers and multitaps, and an SD-to-HuCard reader using the Turbo Everdrive V2.5 supporting all PC Engine and TurboGrafx-16 games. The SD card simply slots in the front, together with the controller (or controllers via a multitap), and the system is ready to be used. No load times – Plug’n’Play! Relative to my other builds, like the STARFORCE NEO or the upcoming Sega Omega Drive, this was a relatively fast and straightforward build. It took 2 months in total to finish, and cost about €225 to build, including controllers, SCART cable, adapter, and multitap. I would’ve liked to collect for this system, but I noticed prices for PC engine games were just becoming ridiculous, and because I don’t have a childhood connection to the system, I had no problem simply switching to SD cards. It turned out rather nice! Very simple, still quite compact and attractive, and with a really 1990s edge to the look. PC Engine SD SPECS: Authentic NEC PC Engine Model 1 Hardware PC Engine & TurboGrafx-16 Compatible 1x PC Engine Controller Input (Compatible with 5 Player Multitap) Composite/Component/SCART RGB Audio/Video Output SD-to-HuCard Conversion via Turbo EverDrive 2.5 Standard SD Card Compatible (Up to 32GB) Vintage 1990 Amstrad GX4000 Converted Case Dimensions: 25 x 4.4 x 18.4 cm, Weight: 0.9kg (2lbs) I'll try and get some more pictures uploaded, and make a video of it working. I still have a few things to do on the Sega Omega Drive build I'm finishing.
  13. Ola Retronians, It has been a good while since the last update on this forum, so let’s run down some of the developments we’ve had chronologically since the last teaser video. It’s a long one, but then you get some idea of how development goes without capital: 2016-07-23: Last teaser video, showing removable button plate (allowing up to 6 arcade buttons) and a magnified window were back in the design. I vowed to only post again with production details and pre-order date. Prototype 1 was at the CAD designer, Arcade shield was still in development with the Engineer. 2016-07-29: My first child was born. 2016-09-01: Contacted Watermelon Games for licensing possibility of their games for the STARFORCE PI. NG-DEV:TEAM was on board against a heft licensing fee, I figured perhaps WG would be more accessible, but alas they weren’t looking to license. Cool guys though, very interested in our gear, specifically the Starforce Neo conversion of the Minitel (they’re French, so they were digging it). 2016-09-14: Prototype 2 arrives at CAD designer, first version was lacking internals and could not be fully realized in CAD. 2016-10-28: Finished workflow on options to include into the Arcade Shield for our engineer. This would include VGA output via the GPIOs to a scanline generator before reaching the 5” screen. We discussed the inclusion of 2 stereo speakers and a dedicated amp to manage 2watt output. We discussed making the battery optional to press the per-unit cost. 2016-11-03: First meeting with a French-Chinese production company on getting small volume production runs. CAD designs would be delivered as soon as our designer delivered them to us 2016-11-12: First CAD draft of housing is delivered. Questions of the design were answered, and the changes would be made. 2016-11-17: Non-disclosure forms were signed with the production company. Packaging options were discussed. 2016-11-30: Second CAD draft of housing is delivered forwarded to production company. 2016-12-16: First attempt to send STARFORCE PI prototype to production company was tried, failed (La Poste did not accept address). 2016-12-18 until 2017-04-01: Xmas Holiday – Get PC Engine + everdrive, start new parallel project: the PC Engine SD 2017-01-18: Second attempt to send STARFORCE PI prototype to production company was tried,successful! 2017-02-08: The engineer leaves the project. No prototype of the PCB was made by him at this time, nor was an attempt made at a design, unfortunately. New plans are made to simplify the design so the PCB could be made without the engineer. 2017-02-11: Prototype was returned to sender, this time China post did not understand the addressing. 2017-02-27: Third attempt to send STARFORCE PI prototype to the production company was tried, successful again. 2017-03-29: Package arrived at the production company. CAD design, boxart and prototype of the case are now in China, Shenzhen. Request for PCB development was made. 2017-04-21: Still waiting for a meeting with the production company. So that’s as far as we are now. I’ve spent a few thousand euros since the original Kickstarter campaign, mostly for custom or limited available parts and prototypes, each prototype costing around 200-300 to build. As I mentioned, to keep up morale I’ve been working on side projects, such as the recently finished PC Engine SD: And I’m nearly finished with my biggest build yet, the Sega Omega Drive, which I will unveil in a few weeks. I’ll be sure to share some pictures here and make a video. I hope this gives some perspective on the SFP project, and that I continue to tenaciously pursue at least a small volume run of awesome mini arcades. Best, Marcel J. de Haan SFP Development Team www.starforcepi.com
  14. After the top video featuring Arcade-only Games, we cover Console Gaming on the STARFORCE PI! With 23 games from different consoles that look great on the large magnified window,and work flawlessly with different controllers, in 2 player mode, and even on an HD monitor! That’ll be the last teaser video I make on the STARFORCE PI – the next video will be on pre-ordering and producing details, so stay tuned!
  15. I think you'd have to chain it to you desk In the meanwhile, I made a video showing arcade games from Konami, Capcom and SNK on this device, and I'll do a later video featuring console gaming, HDMI out and gamepads connected. Enjoy!
  16. Feedback matters, and listening benefits us greatly. The fresnel lens window was something that I had all but abandoned in the last SFP video, but via Facebook and Youtube people really encouraged me to find another solution, and so here we are with a really awesome huge screen, covering almost the entire window! It's also made me revisit the Arcade Shield (the connectivity board between the RasPi and controls/power/video/etc) to jam more arcade-true features into it. A video comparing the latest SFP videoplayback and emulation with the SFNeo is on its way, but for the time being: check out the significant video playback upgrade in pictures. I know it's slow-going, sorry for that, we're all working full-time jobs and have families. We want to make sure we get all the important parts right and have very clear production agreements before we take pre-orders. This particular unit is being shipped to the production company in Serbia we're working with for a design update and a new rough CAD design which will be used for the production estimate. Once we have this final estimate, we will calculate the per-unit production price, negotiate contracts with vendors and start the pre-order campaign.
  17. Finding Fresnel & Tate - Check our new blog entry on Arcade Magnification and Tate Mode for the SFP!: https://starforcepi.wordpress.com/2016/06/11/finding-fresnel-tate/ UPDATE 22/06/2016 Looks like Magnification is back on the menu, boys! I found a very good lens grinder in China that can cut 2mm acrylic fresnel lenses to size and in volume! I’ll install one into the SFP this week and check the effects, he sent me 3 samples with different focal lengths, so now I’ll check which ones work the best and show you the result!
  18. We're still pretty entrenched in the development stage of things, it moves a little slow due to the budget restraints and skeleton crew, but we're making headway! Check out the latest update on what will be part of the STARFORCE PI small volume production batch: We’re adding a big videoscreen upgrade to the STARFORCE PI, from 4.2 inch 16:9 aspect ratio at 320×240 resolution, to a vivid 5 inch 4:3 aspect ratio screen with 640×480 resolution. Also, we’re adding Switchable Button Plates so users can customize their own button configuration, supporting up to 6x Arcade Buttons. These upgrades are a direct result of community feedback, so cheers everyone!
  19. Yeah, someone pointed it out on Youtube as well, it's okey though, I'm not using the Japanese word for it for the Pi version, was just aesthetically better for a quick Neo logo (the dashes in スターフォース made it too long to incorperate nicely). Cheers anyway Also, Here’s a little walkthrough of the STARFORCE NEO system in comparison with the STARFORCE PI, side-by-side:
  20. Here’s a little walkthrough of the STARFORCE NEO system in comparison with the STARFORCE PI, side-by-side.
  21. Definately, that's why with building your own system you can spread the potentially crippling cost over several months and delude yourself into thinking it's not that expensive... until you tally the cost at the end But in the end, it's very satisfying though.
  22. Here's a vidya of this bad-boy in action! Also, check out how I build the STARFORCE NEO with off-the-shelf components and a few vintage pieces: https://starforcepi.wordpress.com/2016/05/01/building-a-starforce-neo/
  23. Cheers Anthony! You can check how made the STARFORCE NEO on my build blog here: https://starforcepi.wordpress.com/2016/05/01/building-a-starforce-neo/ It features component descriptions & pricelists, trial&error solutions, tips, and tricks to help you on your own compact MVS build. Plus, a comparison with the upcoming STARFORCE PI Also, my other blogs feature a project description of the STARFORCE PI production, more high-res pictures of the STARFORCE NEO and some quiet contemplation on getting a small-production going on a budget -> https://starforcepi.wordpress.com
  24. Hey, crazy Funsters! Let's see this bad-boy handle some choice NeoGeo Arcade Gaming Action in this 10 game STARFORCE NEO vidya! Also, check out how I build the STARFORCE NEO with off-the-shelf components and a few vintage pieces: https://starforcepi....-starforce-neo/
  25. People are digging the SFNeo so much that I’m getting daily requests asking me to build and sell more! That’s very cool, and I’m flattered, but no. Building a system like this is kind of insane, costly and timeconsuming. I've made a build blog that covers the motivation behind the system, the components used, how I made the curved screen with vacuumforming, a walkthrough of the initial hardware test, and the rational behind a rather convoluted video-signal transformation scheme. Check the STARFORCE PI Development blog on the full story: Building the STARFORCE NEO Blog excerpt: 'I kept the general L-shape of the MV-1B board with the black ABS plastic cartridge holder, removed the casing of the scart-to-HDMI converter & power supply and screwed them to the back of the ABS cover. I stacked the scanline generator and SuperGun on the top of the MV-1B board, and made sure it had some space between them. The audio came from two small Logitech speakers that I ripped apart and placed right behind the screen.'
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