Within the last few years, Atmel Microchip has come out with a few new parts in the ATtiny series. They’re quite cheap, even in single quantities, but they’re also very limited in terms of specs. In particular, the ATtiny104 has caught my eye due to having 12 IOs in a fairly small 14-pin SOIC package with a $0.70 price tag for a single piece. Keep in mind though, these parts only have 1kB of flash and 32 bytes of SRAM. Hackaday did a write-up when the 102/104 series was first released and they were “scratching our heads and asking what this chip is good for”. With that glowing endorsement, I rushed over to Digikey and bought 30 of them, because… You know… I’m sure I’ll figure out something to use them for.
I realize what this looks like. First it was the Game Boys and now an N64? But it’s not like that, I’m not a retro game collector – It’s not even mine, I swear! I’ve never even seen it before, my girlfriend must’ve bought it! Yeah, that’s what happened.
So my girlfriend did actually buy an N64 and a copy of Pokémon Snap recently due to childhood nostalgia (not that I can relate to that…). She set it up, plugged in Pokémon Snap, flipped the power switch and… Nothing. We tried a different game and that loaded up just fine. “No problem”, I thought. “I’m an engineer. I can solve this with my vast intellect and extraordinary skillset”. Well, it turns out that wiping down the contacts with rubbing alcohol didn’t solve the problem, so I did the only reasonable thing left to do and gave up. Continue reading Repairing An N64 Cartridge (Without Blowing In It!)
I’m a big fan of the old (and recently-rebooted) TV show Mystery Science Theater 3000. If you’re not familiar with the show –where have you been for the past 30 years?– it’s set in space and features Joel (or Mike or Jonah, depending on the season) watching and making fun of B C movies and his robot friends. Just before the commercial breaks in the first few seasons, they showed scenes from a miniature, futuristic cityscape with an iconic Mystery Science Theater 3000 billboard.
In my previous post, I talked about the motivation behind my updated “Block M” LED pin and compared it to the previous iterations to show how far it’s progressed since I designed the first one nearly 10 years ago. Today I’m going to wrap up by going over the electronics, code and power optimizations.