Sunday, December 20, 2009

NES - Arduino shield

Stopped by blipfest this weekend, amazing music, even better people.

I had ripped a CD4021 out of an NES control a few months ago to test if I build an interface for the Arduino. It worked, but the wires got messy and when I took it back out to test they flew everywhere. I ended up designing a couple of PCBs to make things simpler. I was always worried that home etching wouldn't hold up with the small traces needed for digital design, but everything worked out great. The SparkFun parts library for EAGLE was a huge help.

First board - You can see in the top left part of the board that a drill pad and a track didn't transfer properly. I think I may have grabbed the board too far inside. The oil from my fingers probably botched the transfer. I went along with the etch anyway, since most of it was fine.

Don't even think about drilling by hand, I've done it a couple of times. Do yourself a favor, if you have a Dremel go out and buy the drill press, it's only 30 bucks!

First board in action, you can see the clip attaching the arduino ground. The next design should line up properly with the GND pin of the arduino without an additional wire.

Ran into no-carrier at blip who was also very interested in this sort of thing. With all of the innovative stuff he's put out for the community (I used glitchNES to test this!), it would be a great disservice for him to not have a board. No broken traces on this one, and the logo held very well through the transfer (no smudging).

So now I have an 8-bit lane for controlling my NES, which opens up a lot of (analog?) possibilities.