What is it?


It's the project I'm working on in order to review the Gizmo2 single board computer as part of a roadtest here at Element 14.

For my project, I chose to make a retro style games console that plays emulated games initially from the amiga and arcade machine platforms.


Why "Hadron Vortex G2?"


With it being retro styled I also wanted it have a retro type name. The very first video game system was called the Magnavox Odyssey and then came name like Master System and Mega Drive. I think Hadron Vortex G2 fits in quite well with the video console names from the past! (plus it took me a full night to think it up and now I've chosen it, It's set in stone..)


Here's a little more about the project


Software

 

Ubuntu is going to be the main operating system, but it's going to be heavily modified. There is going to be a standard desktop environment for system maintenance and administration but the emulators that are going to be installed will run straight their own xsessions so more of the system resources can be used for gaming instead of having a desktop shell, file manager and all other bits and pieces to slow it down.

 

Hardware

 

The Gizmo 2 is of course going to be at the heart of the project, I won't list it's technical qualities here, I'm sure I'll be including them in more of a dedicated blog. The software is going to run from an mSATA ssd drive, compatability software to use USB Playstation gamepads will also be installed.


There are some GPIO ports on the Gizmo2 that I am expecting to connect other electronics hardware and interfaces to.


Enclosure

 

When this project is finished, I want to have it installed in a custom enclosure. I haven't decided on a final design yet; but do have some ideas, overall I'm hoping to make a futuristic looking console with features from older gaming consoles all in a style befitting a cybergrunge look.

 

As mentioned above, there are some GPIO ports available to use. My original idea was to attach a VFD display, but I already used that in a project for  customer. I do have a 2 x 16 character LCD display with a blue backlight that should fit in well with the look(although I'm considering getting a red / pink version). Some parts of the case are liable to be clear or translucent so I'll also be looking at controlling some LED's through the GPIO too.


Completion Date


I'm expecting to finish the project by the end of May in time for the Gizmo 2 review, that way, Ive got something to base the review around.


I've already been surprised in a few ways by the Gizmo 2 and have reconsidered some of the things I would have expected but never tried unless I was using it in this project.



Lucie