Asteroids Mini Arcade Machine

7:14 pm Uncategorized

Here’s a tiny Asteroids arcade machine I built from scratch. It uses a vintage 3″ round cathode ray tube driven from an amplifier board and high voltage supply of my own design.

A friend of mine ported his 6502 emulator to an STM32F4 Discovery board so this arcade machine is able to run the original Asteroids program without any modifications. The STM32F407 processor has two DAC outputs which work perfectly for driving the X and Y deflection inputs on the amplifier board.

Turns out the ST Micro part is really good for driving displays like this. Not only do the DAC outputs work great for deflection, but the hardware floating point really speeds up things like 3D vector rotation.

Come find me at the Bay Area Maker Faire! (May 17 and 18–go buy your tickets now!) I will be located in the Fiesta Hall (the dark room with the Tesla coils). I’ll set up a second arcade machine running some additional demos, including a Super Secret Game. You’ll just have to come and find out what it is.

7 Responses
  1. Sebastian :

    Date: May 26, 2014 @ 12:38 pm

    Wow, i love this design! I have a bold request: i have an asteroids board, i have several CRT-tubes (from tiny b/w tv to a slightly larger color-tv). I’m really looking for a driverboard that takes the deflection outputs of my board and pumps that to the tube. Can you share your design for inspiration?

  2. eric :

    Date: May 26, 2014 @ 2:32 pm

    glad you like it, Sebastian! what you’re asking about is a fairly complicated project. your TV CRTs require magnetic deflection, so your best bet is to rewind the yoke that came with the TV so that it will work with the Asteroids deflection amplifier board (getting the coil impedances right is pretty important). then you’ll have to figure out how to add a load inductance to the TV power supply circuit so that it can run without the horizontal coil attached and still drive the flyback transformer. my board simply won’t work in this case because it’s designed for electrostatically-deflected CRTs.

  3. Tobias :

    Date: June 7, 2014 @ 1:46 pm

    Very nice work!
    Would your friend publish the port, instructions or files to the discovery board? I do not usually re-create someone’s else project, but this one is worth it! =)
    Congrats

  4. eric :

    Date: June 8, 2014 @ 6:34 pm

    good idea, i’ll have to ask. it’s my friend’s code.

  5. Tobias :

    Date: June 15, 2014 @ 9:34 am

    Thanks!

    I went forward and bought a set of boards, expecting your friend will say yes =)

    Just having trouble with the ZDT1048. Mouser, Digikey and any other well known supplier I tried does not have it in stock. Or any SM-8 dual NPN with similar specs for that matter.
    Do you mind sharing where did you buy this component?

    Thanks,

  6. eric :

    Date: June 21, 2014 @ 3:08 pm

    Tobias: Mouser has 1K on order. They must have just run out of stock because I ordered a few just two weeks ago.

  7. Tobias :

    Date: June 22, 2014 @ 7:12 am

    That is my lack of luck working against me! Hahaha
    I just placed an order with Quest. They had plenty stock. It just took me a while to find them. Thanks!

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