Zerk Zone

Pages for the Creations of Ryan Armstrong

Sega Genesis to Gameport Converter

Posted on January 1st, 2017 @ 1:43 pm by Zerker

Hurray, more hardware projects. This one is a bit esoteric, and probably won’t appeal to any but the most dedicated retro gamer.

But that’s OK with me.

It started when I was getting frustrated with the quality of gamepads available for DOS games. Analog Joysticks are easy, but quality gamepads are few and far between. I had two criteria for a gamepad:

  1. It had to have a good D-pad
  2. It had to support both 2 and 4 button games, with reasonable button arrangements for each

The ‘classic’ Gravis Gamepad passes on the second point with the 2 to 4 button switch, but fails quite dramatically on the first one. Most other gamepads I looked up mirrored the Gravis pad’s four button arrangement, but unfortunately this is absolutely terrible for 2-button games.

So I made an adaptor. I picked the Sega Genesis (3 button) gamepad as my source, because, if you count the start button, it has exactly four buttons. And I recently made my Genesis arcade stick, so I’d like to use that for DOS games too.
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Filed under: Hardware |

Sega Genesis Arcade Stick

Posted on February 15th, 2016 @ 10:25 am by Zerker

When I was working on the USB/SNES Arcade Stick, I had originally intended it to be compatible with both the SNES and the Sega Genesis. That was the main reason I used a DA15 port; it allowed me to provide separate pins for both consoles. However, the Arduino appeared to draw too much power from the Sega Genesis on the controller port, so that idea was shelved.

I still wanted a Custom Arcade stick for the Genesis, however, so a new project was born. Due to the problem with the Arduino, I would either need to find a new microprocessor that would function as intended OR… do the project without a microprocessor at all.
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Filed under: Hardware |

Super Mario Maker Courses

Posted on September 13th, 2015 @ 8:08 am by Zerker

So I just got Super Mario Maker. Rather than flood my page with all my levels, I’ll just keep this post updated for anyone interested. Enjoy.

First off, my profile on Super Mario Maker Bookmark. See below for individual links to the courses and screenshots.
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Filed under: Levels |

Arduino Leonardo Custom Joystick

Posted on June 28th, 2015 @ 2:35 pm by Zerker

As hinted at in the previous post: I made a joystick. While you can buy dedicated PCBs for custom joysticks (and I would potentially recommend this for most people), I felt like doing mine a bit more manually with an Arduino instead. And here’s how it looks!

JoyFront

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Filed under: Hardware |

Why won’t my unofficial SNES adaptor work with Super Gameboy?

Posted on June 21st, 2015 @ 12:16 pm by Zerker

So recently I made myself a custom SNES Joystick. I’ll be posting about that later, but I noticed that it wouldn’t work with the Super Gameboy, despite working with other SNES games. I also noticed that my third-party PS2 to SNES adaptor as well as my NES to SNES adaptor wouldn’t work either! Something is clearly up with the Super Gameboy.

So I bought an oscilloscope.
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Filed under: Hardware |

Image Gallery Script

Posted on October 11th, 2014 @ 9:45 am by Zerker

This is a script I wrote to generate an image gallery HTML file for a given folder, or for the Steam Screenshots folder. It will, by default, show the full resolution original image, so it can be useful for browsing a folder of moderate-sized images without having to rely on thumbnails. It can also generate thumbnails of any size if desired. Thumbnails are created into .thumb folders, which will be hidden in Unix-type OSes, but not (unfortunately) in Windows. Finally, the script can double-size and apply aspect ratio correction for smaller images (e.g. NES, SNES or DOS screenshots). These are sized using CSS attributes and do not generate a second copy of the image. Here’s an example gallery of X-Com screenshots with double-sizing and aspect ratio correction.

This can be run without any parameters to create the basic gallery in the current directory. For Windows users, you can also add a shortcut to the script in your SendTo folder to easily create a gallery for any folder by right clicking on it and using the SendTo menu.
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Filed under: Programs/Libraries,Python |

Steam Image Scripts

Posted on October 11th, 2014 @ 9:32 am by Zerker

After finding most instructions for downloading Steam grid view images to be out-of-date, and same goes for the only grid view downloader I could find, I wrote my own.

I also put together a quick library that can create a dictionary of Steam applications on a given profile based on the JavaScript of the profile page (using JSON).
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Filed under: Programs/Libraries,Python |

Convert Midi script

Posted on October 4th, 2014 @ 8:41 am by Zerker

This is script I recently cooked up after picking up MT32 and Roland SoundCanvas sound modules to play midi files and record the playback with said hardware synth. I then encoded the recordings and loaded them on my media player.

If you have a hardware synth (or quality software synth should such a thing exist) you should be able to use this.

usage: convertmidi.py [-h] [-d MIDIDEVICE] convertpath

Converts all mid files in a path to WAV. Uses the tools playsmf to play the midi files and sox to record the resulting audio. Both tools must be present on the system path. You should have your OS configured to record from whichever device the midi output will be sent to ahead of time.

positional arguments:
  convertpath    Path to process

optional arguments:
  -h, --help     show this help message and exit
  -d MIDIDEVICE  Midi Device identifier (default of 1 for first external
                 synth)

This script also requires Python 3.x. I’ve only tested this in Windows due to better support for my sound card, but there’s nothing particularly Windows-specific about the script. It should run fine in Linux with appropriate versions of playsmf and sox.

It also comes with a reset.mid file I downloaded from somewhere to reset the midi controller between songs in case anything gets stuck/confused. I’d love to also give credit for this file, but I can’t figure out where I got it anymore.

Download (1.4 kB)

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Filed under: Programs/Libraries,Python |

Gameboy Screenshot Gallery

Posted on July 8th, 2014 @ 3:54 pm by Zerker

Hello everyone. For the past month or two, I started a project to collect screenshots from (hopefully) every game released for the original Gameboy, and arrange them into a screenshot gallery. Here it is (with some samples), in TWO versions:

Black & White Gallery

Pea-Soup Green Gallery

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Filed under: Uncategorized |

Jetpack levels

Posted on May 17th, 2014 @ 7:31 am by Zerker

So I was reminded recently that I have a bunch of Jetpack levels on my hard drive I’ve never uploaded. Many of these aren’t really that good, some are sort-of embarrasing (World of Words Part 2), but there are a few Gems I’m mostly proud of. Some might actually be created by my friends, but it’s been so long I can’t tell them apart any more. Here they are:

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Filed under: Levels |

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