Amiga CD16 Hardware

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marchegiano
dirty sailor
Posts: 183

Amiga CD16 Hardware

Post#1 » Fri Dec 03, 2021 11:57 pm

To Recap what we are doing in this thread:

I'm on still on the sbc but I got redream going so I snuck in a little game play session.

You ain't wrong Ian. I probably won't play any other version ever again. This is a lot funner than it sounds and it sounds fun.

Not meant as any disrespect toward prior releases, but this one really works and imo is the king of the Amiga CD 16 line. Everything is coming together just beautifully. I love the bios plus video intros, the music really does bring a whole new level of enjoyment, and the gameplay is so good now that the LEDs are gone I forget what I am playing on. Knocked this one right out of the park. I didn't have anything against the LEDs but now that they are gone I am pro-no-led.

I VERY much appreciate the audio levels!! Perfect. Beautiful representation.



Playing was really inspiring. I don't know why right now, because I have not looked for a reason, but on my old PC redream ran the DC bios. On my SBC my new download of ReDream does not run the DC bios. It just goes directly into the game. I didn't like that when I booted DC games but when I booted Amiga CD 16's IK+ I sure loved it. I never really considered the impact two bios back2back has. Amiga CD16 being a real DC Hardware project is definitely super cool and I don't think anyone here would have it any other way, but there is a coolness to the Amiga bios video starting things off that I didn't anticipate I would enjoy so much. It really makes it feel like this was once a console.

I have a lot on my plate atm, obviously won't be doing anything digital for a while given my HDD is crapped and I'm already on a time constraint thanks to my work, but, soon as I am able I'm going to try to make a "console"

Obviously really what I'm saying is I'm planning on make an Amiga CD16 shell. Would be really cool if the inners were DC hardware but I just can not bring myself to do anything like that. I thought about it but even if I bought a new DC I wouldn't be able to de-shell her on purpose with no issues to the OG shell or anything. Maybe just for a bit, like for a video, but I'm leaning much more toward this SBC or something like it being the hardware portion of it.

I don't have anything really worked out yet, it's just an inspiration. I just know loosely, I'd like to make a shell to put a little tiny computer in along with a disc bay. Then I'd like to take an emu, not sure which yet....whatever works best I guess. but I'd want the emu limited down and a bit automated. None of that GUI library stuff redream does but instead automatically loads the games. Don't need any bells and whistles like debug and whatnot, saving would probably be the only emu function outside of playing I'd be interested in retaining. Anyway, once I have the "console" made and ready I'll get to work with some printed cds and with art and such nonsense. I can't hardly get MILs pressed for something like this but I could make decent looking burned discs with pictures on the backs of them for representation and photopaper printer books and inserts to make it all look the part.


So that in the end she looks and acts like a console but really is just some fantastic ports by Kremiso and Ian.


Once it is all done, if I am able, I would take it another step and try to make a lame 90s commercial too....maybe...80s? Like as if it came out and the whole entire world just missed it.

Just for fun. I wouldn't sell anything like this to people. I'd like to present it like it's something that used to be for sale not something I'm selling. That said, at any point in the project if anyone wants something like this I'll do everything all open so you don't have to take my word for it. Plastic is too expensive to say I'd make one for free but if y'all are into it or get into it I'll make a thread and give a full howto along with the wheres and costs and such and if the work seems beyond anyone they can just ask me and I'll do it at cost. Not for profit, if anyone should profit it should be Ian and Krem not me.

It's just all very cool and I'm not a digital worker really. I make molds and want to make one for this super cool project.

If no one's into it, don't worry, I won't bug you guys much about it or bring it up much. I'm def going to show it off though.[/hide]


I am no artist but to give folks and idea of what I'm thinking I've made a couple mock ups:

AmigaCD16Concept1.png

:lol: didn't realize having no BG and using black would be so unreadable. Sorry folks.


I'm not married to anything you see I just tried to combine a bit of CD32 with DC design and just a splash of genesis....and a little bit I got a new version of gimp and it's all laid out wonky so some choices were just laziness or frustration.

Video - In my first post on the subject I didn't really consider how USBs and HDMIs gives away this is not 80s hardware. I know there are plenty of converters for video output so my only plan there it to take whatever output the device has on it naturally and convert it to an older output in the shell leaving just the video converter's outputs to be plugged into. This assumes HDMI and RBG but given converters usually have multiples it'll probably end up taking RBG, VGA, and maybe even Coaxial.

Slide switches - for both the power and lid opening switches. The CD32 had a slide and press switch, as did the genesis.

USB to DB9 - I couldn't get the shape right but those pill shapes represent DB9s. It is actually something I did years ago doing something similar to this. I made a modern computer look very old with toggles and DB9 and such. A DB9, jic, is the controller input on the Amigas and old Sega consoles. These would be functioning USBs, probably 3.0s but if I can do C's I will. Probably limit them down to 2 since no games, that i know of, actually supports 4 and 4's kind of another modern give away.

Ribbed vents - Not sure what they are actually called but I am sure you guys get what I mean. Those are not meant to be stripes I just suck at art and can't do perspective or depth. The same kind of style as what's on the CD32 opposite the disk bay, on the genesis opposite the cart port, and kind of on the OG Xbox almost exactly like I have it running along the sides.

Barrel Plug - I just mean I won't allow the power block to be a micro usb or some such similar dead giveaway. The older power converters that use the round plug will do fine, those have been around forever.



I don't think it needs a fan but probably best to put one in anyway given old hardware always had noisy fans.

I was already planning on moding a controller shell but looks like the only thing I can keep is the board itself. I'll make some art eventually for the controller. Just a simple d-pad with a couple buttons wired db9 controller. I like the slate grey, red, and whit scheme so probably just stick with that.

Straight up ripped off the DC lid and general shape. A lot of elements are shared between the CD32 and Gensis but that's more because the CD32 and Genesis had a lot in common than me including Gensis elements on purpose. The only things Genesis on purpose is a bit the layout on the lid. Originally I was just going to mimic the DC even more but the I wanted to add the 16-BIT logo from the Genesis. There were too many 16's though so I swapped it with the CD16 logo made by Ian. The check is abouts where the DC swirl would be. The Amiga tag is abouts where is says Dreamcast on a real dreamcast. The commodore logo on the front is about where the sega logo on the dreamcast would be.

The CD32 has a clear view port. I wanted you have one on this but couldn't work it in.


Here again colored:
AmigaCD16Concept2.png
AmigaCD16Concept2.png (12.24 KiB) Viewed 1624 times


It's not great but it is a start and gives folks a visual for what I'm talking about.



I'm going to go look at some android and linux and what not little tiny computer solutions now. Once I have a working configuration that will dictate that layout of the shell quite a bit.

I'm open to any and all suggestions on any of it. Nothing hammered down yet, just ideas at the moment.

I tried a bunch of different format options. Sorry about the leftover tags. I was trying to make the words more of an optional read but didn't find anything that works.


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marchegiano
dirty sailor
Posts: 183

Re: Amiga CD16 Hardware

Post#3 » Mon Dec 06, 2021 7:29 pm

Again, everything open to suggestion.

AmigaCD16Concept4.png


Well...alright I got the contrast so y'all can read it but now I've made the pics themselves too small :lol: dummy
This first one I show in the color I like most, a very dark grey, and the poorly made CD is meant to show an old school clear hatch similar to those you used to see on floppy disk containers except of course clasped with a button. It's just an idea to an early mimic of the cd32's view window. I was trying to think of something more basic that would serve the same purpose. Like as if the 32 built off the 16's design.

This time I ran the ridges along the back.

Vertically orientated slide switches for both power and opening the hatch

DB9 connectors for controller ports

Toggle switch for Throttle, Music, and Keyboard. Music would be a momentary toggle - toggle switch that has to be held to be active. I just love old toggles myself. Maybe rockers instead, maybe not put switches on it for controller functions at all. Thought about having Save and Load states on toggles too but figured after 3 you get the idea.

Not meant to be replacements for controller functions, just in addition to.

Trying to not hide the speed of it but rather lean into it, like a marketing gimmick.

Colors are just idea too

AmigaCD16Concept5.png
AmigaCD16Concept5.png (7.34 KiB) Viewed 1472 times


I have a daughter with Cystic Fibrosis. The awareness color is purple.

AmigaCD16Concept6.png
AmigaCD16Concept6.png (7.33 KiB) Viewed 1472 times


Lighter grey, white and beige look really bad with the red.

AmigaCD16Concept7.png
AmigaCD16Concept7.png (7.31 KiB) Viewed 1472 times


Woodish, I made my brother an emulator box years ago out of wood. People seem to really like a wood shell. Before I made molds I made wood furniture so I made one brown to represent wood. This isn't meant to be actually brown...well not one shade anyway.

AmigaCD16Concept10.png
AmigaCD16Concept10.png (7.23 KiB) Viewed 1472 times


It's red white and blue.....I almost put a few stars on it. You could put a white star over the CD hatch, or a Union Jack, or a French flag...I don't know if it has a name but you get the idea

AmigaCD16Concept9.png
AmigaCD16Concept9.png (7.27 KiB) Viewed 1472 times


The closest to pink I could get without it looking horrible

AmigaCD16Concept8.png
AmigaCD16Concept8.png (7.25 KiB) Viewed 1472 times


Christmas? Army? Put a gold star on it and bam, it's army, Exchange the Amiga Check for a candy cane and you got a Christmas special



I started to think about controllers but before I do anything I want to make sure I know all the controller functions. I don't think, for example, we need a start button for anything. I'm not sure if B does anything except Music. Right there is some play, can nix start and instead of having a true B make a button that serves as A+B and call it Music. or maybe just M or some such....actually putting a note over it might be best.

Once I know for sure, I mean i'm pretty sure I know but JIC, once I absolutely sure I know I'll get to work on a controller design. I'm thinking very Gensis at the moment.




Side note, a VMU has no place other than being a simple memory card for something like this, but, I think it's really sad that even now I can't get anything like a modern VMU. A fool can't even find a phone with a d pad and four buttons only two of which are for gameplay let alone something with software similar to the DC-VMU interaction software.....I just wanted to complain about that.


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marchegiano
dirty sailor
Posts: 183

Re: Amiga CD16 Hardware

Post#5 » Sun Jan 23, 2022 10:34 pm

Alright lads, I do hate how long work keeps me from my hobbies sometimes, but on the upside I am super motivated to get going with this.

I've done some buying


After looking at what's required and what emulators are on what platforms, I think the cheapest way to go is one of the many failed android based mircoconsoles and htpc.

Given the goal is to try to recreate something like what could have existed in around 89-90 we don't need to worry about the power needed for the bells and whistles end of emulators. Since old, free, stable ReDream works on ARMv7 cpu's, less than a gb ram, and Android 5, I think we're looking at around 10-30 dollar, US, hardware for base.

I picked up a Mad Catz MOJO for $20 on Ebay. I went with the MOJO because I am most confident it can run redream out of the new-old stock of Android based hardware I saw on Ebay.

I think an Ouya or Nexus Player could actually handle redream and android 5 just fine as well. I saw some of those as low as 10 bucks, but I figured may as well get the more powerful one because it's still pretty dang cheap.

I picked up a usb powered external dvd drive for $13 as well. I've already used it, it seems fine but being so cheap I'm still a little suspect. Maybe that's part of getting old.

DB9's are super cheap. I spent 10 there too but didn't have to. I got some fancy easy-wire ones. I've already tested them with some 4 dollar USB-to-head connectors. Simple as clipping the leads to the header pins off and wiring the USB to the DB9 to create USB-to-DB9 solution

HMDI-to-VGA was 8

Toggles were also 8

LED diodes were 4

Total so far is 67 but the majority of that is a bunch of optional stuff. If someone wanted to make the same thing as a DreamPi but on cheaper hardware they could stop at the android based 10-20 bucks hardware and just get a 3d-printed case.


----
I am much more nervous about making things run idealistically on android as I am on a computer OS, Windows or Linux. I'm sure Android can handle it but on Windows and Linux I already know how to do stuff like make autorun discs or replace explorer.exe with a different program as shell

Similarly, I'm not so sure about redream. I love that if I have no bios it goes direct in to the amigacd-16 pseudo-bios, but I want to mimic classic console interactions. I have no use or need for redream's library-based GUI and it looks way too modern to be an 80s-90s thing. redream, to my knowledge, has no disc-reading function either.

Basically what I am saying is when I first got the inspiration it was centered around how I would do it in windows, but now that I'm committing to android I'm not so sure I can mimic the put disc in, turn on power, see bios/game booting procedure a console from the era would follow. Likewise, with no game in the disc bay I don't want the console booting to a desktop or homescreen. I mean, of course I do just not a modern looking one. And since redream is not open source I'm not sure how far I can take it. Even if I mimic what is shell on windows on android with redream as shell, turning on a console and seeing redream's gui, even if you get rid of the logo, is just too much. Should be a clock and cd player or some such.

----


As soon as I can I want to try to mockup at least on more concept art for the shell before I start to commit to the mold work.

On that, to be clear, I am a tooling expert. I don't have the heat press equipment. Which means the sort of polymers I use are a lot more expensive than what people are used to paying on the consumer end.

People associate plastic with cheap because all they really experience is cheap plastic, but there's a whole world of possibilities in polymers from weaker than glass to stronger than steel.

Which isn't exactly right for what this is meant to be, there's no way Commodore was going to put out a game machine made of plastic that wasn't invented until the 2000s, is pretty expensive, and is much stronger than most any other consumer electronic's shell.

Personally, I am fine with it but that doesn't mean you guys have to be. I'd be more than willing to ship my originals to someone who does have a vacuum former so that they can create cheaper shells, but unless y'all find someone who has one I can't help but make a really strong shell. Likewise, I'd send it to some one with a 3d printer big enough to print them. I'm not at all a fan of PLA or ABS, but, whatever float your boat.

---


Alright buds, see you on the next update.

kremiso
Metallic
Posts: 840

Re: Amiga CD16 Hardware

Post#6 » Mon Jan 24, 2022 3:18 am

you are putting a lot of passion behind this project :)
I read every update with interest, keep it up !

User avatar
marchegiano
dirty sailor
Posts: 183

Re: Amiga CD16 Hardware

Post#7 » Tue Jan 25, 2022 1:42 pm

kremiso wrote:you are putting a lot of passion behind this project :)
I read every update with interest, keep it up !


Thanks man, I very much appreciate it.

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