May 15, 2016

XBox retro games emulator part II

In this section I connect up the front panel socket for the game controller to a USB plug, so that it can plug in to the Raspberry Pi USB port.

For this I bought some USB plugs and some 4 conductor wire. The plugs have a little groove where you can solder the wire on. You can also get USB plugs with wires already attached, which might save you a soldering step. Note that normally USB cabling has red, black, green and white. I am using a telecoms cable here, so I will need to be careful with the colours.

With the wires soldered, it's time to assemble the plug. Remember that this end of the cable will connect the controllers to the USB port on the Pi. If you used a standard USB cable, make sure the correct colours go to the correct pins. (e.g. Check the Wikipedia page on USB.) For me, I just had to make a note of which colours I used, so that I can connect the other end of the cable easily.

Now for the other end of the cable. The ports for controllers 1 and 2 go to a common header that connected to the motherboard.

I am taking a gable here in guessing that the XBox does use the standard colours for USB cabling. As can be seen elsewhere, the yellow cable for the controller is not used for USB.

I cut the plug off here, stripped the red, black, green and white wires, put on some heat shrink tubing, and soldered the wires together. If your USB cable was standard colours, then connect red to red, black to black, green to green, and white to white. (Yellow is not connected.) Shrink the tubing over the solder joints to insulate it.

May 11, 2016

XBox retro games emulator part I

I wanted to build a retro gaming system. Simple enough idea. I have a spare Raspberry Pi lying around, so why not install RetroPie on it?

Again, simple enough, but of course games are not so easy to play using a keyboard. I really need some game controllers, as well as some kind of case for the Pi.

Why not get an old XBox? The controllers can interface to USB, it has a power supply, and plenty of room inside the case presumably.

Vky commented "So you're using the biggest console ever to house the smallest pc ever?" Like I said, plenty of room.

Opening up the case shows that it is full of all this XBox stuff though!

I'll need to get rid of some things. That hard disk can go for starters.

As can that DVD drive. What were they thinking?

There's still a big circuit board I don't need. Out it goes.

Actually the mounting brackets for those drives might be handy. They can go back in.

Now to put back the Xbox drive tray cover. 


Stand by for chapter II as I start to wire in the new bits.