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Toni's Shredz64 Project.


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{this is just some of it, the other part is to long to post. to read to full artical click on the link at the bottom of the page}

This is the (future) home of my Shredz64 project - an attempt to built an interface to connect the Playstation Guitar Hero controller to the Commodore 64 computer, and then build a guitar-hero like game on the C64 utilizing this controller.

Why do this you ask? I recently attended the TPUG Commodore convention in Toronto Canada, and I found hundreds of people still very much interested in the Commodore 64 and expanding its capabilities, even today. I saw some awesome demos of people building network adapters, online games, MIDI interfaces, and other cool stuff for their C64s.

I fell in love with the idea - I love the C64 and I love hacking around with software and hardware alike, so I figured this would be the perfect project! If all goes well, perhaps I myself can present this at next years conference!

Just a heads up, this webpage won't be pretty, its more serving as a log of everything I do on the project. I'll probably move it over to a journal once I get some more done and a bit of extra time.

I recently ordered the arduino development board - it's a programming board for the ATMEGA8 microcontroller with a built in USB interface. It was extremely cheap (~35 for the board, 3 bucks per ATMega8 chip). The IDE allows you to program in C code and upload it straight to the flash memory on the ATMega, which is called by the bootloader on startup.

The ATMega8 is awesome for 3 bucks, it runs at 16mhz, has 1K RAM, 8K flash memory, and 512 bytes of EEPROM memory. Great for a project like this. HOW DOES THIS RELATE TO THE GUITAR HERO CONTROLLER?

Well, long gone are the days when a joystick simply put voltage over a line to indicate a button being pressed. This is true on Atari/Commodore/Sega/Amiga controllers, but nothing recent. Back in the day, if you pressed LEFT, a pin would go high on the 9 pin connector.

Press up, a different pin would go high. A pin for every button, it was an easy life. But now PSX, XBOX, GC controllers have a billion buttons and only a limited number of lines, so they encode the data into a serial stream of packets, just like if you were sending data over a serial connection or network.

In comes the ATMega8 microcontroller. The atmega receives the serial stream of packets, decodes them and figures out which buttons are being pressed. It then puts voltage (or drops voltage) on corresponding lines to the output to the commodore. But before I did that I had to test to make sure my decoding program was working! THIS WAS A NEAT TEST.

megaboz shredz64

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