We are excited by the response. We will release a detailed product video in the next 7 days that will explain more of what the SYNTHBOY+ can do. We are working on it now. I will also update everyone to what we are up to every 7 days. Planning the update for every Sunday. We are excited to share our ideas with the community and would love to have some constructive criticism as to what could be tweaked and designed better as well as what you would like to see. Please let others know of our project so we can build this community and make some great 8 bit sounds together.
We are taking a small break from the build of the Prototype II to focus on getting this Kickstarter funded so we can get these projects off of the ground.
We have released the SYNTHBOY+. Here is the link to the Kickstarter.
Some of the features include, a very cool GBLFO filter effect by NeX for LSDJ. Enhanced midi CC control of mGB, very efficient DB9 connector that contains all of the necessary connections, including data I/O – prosound and power. We added perfboard so you can expand it with more upgrades and customize it to your liking. We hope you enjoy it as much as we have building it. For more information, click on our SYNTHBOY+ link in the top menu.
Having seen others solder wires directly to the front PCB of the Gameboy and having done so myself, I decided there must be an easier way. Using the proposed method you can get all of the functionality of the Gameboy by only using 6 wires. Here is a comparison of the original schematic and our altered one.
Knowing the Dpad would not get used as much in these rack mount units, at least in comparison to gaming, I figured we could get away with a smaller joystick type switch. Sparkfun then seemed to release their breakout board at the same time as we were looking for it. We soldered the diodes for the joystick under the joystick breakout board. The mode switch and mode LED’s are also on this board leaving no room.
This entire package had to be very small. These four were built on perf board as I will probably be tweaking this design for some time. Then when I feel comfortable I will make a dedicated PCB for it. We tapped into the connecting cable to allow ease of use. Disconnecting it from the top PCB is a breeze using a chopped up connector from another bottom PCB and cutting into the ribbon and scraping off the plastic to create another slide on connector makes this easy to accomplish and we have all of the parts! Sand down one of the original A or B buttons, press the square peg into the center and now you will have a functioning joystick with some original look.
This is the test station to test these as we complete them. Since this is on perf board and the size is so small, the soldering has been challenging! For the person who counted 7 wires and was like “wait a minute”, please realize I always give myself an extra wire when building test stations. Because you never know.
The best way to do this was to have the metal punched out with a punch press, however since I only had two units to work on I decided to cut the slots out with my plasma torch. Using the plasma torch makes this quick and won’t warp the 16 awg steel. Needed to make a wooden template out of three quarter ply.
The template makes this a precise cut. Wood also does not conduct electricity and is reasonable as an insulator. All four cuts made in less than two minutes.
Clean up done with air tools and metal files. Once cleaned up a nice sand job with 400 grit and a quick coat of semi-gloss enamel around the edge.
Not surgical, but it works and I’m happy with the result. Next post we work on the breakout board for the D-Pad and A and B buttons and the Select and Start buttons as well as the mode button and the mode LED’s! Yes, pretty complicated and it has been one of the most challenging problems to solve. Mostly because of the limited space in the front panel available for it and all of the functionality needed in it!