DashFest JJ's life and project dumping grounds…

4Mar/100

DoomBOX on Hackaday/G4TV!

I submitted DoomBOX to Hackaday earlier this week, and it was accepted!
http://hackaday.com/2010/03/01/doombox-classic-keys-meet-tiny-screen/

Since then, it went somewhat Viral, and eventualy made its way on TV:
http://g4tv.com/attackoftheshow/attackthis/70051/Technology-Goes-Retro.html

Crazy! Thanks Hackaday for posting my project!

1Mar/100

The DoomBOX

Ahh... the DoomBOX... This is a project I started, and ALMOST completed like a year ago, but then threw it on a shelf where it got dusty... Till tonight..
I dusted it off, and finished it up.. So here's the build:

It all started when I had a Kodak DC290 Camera with a bad lens. These cameras run "Digita" OS, and many apps have been written/ported to it. Various apps, games, MAME and..... Doom.

DC290 Playing Doom

Doom was playable on it, but the button locations are TERRIBLE to play with, and they were wearing out quickly. So I had the idea to cram the camera guts in a case, with nice classic "keyboard" type controls.

I started with tearing the entire lens, sensor, focusing system out and seeing if it still booted... It did.

Look ma, no lens!
Working without a lens

I continued ripping tons of parts out of it, anything that wasnt vital to running doom was taken. Here are SOME of the parts left over:

Leftovers

The camera frame internally supported the numerous boards, and after removed, there was a lof of empty space between them. The power supply board is soldered directly to the mainboards at a 90 degree angle. To reduce space, the boards were desoldered and seperated, then reconnected via wires. The boards were then sandwiched with plastic sheets for insulation, and hot glued in spots for rigidity.

Making it thinner
Way thinner

I then began to ponder control layouts. I came up with a pretty much classic control layout, as similar as playing it on a regular keyboard as possble, but still reasonable in the available space.

layout

Working on the button board. Used a standard radio shack protoboard. Buttons are salvaged from a vintage PC keyboard. This is back when they used to build keyboards with individual switches, instead of a membrane. These arent "clicky" keys however, they have a soft feel. Rather than soldering the wires from the button board to the motherboard directly, I decided to create a 16 pin "header" for easy assembly. You can see this in the photo below.

Button board
Buttons poking

Each button and switch on the camera mainboard now has a wire soldered to it, which goes to a 16 pin plug, which is just a cut up floppy connector/cable. This plugs into the button board header above.

Button wiring

The internals are connected up. You can see, I added a larger speaker, as the original was way too quiet.

Guts

Thats pretty much it! I forgot to take pics of the screen install, but it was pretty simple. Cut out a hole of the case, glued it in place, and used the original ribbon cable to connect it up. The rest of the assembly is trivial. I glued Laptop keyboard keys to the control posts, and used an old Moto Q LCD glass to cover the screen. Added an LED on the top that blinks while loading from the 16MB Compact flash card installed within. It is currently powered by a 7v power brick, but there is room for a battery in the future. It will play mame games also, but eh... I wanted a DoomBOX! Video @ the end of this post

Screen
Completed



EDIT:
Gotta give credit where credit is due. Thanks to James Surine for creating this doom port years ago!