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Small Games Console With A LCD Screen

Discussion in 'General Electronics Discussion' started by Lyon, Oct 5, 2010.

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  1. Lyon

    Lyon

    2
    0
    Oct 4, 2010
    Hi all,
    I am new to electronics and am wanting to make a small games console (For the learning experience and fun).
    Nothing major, just a small LCD screen with a D-Pad (four buttons) and some other buttons. (Like a gameboy but instead of having cartridges the games are built in).

    It would only be required to run games like tic-tac-toe, tetris, pong, and maybe something like mario.

    So far I have only done programming for windows and linux based machines/consoles, so I know I would have to learn some ASM code (I've read through a few tutorials and it dosen't seem too complex).

    I am unsure as to what I would need in the way of processing and memory storage. Obviously I would like to use a LCD TFT 24-bit screen, but to keep price down I thought I would settle for either an 8-bit screen or monochrome.

    Does anyone have any advice on what Ideally I should be using for processing and memory storage? (Or any advice on this project in general)
    Also would it be possible to code everything in C++ (obviously would require some ASM code)?
    The way I envision it working is to have say a function in a Screen class as :
    Screen::SetPixel(unsigned int x, unsigned int y, Color color)
    {
    //ASM code to set a screen pixel to the specified colour
    }
    If that is not possible and things would have to be done another way please just let me know.

    Thanks,
    Lyon
     
  2. mindthomas

    mindthomas

    2
    0
    Oct 5, 2010
    This is more than possible to make with an ARM like the STM32.
    With that you can even use a 16-bit digital interface with ease - and even controlled by the power of C.

    If you don't want to use an ARM, but a PIC instead, you are going to need a high-speed one if you are going to use an 8-bit display. So a PIC24 or PIC32 would do, as screen updating is too slow on a PIC18 - I've tried it myself!

    You can read more about theese things on my blog: http://elec.tkjweb.dk
     
  3. Lyon

    Lyon

    2
    0
    Oct 4, 2010
    Thanks for the reply, and sorry for being so late in mine.

    I have looked into the STM32, it looks quite interesting.
    I am thinking, with my limited electronics knowledge it would be best to start out with a pre assembled kit and try that out first.

    I have been looking at the STM32 Primers http://www.st.com/mcu/contentid-105.html
    However I have a couple of questions about it.

    Would I need anything else apart from the primer? (Cables, tools, hardware/software)
    It is my understanding that the primers come with a free IDE that allows the use of the GNU C/C++ compiler free of charge with no limitations.
    Is this correct? So I would be able to code purely in C++ and ASM?

    Any information/advice would be appreciated.
    Thanks,
    Lyon
     
  4. mindthomas

    mindthomas

    2
    0
    Oct 5, 2010
    It's correct.
    The Primer is a Raisonance product, and they've made a free IDE which uses the GCC as compiler. You can generate HEX files with that of course, but you can debug lines of code if you use their programming tools, like the Raisonance Rlink.
    The Primer has this USB programming tool on board, so you just connects the USB cable which comes with the packaging, and of you go!
     
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