As I already says in a topic in the Pico8 forum, I'm going to make a Pico-8 stand for a French retro-gaming convention during Fall (at least this one, but I hope to be able to deploy my stand in more locations!)
My goal with this stand is to allow people to discover Pico-8 and I will also run a simple jam for the interested people.
The stand will be made from Raspberry Pi (I have a few of them) connected to CRT monitors (or whatever is available) potentially two CHIP as soon as there is the update that include Pico-8 also connected on CRT or other screen, depending on the availability (hopefully the people that organise that even can lend monitors, that's really handy! :D) and my Picade with a rPi3.
Basically all of the Pi/CHIP will be connected together on a private network (I want this stand to be autonomous, because some convention can't provide an internet access, so I want them to be able to run without an internet access.
So on that network, either a computer, or one of the "Pico computer" will also have an offline BBS that will allow splore to work as if it were online.
I've found how the BBS is working and it's not really hard to make it work using DNS spoofing, but I really hope that ZEP will provide at some point a way to have our own offline BBS (at least an option in the config file to change the BBS address for such uses)
The best would also to directly submit a cart from Pico-8 that would be marvellous, but I may ask too much there :)
Anyway, all the Pi (and I will see for the CHIPs) will run a specialised version of Linux that boot directly into Pico-8 and will provide a way to upload cart to the offline BBS, need to check for that.
Anyway, I'm going back to the original goal of this blog entry.
There is something that all good stand need: a stunning logo, and the Pico-8 logo is a really stunning one because it's blocky and colourful! And how to make it even better? make it shine in the dark using LEDs.
I've been working on that for a few weeks now, and I've finally done the mechanical part, as I have access to a laser cutter, I had great fun today with it, and cut what will be the shiniest Pico-8 logo!
The video is not showing the final version of the electronics for the logo, I've just tucked a ws2812b ribbon on the back to check if the light guide was working well and...yeah as you can see, it works really well! The LED are just driven a 50% then are not even at full power, I let you imagine what it would be at full power.. (and there is still the plastic protection in the front, which is opaque :D
The final version will be using the same sort of components, so it's close to what it will be.
So I will use the variant of ws2812b with RGB+warm white, as it makes better white than mixing R+G+B, an ESP8266 using NodeMCU as firmware, and that's all.
The funny part is that I've especially choose the ESP8266 because it's cheap, but mainly because it's a Wifi chip use NodeMCU because it's a Lua interpreter!
You may ask yourself, "but for what Wifi would be needed for just a logo?"
Simple, it allow you to either:
- update the firmware without the need of a cable
- you can change settings while it's running, like for exemple changing the colour pattern, so we can do funny thing one the logo is set!
If Pico-8 start to have some sort of networking features, we can even think about controlling the logo using Pico-8.. Wouldn't that been fun? :D
So yeah the next step for that part of my project will be to build the electronic for it, (which is basically, fitting it inside) but I'm waiting for some components before I can go further, and make the full application that will run on it, right now, it's just a collection of small test to make sure that it was possible to make that :)
And for the logo, I will put the dxf file somewhere (maybe on github) for people that would want to cut their own, and if ZEP allow me, as it's his logo after all, I may be able sell for the price of the material and the time taken to build it if you don't want it as a kit without LEDs it can also be cun in smaller size.
ZEP if you read this do you have any objection about that? (anyway I'm not even sure that anyone would want a Pico-8 logo at home.. :D
Anyway, that's all for that blog post, next time I will put more on the firmware running in the logo or on the electronic part and a "behind the scene" about the internal of it :)
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