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Poll

What shall I call this thing?

Blip Jr
1 (14.3%)
Pip
6 (85.7%)
Something else. suggest below!
0 (0%)

Total Members Voted: 7

  

Author Topic: Officially PiP : 08 April : Logo designs  (Read 1531 times)

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markc74

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Officially PiP : 08 April : Logo designs
« on: March 18, 2019, 08:47:07 pm »
Hey everyone. So hereís something I never thought Iíd ever do - build an arcade using a Pi AND an LCD. For shame.

The idea started when I purchased a Pi with no real goal other than seeing what it could do and it was cheap. Installed a Retropie image and played around with it for a while but then realised what a lot of people do after a while in that whilst it's quite cute - it doesnít really have the power to run a full size cab. Back in a cupboard it went.

A short while ago I saw some vids on youtube of micro arcade builds and thought they looked like a fun thing to build - and as a big fan of tabletop games (Tron and Frogger rock) I dusted it off and started looking to see what was out there.

Came across a site that had already throught this through and had a ďpicade hatĒ (https://shop.pimoroni.com/products/picade-x-hat) for sale which could manage the controls, off button and the amp in one tidy PCB. At this point, the lights clicked on and I realised that this wouldnít actually involve any hacking and could be done pretty simply.

Fired up my 3D modeller of choice (AC3D) and started playing around. Ended up with this:



For some stupid reason I'm making the screen rotatable using a lazy susan because vert games look small enough on an 8" screen, never mind in horizontal orientation.

Anyway, got some wood cut...




Glued



And a first pass at filling the gaps.



A little bit heavy handed with the filler but should all sand up ok.

It's really dinky so getting it all together is a bit of a pain but I like that it's simple and want to keep the button count down to games I'll actually play on it. I'm tempted to chuck some Megadrive/SNES games on there as I don't put them on my fullsize cabs but I'll play around a bit more with Retropie and see what works. What I'm hoping for is an emulator that lets you play the old tabletop games but I haven't looked into that too much yet.

« Last Edit: April 08, 2019, 12:25:40 pm by markc74 »

leapinlew

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Re: Blip Jr (working title)
« Reply #1 on: March 18, 2019, 09:05:47 pm »
Nice!

There are definitely emulators that play the old tabletop games. I should have never played them. They didnít age well.

Ond

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Re: Blip Jr (working title)
« Reply #2 on: March 18, 2019, 09:53:19 pm »
Excellent.  I really like how the screen rotation is worked into the design with a matching design/art aesthetic for the CP.  Bravo!   :applaud:

Jimbo

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Re: Blip Jr (working title)
« Reply #3 on: March 19, 2019, 05:07:02 am »
Nice one Mark :)  Looks good.  Only thing I'd say is if you haven't already done so, check it's going to be stable enough on the desk/table.  I'd be worried it'll be very easy to fall backwards with a slight knock or no pressure on the CP, as it looks a bit top heavy to me.  Have you tried a cardboard mockup or tested the centre of gravity? :D

Great design. I'm sure it'll end up just as good as your other masterpieces.  :cheers:

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Re: Blip Jr (working title)
« Reply #4 on: March 19, 2019, 08:02:10 am »
Just brainstorming here but I feel like Pip would be an excellent name for it.  Referring to the fact that a blip on a radar can also be called a pip.  And a pip refers to a speck(a very small amount).

markc74

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Re: Blip Jr (working title)
« Reply #5 on: March 19, 2019, 08:35:58 am »
There are definitely emulators that play the old tabletop games. I should have never played them. They didnít age well.

Yeah there's a lot that are crap but I do love me some Tron and Frogger - although I do have the real tabletop versions of those so it's not like I need to do it. But I did run some original GB stuff on the LCD and it looks surprisingly good via Emulation Station so I was kinda hoping to get a a collection of games I've owned or played on it.

Excellent.  I really like how the screen rotation is worked into the design with a matching design/art aesthetic for the CP.  Bravo!   :applaud:

Thanks chap. It's a tricky piece to make tbh and whilst the spinning works on my mockup I still havent worked out how I'm going to limit/secure each rotation. Was thinking magnets or even less low-tech like a slide bolt if I can find a sleek small one

Nice one Mark :)  Looks good.  Only thing I'd say is if you haven't already done so, check it's going to be stable enough on the desk/table.  I'd be worried it'll be very easy to fall backwards with a slight knock or no pressure on the CP, as it looks a bit top heavy to me.  Have you tried a cardboard mockup or tested the centre of gravity? :D

Yeah I've tested it as-is and it and seems pretty stable. Because the base extending slightly at the back it gives it quite a lot of support. I haven't made the proper LCD mount bit yet but the weight of that should keep it heavier in the centre/front so hopefully it will be ok. Added to that the CP will keep some weight towards the front.

Just brainstorming here but I feel like Pip would be an excellent name for it.  Referring to the fact that a blip on a radar can also be called a pip.  And a pip refers to a speck(a very small amount).

Now THAT I like. I'm planning on making the red dot on the Blip logo the power led but that would just as easily transfer over to Pip too.

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Re: Blip Jr (working title)
« Reply #6 on: March 19, 2019, 08:56:31 am »
That looks purdy for sure.

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Re: Blip Jr (working title)
« Reply #7 on: March 19, 2019, 09:40:32 am »
I love your design.  Very original.

That little Picade X Hat looks slick.  Thanks for posting the link.   :cheers:


javeryh

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Re: Blip Jr (working title)
« Reply #8 on: March 19, 2019, 09:59:51 am »
It's a tricky piece to make tbh and whilst the spinning works on my mockup I still havent worked out how I'm going to limit/secure each rotation. Was thinking magnets or even less low-tech like a slide bolt if I can find a sleek small one

Have you thought about trying to automate it?  I'm not exactly sure how but a small motor should be able to spin the monitor 90 degrees.  Maybe the GPIO pins on the pi could be used to rotate it?  You could have a .cfg file for each game that gets read prior to launch to determine orientation and the motor will react accordingly?  I have no idea how to implement this but food for thought.

EDIT: I love the design.  How are you going to access the insides?  There is no door!  This seems better to me because a door needs a handle and hinges and it leaves seams whereas this design will look nice all the way around.
« Last Edit: March 19, 2019, 10:25:35 am by javeryh »

Alejo I

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Re: Blip Jr (working title)
« Reply #9 on: March 19, 2019, 10:28:33 am »
The design works from a visual perspective because it doesn't ignore the most important thing: proportions.

So many modern LCD cabinets look like utter arse because thin profiles make them look ungainly, frail and lacking stability. This one doesn't. Moving the display outwards is a brilliant idea.

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Re: Blip Jr (working title)
« Reply #10 on: March 19, 2019, 11:30:06 am »
Maybe the GPIO pins on the pi could be used to rotate it?
They can't output enough current to drive a motor directly, but several pins could switch a module with two solid state relays like this one.




Scott

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Re: Blip Jr (working title)
« Reply #11 on: March 19, 2019, 11:33:57 am »
Maybe the GPIO pins on the pi could be used to rotate it?
They can't output enough current to drive a motor directly, but several pins could switch a module with two solid state relays like this one.




Scott

Thanks Scott - does this also apply to getting a ServoStik to rotate?  I'm about to try and get that working with a pi and not really sure where to start...

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Re: Blip Jr (working title)
« Reply #12 on: March 19, 2019, 01:20:01 pm »
does this also apply to getting a ServoStik to rotate?  I'm about to try and get that working with a pi and not really sure where to start...
I'm not sure how much current the Servo-Stik draws, but IIRC most GPIO pins are limited to 15mA.
- A typical LED draws about 20 mA so you'll definitely need an external power souce for the servo.

The tutorial below and ZoOl007 (author of RGB Commander) both look like good starting sources for info on this subject.

Check out this tutorial.

https://andrewdupont.net/2017/04/10/nostalgia-tron-part-1/

Part 8 should have a bunch of info that is very helpful for what you want to do.

RGB Commander can control Servo-Stik switching within linux.

RGBcommander 0.4 has ServoStik support and runs on linux. Have a look at the site.


Scott

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Re: Blip Jr (working title)
« Reply #13 on: March 27, 2019, 12:50:53 pm »
Have you thought about trying to automate it?  I'm not exactly sure how but a small motor should be able to spin the monitor 90 degrees.  Maybe the GPIO pins on the pi could be used to rotate it?  You could have a .cfg file for each game that gets read prior to launch to determine orientation and the motor will react accordingly?  I have no idea how to implement this but food for thought.

EDIT: I love the design.  How are you going to access the insides?  There is no door!  This seems better to me because a door needs a handle and hinges and it leaves seams whereas this design will look nice all the way around.

I'm not planning on automating it when it takes half a second to physically rotate it  ;D. And things are tight enough in there already! In terms of access, the whole thing will be accessed from the bottom which I'll show below.

The design works from a visual perspective because it doesn't ignore the most important thing: proportions.

So many modern LCD cabinets look like utter arse because thin profiles make them look ungainly, frail and lacking stability. This one doesn't. Moving the display outwards is a brilliant idea.

Thanks chap. I was kinda using this sort of thing as my original design but then thought if I was going to square off the front then I could easily rotatable (naive idiot I was!)


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Re: Blip Jr (working title)
« Reply #14 on: March 27, 2019, 12:54:00 pm »
Made some progress over the last few days. Mostly lots of sanding and a couple of primer coats but then realised that it was pointless getting it shiny perfect while I was still working on it on the bench. Iíll come back to the sanding/painting later once everything has been squeezed in and I know it wonít be thrown around too much.







Iíve temporarily added the front buttons to make sure the lazy susan clears the buttons and it does which was a nice bonus as I completely forgot to measure the depth of the buttons when I was designing it!

Access is via the base as it will give access to the CP and the Pi and leave the top part nice and smooth. Added some rubber feet to keep it stable and they seem to work pretty well. The angle looks off in this pic but it rests square on the table so happy days



I know Iíve went overkill a little on the hinges but they were all I had to hand and figured that with the weight of the cab and people resting on the CP the base needed some support. Youíll rarely see them anyway.

Hereís an inside shot of the cabinet. The only real thing of note is the block of wood that Iíve glued to guide the speaker pieces into place.



Speakers will come next and then the spinny display which I think is going to be pretty tricky. I still haven't worked out how the back control panel is going to work (power/volume etc) but itís fun to improvise on the go.

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Re: Blip Jr (working title)
« Reply #15 on: March 27, 2019, 02:08:54 pm »
Excited to see how you implement the spinny display. Keep up the great work.

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Re: Blip Jr (working title)
« Reply #16 on: March 29, 2019, 11:29:15 am »
Speakers n stuff

Iím using these dinky little speakers I picked up online which give out a surprisingly decent amount of volume and bass.



In order to be able to work on this thing in future Iíve been trying to make everything maintainable and thatís involved some pretty lateral thinking in terms of how I attach everything together. If anything goes wrong I want to be able to get into the cabinet and be able to work on stuff.

So Iíve stapled some speaker felt onto a small piece of wood with the speaker hole aready cut:





Then it slots into the inside of the cabinet using the block I attached earlier:



It will be secured at the bottom with a screw that will be easily reachable from the bottom. This is how it looks from the outside:



And finally, I tried some experiments with different control panel layouts as I was keen to see if I could use smaller buttons. In truth I don't like the smaller buttons at all. Size wise theyíre great but they need too much pressure to push down. Ultimately the cab has got to be usable so Iím leaning towards sticking with 2 buttons or seeing if I can mod them in any way.



Thatís it for now. Spinny display over the weekend :)

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Re: Blip Jr (working title)
« Reply #17 on: March 29, 2019, 02:43:07 pm »
What a neat little project - I really like the use of the lazy susan to rotate the screen.  How will you get it to stop at 90 degrees and lock in place?

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Re: Blip Jr (working title)
« Reply #18 on: March 29, 2019, 03:25:37 pm »
Looking good Mark.  I reckon you can get 3 of the normal sized buttons on there for the extra handful of games that use them. 2 in front row, one behind.

 :cheers:

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Re: Blip Jr (working title)
« Reply #19 on: March 29, 2019, 08:21:36 pm »
If you can do 3, heck, do 4.. and become a Vanguard God.. :-)

Project looks amazing, hope it turns out even better than you think it will !!

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Re: Blip Jr / PiP : 01 April : Spinny Vision
« Reply #20 on: April 01, 2019, 08:13:47 am »
SpinnyVision(ô)

I didnít take nearly enough photos while I was doing this as I kind of carried away whilst I was on a roll so Iíll explain a little first.

  • I started with a 22cm square using 9mm MDF and then rounded the corners with a 2cm radius. (piece A)
  • On this piece I cut out the circle from the lazy susan as this is piece that will attach to that (and subsequently to the cab)
  • Then I cut a piece of 5mm MDF and traced the previous piece outline onto that (piece B)
  • With this piece I cut out a space for the display to squeeze into. This means the display will be flush with the MDF.
  • I glued Piece A and B together and sanded smooth and then using a slot cutter against the back side cut a line all the way around for the t-molding





And some more work with no photos (sorry!)

  • I cut some black paper to make a bezel which will cover the wood and LCD surround
  • I flush trimmed a piece of 3mm perspex (piece C)  to the overall frame and then using inset nuts attached the perspex to pieces A & B
  • I stuck everything together using 12mm hex bolts
  • I then ran some ĺĒ white t-molding around the whole thing

Hereís a piccy of how it all fits together



And here it is all done



And some pics with it attached to the cab to check the rotation and see how it all looks together:











It's difficult to get good pictures because it's so reflective... The control panel is kinda in progress so doesn't have the controls in yet. It will also have artwork on but that will have to wait until I've made a final decision on how many buttons I'm going to use.

There's still a lot to do before I get there though. It all needs thoroughly sanding and final painting and I've managed to get some dust under the screen perspex so that will have to come off and be carefully cleaned. The t-molding hasn't fit in perfect either as my slot cutter must have wobbled a bit. I'll chuck some hot glue into the groove to fix that when I'm cleaning the screen.

I like the way it's coming together though.

I've got some questions about power that I need to get together but this post is long enough already...!
« Last Edit: April 01, 2019, 08:15:28 am by markc74 »

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Re: Blip Jr / PiP : 01 April : Spinny Vision
« Reply #21 on: April 01, 2019, 09:37:49 am »
That looks amazing Mark.   :applaud:

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Re: Blip Jr / PiP : 01 April : Spinny Vision
« Reply #22 on: April 01, 2019, 10:36:12 am »
Wow! ---smurfing--- wow!
%Bartop

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Re: Blip Jr / PiP : 01 April : Spinny Vision
« Reply #23 on: April 01, 2019, 01:56:59 pm »
Holy crap this looks fantastic.   :applaud:

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Re: Blip Jr / PiP : 01 April : Spinny Vision
« Reply #24 on: April 02, 2019, 10:52:36 am »
Thanks guys - it's definitely getting there. What the camera doesn't pick up is all the tiny marks and bad paintwork that I need to fix!

I was originally planning on having laminated artwork on the CP (the perspex was going to be used as a flat base for the artwork) but I like the shine on it so may put artwork underneath instead.

Regards to powering the thing... I have a question that hopefully someone can help with.

I'm using a Pi3b in this thing which subsequently powers the screen and speakers. Using a 3A mini USB adaptor I'm still getting the yellow lightning power error icon on screen. I was wondering whether I could use some sort of barrel connector to the Pi (which would be easier to mount in the back panel) and use a higher amp power supply or if I'm just better trying to power the screen separately?

Ideally I want one lead going into it that's easily detachable but I'm a bit stuck on this one. The only other thing I could think of was using the Pi A which uses less power.

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Re: Blip Jr / PiP : 01 April : Spinny Vision
« Reply #25 on: April 02, 2019, 11:18:10 am »
One thing I have found is that you need to use a really good USB cable. I had to test a bunch I had around and only about 3 of the 10 gave enough power to not get the lightning bolt (using the same adapter). But I am not sure if it will ever be enough with the monitor. I have never used one of those so I have no idea about the draw of that.

J_K_M_A_N

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Re: Blip Jr / PiP : 01 April : Spinny Vision
« Reply #26 on: April 02, 2019, 11:55:09 am »
I am mounting a power strip (of sorts) inside of mine so that each thing will draw power from there instead of from the pi (HERE).  As it stands now, I get the little lightning bolt in the corner for just the pi with most cables/chargers I've tried.  An iPad charger seems to work OK (not iPhone - too little).

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Re: Blip Jr / PiP : 01 April : Spinny Vision
« Reply #27 on: April 02, 2019, 03:37:09 pm »
Cheers for the suggestions guys - I'll try a couple of cables and an ipad charger I have to see if the same thing happens. It's odd that I'm using the same kit as the picade (https://shop.pimoroni.com/collections/picade-and-arcade) but getting this problem.

Not sure I can fit a powered hub inside the case either unfortunately.

Unrelated - Is there any advantage of using a micro-usb port to installing a barrel power port? I have a micro-usb extender that I was going to mount on the back panel but it looks a bit of a pain to fit. Certainly more complicated than drilling a hole and hacking a micro-usb cable.

So:
Adapter > Barrel Connector > Micro USB > Pi
or
Adapter > Micro USB extender > Micro USB > Pi

Barrel connectors are new to me so apologies if this is a stupid question!

At this point I'm not sure what I should even be looking for so any pointers are much appreciated :)

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Re: Blip Jr / PiP : 01 April : Spinny Vision
« Reply #28 on: April 02, 2019, 05:47:02 pm »
sonava-gun, this came out wonderful! I love the look of the white t-molding with that dark tinted plexi budded up next to it.  Class class class!

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Re: Blip Jr / PiP : 01 April : Spinny Vision
« Reply #29 on: April 06, 2019, 03:48:31 pm »
Absolutely love this, making me want to start another small build.

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Re: Officially PiP : 08 April : Logo designs
« Reply #30 on: April 08, 2019, 12:39:55 pm »
Cheers for the comments opt2not and GSXRMovistar

I've officially decided to call this thing PiP. Sounds much better than Blip Jr so lots of thanks to jdbailey for suggesting it and anyone that voted in the poll.  :cheers:

Have been looking at different ideas for how to make the logo look and came up with two ideas, one which is plain and flat (which goes with the rest of the cab) and the other which riffs off the radar/pip theme. (Clicking on piccies makes them bigger :) )





I still couldn't decide so printed them out and chucked an LED behind them to see how they looked









I've got to admit that I like them both but the radar one does look pretty nifty. I don't have any green LEDs as I'd have liked to have tested it with one to see how it looks.

Decisions decisions...

Mike A

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Re: Officially PiP : 08 April : Logo designs
« Reply #31 on: April 08, 2019, 12:47:32 pm »
I like the radar image, but I don't think it fits as well on the cab as the other one does.

markc74

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Re: Officially PiP : 08 April : Logo designs
« Reply #32 on: April 08, 2019, 12:59:29 pm »
I like the radar image, but I don't think it fits as well on the cab as the other one does.

That's what I thought but wasn't 100%.  It does go against the simplicity of the overall cabinet though.

opt2not

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Re: Officially PiP : 08 April : Logo designs
« Reply #33 on: April 08, 2019, 01:08:09 pm »
The radar image could work if it were simplistic, black and white only, with more white space in the main circle.

yotsuya

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Re: Officially PiP : 08 April : Logo designs
« Reply #34 on: April 08, 2019, 02:45:18 pm »
The radar image could work if it were simplistic, black and white only, with more white space in the main circle.

This.

Either way, nice job!!
***Build what you dig, bro. Build what you dig.***

markc74

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Re: Officially PiP : 08 April : Logo designs
« Reply #35 on: April 08, 2019, 03:18:46 pm »
Cheers guys. I think the biggest problem I have with the radar is that the circle goes against all the other elements of the cab which are square(ish). Also theres no other green anywhere so monochroming it might help it tie in better.

I knew I'd get some useful feedback here  :cheers:

I'll have a play with photoshop tonight and try some of the stuff you've mentioned.

javeryh

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Re: Officially PiP : 08 April : Logo designs
« Reply #36 on: April 08, 2019, 03:22:36 pm »
I also like the radar but it doesn't fit with the rest of the cab.  The LED is a really nice touch.

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Re: Officially PiP : 08 April : Logo designs
« Reply #37 on: April 08, 2019, 04:07:41 pm »
Cheers guys. I think the biggest problem I have with the radar is that the circle goes against all the other elements of the cab which are square(ish).

I'd go with a monochrome rectangle with rounded corners instead of the circle.
                  

opt2not

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Re: Officially PiP : 08 April : Logo designs
« Reply #38 on: April 08, 2019, 04:20:12 pm »
I actually think it's fine that one small element of the logo is different from the boxy shapes of the design.  It's visual variety and helps break-up and avoid monotonous designs.

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Re: Officially PiP : 08 April : Logo designs
« Reply #39 on: April 09, 2019, 12:52:48 am »
I'm with opt2not, I like the round radar as is.  That and a green LED would be aces.

(Also, man, I like the whole machine.)