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Old 04 January 2010, 07:03   #1
picman
 
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Portable Amiga anyone??

I have had an idea of producing a portable amiga games machine.

This will involve buying a faulty PSP, removing the main board, and replacing it with a new one.

The new board will have 32/64MB sdram, 1.6M gate FPGA, a 1.8" harddisk, and maybe a sd/sony memory stick.
It would utilise the psp's lcd, buttons battery etc.

The games machine would also be able to run retro games like pacman, defender, frogger etc.

It will be a port of minimig, with a full booting hd.

Would anyone be interested in such a device and is it worth the effort?



I have posted this on another amiga forum, but because i am from England, would welcome some comments from us brits.....

I welcome your comments.......
 
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Old 04 January 2010, 07:09   #2
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Have you seen the stuff the guys do over at the benheck forums? If you cant fit your minimig board into a PSP perhaps you could use all the buttons, joystick and LCD from a dead PSP built into a custom case.

http://forums.benheck.com/
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Old 04 January 2010, 07:37   #3
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It will fit into a psp, i am using the psp because of the price of a custom case is too expensive to make.
You can buy a faulty psp off ebay for around 25, which includes a good lcd, battery buttons etc.
 
Old 04 January 2010, 08:22   #4
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will it support A1200 games / aga ?
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Old 04 January 2010, 10:35   #5
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minimig+arm board on a custom smaller PCB will not support AGA unless someone writes some serious updates for the minimig.
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Old 04 January 2010, 11:20   #6
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@picman

instead of looking at Faulty / broken PSP you could look at the MP5 (PMP) market

>Portable Media Players< (some can be sourced for around $60

here are some links from www.dealextreme.com

Linkie 1
Linkie 2

Although its worth mentioning that the PSP shell can be bought for a little over 10 and the screen can be also bought for around 15.

(click image for ebay.co.uk BIN 11.99)


(click image for ebay.co.uk BIN 9.99)


(click image for ebay.co.uk BIN 17)


(click image for ebay.co.uk BIN 12.99)


----------

There thats should get the creative juices flowing =D


Now I would love an FPGA Amiga-ness with 8mb fast / 2mb chip and large harddisk support, AGA can come later, after all 95% of the Amiga software library is OCS/ECS anyway.

Serial port
External mouse / keyboard support a must (usb or wireless)
TV out (HD/SD)
MIDI *for fits and gigles*
LAN *to say you can*

I also think that if you could bundle multi-FPGA soft-cores in ROM (like Megadrive / NES / ZX / NeoGeo / CPS1 / CPS2 ) this would indeed be a great

yeah.... if you could build that then Yummy =D

of course the biggest limmitation you will come accross is the screen resoution, the PSP screen is 480x272 pixels, fine for low-res stuff, but hir-res gets croped in the X and hi-res-laced gets brutalized in both X,Y
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Old 04 January 2010, 12:39   #7
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@picman: I may not be a Brit :-) but us Greeks have "patent" as a synonym LOL
Some of you may already know that i have built the A600 lappie, so i guess i got some credit points there.. Anyway, do you sir, have the means and experience to design such a thing? Meaning, paper long-lines, sketches, schematics and materializing of what's drawn at the end of the day? I believe that the interfacing with existing hardware is the simplest task of the whole. If you can manage to design the main board, and do so with a means that will cost less than a Minimig -unless yours is loaded with a lot more features, then yes, you got a target group waiting! I believe that although the Minimig is a briliant device, the cost of buying it is a bit forbidding, since 20-30 pounds can get you a normal A500 nowadays. Ok, maybe the A500 hasn't got a built-in VGA out, PS2, card reader what-have-you, but when you weight it down it comes easier to the pocket. Of course it ain't portable.. but you never know!
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Old 04 January 2010, 14:07   #8
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@picman: I may not be a Brit :-) but us Greeks have "patent" as a synonym LOL
Some of you may already know that i have built the A600 lappie, so i guess i got some credit points there.. Anyway, do you sir, have the means and experience to design such a thing? Meaning, paper long-lines, sketches, schematics and materializing of what's drawn at the end of the day? I believe that the interfacing with existing hardware is the simplest task of the whole. If you can manage to design the main board, and do so with a means that will cost less than a Minimig -unless yours is loaded with a lot more features, then yes, you got a target group waiting! I believe that although the Minimig is a briliant device, the cost of buying it is a bit forbidding, since 20-30 pounds can get you a normal A500 nowadays. Ok, maybe the A500 hasn't got a built-in VGA out, PS2, card reader what-have-you, but when you weight it down it comes easier to the pocket. Of course it ain't portable.. but you never know!
I do indeed have the means to design such a device, and have already started laying out the main board. (I design PCB's for a living), the cost is another thing.
The fpga is 40 in one's, and the pcb would need to be produced in 100+ to keep the price sensible, but i still think its fesable.
I want to use this fpga because the cpu would fit in it too, so when we can get a 68020/30 core and aga its just a simple firmware upgrade.

I think to make the device and keep the cost to a minimum we would have to club together and buy the parts and boards in bulk.
 
Old 04 January 2010, 14:15   #9
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The screen res is not an issue i dont think, because its aimed at the games and not the hires stuff, it will have tv out, as for the keyboard and mouse, i was considering implementing a virtual keyboard (for entering hi scores etc), no point in lan, remember this board is tiny.
 
Old 04 January 2010, 15:18   #10
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what will be the memory medium ? I think the best option should be microSDHC slot - microSDHC are cheap, and small. about the external devices, I recommend to use:
2 usb connectors - for digital PC joysticks
1 usb connector - for PC optical mouse
1 usb connector - for PC keyboard
together - 4 usb connectors, but the optimum way should be to use just one connector with external hub, so all devices can be connected to one usb via hub, the data rate of usb 1.1. should be enough to host all 4 devices.
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Old 04 January 2010, 15:35   #11
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what will be the memory medium ? I think the best option should be microSDHC slot - microSDHC are cheap, and small. about the external devices, I recommend to use:
2 usb connectors - for digital PC joysticks
1 usb connector - for PC optical mouse
1 usb connector - for PC keyboard
together - 4 usb connectors, but the optimum way should be to use just one connector with external hub, so all devices can be connected to one usb via hub, the data rate of usb 1.1. should be enough to host all 4 devices.
I was considering a 1.8" harddisk, much faster and larger than the sd card.
External connectors are limited by the psp, it has mini usb (used for uploading games using mass storage), and i was gonna fit a tvout port as well.

Again as this is a games machine, do we need a keyboard and mouse?
The keys/joystick controls can be mapped to the dpads on the psp.
 
Old 04 January 2010, 16:14   #12
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I was considering a 1.8" harddisk, much faster and larger than the sd card.
External connectors are limited by the psp, it has mini usb (used for uploading games using mass storage), and i was gonna fit a tvout port as well.

Again as this is a games machine, do we need a keyboard and mouse?
The keys/joystick controls can be mapped to the dpads on the psp.
I dont see 1.8" hdd as good option, HDD has movable parts, and for portable device - i do not recommend it. The microSDHC card is much cheaper, and read/write is enough for amiga emulation. current maximum size of microSDHC is 16GB, which is enough too.

About the USB, and external devices. If you want to add tv-out port, then the ports for joysticks (for mp games) and mouse can be great addition. I really dont know where the ports location should be, but maybe under the UMD cover is enough space. I really dont know, But I dont see much benefit of TV-out without using 2 joysticks/mouse/keyboard.
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Old 04 January 2010, 17:15   #13
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I dont see 1.8" hdd as good option, HDD has movable parts, and for portable device - i do not recommend it. The microSDHC card is much cheaper, and read/write is enough for amiga emulation. current maximum size of microSDHC is 16GB, which is enough too.

About the USB, and external devices. If you want to add tv-out port, then the ports for joysticks (for mp games) and mouse can be great addition. I really dont know where the ports location should be, but maybe under the UMD cover is enough space. I really dont know, But I dont see much benefit of TV-out without using 2 joysticks/mouse/keyboard.
Tell apple that they put the 1.8" harddisk into every ipod video and they are portable, also a lot of mp4 players have them too.
Also a 32GB SD card is around 70 and a 40GB 1.8" HD is 35..
http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/New-40GB-Toshi...#ht_3091wt_939

They are harder than you think.

The only problem i have with the keyboard/mouse is the size of the connector and where to put it... maybe another mini usb connector, then use a simple cable, mini usb<>2 ps2 connectors...? wouldn't be usb just use the connector because its small..
 
Old 04 January 2010, 17:40   #14
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You can have multiple microSDHC cards though and swap them out at any time and put them in a card reader on the PC mount them in winuae etc.. quickly and easily. Moving parts hdd in a portable device = HDD failure. I have a 40gb ipod that the hdd is completely dead in. Good luck with your project.
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Old 05 January 2010, 01:50   #15
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You can have multiple microSDHC cards though and swap them out at any time and put them in a card reader on the PC mount them in winuae etc.. quickly and easily. Moving parts hdd in a portable device = HDD failure. I have a 40gb ipod that the hdd is completely dead in. Good luck with your project.
Well the psp already has a socket for a sony memory stick, so if no hd, then i think it would make sense to use the existing socket.
 
Old 05 January 2010, 02:02   #16
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You could always get involved in evolving the existing Amiga emus for ARM handhelds. Especially GP2x/Wiz was neglected when all jumped ship and deving started on the PSP Amiga emu (again). Then came the Pandora, but no portbacks from either it seems

Whatever you build, if it's ARM and going to run Amiga you will need to address this state of affairs. Hell, if it's good and available, I'll buy it.

Apparently it's considered time well spent to dev hardware for a year or two, manuf a couple for proof of concept, and forget about the project. But not to dev software for existing "emu-platforms". Not whining, but noting a phenomenon.

But I'm not discouraging you, and I certainly won't "tell you what to do". So good luck
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Old 05 January 2010, 03:31   #17
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Especially GP2x/Wiz was neglected when all jumped ship and deving started on the PSP Amiga emu (again).
That is not true, . This is always being said, myself and Gnostic were helping each other that was all. No other devs helped, who were involved in GP2x. Hell you could even say the PSP was neglected.

I would love some help with PSPUAE, as Im stuck with a few things. I would really love some help getting the ASM core running, then it should be very fast.
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Old 05 January 2010, 07:40   #18
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That is not true, . This is always being said, myself and Gnostic were helping each other that was all. No other devs helped, who were involved in GP2x. Hell you could even say the PSP was neglected.

I would love some help with PSPUAE, as Im stuck with a few things. I would really love some help getting the ASM core running, then it should be very fast.
Leave gn0stic alone.

He is busy at the moment and what he is working on will benefit all linux/mac amiga users especially pandora owners.
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Old 05 January 2010, 16:01   #19
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Leave gn0stic alone.

He is busy at the moment and what he is working on will benefit all linux/mac amiga users especially pandora owners.
lol, I wasnt saying anything about gnostic. Hes a great guy, I talk to him when ever I see himn online. It was more to try and straighten out this stupid "you stole our dev" talk.
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Old 05 January 2010, 19:45   #20
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That is not true, . This is always being said, myself and Gnostic were helping each other that was all. No other devs helped, who were involved in GP2x. Hell you could even say the PSP was neglected.

I would love some help with PSPUAE, as Im stuck with a few things. I would really love some help getting the ASM core running, then it should be very fast.
Ah, but I offered to help on the GP2x. Now that you work on the "non-ARM" platform, I can't really write any ARM asm for you, can I?

The portable with the freak CPU gets an asm core, eh? And all the ARM-based media players, handhelds, mobiles get none o' that lovin. What a strange world we live in.

If you do decide to look at a portback, please don't port the asm (if you know what I mean). Ask an ARM coder to code the core again, like I assume you did for the PSP.

In fact, all handhelds should get som dev lovin'. PSP seems well provided already (for some reason, despite it having a toolchain which is murder to set up, so I hear), so it would be nice to hear about the status of emus for Pandora->Wiz->GP2x.
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