Here is my latest hack. I thought it would be interesting to leave the game in a somewhat original state, rather than taking the guts out and putting them in a jiffy box. This one posed some new challenges. First off, the power-plug is a neat design. I used one with a built-in switch. This way the unit will run from batteries, and when the power is attached, the batteries are disconnected. (so the batteries don't explode from attempted charging!) One thing I noticed right away is that there isn't much room in here. It looks more roomy than hacking a DTV joystick, and it is. The trouble is none of the available room is tall enough to accomodate most ports and have the cover back on. There was definatly no room for the traditional C64 IEC disk drive port. So I used a 5-pin mini-din instead and made a seperate cable that is the regular IEC on one side, and the mini-din on the other. This seems to work well.
I also did the video and audio fixes on this unit. So the hummer game can actually be played as the software designers intended it to be. (unfortunatly, it still isn't that much fun)
|This is the inside, when it is nearly done. You can see how little space there is for these ports.|
|Here is the power plug. This one was the easiest to do.|
|Here are the two most important additions, the PS/2 keyboard and IEC ports. There wasn't enough room for the traditional DIN plug of the disk drive port, so I used a mini-din and a converter cable I made for it.|
I ran into some new problems on this one. The first one was the keyboard. It worked but every key I pressed was followed by a return. This took me several minutes to figure out and I felt dumb afterwords. The unit was upside down when I was first testing the keyboard so one of the buttons on the steering wheel was being depressed.. Woops. Secondly, the epoxy over the main DTV chip is spread out farther than on other hummer's I've seen. This was a problem because it completely covered the hole where the IEC clock is supposed to go, and even ran through the hole and came out the bottom. So I had to carefully scrape away some of the epoxy on the under-side of the board to reveal the solder pad. There wasn't much of it left but I carefully soldered the wire to it, and it worked. The connection is super-weak, though.
Since I'm going to leave this unit connected to the steering wheel, I won't be messing with the user-port or flashing the kernal on this one.
If I ran the unit on batteries and plugged in a PS/2 keyboard, the keyboard would get 6V of power, and could burn it up. So with this design, I am only brave enough to try the keyboard when using my regulated 5V power supply.