The Quby Game Console for Four Players

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Comments

  • Very nice! Thanks for taking the time to paint them.
  • Thanks. Yeah, I'm glad I did it.
  • thank you very much

    Mike
    I am just another Code Monkey.
    A determined coder can write COBOL programs in any language. -- Author unknown.
    Press any key to continue, any other key to quit

    The key words "MUST", "MUST NOT", "REQUIRED", "SHALL", "SHALL NOT", "SHOULD", "SHOULD NOT", "RECOMMENDED", "MAY", and "OPTIONAL" in this post are to be interpreted as described in RFC 2119.
  • My pressure...eh...pleasure, Mike. Sorry, I get my L's and R's confused sometimes.

    By the way, I presume that it's okay to pass on both of your addresses to David.
  • JRetSapDoogJRetSapDoog Posts: 786
    edited November 17 Vote Up0Vote Down
    The deed is done (the "deed" being shipping, in this case). Although the local P.O. is closed on Saturdays, I found one that was open so that I could get this off my plate. Shipping ended up costing about twice what I was naively hoping to pay (it cost more than the laser cut bezels) even though the package isn't that big and only weighs about 600 grams. As such, David's willingness to forward a bezel set on to Mike is greatly appreciated. As with the consoles, the shipper is EMS, which will hand things off to the USPS stateside.
  • As for gluing the bezels and top together, I used standard white wood glue that dries clear. But care should be taken to avoid getting it on the outward-facing surfaces. And although you might get away with just gluing the inner "corner runs" where two pieces meet, I think it will be much stronger if you get a bit of glue on all the seams, where an edge of one piece meets the back of another. And it's best to spread glue on both surfaces being abutted.

    Be sure to put the narrowest part of each bezel such that it will end up on the right side when the cap is in place. If you glue things together upside down, as I did, I believe you'll have to reverse your thinking. By the way, I used three boards at 90 degrees to one another in a corner arrangement to help me align and clamp things, but that's probably a luxury. If you use any (metal) clamps, make sure to protect the outer surfaces with some kind of protective material. Perhaps large rubber bands would be better.

    You guys might come up with (or already have) a better way of gluing these than I did. Maybe you could use some tape to hold things, but be warned that tape can cause the MDF material to separate and pull off. If that only happens on the inside, I guess it's not a deal breaker, but it's something to be aware of.

    By the way, if you do have a glue buildup on the inside seams, that might require you to rasp the wooden head frame (if not done already). I found my index finger to be a good way to spread the glue evenly inside the seams to avoid glue buildups. I also used my finger to spread the glue on the edges and other surfaces being glued.

    Well, that's about all I know about gluing these. Perhaps you can consult with a craftsman for better advice. But if you do a good job gluing these, you'll end up with a strong cap. The main thing is to keep everything aligned, such that the cap can slip on the head frame. Take your time and be careful, because any misalignment in one joint will likely throw things out of alignment elsewhere.
  • Thanks for the detailed instructions. I'm sure I will screw it up. Finish work is not my strong suit. However, I suspect I'll get a functional unit in the end even if it isn't as pretty as the one that came with the console originally.
  • The deed is done (the "deed" being shipping, in this case). Although the local P.O. is closed on Saturdays, I found one that was open so that I could get this off my plate. Shipping ended up costing about twice what I was naively hoping to pay (it cost more than the laser cut bezels) even though the package isn't that big and only weighs about 600 grams. As such, David's willingness to forward a bezel set on to Mike is greatly appreciated. As with the consoles, the shipper is EMS, which will hand things off to the USPS stateside.
    Tell me your costs and I'll be happy to contribute my share.

  • yes, I am also happy to share the costs,

    Mike
    I am just another Code Monkey.
    A determined coder can write COBOL programs in any language. -- Author unknown.
    Press any key to continue, any other key to quit

    The key words "MUST", "MUST NOT", "REQUIRED", "SHALL", "SHALL NOT", "SHOULD", "SHOULD NOT", "RECOMMENDED", "MAY", and "OPTIONAL" in this post are to be interpreted as described in RFC 2119.
  • As I said, I'm just glad that you guys have done some programming for the console. For the first time in weeks, I found time today to do some programming for the console myself (as I had been working on designing a PCB and other things).

    But I will say that making tangible stuff is different than programming. For physical things, in addition to the time and money involved, it can take a certain amount of finesse. I realize that it takes time and money to program, too, and even finesse, but with programming, you can just, for example, modify a data structure by changing a few lines of code. And such changes will be "perfect." That is, a bit (not a qubit) is always on or off, one or zero, with no in between. There's no chance of it being misaligned a little and needing adjustment, unlike something physical being altered in or made for the real world. And a program can be instantly emailed at almost no cost. It's kind of like the difference between playing a piano and making a piano: Both take skill, but they are different animals.

    Anyway, I just hope that the parcel gets to its destination intact. I needed to come up with a box quickly this morning to get to the post office before it closed at noon. So I just reused a tattered old box that was small but just happened to fit the cap pieces, particularly the top pieces. A small sized box is good, as it can lower the volumetric shipping cost, but in this case, it didn't allow for much in the way of protective padding around the edges. Sorry about that. I think it'll be okay, but hopefully it doesn't get mangled too much during its journey.

    And speaking of transit, somewhere in my posts, I think I said something about the bezels arriving by Thanksgiving. Actually, I failed to notice how imminent Thanksgiving was when I said that. Living outside the States, Thanksgiving sometimes sneaks up on me unnoticed (not a lot of popup turkey decorations here in Taiwan, for example). Anyway, considering that I just sent the parcel this morning (your Friday night), it probably won't make it to the east coast before the holiday. I also lost a day when I recut the bezels, but mostly I just neglected to consult the calendar to take note of the date.

    Well, at least you both should have new bezels before Christmas. That's good. Maybe Mike is planning on making a holiday robot with the console being the robot's head with four faces. Anyway, good luck gluing the bezels together, and thanks for being willing to do that, saving me time and allowing for a much smaller package size.
  • By the way, David. I also sent the missing two-pronged removable tip for the power adapter. I know that you purchased a complete power adapter online (thanks for doing that and for being so understanding), but now you'll have a spare. Just be sure to put the tip on the right way such that the center is positive (I'd check it with a meter) so that you don't fry something.
  • JRetSapDoogJRetSapDoog Posts: 786
    edited November 17 Vote Up0Vote Down
    By the way, the guy at the post office asked me no less than four times whether there were any batteries in the parcel.
  • The new bezels are in NH. Unfortunately, they required a signature for delivery and I had to work the past two days so they are still at the post office. The office is closed tomorrow for Thanksgiving but I should be able to pick up the package on Friday. Could someone send me the address where I'm supposed to send the second set?
  • It's nice that the parcel made it half-way around the world so quickly. Mike's home address is written on a piece of paper placed on top of the parcel contents. But I'll PM you his home and P.O. box addresses momentarily (and if there's any descrepancy, go with the PM'ed info, as it's copied-and-pasted, not hand-written). I'm not sure which address he'd like you to use (and I'm not sure if a package that needs to be signed for can be sent to a P.O. box). As with you, home delivery may be problematic due to his work schedule. Thanks for the update.
  • It's nice that the parcel made it half-way around the world so quickly. Mike's home address is written on a piece of paper placed on top of the parcel contents. But I'll PM you his home and P.O. box addresses momentarily (and if there's any descrepancy, go with the PM'ed info, as it's copied-and-pasted, not hand-written). I'm not sure which address he'd like you to use (and I'm not sure if a package that needs to be signed for can be sent to a P.O. box). As with you, home delivery may be problematic due to his work schedule. Thanks for the update.
    I can send it in a way that doesn't require a signature. I think your package required one because it came from outside of the US. Thanks for sending the address. I'll try to get Mike's package mailed out tomorrow.

  • I got the package today and have the second set ready to go to Mike. I'm going to try to mail it today. I'll PM Mike the tracking number once it's been shipped. Thanks again, Jim! The new panels look great!
  • JRetSapDoogJRetSapDoog Posts: 786
    edited November 23 Vote Up0Vote Down
    I'm glad that the bezel cap pieces arrived intact. I was a bit worried because the box I used didn't offer much, if anything, in the way of side protection for the square top pieces (they basically just fit the box on two sides). Also, I was a bit worried that the bezels might stick together due to being freshly painted. But they seemed quite dry when I packed them and I did use plastic separators between them for better or worse (protective measures can sometimes backfire). Now, three more time zones to go to get to Mike's place. I hope the bezels fit your console as well as they did mine (though they'll probably have to suffice whatever the case). By the way, if you can lay your hands on four to six large-sized rubber bands, you might try temporarily positioning the bezels (and top) in place to check alignment before gluing things together. What's that you say? Rubber bands will be your permanent solution? Well, whatever works, ha-ha. Thanks for the thoughtful update.
  • I sent Mike's pieces by Priority Mail. I'll send him the tracking number by PM.
  • Thanks for being a "hub."
  • David BetzDavid Betz Posts: 12,929
    edited November 24 Vote Up0Vote Down
    I installed the new bezels with rubber bands as you suggested. They look quite good. I'm not sure when I'll have the courage to try gluing them though. I'm afraid I'll make a mess of it. In any case, I can now see all of all four screens. Thanks!

    Edit: Does the Quby console expose all of the visible screen area? If not, you might want to consider it before you sell too many. Have only 40x15 is pretty limiting and losing one character around the outside is unfortunate.
  • Quby almost fully exposes things, though I'll expand the openings just a tad if producing more. However, Quby's bezels are 6 mm-thick, as opposed to the 3 mm-thick ones on your console version, and any thickness results in a slight blocking effect when not viewing things straight on. There's not much I can do about that, though, and still keep the design simple (other than injection molding, which isn't in the cards I've dealt myself). Perhaps 3 mm-thick bezels are strong enough, but the thicker ones offer more protection and are somewhat easier to glue.

    Anyway, it's good that the rubber bands let you rig things up temporarily. If and when you do glue things, apply glue to both surfaces and spread it evenly, but don't use too much to avoid it oozing out and getting on the painted surfaces. Yeah, I know: easier said than done, but it is doable. Also, do make sure that you glue the pieces together correctly (colors out, of course, with the narrow right sides of the bezels all on the right if gluing upright or all on the left if inverted).

    The way I glued mine was to start by putting the violet-colored top down on a flat surface with the painted surface down after having first spread glue along its four edges. As such, I assembled the cap inverted. If using that way, be careful not to glue the top to the surface you're working on (maybe shake things during the drying process or use wax paper). But don't go by me, as you might come up with an alternatively way that works well for you.

    Thanks again for taking the time and expense to mail a set of bezel cap pieces to Mike. Hey, maybe he will come up with a good way to glue thing together.
  • Whatever way you used to glue the original bezels seemed to work fine. I don't see any glue remnants on mine. If I can do as good a job I'll be happy.
  • RE: "However, Quby's bezels are 6 mm-thick, as opposed to the 3 mm-thick ones on your console version, and any thickness results in a slight blocking effect when not viewing things straight on. There's not much I can do about that, though,"

    You could always cut the hole in the bezel a bit smaller and use a router and template to produce a beveled edge. A bit of work and expense but it really pays off in time saved, precision cutting of parts, and finished appearance.
    In science there is no authority. There is only experiment.
    Life is unpredictable. Eat dessert first.
  • JRetSapDoogJRetSapDoog Posts: 786
    edited November 24 Vote Up0Vote Down
    To David: Good luck! To Kwinn: A beveled edge would be pretty slick and eliminate blockage. Thanks for suggesting the possibility.
  • Now I'm noticing something I hadn't seen before. Now that I can see the entire display area of all of the screens I'm noticing that screen 0 is missing its top row of pixels. You've probably noticed that my maze walls are made of blocks with their corners cut out but the top row of pixels on screen 0 doesn't have any of those notches. The other three screens do, just not screen 0. Is there a way to adjust that to correctly center the image on the screen? Or is this just a defect in that screen?
  • JRetSapDoogJRetSapDoog Posts: 786
    edited November 25 Vote Up0Vote Down
    Yes, I have admired the lopped corners of your wall blocks (though I didn't count how many pixels deep things go). As for the possibility of the missing row of pixels being due to a screen defect, it seems unlikely to me, as I think they've got the technique for patterning stuff on glass down to a science. I mean, it's possible, but another cause seems more likely.

    So, this really is happening on screen 0, the north/blue side where the SD card plugs in, huh? If so, then it doesn't seem related to the problem Monsta had a while back about not initializing screen 3 fast enough. Screen 0 typically gets initialized first (though perhaps that could be too fast for some reason, though I doubt it).

    I guess that it's hard to tell if this problem exists with other games. I know if I hold a magnifying glass to the screen, I can see the individual pixels. It seems likely that this problem would exist for all the games. Although I'm a bit reluctant to test using only Monsta since it is written in C, I don't think that's the problem because you say that the problem is happening on screen 0, which gets initialized first.

    Let me ask you this: Does the content of the entire screen appear to be shifted up by a row of pixels? That is, is there more black space at the bottom of screen 0 than the other screens (or at least noticeably more black space at the bottom than at the top)? If so, then maybe the factory default setting for the vertical adjustment of the driver board is off on that screen or at least not getting the job done. I'm not sure how that works exactly. I always assumed that the screens had exactly 480 rows of active pixels. And maybe they do, but perhaps the driver chip can compress or expand how it drives those rows based on the data it receives. Or maybe the screens have a few more rows than 480 and things can be shifted up and down a bit.

    Let me go play with my console that is the same version as yours to see if I can see the problem and see if the displayed content can be adjusted with one of those keypads that I told you about before (even though I realize that you don't have the keypad). I can remove the bezel cap to see the screens fully. I'll get back to you directly.
  • To David: Good luck! To Kwinn: A beveled edge would be pretty slick and eliminate blockage. Thanks for suggesting the possibility.

    You're welcome. A small trim router and bit like this would make creating a bezel fast and simple once you have the templates.
    In science there is no authority. There is only experiment.
    Life is unpredictable. Eat dessert first.
  • JRetSapDoogJRetSapDoog Posts: 786
    edited November 25 Vote Up0Vote Down
    So I ran Monsta on my console with the bezel cap off. Similar to your situation, I can see the lopped corners on three of the four screens. However, in my case, it's screen 1 (the west/yellow = power side) where I can't see the lopped corners. And I do see more black space at the bottom of that particular screen. This is something I haven't noticed before as I almost always operate the console with the bezel cap on, which is the bezel cap that was designed to encroach a bit on the active areas of the screens.

    Anyway, I opened up the core and connected a keypad to screen 1. And I can adjust the vertical centering up or down within a certain range. So, by moving things downward--but not too far down--I was able to see the lopped corners without losing rows of pixels at the bottom of the screen. As such, the vertical centering does seem to be a bit off for your screen 0. I don't know if the default setting just doesn't work for some reason or if the default setting somehow got changed.

    Anyhow, the only remedy (assuming that there's no fix for it by tweaking the video driver specifically for that screen) would be to hook up a keypad to adjust the vertical centering of that particular screen.

    I suppose that I could send you a keypad (Pity that I didn't do that with the shipment of the new bezels that I just sent out). I know that I have at least two keypads, but one of them didn't work the last time I tried it for some reason (even though there's not much that can go wrong with one). I marked the one that does work and I used it just now, as described above. It's possible that I might have another keypad somewhere, but maybe not.

    Anyway, those keypads are very simple. They are just individually wired normally-off, momentarily-on switchess, five in total. But they plug into the side of the driver boards with a PH2.0 connector. Actually, to get into the menu program, just three of the five switches are used (as the power and video source switches are not needed if things are already configured for VGA video with and power on, which is the case with the game console). Although it would be relatively easy to make a keypad--at least a makeshift one--the problem would likely be getting one's hands on the PH2.0 connector (it's a 10-pin connector, but the last and third-to-last lines aren't used, at least if one doesn't have the infrared version of the keypad).

    If the offending screen were pulled out of the console to provide better access to it, one could likely attach little clips on the pins or just tap them to adjust the menus without needing an actual keypad. But it would probably take some trial-and-error to work through the menus to adjust the desired setting (while hopefully not messing something else up). Although I'd be willing to work out a schematic for the keypad, that's probably more than you're up for.

    So, it seems like the only solution is to send you a keypad. Let me know if you want me to do that.
  • To Kwinn, thanks for the link. I did use a small trim router to route the recesses in the head frame that the LCD screens fit into on the version of the console that Mike and David have. However, that was done with a straight bit (and a jig/fixture to guide me). Actually, I hope to get away from routing because I live in a small apartment in an apartment building and routers are VERY noisy and dusty. For that reason, once, I rented space in a shop for a couple hours to do some of my own routing work. Anyway, the trim router I have isn't super ideal for use with a jig in my opinion. It got the job done, but there are some points of variability. My jig was just made of wood, though, not metal. One of the reasons for Quby was to move to a design that didn't need routing. But it's something I'm willing to consider. I mean beveling the screen bezels wouldn't involve removing much material, so there would be less time/noise/dust/danger involved.
  • Yes, living in an apartment is not conducive to woodworking. I spent 3.5 years in an apartment in Edmonton and really missed the woodworking. Only thing I can suggest is a small fold up fume hood style work bench or making friends with a teacher at a school that has a woodworking shop.
    In science there is no authority. There is only experiment.
    Life is unpredictable. Eat dessert first.
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