Uzebox game console with Sharp LQ6RA01 LCD
The Uzebox game console is the brainchild of Alec Bourque who published the complete design, incl. source code under GNU GPL.
My implementation of this project is just starting but it's so interesting that I want to publish these initial pictures.
Alec has created a real video generator that actually does something, not just the usual color bars. His design uses the Atmega644, overclocked at 8 times the NTSC color subcarrier frequency (about 28.6 Mhz). The Atmega644 does all the timing and generates 8 bits of color data, 3 Red, 3 Green and 2 Blue. A simple resistor DAC converts these values to analog RGB values. The original design feeds these 3 RGB signals , plus the HSync signal into an AD725 RGB to NTSC converter (the Atmega also generates the clock for this chip). The resulting output can be played on a TV.
I recently got a couple of Sharp LQ6RA01 LCDs on Ebay. Get the datasheet here. It turns out that this LCD is perfectly suitable for the Uzebox design, making the expensive AD725 unnecessary. This LCD does require an High Voltage inverter for the CCF backlights (it has 2 lamps) and needs +5V and -8V. I used a TDK inverter (Mouser 810-CXA-M10A-L, $12.27) but many notebook computer inverters are offered on Ebay (if you can figure out how to hook them up). A generic switching power supply provides +5V and -12V which I reduce to -8V using a resistor until I get a 7908 regulator.
The images are truly stunning for such a simple project, on a breadboard!!!! On top of that, the Uzebox interfaces to a original Nintendo (NES) game controller (actually two of them), plays an interactive game and generates sound. Incredible.
I have since added the AD725 IC, part of the original uzebox design, and am getting an excellent picture on our TV!
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