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Propeller P2 Retro Games Project

An Intel 8080 emulator running on Parallax Propeller P2 hardware designed to emulate retro arcade hardware

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An Intel 8080 emulator running on Parallax Propeller P2 hardware designed to emulate retro arcade hardware such as Space Invaders

This is a retro game and emulation project for the Parallax Propeller P2 microcontroller. 

The P2 is the next iteration of Parallax's multicore processor design featuring 8 independent processors (cogs) with 512K of shared central (hub) RAM.

We thought we'd start with good old Space Invaders and the trusty Intel 8080.

An 8080 emulator isn't groundbreaking in any way and an earlier project on the P2's predecessor the P1  saw an 8080 emulator and CPM combined to great effect.

The increase in power of the P2 means we can emulate the 8080 with RAM & ROM space, generate audio & video video signals and handle any other IO in a single cog.

  • 1 × Parallax P2 Edge Module PCB https://www.parallax.com/product/p2-edge-module/ Compact module with Propeller 2 Multicore Microcontroller and essential circuits
  • 1 × Parallax P2 Edge Mini Breakout Board https://www.parallax.com/product/p2-edge-mini-breakout-board/ Breakout board for P2 Edge Module PCB

  • Cabinet Graphics

    Graham Cole06/20/2021 at 18:57 0 comments

    I've cut out all of the parts required to start building but before I do I wanted to sort out what we are doing with the two side panels and the joystick area.
    We thought it would be neat to put a vinyl print on these faces but the reality is that self adhesive vinyl needs a non porous and shiny surface to adhere to.
    I've spent most of my time this week on different finishes, testing lacquer and varnish for which is best.
    Well the answer is spray lacquer gives by far the best results but comes at a cost, the labour element to spray, sand, spray, sand etc.. is too high.
    That made me rethink the whole vinyl print idea and instead I have redrawn the graphics in CAD and engraved them onto the side panel and joystick area.

  • A little more progress, the cutting of the individual parts continues..

    Graham Cole06/12/2021 at 11:26 0 comments

    It's been a very busy week but managed to get some more time on the laser.
    Much better now I've added a chiller unit so I can cut for longer periods ;)

  • The Artwork

    Graham Cole06/07/2021 at 21:10 0 comments

    A friend of the team (Andy Spencer) has kindly designed some artwork for the cabinets, it is envisaged that we will get these printed onto vinyl to attach as required.

  • The cabinet

    Graham Cole06/06/2021 at 19:50 0 comments

    The arcade cabinet design is based off this project by TobiasPi https://instructables.com/Mini-Pi-Powered-Arcade-Machine/

    I will be releasing the full design plans for both styles of cabinet under the same terms as the original project (CC BY-SA 3.0 license). 

    creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/

    If you have access to a laser cutter and some 3mm birch plywood then you will be good to go.

  • Update June 2021

    Graham Cole06/06/2021 at 19:47 0 comments

    Been a while since I updated here and a lot has happened.

    I've had lots of suggestions on the design so I've made a few changes....

    • Six fire/action buttons instead of four
    • Four control buttons
    • Micro SD slot
    • Removeable and rotatable LCD screen (Portrait or Landscape)
    • Rubber feet
    • Relocate speakers
    • Volume control
    • Options for MCU or RasPi as main controller

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Discussions

Jim Bagley wrote 04/01/2021 at 22:12 point

But on the single machine version, yes you can either have 7 unused cogs, or you can use them for extra things, like using just 4 cogs to making a better display driver that has 2 scrollable tilemaps a scrollable bitmap and 512 sprites and 512 particles ( pixels ), and 1 cog for audio, one for code for the game, be it spin or assembly, or a cpu emulator or C or codeblocks and one to read from an SD card

  Are you sure? yes | no

Jim Bagley wrote 03/30/2021 at 11:59 point

Yes and no aldolo, as there will be 8 cabs each running from a single cog.

  Are you sure? yes | no

Graham Cole wrote 03/22/2021 at 23:56 point

Yes, we can run 8 instances of the emulator in parallel. We have a menu system to select one of a number of games with some two player games that communicate through the shared hub RAM.

  Are you sure? yes | no

aldolo wrote 03/21/2021 at 04:49 point

nice box. so are there  7 unused cog?

  Are you sure? yes | no

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