Finished Raspberry Pi Mame arcade table

16 May

My mame arcade table is now pretty much 100% complete. I will publish the whole process soon but here are the pics of completed table.

Controls out

Controls in


Mame arcade coffee table: The carpentry bit

7 May



Before the electronics can all be put in, I had to do the carpentry bit.


I had the MDF cut by a friendly builder so all I had to do was assemble the two boxes and drill the holes for the joysticks and buttons.

I am still not happy with the hinge arrangement and might change that before the final step of painting.

Ninja Blocks first days

21 Apr

My first impressions go Ninja blocks are good.

Set up was really easy. The block instantly recognised the temp and humidity sensor. I added three foscam video devices which initially worked perfectly. They did stop working after a little while but a reboot of the block sorted it all out.

I intend to add lights, heating, etc to the system when i get the right hardware. I am also looking to control my existing 868 Mhz dimmer system, which may need some additional integration with Arduino based controller.

My first rule based Ninja Block functionality was to take a picture of anyone who rings the doorbell and email it to me. This worked perfectly and was easy to set up.

Ninja Blocks Arrived

19 Apr


I received my long awaited Ninja Blocks Starter kit.

The Ninja Block and the packaging look amazing. The sensors do look a bit cheapish in comparison though. The temp/humidity sensor is OK but the rest look a bit second rate.

I will be looking to mix some of my own sensors including a doorbell and cameras in the outset. I am also looking for this to integrate with my Yale home alarm system.

Finally via Arudinos I do hope to control the rest of my home lighting which is not based on 415 Mhz RF but 868 Mhz… Lots of work to do.

Door Chime Button with Swann 433Mhz system

14 Apr


Eventually I want to use Ninja Blocks to control a number of things in my home but the Ninja Block hasn’t arrived yet.

I decided to have a play around with 433 Mhz receiver and transmitter while waiting for Ninja Blocks to arrive.

Using in this:

– Arduino Uno

– Swann Wireless MP3 doorchime

– 433 Mhz transmitter & receiver (ebay £5)

I used most of the advice from the Ninja bloacks How to on 433 Mhz radio and Arduino.

So first used RF Sniffer sketch to get the code for my doorbell. After taking not of this I then switch config to transmit. I used the Send Demo included in the NB How to and removed some of the extra bits and added a button from standard Arduino examples.

Button for RF Send
Hacked togther from public samples from RC Siwtch library and @Justy modifications

#include <RCSwitch.h>

#define CODE_Button 5594964 // Use whatever number you saw in the RF Sniffer Sketch

RCSwitch mySwitch = RCSwitch();

const int buttonPin = 12; // the number of the pushbutton pin

int buttonState = 0; // variable for reading the pushbutton status

void setup() {

// initialize the pushbutton pin as an input:
pinMode(buttonPin, INPUT);
pinMode(7, OUTPUT);

// Transmitter is connected to Arduino Pin #7


void loop(){
// read the state of the pushbutton value:
buttonState = digitalRead(buttonPin);

// check if the pushbutton is pressed.
// if it is, the buttonState is HIGH:
if (buttonState == HIGH) {
// send code:
mySwitch.send(CODE_Button, 24);
else {

Traffic light: First Arduino sketch from scratch

13 Apr


Simple traffic light simulator sketch.
Written on notepad on iPad and pasted into Arduino.
Shame there is no better program on iPad for creating sketches but I believe it against Apple policy to allow programming other platforms on the iPad.

/* Traffic Light sketch

// Connected LED to
int greenled = 13;
int amberled = 12;
int redled = 11;

void setup() {
        pinMode (greenled, OUTPUT);
        pinMode (amberled, OUTPUT);
        pinMode (redled, OUTPUT);

void loop() {
        digitalWrite(redled, HIGH);                             //Start with red light
        delay(3000);                                                            //Stays red for 3 seconds
        digitalWrite(amberled, HIGH);           //Amber comes on as well
        delay(1000);                                                            //Both on for 1 second
        digitalWrite (redled, LOW);                             //Turn off red
        digitalWrite (amberled, LOW);           // Turn off amber
        digitalWrite (greenled, HIGH);          // Turn on green
        delay(5000);                                                            // Green for  5 secs
        digitalWrite (greenled, LOW);           // Turn off green
        digitalWrite (amberled, HIGH);          //Amber comes on
        delay (1000) ;                                                                  // for a second
        digitalWrite(amberled, LOW);            //Amber off ready for red

MAME coffee table arcade: Plan 2

5 Apr

When i got my old school joysticks with MINIPAC, i realised the cables would be too short for putting the joysticks so far away from each other. In addition, the majority of games have the users using same orientation.

I decided to implement a much simpler cabinet with joystick drawer as illustrated above…