Welcome to ZikZak - a site for do-it-yourself game console and computer hacking!
Want to learn a little digital electronics? Need to justify having an oscilliscope to show at parties? Have a boring little office in your house? Sick of modern do-everything-in-a-single-chip PCs or phones, and want to know how they work? Just want to hack around and build something awesome? This is what ZikZak is all about! No experience necessary - the important thing is to break some stuff, fix some stuff, roll up your sleeves and dive in. Head first. Safety second, not first.
Surprisingly, building your first crummy little retro game console is NOT HARD. Adding a keyboard so its now a computer … Not hard! If you're a software junky or a non-electronics nerd you probably assume that diving into hardware hacking is a lofty goal, or that requires a lot of expensive lab equipment and enormous investments in time. This is all UNTRUE - you can buy a single chip (or get a free sample!) and bring it life with few other parts.
The ZikZak site includes some basic notes on tools, techniques, experiments and real working projects. Nothing will beat using Google and Youtube and rolling up your sleeves, but we all need to start somewhere.
The initial site is a log of Skeezix' exploration in designing his first console(s); he's going from rudimentary long forgotten electronics knowledge (basic housewiring) to building an NTSC/PAL TV pong game, to fancier VGA rendering double buffered game machine, to full computer with a keyboard. Why stop at just building it on breadboard when you can build it on a monster breadboard two feet across? And why stop there when you can etch a pcboard in your basement and send the design off to a boardhouse to produce a kit? In just a couple of weeks you can get some actual work done, and the first Zikzak little game machine was up in going in just a couple of months - and he'd just had twin babies so not much free time! Join along, watch the blog, and most importantly - dust off your soldering iron and GET HACKING!
Terms of interest: stm32 ez80 z80 vga game console computer; atmega vga game console; single board computer; stm32f2 stm32f4 ez80f93 ez80f92 ez80 stm32 zilog z80