For LeZandre – iCade issues

Hi LeZandre,

Regarding your comment regarding your faulty iCade board –  I’ve opened mine this evening and looked at the U2 SOT-23 smd element but initial couldn’t read the identification letters. Man, you must have  good eyes if you can read yours especially with smoke damage!

In the end I had to set up my camera, lamp and macro lens to read it.  I’m not sure if this is any help to you but here’s a picture of mine.

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Pinball Arcade gets iCade and 8-Bitty controller support.

It’s looks like after many requests for iCade controller support by the fans of the Pinball Arcade iOS app, last nights update includes this much welcome addition.

You’ll need to activate iCade support first, which is lurking at the bottom of the main menu options screen….it took me a while to find it!

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With that done, you can now navigate the menus etc with your iCade.

The button mapping is pretty good too, the flippers are spaced on the far left and right of the iCade buttons (on mine it’s the bottom white and bottom red button) with tilt and extra controls using the middle four buttons. For those tables with a classic plunger, pulling down on the joystick will launch the ball.

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And I’m please to find that the iCade support also extends to the 8-Bitty controller too.

Sadly the buttons are a little mixed up as the flipper buttons use the top left shoulder button and one of the standard red fire buttons (bottom left). It’s a shame that both top shoulder buttons couldn’t be used although after a while you do get used to them. I suppose there’s always Blutrol if you want to customise yourself?

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I’ve not tried the iCade Jnr on my iPhone yet but I’d be pretty confident in guessing that it’ll work too.

The Internet is already displaying fan made iCade/pinball modifications using the Blutrol app, but having native iCade support means that you can mod away without having to Jailbreak your device.

I don’t think I’m wanting to drill into my own iCade just yet though but an idea is forming for my own pinball mod.

And finally, this latest app update also brings another classic 80′s table – Space Shuttle (Williams) with promise of more vintage tables to follow. My vote is on Meteor please.

Happy gaming.

Arcadie replacement

If you’re frustrated by the lack of Mame port for the iPhone Arcadie, check out the iCade Jr which is currently on sale for just $9.99 at ThinkGeek. If its anything like its bigger brother then it’ll be a great bit of kit and the Jnr gives you twice the number of buttons compared to the Arcadie and uses the entire iPhone/iPod screen including portrait and landscape modes.

Very tempting at this price considering that they’re usually $49.99.

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http://www.thinkgeek.com/product/f12f/

Although designed for iPhone 4/iPod, it does state it’ll work with the iPhone 5, just not with the lid closed.

Hey, you could you use the controls mechanism and rebuild your own case….woo, now that gives me an idea ;)

Finally, Vectrex Regeneration.

Yep, I know it’s been out for quiet sometime, but after that initial hiccup with the first release, (namely, it not working on jailbroken iOS devices) I kinda lost touch with it during the run up to Christmas and knowing I had some new iCade joystick tops heading my way for Christmas, I held of downloading Vectrex Regeneration….until now.

I won’t go into a full review here as there’s been so much said already about this utterly brilliant Vectrex emulator and besides, it a free app (with Mine Storm) so go check it out…although I’m sure most of you already have!

On the iPhone, its not so great, although not the faulty emulator, it’s just that the iPhone screen is way too small to be able to play some of the Vectrex games. It’s much better on the iPad and coupled with an iCade it’s pretty darn close to playing on a real Vectrex.

For just £4.99 you get access to every Vectrex game and a collection homebrew games – including Thrust which is absolutely superb.

Loving that fact that you get digital representations of the coloured overlays…although these can be turn them off if they’re not to your liking.

Hmm, that gives me an idea, the iPad screen is about the same as the Vectrex :)

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Side by side, Vectrex and Vextrex Regeneration. Pretty damn close if you ask me.

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When I’ve got a little bit more free time, I want to explore the apps files a little closer to see if I can figure out how to add more Homebrew games. If anyone has a copy of VeCaves/Rom dump, do you fancy submitting it to the Vectrex Regeneration chaps to see if they can seek authors permission for an official release?

Any-ho, Fortress of Narzod awaits :)

New bat tops for my iCade

How’s everyone’s Christmas going? All good here after a very busy Christmas day and before we head out to a boxing day party i though i’d take stock my swag from Santa including a little stocking filler I brought myself a few weeks ago.

The ball top joystick handle that’s supplied with the iCade is great, but a year on after buying my iCade I find that it’s always coming loose – just when you least need it to!

So, as the iCade uses standard arcade parts, I thought I’d buy myself a couple of bat style joystick tops (with deeper thread) from my fav arcade parts supplier – Gremlin Solutions

I couldn’t decide on a black top to match the iCade case or red to match the original stick so in the end, got both.

Sanwa LB-30n bat top with thread adaptor (needed on the iCade and other Sanwa sticks).

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The fit seems nice and snug having a deeper thread so hopefully they shouldn’t come loose like the original.

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This is the second addon to my iCade, the first was replacing all of the noisy microswitch buttons for quieter leaf switch switches. All I need to do now is swap out the joystick switches and my iCade amendments should be complete. Unmodified, the iCade is great but with a few parts swapped out for superior arcade parts, it makes gaming so much nicer.

Just got a spare half hour before me need to head off…I’m thinking R-Type should do nicely.