C64Pico part 3

Last Updated or created 2024-05-01

Today we worked on this project again. (Bigred and me)

There were some problems we needed to fix since last time:

  • It was quite hard to get the correct parts.
    Our display connector was only fitted with connection pins on the wrong side of the connector. (up/down)
    So I bought a connector with both positions populated.
    So we had to replace this hard to solder (40 pin) connector.
  • It was not clear what the orientation should be of the atmega328pb.
    We looked at the pinout, and followed the VCC/GND. But these are also available of the opposite side of the chip. (We missed that)
    Later, we saw a tiny line on the PCB, which showed the pin 1 placement.
    So we had to remove and replace the chip.
    When turning on the power, (with incorrect placement) probably fried R5 (10k resistor), on both our boards.
    Had to replace those also.
  • Programming the atmega328pb was not easy, see below fixes.
  • Compiling the pico firmware resulted in a black screen.
    Below the fixes I had to make to get the screen working.

Other things still to fix.

  • Bigreds screen.
  • atmega328p didn’t work for Bigred, so probably needs to replace with the pb version.
  • My battery controller is not charging.
    See bottom of page
  • Some of my buttons are working. The pewpew and some of the cursor keys (not as I expect, there are some up/down issues)
    And none of the other keys are working.

Some other things we noticed.

  • sdcard: remove partitions, format using mkfs.exfat
    Create a c64 directory on this filesystem where you can put the d64 files!
  • 0402 SMD is far too small for me.
    There is enough room on the board to use 0805 for example.
    Even THT is possible, there are only a few components.
  • Some components are TOO close together, removing a component resulted in other small parts disconnecting also.

My friend Bigred said: If I can see it, I can solder it.
But it is not easy. This probably keeps a lot of people from building it!

Below the diff from the source we got from:


UPDATE 20240501: We needed to clone the c64pico branch!

git clone -b c64pico https://github.com/silvervest/MCUME.git

Then it worked with the screen and keyboard!

Programming the atmega328pb using usbasp

Link above shows the programmer.

To get your Arduino IDE up and running

  • Open the Arduino IDE.
  • Open the File > Preferences menu item.
  • Enter the following URL in Additional Boards Manager URLs:https://mcudude.github.io/MiniCore/package_MCUdude_MiniCore_index.json
  • Open the Tools > Board > Boards Manager… menu item.
  • Wait for the platform indexes to finish downloading.
  • Scroll down until you see the MiniCore entry and click on it.
  • Click Install.
  • After installation is complete close the Boards Manager window.

Above settings worked for me, maybe you can also try Programmer: usbasp (slow)

First install the bootloader.

When compiling the keyboard program of silvervest, you can find “Upload using programmer” in the Sketch menu!


Maybe I’ve got a problem with the ground plating of the charger.
Also very hard to solder the sides!


Last Updated or created 2024-04-29

Time to try my Flambadoe.

It’s a cast iron cone with a large opening at the top and a small one at the bottom attached to a long metal handle (generally 1m) which is designed to heat until red-hot to ignite and melt fat quickly.

Reportedly from the Middle Ages, flambadous were historically used to sear joints of meat, but are comparatively rare now. It’s also a traditional French technique for basting meat with fat as it cooks over the coals.

First a french baguette.

I used Herb butter for the flambadoe.

Don’t make the Flambadoe as hot as you would do with the fat for the meat.

Recipe own made herb butter.

  • 250 g unsalted butter (at room temperature)
  • Pinch of coarse salt
  • A few sprigs of fresh parsley
  • A few sprigs of chives
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice

Mash the butter finely with a fork. Add the pinch of sea salt and tablespoon of lemon juice. Add finely chopped garlic. Chop the parsley and chives and add at the end and mix everything well.
Wrap in cling film.

Let the herb butter harden in the refrigerator. Remove it a few minutes before use. So not frozen but still solid.

For the meat I used Picanha and the cubed pieces of fat.
Next time i’m going to use Bacon Fat or Geese Fat.

The Flambadoe was NOT hot enough for the fat. Ah well learning every day.

Amiga week

Last Updated or created 2024-04-29

This week (while preparing for a mini retro party) I fixed some Amiga stuff.

I’ve bought a new gadget.

You place this PCB between the CPU IC socket and the CPU (68000) itself.

Now running a special floppy image, which loads a driver, I can use the 512MB sdcard as “harddisk”.

It at first ran into all kinds of hangups.
Checking everything, I found CIAB (8520) the culprit.
Timing errors I’ve never noticed before!

Switching this one with CIAA resolved the problem.
(I don’t use a printer anyway, but I have to remember that anything using the parallel port can have problems now.)

Meanwhile, I wanted to have a better control over the Amiga drives, so I’m planning to use a second switch to reassign drive numbers using a switch.

For switching Internal/External drive (df0/df1) I was using a Gotek boot switch. (Just press 3x ctrl-Amiga-Amiga)

See https://www.henriaanstoot.nl/2022/05/14/gotek-stuff/

But I have TWO external devices.
The Gotek virtual disk device and a real 5.24″ drive.

So I’m going to use a ON-ON double switch to toggle the external devices.


The internal switch toggles internal and external.
The secondary I’m going to build into the 5.25″ drive toggles df2 and the “df1”.
That way the internal drive can be 0 (boot) or 1.
The external drives can be 0,1 or 2.

NOTE: Switch pin 21 and 9 using the cross switch!

SO: Amiga with internal drive -> External 5.24″ which has a passthrough to the Gotek.

Another amiga thing fixed:
I re-installed Aros (on an old Laptop this time)

And third: I’ve bought the Amiga Forever cdrom.

When you get the ISO image from AmigaForever, and want to run it using Linux, do this to get it working

sudo apt install xkbfile1:i386
sudo apt install libxkbfile1:i386
mkdir -p /cdrom
sudo mount -t iso9660 ~/Downloads/AF.iso /cdrom
cd /cdrom/Private/Linux/e-uae/

If you install Wine, you can use the windows gui in linux also.

Amiga samplers

Testing the sampler (demo for Tyrone)

Sampling the sound of a C64 on an Amiga.
Started (booted) the sampling program from second external drive using switch setup as above.

Even realtime echo works!

Piet Bos

Last Updated or created 2024-04-16

Going through some storage boxes, I noticed I’ve got two items of Piet Bos.

Who was Piet Bos? (link to photo)


In 1938 Piet Bos founded the Natural History Museum in Holten. Bos had a nationally renowned taxidermy company in Holten. In the era of emerging tourism, Mr Bos had a good sense of how he could captivate visitors. He had a unique idea at the time, namely to exhibit stuffed animals in their “own” environment through dioramas (viewing boxes). Not only the dioramas, but also display cases with prepared birds and mammals still appeal to the imagination. Over the years, the collection has grown into one of the most extensive in Europe. Son Kees Bos has given the museum a contemporary character as a painter and sculptor. The name of the museum has been changed to Natuurdiorama Holterberg. Visitors to the Sallandse Heuvelrug can learn about the history and flora and fauna of the area in the museum. The nature museum also shows animals that occur in other parts of Europe. More than 1,000 animals and birds can be viewed in eleven life-size dioramas, accompanied by accompanying sounds.

I tried to recreate an optical illusion

Last Updated or created 2024-04-09

My friend Tyrone posted something he recorded from TV.
It was an illusion, using rotated images.

The effect is that it seems that the card is rotating at different speeds, when pressing the s (show/unshow) key, you see the card rotating at the same speed as before.

So I wanted to try to recreate this using python.
The effect is there, but a little less.
What can I improve?


Around the 30 seconds mark I disable the background, you’ll see the card rotating as before.


Better version, larger and using s key to toggle water off, to see the card rotating

import pygame
import math

# 20240409 added s to toggle 

screen = pygame.display.set_mode((1600, 900))
clock = pygame.time.Clock()

def blitRotate(surf, image, pos, originPos, angle):

    image_rect = image.get_rect(topleft = (pos[0] - originPos[0], pos[1]-originPos[1]))
    offset_center_to_pivot = pygame.math.Vector2(pos) - image_rect.center
    rotated_offset = offset_center_to_pivot.rotate(-angle)
    rotated_image_center = (pos[0] - rotated_offset.x, pos[1] - rotated_offset.y)
    rotated_image = pygame.transform.rotate(image, angle)
    rotated_image_rect = rotated_image.get_rect(center = rotated_image_center)
    surf.blit(rotated_image, rotated_image_rect)

    image = pygame.image.load('cards.png').convert_alpha()
    image2 = pygame.image.load('clear+sea+water-2048x2048.png').convert_alpha()
    text = pygame.font.SysFont('Times New Roman', 50).render('imagemissing', False, (255, 255, 0))
    image = pygame.Surface((text.get_width()+1, text.get_height()+1))
    image2 = image
    image.blit(text, (1, 1))

w, h = image.get_size()
angle = 0
angle2 = 0
done = False
while not done:
    for event in pygame.event.get():
        if event.type == pygame.QUIT:
            done = True

    pos = (screen.get_width()/2, screen.get_height()/2)
    keys = pygame.key.get_pressed()
    if (not keys[pygame.K_s]):
        blitRotate(screen, image2, pos, (900, 900), angle2)
    blitRotate(screen, image, pos, (w/2, h/2), angle)
    angle += 1
    angle2 += math.sin(math.radians(angle))

Music Cover Art Display using ILI9431

Last Updated or created 2024-04-08

Little Sunday afternoon project.

Two PHP scripts.

Install on your webserver (see previous post)

Resizes images and removes the onkyo header.
(See previous posts)

// onkyo.php
// write jpeg header
header('Content-type: image/jpg');

$lines = file_get_contents('http://IP-ONKYO-AMPLIFIER/album_art.cgi', false);
$lines = explode("\n", $lines);
// remove weird Onkyo header (3 lines)
$content = implode("\n", array_slice($lines, 3));
print $content;

CoverArt from a squeezeboxserver

// squeezebox.php
// leave playerid as is, for the default.
// change to MAC address of player to get coverart specific player
$img = file_get_contents('http://IP-LOGITECH_MEDIA_SERVER:9000/music/current/cover.jpg?player=<playerid>');
$im = imagecreatefromstring($img);
$width = imagesx($im);
$height = imagesy($im);
$newwidth = '240';
$newheight = '240';
$thumb = imagecreatetruecolor($newwidth, $newheight);
imagecopyresized($thumb, $im, 0, 0, 0, 0, $newwidth, $newheight, $width, $height);
//imagejpeg($thumb,'small.jpg'); //save image as jpg
header('Content-Type: image/jpeg');

Arduino install:

Start IDE
Install TJpg_Decoder library
Open examples>Tjpeg_decoder>SPIFFS>SPIFFS_web_spiffs
change wifi credentials
and the url to your php script.
  bool loaded_ok = getFile("https://myserver/onkyo.php", "/M81.jpg"); // Note name preceded with "/"

replace bottom part with

 // while(1) yield();

Media control automation in HA revisited

Last Updated or created 2024-04-07

I was not happy with my old setup to control all media devices in my living room.

Controlling all devices using a single button and automations was not easy.

Problems encountered :

  1. Switching from one device to another toggled a device used by both.
  2. Switching from TV to Spotify (using my Onkyo), turned off the TV and cec turned off the Onkyo
  3. Using the Home Assistant Onkyo integration, I could select NET but not NET>Spotify
  4. The Harmony hub I’m using for Infrared Control didn’t expose all buttons.
  5. My Set-top box only power toggles. No way of reading the state.

Addressing problems:

Number 1 & 2 : Disable CEC, and manual add all that cec tried to do for me. (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Consumer_Electronics_Control)

Number 5 :
(See post : https://www.henriaanstoot.nl/2024/04/01/multipurpose-rgb-sensor-esphome/)

Number 3 & 4 : Two options, integrate my web controller for onkyo.
Or give HA more functionality.

Lets add an Onkyo python script to HA.
Open a webterminal and enter following command

pip install onkyo-eiscp

This will give you:
(Hint: want to copy text from the web terminal? Hold shift while selecting text)

➜  ~ pip install onkyo-eiscp   
Looking in indexes: https://pypi.org/simple, https://wheels.home-assistant.io/musllinux-index/
Collecting onkyo-eiscp
  Downloading https://wheels.home-assistant.io/musllinux-index/onkyo_eiscp-1.2.7-py3-none-any.whl.metadata (9.9 kB)
Collecting docopt>=0.4.1 (from onkyo-eiscp)
  Downloading https://wheels.home-assistant.io/musllinux-index/docopt-0.6.2-py2.py3-none-any.whl.metadata (17 kB)
Collecting netifaces (from onkyo-eiscp)
  Downloading https://wheels.home-assistant.io/musllinux-index/netifaces-0.11.0-cp311-cp311-musllinux_1_2_x86_64.whl.metadata (8.9 kB)
Downloading https://wheels.home-assistant.io/musllinux-index/onkyo_eiscp-1.2.7-py3-none-any.whl (45 kB)
   ━━━━━━━━━ 45.7/45.7 27.8     eta 0:00:00
             kB        MB/s                
Downloading https://wheels.home-assistant.io/musllinux-index/docopt-0.6.2-py2.py3-none-any.whl (13 kB)
Downloading https://wheels.home-assistant.io/musllinux-index/netifaces-0.11.0-cp311-cp311-musllinux_1_2_x86_64.whl (13 kB)
Installing collected packages: netifaces, docopt, onkyo-eiscp
Successfully installed docopt-0.6.2 netifaces-0.11.0 onkyo-eiscp-1.2.7
WARNING: Running pip as the 'root' user can result in broken permissions and conflicting behaviour with the system package manager. It is recommended to use a virtual environment instead: https://pip.pypa.io/warnings/venv
➜  ~ onkyo
  onkyo [--host <host>] [--port <port>]
        [--all] [--name <name>] [--id <identifier>]
        [--verbose | -v]... [--quiet | -q]... <command>...
  onkyo --discover
  onkyo --help-commands [<zone> <command>]
  onkyo -h | --help
➜  ~ which onkyo

Now we can integrate shell commands in HA!

NET > Spotify
onkyo --host NSV0A0

Spotify > track info
onkyo --host NTIQSTN

Spotify > Artist
onkyo --host NATQSTN

Turn Onkyo ON/OFF
onkyo --host PWR01
onkyo --host PWR00

Get Power state
onkyo --host PWRQSTN

Mute on/off
onkyo --host AMT01 or AMT00

Volume Level
onkyo --host MVLQSTN

Home Assistant Shell Command example

  - platform: command_line
        command_on: "/usr/bin/onkyo --host AMT00"
        command_off: "/usr/bin/onkyo --host AMT01"

Getting album art:

Get image from below url.
Note! .. its a static non refreshing image!

Note: This gives me a file which shows fine in a browser, but being a http feed you cannot embed this in a https site.
Another ‘problem’ with this image is that it includes headers, rendering this a invalid jpg when processing!
(remove first 3 lines programmatically)
I also want to have it updated, so I could make a mjpeg streamer for this.
Probably i’m going to use my reverse proxy which uses SSL offloading to access cover art over https.
(Then I can push this cover image on this webblog so you guys can see what we are listing to)

Another idea is to push this to an arduino display.

Not using https?

You can embed the album art in a dashboard. This won’t refresh, but the added time code will stop caching problems.

type: picture<br>image:{{now().timestamp()|int }}")


Make the automations foolproof.

Watching TV and want to listen to Spotify?

  1. Turn TV off
  2. Switch Onkyo to Net and Spotify
  3. (Adjust volume)
  4. Toggle TV set-top box off


Next todo:
Cover art embed in HA.
Maybe in embed in this blog.
Make a small cover art display.

PHP code to strip lines and put behind a reverse proxy

header('Content-type: image/jpg');
$lines = file_get_contents('', false);
$lines = explode("\n", $lines);
$content = implode("\n", array_slice($lines, 3));
print $content;

You can use Generic Camera to refesh!


Current Cover Art

Get cover art from Logitech Media Server<playerid>

64×64 Matrixrgb plus Conway’s Game of Life

Last Updated or created 2024-04-05

Yesterday I got this nice led matrix I mentioned before.

I wanted to control this display using Circuit Python and a Raspberry Pico.

Pico  Matrix
GP0   R1
GP1   G1
GP2   B1
GP3   R2
GP4   G2
GP5   B2
GP6   A
GP7   B
GP8   C
GP9   D
GP10  Clock
GP11  E
GP12  Latch
GP13  Output Enable

GND   GND ( I did both )

I installed Circuit Python and the following libraries.

adafruit_imageload, adafruit_display_text.label (the rest was already in the uf2 firmware.)
(Check this link : https://circuitpython.org/board/raspberry_pi_pico/ )
I could not install the Wifi uf2 file, then I got a out of storage space when installing the adafruit libraries.

importing libaries and init display

import board, digitalio, busio, time, displayio, rgbmatrix, framebufferio
import adafruit_imageload, terminalio, random
import adafruit_display_text.label

matrix = rgbmatrix.RGBMatrix(
    width=64, bit_depth=2, height=64,
    rgb_pins=[board.GP0, board.GP1, board.GP2, board.GP3, board.GP4, board.GP5],
    addr_pins=[board.GP6, board.GP7, board.GP8, board.GP9, board.GP11],
    clock_pin=board.GP10, latch_pin=board.GP12, output_enable_pin=board.GP13)
display = framebufferio.FramebufferDisplay(matrix)

I became interested in Conway’s “Game of Life”, in 1983. Reading a article in the Dutch Magazine Kijk.

The Game of Life, also known simply as Life, is a cellular automaton devised by the British mathematician John Horton Conway in 1970. It is a zero-player game, meaning that its evolution is determined by its initial state, requiring no further input. One interacts with the Game of Life by creating an initial configuration and observing how it evolves. It is Turing complete and can simulate a universal constructor or any other Turing machine.


I found these on my server. Bad quality, I know. Scanned these many years ago.

The rules are:

  1. Any live cell with fewer than two live neighbours dies, as if by underpopulation.
  2. Any live cell with two or three live neighbours lives on to the next generation.
  3. Any live cell with more than three live neighbours dies, as if by overpopulation.
  4. Any dead cell with exactly three live neighbours becomes a live cell, as if by reproduction.

When playing with the Basic code as a kid, I wanted to try if it was possible to make a 3D version of this.

I came up with the following rules:

  1. Birth : 4 alive neighbours needed
  2. Survive : 5 or 6 neighbours
  3. Dead : below 4 and over 6

I think there should be a BBC Acorn basic version I wrote somewhere.

Back to the display

Greetings to my friends
Game of Life starting with my Logo plus a glider
A single Gosper‘s glider gun creating gliders

Code for the glider gun

    conway_data = [
        b'                        +           ',
        b'                      + +           ',
        b'            ++      ++            ++',
        b'           +   +    ++            ++',
        b'++        +     +   ++              ',
        b'++        +   + ++    + +           ',
        b'          +     +       +           ',
        b'           +   +                    ',
        b'            ++                      ',

Next todo:

  • Line functions
  • Design a Chip tune hardware add-on
  • Make a Game of Life start situation selector
  • Make a new Maze game!

Home Assistant – Reboot, start,shutdown and switch OS

Last Updated or created 2024-04-03

This is my short log about (re)starting booting machines.


#WOL to start a machine
  - platform: wake_on_lan
    name: "wakeserver"
    mac: ec:be:5f:ee:11:78

#SHELL command to remote start reboot2windows script (multiboot machine)
    ssh_reboottowindows: ssh -i /config/ssh/id_ed25519 -o 'StrictHostKeyChecking=no' root@ '/root/reboot2windows'
    ssh_haltlinux: ssh -i /config/ssh/id_ed25519 -o 'StrictHostKeyChecking=no' root@ 'halt -p'

reboot2windows linux script (on the remote server)

#place in /root/
#chmod +x /root/reboot2windows
WINDOWS_TITLE=`grep -i "^menuentry 'Windows" /boot/grub/grub.cfg|head -n 1|cut -d"'" -f2`
grub-reboot "$WINDOWS_TITLE"

install https://iotlink.gitlab.io/ on your windows instance

scripts.yaml (with a helper button rebootwindows2linux, shutdownwindows)

#Reboot windows, linux is the default
  alias: rebootwinserver
  - service: mqtt.publish
    metadata: {}
      qos: 0
      retain: false
      topic: iotlink/workgroup/winserver/commands/reboot
  mode: single
  alias: shutdownwinserver
  - service: mqtt.publish
    metadata: {}
      qos: 0
      retain: false
      topic: iotlink/workgroup/winserver/commands/shutdown
  mode: single

automation rebootlinux2windows

(using a helper button rebootlinux2windows)

alias: rebootlinux2windows
description: ""
  - platform: state
      - input_button.rebootlinux2windows
condition: []
  - service: shell_command.ssh_reboottowindows
    data: {}
mode: single

Configuring ssh keys

Open HA terminal

ssh-keygen (enter) (enter) (enter) (enter) 
mkdir -p config/ssh
cp ~/.ssh/id* config/ssh/ 

Arduino Tiny Machine Learning Kit

Last Updated or created 2024-04-03

A while ago I bought a little machine learning kit.

I’ve been reading at listening to ML podcasts and websites.

One on Spotify I liked was:

Also, the following Coursera was interesting

I’ve been testing using Python on my Laptop.
(see other posts)

And a camera with esp32 using face detection.

See here multiple posts about these experiments.


Today the first experiments using this kit.

  • Arduino Nano 33 BLE Sense board
  • OV7675 Camera
  • Arduino Tiny Machine Learning Shield
  • USB A to Micro USB Cable
  • 9 axis inertial sensor: what makes this board ideal for wearable devices
  • humidity, and temperature sensor: to get highly accurate measurements of the environmental conditions
  • barometric sensor: you could make a simple weather station
  • microphone: to capture and analyse sound in real time
  • gesture, proximity, light color and light intensity sensor : estimate the room’s luminosity, but also whether someone is moving close to the board
  • Microcontroller nRF52840
  • Operating Voltage 3.3V
  • Input Voltage (limit) 21V
  • DC Current per I/O Pin 15 mA
  • Clock Speed 64MHz
  • CPU Flash Memory 1MB (nRF52840)
  • SRAM 256KB (nRF52840)
  • EEPROM none
  • Digital Input / Output Pins 14
  • PWM Pins all digital pins
  • UART 1
  • SPI 1
  • I2C 1
  • Analog Input Pins 8 (ADC 12 bit 200 ksamples)
  • Analog Output Pins Only through PWM (no DAC)
  • External Interrupts all digital pins
  • USB Native in the nRF52840 Processor
  • IMU LSM9DS1 (datasheet)
Gesture test ( yes on a windows surface tablet, but Vincent and I installed linux on it!)

I just started and will update this page, with other experiments.

Note: displaying Arduino output without installing the IDE

stty -F /dev/ttyACM0 raw 9600
cat /dev/ttyACM0