The Parallax HYDRA is a game development platform developed by Andre LaMothe. The boards features are 2 NES controller ports, a Cartridges Holder(plus two cartridges), ports for Video and Audio out, a phone jack(explained later), a VGA port, Ps2 for both mouse and leyboard(both included), usb for programming, barrel jack for AC wall adapter(power source) and a Propeller and eeprom on IC sockets. This board was mainly for developing and playing games... but since all of the features installed on this board... it makes a great basic computer. With the awesome capabilities of the Prop... it is even better
So since I am not a experienced game developer and dont want to make any... I have decided to turn this guys into a Computer, and the Prop is just the right microcontroller to make it with. Im sure many of you have seen Gareth's Mini Elvish Computer and even though this is a remote... it has a lot of what I have on my HYDRA... Chris the Carpenter's Transmitter of Death!. Both of these projects have Propeller in them, one is a PropStick... the other a Gadget Ganster Propeller Platform. Gareth's is actually a mini computer(that has been updated and can be seen here). While Chris' is a remote... it has Ps2 ports and other things that can make it a cooler computer then the HYDRA(especially with that touch screen!)
Right now... Im experimenting with writing text to the VGA monitor... using the keyboard... and hopefully combining the two to write the text from the keyboard to the VGA monitor. Since the Prop is similar to Java in the way that you make applications and use things like keyboards with a reference object. Then the object in you program doesnt have to right all this code to use the keyboard... the reference object already does that, you just refer to the methods in that object to control things. Making it very clean and easy... so I have different keyboard drivers, or objects to use to run my ps2 keyboard. Then the same thing applys to my monitor. Once you figure out the ins and outs, which pins to use, how to use the methods, and what you want to do... it is very easy! But you need alot of different objects to control every single thing on here!
This is everthing that came with the kit. A Ps2 keyboard and mouse, Nintendo Controller, A to mini B usb cabe, a wall adapter plug for my power, a cord for video and audio, and 2 cards to put in the cartridge holder. Almost forgot the best part... the HYDRA Board!... Yahoo!
This little guy is my blank experiment card which goes in the Cartridge holder. Its like a miny perfboard with the holes. Means I can put anything I want on there and do what I want with it.
That keyboard is from Parallax. It is neat and smaller then a average keyboard. Means very portable!
That is a classic Nintendo Controllers. That little mouse right there is pretty cool. It shines a blue LED when on and makes it look cool!
Isn't the mouse look cool when turned on. You can see the HYDRA and everything is on.