Astrocade Interface – Putting it together

Before you can put the DE10-Nano and the Astrocade interface into your cabinet, you need to complete a few other tasks.

DaemonBite arcade encoder

The controls for whichever cabinet you are using are handled using MickGyver’s arcade interface which you can see on his github here. This uses a commonly available Arduino Leonardo Pro Micro, available from Amazon, e-bay and many other online suppliers. The one you need uses the MEGA32U4 and you want the 5V/16MHz version. (I use ones with a micro USB connector, but I cannot see why the version using a USB Type C would not also work)

To program this up you need to do the following :-

  1. Download the free Arduino IDE: https://www.arduino.cc/en/main/software and install this on your computer.
  2. Download the project, either from MikeGyvers github or from here
  3. Connect the Arduino Pro Micro to a USB port and let the drivers install.
  4. Open the project in the Arduino IDE.
  5. Choose the correct board (“Arduino Leonardo”) and virtual COM port in the IDE. (both in the “Tools” dropdown menu)
  6. Compile/Upload the project. (on the “Sketch” dropdown)

Once you have soldered the pins on to this, it can be fitted to the DaemonBite socket and a USB OTG lead connected from it to the DE10’s OTG port. (top right in the picture)

SD Card for DE10-Nano

The core that is run by the mister is loaded from the SD Card slot so you need to add the relevant image to this. These are listed below. At this time only the Gorf image has been confirmed to work correctly in a cabinet. Wizard of Wor testing is underway but I still need owners of Robby Roto and Space Zap to complete the testing of all cores.

The downloaded file is in .IMG format and needs to be written to whichever SD card you wish to use with the DE10-Nano. I usually end up using the 8Gb card that was supplied with it, but I would recommend that you connect your DE10 up to a HDMI monitor and boot from the original card first to make sure that it is working OK.

There are many programs for Windows and Mac that will do this, but the one I find easiest to use is balenaEtcher.

  • Download balenaEtcher here and install this on your computer.
  • Download the relevant image from the list above and uncompress it to reveal the .IMG file.
  • Plug the SD Card into your computer (you may need a USB adapter if your computer does not have a card slot).
  • Fire up balenaEtcher, click “Flash from File” and select the .IMG file you downloaded.
  • Click “Select Target” and pick the inserted SD Card.
  • Click “Flash” and it will write the image to the SD Card. This is then inserted into the DE10-Nano’s card slot.

Final Connections

RGB Cable – RGB PCB
RGB Cable – Main PCB

You must connect the RGB extension cable from the Astrocade interface PCB to the RGB PCB. This then takes the place of the old RGB card so that is not needed and can be ignored. You can mount it to the cabinet if required.

The 40 pin cable then connects the astrocade interface PCB to the DE10-Nano. It connects to the lower GPIO connector (which is below the switches). Make sure that you do not get the pins out of line.

Connect the USB port of the Daemonbites adapter on the main PCB to the OTG port on the DE10-Nano. (both micro USB)

If you are powering the DE10-Nano from one of the power options on the Astrocade interface then connect the barrel plug to the socket.

Finally, before putting the entire setup into the cabinet, make sure that the DE10-Nano has the correct switch settings. The picture shows the DIP switches and the four toggle switches. These need to be set as shown.

Ready to go into the cabinet