Meggy Jr RGB is a handheld platform for developing your own pixel-scale video games.
Featuring a fully addressable 8x8 RGB LED matrix display, big fat comfy button switches, customizable handles, a lo-fi audio transducer, and even 8 extra LEDs for lives, score, ammo, or level, Meggy Jr RGB is a great little kit you won't want to miss. Meggy Jr is fast, programmable, open source, and hackable. And fun!
The 8x8 RGB matrix display provides a whole lot of pixels (192 LED elements), and the 8 auxiliary LEDs bring the grand total up to 200. The six tough extra-long-life buttons have excellent click-feel, and multiple programming interfaces let you take control of exactly what you're playing with. The system architecture is based on the Atmel ATmega328P microcontroller, and is Arduino compatible.
Meggy Jr RGB comes as a soldering kit. Basic electronic soldering skill is required, and you provide standard soldering tools: a soldering iron + solder and small ("flush") wire clippers, as well as a small pair of pliers (e.g., needle nose). Suggested soldering kit P/N: 2113228 If you have them, a hot glue gun and wire strippers will also come in handy. No additional knowledge of electronics is presumed or required. Easy "through-hole" construction ("No surface-mount nothin' nowhere!") and clear, full-color printed instructions come with the kit.
Assembly time: 1-3 hours typical, depending on soldering skill. Kids (ages 10+) who have soldered before should be able to build their Meggy Jr kits with minor assistance and supervision.
Meggy Jr RGB includes a battery box and can run on batteries (3 'AAA' cells) or you can get an optional ac adapter for endless playtime.
Programming Meggy Jr RGB
The microcontroller in the Meggy Jr RGB kit comes pre-programmed with "Attack of the Cherry Tomatoes" (similar to a Space Invaders game), a pixel-blasting side-scrolling shoot-em-up with bombs, lasers, and ever advancing (red) dots that aim to ruin your whole day. Once you've built the kit, you can get started playing immediately-- Absolutely no computer access or programming is needed between opening the box and blasting vicious vegetables.
If you're inclined, Meggy Jr RGB can do a whole lot more: it is designed as a platform for programming your own games.
Meggy Jr RGB can be programmed in the popular Arduino software environment, through an optional USB-TTL interface P/N: 2117341. Mac, Windows, and Linux computers are all well supported, and all of the software that you'll need is available to download-- for free --online.
The library provides an interrupt-based screen redraw at a default rate of 120 Hz, multiple brightness levels, and simple functions to write data to the video buffer. So easy a kid could do it. (Proof: Attack of the Cherry Tomatoes was written by a 14-year old.)
AVR-GCC users: Programming through an AVR ISP programmer (e.g., the USBtinyISP) is also supported.
Lead Free Meggy Jr RGB circuit boards, components, LEDs and power supplies are all RoHS compliant (lead free).
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