Stay up to date with retro goodies!
9/7/21: The busy times continue! Lots of cool things happening here - let's see....The SSFD channel hit 500+ subscribers, the newer website here is almost at 9,000 hits, I gave a Virtual Ribbon presentation to 100+ people, and I'm developing 3+ project simultaneously in addition to filling orders! :O
We've got the secret Virtual Boy project, the Sync Clean Pro, and now I'm also happy to announce the Sega CD FLEX!
Since I've been doing Sega CD repairs for over a decade, it's been all too clear that a better solution has been needed for troubleshooting those pesky disk drives (fun fact: they are actually Sony drives, not manufactured by Sega!). This handy little adapter cable will be saving me many hours of work, and hopefully other people as well :) drop me a message if you'd like to preorder one!
I'm also thrilled to finally receive my Vinyl OST for Comix Zone! I preordered it back in Nov. 2020, and I have to say it was absolutely worth the wait! It comes with an amazing 6-page booklet with interviews, photographs, and concept art :O The music itself was clearly mastered with exquisite details and it simply is one of the finest gaming soundtrack releases I've ever heard. You can check out my giddy unboxing video of it here :)
6/26/21: It's hard to believe it's been so long since I did an update ! I've been getting emails from people asking me if I'm still making Virtual Ribbons - yep, I never stopped :) It's one of the reasons I've been so busy!
There's a lot going on in the gaming world, Sonic's 30th anniversary is this year, we got Game Gear replacement shells (finally!) and I've recently picked up some new VB goodies... So strange that this is my favorite Nintendo system now.
and...I've started developing another upgrade for the Virtual Boy! Shhh..don't tell anyone! :) Product development takes a long while, but I'm excited to have ordered the first prototype PCBs today ;D (Contact me to be on the discounted earlybird pre-order list!)
11/23/20: It's been great receiving positive feedback from people on the Virtual Ribbon as I just begin shipping out v3.3! I still have plans to develop an image tutorial guide, when time allows. Right now I'm doing all the individual installations for kits - it's great to see the community support for a *gasp* Sega fan :O
I'm also wildly excited about the new Cotton Reboot! deluxe physical releases that have become available. I ordered the Japanese deluxe set the day it was launched, only to find out that Strictly Limited Games released even more over-the-top deluxe sets the following month!
While it's too rich for my blood, it's really cool to see this kind of support for one of my favorite video game characters, which I've adored since my first copy of the NGPC game in 2000 :)
10/14/20: Lots of updates this time!
So, I shipped out the first batch of Virtual Ribbons - whew - that was a lot of work! Now, I get to sit back and hopefully hear the good news from happy customers (the best part). It's a pretty cool feeling to know I've helped so many Virtual Boys function in the world again for a long time to come :)
and yes - now I'm taking orders for the 2nd batch of PCBs (v3.3 bump as well!)
There's also some extremely exciting retro gaming news: we are getting a new Sega Game Gear game in 2020 - and it's none other than GG Aleste 3 (!!!)
I nearly lost my mind when I heard the news, as the GG Aleste series are some of my favorite games ever made. In fact, the first paycheck I ever got went to a complete copy of GG Aleste :O
As if that wasn't enough to keep the heart rate up, Cotton Reboot! dropped a full trailer in September. It looks fantastic, much better than other previous branding hype remakes out there.
This looks like it's going to be a real gem, with all sorts of new scoring mechanics akin to Cave-style shmups. I can't wait! I'm trying to stay up-to-date via the wonderful Shmups.com thread here :)
7/5/2020: After a year of hard work I'm excited to announce the Virtual Ribbon!
This all began as a pet project when a buddy of mine picked up a Virtual Boy that he let me borrow. I handn't played one since the 90's when I was at a Toys R Us kiosk. The display game was Mario Tennis, it gave me a headache, and I quickly lost interest.
Playing it today was a whole new experience though. The gorgeous sprites of Wario Land and the unbelievable wire frame effect of Red Alarm instantly won me over! The library, while small, is quite stellar and I hope to get more games as time goes on - it's a cool little system!
Learning there was no easy fix for my friends intermittent eye issue on the unit, I began developing the Virtual Ribbon. I am proud to have found a super solid fix to improve on the fidgety solutions out there.
Contact Me if you'd like to pre-order one and support more awesome SSFD R&D :)
6/24/2020: I'm excited for the announcement and emerging details of a brand-new Aleste game! For the uninitiated, Aleste was a classic series of vertical space shooters ("shmups") developed for various consoles in the 80's and 90's. In my humble opinion, there some of the best shoot-em-ups we've ever seen and I can't wait to play anyone!
Also, I've recently developed a new Deluxe Sync Clean Pro PCB!
This was due to popular demand for a VGA pluggable solution to clean pesky video synchronization signals, especially with arcade games that will not display correctly on a standard monitor. The deluxe version also incorporates USB power solution and a couple other expansion options.
Note, this is not an upscaler - it doesn't change the vertical or horizontal refresh rate drastically, but rather, fine tunes it to industry standards.
Contact Me if you'd like to order one!
5/26/2020: I've been working on ease of assembly and production. With so many installs and circuits built over the years, I'm learning to appreciate the benefits of simplicity!
I'm focusing more on install instructions and using pre-cut cable looms to limit people from having to struggle with stripping wires and all that goes with it.
With that in mind, I'm happy to announce the EZ-Gen! A new set of mini-PCBs that make Uni-Gen installs a breeze. Flat flex ribbon cables are a growing favorite of mine, as they give install flexibility and I can swap in different lengths, too :)
EZ-Gens are now available in the shop with new PCBs for reverse plug (top or bottom) on the way soon!
4/27/2020: It's hard to believe how much has happened since the last update --
I've been finalizing my new Sync Clean Pro circuit which I'm excited about. AFAIK it's the best mini sync cleaner (under $50) of its kind and does an amazing job of cleaning up the Sega Genesis sync output.
It reduces voltage spikes and incorporates 3 different IC's to digitally filter sync pulses for a stable video output. Very useful for pesky arcade PCBs, too!
I'm currently revamping a Deluxe Sync Clean V2.0 as well as the Standard model which will be in the shop soon :)
In the meantime, I've also added some stickers you can buy now! It's nice to change things up a bit.
I've also developed a new test PCB for the Uni-Gen and some "EZ-Gen" adapter PCBs to smooth installation. Strongly considering making:
1. an all-in-1 Uni-Gen PCE board
2. a Uni-Gen to SNES adapter
In addition to other projects in the works :) What do you think would be more helpful? Feel free to post on the wall of the Contact page!
12/29/19: Long at last! I have finally finished the longest customer order I've ever done. I can't even say how long...let's just say I learned my lesson: never do R&D and commission work at the same time. Yikes!
In the end it turned out splendid though, the customer was a real sweetheart and was extremely understanding. If it wasn't for the nice people I do the work for I could never keep making retro PCBs.
This Game Gear is a dream come true, and is easily the most advanced modified Sega Game Gear on planet earth. Sometimes it's especially hard to let these customized units go - it's like giving your kids up for adoption or something :O
Aside from that I've been getting back into the motions of developing new boards parts orders, version updates, etc...and I should be taking orders and building PCBs again by the end of Jan :)
I've also been making custom Sega stickers! Should I add them to the shop for $2-$5? Let me know what you think!
12/17/19: Well, it's been pretty quiet here. I've been trying to finish off some customer orders and I've vowed to not take new orders on until I finish off one pesky R&D design (sorry!) So I've been backed up for a while. Rest assured though, I'm getting all your emails and I will post back here when things are in full gear again!
In the meantime, I've been very excited about finally getting a full physical release for Freedom Planet! I love this game to death, and the fans were clamoring for a release like this for years. I'm still stunned that it actually happened! It's a magnificent package, and a great ode to what is possibly the best video game since the death of the Dreamcast. There's a sequel on the way, but you owe it to yourself to try this one out first.
5/18/19: I just finished a major project update in the Repairs section! I spent a long time creating a cool project log for an epic Sega Genesis repair that will hopefully help other people in fixing these old wonderful consoles.
In other news, it looks like we're finally getting a high-quality reproduction Sega Genesis! Sega's highly anticipated Genesis Mini will turn a new leaf by employing renowned developer M2 to create some solid software for HDMI retro goodness. This is a major departure from Sega's previous agreement with AtGames, whos buggy and cheaply made clone consoles have developed a loathsome reputation.
M2 has been churning out lots of top-notch Sega ports, including the better-than-arcade-perfect Virtua Racing! I was surprised at how buttery smooth and very enjoyable this classic is to play in 2019. It drives laps around the 32X port :)
5/7/2019: Wow, it seems Sega Genesis controllers are all the rage right now! Who would have thought that after 20+ years they would be making brand new officially licensed Sega Genesis controllers again? Not me! But they look gorgeous and feel almost 1:1 with my original pads - amazing!
This is good news for Uni-Gen owners, because all these new controllers mean a lot more options for playing many different consoles!
One recent customer (all the way from Jersusalem) sent this image of his new Uni-Gen working with a Krikzz Joyzz :)
Aside from that, I've been in microscope land recently thanks to a new HDMI LCD setup I have going. It's really helping for debugging and repairs as well as board assembly! >>>>>
I've been posting lots of new repair videos with it that you can watch here.
2/25/2019: While I have some new designs on the way, I've been keeping busy doing Sega CDX repairs! People contact me all the time to work on these units and it I must admit, it's hard to turn them down.
My favorite system of all time and a true beauty of engineering - I gathered all the repaired units for one photo op before shipping them out :)
5/18/2018: Lately I've been picking up some 3D modeling skills and getting a good grip on Lasercutting! - here are some Neo Geo MV-1B bottom covers I made which I am currently shipping out for FREE (only asking the $7 priority shipping in USA). Contact me if you want one :)
and while I'm keeping it pretty low-key, this amazing new product will be shipping in the near future... :)
4/3/2018: This year is proving to be a busy one! Over the past few months I became something of a Macbook Pro repair expert, upgrading my skillset to the microscopic level of doing BGAs and 0402 parts repairs! (see image >>>)
It's been fun to learn a new part of the craft. I'm still hard at work finalizing my new Game Gear board design and I plan on upgrading the shop soon. In the meantime, check out my new S-video board and various instructional hacks over here
12/10/2017: The weather outside is frightful, but soldering is so delightful! I've been entering my seasonal hibernation phase where I hack away inside the warmth of my home. Got 3 more boards knocked out and I'll add them to the shop within the coming weeks.
The SNES mini seems to be a huge success with some cool add-ons coming to market. After playing one I was pretty impressed with the make of the controls. I sure hope Sega is taking notes, cause quality *does* sell! Is it weird that I'm becoming a Nintendo fan?
I'm super pleased that the Switch is selling like hotcakes with lots of great indie titles coming to fruition, including Wonderboy and the NGPC-style Pocket Rumble! It's great to see the love of oldskool games still going strong!
10/16/2017: Another month has flown by with many cool things happening! I received my Sonic Mania OST and it is TOPS. Tee Lopes really knocked it out of the park and having Sonic music on vinyl is a dream come true!
I also have some exciting new projects coming to the shop soon! and I'm making more install videos and other helpful stuff too. Keep those emails and questions coming, I'll do my best to answer them all.
9/11/2017: My new PCB designs are now up for pre-order! I've been working hard these past months and am excited to finally share them. See the shop page for details on each board and how to order.
8/11/2017: Sonic Mania has leaked! One week prior to its release, videos of all sorts of gameplay are showing up online! I'm way OK with this, just needing to pace myself and not watch all the spoilers :P The hype seems well founded though, as the fan love and gameplay quality here is superb! There are tons of easter eggs for blue blur fans and throwbacks galore, plus new stages and art that is truly stunning. The soundtrack is still what peaks this game for me though and I can't wait for mine to arrive!
8/02/2017: Sonic Mania is coming! Yes, I am pretty excited and I've loved watching all the fan videos and news updates online. I'm also looking forward to the Sonic Mania Vinyl Soundtrack!
Never has a Sonic soundtrack been released on oldskool 33"1/3 records and this is just Way. Past. Cool.
The music is composed by the wonderful Tee Lopes - a gifted Sonic fan that landed the job with his talents. I'm so happy to support him and the work he does.
7/30/2017: So someone made an entire FREE album tribute to Ecco The Dolphin - sweet! This kinda thing doesn't happen very often. I love it when people do stuff like this, like a few years back with the Sonic CD Remix albums (here in case you missed those!)
Patient Corgi did some great work on this one and I'm enjoying it a lot, made my night. Check it out here.
Check back later for more updates :)