Console Projects >> Console Encoder Box (retired)

Intro: Invention is the Mother of Necessity

Note: This project is marked as "retired", since it has been completely re-done.
Check out the You Don't Know Jack Controller v2 to see the new and improved incarnation of this project.

My wife and I finally upgraded the TV in our family room from an old 25-inch to a 32-incher. It's niiiiice. While we were shopping around for TVs, I got the idea that it'd be pretty cool to have a PC on this nice new TV. Yeah...get a wireless keyboard, run an ethernet line up to the family room so that the PC would have network and internet access, put all of our digital pictures on this computer so that we could have a little photo slide-show action for people...

After I got the whole thing up and working, my wife thought that it would be really cool to install You Don't Know Jack on this PC. That sounded great to me! When we have people over, we could all gather around the wireless keyboard and play a few rounds. Playing in the family room would be a lot more cozy than having everyone huddle around my computer in the basement or my wife's computer up in the study.

But then I got to thinking that having three people crowding around a keyboard really isn't the ideal way to play anything, in my opinion. Why not build a custom controller for playing YDKJ? Then I remembered that I had seen a site that had talked about doing this before: the Build Your Own Arcade Controls website. They had detailed how they had hacked a keyboard and made the hand-buzzers, but it's still pretty much a "work in progress" at their site. I figured that taking this thing to completion would be right up my alley.

But then I got to thinking even much as I like You Don't Know Jack, why limit this project to just that one game? If I'm going to go through the trouble of putting a PC together at the TV and making a set of customized controllers, why not make it modular, so that it can run a variety of things?

And so, this project began...


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