Tech

This retro collector can turn on and control his Nintendo with Alexa

Hang all your Nintendo consoles on the wall and control them with Alexa

Odelot is a user who wanted to share his latest home job with the world. Tired of not being able to connect all his retro consoles due to space problems, he decided to manufacture his own wall anchoring system with which he could place all the consoles with the cables perfectly gathered.

Thus, it would avoid having to place all of them on the table (space that was not available for so many consoles) and could display them without problems as the true collector that he is. The problem came when he wanted to turn on the console he was going to play, a problem that he decided to solve in the most practical way today: with an intelligent assistant.

The idea is that it could control the video signal of all the consoles without having to change cables, and without touching any other device. That is, everything with the voice. After designing the wall mounts and creating them with the help of a 3D printer, the next step was to control the power of the consoles.

The older models of retro consoles had physical two-position switches, so, always leaving the on position, we will only have to connect and disconnect the socket to turn the console on and off. This is something we could easily do with an Alexa compatible smart plug, but instead of having so many plugs per console, Odelot decided to create their own switch board with this feature.

Controlling the video signal

The other step to control was the video signal, and it was the most complicated. With the help of a video switch, the creator of this setup managed to control all the video sources to be able to show the one he wanted on the TV, however, his idea was to be able to control everything with his voice, so he developed a development board with software written by himself so that he could send the necessary commands to the RS-232 port of his Extron MVX-84 VGA Switch.

Obviously all the consoles needed to send the signal in RGB, so he also took care of designing the necessary boards that would bring the video to the switch correctly. With everything assembled, you just have to ask Alexa which console to show on the screen and it will take care of turning it on and selecting the video channel necessary for the TV to show the image of the chosen console.

The process is quite laborious, and existence may have been complicated in some steps, but in general terms the work could give new ideas to other collectors who are in a similar situation.

On the project website you can find all the files of the skill for Alexa (designed to work with the Extron switch), the 3D plans of the wall base for the consoles and all the details of the project. The question we ask ourselves is, how is he going to change the game?

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