– my stuff and reviews

18 Jun

Dingoo A320 Portable gaming device

The A320 is the latest portable gadget added to my collection.   It comes in Black or White with 4GB built in.   It uses miniSD cards.  These can be costly but thanks to adapters, you can use common microSD cards.  Not going to bore you with more specs since you’ll probably read it elsewhere.

Out of all my portable gaming devices, the PSP is my favourite.  However it is rather big at times and thus the reason why I wanted to get a Dingoo.  The A320 is somewhere between a Gameboy Micro and PSP 2000/slim.  It’s pretty well made and has an interface similar to Sony’s XMB.  It’s just not as polished though.

For about $80US, it’s not cheap but it does a lot.  If they were about $60, they would fly off the shelves.  I ordered it from DX on June 2nd and it came to my house on June 11th!  That’s fast!

I was a bit disappointed with the gaming performance.  I bought it primarily to play CPS2 and Neo Geo games.  There was definitely slowdown for most games.  For CPS1/NES/GBA games, it’s very good though.  SNES wasn’t too great either.  The PSP blows it away in terms of speed for CPS2/Neo Geo games.   The PSP can of course play PSP games too which is a major plus.  The PSP also has a bigger, brighter, and nicer screen.  Emulators are miles ahead on the PSP with the exception of SNES, which no portable system seems to emulate very well at full speed.

There are also native games on the A320 like 7 Days but I wasn’t really into them.  They were GBA quality.  I played 7 Days for a few minutes and was rather impressed with the graphics but though it was poorly executed in the way of the dialog.  It was very “Engrish”, lots of grammar and spelling errors.  The story sound like it was written in Chinese and then put though a Google translator.

Sometimes the Dingoo would freeze and it was a huge pain in the butt to scrounge around for a small pin or needle to poke the reset button!  There are tutorials on the net on how to make a reset button that sticks out more but really I have better things to do! haha I just might after I get annoyed enough.

Pretty much all the divx files downloaded can be played easily on the Dingoo.  This is another reason why I like the Dingoo.  I also download lots of FLV clips from Dailymotion and they just play fine with out any conversion.

It plays every audio format I can through at it.  MP3/APE/FLAC/etc.   Call me crazy but most of my files are MP3.  I think the iPhone/Touch/PSP is a better music player.  It has a hold switch to prevent accidental button presses.

The Dingoo is a neat all around device.  However, for what the PSP Slim can do, I’d take that over a Dingoo any day.  The PSP scene has fantastic homebrew apps, fairly stable and fast emulators, and is quite active.

If you’re like me and love collecting portable gadgets get one!  If not, find yourself a hackable PSP and enjoy.  You’re not missing out on a lot at the moment.  In the future, there could be significant improvements so keep an eye out on the Dingoo scene.  The Dingoo is a jack of all trades but master of none and still a gadget to have if you like this sort of thing.  If the Dingoo homebrew community could write better, optimized programs, this device would be a must have.

Check out the photos.  I found a very snug fit case from Ross for $6US.  It’s a Case Logic phone holder.  The same thing is sold at Walmart for around $18!

Dingoo A-320 2.8″ LCD GBA/NGO/SNES/ NES/SFC/CPS1/2/+ Emulator Game Console (4GB Built-in + Mini-SD) (Black)
Dingoo A-320 2.8″ LCD GBA/NGO/SNES/ NES/SFC/CPS1/2/+ Emulator Game Console (4GB Built-in + Mini-SD) (White)

28 Feb

MSI Star Finder SF220 Bluetooth GPS Reciever


This BT GPS reciever lets you become location aware.  Running desktop apps like Garmin Mobile PC or MS Streets and Trips, you can find your way around town.  I paid around $50 (shipping included).

For the $$ I paid, I got quite a lot.  Included in the package was a USB car adapter (you can use this with other USB devices too), USB cable, USB AC Adapter (again you can use it with other devices), BL-5C battery.

The great thing about this device is it uses a standard common Nokia BL-5C/A cellphone battery.   If you have Nokia’s lying around like I do, you’ll most likely have one to use as a spare already.

It’s a tiny device at only 6x4x1.5cm.  Since it’s bluetooth you can probably just shove it in the glovebox.

To work with your notebook/PC.  You have to have Bluetooth capability.  Most modern notebooks will have it built-in.  If not get one of these tiny USB dongles.
Use your Bluetooth manager to find the gps reciever.   Set up is different for each bluetooth device.  I have BlueSoleil and this is how to set it up.  It’s similar with other BT dongles.
Right-click and pair with your PC.

The passkey is 0000.  (4 zeros)

Create a serial port connection.


As you can see, a serial port (COM7) has been created.  You’re almost done.

Using your favourite GPS application, mine is Garmin Mobile PC, go to the settings and “Use Bluetooth GPS”.  That’s it.

18 Feb

Add more buttons to your arcade stick

I added a couple more buttons to the Hori stick since the FBA-XXX emulator uses R3 button to pull up the in-game menu.  I figure I might as well add 2 more buttons for L3 and R3 to make it more complete.

What you need is a 30mm hole saw and you can start making more holes for you stick.

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