‘Impossible’ isn’t in Andy West’s vocabulary
Retro modding: If you’ve been gaming for longer than a decade or two, you might remember classic consoles like the SNES. If so, you almost certainly recall their plentiful accessories, such as the entertaining — and at times frustrating — Super Scope, one of Nintendo’s earliest gun accessories. The device usually only works on older CRT TVs, but one clever hardware modder has developed a workaround for this restriction.
Before we delve into that, we’ll start with a bit of background. The Super Scope, for those who are unaware, was first released back in 1992. The bazooka-shaped “light gun” was the successor to the original NES’ “Zapper,” and it was completely wireless.
The Super Scope functions by taking advantage of the screen-scanning technology used by CRT TVs. When you point the device at the screen, it determines whether a given area of the screen is illuminated or not and uses that information to calculate a hit or miss.
With this information in mind, it’s easy to see why the device wouldn’t typically work on modern, LCD-based displays. However, Andy West, over at element14 has come up with a solution.
Using a Raspberry Pi, TV-attached IR tape, an IR camera, IR LEDs, an Arduino box, and other miscellaneous gadgets, the modder was able to trick the SNES, and the Super Scope, into functioning on flat-screen displays.
The full process is incredibly complicated and technical in nature, but if you feel equipped to tackle the challenge, you can try to mod your own Super Scope by following in Andy’s footsteps.
Element14 has helpfully provided the public with a full list of all the hardware and software and components you’d need to recreate their build, so the only things stopping you are time and determination.
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