About

About Me

Small Cheesy Bio

My name is René Richard, born and raised in Kapuskasing in Northern Ontario. My first exposure to video games came at a very young age. My parents owned a corner store at the time and we rented an NES. While it was not rented, we were allowed to play with. After many tantrums my parents decided we should get our own NES (good parenting) to avoid further disputes when someone would show up to rent the system.

I studied Electronics Engineering in Ottawa in the early 2000’s but I’ve always had a penchant for gaming electronics. My first project demonstration in school was how to modify SNES controllers for use on a PC. Later in school, we built a robot which was radio-controlled via an NES controller.

I also design much audio electronics for guitar rigs – I’ve built my own 4 channel tube amp from scratch, MIDI footcontroller, countless distortion pedals, etc…

About db Electronics

BakingBoards-800x600db Electronics is a pass-time of mine, I run this little project out of my basement shop in Kapuskasing, Ontario. I have a full-time job outside of db Electronics as Network Administrator for a school board.

The Process

Every PCB I generate is a custom design; I use Protel 99SE (because I’m a dinosaur!) to design my schematics, libraries and PCBs. I also do not use any external library components, every component is modelled in my PCB library – this is an old habit I got from my first job where we were not allowed to use external libraries.

PCB builds are outsourced to China unfortunately due to high North American costs for a similar service. I generally use Smart-Prototyping for PCB builds. Their service is rather quick and I’ve never experienced any issues with build quality or incompetent service.

The Shopdb-workshop

My workshop is a simple room in my basement; it is here where all the assembling and development take place. There are three stations total:

  1. An assembly station (pictured to the right) where most hand-soldering takes place. This is also where I keep my multitude of parts bins, most filled with parts I will probably never use!
  2. A development station with 2 PCs (Linux and Windows). This is where all my programmers (ByteBlaster for Altera, EEPROM programmer, etc…). I’m trying to go all Linux but there are a few remaining pieces of software, such as Protel 99SE, that I have a very hard time finding a replacement (and letting go!).
  3. A heavy duty station where I use power tools, hot-plate soldering, packaging, etc…

It’s hard to keep the shop organized – any engineer will attest to this. I’ve heard many times that, the messier your shop is, the smarter (and more eccentric) you are!

My Collection

SNK

  • Neo Geo AES
  • Neo Geo MVS

NEC

  • TurboGrafx-16
  • PC Engine
  • Core Grafx

Nintendo

  • NES x 3
  • Top Loader NES – RGB modded
  • Gameboy
  • SNES x 3
  • Virtual Boy
  • N64
  • Gamecube + Gameboy Player
  • Gameboy Advance SP
  • Nintendo DS Lite
  • Nintendo DS Lite XL
  • Wii
  • Nintendo 3DS
  • Wii U

Sega

  • Sega Master System x 2
  • Sega Master System 2
  • Sega Genesis Model 1 High Definition Graphics x 3
  • Sega Genesis Model 1
  • Sega Genesis Model 2 x 2
  • Sega CD Model 1 Ver 1.10 Bios x 2
  • Sega CD Model 2 Ver x.xx Bios
  • Sega 32X x 2
  • Sega Saturn
  • Sega Game Gear x 3

Sony

  • Playstation x 2
  • PS3