And this is how everything ended up looking:
As you can see, my woodworking skills aren't as good as my soldering skills... but the construction at least doesn't fall apart easily and will protect the electronics nicely.

So, does it actually work? Mostly. The joystick I chose isn't ideal (luckily, I can still connect the Playstation controller and use that to play) and the image still has some interference from the CRTs high voltage generator, but all in all I don't think the result is too bad for something I began just to get into VHDL a bit more.

As usual, you can download the VHDL source code of my implementation of the Black Widow hardware. Everything I made is licensed under the GPLv3, the Pokey- and 6502 implementation have their own license clausules. The code is written for the Xilinx Virtex-2 but should compile for other Xilinx FPGAs too. Apart from the PLL and RAM/ROM (which use Xilinx-specific primitives), the code should be easily portable to Altera or other brands of FPGA too. Ofcourse, I can't distribute the ROMs; you should obtain these yourself and then convert them to VHDL using the tools in the source package.

A final word of thanks goes out to Claude Schwarz. If he hadn't helped me with the analog part, I'd probably still wondering why my vectors are all crooked.

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Ralph wrote at 28 Apr 2015, 12.35:

Hi, Thanks for your great work on this! Would you please release your source code under the same license that MikeJ originally used not GPL. This will allow MikeJ and others to benefit by the inclusion of black widow in the replay fpga project without contaminating the svn source code with GPL. It seems kind of unfair that you would benefit from his extensive work, but he can't benefit from yours because you changed the license...

Von wrote at 25 Mar 2015, 19.18:

Reduced windings of Ferrite yoke coil. But are the two halves wired in series, parallel, or anti parallel?

Von wrote at 22 Mar 2015, 7.29:

i have been trying to build a similar console. Couldn't get usable deflection. But maybe now Thanks!

Sprite_tm wrote at 24 Aug 2014, 16.57:

Ah, that seems to be a typo. I just opened the thing up again; the opamps are LM675 chips, not LM685. I've changed it in the text.

FredK wrote at 17 Aug 2014, 2.09:

Where did you find an LM685? I can't seem to find any data on this audio amp.

werwiewas wrote at 10 Jun 2014, 23.52:

+++ I like it a lot! +++

James wrote at 29 Mar 2013, 0.24:

No need to worry about producing x-rays with the CRT, it's actually extremely difficult. CRTs are made out of lead glass that absorbs radiation, and the typical anode voltages for small CRTs in the range of 8-12kV is far too low to generate x-rays with enough energy to penetrate even ordinary glass. X-ray tubes typically don't start emitting any useful amount of radiation until beyond about 40kV and even if you greatly overdrive the CRT, you will burn the shadow mask and crack the glass before it puts out much. On another topic, indeed Gravitar is a simple ROM swap to Black Widow hardware. Black Widow exists because Gravitar was widely hated so Atari released a field conversion kit. BW is a much better game BTW.

keoni29 wrote at 4 Feb 2013, 16.58:

Very cool. I'm building a small B&W vectrex like console using a crt and an arduino. I'm going to use your amplifier design.

MarbleMad wrote at 30 May 2012, 13.22:

Upon reflection I suppose that's kind of a dumb question as you've done most of that out side of the FPGA

MarbleMad wrote at 30 May 2012, 12.47:

How practical would it be to construct a device that took the digital output from a real cinematronics or sega vector game PCB and converted it to an analogue signal a g05 or similar analogue vector monitor could handle?

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