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 Post subject: NES 80's Laptop
PostPosted: Fri Feb 04, 2011 4:09 pm 
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Updated Design
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Old Design
Spoiler:
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So I'm going to make a NES Laptop with a 1980's theme. Estimated completion date before March 25, 2011 (MGC). Overall dimensions I'm hoping for around 9"x6.5"x2". The cartridge bay is going to pop open and work like a cassette deck, and there is also a bay for one built in controller. I was hoping to have 2, but that would have made the unit either way too long (if I had them on each side of the cart like I originally wanted) or way too thick (if I stacked the controllers on top of each other). The screen is offset on the top, and the grill next to it is made from the ridge design parts of the top of an NES case, which will open up like a door to reveal most of the screen buttons, mimicing the design of the TV we used to have.

TO DO LIST:
Frustrating Chapter:
Cart slot relocation
remove expansion slot
remove rf box (Thanks Ben)
Disable Lockout Chip
Make a "NES Video Amplifier" as described in the book
Batteries (unneeded, will run NES and Screen off of PSone Adapter)

The Case:
Vacuum formed case Comission (Thanks Lorne)
Cut holes for Screen and Screen Controllers
Cut holes for Game and Controller bays
Hardwire controllers and all the other stuff (power, screen controlls,etc)
Additional Casework, cutting holes etc.
Paint

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Last edited by wallydawg on Fri Apr 19, 2013 4:10 pm, edited 4 times in total.

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 Post subject: Re: NES 80's Laptop
PostPosted: Fri Feb 04, 2011 4:30 pm 
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I like it. I hope your estimated date isn't too ambitious, as I'd love to see this thing.

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 Post subject: Re: NES 80's Laptop
PostPosted: Fri Feb 04, 2011 8:06 pm 
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I remember TVs with doors like that, use little adjusters to set what channel each button went to. Before I read the description I just thought it was the speaker grill.

You might be able to make room for a second controller if you use wireless controllers to free up the space the cord normally takes up? If you use RF wireless, you don't even need to put in an IR window. (I've always had trouble with IR wireless anyways...)

What's going to be on the lid? Big red (NINTENDO) logo, like how my laptop says TOUGHBOOK on the lid?


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 Post subject: Re: NES 80's Laptop
PostPosted: Fri Feb 04, 2011 10:41 pm 
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I second the nintendo logo idea.

Have you considered modifying the controllers? They could be made a good deal shorter or thinner.

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 Post subject: Re: NES 80's Laptop
PostPosted: Sat Feb 05, 2011 4:25 am 
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Yeah I thought about modding the controllers but with the time alloted for this project (not much) I dont think I'll have enough time to think of and make something satisfactory. Maybe sometime after the project is complete Ill look into it.

I hadnt thought about the top yet. The logo is a good idea maybe I will do that. I'm also seeing if my friend can make me a carrying case/bag for it, modeled after a Members Only jacket.

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 Post subject: Re: NES 80's Laptop
PostPosted: Sat Feb 05, 2011 5:01 pm 
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I like it. Retro looking, but with a nice modern LCD screen. Sounds like a fun project that would make YouTube or Engadget commenters say, "Why isn't he using an emulator? Durrr...." because they don't "get it".

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 Post subject: Re: NES 80's Laptop
PostPosted: Wed Feb 23, 2011 12:52 am 
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Right so I got some stuff done since I started this thread.

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Working on cart slot relocation, used a cart I didn't care about so I wouldn't get confused on where to solder the wires. Halfway done, want to kill myself.

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Bottom view of it, for whatever reason. I forgot to hotglue them for extra support, but I'm sure it'll be fine.

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Cart slot finally done and soldered in place and hotglued for extra support. Want to kill everyone else.

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Expansion slot removed. It was stuck in there pretty good so I had to pry it out with pliers. Not as annoying as the cart slot relocation, though.

I also did the lockout chip "mod," but I didnt take any pictures of that. It's just a snipped pin from the chip anyway. Up next I'm going to create the video amplifier board described in the book to use the PSone screen. I'm not going to led mod it, maybe some point at a later date when the project has been finished. Also, hopefully case news sometime soon. :)

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 Post subject: Re: NES 80's Laptop
PostPosted: Sun Mar 13, 2011 11:43 pm 
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Spring Breeeeeeeak. Less than 2 weeks left until MGC so it's crunch time for sure. I bought some paint for the case (more on that later as I also forgot to post about that when I received the pieces), and started working on the video amplifier. I kept in the old rf/power regulator box for now (just in case), and wired up the video amplifier for the new screen seperately. When comparing the video output, the colors from my amp seem kind on pale. The book says:

Quote:
You may also omit or change the value of the 220-ohm resistor connected to the +5 volts if the circuit needs less or more power when hooked to the pocket TV you choose.


So I'm going to try that tomorrow. I'll do omitting the 220-ohm resistor first, then if that doesnt work I'll change it, but does "change" mean use a higher or lower numbered resistor? How much of a difference in ohms would I probably need? Here's a picture of it in the book, just want to make sure it's the top resistor that I need to replace.
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And here's some pictures of the video quality vs. my vid amp. First picture is regular tv-out from the default power box, second picture is video from my video amp. Not that you can really tell the difference in these phone quality pictures anyway (mostly in the blue item bar and in the blue arrows of the stage number blocks), but it's more noticible when seeing it in real life.

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Image

more to come soon and hopfully quite rapidly.

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 Post subject: Re: NES 80's Laptop
PostPosted: Tue Mar 15, 2011 1:21 pm 
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MorningAfternoon update. Fixed my vid amp, just omitted the top 220 ohm resistor and everything looks perfect now. For the screen I was planning to use my Zenith Xbox screen, the ones with the same boards as the psone screen, but I dun goofed like This guy and broke the backlight by trying to power it with the psone power adapter, which kind of sucks since I really didn't want to LED Backlight Mod it. I have a regular PSOne screen too but I'd rather not use that since I use it for it's actual intended purpose, but since I can't make heads or tails of the xbox a/v mod pinout I might not have a choice.

So my plan of action with the screen is this: I'm going to hook it up to my NES anyway, and if it works (even without the backlight) I'll comission an LED Backlight mod kit., otherwise I will just use my psone screen. As for the zenith xbox screen, Here's the Xbox A/V Pinout. It's kind of confusing since it uses Mode Selection switches or something for the different kinds of video attachments. I would just need the NTSC Mono mode for my laptop so I guess for the video wire I would use pin 24, and pin 23 for it's ground?

More updates tonight when I get home from work. MGC in 10 days.

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 Post subject: Re: NES 80's Laptop
PostPosted: Mon Mar 21, 2011 2:02 am 
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Having problems with getting my screen to work, but I guess I can worry about that later since I'll have more than enough people to ask for help come Friday. That means it's Case Time! I commissioned our good friend Lorne to vacuum form it and he did a kick-ass job. Here are some pictures of his assembly process if you want to see:

Metallica Man X wrote:


You're the Man, Lorne. Now time to cut some pieces for the fronts of the laptop (new post to keep from cluttering).

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 Post subject: Re: NES 80's Laptop
PostPosted: Mon Mar 21, 2011 2:18 am 
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Mapping out the front of the bottom part of the case.

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Mapping out the front section of the top of the case. All the measurements are on the back sides so I don't get the front all gunky.

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We are cutting the case via scroll saw, so I have an extra test piece to try and cut first, to make sure it doesn't crack or split. Not sure why I included this photo since I dont have any other photos of the test cut, it was just random cuts anyway, with no issues so it's on to the real material.

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Bottom piece where the game and controller compartments will be.

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Testing bottom piece to make sure there is room to fit. They will sit inside a compartment, of sorts, inside the case.

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Top part of the case, where the screen and screen components will be.

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Cover for the screen buttons and probably the speaker too, for the top of the case. It came from the NES and sucked to cut out via exacto knife. Picture is of piece before I sanded it.

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Test fit for top pieces. Screen lens not in this picture, but it fits in there fine.

I did the best the could making all the cuts straight with a file and lots of sanding. I thought I had pre-filing pictures but I guess I over-wrote them or something. There is a few bumps and knicks but hopefully the spraypaint will at least cover up some of that. This is about the best I can do with my ability and the allotted time I have, but I think it looks pretty decent. Tomorrow it will be a clear, spray paint friendly 64 degrees outside so hopefully I can get this painted and get most of the work done before Friday.

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 Post subject: Re: NES 80's Laptop
PostPosted: Sun May 15, 2011 11:46 pm 
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any progress on this?


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 Post subject: Re: NES 80's Laptop
PostPosted: Mon May 16, 2011 1:17 am 
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Reubensupernerd wrote:
any progress on this?


I painted it a tannish-grey color (pebble), and Ben dremeled off the old rf/power regulator box for me at MGC (I think Lorne has a photo of this). The Video Amplifier and the Power leads are half-assed at the moment, when I just wanted to make sure everything was still in working order. Still having problems with the screen, so I'm probably going to get one of those 5" TFT screens that people are starting to use instead, as 7" is too large and 4.3" is slightly too small (and also unessesary widescreen). I'll start working on this again with more regularity sometime soon.

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 Post subject: Re: NES 80's Laptop
PostPosted: Mon May 16, 2011 7:15 pm 
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cool, I cant wait to see how it turns out


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 Post subject: Re: NES 80's Laptop
PostPosted: Tue Jul 19, 2011 8:03 am 
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I know that progress post has been a while ago but wanted to know if somebody is still working on this as I had a similar mini nes laptop idea and this could help me greatly (this is my first portable project)

So is this project gonna be continued or is it in the trash can? I'm currently in the intensive research and planning phase (got the book, got the nintoaster video, got a bunch of links to nes modding and casing) but if I could see this finished with some troubleshooting it would help a lot :)


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