Utter Beginner - Lot's of Questions!

Do you have a technical question that doesn't really fit a specific console? Want some general info on electronics, hacking, making cookies, etc? Here's the place to ask! Go nuts.

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DanTheBib
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Utter Beginner - Lot's of Questions!

Post by DanTheBib » Mon Jul 05, 2010 4:00 am

Hey there, I have been a long time admirer of everyone's modding abilities on this forum, and after hours pouring through it last night, decided finally to join and ask a few questions.

I have literally no modding/electronic experience, and no soldering experience, though will of course buy a small kit and practise on some old electronic stuff. I would love to build a N64 portable, but feel that making that portable is probably too advance for someone like me. However, gamecube's are really cheap where I live, and that is another option I'd consider...

So questions!

1) Which is the simplest console to make portable?
2) How much (approximately) would that cost?
3) Do you have links to guides on benheck/modding forums?
4) Do you have links to guides that may be generally useful, such as basic soldering/desoldering, or anything else I may need?

Thanks to all who reply, I have of course looked through the forums, but really need people with experience's input :)

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snowpenguin
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Re: Utter Beginner - Lot's of Questions!

Post by snowpenguin » Mon Jul 05, 2010 4:01 am

1. check the stickies
2. check the stickies
3. check the stickies
4. check the stickies

have fun with that
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bicostp
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Re: Utter Beginner - Lot's of Questions!

Post by bicostp » Mon Jul 05, 2010 8:21 am

1.) Console-on-a-chip portables are the easiest to build. They don't even require cartridges most of the time, they're fun, they're very cheap, and they can run for hours and hours off a pair of rechargeable AAs. Those $20 game controllers that plug right into the TV are alright, but the better ones are the NES/SNES knockoffs and the Atari Flashback 2 because they can (usually) use real cartridges with some modification.

2.) That depends on what you build. A console-on-a-chip portable shouldn't cost too much (relatively speaking), because the parts are all pretty cheap and you don't have to buy an expensive high-amperage battery pack. "Real" consoles draw more power, so you need more expensive higher-capacity batteries to get decent run time out of them. It also depends on the kind of screen you want. No-name 3.5" fresh-off-the-boat-special LCDs are cheap, better quality 5"+ LCDs cost more. Using the console-on-a-chip portable, figure $20 for the console itself (far less if you shop around the thrift stores like Savers and Goodwill), $20 for some batteries, $50 for a screen, and at least $25 for supplies to make a case. Check the Trading Post for portables up for sale to get a price estimate, but remember to mentally subtract a couple hundred from those prices because they include labor, not just parts.

3.) Check the stickies in the forums relevant to the console you want to work on, the screen forum, and the case-building forum. The Reference section should have a lot of suitable information too.

DanTheBib
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Re: Utter Beginner - Lot's of Questions!

Post by DanTheBib » Mon Jul 05, 2010 11:22 am

What is a console on a chip? Is that like the NES emulator + screen fitted into a old NES cartridge (like this)? Or is it more like this?

Are there any tutorials on this sort of thing, I have googled and looked on the forums but not much has come up at all.

Thanks for your response though bicostp, it was very useful.

snowpenguin, I have looked through the stickies, but was asking for personal people's advice and tips. Also, you could have been more specific or linked me, as opposed to just noob bashing.

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Re: Utter Beginner - Lot's of Questions!

Post by DK » Mon Jul 05, 2010 12:13 pm

DanTheBib wrote:What is a console on a chip? Is that like the NES emulator + screen fitted into a old NES cartridge (like this)? Or is it more like this?
Like this :wink:
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Triton
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Re: Utter Beginner - Lot's of Questions!

Post by Triton » Mon Jul 05, 2010 3:30 pm

snowpenguin, I have looked through the stickies, but was asking for personal people's advice and tips. Also, you could have been more specific or linked me, as opposed to just noob bashing.
+1. everybody has to start somewhere snowpenguin. yes the stickies are a wealth of information but asking for ideas or opinions is more than welcome on this forum. so is being helpful and considerate of others, just saying "check the stickies noob" isnt very useful because the stickies have a LOT of information, but not organized info. you could have directed him towards specific threads etc if you actually wanted to help.
Are there any tutorials on this sort of thing, I have googled and looked on the forums but not much has come up at all.
you could buy bens book. that is about as close as you can get to a step by step guide on how to build a variety of portables.

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Re: Utter Beginner - Lot's of Questions!

Post by DanTheBib » Wed Jul 07, 2010 3:53 pm

Thanks for the responses to far.

I was looking at portable N64's, as I have a bit of a thing for them :D

I wondered if you guys thought it would be possible to make one of those as a first time portable by following the step by step guide Bacteria has? I have watched about 5 of the video's so far, and it doesn't seem too difficult, and that way I could also just purchase his case to save me the trouble of modding some plastic :lol:

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Re: Utter Beginner - Lot's of Questions!

Post by Cojiro » Mon Jul 12, 2010 9:53 pm

DanTheBib wrote:Thanks for the responses to far.

I was looking at portable N64's, as I have a bit of a thing for them :D

I wondered if you guys thought it would be possible to make one of those as a first time portable by following the step by step guide Bacteria has? I have watched about 5 of the video's so far, and it doesn't seem too difficult, and that way I could also just purchase his case to save me the trouble of modding some plastic :lol:
My first portable was an N64 (look at my sig). One year ago, I was no different than you are now. I had no modding experience, but I didn't want to fool around with any of the easier mods, I wanted a n64p. I never had any help other than the information on this site, and the people on this site that were willing to help me along the way. 7 months later, I had my portable. Now, I am actually pretty good at this stuff, and am almost finished building my 2nd n64p, which is looking much nicer and is about half the size.
So what I am saying is, yes, it is definitely possible to do a n64p as a first time mod. It will not be easy, but it is not impossible. You are going to run into some real problems, get really frustrated, and probably accidentally break some of your parts, but that's OK. The N64 is a really touchy system, and gives even the best of us trouble. All the information you need is right here. Go for it!
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