John (jdmlight)'s portable NES!

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John (jdmlight)'s portable NES!

Post by jdmlight » Fri Feb 12, 2010 4:13 pm

The Midwest Gaming Classic is coming up, which for some odd reason is giving me the urge to portablize something... :wink:

So NES it is! Why? It shouldn't be a hard first portable, I have a NES to use, and ... well I like the NES.

I've ordered a Zenith 5" screen and have my NES in pieces. I've got the RF modulator desoldered already. I'll work on getting rid of the expansion connector tonight. I need some various parts before continuing (such as a 7805, the video amplifier parts, on/off switches, etc)

One thing that isn't quite settled yet is how I'm going to power this. I was thinking about using sub-C NiMh cells so that I can have pretty decent battery life (I found 4500mAh NiMh sub-C's at batteryspace.com, I figured my portable would use about 1500mA before the LED backlight mod, so that should be about 3 hours battery life). But what I'm curious about is how many to use. 6 of those would produce 7.2 volts, which may not be enough for the 7805. I could add a 7th or even 8th, but I want to maximize space (obviously, it's a portable).

Anyone with experience in this area?

(by the way, did I mention that there is a LOT of empty space in the NES? Well, there certainly is...)
--John (and please call me John, it's really weird to be called by my username)
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Re: John (jdmlight)'s portable NES!

Post by Quetzalcoatlus » Fri Feb 12, 2010 4:19 pm

I used a 7.2 volt battery with a 7805 in my second NESp and it works fine, so I don't think you should have a problem with using 6 cells.

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Re: John (jdmlight)'s portable NES!

Post by jdmlight » Fri Feb 12, 2010 4:58 pm

Quetzalcoatlus wrote:I used a 7.2 volt battery with a 7805 in my second NESp and it works fine, so I don't think you should have a problem with using 6 cells.
Awesome! 3 cells (per side) will fit nicely into the hand grips on my portable.

I might post pics later, although there really isn't much to see at this point.
--John (and please call me John, it's really weird to be called by my username)
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Re: John (jdmlight)'s portable NES!

Post by jdmlight » Thu Mar 11, 2010 10:26 pm

Update: Franken-NES! It all works (I don't have the batteries/charger yet, I intend to get that soon).
Image

But I do have a question: what are the vertical lines on the screen?
Image
--John (and please call me John, it's really weird to be called by my username)
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Re: John (jdmlight)'s portable NES!

Post by hailrazer » Fri Mar 12, 2010 8:09 am

IIRC the Nes needs a video amp to work properly with the Psone screen.
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Re: John (jdmlight)'s portable NES!

Post by eagle5953 » Fri Mar 12, 2010 8:38 am

hailrazer wrote:IIRC the Nes needs a video amp to work properly with the Psone screen.
The truth, he speaks it.

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Re: John (jdmlight)'s portable NES!

Post by jdmlight » Fri Mar 12, 2010 2:04 pm

hailrazer wrote:IIRC the Nes needs a video amp to work properly with the Psone screen.
Yep, I've got one already - the PSOne screen won't show anything at all without the amp. I'm using this amplifier circuit:
Image
Should I be using a different amplifier circuit? Do the vertical lines mean that the transistor is bad or something?
--John (and please call me John, it's really weird to be called by my username)
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Re: John (jdmlight)'s portable NES!

Post by themadhacker » Fri Mar 12, 2010 8:12 pm

that happens sometimes to me when my games are not making all proper connections. clean the game or try a different cartridge.
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Re: John (jdmlight)'s portable NES!

Post by jdmlight » Fri Mar 12, 2010 9:24 pm

themadhacker wrote:that happens sometimes to me when my games are not making all proper connections. clean the game or try a different cartridge.
Thanks for the advice! It definitely was a "not making all proper connections" issue. However it's the stupid cartridge connector. I examined it and moved around some pins (namely "repurposed" some of the ones in the middle that aren't used, at least they aren't used on Tetris) and it works!
Image
Unfortunately that only worked until I pulled out Tetris and tried Link...

I bought this replacement connector only maybe a year ago...

So, does anyone know of a good replacement for the NES cartridge connector? Something that does NOT use the same design would be awesome. I just need something with the same pin spacing. PCI connector perhaps?
--John (and please call me John, it's really weird to be called by my username)
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Re: John (jdmlight)'s portable NES!

Post by themadhacker » Fri Mar 12, 2010 9:29 pm

I suggest using a game genie's slot. either that or buy a fried nes clone off of somebody on here for the cart slot.
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Re: John (jdmlight)'s portable NES!

Post by jdmlight » Fri Mar 12, 2010 10:04 pm

What about something like this:
Digi-Key Part # A31721-ND
They don't have any in stock right now, but the minimum quantity is only 1.
--John (and please call me John, it's really weird to be called by my username)
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Re: John (jdmlight)'s portable NES!

Post by jdmlight » Sat Mar 13, 2010 9:14 pm

Perfect! I'll just do what Ben did on his NES Micro:
http://benheck.com/Games/Nintendo_proje ... Micro1.htm
Universal floppy drive cables like that are easy to find and are cheap:
http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications ... pNo=187477
Hooray! I'll pick one of those up at TigerDirect to move this project along some more...
--John (and please call me John, it's really weird to be called by my username)
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Re: John (jdmlight)'s portable NES!

Post by jdmlight » Wed Mar 17, 2010 9:04 pm

I was bored while waiting for the rest of my parts to arrive, so I made a mockup. And no, not the Photoshop kind...

Image

Image

Image

(The last picture makes me realize (again) that I need a lens shorter than 55mm * 1.5 =~85mm...)

This mockup in cardboard, pink insulation foam, and duct tape really is useful though, it helps me determine the size of the wood pieces I need to cut. It also helps me visualize how all the parts will fit together.
--John (and please call me John, it's really weird to be called by my username)
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Re: John (jdmlight)'s portable NES!

Post by eagle5953 » Wed Mar 17, 2010 9:20 pm

LOL @ labeling your Priority Mail box with "PSone Screen." Doing a dry-run mockup is helpful for determining dimensions and the like, though.

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Re: John (jdmlight)'s portable NES!

Post by WhatULive4 » Thu Mar 18, 2010 3:44 pm

Using the floppy drive connector isn't necessarily recommended. I think Ben is the only one who has made it work successfully (many others have tried). Apparently it is really hard to get it to line up correctly and the spacing isn't perfect. I'd also recommend the Game Genie.

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