Bacteria's Multi-Console System: Screen+Case+N64 - FINISHED

Includes but not limited to: SNES, Genesis, Sega CD, PlayStation 1, Nintendo 64, Dreamcast, Game Gear and I guess the Virtual Boy.

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bacteria
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Post by bacteria » Sat Feb 23, 2008 3:59 am

As I mentioned last time, I am still sick, although getting much better now. I should be able to do some minor work on the project in the next couple of days (not tomorrow), Wednesday onwards I will have more time.

I ruined one rubbish game cart (Twisted Edge Snowboarding) trying to do the below, as I couldn't get the board into the cart slot to make contact. The game cart mobo only has to be inserted into the cart slot about half way to ensure contact is made, which is good news. This is version 2:

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(Another rubbish game)

Cutting mobos makes a lot of nasty dust, and soldering makes fumes; so I rigged up an old 12cm, virtually silent fan to a switch and a 9v battery, so it moves the dust and fumes away from me while I am working:

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I then used a sanding stone from my dremel to grind away the traces on the cart mobo so that each trace was independent, and checked with my multimeter that that was the case. Using a small screwdriver, I scraped off the green silk-screen to get to the traces just above the contacts. I will flux them with a thin layer of solder and attach wires.

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As mentioned before, I will use an old N64 game cart and hack it, as with this one, for each game system I implement into this project. I have a few lousy games in my collection, so this isn't a problem, also I can buy old N64 games from car boot sales for £1 each; the title doesn't matter after all!
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Post by marshallh » Sat Feb 23, 2008 2:36 pm

You shouldn't have any problems just taking off that 2200uF cap. I ran my SNES without it, no problems. Just to be safe, you can put a 220uF cap on the contacts.
You really lucked out, with the second revision SNES motherboard (integrated APU).
That last component on the edge of the board you wanted to cut is a fuse. Again, if you're wiring input straight to the 7805, no need for the fuse.
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Post by bacteria » Sat Feb 23, 2008 4:20 pm

marshallh wrote:You really lucked out, with the second revision SNES motherboard (integrated APU).
What do you mean please? Is this good or bad?

I took delivery of a second SNES today, much later serial number, same guts. I want to get three SNES's, as my wife likes to play it on our home TV; I need one to mod, and there is a chance I might fry it or it may not work, so I need a third as reserve.

I got a Games Master attachment which is supposed to make USA and Japanese SNES carts play on PAL; however it doesn't work; however I can remove the cart slot for relocation, so it wasn't a waste of money (only cost £2.50 at a car boot sale ($5)).
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Post by Negative_Creep » Sun Feb 24, 2008 1:56 pm

That game is awesome :P Okay it isn't really, but WWF No Mercy is. Anyway...

I love the work so far, but I don't see why your having the NES MAX D-Pad over just a standard D-Pad :?

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Post by DK » Sun Feb 24, 2008 2:41 pm

bacteria wrote:
I got a Games Master attachment which is supposed to make USA and Japanese SNES carts play on PAL; however it doesn't work; however I can remove the cart slot for relocation, so it wasn't a waste of money (only cost £2.50 at a car boot sale ($5)).
I got one of them from a car boot for £2. Just need a Snes and some Japanese games to use it. :roll:
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Post by bacteria » Sun Feb 24, 2008 4:08 pm

Negative_Creep - WWF games are not my cup of tea!

I haven't decided yet on the NES Max D-pad over a standard one, I will open it up and see how it works though - I then have the choice of using it or e-baying it. I was intrigued by the slide D-pad design, it feels nice to use, and also unusual. I can't test it until I hook it up to something, and then it will be hacked to bits. I just thought if the NES pad works, it will work very well, and be easy to use.

? Has anyone used one of these NES pads and care to comment on how good/bad it is verses a normal D-pad ?

DK - I did some research and they claim to work with USA and Japanese SNES carts; so I bought four cheap USA titles I thought might be good (well 3 out of 4 anyway) and the SNES didn't boot up, so I put it down to a bad job. When i get around to it I will e-bay them.
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Post by bacteria » Wed Feb 27, 2008 4:44 am

I have a couple of hours today free, and although I am coughing like a smoker (even though I don't smoke!) as I am still a bit unwell, I am fine to project work.

I couldn't solder to the scraped traces, even using flux, so I soldered wires to the very tip of the contact points (after flux and soldering to the contacts); the top row is done. The wires are hot glued in place, and I have two holes drilled in the mobo so I can screw the mobo in place elevated above the casing. I will then snip off the ends of the mobo as I need the mobo to be small.

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The cart mobo goes most of the way into the cart slot without resistance, and all of the wires connect to the cart slot pins; I checked them with my multimeter.

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I just have the other side to do now.

I have decided to incorporate the following also into the project:

2nd joystick (PS1 and GameCube)
Headphone jack
external connectors to TV (composite and audio)

I don't need to solder wires to all the pins for each project obviously, for example if a system will only use one joystick then I only need to wire to the pins for one joystick; etc (although I accidentally wired up the RGB to the connections in this even though as I have a PAL N64 it only takes composite!).

Re-worked the pin connectors:

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Here is the finished article, all tested with multimeter and all works fine. I prefer having to wire to old game carts for each system rather than the other way around, as it makes much more sense sacrificing a bad N64 game for its mobo than breaking apart an N64 on each occasion for its cart slot and wasting that. :wink:

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As mentioned before, the mobo doesn't go completely into the cart slot, however it does go in a fair way, and makes a slight "click" to indicate the mobo is over the contact pins ok. Nice.

The thick black and red wires are the power lines. (one pair for 7.4v and one for 3v), I also decided to use the twisted yellow and black wires to power the fan (7.4v).

Running out of time again today, back tomorrow on project.

I am in no rush at all on this project, I intend to get full enjoyment from making this multi system project and of course keeping this topic updated at every twist and turn in the effort of keeping this project fully documented.

I had to make this hacked game cart / cart slot part early in the project as I needed to know if I can make one easily (yes) and that it works fine (yes) and small (yes); there was no point making the system reliant on it to find I couldn't make it work, or make it later and find out it had to be bigger than planned and wouldn't work in the casing.

The next step in the project is to check that my memory card (I bought a couple of new ones) for the N64 works so I can reserve it for the project, and wire up the GameCube joystick into a third party N64 controller and make sure it works fine (with my N64 in the lounge). I can then open the NES gamepad as pictured before, and see if I want to use this in my project (or D-pad otherwise); I can then make a pair of battery holders and power connectors for the Li-ion cells, then rip apart a new PSone screen and start case-making and cutting.

I have a considerable amount of work to do, and lots of wiring - not the usual "A > B" connections (fairly easy to check) but "A > connector > cart slot pin > B" for everything, so I have to be careful as one slip up might send something down the wrong wire and fry the system or be hard to work out what the problem is to resolve.


I wasn't going to do this today, snatched last minutes and did it anyway.

Wired up the controller to the N64 joystick; easy that way. If the GameCube joystick works fine, I know all is good. This is one of my many N64 controllers, I used this one as it has a button missing on the front, and I quite like the sloped top buttons, I will probably use them as Start and Select on my project.

It is all ready for me to test tomorrow.

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Post by ShockSlayer » Wed Feb 27, 2008 10:00 pm

Nice work!

I'm always interested in the replacement of n64 joysticks(just ask electric rain...). Start up a game like smash and compare the speeds of the moving cursor. The joystick might read direction, but might not be able to get the right values for the controller.

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Post by Life of Brian » Wed Feb 27, 2008 11:08 pm

That connector idea is brilliant. And your choice of game destruction is perfect too - those WWF games were horrible.
dragonhead wrote:sweet. ive spent a third of my life on benheck!
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Post by w00tLOL » Thu Feb 28, 2008 2:51 am

i know this might fire up a few people, but it seems that this is the best thing that has ever happened for wrestling games. :lol:
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Post by bacteria » Thu Feb 28, 2008 3:43 am

:D Yes, I hate the wrestling games (I got it in a bundle of games I bought), along with most driving games as they are unrealistic and require little skill (drive into a wall and you can still drive at full pelt) or need lots of skill and are boring - Grand Prix on the N64 games - I can see you in my box too - start to quiver...

Thanks Life of Brian, the success of my project depends on this connector.

I tested the GameCube joystick and it performs just as well as its larger N64 brother. I tested it on Donkey Kong 64 and also Tonic Trouble. As Electric Rain said a while back (I am sure it was him) that using the GameCube joystick is actually more natural feeling and better to use; I tend to agree.

Doing my usual, to try and stop making systems "a black art" by posting lots of guides and how-to's I have posted a pic as below which illustrates what to wire to what, using the same orientation to make it easy to follow. I can easily solder some wires to the connection pins on the joystick (mobo removed) and wire them to the N64 controller mobo to replace the N64 joystick. On the pic, I have put coloured circles to indicate connection between different points, and coloured lines to show what to solder to what, ignore the two white lines, these are left alone (not needed).

The joysticks don't have to be from a GameCube, they are exactly the same on other gamepads, like the PSone gamepad or PC gamepads.

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This was far easier than I thought it would be.

I bought two N64 memory cards, new (probably Chinese), tested one of them on Tonic Trouble (it shows when you start the cart if your memory card is working ok or not), all fine.
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Post by bacteria » Thu Feb 28, 2008 4:17 am

Boy, what a let down. I opened the NES MAX controller - the red circle is only a D-pad top! I may as well use a proper D-pad!

Pics:

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I thought someone thought of something clever to an alternative to the standard D-pad, I guess I was wrong. Anyway, put the controller back together again and will e-bay it when I get around to it. I haven't decided yet, I can use a NES controller for the D-pad (I have about 8 available!) or the smaller one from the GameCube in the project.
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Post by bacteria » Thu Feb 28, 2008 4:47 am

This is a different part of the project, justifies a new posting :wink:

A couple of pics of the Li-ion cells I will be using. The orange arrows indicate a recess for the battery to slide in place in the camcorder or recharger, I can use these grooves to my advantage and make a couple of perspex pieces to hold the battery in place; and slide in and out (only needs about 6mm max slide, or less). The red arrows are the power terminals, I will use a small piece of springy metal (maybe a thin staple?) to make and maintain contact when the battery is slid into place. Anyway, this is the plan, nice and simple, and no modification to the battery needed.

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Post by ShockSlayer » Thu Feb 28, 2008 3:34 pm

Nice choice for batteries, although the ones in my n64p are stronger. :P

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Post by bacteria » Fri Feb 29, 2008 5:39 am

These are strong! Unless by "strong" you mean mAh. I bought them from the website and it claimed 5200mAh, arrived as 4400mAh, I won't bother arguing with them about it, I got a good price. Anyway, two of these in parallel will give 8800mAh which is ample. I can always buy another pair of these if I want so I can swap them as needed.

Making my system to remove the batteries with minimal slide took a couple of different designs - I tried dremeling down some perspex to the edge, but then I couldn't secure it really strongly to another piece of perspex, as the pieces concerned are very fiddly, so I came to the conclusion that the best method was screws through plastic, and dremeling the screw down to size. This method works great, and I reduced my original design which meant the slide (to secure the battery in place, or slide to remove it so it can be recharged) from 6mm to only 4mm. Getting to this stage today took 3.5 hours work and experimentation, but I have a method which works well. It isn't easy cutting 2mm perspex into a 1cm strip!

I am going to make the enclosure separate to the casing for the system, so it will be extra strong, and all I have to do then is hot glue them in place and solder the wires to it.

More work on this required (before I do the other battery), but you get the idea. I need one end as a stop and the other end to contain the battery terminal contacts.

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Still work to do on this: the arrow indicates the end of the area for the battery carriage when complete.

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3.5mm gap - all that is needed to release / slide battery in place.

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What it looks like so far without battery in place. Some of the hot glue will be trimmed right down in due course.

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and with battery in place - lifted above desk to prove it holds!

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