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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Kyo
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Post by Kyo » Sat Mar 01, 2008 4:44 am

marshallh wrote: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.
Actually, this is the first PAL SNES board. The PAL version never had the external APU, but the second revision board, found in newer pal snes' is smaller.

I sent you a PM about this bacteria, if you're going for size I would consider buying another one. Maybe I should document this for other PAL modders.

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bacteria
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Post by bacteria » Mon Mar 03, 2008 4:52 am

Made the second battery slide holder. Didn't take long. Put perspex stops on both sides of the battery holder, boxing it in.

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I then put the battery in place, and marked out two drill holes to insert a single-strand wire into, bend across and make a slight bridge (for the contact). The wires, at the rear of the construction, will be flat when a channel is cut into the plastic base.

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As the pic below shows, it works! I get 8.21v from my 7.4v Li-ion cell.

I will rig up the two batteries in parallel when in the case.

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Made the channel, hot-glued cables in place, retested, fine. The base of this will be hot glued to the case.

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I then trimmed the two sides of each section which will be glued to the case itself:

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Now I can move on to the next stage.
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bacteria
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Post by bacteria » Mon Mar 03, 2008 8:42 am

Right, onto the case...

I opened the old controller I had, as the four buttons will work nicely for the SNES, two of them will be good for the N64, three for the MegaDrive:

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I kept the backing on the plastic sheet when I did this; I put everything together in roughly their positions.

The contact board above the main four SNES type buttons are for the 4 yellow "C" buttons for the N64.

You will notice this time that I am using conventional buttons!

You will also notice that the system will have two joysticks, the left is the main one, however the GameCube and PSone use two analogue joysticks, so therefore so will this project (I hope to do these systems too later - I bought a second GameCube with contoller, leads and a game for £10 at a car boot sale!).

By making the overall width 235mm (239mm with the sides on) I can have the PSone screen mobo between the two Li-ion cells, which gives me extra space at the bottom of the case. This is still 5mm less wide than I originally planned. By changing the length of the case from 205mm as planned to 210mm (214mm with the sides on) I can house the speakers better and accommodate the SNES type pad easier. So the final dimensions of the final product will be 239mm x 214mm. This is about 1cm shorter and less wide than my GP2x project. This size means I can also take a full-sized SNES mobo without trimming it (just).

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---this is only illustration, the batteries will face downwards not upwards, and the screen is only placed to give an idea of placement, etc---

Only downside is that I was aiming before for about 13mm depth (including perspex top and bottom), I will need to settle for 15mm-15.5mm as that is the height of the SNES type button assembly and mobo.

For those of you wondering, the universal cart slot is on the top layer, where the console system half will be housed.

I don't think the system can be made smaller than this, housing all the above components.


Had a thought - why use the yellow C buttons from an N64 controller, why not just use a second NES D-pad, for the C buttons? Should look neat!
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Post by lifeisbetterwithketchup » Mon Mar 03, 2008 11:05 am

I'd vote against using a D-pad for the N64 C-buttons. Games like Zelda and Paper Mario (where the C-buttons are just used as extra buttons, not camera or something) would play really awkwardly. I've emulated those games on an Xbox, and using the stick for them is even worse.
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bacteria
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Post by bacteria » Mon Mar 03, 2008 4:22 pm

lifeisbetterwithketchup wrote:I'd vote against using a D-pad for the N64 C-buttons. Games like Zelda and Paper Mario (where the C-buttons are just used as extra buttons, not camera or something) would play really awkwardly. I've emulated those games on an Xbox, and using the stick for them is even worse.
Interesting thought, lifeisbetterwithketchup, you posted the comment in good time, I have traced outlines in the perspex front to drill out tomorrow and butchered one NES pad already, first thing in the morning I would have butchered another one (for the C buttons), I will instead look at options.
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Life of Brian
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Post by Life of Brian » Mon Mar 03, 2008 5:26 pm

Hmm, the Virtual Boy had two d-pads and we all know what happened to that...

Of course if it had more colors than red and black on the screen it might have been around longer :P
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Post by johnbjuice » Mon Mar 03, 2008 6:11 pm

Definitely use regular c-buttons. They are separate for a reason...quite a few games use them just as extra buttons. Plus, people can get mixed up when there is an extra D-Pad...and it looks a bit strange.

Anyways, this looks like quite the project - I can't wait to see it completed!

- Juice 8)

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Post by timmeh87 » Mon Mar 03, 2008 10:55 pm

I dunno what the fuss is about, do you ever have to press two at once? I mean, they are purposely laid out in a cross for a reason. I dont mind using a joystick in emulators.
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bacteria
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Post by bacteria » Tue Mar 04, 2008 4:16 am

Ok, gave this some thought.

I had been thinking along the same lines as timmeh87 was before, you only press one C button at a time, however it might have felt a bit strange to use, so I looked at alternatives.

Having four buttons above the four SNES type buttons takes a fair bit of space, and means the joystick would be higher on the case than on the other side, which would look wierd: also, having that arrangement would make it look a bit cramped and cluttered.

I got to thinking (this idea came to me at the planning stage, but now it makes great sense), ignoring the left and right shoulder buttons, start, select; the SNES only uses four buttons, the MegaDrive uses three (although some controllers have six for some reason), the N64 uses six (A, B and four C buttons; the Z button needs to be at the rear of the case not the front), the GameCube uses four buttons, NES uses two, SMS uses three, plug 'n' play games use two or four. I therefore only need to accommodate six buttons, not eight.

With this in mind, I figured it made sense to reverse the controls for the N64 and have the four SNES type buttons as the C buttons and have the two buttons above as A and B. This way, I get a comfy and natural hold on the casing and easy access to the buttons and the joystick isn't squished on the top.

I also took a few minutes in testing the layout, but putting a book behind the perspex and pretending to be playing the system - it is a good way to get a feel for how the final product will fell. As a result, I moved the joysticks a few millimeters closer to the edge of the case and slightly higher.

Anyway, some pics before I start to hack away at the perspex with my dremel, and then hot glue the D-pad and SNES surrounds in place. I only have to position the Start, Select and Menu/other buttons in place. I also have to make a good sized hole between the battery compartments so I can drag the wires through to attach to the multi-cart slot. This part will be secured permanently on the top part of the case as it doesn't need to be flexible or detachable, far from it, it needs to be firm and rigid.

Then I can start the wiring.

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This photo isn't very good, perspective is wrong, however you get a feel from the top pic.

I have to do something else for a little while, hope to get this done sometime after lunchtime. Once all the holes are done and the two parts hot glued in place, I will post another pic.
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Post by bacteria » Tue Mar 04, 2008 9:20 am

This may be the last project posting today (maybe), just spent two and a quarter hours solid dremelling of perspex, it is quite tiring giving that level of concentration.

Anyway, all the holes cut out, including the hexagons for the joysticks and the buttons (including the three between the speakers). So the buttons aren't sticking out too little from the case (as with my Nintendo 64 Advance), I cut channels into the perspex for the button stops.

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The holes are good, the D-pad and SNES type button areas fit in the holes snugly, they are held in their final position with hot glue now.

Back of case pic (so far):

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Front of case pic (so far):

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As you see, things are quite snug. I got the holes for the speakers slightly wrong, but that is fine as I will put some metal speaker mesh over them soon enough, that will hide the speakers and holes anyway.

Mock-up - I put the buttons in place and gently raised it so I could take a pic.

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Post by johnbjuice » Tue Mar 04, 2008 6:50 pm

Brilliant idea for the button arrangement - really looks comfy and versatile! This will be one awesome portable...

- Juice 8)

BTW - What systems will you make for this multi-console system? I'm guessing Atari, NES, SNES, Megadrive, N64, GBA...that could take a while. Are you doing them all?

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Post by Skyone » Tue Mar 04, 2008 7:54 pm

I'm not a fan of the boxy look it has, but oh well. Keep it up.

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Post by bacteria » Tue Mar 04, 2008 8:31 pm

johnbjuice - Thanks, yes, it is comfy, and this time I am using proper buttons and mobos so they have the nice "mushy" feel we all love!

Systems I will include in this (in order roughly): N64, SNES, plug 'n' play, MegaDrive, PSone, GameCube, SMS (for the sake of it). I could include Atari 2600, not sure if I want to (not many good games on it). The only systems I can't adapt for this project is the Atari Jaguar (although I don't like its games, so i'm not bothered anyway) and Intellivision (quirky control system with keypad and 16 way control): all other systems use more standardised control systems.

Skyone - Yes, it would be nicer to have a rectangular system, however I can't have the batteries on the sides as it will prohibit holding the system properly (the Li-ions will stick out of the case by about 10mm or so at the back); on the short edge as now is fine, on long edge would be very awkward. Making the system wider would look daft as the screen will look lost (would look like a GameGear), and the idea is to make it as small as possible (given the components and all the wiring to come), and to incorporate the system mobos and controller mobos, flat.

Consequently, the system has ended up quite square (with rounded bottom corners). I have made the system 239mm x 210mm (final size, including sides).
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Post by Life of Brian » Wed Mar 05, 2008 1:48 am

I think that's an excellent solution for the buttons, bacteria.
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Post by bacteria » Wed Mar 05, 2008 4:13 am

Life of Brian - Thanks! :wink:

I decided this time to secure the PSone screen and its mobo in place with proper screw posts, rather than a few blobs of hot glue. This means I can easily get the mobo and screen out at a later date if I need to, for example, if the florescent tube in the screen dies and I need to replace the screen.

I previously bought a PSone screen on e-bay for about £7.50 delivered, as the guy said it was "spares/repair" as it didn't boot. Ok, I thought, if I can bypass the fuse (as mentioned on this site) it might work. No it didn't, I got smoke from a component at the back of the mobo almost immediately and its plastic casing melted. Never mind, it gave me a spare screen (that was the gamble I took).

Anyway, I am taking advantage of this, as I can fiddle with this dead board as much as I want knowing it doesn't matter - it means I have been using it to work out where everything goes on the project, without damaging anything. I have a brand new unopened PSone screen (well, two more to be exact), so will use one of these in this project.

I dremelled off the spacers from the old PSone screen casing and screwed them back into the screen and mobo.

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And then hot glued the assembly into place, making sure it is nice and central.

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System from the front; you can get a feel now for how it will look. Screen is central, it is just my bad photography which makes it look different!

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Mobo and screen removed, showing the screwposts:

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More updates after lunch, I have the afternoon clear for project working. Next job is to hack apart my brand new PSone screen and mobo and get it ready for wiring up.

BTW - if I hadn't wanted nice larger speakers, I could have only reduced the depth of the system by a maximum of 10mm or so due to button and joystick placement, so I am happy with this arrangement; I don't like the small tinny PSone speakers, and although I have some small mylar speakers, they are not great also; larger speakers give far richer sound quality. I couldn't use cone speakers as they stick out at the back quite a bit, the mylar speakers I got are 8.5mm deep only, so ideal for a slimline casing. The distance from the bottom of the case to the buttons and D-pad is just right for comfort and grip.

Now the screen is in place, I am sure you agree, the system isn't very big; and it is as symmetrical as can be done given the specs.

I am quite excited with this project so far, it is coming together very nicely, quite quickly under the circumstances, and as planned.
:D This part I am doing at the moment gives quick results, the wiring part will be fiddly and will take a few hours to complete. I also have to make the various button and joystick mobos work at different heights, that will be interesting! The joysticks will stick out of the back of the screen case by a few millimeters, I can't do anything about that, however the top piece will slide into it (larger concept runners that I used for the battery holders), so not an issue.
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