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 » Fri Mar 14, 2008 7:59 pm

W00tLOL - Yes, it is rather colourful, however of course the colour beads, etc will be invisible from the front fairly soon. The four SNES type button colours correlate to the buttons and order they show on the SNES, and the blue and green buttons are the colour of the A and B buttons on the N64. The red buttons are for the Start, Select and Menu buttons (the Start button is normally red, so this makes sense), the grey joystick is the standard main joystick colour and the yellow joystick is relevant on the GameCube. Hence the colour scheme! I have a nice neutral type colour for the casing when I put it on. The speaker grills will be dark grey as that is the colour they came, and this colour looks appropriate.
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Post by bacteria » Sat Mar 15, 2008 2:58 am

Small update, I got the extra side on the system (one side anyway), after lots of dremelling. The piece slots under the case backing sheet (so it can be removed) and makes the side smooth. I will cover the sides later, or paint them, so make it look nicer. The important thing though was to get the surface smooth and have no bumps, which I have achieved.

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I need to do the other side next.
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Post by bacteria » Wed Mar 19, 2008 3:25 am

I had a bit of a bump in the casing before, some of it was about 14.5mm, some more like 16mm still - only noticed this a couple of days ago - anyway, yesterday, got nifty with my dremel and sanded the perspex as flat as I could in the main cable area, hid more of the wiring, dremelled as much of the perspex around the earphone jack (as small as it is, it is too big otherwise!). It is now level.

The bottom side of the case is on now, with the earphone jack sticking out a bit. I need to do the other side (as before) and also the top part of the case.

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Received two LED's a couple of days ago, nice red ones, specs are that they work 6-12v and have built-in resistor for this. I removed the outer casing from both, to just leave the LED in its sheath, as I don't have the space in the casing for the item as it arrived. As you see, they have a nice glow:

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I hot glued them in place and wired them up so that the left LED comes on when the left battery is in place (and I flick the switch, as I only want it to come on to check the battery is connected properly, not to have it illuminated when I am playing the system); and the right LED for the right battery. The last pic of the three shows both working fine.

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Kyo
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Post by Kyo » Wed Mar 19, 2008 4:58 am

No love for scart?

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Post by dragonball345 » Wed Mar 19, 2008 4:56 pm

Hey bacteria those are camcorder batteries right how many m amps and how much were they I was looking at them for my project but might just use laptop battery pack instead since they are a better fit for me and cheaper when you consider battery times sometimes.

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Post by bacteria » Wed Mar 19, 2008 5:21 pm

Kyo - I could have done Scart, however the Scart socket on my large plasma television is at the bottom of the TV and not easy to get to, whereas composite is at the side of the TV. The other issue is size - I doubt a Scart socket would have fitted in my casing.

dragonball345 - They are advertised as 5200mAh each but arrived as 4400mAh each. I bought them for their size. I chose camcorder Li-ions, code VCN040 - Link

They are good if you are based in the UK and also do laptop batteries, but if you are USA you have cheaper suppliers (expensive to ship to UK though!).
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Post by bacteria » Thu Mar 20, 2008 6:06 am

Another day, more updates!

Got the other side (double layer) on, and the top of the casing is mostly done now. The tact switches are for the PSone volume and contrast buttons. I needed to do a lot of dremelling to grind down a fair bit of perspex in places to get this looking nice, however the case is now 1mm higher than it was before as that was the best I could get when using 3.5mm (approx) deep tact switches and soldering wires to the joints.

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Not sure if I will get it done today, but I need to build up the area around the battery holder to make it level with the top of the system and against the sides and top of the case.

I haven't tested the system since I compressed the innards as much as I could to get the 14.5mm height, so I thought it about time I did; and I haven't tested it with the Li-ions running. Anyway, took the plunge:

As you see, all works fine.

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Top view - batteries fit snugly, not loose; just enough clearance to gently wiggle the batteries free to remove them. Perfect!

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Post by Kyo » Thu Mar 20, 2008 6:48 am

bacteria wrote:Kyo - I could have done Scart, however the Scart socket on my large plasma television is at the bottom of the TV and not easy to get to, whereas composite is at the side of the TV. The other issue is size - I doubt a Scart socket would have fitted in my casing.
Actually, a scart socket is barely any bigger than the 3 composite plugs. Plus, quality!

Oh well, still nice progress

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Post by bacteria » Thu Mar 20, 2008 8:17 am

Kyo - A female Scart socket is 2mm taller and 8mm wider than my composite and audio plugs (I have some lying about), so it wouldn't have fitted into my case without making it wider. You are right however, Scart is better visual quality, although if the source is from composite and going into composite in a Scart, I doubt there would be any visual improvement. Anyway, as mentioned, I can't get to the Scart plug on my TV easily, so composite is far more convenient for me. This is more of an add-on anyway, I probably won't use it for TV out a lot, more for TV in; from devices using composite and audio cables.
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Post by Life of Brian » Thu Mar 20, 2008 10:26 am

It's funny - your portable is shaping up so nicely and yet you haven't added any actual system to it yet! I can't wait to see stage two and how you incorporate different interchangeable systems.
dragonhead wrote:sweet. ive spent a third of my life on benheck!
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Post by bacteria » Thu Mar 20, 2008 11:13 am

Life of Brian wrote:It's funny - your portable is shaping up so nicely and yet you haven't added any actual system to it yet! I can't wait to see stage two and how you incorporate different interchangeable systems.
Yes, I know what you mean Brian. In a normal project you can just have a bare screen working on batteries and concentrate on the system part, then once all works, make a case to suit. You also have some empty recesses in a normal system for wiring, etc to slip into. In this project however, whilst I knew the dimensions of the inside part, I didn't know the positioning of the joysticks and how far they would stick out, if the SNES type button mobo needed to stick out a bit or not, hadn't allowed for double thickness walls (reducing the system casing area by 4mm); etc.

Given the above, in this project, the screen and buttons area need to be near completion so that I can work out exactly the size and shape remaining for the system half of the project, how it will slot into the screen part, etc. Every millimeter here counts, the total height is going to be 32-33mm, which isn't bad as that includes 4 thicknesses of perspex at a total of 8mm (plus 10.5mm for the screen and mobo thickness) - so my N64 only has a maximum of 13.5mm-14.5mm. If you take the thickness of an N64 mobo, add heatsinks, etc, I am right up against it. I am trying to squeeze every bit out of this project to make it 32-33mm thick at the end.

I am nearly at that stage, and can crack on and do the system part (N64), however before I do that, I have to make a hollow shell for the system casing and make sure it works fine in interacting to the screen section. I can assure you this is going to be quite hard, however once I have done it once I can use the design as a template then for the other systems I will get in there. having the mass of wiring from the connector (going into the cart slot) will give me more problems due to its thickness, however I can move the wiring about to suit, to an extent.

With the casing for the system part done I can proceed to then get the N64 guts in there.
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Post by bacteria » Mon Mar 24, 2008 5:56 am

Tomorrow is project day, so I will have a number of updates to upload.

I have had a little time on and off over the last days, here are the results:

I stuck on strips of 6 thou (very thin) PVC onto the areas next to the case top and sides, so I could paint them and make them look nicer.

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I then painted it to make it look nicer on the sides. The screen top will be left clear because if I need to open it I need to make sure no wires are moved from their positions - anyway, this will be invisible when the system half is on top. When I am near project completion, I may well paint the underside of the screen case black too. The top plastic piece above the cart slot will be covered in paper in due course to make it look nice. I didn't have to do this painting, I just got fed up with seeing the rear of the tact switches (ugly) and the gap between the battery space and the case top. The result of this is that the batteries fit really tightly now, only just slide across ok; this also means of course that there is no chance the batteries will lose contact when in place, or move about. Having the LED's on at a flick of the switch to check the batteries are working fine has proved a good bonus.

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Before I put the buttons in, I had the foresight this time to trace out where the holes will be in the case. I cut out the holes from a sheet of thin PVC (in pic below on right of system) and it fits perfectly first time over the casing - this is my template for the covering - this will be done tomorrow, which means the system will start looking pretty tomorrow!! :wink:

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One issue is that I wanted nice speaker grills on the top of the case, I crudely cut out pieces slightly bigger than the hole under them, with a view of dremelling out the perspex so the speaker grills were flush with the case, however, as I moved them, I noticed they were attracted by the magnets on the back of the mylar speakers. This wasn't an issue with the old cone speakers, but this means I can't use metal grills as the sound quality would be impaired if they were trying to attract the metal speaker grills. I therefore will use the smaller plastic ones from the original PSone screen speaker grills (job for tomorrow). Anyway, I painted the mylar speaker holes so they look dark from the front and not shiny through the grills.

Fortunately the fact the mylar speakers have magnetism doesn't affect the screen as the screen is an LCD.

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Tomorrow, I will have the speaker grills on and have the covering on the case front and sides. I will then crack on with the system case shell and then I can start ripping an N64 apart and getting that all wired up (quite a lot to do here - it will be well documented!).

See ya tomorrow!
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Post by Tibia » Mon Mar 24, 2008 11:19 am

Bacteria, I would like to say you are the man who would be the god of perspex. This is some wonderful work! I am really enjoying following your progress on this.

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Post by dragonball345 » Mon Mar 24, 2008 11:33 am

when and what colour are you painting it?

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Post by bacteria » Mon Mar 24, 2008 3:28 pm

Tibia - Very kind of you mate! 8)

dragonball345 - Not painting it, covering with 160gsm textured craft paper. I learnt a lot from previous efforts, this one will be special. The colour? It is described as "Smoke" - it is an interesting colour and will compliment the different colours of the controls on the casing.

I am in the process right now of cutting out the holes in it.

UPDATE:

I cut the holes with a craft knife, now I am very gently dremelling out the edges carefully so the paper covers the buttons and controls snugly. I have the screen to cut out yet and a little fine tuning. The paper is this size as some of it will overlap on the sides.

The pic below also shows the colour of casing cover I am using - I think it complements nicely!

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Last edited by bacteria on Mon Mar 24, 2008 4:10 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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