Notebook 64 (Worklog)

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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rcullan
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Notebook 64 (Worklog)

Post by rcullan » Sat Sep 26, 2009 1:29 pm

I have been tinkering for a few weeks now setting myself up to make an N64 Notebook / Laptop. I know there is another one of these projects in the works on this site but I will be taking a slightly different approach. Mainly I wanted to not use a small 5" or 7" screen. No I am going with a 19" LCD Screen for this.

I will explain why I am going this route. I have had an X2Gen Model: MW19U LCD screen kicking around here for months that I got for free from fixing a friends PC. The benefits of this choice are the following: This screen takes 12V DC input at 4A to run it so no bulky huge power supply you see on most LCD monitors. This also has a benefit of being within a ballpark that I can use this amount of power to charge batteries as well. In addition to that, the LCD controller has an stereo audio input and an amplifier for two 2W 8ohm speakers.

So in one fell swoop I have a screen, a power supply, and an audio source.

Image

Image
You can see the speakers at the top left and right but they are sonic welded into the plastic and will not be canabilized from this beast. Also note the 10" ruler in the bottom. So you can judge the scale of these parts which are pretty damn small.

Image

Now how to get video output from an N64 Motherboard into a VGA format? I have 2 plans currently as options

#1. I could do an RGB mod on the N64 like seen here

But thats kind of risky and I have read from people that have done this and other RGB mods that the screen comes out very dark or there are other issues so I am leaning towards #2.
#2. I could purchase a converter box that is small like seen here

Take the term "notebook" pretty loosely. This thing is going to be huge and heavy. The size is looking to be, at this point, somewhere around 18" wide and 12" deep based on the screen size, and I am shooting to keep the final thickness under 2.5". Needless to say this has a TON of volume to do basically whatever I need to get this working. But I will have a better idea once I have the 3D design work pretty much completed.

Work over the next few days:
I am slowly putting the design for this huge laptop into Pro/Engineer and i'll have a 3D design layout likely by next weekend so you can see my thoughts on the end game for all of this. But my thoughts right now is I will have a hardwired expansion pack on the motherboard. I will have 4 controller ports on the "top" of the laptop towards the bottom below where a normal keyboard would be. And I am going to attempt to sacrifice my N64 cartridge doors onto the side of the laptop and will be moving the cartridge slot. My plan is to have you put in a cartridge just like your putting a DVD into a regular laptop so on the side.

Work over the next few weeks:
1. I have some old laptop batteries sitting around two 14.8V 3800mAh which charge at 3.5A which is very close to my power supply at 4A 12V. So I am still in the air on using these or how much it will cost for a complete new charger, batteries, protection circuit etc. Rather than build my own.

2. I am going to vacuum form my own case from 3/32" thick polystyrene. I am going to be building a vacuum forming table and ordering plastic over the next 3 weeks.

3. I am going to order about 10lbs of air-dry clay to make a vacuum forming mold. for the various components once the case design is finalized. I should have these done by the time the table is complete.

4. The high voltage backlight lines need to be extended and the main LDVS cable to the LCD screen needs to be lengthened. (I am planning to keep the LCD controller and the backlight power inverter for the screen in the base of the laptop to keep the screen section as thin as possible)This is easy off the shelf connector type of work, so I will make a few harnesses and will be completing in the meantime.

This is my first real 'console mod'. I have done projects like this in the past but comments and thoughts are greatly appreciated. Keep checking back here for updates.
I build rocket parts for a living... really

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Re: Notebook 64 (Worklog)

Post by eagle5953 » Sat Sep 26, 2009 1:37 pm

rcullan wrote:Now how to get video output from an N64 Motherboard into a VGA format? I have 2 plans currently as options

#1. I could do an RGB mod on the N64 like seen here

But thats kind of risky and I have read from people that have done this and other RGB mods that the screen comes out very dark or there are other issues so I am leaning towards #2.
#2. I could purchase a converter box that is small like seen here
The RGB mod to which you refer requires an early-model N64 and only outputs a 15Htz signal, whereas your monitor requires a 31Htz signal. You could get a signal doubler, but your other option is cheaper, and space isn't as much of an issue with your project. Any N64 can output S-video, and that adaptor you linked accepts that signal. You'll probably want to go that route.

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XCVG
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Re: Notebook 64 (Worklog)

Post by XCVG » Sat Sep 26, 2009 1:43 pm

rcullan wrote:Now how to get video output from an N64 Motherboard into a VGA format? I have 2 plans currently as options

#1. I could do an RGB mod on the N64 like seen here

But thats kind of risky and I have read from people that have done this and other RGB mods that the screen comes out very dark or there are other issues so I am leaning towards #2.
#2. I could purchase a converter box that is small like seen here
No. RGB is not VGA. And honestly, converter boxes are crap. BUT you still do have an option. RGB mod and run it through an upscan converter. Unfortunately, more work.
rcullan wrote:1. I have some old laptop batteries sitting around two 14.8V 3800mAh which charge at 3.5A which is very close to my power supply at 4A 12V. So I am still in the air on using these or how much it will cost for a complete new charger, batteries, protection circuit etc. Rather than build my own.
3800mAh will not last very long at all. Also, your power supply will not charge the batteries. Not enough voltage; you need OVER 14.8V to charge.

2. I am going to vacuum form my own case from 3/32" thick polystyrene. I am going to be building a vacuum forming table and ordering plastic over the next 3 weeks.
For something this big, I wouldn't recommend it. It would be MUCH, MUCH better to build a case from plastic or use a CNC machine. A vacuformed case will be nothing but trouble to form at this size, and will flex with the weight on the completed portable.

3. I am going to order about 10lbs of air-dry clay to make a vacuum forming mold. for the various components once the case design is finalized. I should have these done by the time the table is complete.
See above.

4. The high voltage backlight lines need to be extended and the main LDVS cable to the LCD screen needs to be lengthened. (I am planning to keep the LCD controller and the backlight power inverter for the screen in the base of the laptop to keep the screen section as thin as possible)This is easy off the shelf connector type of work, so I will make a few harnesses and will be completing in the meantime.
Okay, sure.

This is my first real 'console mod'. I have done projects like this in the past but comments and thoughts are greatly appreciated. Keep checking back here for updates.
I would not do this. You would be wasting a nice big screen on a system that can and should be a lot smaller. Think about it. There's a reason we use 5" or 7" or even 3.5" screens. This sucker would not be portable. It would barely be luggable. And there will be a lot of empty space inside, and it will feel wasted. If you want to build an N64 laptop for multiplayer, I suggest a 7 or 9 inch screen. Save your current screen, though. Maybe an XBOX, XBOX 360 or PS3 laptop is in the future for you. Those systems are a lot larger and could really use the big screen.

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OhSnap!
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Re: Notebook 64 (Worklog)

Post by OhSnap! » Sat Sep 26, 2009 4:51 pm

i know the screen you have is convienient, but do not use it.
you will have one of these to carry around:
Image
shell out a bit and buy a nice <10"er.
sorry to be a downer :?
Last edited by OhSnap! on Sat Sep 26, 2009 4:57 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: Notebook 64 (Worklog)

Post by Sun-Wukong » Sat Sep 26, 2009 4:52 pm

XCVG wrote: I would not do this. You would be wasting a nice big screen on a system that can and should be a lot smaller. Think about it. There's a reason we use 5" or 7" or even 3.5" screens. This sucker would not be portable. It would barely be luggable. And there will be a lot of empty space inside, and it will feel wasted. If you want to build an N64 laptop for multiplayer, I suggest a 7 or 9 inch screen. Save your current screen, though. Maybe an XBOX, XBOX 360 or PS3 laptop is in the future for you. Those systems are a lot larger and could really use the big screen.
Plus they can output VGA without using a converter.
Chapel wrote:Ah shucks, I was really hoping to make an SNES encased in a 19 pound glob of hotglue and duct tape. :lol:

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rcullan
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Re: Notebook 64 (Worklog)

Post by rcullan » Sat Sep 26, 2009 4:57 pm

Remember guys, I am doing this for fun!

As I said its going to be huge and heavy, I realize its completely unpractical and not portable. I dont plan on taking it on trips other than showing off my work. That's not my motivation to have a portable system. As I stated this is my first hardcore console mod. I wanted to challenge myself and do something that few if any have successfully done to an N64 specifically.

I look forward to getting your continued technical help and input into this project.

And hey maybe it wont look so small next to my fat ass!
I build rocket parts for a living... really

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rcullan
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Re: Notebook 64 (Worklog)

Post by rcullan » Wed Sep 30, 2009 6:16 pm

What do you guys typically use for a desoldering iron?

I have a 20W I use for most everything but I dont think it will cut it for some of the power and controller connections on the n64 motherboard. I know there are dual heat 'gun' type irons out there but they have a huge tipo and I dont want to melt plastic on the controller connections.

So what do you guys use? 40W?
I build rocket parts for a living... really

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kibble
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Re: Notebook 64 (Worklog)

Post by kibble » Wed Sep 30, 2009 6:57 pm

I like to use nothing less than 40W with stuff that requires a moderate amount of heat like connectors and such. If you have access to one, a solder sucker will do wonders with removing those connectors. I used mine to remove them all and it made the job a piece of cake.
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rcullan
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Re: Notebook 64 (Worklog)

Post by rcullan » Wed Sep 30, 2009 7:07 pm

I was planning on just using some desoldering braid which I always have lying around. I havent ever used a solder pump thing, they really work well huh?
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Re: Notebook 64 (Worklog)

Post by kibble » Wed Sep 30, 2009 7:35 pm

Yes, they do. The last time I used solder braid, I was about 8 or 9ish. Haven't used it since. I'm sure it has its uses where a solder sucker wouldn't cut it but, I've haven't run across it yet.
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XCVG
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Re: Notebook 64 (Worklog)

Post by XCVG » Wed Sep 30, 2009 8:47 pm

I use a 25W WP25 from Weller for everything. It's really great and is fine. It only has trouble on really big connections.

A solder sucker is probably the best desoldering tool. Braid only works on very small connections with almost no solder.

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