The Dreamcatcher...Dream Again!!

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dreamcatcher
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The Dreamcatcher...Dream Again!!

Post by dreamcatcher » Fri Nov 27, 2009 5:25 pm

Hi everyone!

After some time reading the forums and coming across a few portable Dreamcast projects I will finally showcase my prototype in this thread and post updates on the development of this project. I am a professional designer and although it's still just an early draft I certainly put all my love into it! :) This particular design has been brewing in my head for a long time, in the meantime I considered seriously ignoring some of the recommendations in the forums and thinking out some options. I seriously want to push it as far as I can to make this portable possible. Whereas other models are brick-like and certainly not very ergodynamic...I have tried to mantain the exact same feel as the original Dreamcast, with better handles modeled after the originals but adapted and sized according to the new panoramic design. The buttons and joystick are slightly tilted off axis, towards the sides, to allow better access to the buttons while holding the DC, allowing it to more comfortably fit in the players hand -having a better hold of the console also allows avoiding fatigue over longer periods of time. I also payed attention to where the pressure points are: where the weight of the "beast" rests xD (It is, after all, a home console system in your hands/wrists).

Image

When recently going through the designs carried out by fellow modders I was surprised how almost every single one of them was intended for RGB out, thus limiting the LCD screen options. Having used the VGA Box for so many years, to connect the DC to my computer LCD, I can certainly assure the quality of this signal - actually the only native output signal of 480p the system offers. This not only would facilitate LCD installation -95% of these small LCD TFT screen has VGA input-, and give amazing native quality, but it would also allow to trim the Lcd driver board to a really small size by using more modern components and having an overall thinner portable -yep, been a while since those PSone screens w/huge integrated driver boards.This is to clarify my preference for a high quality 7" TFT 16:9 LCD (with a resolution of 800x480 pixels) w/ Driver Board. The particular model I have custom inquired includes scaling within the Driver Board using an external button, thus allowing to switch between different Display Modes: regular 4:3 640x480p in a 800x480 screen -native amazing resolution but with black bars on the sides- ; as well as 16:9 (stretch -with image distortion) and 16:9 Full/Zoom allowing a *full 16:9 frame without* distortion. I also think nowadays thinner and lighter high performance batteries can be found. Now some specifications:

- PAL Dreamcast with recently calibrated GD-rom drive
- Vacuum-formed case in thick 3-4mm plastic, Dreamcatcher, in same color shade as the original Dreamcast.
- 7" Kyocera Active Matrix High Quality 16:9 LCD screen (800x480), w/ Driver Board and OSD with Display Modes. 12V.
- VGA box. Original Sega design.
- 5000 mAh Li-Ion Flat Battery Packs -as they are completely flat, allows for tiling in a discrete area of many cells).
- Discreet Harman-Kardon Laptop Speakers HQ Audio - small unnoticeable grill.
- Original controller
- Regulators & Capacitors for different Voltages.
- High quality RGB connectors outputs to include in some discreete part of the case design, as to include a switch to connect the Portable Dreamcast to an external television (by the use of the internal VGA box RGB outs). In these situation the Dreamcatcher would serve just as a mere controller xD - without forgetting the system is still inside hehe
-3,5mm headphone female input, to fix a headphone/line out.
-Custom made case to carry my Dreamcatcher around!!


I was still a little boy when the console was launched here in Europe and can still remember how absolutely everything about it fascinated me. It certainly does still today hehe

Let me know what you think of my design, any ideas on my plan are of course welcome too.

Charles,


:D Thanks! keep on going with those moooods! the dreaaaaaaamcasssttttt isssss ALIVEEEEEEEEEE xD

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hailrazer
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Re: The Dreamcatcher...Dream Again!!

Post by hailrazer » Fri Nov 27, 2009 7:28 pm

I did the Vga mod on my Dreamtrooper for the Psone screen. And I wound up switching back to composite as it looked 99% as good. Wasn't worth the extra work and space for the vga hack IMO, and I'm quite picky about screen quality.

But on a 7" screen there could be a much bigger difference. But be aware that the Dreamcast may not support the odd 800x480 resolution. I know I can't get any of my "Carputers" to run my 7" screen natively at 800x480. In fact I'm pretty sure it will ONLY do 640x480 which on a widescreen 7" will make all your circles, oval shaped.

And I have NEVER done a video out on any system. My reasoning is that the systems are dirt cheap so I have several around to hook up to a T.V. Also why would you want to use a rather heavy portable as a controller when you can use a much lighter OEM controller. So it seems a waste to me.

Also your design looks very nice.
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nobble
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Re: The Dreamcatcher...Dream Again!!

Post by nobble » Fri Nov 27, 2009 7:37 pm

WOW nice design! Cant wait to see some real pics.

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Re: The Dreamcatcher...Dream Again!!

Post by palmertech » Fri Nov 27, 2009 7:41 pm

I like the design. Looks a lot like this one: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=76KkjC-d ... r_embedded" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
Image

Excellent

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Re: The Dreamcatcher...Dream Again!!

Post by joeyjoe9876 » Fri Nov 27, 2009 7:43 pm

this looks very interesting! i will be looking forward to future updates. :)
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J.D
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Re: The Dreamcatcher...Dream Again!!

Post by J.D » Fri Nov 27, 2009 8:42 pm

Awesome.

But isn't that portable a little big? I'd make it a bit smaller, and go with a 5" screen.

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Re: The Dreamcatcher...Dream Again!!

Post by samjc3 » Fri Nov 27, 2009 10:42 pm

J.D wrote:But isn't that portable a little big? I'd make it a bit smaller, and go with a 5" screen.
nah. the dreamcast is hueg anyway. it will be fine. and, this looks spectacular! :mrgreen:
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dreamcatcher
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GD-ROM Loading Simple Design

Post by dreamcatcher » Sat Nov 28, 2009 12:39 pm

hi everyone!

thanks for the comments! glad most of you liked the design. before posting on specific components, just wanted to post a few renders I did this morning that will show the gd-r drive in action! I am doing a few sketches of a cover design for the disc drive, as it somewhat looks too bare with just the laser. will post my results, so you can see how the design develops. hope you like these!

Image

:)

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USA/JPN Dreamcatch

Post by dreamcatcher » Sat Nov 28, 2009 1:05 pm

Just for fun!!!.....The JPN/USA version of the Dreamcatcher!!! I have tried some very basic shadowing, both in the gd-r render and this design to better grasp the perspective and overall shape. Hope you like!

Image

:)

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Re: The Dreamcatcher...Dream Again!!

Post by dreamcatcher » Sat Nov 28, 2009 3:08 pm

So, now to some components. I have been checking out pro battery packs, and finally will be using Li-Po batteries. As the 12V packs seem so bulky and heavy, I am considering powering it up using 7.4V - 5000 mAh - posted picture below (let me know what you think, its a WinForce brand 7,4v 5000mAh 30C 2S Lipo RC batt). It definitively seems like a sturdy pack of batteries and can be found for ridiculous prices.

Image

I honestly don't mind if the Dreamcatchers battery life is 1h-1:30h...certainly more than enough, the only problem that I can think of would be the LCD (as most of them are 12V). I do know that for example portable lcd televisions of the same size can be powered using 7,4 batt Li-Po, but with OEM modules I am not sure. Do you guys think it might work? Maybe it will take 7,4V power up and work fine, and simply draw more current...like the dc connected to a 7,4V. Another question...a stupid one...if I had 2x 7,2V batts: would I have 14,4V of current? These packs are rather small, just an idea.


Also found some LCDs that use 9V-12V of input line. I really need to figure that out, so I can order the screen and arrange current circuits. Let me know what u think!



Thanks,

Charles

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mako321
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Re: The Dreamcatcher...Dream Again!!

Post by mako321 » Sat Nov 28, 2009 3:08 pm

so...when are you actually gonna start working on the design?
edit
woah, you just posted before me!(stupid slow internet)
yeah, according to bacteria(portablizer(made a bunch of portables so far) who is finishing his dcp up, will be done soon) and daftmike, you can run it off 7.4v and will somehow use LESS power!(uses less current at 7.4v than you think it would)

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Re: The Dreamcatcher...Dream Again!!

Post by dreamcatcher » Sat Nov 28, 2009 4:16 pm

Are you talking about the dreamcast? Because I already know you can run the console off a 7.4V batt, what I was asking is if you can run a 12V LCD TFT Screen off a 7.4V 5000mAh battery with those characteristics?

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palmertech
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Re: The Dreamcatcher...Dream Again!!

Post by palmertech » Sat Nov 28, 2009 4:34 pm

It all depends on the screen and driver board, I would like to say that most 12v screens I have tested will run at 7.4v, but there have been a few that need at least 9-12v.
Image

Excellent

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hailrazer
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Re: The Dreamcatcher...Dream Again!!

Post by hailrazer » Sat Nov 28, 2009 7:43 pm

mako321 wrote: yeah, according to bacteria(portablizer(made a bunch of portables so far) who is finishing his dcp up, will be done soon) and daftmike, you can run it off 7.4v and will somehow use LESS power!(uses less current at 7.4v than you think it would)
No that is not correct. 7.4v will ALWAYS draw more current than 12v on the same system.
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Re: The Dreamcatcher...Dream Again!!

Post by daftmike » Sun Nov 29, 2009 7:15 am

hailrazer wrote:
mako321 wrote: yeah, according to bacteria(portablizer(made a bunch of portables so far) who is finishing his dcp up, will be done soon) and daftmike, you can run it off 7.4v and will somehow use LESS power!(uses less current at 7.4v than you think it would)
No that is not correct. 7.4v will ALWAYS draw more current than 12v on the same system.
Actually it is correct, current != power.

In most cases, a system run with a lower voltage will consume less power.

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