The Dock64

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

Moderator: Moderators

User avatar
ihakr
Posts: 28
Joined: Sat Feb 12, 2011 10:45 am
Location: Indianapolis, IN

The Dock64

Post by ihakr » Fri Mar 18, 2011 1:23 pm

Hello all, my name is Mitch, and I have been a long time forum browser, but is a new member. I have been feeling ambitious lately, and I have decided to make my first portable, the Dock64. The name seems dry, so it might get changed later. I want to make my portable different from any other, so I have been thinking of many ideas on how to make mine different. I noticed that people have made adapters for their portables to allow extra controllers and video out.

My adapter or dock will be different from most portables. It will feature (at least for now):
*Ports for all four controllers
*Charging circuit built in
*Built in batteries for extended on the go play
*AV out
*Possible door to store accessories
*No wired connectors (nothing to plug into the portable unit, just set it into the dock and play)


But for now, I am going to focus on building the portable first. The portable itself will feature(at least for now):
*4.3" Screen
*All controller buttons (excluding the memory pack slot)
*Expansion Pack
*3500mAh battery
*Relocated cart slot.

Another thing about my portable in total that I want to try and do is to use as many first party buttons and such as possible.
Basically I thought that I would just post in depth coverage about this unit as possible. (Keep in mind that this is my first portable so things might not be the sleekest one around. Also note that I am not new to hardware modification)

Here is my progress:

First I started off with opening the N64 with a modified screw driver

Image

Once I got the system opened, I tested it to make sure it still worked. (I have fried a N64 before)

Image

Then, while I am waiting on certain parts to ship (copper heat sinks, batteries, and the screen) I thought I would work on getting the controls in the case. (I did measure out how big the screen should be around, and I left room for it)

Image
Image

The image below is after I have gotten the buttons glued in, and sanded down.
Image

I glued the buttons in a way so I could have platformed buttons. In essence there is a lower level which is the portable, then a higher level (about 1 to 2mm above) where certain buttons are, like the D-Pad and the C buttons. Note that buttons A and B are level with the portable.

Image
Image

Now I have filled it in with bondo to get rid of some low spots. I am going to fill and sand it down many times to make sure it is smooth before I start to paint.
Image

I also would like to note that I do not have a certain idea on what I want this to look like as of now. I am just going to "go with the flow" and see how it turns out.

User avatar
ihakr
Posts: 28
Joined: Sat Feb 12, 2011 10:45 am
Location: Indianapolis, IN

Step up Regulator?

Post by ihakr » Thu Mar 24, 2011 2:39 pm

So the screen I got was a cheapo 4.3" LCD from China. It says that it runs off 12v, but I assumed it could run of 7.4v. When I got the screen it wouldn't run over either voltage. I was curious that if it would only run over 12v, would there be a way to build a step up regulator so I wouldn't have to add more batteries?

User avatar
hidiosoman
Posts: 88
Joined: Fri Jan 08, 2010 8:44 pm

Re: The Dock64

Post by hidiosoman » Thu Mar 24, 2011 3:26 pm

The two different types of 4.3" screens that I got from ebay both run at 7.4v.

And yeah, you could step up, but batterylife would suck.

User avatar
blaze3927
Portablizer
Posts: 1114
Joined: Mon Dec 08, 2008 6:14 am
360 GamerTag: notjames
Location: Australia
Contact:

Re: The Dock64

Post by blaze3927 » Thu Mar 24, 2011 5:06 pm

most of the 12v screens from china go straight to a 7805 5v regulator, see if you can find one, is so anything above 7v is fine,
(or 5v if you skip the regulator)
Australian Kaillera server
[url]hhttp://i56.tinypic.com/ncb0wi.gif[/url]

User avatar
ihakr
Posts: 28
Joined: Sat Feb 12, 2011 10:45 am
Location: Indianapolis, IN

Update 3.35.11

Post by ihakr » Fri Mar 25, 2011 4:58 pm

So the screen arrived. It is a 4.3" 16:9 screen from eBay. The screen actually surprised me because the quality was better than expected. It has a menu for brightness, contrast, hue, saturation, and it has the ability to change from 16:9 to a 4:3 ratio! At first I couldn't get the screen to work until I realized that the screen menu and back light doesn't turn on unless if there is a video feed. Silly me, I should have tried that before getting frustrated and posting on this forum about it! Anyways, I thought that I would show you my progress of now. It isn't much, but it is progress.

Image

This is of the back of the board, it is rather small. I also started to remove some of the wires.
Image

And don't worry! I labeled what each wire was!
Image

Stay tuned because there will be much more progress in the following weeks! (This week had a lot of school work, which has priority.)

User avatar
hidiosoman
Posts: 88
Joined: Fri Jan 08, 2010 8:44 pm

Re: The Dock64

Post by hidiosoman » Fri Mar 25, 2011 11:16 pm

My screen didn't have 4:3 option!

Can I get a link to the seller?


And yes, those screens go into "sleep mode" with no video feed to save battery.

User avatar
lucidPerspective
Posts: 435
Joined: Fri Jun 04, 2010 10:03 pm

Re: The Dock64

Post by lucidPerspective » Sat Mar 26, 2011 3:54 pm

I would also like to know where you got that screen from, it looks so nice! I have a bunch of 3.5" ones, and a 5" one. but 4.3" would be the perfect size for my current portable
Image

User avatar
hailrazer
Portablizer Extraordinaire
Posts: 2764
Joined: Mon Jul 10, 2006 8:57 pm
Location: Georgia Sweet Georgia

Re: The Dock64

Post by hailrazer » Sat Mar 26, 2011 4:44 pm

lucidPerspective wrote:I would also like to know where you got that screen from, it looks so nice! I have a bunch of 3.5" ones, and a 5" one. but 4.3" would be the perfect size for my current portable
They are literally all over Ebay. Just click one and look for the three tact switches on the back and there you go.
My Portable Systems:
Image
-----Genimini---------Darth64---------Dreamtrooper--------Ncube---------Kamikazi64---N64Boy Advance

User avatar
ihakr
Posts: 28
Joined: Sat Feb 12, 2011 10:45 am
Location: Indianapolis, IN

Screen Information

Post by ihakr » Sat Mar 26, 2011 4:48 pm

Here is a link to the seller's store with the 4.3" Screens.
http://shop.ebay.com/xyq777/m.html?_nkw ... m270.l1313

And to show that my screen has a 4:3 mode on it, I took a picture of the option in the menu. I don't the distortion for most games is enough to change it to 4:3 though. It is just my preference.

(Keep in mind i reapplied the protective cover on the screen (to keep it protected while the build), so it looks bubbly. It is a matte screen under it though.)
Image

User avatar
lucidPerspective
Posts: 435
Joined: Fri Jun 04, 2010 10:03 pm

Re: The Dock64

Post by lucidPerspective » Sat Mar 26, 2011 6:47 pm

Thanks for the link, I'll be getting one of these right now :)
Image

User avatar
ihakr
Posts: 28
Joined: Sat Feb 12, 2011 10:45 am
Location: Indianapolis, IN

Progress update 3.26.11

Post by ihakr » Sat Mar 26, 2011 8:08 pm

Today, I started to work on my portable again. I spent all of my Saturday working on it. (I will still be working on it after this post, you just wont see it to my next post. Sorry) I worked on the case, and when a part of the case was drying I worked on the hardware. Hopefully I won't confuse my readers too much. If I do, I'm sorry. Just as a Note, I am still waiting for my copper heat sinks to arrive. I will NOT be using the stock cooler on my portable! haha

First I started by cutting out the screen. I decided not to cut a hole and to epoxy in the frame because there wasn't enough room, and doing so would leave to a less well rounded design. I took the little metal piece off the front of the screen that holds the LCD and backlight module together. I used this because it had a perfect straight edge to trace and would be perfect size for the screen.
Image


Once I got the hole cut out, (I cut it a little small (by a few mm) for this reason) I took super glue and glued the little frame that I was talking about earlier and glued it into the inside of the case. This way I had a perfect straight edge to file against. And when I was done it left a perfectly straight edge cut out in the plastic, and the little metal frame was left in so the screen already had a mount to hold it in!
Image


I decided to hook up the screen directly to the AV hookup on the nintendo just to test it out. I was looking for a close point that had voltage to run the screen. I knew it couldn't be any of the 3.3V lines because that probably wouldn't be enough to run the screen. To my luck, I found out that the AV out had a 5v line in it! I was very happy to find this. To make sure this worked, I hooked it up to the wall adapter to make sure every voltage was exactly right. To my surprise both the screen and the 64 loaded up just fine! Later I got the battery hooked up to it. I played a little Mario Kart 64.
Image

After I got everything working, I put the screen in the case just to see how it looked. Once I get this all finished, I think this will look stunning. (as a first portable)
Image

Now that I had the screen cut out, I decided to work on the shoulder buttons. I had to use an item that I didn't want to use in this project - a non Nintendo part. I decided to use a broken, Logitech PS2 controller. I decided to use it so I could have a L, R, and double Z buttons. I also liked it because the shape of the trigger buttons. They were curvy, unlike the boxy like kind of first party PS2 controllers. I took the controller apart and I cut off the shoulder button area.
Image

Here is what the shoulder buttons look like just sitting on top of the portable. I believe that they will give the portable a nice, unique shape.
Image

I'll just admit it right now - I did a horrible cutting job with the shoulder buttons. I had to use a lot of epoxy to fill the surrounding holes. I am trying different techniques to cut out the pieces - obviously this one didn't work.
Image

I sanded down the epoxy and it didn't look too horrid. Actually, it looked good in my opinion. I put a thin layer of bondo over the whole top because I used the dremil to grind down the epoxy and it did some minor damage that needed to be filled all over. I will spend a good amount of time to get it smooth.
Image

User avatar
ihakr
Posts: 28
Joined: Sat Feb 12, 2011 10:45 am
Location: Indianapolis, IN

Re: The Dock64

Post by ihakr » Sun Mar 27, 2011 7:37 am

So I am having an issue with my Nintendo 64. The system freezes when it is under load. I only have this issue when I am running it off battery power. This issue does not happen when I run the system off wall power. I checked the voltages and the 12v line was getting 8v(which I heard is okay.) And the 3.3v line gets 3.1v but when it is under load and freezes, it changes to 2.9v. I was wondering if anyone would know how to modify the ti 8080 regulator to let it have around more than 3.1v so it doesn't drop so low?

User avatar
kibble
Posts: 439
Joined: Wed Jul 29, 2009 10:41 am

Re: The Dock64

Post by kibble » Sun Mar 27, 2011 10:21 am

If you can get a 1.8K resistor for the regulator, instead of 2.2k, which it sounds like you might be using, you'll be at right about 3.3V or so.
Coming Soon: Kibble's L'Ectroshop (parts and stuff FS)

User avatar
ihakr
Posts: 28
Joined: Sat Feb 12, 2011 10:45 am
Location: Indianapolis, IN

Progress update 3.28.11

Post by ihakr » Mon Mar 28, 2011 12:08 pm

For my screen, I wanted to have a cut that made the plastic not so sharp. I also needed a consistent cut angle. So in turn, I took the flexible tool of my dremel and clamped it into the vice. This would give me a consistent cut angle and it would let me move the encasing to the box around freely.
Image

Once I made my cuts, I used more bondo to fill in the low spots.
Image

When testing my batteries I used up a full charge already. (Okay I the system by playing a whole cup on Mario Kart 64. haha) So I rewired the batteries in parallel so I could charge them at once. Just wondering, do batteries have to be in parallel to charge them in this kind of charger, or can I charge them while they are in a series? Knowing so will make life much easier when it comes to wiring this beast.
Image

While I was waiting for some bondo to dry on the system, I decided that once I have the case made the next thing that I would have to is to rewire the controller. Since this will be a tedious task, I am choosing to work on this little bits at a time. For now I just figured out where the button circuit goes to on the controller chip. Then when I chop this bad boy up, I will be able to rewire it easily. (Note, I still have yet to find out where Z goes. I just forgot it by accident.)
Image

Once I got the controller diagram done, the bondo was dried and I sanded it down. Here is my result.
Image

I chose to make the case look different than just a boring old box. I did not want to lose needed space for my project, so I decided to make it look angular in a way. It is hard to describe. On one corner of the box I marked .5 inches all around. Then I chose a spot on the case to be the start of my angle. Then I followed a straight edge to connect to the dot. The end result looks a little like this:
Image

Now my plastic job and gluing job does not look the best, but It is glued on there.
Image

I'm sure my arm got a workout from all the sanding that I had to do get the project box to look as smooth as it does now. There are still lots of places I need to bondo.
Image

This is what the box looks like once it has been bondo'ed. I believe with more sanding, and bondo this will turn out smooth. On the very corner of the box, I ran out of epoxy and couldn't epoxy the corner plastic piece in. I will probably go to the store and get more epoxy today to finish it.
Image

Stay with me! I know I am posing a lot of pictures!


Just to reiterate my question, Can I charge typical batteries like these cell phone batteries in a series, or do they have to be in parallel? If they do have to be in parallel, can someone show me a simple circuit that will switch these two batteries from a series fashion to parallel with just a switch? I'm also trying to figure out what I am going to do for an audio amplifier; does anyone have any ideas on that?

User avatar
hailrazer
Portablizer Extraordinaire
Posts: 2764
Joined: Mon Jul 10, 2006 8:57 pm
Location: Georgia Sweet Georgia

Re: Progress update 3.28.11

Post by hailrazer » Mon Mar 28, 2011 4:39 pm

ihakr wrote: I'm also trying to figure out what I am going to do for an audio amplifier; does anyone have any ideas on that? [/size]
I use the Radio Shack Ipod system. It's $24 but it is loud and sounds great. Has a power switch, potentiometer and power led. And it is pretty small once you get it out of it's case.

It's this one :
Image
My Portable Systems:
Image
-----Genimini---------Darth64---------Dreamtrooper--------Ncube---------Kamikazi64---N64Boy Advance

Post Reply