Proof of concept?
My goal is to make it small, good-looking and long-battery-life-y, and I'll pay the extra couple bucks to accomplish that if I have to. I just have some ideas/questions:
- Regulator: instead of wasting power on a linear regulator, I figure it would make far more sense to power a portable through a switching regulator instead. They're not too expensive, or you could even build your own for only a couple bucks. The only real disadvantages I can see with this is that it takes up slightly more space, and it might be hard to design one yourself without any engineering background; but I think the trade-off is worth it. My question is, how much currrent does a portable typically draw, including the screen and speakers? I'm reading that 650 mA is the magic number, but that seems a bit low. I plan on doing the LED mod for the screen, of course.
- Power source: I've seen portables with Li-ion cells, and they do seem to have a much higher energy density than NiMH batteries, which means a smaller portable. Are they considered to be safe for this? Obviously I'd be getting a protection circuit as well.
- Case: I am not a craftsman, so I'm leaning towards either commissioning a case or getting one cut by a CNC mill. Anyone know of any replicable designs that I might be able to use? Like I said, I want it to be small.
- Colour: Grey and blue. It's gotta be grey and blue.
- Tools: I don't have a dremel, or any kind of saw, or epoxy. I just have a soldering iron and a hot glue gun. Where can I actually get a mini-saw bit for a drill? The only thing I can find is this; is that what I'm looking for? It'd be for cutting PCB so that I can reduce the size of the screen board. I also don't like the idea of hot-gluing the controller parts to the case, since I tend to button-mash a lot, so I figure I would at least need epoxy or superglue or something for that.
- Cartridge slot:
Honestly, what's the best way to desolder it? I have a crappy solder-sucker that probably won't do the trick. I'm afraid of using a heat gun because it might warp the plastic.Nevermind, I worked my way through it with the solder-sucker.
Woo, got the cart slot relocated, and it worked on the first try. What a bugger.
Edit: LED mod: so, I'm trying to figure out what kind of LED is best for this. I notice in Ben's book that he picked a part with only a 22 degree viewing angle. Wouldn't it make much more sense to pick something with a very high viewing angle, so that the light gets more evenly distributed? Here's one with a 45 degree viewing angle and much higher intensity, for example. FWIW, Ben's part seems to be sold out on Digikey.