Modular, removable screen concept

If you're making a portable you probably need something to watch it on. (Unless you want to guess what's happening in the game, but I wouldn't advise that) Anyway, this forum is your "Hacking a pocket TV/screen" one-stop solution. Share your experiences and knowledge here.

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Re: Modular, removable screen concept

Post by palmertech » Sat Jan 31, 2009 11:06 am

Gordon1 wrote:
palmertech wrote:Screens are not THAT expensive... Why not just give your portable its own screen? :?
#1 it is easier #2 it is cheaper #3 it makes sense. Have you actually made anything yet? Or do you just talk a lot?

The modular screen is a great idea, because why would you have more than one portable with you at a time anyway?

For a portable being sold, then yes use a built in screen, personal use... great idea. I might just do this.
I take contest with the fact it is "easier". No way is cutting a hole and mounting a screen behind it harder than making a securely fitting clip-in screen, case, and video passthrough, then replicating the exact same thing for every portable you make. The latter is w ay harder, and I don't think many people would argue that it is easier. Besides, it limits all your portables to one screen size. And number 3? You can't make a third argument that is only a result of your opinion being true.

And as for me doing stuff, while it is true I have not completed a "portable" yet, if you think I have done nothing, then you need to actually read the forums sometimes. :roll: Pray tell, what have you done that is so amazing? Me not completing a portable is not due to lack of know-how, it is a consequence of me having too much going on at once to finish one (Also, my N64p case is smaller than yours. :wink: ) I could go and find all the threads where I "Actually make something", but honestly, it is not worth my time.

If you are going to spend 200+ dollars on making a nice portable, and 20+ hours of work on it, then you may as well spend the extra $40-50 for its own screen, the portable will be easier to make, more solidly built, smaller, and even if you do not currently plan on selling it, it will have some re-sale value in case you change your mind/make a better one for yourself.

@XCVG: Yes, they do run a fair bit, I may be a bit biased with my 4 Zenith LCDs that I got on ebay for $9. :D It all comes down to how nice you want the portable to be. I usually end up selling everything I make so I can buy parts for the next project. But like I said, the cost of a screen (If you look for good deals) is not that much compared to the time/money invested in a portable, and in the long run, it will be the better for it.
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Re: Modular, removable screen concept

Post by eagle5953 » Sat Jan 31, 2009 1:49 pm

Gordon1 wrote:Also, it would be better to only have video going to the screen, because why would the speakers be attached to the screen? That is just dumb.
There are three possible reasons: one, that the speaker is part of the screen portion; two, the headphone out portion is part of the screen portion; or three, for aesthetic purposes of keeping the volume adjustment next to the screen brightness adjustment. However, you are correct that it is not technically necessary to do it this way.
rikitheshadow wrote:Why not the AV connector cables they used on the SNES, N64, and Gamecube. Can't say it's as small as a USB but it should certainly be easy to work with.

Can't say they sell a lot of the ports designed for the smaller USBs (the ones used on some printers, cameras, and external pocket drives). You would probably have to tear up something to get an item like that.
They are available for individual purchase - an earlier post gave some online retailers that carry them. Alternatively, one could tear something apart for them, as many cheap "disposable" electronic items (photo keychains, etc) often use them.

As for using the original AV connectors, one could do that, but remember, you'd still need to get power and ground connections too; this would require a second connector. However, if you took the screen out, you could use the original AV cable to hook it up to the TV. Like any concept, it would be something to consider.
palmertech wrote:Screens are not THAT expensive... Why not just give your portable its own screen?
It's true, screens are not terribly expensive. They are, however, somewhat time-consuming to mod (de-soldering all the sliders and inputs, reconnecting them via wires, LED-modding the screen, re-wiring the circuit board to go behind the screen, etc). Further, there is something inheirently neat about having a cartridge-style screen component - one nearly look at some of the above posts to see this. People put LEDs behind buttons - why? It takes time and effort and does nothing to improve their play experience, but it has the coolness factor.
palmertech wrote:I take contest with the fact it is "easier". No way is cutting a hole and mounting a screen behind it harder than making a securely fitting clip-in screen, case, and video passthrough, then replicating the exact same thing for every portable you make. The latter is w ay harder, and I don't think many people would argue that it is easier. Besides, it limits all your portables to one screen size.
True, there is some effort involved with making a cartridge screen. However, there is also the effort one puts into modding the screen. Which method to use comes down to personal choice.

With forethought, the portables could be designed to use multiple sizes of screens. For example, you could have a universally-sized portion that slides in and connects while the screen portion itself sits atop the portable. One would need to plan it out in advance to avoid covering the buttons with the screen, etc!
palmertech wrote:If you are going to spend 200+ dollars on making a nice portable, and 20+ hours of work on it, then you may as well spend the extra $40-50 for its own screen, the portable will be easier to make, more solidly built, smaller, and even if you do not currently plan on selling it, it will have some re-sale value in case you change your mind/make a better one for yourself.
You make several assumptions that may not be true for everyone. One, it is no longer necessary to spend $200+ on a portable. Old systems can be purchased inexpensively. For example, last night I went to a thrift store and grabbed up 3 Sega Genesis mark II systems and a PSOne cheap. The price examples in Ben's book have fallen somewhat; the book was written in 2004. It does not cost $110 for a PSOne screen. You can pay less than $150 for a pocket TV.

Two, which method is "easier" depends on the individual. What is "more solidly built" depends as much on the individual modder's skills than any particular design aspect. Three, the size difference is a consideration, but so is any design feature. I think that except for the smallest of portables, the difference is negligible. Four, if you do decide to sell it, the fact that the screen can be removed is not likely to affect the price. In fact, I could see it helping it (because if it breaks, it is that much easier to be replaced).

I'd like to thank everyone for their feedback, especially Palmertech. While I appreciate the "cool idea" comments, constructive criticism truly makes you consider what you are doing, why, and how to improve upon it.

As far as any criticism for Palmertech's relative experience, I have two thoughts. One, the only modding I've done to date is paint mods and stuffing a PC into an NES, so whatever modding he has done, it probably tops mine. Two, who cares? It doesn't invalidate his thoughts on the subject; While I have never filmed a movie myself, I can still tell if a particular film in well-done or not.

Sorry for the length of this post, and thanks again for reading and posting!

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Re: Modular, removable screen concept

Post by Kurt_ » Sat Jan 31, 2009 4:42 pm

Gordon1: Stop being such a fag. Do you want to get temp. banned?

As far as modular screens go, "To each, his own!" While I'd personally prefer one screen per portable, if I was making a whole bunch, removable batteries and a removable screen would significantly cut costs.

To all: Remember, we're Benheckers. We don't do anything logical. There are emulators out there that easily replicate what we do in a much smaller and better package. We do what we do because we enjoy the challenge of it. And a modular screen is just another challenge.
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Re: Modular, removable screen concept

Post by palmertech » Sat Jan 31, 2009 6:55 pm

I still have reservations about your arguments, but you are right, it all comes down to a matter of personal choice. That said:
eagle5953 wrote: With forethought, the portables could be designed to use multiple sizes of screens. For example, you could have a universally-sized portion that slides in and connects while the screen portion itself sits atop the portable. One would need to plan it out in advance to avoid covering the buttons with the screen, etc!
That is seriously one of the best ideas I have heard recently. I have a bunch of 5" screens, and a 6" screen, and a few 7" 16:9 ones. I like the 4:3 ratio for most stuff, but for wii/gamecube, it would be VERY cool to swap the screen for games that can take advantage of it. In my mind, that elevates it from "cool idea" to "AWESOME IDEA". :D
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Re: Modular, removable screen concept

Post by eagle5953 » Sat Jan 31, 2009 7:16 pm

*knew you'd come around*

In all seriousness, that is another reason of which I hadn't thought. Witness the power of collaboration!

If you did intend on doing something like that, it seems to me that the best, least intrusive way would be to have a groove in your portable with the modded mini-usb at the bottom. Then, the screens would need to have a ridge on the back that slides into it (sort of like the dorsal fin of a dolphin *get it? dolphin*) that had the mini-usb at the bottom.

The only other thing you'd need is a means of temporarily securing it to the portable. Perhaps thumbscrews of the computer case variety...

At least, that's sort of how I visualized it.

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Re: Modular, removable screen concept

Post by palmertech » Sat Jan 31, 2009 8:11 pm

I was going to say something about the power of constructive criticism, but I thought that me being the main instigator, it would seem a bit arrogant. :lol:

Thought about this, you could use an idea that has been floating in my head for a different project... If you end up doing it, a bit of 'cred to me would be awesome. :wink:

How about using neodymium magnets? Not just to hold it in place, but also as the connectors? Like so:
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I just realized a few small tweaks that would need to be made, but that is the basic idea. Moving to magnets nearer to the center of the case would be one idea, as the screen could be much smaller and still work. You could either have the screen rest on top of the case, or make a small recessed area (Would be more secure but these magnets are STRONG, and would limit future screen case designs).

What do you think? No real plug, just solder the connections straight to the magnets! :D
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Re: Modular, removable screen concept

Post by rikitheshadow » Sat Jan 31, 2009 8:32 pm

eagle5953 wrote:
In all seriousness, that is another reason of which I hadn't thought. Witness the power of collaboration!
This is why we have the forums to share ideas and concepts, and otherwise help each find the parts that we need.




This is response to PalmerTech:

Do magnets that powerful cause distortions in LCD's? I know they can in some electronics and old CRT monitors and televisions ( not saying LCD and CRT are the same thing).

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Re: Modular, removable screen concept

Post by XCVG » Sat Jan 31, 2009 8:37 pm

Power- and ground can share a connector, I think. Other than that, cool. Near the center WOULD be better because then it can accomodate more sizes.

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Re: Modular, removable screen concept

Post by jleemero » Sat Jan 31, 2009 8:44 pm

rikitheshadow wrote:
This is response to PalmerTech:

Do magnets that powerful cause distortions in LCD's? I know they can in some electronics and old CRT monitors and televisions ( not saying LCD and CRT are the same thing).
Nope.
At least, not in my experience.

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Re: Modular, removable screen concept

Post by eagle5953 » Sat Jan 31, 2009 9:55 pm

palmertech wrote:How about using neodymium magnets? Not just to hold it in place, but also as the connectors? Like so:
Image
Dude, magnets?

That's a freakin' awesome idea that hadn't occurred to me before! However, I don't know what I "will be doing," as I suppose I should figure out how to solder first... :lol: In related news, I'm planning to buy soldering and de-soldering guns tomorrow!

I'm not sure what my first portable would be... I do have the internals of an NES (put a computer in it and saved the guts without knowing why), so perhaps that would be a good place to start (as opposed to the ever-popular N64).

At any rate, I have a pocket TV coming in the mail from eBay, so now I guess I'm committed to doing something at this point.

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Re: Modular, removable screen concept

Post by Gordon1 » Sun Feb 01, 2009 1:52 am

palmertech wrote: I take contest with the fact it is "easier". No way is cutting a hole and mounting a screen behind it harder than making a securely fitting clip-in screen, case, and video passthrough, then replicating the exact same thing for every portable you make. The latter is w ay harder, and I don't think many people would argue that it is easier. Besides, it limits all your portables to one screen size. And number 3? You can't make a third argument that is only a result of your opinion being true.

And as for me doing stuff, while it is true I have not completed a "portable" yet, if you think I have done nothing, then you need to actually read the forums sometimes. :roll: Pray tell, what have you done that is so amazing? Me not completing a portable is not due to lack of know-how, it is a consequence of me having too much going on at once to finish one (Also, my N64p case is smaller than yours. :wink: ) I could go and find all the threads where I "Actually make something", but honestly, it is not worth my time.

If you are going to spend 200+ dollars on making a nice portable, and 20+ hours of work on it, then you may as well spend the extra $40-50 for its own screen, the portable will be easier to make, more solidly built, smaller, and even if you do not currently plan on selling it, it will have some re-sale value in case you change your mind/make a better one for yourself.

@XCVG: Yes, they do run a fair bit, I may be a bit biased with my 4 Zenith LCDs that I got on ebay for $9. :D It all comes down to how nice you want the portable to be. I usually end up selling everything I make so I can buy parts for the next project. But like I said, the cost of a screen (If you look for good deals) is not that much compared to the time/money invested in a portable, and in the long run, it will be the better for it.
By saying easier, I am saying easier in the long run. You only need to do it once, I have checked and you can even fit a psone screen in a nes cart... With a little cutting and bondoing. And that was 2 minutes of looking for something to use. Guess what, ask Bacteria how it was making his mini multi-system cartridges. It was probably not be that hard if you are making several of them, only the first one would be bad. It won't be that hard to make more portable's cases fit the screen module.

What have I made? Well, there is my playmad knock off with internal batteries, my smooth zn-40 n64 I am too lazy to finish. My 25hp minibike I built, all of my custom rc cars I have built throughout the years, Backpack speaker system, countless iPod chargers, and other things I can't think of right now. But whatever, I'm just sick of people who know jack-crap running around this forum mouthing off. However it seems that you seem to have an idea what you are talking about. Although, you have asked a lot of stupid questions in the past.... remember the D-cell battery thread? (I think that was you)

Palmer, you know what this forum is like with all the "can I fit a ps2 in a gameboy sp?!?!" morons around here. So, I (and I think we) don't take them seriously and invalidate everything they say. That is the impression you gave me, even in your later postings and I treat you accordingly. Must I bring up the d-cell battery again? No offense, you just came off like an idiot.

@Kurt.... I have yet to receive a warning.

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Re: Modular, removable screen concept

Post by palmertech » Sun Feb 01, 2009 11:40 am

Gordon1 wrote: Palmer, you know what this forum is like with all the "can I fit a ps2 in a gameboy sp?!?!" morons around here. So, I (and I think we) don't take them seriously and invalidate everything they say. That is the impression you gave me, even in your later postings and I treat you accordingly. Must I bring up the d-cell battery again? No offense, you just came off like an idiot.
I am actually at a loss for the "D battery" thread, I can't seem to remember anything like that... I hate D batteries, not sure what I would ask about them. :lol: I think it is pretty likely you are talking about someone else, at least in regard to that thread.

Sounds like you are like me as far as not posting all your projects here. :o I have a lot of other little random things, but I don't really think they are relevant to this forum, and none of them are really special or unique, just generic stuff. :wink:
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Re: Modular, removable screen concept

Post by Rekarp » Sun Feb 01, 2009 2:57 pm

rikitheshadow wrote: Now for some of those who buy the screens from AEIComp, if i'm correct, they do come pre-wired with LED backlight instead of a power consuming cold cathode tube, they still don't come with audio, and the driver boards still require about 12v as compared to the PSone low voltage of 7.5
Audio Amps are really easy to make. AEIComp screens can run off of 3.3V in most cases. 5V easy.
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Re: Modular, removable screen concept

Post by XCVG » Sun Feb 01, 2009 9:29 pm

eagle5953 wrote:I'm planning to buy soldering and de-soldering guns tomorrow!
Don't. Guns are too big. You want a soldering iron and some desolder braid.

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Re: Modular, removable screen concept

Post by eagle5953 » Sun Feb 01, 2009 11:43 pm

XCVG wrote:
eagle5953 wrote:I'm planning to buy soldering and de-soldering guns tomorrow!
Don't. Guns are too big. You want a soldering iron and some desolder braid.
I apologize for the wrong choice of words - I meant irons (I guess I didn't realize there was a distinction). Feeling noobish. I bought a 15w and a 40w as recommended in Ben's book, as well as a 45w desoldering iron and some solder. I'm not certain when I'll get to try it all out, but I figure I'll practice on some dead/very old electronics I have kicking around.

Thanks for the advice - cheers!

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