Portable Consoles

Want to just shoot the breeze? Forum 42 is the place!

Moderator: Moderators

Post Reply
TeamXlink
Posts: 14
Joined: Thu Sep 02, 2010 1:35 pm
360 GamerTag: Team Xlink

Portable Consoles

Post by TeamXlink » Thu Sep 02, 2010 9:09 pm

Hello.

I've been interested in creating a portable console.

I currently have these that I could use.

Nintendo 64 - This was the Golden Nintendo 64 but someone painted the top part very badly, you can still see the gold perfectly on the bottom of the console.

Sega Dreamcast - I love my Sega Dreamcast, and based on what I have researched this is a portable project to avoid because of power related things.

Nintendo Entertainment System - This one is possible, It would be using the original board, I have a design planned out. This one would be rather simple, I measured everything out and these are the dimensions that it would be when finished.

2.25 inches thick
8 1/8 inches long - If I relocate the RFU unit downwards I can make it about 7.625 inches long.
7 Inches wide - This dimension varies depending on if I relocate the RFU or not, if I do it would be 6 inches.

Also a minor note on the dimensions, it is possible to make these dimensions smaller by a considerable amount, but this would be making it not look as good esthetically.

I could make the width one inch less then it is, but the cartridge would be sticking out of the side of the console.

To fix this I could extend the 72 pin connector back and line it even with the RF unit. this would also prevent the need to relocate the RFU, this would save about 1 1/8 inches for the width, while still looking good esthetically.

I want to keep the RFU for various reasons.

Easier battery interface
Easier screen interface
Less Chance of problems.

I would like to do some changes to it to make it smaller, It would be nice to remove the analog rf cable, and the channel selector button.
These are some of my concerns:

Overheating, I read on the forums that sanding the heat sink (except the part directly connected to the heat, that one needs to be smooth for better heat transfer), to make it rougher which keeps the heat lower. I will most likely do this regardless of over heating problems.

I also am thinking about adding a fan to reduce heating.

The expansion slot, I believe this is able to be removed without harming the console. Does it have any use in a portable console?

At the moment it is in the way, I need to remove it for the screen, and controls.

Cartridge ejection, this is more of a novelty idea, I would go about doing it by putting a spring in the cartridge area, the cartridge would push it down past a clip, the clip would be set to a button. When you push the button the clip releases and the spring ejects the cartridge.

I don't own very many Nintendo Games. I would prefer Dreamcast but thats overly complicated, the second choice would be the Nintendo 64. The high chance of frying the board makes me lean away from this option.

I also have a design for a Playstation 1 Portable, it is rather simple and should work.

Are the Super Nintendo Portables more complicated then the Nintendo Portables?

More people are interested in the Super Nintendo, I have good reason to believe this is because of the better games. Most of the portables for these look smaller then the Nintendo portables, but these might be using clones of some sort, or a different mother board.

My capabilities:

I know how to solder sort of.
I have a crappy cheap small plug in soldering iron.
I would love to avoid soldering as much as possible, unless the alternative is unreasonable or complicated.
I have been taking computers and game systems apart for a while now, I know how to take the precautions and I think I am good with this part.

Thank you.

-TeamXlink

TeamXlink
Posts: 14
Joined: Thu Sep 02, 2010 1:35 pm
360 GamerTag: Team Xlink

Re: Portable Consoles

Post by TeamXlink » Fri Sep 03, 2010 10:55 am

I might be receiving a Super Nintendo today, can't wait t so the motherboard.

I also might be receiving a Playstation 1 screen today.

Which one is easier, Super Nintendo or the Nintendo?

Are my Nintendo portable dimensions small enough to be considered portable?

Thsnk you.

TeamXlink
Posts: 14
Joined: Thu Sep 02, 2010 1:35 pm
360 GamerTag: Team Xlink

Re: Portable Consoles

Post by TeamXlink » Fri Sep 03, 2010 12:40 pm

I got the Super Nintendo, but unfortunately not the PS1 screen.

I haven't looked at the board yet but I read that the first version has a small board the second version a large one and the mini the smallest.

Thank you.

I still don't know which one to choose to make a portable out of.

TeamXlink
Posts: 14
Joined: Thu Sep 02, 2010 1:35 pm
360 GamerTag: Team Xlink

Re: Portable Consoles

Post by TeamXlink » Fri Sep 03, 2010 1:14 pm

Well, my Super Nintendo has a white eject text, so it is the larger board.

It looks like my portable won't be a Super Nintendo.

EDIT: I think it might be possible to use for a portable, I just need a picture of the big snes board and the dimensions. The thread with pictures and dimensions of consoles didn't have the big original snes board, only the small original snes board and the SNES mini.

So my choices for a portable are:

Sega Dreamcast
Nintendo 64
Super Nintendo Entertainment System
Nintendo Entertainment System

The list is ordered top to bottom. The Sega Dreamcast is the one I want to do most, followed closely by Nintendo 64, then Super Nintendo and finally the Nintendo.

Which ones are easiest?

My design for the NES seems like the eaisest one to me, but I am not sure if the dimensions are small enough to be considered portable.

Thank you.

TeamXlink
Posts: 14
Joined: Thu Sep 02, 2010 1:35 pm
360 GamerTag: Team Xlink

Re: Portable Consoles

Post by TeamXlink » Sat Sep 04, 2010 9:08 pm

Bump

User avatar
bassmasta
Posts: 684
Joined: Sun Sep 06, 2009 8:56 pm
Steam ID: randomguy737
Contact:

Re: Portable Consoles

Post by bassmasta » Sat Sep 04, 2010 9:44 pm

NES will be the easiest. Here's a handy dandy guide.
zeturi wrote:If you're getting 404'd when trying to use the links in stickies, try this tutorial to find that juicy info.

User avatar
bicostp
Moderator
Posts: 10491
Joined: Mon Mar 07, 2005 5:47 pm
Steam ID: bicostp
Location: Spamalot
Contact:

Re: Portable Consoles

Post by bicostp » Sun Sep 05, 2010 10:24 am

For the most part, the newer the console the harder it is to make a portable out of. Optical drives further complicate things. However, that doesn't mean a portable Dreamcast or PS2 is by any means impossible to build without an engineering degree.

If you build a portable NES out of the original hardware, I highly recommend disabling the "lockout chip", the cause of the infamous blinking screen problem. There are instructions on how to do this here:
http://www.benheck.com/Games/Nintendo_p ... Up_NES.htm" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

Another option would be to use a cheap Chinese NES clone. Usually you'll see them referred to as "NOAC" (Nintendo on a chip) devices around here, because they just have one chip on the board that clones the entire NES motherboard's functionality. They're much smaller and use a lot less power than a real NES, and they're easier to make portable because you don't have to build a video amplification circuit to get a usable picture out of them. The only problem is they're only about 90% accurate to the original NES, so sound may be a bit off or raspy or some oddball games may not work as you expect them to. Whether or not those issues are dealbreakers is up to you.

There are also some SNES-on-a-chip systems floating around (one I know of is the Retro Duo, which has both NOAC and SNOAC hardware). Using one of these instead of a real SNES will get you the same ease of use, size, and power consumption benefits as you get with a NOAC vs original NES motherboard. However, they also have some cartridge compatibility issues.

China hasn't coughed up a cheap N64 clone yet.

The Dreamcast has a few factors against it that make it a difficult system to work with:

- Optical disc drives are harder to make portable than cartridges
- It needs a lot of power in several different voltages
- It hasn't been portablized as much as the others so there aren't quite as many build logs to reference

It's more technically challenging to build than the other consoles you want to do, but it is your top pick (and I'm fairly sure there are NES and SNES emulators for the Dreamcast), so pick up a couple of them and go for it. As long as you take your time and follow diagrams closely you shouldn't have an issue. The hard part is going to be getting it to run off batteries, because you have to feed it several different voltages. But once you get past that, the rest shouldn't be much more complicated than doing a Playstation or N64.

TeamXlink
Posts: 14
Joined: Thu Sep 02, 2010 1:35 pm
360 GamerTag: Team Xlink

Re: Portable Consoles

Post by TeamXlink » Mon Sep 06, 2010 5:55 pm

Is a Dreamcast recommended for a first console?

I know the Nintendo 64 isn't.

How likely is the Nintendo 64 to fry?

I can't afford to loose my Dreamcast, or screw it up, so I think I may just go with the Nintendo 64.

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

Re: Portable Consoles

Post by hailrazer » Mon Sep 06, 2010 7:38 pm

TeamXlink wrote:Is a Dreamcast recommended for a first console?

I know the Nintendo 64 isn't.

How likely is the Nintendo 64 to fry?

I can't afford to loose my Dreamcast, or screw it up, so I think I may just go with the Nintendo 64.
No the Dreamcast is complicated and difficult. Hence the reason there are only about 7 or 8 of them.
My Portable Systems:
Image
-----Genimini---------Darth64---------Dreamtrooper--------Ncube---------Kamikazi64---N64Boy Advance

User avatar
Bush
Posts: 672
Joined: Fri Jul 16, 2010 2:54 pm

Re: Portable Consoles

Post by Bush » Wed Sep 08, 2010 7:22 pm

The 64 is fairly easy, a lot of people do those first.

reincarnatorfly
Posts: 13
Joined: Wed Sep 22, 2010 2:36 pm

Re: Portable Consoles

Post by reincarnatorfly » Sat Sep 25, 2010 2:32 am

have you ever heard of a nes on a chip like a nes except much smaller

User avatar
coolprize
Posts: 18
Joined: Sun Sep 19, 2010 7:54 pm

Re: Portable Consoles

Post by coolprize » Sat Sep 25, 2010 11:39 am

I hope a n64 is easy. Because im planning this to be my very first portable ever.

think about this, and this is pretty much for all portables not just n64. all you have to do is:

-take out the mother board
-hook a screen to it
-make it run off batterys

and that qualifies for a portable. well those are the main things at least. the last things to do is

-make a case
-decide how controls will be, like connected and where the buttons will go, or you can just leave a controller port on your case and the mother board and not worry about taking the control apart since you can just connect it to your portable whenever you want.

I was thinking about it and figured that a N64 portable is a good place to start off with, and then after making a few n64 portables its a good idea to move on to harder ones like gamecube.

anyone else thinks its a good idea to start with a portable n64 as your first?
Image

User avatar
Bush
Posts: 672
Joined: Fri Jul 16, 2010 2:54 pm

Re: Portable Consoles

Post by Bush » Sat Sep 25, 2010 5:06 pm

Yeah man go for it! Before you start, read a bunch of worklogs and the stickies to make sure you know a good bit about it.

User avatar
coolprize
Posts: 18
Joined: Sun Sep 19, 2010 7:54 pm

Re: Portable Consoles

Post by coolprize » Sat Sep 25, 2010 7:44 pm

Bush wrote:Yeah man go for it! Before you start, read a bunch of worklogs and the stickies to make sure you know a good bit about it.

Thanks man, thats exactly what im doing now. im researching. reading a bunch of things posted on this site, watching a few youtube vids about stuff like soldering and vacuum forming.Im not going to start this for a while, until I get a really good idea of how it all works. right now im building my own vacuum forming box and learning about portablizing haha
Image

TeamXlink
Posts: 14
Joined: Thu Sep 02, 2010 1:35 pm
360 GamerTag: Team Xlink

Re: Portable Consoles

Post by TeamXlink » Sun Oct 17, 2010 9:46 pm

Sweet, thank you for the help.

Post Reply