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!