Now that registration is complete, the Annual Bitbuilt Summer Contest is officially open! This is the Third Annual Summer Contest, and every year the entries get better and better, as the Contestants really bring their all. So far GMan has been the winner the past 2 Contests. Do you have what it takes to dethrone him?
Most people spend their summers having fun in the sun, but skin cancer is a serious issue. To remedy this, BitBuilt is launching the 2018 Summer Building Contest, promoting soldering burns over sunburns! Seriously though, this contest is for everyone, noobs and veterans alike, to perform the coolest hardware mod they can. The contest is officially open for registration, so head on over to the forums and get registered! Registration is a simple account upgrade that can be purchased for a fee of $2 by following this guide. Registration closes on May 11th, so be sure to get registered as soon as possible.
The winners will be chosen through voting by the community on three different categories: case design/aesthetics, cleanliness of internals, and build features. The deadline to complete your build is also later than last year, this time in mid-august, so everyone will have more time to complete their builds. More information on deadlines and the rest of the contest can be found here.
Good luck to everyone! We hope to see you in the contest too.
As many who follow the portablizing community are aware, Ben Heck has announced that he is leaving Element 14’s The Ben Heck Show after many years of performing various mods for thousands of viewers to admire. Although the announcement wasn’t unexpected, it still left many people wondering what Element 14 would do to replace the star of the show. Shortly after the official announcement that Ben was leaving the show, Element 14 announced a contest dubbed “Hack Like Heck” with the goal of attracting new talent to star on the show. The basis was simple – build some sort of handheld video game device and make a 12 to 18 minute long video showing off the brainstorming, designing, and construction process of the build. To foster more interest in potential talent, Element 14 upped the ante by offering cash prizes for the top 10 winners with one of these winners being given an episode on the Ben Heck Show. Here on BitBuilt, we know a thing or three about handheld video games, as three members stepped up to take on the competition: painting queen Madmorda, Pokemon fanatic Nobble, and Pigylord ShockSlayer. Each of these competitors took very different approaches to their awesome builds, and the results were stunning to say the least. We’ll let their videos do most of the talking, but here’s a brief overview of each of them.
Nobble’s build was definitely one of a kind with it’s emphasis on having a working projector built into the handheld Raspberry Pi Gameboy. Based on a DMG Gameboy, his colorful creation dazzles the eyes and displays an impressive level of workmanship. Here’s his video where he goes in depth about the build and brainstorming (featuring Fibbef of course):
Madmorda took a path more suited to her artistic inclinations and did her best to recreate a Hoenn Pokedex with a Raspberry Pi as the processing unit. The build features her amazing painting skills, and the final product looks virtually 1:1 with a Hoenn Pokedex. Be sure to check out her video and give her project the love it deserves:
ShockSlayer also competed in the competition, but took a far more advanced approach to his build. We’ll be covering his build more extensively in a future article, but his build featured the first OMEGA trim, extensive use of WiiHUD, along dozens of other awesome things that make it undoubtedly the most feature packed portable of all time. In the meantime, enjoy his awesome video in which he gives a brief overview of all the efforts it took to get the Wii portablized as well as an inside look at the Waverider, his masterpiece of a portable.
To no one’s surprise, all three of these contestants placed in the top ten of the contest and brought home $500 in prize money each! ShockSlayer’s build netted the most votes in the entire contest, but Madmorda and Nobble weren’t too far behind with their efforts.
This contest was a lot of fun to follow and see all of the awesome builds everyone came up with, both inside and outside of BitBuilt. If you want to see what everyone else did, the Maker Video Page on Element 14 has everyone’s projects. A big thanks to everyone who ran the contest and for all of you who took the time to watch everyone’s videos and impact the result of the contest. Element 14 has hinted about future contests much like this one, and it will be exciting to see what people build next!
For the second year straight, the BitBuilt collective will have an event set up at the Midwest Gaming Classic, a plethora of mods, portables, 3D prints, romhacks, memes, and more! With the first year in the larger location at the Wisconsin Center in Downtown Milwaukee Wisconsin, expect more hacks than you could shake a pig at!
After finding success in last year’s summer building contest, Jackson clearly followed the time tested motto of “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it”. Jackson kept his portable looking mostly the same, but an in depth look into the features in this portable reveal the drastic upgrade that it truly is.
Jackson certainly earned his 3rd place in the contest.
The bottom part of the portable holds a headphone jack and video controls.
The top part holds a lot. Here’s a list (from left to right):
- 3D printed triggers
- A button to toggle between three different controller options. This portable contains the necessary circuitry for a GameCube controller, a sideways remote (with motion controls!), and a Wii classic controller. The three diffusers next to the button each have an LED behind them, and the LEDs are used to indicate which controller is currently in use.
- Below the button is a single port that supports charge and play at the same time.
- The USB port is used for any extra USB peripherals such as a breakout box or a keyboard.
- The mini USB port is used to access the internal flash drive, which removes the need to take the flash drive out of the portable to add new files.
- The HDMI port is used to output video to an external monitor.
- A Bluetooth sync, reset, and power button for the system
- A vent to allow hot air to escape the unit.
That’s a whole lot of features, and they were made possible by the various circuit boards that he designed himself.
This board contains the regulator circuitry, the charging circuitry, and his USB system.
This big board contains everything needed for video: both for the internal screen and the external HDMI out. It also contains the various ICs and components needed for a Wii classic controller and a stock GameCube controller. The array of pads on the top left are there to make soldering up a normal Wii remote easier.
The internal Wii remote is something very unique to this project. Jackson did this last year with the first Wii SP, but this year he went all out in finding the best way to cut down and rewire the Wiimote.
This is his trim next to a standard Wii remote. Pretty small, eh? By trimming it this small, he had to rewire the accelerometer and the EEPROM chip, but it functions just like a normal Wiimote would.
An internal Wii remote is super cool, but one of the most unique features of the Wii was how the Wii remotes interacted with the sensor bar. Jackson recognized that without this feature, he would be pretty limited in terms of which Wii games he could play. The solution? A simple little board, nicknamed “TouchMii”:
This board is used to convert the signals generated by a touchscreen into the pointer signals from a Wii remote, which allows you to touch the screen where you would click with a Wii remote!
The final internals ended up looking like this:
Everything is organized and in its place. Even the Wiimote wires look really nice, which is significant considering there were several dozen of them.
Jackson’s worklog can be seen here, so definitely check it out if you want more details about his PCBs, or more information about the build in general.
Unfortunately, this wraps up our series of articles about the 2017 building contest. But fear not! Everyone is gearing up for this year’s contest, so expect some more beautiful portables from Jackson and everyone else.
Madmorda initially closed up this beauty of a project last July, just days before the contest ended. However, after closing it up, she wasn’t totally satisfied with the end result. Everyone else hailed it as a beautiful revolution, but Madmorda was just kinda Sadmorda with the end result. And then her Wii motherboard went on the fritz and she was really MADmorda. After several months of revamping, repainting, and refinishing her portable, the Wii S Lite is finally complete and ready to display to the public.
Don’t like it? Well, there’s The Thousand Year Door; you can see yourself out.
This portable boasts a variety of nifty features for everyone to envy.
- Clamshell design
- 5 inch composite screen
- Breakout box which contains component video out and three GameCube controller ports
- Micro USB charging via a portable battery bank built into the system
- Internal GameCube controller via a GC+
- WiiHUD audio amp (allows for volume information to appear onscreen as well as switch between headphone sound and speakers seamlessly)
- IR LEDs for full Wiimote support
- A gorgeous Zero Suit Samus paint job
Pretty hard to not be Gladmorda with a feature list like that, huh?
Madmorda’s case was unique, in that she utilized both frankencasing and 3D printing in her design. The case started out as an Intec DS carrying case, like this one:
That’s pretty small. From there, she frankencased in ports and PS2 buttons for the triggers and start button.
After this, she moved onto the 3D printing. The part that holds the screen is 3D printed, as well as the plate that contains the fan vent and controls. The button and 3DS slider guides were taken out of 3DS shells, and then frankencased in as needed.
Her technique was hardly orthodox, but nobody can argue with the final results.
Here’s a YouTube video that shows off the completed build:
Madmorda is already looking to the future with new and original projects like a fully functional GameCube controller built into a key chain, new paint jobs, and other awesome projects. Be sure to hang around the forums to see what’s next!
For more information be sure to check out the Wii S Lite worklog.
It’s not every day you get to see something like this. A nearly flawless portable as someone’s first? Jefflongo is the man of the hour, with a beautiful portable that quickly went viral on the Internet thanks to his attention to detail and perseverance.