Worklog DreamCast portable (WiFi)

Discussion in 'Other' started by Morgan_The_Adventurer, May 17, 2017.

  1. Morgan_The_Adventurer .

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    So a while back I decided to try building a portable DreamCast, but I wanted to do it differently from most portables.
    My idea's are to remove the disk drive and do the IDE mod with DreamShell so I can load games off an CF card. To make it feel more like a handheld game using cartridges, and a GDemu was too much of a pain to try and get.
    I am also going to install a wireless internet connection using a Raspberry Pi Zero and DreamPi
    If I'm gunna have a portable dreamcast I might as well set it up so I can play Phantasy Star Online

    It's my first time setting up a worklog, so if you have some questions or anything let me know! :)


    Started off with disassembling the unit, removing the Network adapter port and installing A custom BIOS chip.
    I set to always load from the custom bios (won’t need to run the original bios since we won’t have the disk drive.)
    2016-07-23 16.13.01.jpg

    I trimmed the top metal sheet to have more room. I have it set so I can use the original heatsink with the sheet, haven't thought of a better way to have the heatsink yet so I figured this will do for now. Its thin enough but it add some extra weight.
    2016-07-23 16.13.56.jpg

    I soldered the IDE cable to the board. I left the plug on the end so that I can easily take it apart for now.

    Testing it out it works great, but it was here that I realized you cant run it without the GD ROM (CD Drive) installed. Though I really should have used it with a 3.5" drive cable, the CF card reader I got for that size requires 5v of power and I think a 2.5" can use 3.3v. Ill have to look into it more later and see about ordering a replacement.
    dreamcast-g1-ata-mobo-points-amp-ata-pins-pic-guide_zpsbzvmgvcq.jpg 2016-07-25 20.16.53.jpg 2016-07-28 14.21.28.jpg 2017-05-17 00.03.52.jpg 2017-05-17 00.04.07.jpg

    This is also where I realized you can't run it without the GD ROM installed. There is a work around using an Active Crystal Oscillator 33.8688 Mhz, but it was a pain in the butt. I couldn't find any online stores that would sell me just one crystal, so I had to buy 10.
    I removed the GD Rom connector and hot glued the crystal where it use to be and soldered the connections to the spots the connector was.
    2 to B8 (or any ground)
    3 to B23 (P096)
    4 to A1 (3.3v)
    Montage+IDE+Complet+avec+Crystal.jpg crystal1.jpg crystal2.jpg
     
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  2. Providencial .

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    Sweet! A DC portable online with wifi!
    Good luck!
     
  3. Shank Certified Wiitard Staff Member . .

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    Lookin good so far! Can't wait to see it finished. Any ideas for the shell and screen?
    Hey @Noah this could be an item for the store once we get the DreamCast up to speed.
     
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  4. Morgan_The_Adventurer .

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    Thanks!
    I got super lucky find at a thrift shop. A 7" screen with Audio amp and speakers all in one, but the down side is that it uses composite. But it's a great find for only $10
    2017-01-08 22.55.01.jpg 2017-01-08 23.04.14.jpg

    At first I was thinking of making the case look like a huge DreamCast controller. But I haven't done any 3D modeling before so I'm thinking I might go with something simpler.
    Though any idea's on a case would be great!
     
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  5. Providencial .

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    Looks nearly identical to the screen I have for my project.
    Mine seems to run fine down to around 6v.
     
  6. Morgan_The_Adventurer .

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    Oh nice, that's good to know. I've only been able to test it at 9v
     
  7. DeoNaught .

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    I have the same screen, i got it to run off of 5V
    https://bitbuilt.net/forums/index.php?threads/can-i-take-this-off-of-my-monitor-board.1333/
     
  8. Morgan_The_Adventurer .

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    Yay! Internet Connection!

    I reattached the modem to the motherboard using some more IDE cables. I gave myself plenty of length so I can position it whatever way might be best.
    I made myself a quick pinout so I know what connections are for power and ground and what ones I can ignore.
    2016-07-28 14.20.49.jpg 2016-10-14 17.24.05.jpg Modem Pinout.png
    (lol. these pictures I forgot to connect the Power and Ground wires)

    For connecting to the internet I'm using a Pi Zero running DreamPi http://blog.kazade.co.uk/p/dreampi.html
    with a USB wifi card and a USB Modem. The connection between the modem's needs a line voltage inducer in order for it to connect properly, which needs an extra 9V of power. I plan to have an extra switch so I can turn on anf off the Pi and modem so I don't use up too much power.
    2017-05-21 09.28.59.jpg 2017-05-21 09.28.44.jpg

    Got it all connecting and working on the internet. It wouldn't allow me to connect to the Bit Built forum, and I need to find a version of PSO2 that will auto connect me to a custom server
    2017-05-21 09.28.38.jpg

    I am also planning to add a small keyboard and have it witch between the Pi and the DC so I can easily connect to new networks and type with online games.
    I have a DC to PS2 keyboard adapter, but I haven't been able to get USB keyboards to work with it. I wanted to try one of Fruity_Grebbles' keyboards, but the shipping to Canada is a bit too much for me to afford at the moment. :/
     
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  9. Morgan_The_Adventurer .

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  10. Shank Certified Wiitard Staff Member . .

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    It's probably going to use the same amount of power, but just a lower voltage and higher current.
     
  11. Morgan_The_Adventurer .

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    lol. does that mean It'll use up my batteries faster?
     
  12. Shank Certified Wiitard Staff Member . .

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    Nope. It's going to use almost the exact same amount of power. For example:
    2 volts at 3 amps is 6 watts
    3 volts at 2 amps is 6 watts
     
  13. Morgan_The_Adventurer .

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    I went ahead and gave this a shot and got it working without the fan.
    just need to solder it down to a proper board.

    One thing that was wrong with the guide is that it said that "the orange pin is connected to pin 5"but its actually suposto be connected to pin 3

    2017-05-25 00.55.01.jpg


    I guess pretty soon here im going to need some help with Batteries and regulators so that I can figure out the final sizes and start building a case.
     
  14. Shank Certified Wiitard Staff Member . .

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    Sweet. I'm gonna need to make a mini guide on that one soon. When I get around to trying it myself, I may use your guidance on it.
    I'd go with 4 panasonic cells and a 2s2p battery holder with integrated protection. That'll save you the trouble of wiring up the protection yourself and having to solder to the 18650 cells. Wiring up your own protection circuit can save you a small amount of space, but with how big the dreamcast is, and that this is your first time, it probably isn't worth it.
    As for regulators, Im working on a setup that should be more power efficient and it SHOULD be capable of running on 4 TI PTH08080 regulators, which are what portablizers have used for years. If it works out, Ill show you how to wire it up. I got it to boot off of my benchtop power supply, but its linear, which is a much cleaner signal than switch mode regulators like TI ones. I will need to confirm it before I post about it.
     
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  15. GingerOfOz no wario Staff Member . .

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    Can confirm that this is a really good choice. I'm using the same setup, and it works really well for me. I'm just ticked about the fact that I never found that listing on eBay, and got charged 3x as much by battery space...
     
  16. Morgan_The_Adventurer .

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    I'm always happy to help! Just let me know!

    That would be awesome. Thanks for all the help! When it comes to the power, that's where I fall short.
    It looks like I might have to find a different seller for the batteries though. It doesn't say they ship to Canada, and usually shipping form US to Canada is the worst.

    lol this thing is looking a bit power hungry with everything I'm adding on. but it should be ok. right?
    9v - Modem
    5v x4 - DC, Pi, CF card, screen
    3.3v - DC

    I might switch the screen back to 9v since i already need it. probably would help keep it last longer.
    I'm gunna have the modem and the pi on a switch so they don't drain power when not in use.
     
  17. Nold C L U B C L A M S H E L L Staff Member . .

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    hey, is this project still alive? I'm really interessted since I'll start planing a DCp soon, too :)
     
  18. Morgan_The_Adventurer .

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    I had to put it on hold due to money and time issues. I'll get back to it again someday when things get better

    It'll be coo having more people work on DCp's! XD
    Let me know if I can help with anything, though I didn't really get that far yet.
     
  19. Nold C L U B C L A M S H E L L Staff Member . .

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    Last edited: Dec 2, 2017

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