Question First Portable?

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Hello! I've been really interested in the portables you guys have created lately, especially the GameCube and Wii Portables, and I really want to make one of my own. However, the problem is not only that I'm a complete noob to electrical engineering in general, I'm also like, 13. I'm wondering what should be a good first portable to build so I can get some experience when I get to make something like a GameCube portable. I also want to know what parts of building portables are safe and simple for me to do and what parts I should get an adult to help me with. I was gonna ask what portable is the easiest to build, but I don't think building almost any portable would be easy, so I'm going to ask what portable is the least challenging to build.
 
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A_s6

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first off, welcome to the portablizing community! age doesn't really matter, a 12 year old could be better at modding than a 40 year old. also, many members have started as complete noobs and gone on to build some of the most amazing portables ever! since you said something like a gamecube portable, a wii is great place to start. wiis play all gamecube and wii games with full compatibility, and are much easier to build portables with. building a portable isn't easy per say, it requires a lot of knowledge, but all that you need to learn can be found on this site, whether it be from the guide hub or worklogs. safety isn't much of an issue, i'd say the most dangerous parts of building a wii portable are trimming the motherboard and soldering. if trimming with a dremel is a concern, you can always have someone on the site trim a motherboard for you and buy it from them. soldering is pretty safe, even for kids. i'm about the same age as you and i've been soldering on my own for a while. the best, most streamlined way to build a first wii portable is by far the g-boy rev 3 diy kit. all parts except the wii (and buttons and tools) are included. there is a section on the forums for g-boy questions, and there is also a g-boy discord server. i hope you found this post informative. happy portablizing!
 
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G-Boy rev 3 (Gman)
Wii portablizing is definly hard if you've new to this scene. I'd highly recommend trying your hand at some sort of portable Raspberry Pi. My first handheld was a PiGRRL Zero from Adafruit. I don't know if they sell the kits anymore, but it was certainly a fun experience and a good introduction to the scene.
 

A_s6

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Wii portablizing is definly hard if you've new to this scene. I'd highly recommend trying your hand at some sort of portable Raspberry Pi. My first handheld was a PiGRRL Zero from Adafruit. I don't know if they sell the kits anymore, but it was certainly a fun experience and a good introduction to the scene.
op said they wanted to try a gamecube portable. i'd also recommend a pi portable, but pis can't really run wii and gamecube. if op is up to it, a wiip is certainly possible, and with a little bit of studying i don't think its too much harder. the gboy manual gives great, easy to follow instructions. imo the higher difficulty just makes it all the more worth it in the end.
 

CrashBash

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op said they wanted to try a gamecube portable.
I'll also go ahead and say that you may want to consider using a Wii instead of an actual GameCube whenever you do get around to making a "GC portable". They run cooler, are a lot more efficient (meaning much more battery life), the scene is a lot more active, and generally everything is better. A portable made from a Wii can do everything that one of "ye old time" GC portables can, and more (ok, Expansion slot stuff need not apply...).
 
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op said they wanted to try a gamecube portable. i'd also recommend a pi portable, but pis can't really run wii and gamecube. if op is up to it, a wiip is certainly possible, and with a little bit of studying i don't think its too much harder. the gboy manual gives great, easy to follow instructions. imo the higher difficulty just makes it all the more worth it in the end.
First off, I would just like to thank you all for the wonderful help! Second, I would be okay with making a Raspberry Pi portable, even if they can't run Wii or GameCube.I just don't know how to get the casing, how to get the games onto the emulator, what games run on the emulator, the wiring, what you need for building said portable, and many others. If someone could link me to a guide or kit for one of these portables, I'd be immensely grateful!

Side note: I unfortunately have a severe case of ditching-hobbies/sports-immediately-because-I'm-not-a-prodigy-at-them-itis. Sometimes when I'm doing something new and don't do well, I blame that thing saying it's too hard and that I'm never going to be good at it. But I'm really hoping that that won't happen, and that people from my family to the forum encourage and keep me motivated. I hope I get to improve, grow, and learn from you guys!

Also I said I think building almost any portable would be easy, smh (I meant i don't think, lol)
 

A_s6

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First off, I would just like to thank you all for the wonderful help! Second, I would be okay with making a Raspberry Pi portable, even if they can't run Wii or GameCube.I just don't know how to get the casing, how to get the games onto the emulator, what games run on the emulator, the wiring, what you need for building said portable, and many others. If someone could link me to a guide or kit for one of these portables, I'd be immensely grateful!

Side note: I unfortunately have a severe case of ditching-hobbies/sports-immediately-because-I'm-not-a-prodigy-at-them-itis. Sometimes when I'm doing something new and don't do well, I blame that thing saying it's too hard and that I'm never going to be good at it. But I'm really hoping that that won't happen, and that people from my family to the forum encourage and keep me motivated. I hope I get to improve, grow, and learn from you guys!

Also I said I think building almost any portable would be easy, smh (I meant i don't think, lol)
alright, raspberry pi projects are really cool as well! we have a section on the forums dedicated to pi projects. software side, there’s tutorials on youtube about how to get emulators running on a pi. for hardware, i highly recommend looking through the pocket pigrrl overview on adafruit. it points you in the right direction and basically provides a guide in things like power management and audio setup. for things like displays you can look through some of the posts in the raspberry pi section of our forums, there’s some useful tips and tricks! for casing, i’m a huge noob, but it usually boils down to frankencasing or 3d printing. the latter is usually the best option as it effectively manages space to fit your needs. i’d recommend learning cad for case design. there are kits available for pi portables, and they’re great choices, but imo it’s the coolest to build your own because it fits your needs. feel free to pm me if you need help with finding these things!

EDIT: some kits
mintypi(you’ve probably seen this before)
pocket pigrrl, pigrrl zero, pigrrl 2 (all on adafruit)
 
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| (• ◡•)| (❍ᴥ❍ʋ)
( Sorry if any of my points aren't valid anymore, I spent a lot of time writing this. Also apologies for the essay y’all are about to read)
A_s6
and CrazyGadget are right, you don't have to know any prior experience or history to still get into portaibilzing. Believe or not but most the pro's we now deem as "GODS"in these forums weren't always the soldering pro's they are now today. They all started in a similar place just like you, It wasn't until years and years of research and dedication, have they now mastered their craft and honed their skills.

Edit: As someone who is 14 themselves, age is not very intimidating when it goes towards making one of these.
(Which shows how streamlined the pros made this for us) Age matters very little on the internet, but maturity, actions, and experience
matters more here than it does in the rest of the world. When first joining this website 2 months ago, c
oncepts like batteries, resistors and
capacity were very daunting at the time. Especially with the possibility of failure, likely leading to burning your whole house down.
But once I came in grips with those concepts, it all became clear on what I needed to avoid or not. However it wasn't easy, it took lots of time reading, researching and was very time consuming.

The toughest challenge when making portable consoles, can all be boiled down to researching. Its very hard most of the time, to find the will
power to start building these. And im also sorry to hear you have trouble getting into hobbies your not good at, but your going to need to spend
time researching, and spending lots of money on something you may or may not even enjoy. And most importantly your going to have to be patient,
just like raising a baby. You can't expect the baby immediately after birth to end up exactly how you want it instantly, instead you care for it,
nurture it, and spend time on it. Then finally, after all the time and effort spent helping it grow. Thats when your awarded with something your proud of.


However, thats exactly what makes this community, so wholesome. Many other users in this community are ready with open arms whenever
your in demoralizing times. Seriously though, most of the people on this website are really cool. They will always be there ready to correct you in
times when your unsure, while cracking jokes, and generally being pleasant to be around. As well as spending hours upon hours making guides and putting up with answering questions they've probably heard a million times. For, no other reason sides from just helping people from the bottom of their hearts. TL;DR this website is awesome, and the members who contribute here are also awesome too.

I won't repeat much since CrashBash and A_s6 have already dwelled deeper on the topic above than I do, but I'd also highly recommend switching over to a wii. As a wise Shank once said, gamecube portables aren't all that relevant anymore. Leading to most information and documentation on gamecube portables being very outdated, furthermore essential parts needed to make one like a Wiikey Fusion are very hard or almost impossible to find these days. Switching over to a console like the Wii (That already plays Gamecube games smoother on Virtual Console), but will also save you the money and the hassle. Edit: You might be moving onto raspberry pi

As, for "least challenging" builds I pretty much recommend you do about any projects your interested in. Though as cliche as it sounds,
it really is the best approach when starting portabilizing for the first time. As like I said portabilizing takes patience, so choosing
something your passionate about to fuel you towards your goal is the best way I believe to go towards making these.
And if your doing something like a Wii, you can go even simpler If you do a build of GingerOfOz
and Gman's build of the Loui and the Gwii. The CAD files ( files to 3d print) are already
opened source, meaning all you have to do is buy the necessary parts, solder them up and your ready to go!
However, if you want to know what the most "least challenging" build is in my opinion. Then I'd definably go for a Wii macro,
Wesk has already made his build of it open sourced. And it is a project highly recommended here in the community,
for brand new modders such as yourself.

So I hope we can all share some laughs, not feel as lonely inside and strive towards our mutual goals of infinite knowledge.
( Happy portabilizing, and the community wishes you well)
 
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Thank you very much @Quakers for the advice! And to @A_s6, I unfortunately don't have a 3D printer at home. I could look for any public libraries near me that have them, but even if I am able to find one, the global pandemic has caused most, if not all of my city to shut down. :/ Even then, would I be modelling my own cases, or would it be okay for me to get models from other people on the forum? (or is that frowned upon)
 

A_s6

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Thank you very much @Quakers for the advice! And to @A_s6, I unfortunately don't have a 3D printer at home. I could look for any public libraries near me that have them, but even if I am able to find one, the global pandemic has caused most, if not all of my city to shut down. :/ Even then, would I be modelling my own cases, or would it be okay for me to get models from other people on the forum? (or is that frowned upon)
it’s totally cool if people have released their cad files! people like @Gman, @GingerOfOz, and @Wesk have released files of their projects for people to use. also, many people on the forum don’t have 3d printers, so some members print things for people and send it to them.
 
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it’s totally cool if people have released their cad files! people like @Gman, @GingerOfOz, and @Wesk have released files of their projects for people to use. also, many people on the forum don’t have 3d printers, so some members print things for people and send it to them.
Really? Like send it to their real address? Can only some trusted members do this or can everyone? I don't feel comfortable sharing addresses with people online, both because of the risk of predators and my family might be very skeptical and might need to be convinced that this is safe.
 

CrashBash

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Typically you'd figure out printing a case with whoever is nearest to you and you trust. There's no system to match up people to those who can print or anything.
There are a several trusted members though that you can commission for a print. Ginger, Noah, Gman (though he's busy with GBoys most likely right now), Wesk, and a few others. You'll get a hang of who is in what regions. For example, Noah and I are located in the Midwest of the US. Cheese is in Florida. Etc. The BB Store is also intending on selling printed G-Wii cases soon (tm).
As for other cases, Like I said once you get used to the community you'll be able to plan your builds out more :)

Edit: Alternatively you could also look into nearby print shops or sometimes places like local libraries have 3d printers where you could get something printed. Not as pheasible maybe right now as a year ago, but it's something to keep in mind.
 
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Typically you'd figure out printing a case with whoever is nearest to you and you trust. There's no system to match up people to those who can print or anything.
There are a several trusted members though that you can commission for a print. Ginger, Noah, Gman (though he's busy with GBoys most likely right now), Wesk, and a few others. You'll get a hang of who is in what regions. For example, Noah and I are located in the Midwest of the US. Cheese is in Florida. Etc. The BB Store is also intending on selling printed G-Wii cases soon (tm).
As for other cases, Like I said once you get used to the community you'll be able to plan your builds out more :)

Edit: Alternatively you could also look into nearby print shops or sometimes places like local libraries have 3d printers where you could get something printed. Not as pheasible maybe right now as a year ago, but it's something to keep in mind.
How much do the commissions cost? Also, it would be a appreciated if someone provided me with a guide or tutorial and a list of what you need in order to build a Raspberry Pi Portable.
 
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Gman

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I think most of us here started modding when we were like 13 too. It certainly doesnt come over night, takes many years of practice to get good at something.
 

waldie

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How much do the commissions cost? Also, it would be a appreciated if someone provided me with a guide or tutorial and a list of what you need in order to build a Raspberry Pi Portable.
Commissions for printing can change based on the size of the print as well as material. But for a G-Wii case $40 bucks plus shipping is a reasonable estimate.

Also, any Pi projects are usually going to require different things based on form factor as well as the end result you want. Of course things like batteries, controller parts, and a Pi board are always going to be required. The best thing you could do is google different Raspberry pi portable kits online and see what interests you the most.

This is a great example; however, it doesn't involve a lot of soldering and won't give you the practice you need.

I managed to succeed in creating a G-Wii without any prior soldering experience. But it was a pain. The project took multiple months during which I took many breaks out of frustration. I messed up multiple joints along the way and didn't really understand how to solder properly until the very end. If your end goal is to eventually make a Wii portable buying small soldering project kits online will be a wonderful way to practice your skills. Although it won't end in you having a portable game console right away.

This is a very basic example of a practice kit. But it'd for sure provide you a good learning start point.

As for you having a tendency to quit on things. The great thing about portablizing is that you don't have scheduled practices or games you're going to miss, nor do you have a ton of people watching you providing pressure. There's nothing wrong with taking a long time with this type of project, setting it as a long term goal can be quite helpful. I can confirm the amount of pride you feel after finishing your first portable is immense, and the amount of fun you'll get out of playing games on it afterwards is even better.

Don't be afraid to ask questions, as long as it's not googleable most people here are happy to help! Do be aware that you will have to do plenty of research.

To spark your interest tho, here's a little boost of research to help you consider whether or not you want to make something like a G-Wii.

G-Wii Example.jpg

(this isn't my G-Wii, I forgot who's it was, but I thought it was a nice example of a possible end result for you)

Parts List
Assembly Stream (by Noah) (yes there are 3 parts)
G-Wii Rev 2 CAD Thread (you'll likely have someone print this for you)

If you do decide to take the hobby up, I wish you the best of luck. Also be sure to join the Discord!
 
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