Worklog GameBoy 64!

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Hey!

Welcome to my 1st(Successful) portable Nintendo 64 Console called the Gameboy 64! It was named like that because of how it's handled like a gameboy advance!

I worked on this unit for 3-4 weeks to finish including the case design and everything, but didn't want to post a worklog until i finished it so here you go :D

Parts used:


Before i start, here's a nice picture:

IMG_8397.JPG


B|

Here's the n64 stripped off it's cloths, as well as the everdrive without it's fabulous case.

IMG_8153.jpg


The idea is to connect the everdrive directly to the n64's motherboard and expose an SDcard adapter so you can just take off the microSD to add games and put it back, instead of having a big slot for games to fit in, you just put the SD card.

IMG_8155.jpg


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The wires are approx. 40mm~ and all cut to have the same length.

IMG_8157.jpg


A quick test to check if it was working, which it was. I have connected all 50 wires to the motherboard, i heard that you can connect less wires, but since this is my first console portable, i opted for the safe way.

IMG_8173.jpg


This is the 5" i'll be using.. I know, the bubble, i just had to use it, no other options. the board runs at 12-24v, however i modified it to run at 3.3v, how convenient, am i right?

AFD8F69B-9BA2-4270-8F08-EA689DBB37CE.jpg


A quick test before the powersupply becomes USELESS!

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The mainboards that will be used as shown above


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A quick test with the n64pms.

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Now for the trimming phase, I'll be doing the minimum trim as this is my first portable console.
IMG_8427.jpg


That was my first trim with console modding, and i really love this idea, HELLA nice..


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This is the working unit, trimmed and sanded. as well as the expansion pack right there.

Moving on to the controller, i decided that it also needs some trimming:

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This is the controller trimmed, as well as desoldered the memory pak slot.

I decided that i will not persue the memory pack as it adds a lot of wires for little benefit, at least for me, hopefully in the future i will add memory pak slots.

IMG_8571.jpg


Here's the preparation of the microSD card adapter.

IMG_8572.jpg


Now things are ready!

So from the name of the portable, Gameboy64, i wanted to to keep it as close as the gameboy advance design, Also, i wanted to mention that the case also used some ideas from the G-wii case that was made by
Gman, to be exact, the analog frame as well as the LCD frame.

5.png




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I don't have all the pictures of the design but here's the result, i did do some tweaking before printing it out though.

IMG_8559.jpg



I know, it's not the best paint job out there. but this is my first time working with these things. i added body filler and sanded it for a while, then used this nice color, i love it.

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The assembly stage:

IMG_8566.jpg


I decided to use the LCD's back panel as the bed for the motherboards, i used kapton tape to insulate the motherboards from the panel since it's conductive, in fact, you'll see me use it to insulate the other motherboards as well.

IMG_8609.jpg


Since I'm using 3400mAh in parallel, the system can run for about 2 hours and 40mins(?) give or take. and charges for like 3 hours.

The SD card will always sit in this position, all you have to do is remove the microSD and add your games >:D
The button on the Left represents the power button, that is connected directly to the n64pms as well as the LED, you can also press the button for a bit to change the LED color, all thanks to Gman and his contributions!

IMG_8625.jpg


Here's my first successful portable :D the GameBoy 64!

There's still one thing i want to do, I'll paint the Letters with different colors: RED, BLUE, GREEN, and YELLOW.

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Problems i faced:

  1. I faced problems with the picture, Because i was using 30AWG magnet wires, it had a lot of noise, but thanks Aurelio, he helped me out on discord, i had to twist the wire from the composite pin on the n64 to the driver board, and ground it to cancel the noise, it kind of reduced the noise for about 80%, im still thankful for it.
  2. The pre-amplifier on the board. since i was using the n64pms, im powering the whole system using 5v and 3.3v, and the pre-amplifier requires 12v. i faced the problem of no audio from the PAM8803 at first, but because of this wonderful community, on discord, Noah helped me out with the pins to bypass the pre-amplifier, and send the signal directly to the PAM8803 instead.
  3. The expansion pak, i did not expect it to be problematic, when testing the system, it would always freeze up when i touch the bottom case because it move the expansion pak a little bit, i sanded the place, now it freeze less often, however, im printing a new case at the moment that would give the whole system space and the expansion pak wouldnt get jerked around.(I'd appreciate some ideas about the expansion pak.)
  4. The squishy tact switches.. man they gave me a headache.. i used the adafruit one here, It's terrible, it made me open the whole system just to replace one because it wasn't grounding the pin anymore, it actually does not work anymore, thankfully, these arrived at the end, but i only used it for the Z button. I think the problem with the adafruit one is the rubber on top of the button, it can easily be displaced, on the other hand, the switches that i got from china, their rubber was safely placed and wouldnt budge because of the design.
Special thanks to:
  • Gman for providing amazing power management systems.
  • Noah for providing me information about the n64 pinouts.
  • Aurelio for helping me with some technical issues.
  • Wesk. :awesome:
  • Bitbuilt.
 

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Wesk

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Overall pretty damn good, I also had issues with squishy tacts in my build.

I feel the only thing that lets it down for me is the case finish. Reprinting with the GB64 letters not being raised so high or even recessed would make it much easier to sand around those areas.

Find yourself some plastic filler primer. That's what I use to fill imperfections and then sand until perfect.

Again though, great first portable :D
 
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Overall pretty damn good, I also had issues with squishy tacts in my build.

I feel the only thing that lets it down for me is the case finish. Reprinting with the GB64 letters not being raised so high or even recessed would make it much easier to sand around those areas.

Find yourself some plastic filler primer. That's what I use to fill imperfections and then sand until perfect.

Again though, great first portable :D
Hey,

I did have the same feedback with the finishing.
This is only my second time sanding and painting, The idea of the letters being raised so high was to reach the same level as the analog and lcd frame since the whole thing prints with support.

I do feel like i could've done things better though, however i did learn a lot from this one, my next one is a ps2 portable, ill take note of your advice.

What filler do you use for your prints? i really have no idea which one to get :ding!:
 

Stitches

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I use an Australian brand "Septone" filler primer. I'm not sure what's available in your region but any filler primer designed for plastic car bumpers should work just fine.
Can confirm
 
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Thank you both kindly.

turns out i have this laying around:

IMG_8639.jpg


It might have the same functionality as yours, but i dont know yet. it does say sandable in the description but it doesnt say filler anywhere.
 

GingerOfOz

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Primer is also good for cases, but filler is a bit different. If you live in the USA, Bondo is what I generally use as filler. The idea with filler is that you can fill in deeper rivulets in the case with it, and then sand it down more until the filled crack is perfectly flush with the original case. Once your case is looking really smooth, then you should apply a coat of primer. The primer will turn everything the same color, and you'll be able to easily see what parts of the case need more work.
 
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Primer is also good for cases, but filler is a bit different. If you live in the USA, Bondo is what I generally use as filler. The idea with filler is that you can fill in deeper rivulets in the case with it, and then sand it down more until the filled crack is perfectly flush with the original case. Once your case is looking really smooth, then you should apply a coat of primer. The primer will turn everything the same color, and you'll be able to easily see what parts of the case need more work.
Ohhh i see,

No one explained it like that before, i do not live in USA but i did see bondo in some hardware market, thank you! I'll make sure i'll extra finish the casing for my next ps2 project.
I do use a product as a filler. called polyfilla multipurpose, infact i used it in this design, but since my design wasn't sanding friendly(the letters), i messed it up, but as a 1st project, i did learn a lot!


A small update with the finished product:

AD21596E-07BC-4D1A-897B-69442B8F18FF.JPG
 
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Nice build man, how hard was it?
This is actually my second attempt at a portable, my first one failed at the end because of my stupidity, it was a PlayStation
1 portable, I post the worklog there.

Its kind of difficult because the n64 documentation is kind of outdated in the guides, so the people instead helped me out in discord, other than that, I’d say the most difficult thing was the case finishing, as you can see from the conversation, I kind of lack experience on that department, so I’m working a lot on that aspect.

atm I’m doing a ps2 laptop while waiting for the ps2pms to start my first ps2 portable with the advanced voltage relocation, I also ordered the controller you used from your ps2 portable. yours looks fantastic btw.
 

modio

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I’m looking into making n64p so looking around for guides.

looking forward in seeing the the ps2 with advance trim, are you buying pms from bitbuilt?
 
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I’m looking into making n64p so looking around for guides.

looking forward in seeing the the ps2 with advance trim, are you buying pms from bitbuilt?
Yes, i used the n64pms because it also provides a battery indicator feature which is really nice, and it’s all in one, couldn’t ask for more.
 
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Hey This looks great! Also if you dont mind answering a question, I'm about to wire the controller for my n64 portable. There is one thing that I don't understand that IO'm hoping you can clear up for me. So I understand you use a tact switch to connect to the controller. But What I'm curious about is what are you wiring to the other side of the switch? Is it ground that you connect to the other side?
 
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Hey This looks great! Also if you dont mind answering a question, I'm about to wire the controller for my n64 portable. There is one thing that I don't understand that IO'm hoping you can clear up for me. So I understand you use a tact switch to connect to the controller. But What I'm curious about is what are you wiring to the other side of the switch? Is it ground that you connect to the other side?
basically, you need to connect the 3 lines, from the controller to the n64, then all you need to do is connect the button to the corresponding pins from the controller's motherboard's chip to form your A B Z etc... and you can have a common ground between them all, they're normally open so you ground them to activate them.


Another thing is that there will be an update on this build, im rebuilding the whole unit to make it a whole lot better after the feedback i received.
 
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