Worklog GB64 - No Trim Portrait Handheld

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Apr 23, 2018
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Hello,

After seeing various N64 handhelds over the years (Ben Heck, Bacteria, etc) I decided to give it a try after seeing Gman's SP in all my feeds. My goal was to utilize the N64 board as easily as possible, meaning:

-No or minimal trimming
-Full cartridge slot
-Hacked controller OR arduino controller w/integrated rumble
-5V 5" 4:3 LCD on composite (VGA in the future if I decide to spend money on VGA mod)
-5V system power (1S lipo, AngryHelder RetroPSU for PM & Charging)
-4500mAh minimum (possibly parallel for 9000mAh)
-Dock to add TV out & 4 players
-Fully 3D printed shell
-Possible custom control PCB

So far I've printed a few shell revisions and I'm happy with the current revisions overall shape, but I do think I might curve the lower right corner more to mirror the DMG. I have one N64 board desoldered with an aftermarket RAM cart hard wired (heated cart slot, removed plastic, soldered pins directly). I'd like to be able to trim a standard jumper pak and not worry about RAM swapping etc for the sake of simplicity.


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Update:

On the 3rd iteration of shell design. Fitted 5" VGA LCD, got the entire system powered by the RetroPSU, printed the shell again in PETG for science, assembled the controls using adafruit soft membrane switches, a PSP analog and an Arduino atmega328p for the controls.

Need to wire cart slot, remember where I put my PAM audio amps and see how it all fits together. Got some very slim heatsinks off eBay with adhesive that I'm eager to try out. Will update soon.
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Some small design changes, mostly aesthetic. Still struggling with the jumper pack, debating a flex ribbon PCB 1cm max in length to connect the jumper or RAM pack to the main board. My socket is dead from removing the plastic casting and attempting to bend and solder the wires directly to the RAM pack (they came off but were working!).
 

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Power system sorted, extra sets for Arduino controller and audio amp. Need to wire the cart slot next. Looking forward to wrapping this up. Lots of extra space in the rear shell, can probably remove 5mm or more. Battery likely going on the front shell, looking at parallel 4000mAh 1s lipos.
 

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Trying these fpc breakouts. They're 2.54mm so they line up with the cart slot without issue and are much easier to solder than the 48 individual wires.

As far as pin order, my smooth brain is assuming that as long as the breakouts are aligned the same, there will be no issues with backwards carts etc. Also I'll be able to use standoffs to solder together.

As far as cable length, I've seen some REALLY long wires in portables, so I've ordered multiple lengths and I'll see what works and what has issues.

I've seen (on ModRetro) a flexible PCB but the files never seemed to be shared and that forum has cobwebs. This seemed to be the next vest option, barring crazy amounts of resistance added by my half baked ideas.
 

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