Worklog Ginger Does a PS2 Thing

GingerOfOz

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Uncertain what I'm going to title this project, so for now it's just a PS2 thing.

I've never had a whole lot of drive to do a PS2 portable, just because I've never had any interest in the games for it. I bought a 79001 off of eBay shortly after Gman released the PS2 trimming guide, but it has just sort of moved from place to place with me in a box. With all the hype surrounding FF7R's release, I decided to give the original Final Fantasy 7 a shot and ended up really enjoying it. So I figure it's time to give some more older PS1 and PS2 games a shot, but I'm certainly not going to play them on a console like a peasant. So PS2 portable it is.

Current plan is as follows:
  • 5 inch 4:3 screen - I know that the PS2 can be finicky with VGA, so I'm just going to go ahead and use a screen that I know for sure will work.
  • Advanced PS2 trim - I'd like to keep the case to the height of the height of the screen, so I may need to trim a bit more off of this to get it down to size.
  • Switch joysticks - Small, easy to use
  • PS Vita Action Buttons - I couldn't find any other small, official PlayStation brand buttons. I would have preferred to use squishy tacts and something else, but these are the only buttons I could find that weren't massive or ugly.
  • PS2 PMS - It's the year 2020.
  • Maybe USB-C charging - If the board I've designed for the Wiiboy Color works then I should be able to implement that in here fairly easily.
  • UAMP - Don't think I could live with anything short of digital after using the LM49450 in so many Wii builds.
  • PS2+ - To more easily use Switch joysticks, as well as not have to deal with the hassle of chopping up a 3rd party controller.
  • FMCB for loading games - Not too interested in messing with Raspberry Pi Ethernet loading for a first build, but I may utilize that in the future.
  • 2 or 3 18650 cells - I'm fairly certain I've got the space for 3, but I may drop it down to 2 if the weight feels off or if I could use the space better.

So far I haven't done much more than study PS2 information and order parts, but I have started on the CAD work. Here's what it looks like right now:
Front April 28.PNG
Inside Front April 28.PNG

Since the Vita buttons I ordered come with the start/select and PS buttons I figure I may as use them. I'll be repurposing the PS button to be the power button.

Since those buttons are going to go where I'd normally put speakers, I've moved the speakers up between the sticks and buttons. Not dead set on the speaker hole design, I was looking up pictures of the Vita to try and figure out what the PS button was and apparently the speaker placement is the same on there, so I may just copy that design.

At this point I can't do much more with the design without having the actual Vita buttons for measuring. Once those come in I'll be able to finish up the front of the case and work on designing custom PCBs for the controller pieces.

While I wait on that though, I'll go ahead and trim the PS2 I've got on hand. Current color scheme plan is to go all black, since my only options for buttons were black or white and I'm already doing a white portable. More updates to come!

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Ayyee alright! Nice to see some more PS2 action these days. Wii portables are great, but this is refreshing for a change!
 

Quakers

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Hey, its just so happens that I'm also making a ps2 portable too! But yours is way more professional than what I could ever turn up, keep up the work!
 

GingerOfOz

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Made some decent progress this past week. First big step was trimming the PS2.
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The trim went pretty poorly by my standards. My dremel was struggling to cut cleanly and it took me a long time to cut out the entire motherboard. Unfortunately I had one big slip, which happened to bring the dremel crashing into a row of pins on one of the ICs.
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I've gone ahead and pulled all the legs that got rammed apart from each other, unfortunately one pin broke completely. Gman says that this chip is responsible for the disc drive stuff, so it's possible that I got lucky and this won't be a board killing mistake. Got another board on the way just in case I can't get this board to work.

Now that I've removed some of the ICs that were sliced through, I'm going to go back through and do some more sanding/cleanup before I try to power it on. My PS2PMS is supposed to arrive tomorrow, so I should be able to attempt a boot this week.

I've also made some decent progress on the CAD work for the build.
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My Vita buttons and battery holders came in, so I was able to work on some individual assemblies for these before implementing them into the main case. The button holders were tricky, I was really glad I have my own printer to make small tweaks and retry on.

The front half of the case is pretty close to being finished.
Front May 3.PNG

Buttons, screen and speakers are all in order, mostly just need to add some more screwposts to mount button boards and such on. I also need to work out exactly how I'm going to do bumper buttons. I'd really like to make them pressable from any point on the button, as my fingers seem to hit it at different points depending on whether I'm using the ABXY/dpad or the sticks, due to the increased height of the case compared to the Louii. I'll definitely take my time to come up with a clean trigger assembly on this.
Inside Front May 3.PNG

This week my priority is going to be the custom PCBs for the build. They should be pretty simple, not much more than the PS2+ and some thin tacts. After that I'll work more on the back of the case and finalizing the front. And maybe I'll find out just how toast my current PS2 board is...
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I'm always amazed by your portables Ginger, such clean builds. Nice job dude!
 

GingerOfOz

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Made some more progress this past week.

The first thing I did was get the controller PCBs cranked out really quickly. Pretty simple boards overall, just connectors for joysticks, built in buttons for controls, and the PS2+. I did forget a filter cap on the PS2+, so I'll need to add that on manually. I opted to use a larger package for the PIC, so soldering it should be a breeze.
May 13 ABXY Board.PNG
May 13 Dpad Board.PNG

I also designed a few smaller boards for the trigger, PS, and start/select buttons. Those aren't terribly interesting though, so I'll save you the time. All of these boards have been ordered along with the boards I need for the Wiiboy Color, so in the meantime I've focused my attention on the CAD work.

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The overall shape of the case has pretty much come together. I decided to add grips for the extra thickness the batteries create, and I'm really pleased with how these feel. My hands wrap around them just right, this will definitely be my most comfortable portable yet.

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Thankfully, there's enough space in these grips for the 18650s and holders for said cells. Looking forward to not having to solder to batteries, I'm pretty tired of doing that in all my Louiis. The trigger system is going to be pretty tight, but I'm fairly certain I can squeeze those in there. I'm glad I not have to worry about dual tacts for this portable! I'm aiming to make the bumpers and triggers work similarly to the bumper buttons on joy-cons. I've looked at that assembly a fair amount, and my setup is pretty close, minus a spring Nintendo has to help push it back into place. I'll be ordering some tacts and testing my ideas to make sure the setup will work as well as I hope.

Also, I think I've got a name for the portable: The PS2 Eclipse! Since it's going to be an all black portable, I figure the name has to be edgy and cool, just like I am. I guess it could be the EcliPS2, but I'll respect Jeff's wishes and not use a pun in this portable's name. You owe me one.
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Still haven't been able to test the board I trimmed unfortunately. My loving and caring landlord alerted me to the fact that I needed to move apartments a whopping 24 hours before they would fine me, so unfortunately my nice corner desk fell apart during the rushed move. Because of this, I've only got the desk space to run my 3D printer or my soldering iron. I've opted to prioritize the printer work as that's what I've had the motivation for. I've made a bit of work on preparing the trim, but I've got a short on the 1.25v line that I haven't been able to resolve. Once my replacement flat surface comes in, I'll prioritize getting that trim and FMCB working. More to come!
 

Naygel

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Quick Question : I tried searching for a trimming guide for PS2 Fat, but I can't find any info. Can someone tell me the reason why we can't use the fat one? TIA
 

GingerOfOz

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Uh oh, it's been 14 months.

Been going hard on this project for the last few months, here's what went down:

I ended up changing or redoing almost all of the circuit boards from last year. The ABXY board now houses the circuitry for a U-amp, and I've made a board for the back of the portable that is essentially a clone of USB-C PD v1, similar to what was in the Wiiboy Color. These boards went pretty smoothly, though I did mess up the part of the U-Amp that tells it what console's audio it's using, so it was configured for the Wii instead of the PS2.
boards.PNG

From there I finalized the case. I was originally going to have the grips as separate pieces from the back that would screw into place, but that seemed like too much of a hassle. I also redid some measurements and found that the grips were pretty unnecessary, so I opted to make them a lot less pronounced.
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The one downside to that is that I'm not a 3D printing wizard and couldn't get the back half to print in a clean manner where it could still lock in nicely withe the front half. I opted to just order it from Shapeways, which was pricey but worth it in the end.
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Last year I was having issues with the PS2 trim part of it, this time around I pulled it off first try. I actually did 2 successful PS2 trims this year, I did a second one because I thought I had killed the first one after it stopped booting after a while, but I'm a dumb dumb and didn't realize that I had removed some of the composite filters after trimming and testing, so I needed to wire it up closer to the AVE (or whatever the video chip on the PS2 is called).
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From there I started doing relocations. USB is a bit of a pain because of the trace scratching, but the memory card and controller were pretty straightforward. I'll admit, I was really missing the fact that the Wii has 100% of the critical relocation points accessible from the back of the motherboard, having to screw this thing in with the majority of the points I soldered to out of reach without pulling out the entire motherboard was a bit nerve wracking.
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I wanted to give the case an all black paint job, so I did the usual sand, prime, paint, clear coat process.
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I had this fancy pigment that creates this thermochromic effect when you paint it over something black, but it ended up just making the paint super cracked on a test piece I did and kind of changing blue if you held it in your hand for a while. I probably wasn't doing something right, so I decided to just stick to a simple metallic black.
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After letting the paint job chill for a week, I went ahead and did the final assembly.

All in all it went surprisingly smooth, definitely easier than any other first portable I've done. I did have issues with the aforementioned audio, found out that the joystick configurator doesn't actually work on PS2plus (big thanks to @Benge for helping me with the code to manually set the ranges), and didn't know that you have to set the PS2 to be RGB in the PS2 settings, or else it'll just be green. There weren't any issues that required completely tearing it down though, and for that I am very happy.

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As of now, the final build is finished! I'm putting the finishing touches on the video I've made for it, I'll release my cutting edge post alongside the video tomorrow.
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Gman

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You know you could also compile the uamp code for ps2 only quite easily
 
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wow wow wow, kind of inspiring me to finish my ps2 portable...
 
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