Miceeno's Nintendo Sixty 4or the Win XL

Discussion in 'The Cutting Edge' started by Miceeno, Dec 5, 2016.

  1. Miceeno .

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    This portable I wanted to keep simple.

    Instead of painstakingly frankencasing buttons from other consoles I simply drilled holes and mounted some "clicky" tact switch buttons. Which is so much easier than trying to mount "squishy" tact switches behind frankencased buttons. After playing through OOT and MM on the 3DS I actually prefer the tactile feedback the clicky buttons provide over the squishy ones.

    Instead of building an audio amp with volume control and headphone out I simply used a prebuilt amp and left the volume pot inside the portable! After I fine tuned the volume pot I closed the portable and forgot about. In my day to day I consume content on my phone at full volume or no volume. The only time I fine tune volume on my phone is when I have headphones plugged in. This portable doesn't have a headphone output so no problem.

    Screen controls? Nope. AV out and multiplayer in for the ultimate all in one portable/console experience? Nope, I have a Nintendo 64 plugged into every TV in my house already. Memory Card? Nope, first and second party games don't use them and who plays 3rd party games on a Nintendo console. Rumble? Lol! You mean that controller weight that doubles as a noisemaker? Nope.

    What does it have? Well, an expansion pak, a volt meter for battery level, a reset button for back when the 64drive required it. And a battery management PCB so you can go from playing to playing and charging without turning the portable off and back on again.

    Specs:
    Big Netgear Router Case
    7 Inch Screen of Unknown Origin
    PAM8403 Audio Amp from eBay
    3DS Speakers
    12mm x 12mm Tact Buttons for A, B, L, R, and Z
    6mm x 6mm Tact Buttons for D-Pad,C Buttons, and Start
    Dual Z's and Dual Start's for Symmetry
    3DS Circle Pad for Analog Stick
    Superpad64 Controller Board
    Nintendo 64 with Expansion Pak
    14.8v 3000mAh 4 Cell Battery
    Battery Management PCB
    Volt Meter on Bottom to Monitor Battery Level


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    This was the most challenging part of this build. The AC back light for this power hungry screen gave off so much interference that the controller would freak out. The stick would drift and buttons would randomly get pressed. So I build a shield for the transformer.

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    In this picture you can see where the volume pot lives.

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    In case anybody is trying to get perfect radii on their cases this is how I do it. I use a head gun and a socket from my impact set.

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    This is the "I didn't even try" trim. This case is huge but I still needed to get some clearance for the LRZ buttons on the back of the case.

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    I don't have any really good pictures after the batteries were installed, but two of them live under the cartridge cover on the back here (that's why the cartridge cover is huge on this portable) and two of them live inside the case. I'd take some pictures but I hot glued the back cover on.

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    Here's the case before closing. I had to revise the "I didn't even try" trim because I originally intended to put all four batteries under the cartridge cover on the back.

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    Pacal, fibbef, E64 and 4 others like this.
  2. Senor Avocado .

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    Hey your build looks great! I had a few questions though that I wanted to ask. I want to build a portable similar to yours with the 3ds circle pad for the analog stick, and i was wondering if you had to hook an external converter pcb to connect to the superpad or if you could hook it right up to the super pad. I was also curious on whether you could share links to where you got your 3ds circle pad and the battery management pcb! Thank you!
     
  3. Miceeno .

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    An old resource on the 3DS circle pad is this: http://forums.modretro.com/index.php?threads/mymixed-sonyqrios-epic-3ds-analog-stick-guide.8250/

    I'd recommend modifying what they did though. I was never happy with the dead zones and range with that set up. Although I bet that was due to me using 3.3v instead of 5v. I think the GameCube controllers operate at 5v whereas the N64 operates at 3.3v.



    The parts are widely available on eBay.

    3DS Stick
    http://www.ebay.com/itm/Analog-3D-B...281373?hash=item5d52a19b9d:g:rP4AAOSwjDZYbEkt

    3DS Stick Cap
    http://www.ebay.com/itm/Original-Us...817535?hash=item33972fb23f:g:WWQAAOSwSHZWcjB7

    5k Trim Potentiometers
    http://www.ebay.com/itm/5K-ohm-Trim...299909&hash=item1c15cbea82:g:SPsAAOxyNa9SKRZK



    What I did is as follows:

    Ground
    Y at 3525 Ohms
    3.3v
    X at 3022 Ohms

    (Don't bridge the wipers like on the original guide. Also don't stress about getting it right the first time. The polarity doesn't matter, it inverts the axis. And if you cross the axes it just makes a new hard mode for games. Although the XY is dependent on the orientation of the stick so this may change depending how you plan to mount it.)

    Start with those values and trim the pots until you get a repeatable dead zone in the middle of the stick. I usually test this in Super Mario 64. If you flick the stick, let it return to center, and Mario is slowly creeping around you need to make an adjustment. Once the deadzone is acceptable you have to verify full range at the edges of the stick. If you move the stick around the outside and Mario RUNS at some angles but WALKS at other you need to make an adjustment.

    [​IMG]
     
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  4. Miceeno .

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    As for the battery management on THIS portable I used a regular old BMS. You can charge a battery pack by giving the BMS power although this isn't ideal. The function of a BMS is to disconnect the cells if they are overvolted, undervolted, or are shorted out. So when they reach somewhere around 4.2v the BMS disconnects them from the charging source. You will only get around 75%-85% of a full charge using this method.

    A Smart Charger charges a battery like this graph. When the cells reach 4.2v the current is backed off to keep the heat down for safety. This keeps the BMS from disconnecting the cells.

    [​IMG]

    When charging with a BMS like described above the BMS disconnects the batteries in the last stage before a full charge. The power source is providing both constant current and constant voltage. So the cells get a little warm and the voltage goes up causing the BMS to disconnect them early.

    On my other portable I built in a Smart Charger separate from the BMS. I can't find the links to where I bought it otherwise I'd give them to you.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    On the current portable I'm working on I'm using this Smart Charger / BMS all in one unit.

    http://www.ebay.com/itm/Intelligent...e=STRK:MEBIDX:IT&_trksid=p2055119.m1438.l2649

    [​IMG]

    The best way I've found to tell if the BMS has a built in smart charger is if has indicator LEDs.
     
  5. Stitches 2 and a Half Dollarydoos Staff Member . .

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    Do let us know how well it performs, will you? I'm liking the look of that charge board.
     
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  6. Senor Avocado .

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    Miceeno, your explanations are wonderful! You cleared up a lot of my questions. I am also excited to hear how that Smart Charger / BMS on your newest portable will turn out, I will probably end up taking that route when I get there.
     
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  7. link270 .

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    This looks wonderful! I love the size of the screen compared to the cases. Such a clean and minimal look to it. Well done.
     
  8. Miceeno .

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    Thanks! Funny thing is I threw this together in a weekend with the only objective to soak up parts. The screen for example is something I bought years ago but never used because it draws too much power for reasonable battery life.

    I'm much more proud of the smaller one in the comparison picture above.
     
  9. link270 .

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    I can tell the smaller one has a little more polish and actual usability that the big one, but I just love the larger screen on it. haha I also thing using that case on them was way smart, looks fantastic on both.
     
  10. Miceeno .

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    Preliminary testing on this red board shows the red board is capable of safely handling play and charge.

    As you can see from the pictures below the power draw from the 12v 5amp power supply is 9.1 watts when the system is powered off and the batteries are charging from empty (3.0 volts per cell). When I power the system on the power draw goes up to 22.1 watts from the 12v 5amp power supply. If I monitor the voltage at the batteries I don't see a voltage drop when the system powers on. I do see the batteries steadily ticking up .001 volts every 5 seconds or so whether or not the system is powered on.

    It appears the red smart charger is capable of isolating the batteries from the power draw of the system while they charge. It also appears that for my battery (7.4v 5860mah) a 9.1 watt charge is equivalent to 0.21C. So the estimated charge time regardless of playing while charging is right around 4 hours and 45 minutes.

    Red Smart Charger BMS combo board.
    http://www.ebay.com/itm/Intelligent...2S-Packs-18650-lithium-Satellite/311721987212

    Batteries charging from 3.0 volts per cell with portable off.

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    Batteries charging from 3.0 volts per cell with portable turned on. This power draw includes the N64, Ultra64, 480p VGA driver and screen (no audio amp yet).

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    I didn't take a picture but with the charger board bypassed and just the N64, Ultra64, 480p VGA driver and screen attached the power draw from the 12v 5amp power supply was at 12v and 1.05 amps (or 12.81 watts).
     
    Last edited: Aug 12, 2017
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  11. Shank Certified Wiitard Staff Member . .

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  12. Miceeno .

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    I haven't had any problems yet. It sure beats the archaic 2 port play and charge thing. The only thing I've noticed is it does emit coil whine while charging (only while charging). The coil whine sounds like its just below the 15.625kHz frequency your standard CRT TV emits.
     
  13. Shank Certified Wiitard Staff Member . .

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    Could you read and post the part numbers of the chips? I'd love to investigate this board further as a possible inexpensive solution for the average user.
     
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  14. Miceeno .

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  15. Stitches 2 and a Half Dollarydoos Staff Member . .

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    Have you checked to see how hot this board gets under battery only load, charging only, and charging and playing?
     
  16. Miceeno .

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    So it took 6 hours and 40 minutes to charge my 7.4v 5860mah battery pack. So I'd say this red board charges at around 0.9-1.0 amps. The last hour of the charge the amp draw slowly ticked down to 0. So that means this red board is in-fact a smart charger and is capable of safely charging lithium batteries by tapering down the amps in the final stage of charging.

    Also something to note. It does appear that this red board disconnects the batteries during charging. If I check the continuity between B+ and Vout they are connected until power is applied to Vin. At this point continuity between B+ and Vout is broken. Further testing shows it's quick to reconnect them when you disconnect power from Vin. I've only had one occasion (out of 20) so far of the switch from wall power to battery power being slow enough for the N64 for freeze up.

    I'm considering doubling up the red board so I'm running two 2s batteries in parallel each with their own red board (instead of one red board in 2s2p). If the red boards play nice in parallel I will double my charging current.






    The red board doesn't get noticeably warm.
     
  17. Stitches 2 and a Half Dollarydoos Staff Member . .

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    A 2000uf cap on Vout should prevent the freeze. It might even be necessary for other consoles.
     
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  18. Miceeno .

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    I'll see what I can come up with I have a 5 farad car audio capacitor in my salvage bin.

    On a serious note, I do have caps already in place for the ti 08080 regulators. I will just swap them out for something bigger. Also keep in mind I was rapidly disconnecting and reconnecting to get a freeze.
     
  19. Stitches 2 and a Half Dollarydoos Staff Member . .

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    That might do it.
     
  20. SabelToothTiger .

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    Any updates on using two boards? I'm interested in this for my portable
     

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