Worklog NES 2 C U - 2018 Summer Contest Entry

Discussion in 'Other' started by fibbef, May 9, 2018.

  1. fibbef Wizardry V Completer .

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    Ok, it's time to get my 2018 contest submission underway! For my entry I will be dipping largely into my spare parts to make a fairly simple portable. In this case, I have the NES portion of a damaged Retron 3 that I would like to portablize.

    Wow. Building a NOAC portable for a competition that will likely be dominated by Wii portables?
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    First and foremost: the name I've chosen for this project is intentionally the most horrible pun name for a portable ever. I won't explain it right now, but I will shed some clarity on it as this project progresses. (Unless someone guesses its meaning before then.)

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    As mentioned, I'll be using the NES portion of a Retron 3 that I damaged about 6 years ago. In trying to get this up and running again, I thought I knew where to supply those precious 5V to power it on. I was wrong. But thanks to a guide I had written about 4 years ago on how to use this board (and no thanks to Photobucket :angry:) I found the correct spot for 5V input.

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    There's really nothing special about this board. Just that I had it on hand and that it would probably be much easier to revive than the NOAC I had mangled even earlier in my modding career. The plan is to remove the large components that I won't need (RCA jacks, s-vid jack, power, that switch that I can't remember what it does). Board trimming is pretty unnecessary, but I probably will relocate the cart slot.

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    Proof that it's not dead. I don't have ALL the details planned out yet, but I will be using one of those buy-one-get-one-free 3.5" ebay screens that so many people have started picking up. Batteries will be a rechargeable camcorder battery pack that I have lying around and that I've used in all my portables to date. The pack is 7.4V and I'm hoping I can power the NOAC from a lower voltage tapped from the screen's board. Otherwise I will have to incorporate a 7805 or pth08080.
     
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  2. Doom Modelrater Staff Member . . Estmemed Member .

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  3. fibbef Wizardry V Completer .

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    I went out and bought a brand new $10 3rd party controller with no bells and whistles. (related link) I picked it because it looked very similar to the old 1st party controllers and so far I've had good luck with the SNES lookalike controllers. This one, not so much. The down button is really touchy and the A button sticks from time to time. If these continue to act up after I've torn the controller apart, I'm swapping it for something else.

    Anyway, I tried the logical approach for wiring up the controller; i.e. following the traces from the Retron 3 controller connector through the main board to the NES sub-board. It didn't go well. So I went back to the 2014 guide I made and it had the answers. I'm posting it here for posterity.

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    Although I know for a fact that I took that first picture, I don't claim to be the source of the information. There's no "I just found that..." moment here. Honestly, I can't remember where I found that pinout. Again, this was 4 years ago. The second image I brought up on Google half an hour ago just so my notation of "P1 #4" makes sense.

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    This is my very first experience with magnet wire ever. Good stuff. I'll redo the wiring to make it shorter later on. Right now I just want to test that everything works.

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    And so far everything works! In this pic I have the NOAC powered from a Blackberry USB charger and the screen powered from a PSone power adapter. I tried powering the NOAC from one of the screen board's components that output ~4.1V. While both items powered on, the draw was too much for the screen and the image would cut out from time to time. The NOAC was just fine though because my game never reset. Regulators it is, then.
     
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  4. MRKane .

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    This is so delightfully different I love it!!!
     
  5. fibbef Wizardry V Completer .

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    Now I know why you all have switched to wii portables:
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    So you don’t have to desolder these pains in the butt ever again.

    Wouldn’t have been bad except my radio shack desoldering iron stopped heating up and there are no more shacks around to get a replacement. I tried desolder braid but that didn’t get enough of it off. Ended up getting a $10 desoldering pump off amazon. Despite the price it actually worked quite well. Next update will be case-related, promise.
     
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  6. DeoNaught .

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    You obviously haven't tried to Unbridge TeN PInS On THe FuCkINg AVL
     
  7. cheese the tallest memer in town Staff Member . . .

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    it's not terrible if you flood the board with flux, clean all the solder off your iron, and wipe a lot
     
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  8. DeoNaught .

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    Here's the thing, I had no Flux
     
  9. fibbef Wizardry V Completer .

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    As promised, here is my case-work update. But first:
    Maybe it's a bit subtle, but I'm a little disappointed nobody picked up on this foreshadowing. Even more disappointed that nobody bothered guessing where this project was headed, not that I don't blame you.

    The novelty is this portable is that the case will be clear.

    "WHAT!? How does that work?" Simple: clear plexiglass.
    "NOODS?" will not be something you will be asking because if all goes according to plan, this baby's guts will be on display for the world to see. That means that unlike my earlier attempts at portables, this one will HAVE to be neat and tidy on the inside. Originally I wanted to shape pieces of plexiglass to form-fit all of the components inside the case. But then I realized that would take much more measuring and precise shaping than I had the patience for. So here's the revised plan:

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    The entire portable will be composed of layers which will be sandwiched together to form the overall portable. Each of the components are wedged into their respective layers by friction alone and once everything is cut to proper size and shape, all of the layers should line up correctly. As you can imagine, a lot can go wrong with this.

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    Test fits are looking promising so far. Although it looks more milky than clear right now, each piece of plexiglass has a thin film over it to protect it from scratches. Naturally, I will remove those before final fit. A lot of the cuts look really jagged right now because of that film getting shredded. With the film removed, the cuts should (those darn italics again) look a lot cleaner.

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    Here's an early proof-of-concept I did when I was still considering heat-forming the plexiglass. It's basically the same as vacuum-forming, but with a heat gun and shaped by hand. As you can see, the plastic is much clearer without the film.

    Oh, and before I get bombarded with questions like, "how do you plan on doing any of this?" I will leave you with this little disclaimer:
    [​IMG]
     
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  10. fibbef Wizardry V Completer .

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    Making slow progress on the various layers. The audio amp slowed me down because I had to position it on the edge of one of the sheets. Long story short, that screwed up some stuff so I had to redo at least one layer. I think I might be back on track now.

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    Been working through the layers front to back. This is my current back layer (I have more to go, of course). In this image you can see audio amp (top), screen board, and NOAC board. The final final layers will hold the cart slot in place. The planning for that, like many of my life decisions, is not 100% thought out.

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    My batteries come in the form of a camcorder battery pack I disassembled. One cell on each side of the screen, and I figured the cells should cut through 8 layers, so I have 15 more of these rectangles to cut.
     
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