Worklog PIS2, a long overdue ps2 portable

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So after a short break of… around 4 years I finally got the time/ motivation to finish my PS2 portable.
I couldn’t stand seeing this half finish case staring back at me, like a ghost of the modding past (see what I did there), begging to be completed.

For reference this is the link to old post:
http://forums.modretro.com/index.php?threads/darkwing-ps2p-2-0.12561/#post-157090

Anyway without further ado let’s move on to the updates.

Case

I’m actually surprise after all that time, moving out from 2 places, being moved between different boxes and squash between things the case looked almost like it did when I was working on it.

This is the case as of today, did a bit of fine filling with some Tamiya putty and sanding on the front. Cut the back to add a section for the PI and the fan. The back will require much more work to have a smooth finish.

All case parts



Front



Back




HDMI board testing

I have been testing one of those PS2 to HDMI boards and was quite happy with it. Nothing magic going on, just converting component to HDMI which look a lot better than composite. It’s hard to see but in those photo but the colour look washout and rendering look blurrier on composite.

GoW AV


GoW HDMI




GoW AV2



GoW HDMI2



The PS2 to HDMI board




Screen

To work with that board I got a 5.6 inch HDMI screen off Ebay which fit perfectly in the case and works with the voltage range I need.

screen 6v


screen 8.5v



Screen board
Will need to relocate some of those caps, remove those pins to solder directly to the board and remove those other ports.



Tools & parts

Parts
this is most of the parts I will be using, still waiting on a few minor thing but this should be the bulk of it.


New toys
Got some new toys to help me with this process, specifically got amazed by that Hakko desoldering gun, made the whole desoldering process much easier.



Pi Setup

Now when I was playing with that project all those years ago I was looking at different approach to load games at full speed without a DVD drive.

I went through a few method, some more finicky then other, and end up thinking that it would be better to use raspberry Pi SMB setup after watching that video.
So fast forward, I have been playing with this for the last few weeks and got a working setup with my raspberry Pi 2.

Pi 2 flat
I went on sliming it down by removing the GPIO pins, usb’s, ethernet ports and camera connector. I got a bit too violent with the second set of USB ports and end up breaking a tiny resistor on the board.

Luckly it was close to the second usb’s port so doesn’t affect my setup.



Pi + OPL testing
Then I soldered a usb port. Soldered the ethernet port to a breadboard and wired it to the pi board so that I could try this. All worked as expected.


PI FMV testing
And just made a quick video to show how smooth it is.
Beware neck strain ahead, probably need to do this landscape next time...

I have been testing this with +10 games so far and haven’t come across a game where the FMV would slow down. Let’s see how it goes.

Until next time folks…
 
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cfc_12

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So after a short break of… around 4 years I finally got the time/ motivation to finish my PS2 portable.
We're the same.

Hence, the title of my worklog says it. (I started back then on October or November 2013)
 

Gman

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This looks great!
 
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Thanks guys, @MasterNate it's a IBM Lenovo 05K5494 Laptop Fans + heatsink. Basically a replacement fan/heatsink for a Lenovo laptop.
It used to be used by a few guys on the old Bac forum and is quite slim, around 6mm tall when trimmed and pretty quiet.
 
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Stitches

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Thanks guys, @MasterNate it's a IBM Lenovo 05K5494 Laptop Fans + heatsink. Basically a replacement fan/heatsink for a Lenovo laptop.
It used to be used by a few guys on the old Bac forum and is quite slim, around 13mm tall when trimmed and pretty quiet.
I have one of those! They're a great sink/fan combo. Pain in the ass to trim down that stupid plus thing on the bottom though.
 
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Finally manage to get some solid time over the weekend to work on my portable.
So let’s get straight to the update.

Screen board
To slim down the board I had to relocate a capacitor, remove all those gpio pins and solder the little board directly on top of the main board.



Did some fitting in the case to see how it will look, just have enough spaces for the controller board :)



On/off Pi button

Finally received my ATXraspi board, this will let me turn on / off the raspberry pi with a momentary switch. Press for ~1sec for reset, ~3sec for shutdown and more than 8sec for hard shutdown. With this I will be able to reset the PS2 independently from the Raspberry Pi to switch games without having to restart the PI.






Case work

Using some homemade ABS cement I frankencase the back part that I made from another Polycase.
This section will hold the Pi along with the fan& heatsink and memory card slot.



Memory card slot
I went with reusing the memory card slot from the original PS2 for an nicer look, trimming it was a bit of work but the result looks great. The “door” got a few scratch along the way but it’s pretty easy to switch it with another one.


I want the PS2 board to be flush again the back so that the fan & heatsink line up in the back part of the case.
For this I need to modified the case a bit to make some space for that annoying group of capacitor from the video lines.




I end up reusing the top part of a spare PS2 power supply to cover that section. That thing was pretty hard to remove though, must have been glue or something.





Next the fun part will be sanding all that smooth. Let the sanding begin…
 
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Also, just sharing some info about the controller board I’m using. It’s from a third party controller called “Genius maxfire blaze”. I got it a while back and was pleasantly surprise to see the board was quite small.

The gamepad look like this



And it’s made of 2 boards, the big one is only for the button contacts and the small one can be wired directly with the through holes.




This model is not in production anymore but there is some newer revision ( Genius maxfire blaze2, Genius maxfire blaze3 ) which in theory could have the same form factor.
 
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So after a few message exchange with @cfc_12 about the PS2 video output I wanted to have another go at setting up VGA. When I played with that 4 years ago I already had a trimmed PS2 and had a few things setup on it and for some reason it just didn’t want to work.

I went back to my 5.6” Dalian Good display screen which was still connected to the LMH1251 board and desolder everything. Re-solder all the cable and solder the input to end of a playstation A/V connector so that I could try it on a “fresh” PS2.

And this time around it worked!

After a short lived celebration I then realised that the VGA input had larger black border on the sides and the image was really shaky, to the point where it was hard to read small text.

You can’t see this on a still image but the menu has that vertical shakiness


I went through looking for some answers online but couldn’t find anything about this issue, I also tried soldering resistor on different line based on the LMH1251 datasheet but nothing worked.

Then I realised that guys who did this mod are based in the US and though maybe that could be one of those PAL vs NTSC thing due to the different frequency. Tried a few games and sure enough the NTSC game worked flawlessly, the image fill most of the screen and shakiness was gone. The space on the sides seems to also vary from game to game probably due to the default game resolution.

NTSC games, no issue whatsoever



I’m now playing with GSM which is a application to force a specific format/resolution.
Using this I’m forcing NTSC on PAL game and it works great it's just a bit of a pain to have to do this every time.
The border are much thinner, the image is clear and still.
I’ve read there is a way to auto load a saved GSM config but I'm yet to make it work.

Default PAL, shaky and stretch down image



Forced NTSC with GSM, clear and correct image ratio


On the image quality side it is better than what I was getting from my HDMI screen but I think a big part of this is due to the screen itself, those “Dalian Good display” might just be sharper and brighter with a better viewing angles.

The only annoying part is this “AUTO CONFIG” message and the screen recalibrating itself between FMV and menu, probably due to some loss of signal.

So based on this there is a few options available for peeps with PAL PS2 who want to use this mode:
1- Use composite to navigate menu’s and use OPL to load NTSC iso’s
2- Play PAL game which offer the option to switch to 60ghz which can be limiting
3- Use GSM to force NTSC on PAL games, not sure how to automate this yet…

Our basically getting a NTSC PS2…
 
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Stitches

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So after a few message exchange with @cfc_12 about the PS2 video output I wanted to have another go at setting up VGA. When I played with that 4 years ago I already had a trimmed PS2 and had a few think setup on it and for some reason it just didn’t want to work.

I went back to my 5.6” Dalian Good display screen which was still connected to the LMH1251 board and desolder everything. Re-solder all the cable and solder the input to end of a playstation A/V connector so that I could try it on a “fresh” PS2.

And this time around it worked!

After a short lived celebration I then realised that the VGA input had larger black border on the sides and the image was really shaky, to the point where it was hard to read small text.

You can’t see this on a still image but the menu has that vertical shakiness


I went through looking for some answers online but couldn’t find anything about this issue, I also tried soldering resistor on different line based on the LMH1251 datasheet but nothing worked.

Then I realised that guys who did this mod are based in the US and though maybe that could be one of those PAL vs NTSC thing due to the different frequency. Tried a few games and sure enough the NTSC game worked flawlessly, the image fill most of the screen and shakiness was gone. The space on the sides seems to also vary from game to game probably due to the default game resolution.

NTSC games, no issue whatsoever



I’m now playing with GSM which is a application to force a specific format/resolution.
Using this I’m forcing NTSC on PAL game and it works great it's just a bit of a pain to have to do this every time.
The border are much thinner, the image is clear and still.
I’ve read there is a way to auto load a saved GSM config but I'm yet to make it work.

Default PAL, shaky and stretch down image


Forced NTSC with GSM, clear and correct image ratio


On the image quality side it is better than what I was getting from my HDMI screen but I think a big part of this is due to the screen itself, those “Dalian Good display” might just be sharper and brighter with a better viewing angles.

The only annoying part is this “AUTO CONFIG” message and the screen recalibrating itself between FMV and menu, probably due to some loss of signal.

So based on this there is a few options available for peeps with PAL PS2 who want to use this mode:
1- Use composite to navigate menu’s and use OPL to load NTSC iso’s
2- Play PAL game which offer the option to switch to 60ghz which can be limiting
3- Use GSM to force NTSC on PAL games, not sure yet how to automate this yet…

Our basically getting a NTSC PS2…
Your images aren't loading sometimes. Might want to change where you're uploading them.
 
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Whoops, looks like I copied the wrong share link, I could see them on my side because I was logged in. They should be visible now.

Edit: and by playing with the sharing settings I mess up the links of the previous images:facepalm:
Just finish re-linking all of them.
 
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cfc_12

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instead of coming from the Composite/C Sync, change it to S-Video Y



That's what Ashen did. It might work on you though.
 
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I'm currently using the Y line. I try both configuration with composite and S-video Y they both work on my side. The lost of signal seem to be something that just happen with this configuration. It's like the screen turns off and go back on again between FMV, menus and gameplay.

Edit: But in term of image quality it's light years away from composite and better then the hdmi screen I was going to use, so I can live with this:D
 
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It's a known issue that the screen turns off between scenes. Ashen had it, gman had it. Sounds like a weird bug in the logic shifter when it switches modes.
 

cfc_12

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since you're using that screen, why don't you try getting the H sync & V sync from the PS2 motherboard to the screen?

I just wanna see if the VGA would still work even if you're not using the LMH1251.
 

cfc_12

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I believe that's not Gman's screen. His GS2 has HDMI port, while the screen that you link has no HDMI port.
 
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