Worklog RVL-PSP (name may change) -- Nintendo Wii in a Sony Playstation Portable shell

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So my PSP-3000 kicked the bucket recently, much to my disappointment. (It may have been my fault, I am an idiot.) However, this prompted an idea: to put a Wii inside of the shell. At first I thought this would be an impossibly stupid idea, but then when I saw G-Man had done so a while ago, I figured I might as well take a crack at putting my own spin on the project.

Some of my main goals for this project are:
  • minimal external modification to PSP case
  • minimal hot glue and other poor mounting methods
  • maintains most of PSP appearance externally
  • use of custom PCBs to help tie everything together
  • as many bonus features (WiFi, BT, MX, etc) as possible
  • project is somewhat reproducible
  • portable contains batteries and is....well, portable

I originally intended to try and keep costs down as much as possible, and make my own PMS-type board. However, it quickly became apparent that I didn't have the resources and experience to make a PMS myself from scratch. At least, not without spending more than it would cost to just buy 4layer tech boards instead.


The PCB is made in KiCad, because I love FOSS and I'm a cheapskate Linux user. It's also the only thing I have experience with, and I wouldn't switch to another program even if I could. I want to put as much as I can on the PCB to avoid having to jerry-rig mounting solutions with hot glue and such.

As a separate project, I'd also been working on a flexible PCB for relocation of the "MX" chip on the Wii. That gave me a lot of experience with PCB design, and the project (and support I received from others on it) helped immensely.


Due to the small space, I figured an Omega trim was required. Given that Omega trims are hilariously unsupported, I started off by sketching up a rough trim guide for myself, based on a post on Twitter by BitBuilt.
OmegaTrim.png


Next, I got to work designing my custom PCB. Huge thanks to @Y2K, @YveltalGriffin and others for all their help and support during this process!

Strangely enough, I started out with designing a footprint for the PSP speakers. While I believe the original PSP-1000 uses connectors and cables, the 3000 uses "spring"-ed contacts on the speakers themselves. I took some measurements, made a to-scale test print on a piece of paper, and refined the footprint until it seemed it would work well.

With that done, I downloaded the 4layer board symbols and footprints, and then spent a bit of time adjusting them to fix errors and improve minor things. Following that, I began laying out some basic parts. and it was mostly just improvements and fixes until I got to where I am now.
RVL-PSP_PCB.png
RVL-PSP_PCB_3DF.png
RVL-PSP_PCB_3DB.png


I intend to print out a scale paper copy of the PCB, to check for any major flaws, before I submit an order. The size of the PCB is larger than most, so JLC charges an extra fee for it, unfortunately. Given the price, I'd really like to get this as perfect as possible before ordering.


I really hope I can actually finish this project, and I hope it turns out as good as I'm envisioning. Thank you everyone for your assistance and support, I really appreciate it!
 
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3 Trims, 1 Portable, 2 Tabletop
Looks an amazing idea!

I will follow every step of your progress, hope you can finish it and surely will look amazing
Good luck!
 
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working on No.1
great idea!

this looks like a cool project and i look forward to seeing it come to fruition. i just have a few questions.

Have you trimmed a Wii before? if not it is probably not a good idea to do an omega. it is really advanced and takes weeks to prepare as well as it goes really close to the vital chips.
you should try to design it to use the standard trim as it is fairly straight foreword and isn't too hard to pull off as well as a thorough trim guide as a posed to the omega trim that isn't as clear.
if the standard trim is too large then try the lmao v2 trim. it is substantially smaller than the standard trim and is WAY easier than the omega. it can fit in a Gameboy colour, and if it can fit in a portable that small, then it can probably fit in the PSP.

second, are you going to use your psp's shell for it? if so, then how are you going to mount components? are you going to just glue them in, or are you going to design screw posts/mounts that attach to the pre-existing screw posts on the psp shell? or do you plan to model it/scan it so you can add screw posts wherever you want?

Finally, which screen do you plan to use, the stock psp one or another one like the 4 Layer tech 5" ips screen?

also, really like the name!
 

Thomothy

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I hope you know that your activity on the cad design channel is both inspiring and gives me massive imposter syndrome. But I’m so hyped for this build
 
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great idea!

this looks like a cool project and i look forward to seeing it come to fruition. i just have a few questions.

Have you trimmed a Wii before?
Yes, but I haven't really made a portable before. While I have trimmed a Wii, I never actually put it inside a shell and wired it up, mainly due to the high price of components and such. This is the first portable project I'm actually intending to complete, and while it is certainly a massively difficult undertaking, I feel I'm somewhat prepared.

if the standard trim is too large then try the lmao v2 trim. it is substantially smaller than the standard trim and is WAY easier than the omega. it can fit in a Gameboy colour, and if it can fit in a portable that small, then it can probably fit in the PSP.
My PSP is a PSP-3000. Aside from being a PSP first and foremost, and therefore being really small, the 3000 is one of the slimmest and smallest revisions. It's really difficult to convey just how small the shell is, and how little space is inside. While I will start with a standard OMGWTF trim and try and work my way down from there, I fear that even a LMAO may be too big.

second, are you going to use your psp's shell for it? if so, then how are you going to mount components? are you going to just glue them in, or are you going to design screw posts/mounts that attach to the pre-existing screw posts on the psp shell? or do you plan to model it/scan it so you can add screw posts wherever you want?
Yep, I'm planning to use the original shell. My plan is to have most things mounted on my custom PCB, and then line it up with the PSP mounting points, hopefully. I won't be able to do this for everything, like the triggers and such, but I'll try and make it as non-permanent as I can.

Finally, which screen do you plan to use, the stock psp one or another one like the 4 Layer tech 5" ips screen?
I don't believe there's any easy way to interface with a PSP-3000 screen. Not to mention, the resolution is an awkward 480x272px, which would look....pretty bad when displaying the Wii video output. Instead, I'm going to use this display, which has the same size as the original PSP screen. The plan is to steal the driver board off of this other display, since the board is really slim and I'll take any size reduction I can. @YveltalGriffin helped me pick out what screen and driver to use, thanks!


This is such an amazing and cool concept! Can't wait to see more update from it and what the final product will be!
Looks an amazing idea!

I will follow every step of your progress, hope you can finish it and surely will look amazing
Good luck!
Thank you, I appreciate your support!



I hope you know that your activity on the cad design channel is both inspiring and gives me massive imposter syndrome. But I’m so hyped for this build
Spending time on the BitBuilt server gives me imposter syndrome too lol, but through lots of support and learning from other BitBuilt members, I've managed to grow a bunch, and learn a lot. I hope that completing this project helps me learn so much more.
 

Thomothy

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Spending time on the BitBuilt server gives me imposter syndrome too lol, but through lots of support and learning from other BitBuilt members, I've managed to grow a bunch, and learn a lot. I hope that completing this project helps me learn so much more.
Yeah it is fun though because one it’s actually kicking me to start working on PCB design. And I’m getting a lot of mesh editing practice. I’m just hoping I can use some of my bit built projects as upper division elective credits. Can’t wait to see more developments though! I think it’s really cool even what you’ve completed so far!
 
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working on No.1
Yes, but I haven't really made a portable before. While I have trimmed a Wii, I never actually put it inside a shell and wired it up, mainly due to the high price of components and such. This is the first portable project I'm actually intending to complete, and while it is certainly a massively difficult undertaking, I feel I'm somewhat prepared.


My PSP is a PSP-3000. Aside from being a PSP first and foremost, and therefore being really small, the 3000 is one of the slimmest and smallest revisions. It's really difficult to convey just how small the shell is, and how little space is inside. While I will start with a standard OMGWTF trim and try and work my way down from there, I fear that even a LMAO may be too big.


Yep, I'm planning to use the original shell. My plan is to have most things mounted on my custom PCB, and then line it up with the PSP mounting points, hopefully. I won't be able to do this for everything, like the triggers and such, but I'll try and make it as non-permanent as I can.


I don't believe there's any easy way to interface with a PSP-3000 screen. Not to mention, the resolution is an awkward 480x272px, which would look....pretty bad when displaying the Wii video output. Instead, I'm going to use this display, which has the same size as the original PSP screen. The plan is to steal the driver board off of this other display, since the board is really slim and I'll take any size reduction I can. @YveltalGriffin helped me pick out what screen and driver to use, thanks!




Thank you, I appreciate your support!




Spending time on the BitBuilt server gives me imposter syndrome too lol, but through lots of support and learning from other BitBuilt members, I've managed to grow a bunch, and learn a lot. I hope that completing this project helps me learn so much more.
Wow... you really thought this through well! thank you for answering my questions, looking foreword to seeing it come to life!
 

Thomothy

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Wow... you really thought this through well! thank you for answering my questions, looking foreword to seeing it come to life!
Yeah they've been working on this puppy for quite a while in the discord. It's nice to see a worklog be built for it. Also correct me if I'm wrong but I'm pretty sure VT is an EE so they should have some electronics design under their belt.
 
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I'm getting closer to having this thing ready to be manufactured. Some of the main changes since my initial design are:
  • Using @loopj's periphlex design
    • Including connector for BT module on the board
  • Using @loopj's power strip board
  • Using flex cables for lots of things
Aside from that, not much has really changed. Everything's laid-out and set-up, and I'm mostly procrastinating to avoid having to pay the cost of board manufacture for this thing, not to mention all of 4layer's boards.

In other news:
1711700649219.jpeg

Note: this may not be the Wii mobo I'm using, this is just another motherboard that may be dead. If it isn't, though, I'll probably use it, given it's already trimmed and I wouldn't wanna risk another Wii.


Batteries are the big problem at the moment, as I'm finding it quite difficult to get a reasonable amount of capacity into the limited size I have. I should be able to fit two 14500 800mAh batteries in, giving a total of 1600mAh. Alternatively, there's also a 2100mAh Li-Po on Amazon that should just barely fit in the space I have.

Given the limited space for energy storage, I'll most certainly be undervolting this as much as is possible. I need to squeeze every last drop out of this, so that I could get at least an ounce of reasonable battery life.

Will update further down the track, once I've ordered boards and such. Thanks to everyone for helping me out along the way!
 
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Progress update:

Parts have been ordered! I've got a couple PCBs coming in, including my newly-created MX relocation flex, codenamed mxHound. I've also got my custom PSP board incoming, which was way too expensive, but ah well. Then there's @loopj's Wii Power Strip and periphlex, @supertazon's WiFiflex, and @YveltalGriffin's undervolting board.
1712213364843.png
1712213450579.png


I made a very expensive Mouser order and should be getting all the parts to populate these PCBs, at which point I should be able to start testing my trim and my design. I still need to purchase trigger buttons from Electron Sheppard, and the 4 layer board suite, but I should be able to at least confirm that this project is somewhat viable. I purchased a RVL Direct Drive off of @Wesk, so the portable should hopefully be really slim and have high-quality video. Fun fact, apparently the Direct Drive I'm getting is the one used in the first-ever Ashida!

A realisation I made is that I will probably have to modify the case a lot more than I would've liked, due to some annoying size and space issues, including the triggers being annoyingly large. Unfortunately, this project probably won't be easily reproducible, although it would be worth exploring in future if creating a case from scratch (say, by using @Wesk's PSP-1000 scan as a backbone) would make for a viable project.

Stay tuned if you're interested, because there's a lot more coming soon!
 
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I'm back, sorry about leaving everyone in the dark for so long!

My PCBs came in, and I've been busy trying to get stuff happening. I kept going from one issue to another, and kept holding out on making an update until I got things working.

The big issue has been that I have no real way to power the Wii. My initial plan was to use the wii-undervolt board made by Yveltal as a power source, but I failed 5 times over trying to assemble it. In my defence, I was very new to using a hot plate to solder, but I should've been smarter about it. Ah well.

In other news, I did get a Wii Mini, so I should be able to push power consumption even lower, thanks to the Hollywood-2. I'm also focusing a lot more on the "version 2" of this project, the one with a custom 3D-printed case. The extra space and custom internal design should allow for much more than modifying an existing case ever will. V2 will have approximately 4200mAh of battery life, which (with a moderate undervolt) should grant somewhere between an hour and 2.5 hours. Not terribly impressive, but not terribly bad either.

I'm also redesigning my custom internal PCB. With a full 3D model of the internals, designing the two to fit together is much easier. At the same time, the reduced space means I have to incorporate the GC+ and RVL-AMP into the board manually, making routing annoying.

It's also worth noting that I'm planning to switch to using the Thundervolt. It's too good to pass on, especially in such a small form factor.

Aside from that, I haven't got much to talk about. I'm planning to buy the parts to build a PSU-Plus soon, and hopefully I won't screw THAT up. Once that's done, I'll be able to test (and hopefully finalise) my mxHound, and I'll be able to continue work on my projects, this one included.

Expect not to hear much, unfortunately. Nothing will be happening until I can actually get a power supply for my Wiis.
 
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