Worklog VOS MOD's Second N64 Portable - The "N64C"

riess

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Great design and good to see that your making progress.

For your expansion pack, there are 2 methods that work well.

I recommend using the original expansion pack as these have 1 ram chip instead of 2 and are half the size...

Method. 1
You can remove the plastic around the pins from the expansion pack and then solder the pins on the expansion pack.
eLgssPjl.jpg

Method. 2
cut the sides and top from the expansion pack to make it a lot smaller and just plug it in.Hesline+-+BFA2+-+5-5-16_zpsfnvfuyaf.jpg
This will not make your design thicker as this would be underneath the game card slot
20171021_181112.jpg this is my n64 board btw
 
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Great design and good to see that your making progress.

For your expansion pack, there are 2 methods that work well.

I recommend using the original expansion pack as these have 1 ram chip instead of 2 and are half the size...

Method. 1
You can remove the plastic around the pins from the expansion pack and then solder the pins on the expansion pack.
View attachment 4561

Method. 2
cut the sides and top from the expansion pack to make it a lot smaller and just plug it in.View attachment 4560
This will not make your design thicker as this would be underneath the game card slot
View attachment 4559 this is my n64 board btw
Thanks for the recommendation, I might end up doing the latter suggestion. Do you happen to have any expansion paks you'd be willing to sell? lol.
 
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Update: mainboard trimmed

So I decided that I would work on trimming the mainboard of the N64 today until I get my hands on another expansion pak.

I cut the board with a dremel loosely based on the outline I drew the other day. After this I sanded the edges to leave them smooth.



After this, I soldered wires to closes the connection the switch usually makes and began work on the 3.3v regulator. I used a lm317 for the regulator as I don't want to wait for another pth08080 to arrive.

Calculations for the resistor values for the regulator below.



Regulator wired up.


Connected it to the mainboard, hooked up 7.4v and Rudolph's nose was glowing red.


Connected a game and and expansion pak to test to make sure everything is working correctly and I was very pleased with the results.


Now my next task, until I figure out the expansion pak, will be to rig up my vacuum forming machine. I might also try to hardwire my expansion pak from the last update directly to the board. We will see.
 
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Stitches

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Update: mainboard trimmed

So I decided that I would work on trimming the mainboard of the N64 today until I get my hands on another expansion pak.

I cut the board with a dremel loosely based on the outline I drew the other day. After this I sanded the edges to leave them smooth.



After this, I soldered wires to closes the connection the switch usually makes and began work on the 3.3v regulator. I used a lm317 for the regulator as I don't want to wait for another pth08080 to arrive.

Calculations for the resistor values for the regulator below.



Regulator wired up.


Connected it to the mainboard, hooked up 7.4v and Rudolph's nose was glowing red.


Connected a game and and expansion pak to test to make sure everything is working correctly and I was very pleased with the results.


Now my next task, until I figure out the expansion pak, will be to rig up my vacuum forming machine. I might also try to hardwire my expansion pak from the last update directly to the board. We will see.
Just keep an eye on the temp of that linear reg, you might need a heatsink for it if it gets too warm.
 
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Just keep an eye on the temp of that linear reg, you might need a heatsink for it if it gets too warm.
Will do, It actually gets extremely hot. I think I will order a PTH08080 and just use this to test in the meantime.
 

Stitches

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Will do, It actually gets extremely hot. I think I will order a PTH08080 and just use this to test in the meantime.
That would be best, and you'll get better battery life with the PTH.
 
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So i just completed making my vacuum forming machine. Pics are below, I also included a test video of it below where you can get a pretty good idea of it's power.





Video.

I plan on having the 3D printed mold finished by tomorrow and hopefully try to get the vacuum formed parts by Friday. This will be my first time vacuum forming, so if anyone has any tips before going into it, or any other comments about the project as a whole feel free to share!

Thank you!
 
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Update: Vacuum forming results.

So yesterday I was working hard on getting good results from my vacuum forming rig. After many attempts, I seemed to come up with a good method of getting it to work right. I used a SMD reflow oven to heat the plastic. Pics of the results can be found below.

The mold.


Formed polystyrene sheet before being cut out.


Final result after being cut out and sanded.


I'd love to know what you guys think about the results so please feel free to reply!

And now, I have a question. I was thinking about using the following controller in my design. (SuperPad 64)


I wanted to know a few things. First, has anyone ever used one of these in their portable? If so, how did it go?

And next, I heard you can just splice of the wires going to the analog stick and connect them directly to a different generic analog stick (like a ps2 analog stick for example) without using an ADC, with this particular controller. Is that true?

All feedback is much appreciated.

Thank you!
 

fibbef

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That vac form turned out really great! I’ve not used one of those superpads in a portable, but I have one in my collection. I don’t love it because it feels clunky and the Z button stopped working. I’d suggest taking out the control board and wiring up your own squishy tact’s. The analog always worked well for me but just feels cheap.

Sometimes dropping in a replacement analog works, it depends on the resistance values of the sticks. I would say generally you would have better luck swapping a 3rd party stick with another 3rd party stick since they’re more likely to use generic, standard components.

For real man, that case looks nice.
 
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That vac form turned out really great! I’ve not used one of those superpads in a portable, but I have one in my collection. I don’t love it because it feels clunky and the Z button stopped working. I’d suggest taking out the control board and wiring up your own squishy tact’s. The analog always worked well for me but just feels cheap.

Sometimes dropping in a replacement analog works, it depends on the resistance values of the sticks. I would say generally you would have better luck swapping a 3rd party stick with another 3rd party stick since they’re more likely to use generic, standard components.

For real man, that case looks nice.
Thanks so much! Yeah I was planning on wiring up the buttons to some form of tact switch anyways, I've seen a lot of people use squishy tacts like you mentioned, probably because they're less quiet than regular tacts. I used regular hard tacts with my last portable and I actually really liked it because the buttons just seemed more responsive, probably because I could hear a click sound whenever I pressed one. However, the noise is a big issue so I'm still debating what kind of tact to use. And regarding the analog stick, I'll probably do some more research and see if I can drop in a PS2 thumbstick in its place.

My other concern with using this controller is that the buttons are angled. I'm not sure if this will make the buttons feel awkward because my case has a flat surface. Perhaps I can just sand them so they're flat?
 

fibbef

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Lots of people go with the squishy tacts because they require less force to press, so you should be able to button mash all the faster. Your call really. I replaced the bad L and R tacts on a DS with regular clicky tacts and the kid I did it for loved it.

I had to solve the angled C button problem on my first 64p too. My solution was to swap them out for PS2 action buttons which I painted yellow. Not a bad idea since it sounds like you may be tearing apart a PS2 controller anyway. Likewise, I’ve seen people replace the C buttons with a d-pad, which I’m considering for my current WIP.
 

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Thanks so much! Yeah I was planning on wiring up the buttons to some form of tact switch anyways, I've seen a lot of people use squishy tacts like you mentioned, probably because they're less quiet than regular tacts. I used regular hard tacts with my last portable and I actually really liked it because the buttons just seemed more responsive, probably because I could hear a click sound whenever I pressed one. However, the noise is a big issue so I'm still debating what kind of tact to use. And regarding the analog stick, I'll probably do some more research and see if I can drop in a PS2 thumbstick in its place.

My other concern with using this controller is that the buttons are angled. I'm not sure if this will make the buttons feel awkward because my case has a flat surface. Perhaps I can just sand them so they're flat?
If you search for tact switches by gram-force (gf), at about 180gf you can get some that take a tad more force to push than a squishy tact, but also have a slight click. Not as loud and solid as the normal black plastic tacts, but enough to be satisfying. I like these ones personally https://www.ebay.com.au/itm/222520780231 they're kinda like GBA SP buttons, but a mite more sensitive. Great for mashing and they have a bit of squish to them so they feel really nice. Just my 2c.
 
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Lots of people go with the squishy tacts because they require less force to press, so you should be able to button mash all the faster. Your call really. I replaced the bad L and R tacts on a DS with regular clicky tacts and the kid I did it for loved it.

I had to solve the angled C button problem on my first 64p too. My solution was to swap them out for PS2 action buttons which I painted yellow. Not a bad idea since it sounds like you may be tearing apart a PS2 controller anyway. Likewise, I’ve seen people replace the C buttons with a d-pad, which I’m considering for my current WIP.
Thanks for the input. I like the PS2 button idea, I'm strongly considering that now.

If you search for tact switches by gram-force (gf), at about 180gf you can get some that take a tad more force to push than a squishy tact, but also have a slight click. Not as loud and solid as the normal black plastic tacts, but enough to be satisfying. I like these ones personally https://www.ebay.com.au/itm/222520780231 they're kinda like GBA SP buttons, but a mite more sensitive. Great for mashing and they have a bit of squish to them so they feel really nice. Just my 2c.
I didn't know there were so many variants of tacts. Based on what you told me, I'll probably end up going with those tacts you linked me to. Thanks for the info!
 
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Hey all. Just made some significant progress today so I figured I'd share.

So this actually happened the other day but I finished vacuum forming the back of the case.


Coming back to today, I found a simple audio amp circuit using the lm386 so i decided to make it and use it for my portable. For the speaker i'm using a tiny piezo speaker because I don't care too much about audio quality :?:.


Mounted my batteries inside of the case, as well as the main power switch and charging jack.


I found a lm2596 switching regulator circuit and modified it to output 3.3v via changing the resistors. Since I already had this (and that it's small enough) I decided to go with this instead of paying for another PTH08080. Also it can take an output current of up to 3A so it will do just fine.


Mounted the audio amp and regulator and wired everything up.


After folding the N64 board into place.



Volume trimmer on the left, DC charging jack on the right.




Seated the front part of the case on to see how everything will come together.


Still enough space left for the controller and screen!


To do:
- Integrate headphone jack
- Integrate controller
- Integrate screen
- Integrate expansion pak
- Think about how to integrate the memory card
- Polish up

Let me know what you guys think!
 
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fibbef

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This is coming along quite nicely - love it! I made a weak guitar amp out of an lm386 once - probably the exact same circuit. I’m curious how the 64 sounds through it, although the piezos will probably be the real killer.

Fortunately there aren’t too many audiophiles in this hobby; people seem to be more concerned with screen resolution. But then again, these are video games, not audio games.
 

Stitches

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Hey all. Just made some significant progress today so I figured I'd share.

So this actually happened the other day but I finished vacuum forming the back of the case.


Coming back to today, I found a simple audio amp circuit using the lm386 so i decided to make it and use it for my portable. For the speaker i'm using a tiny piezo speaker because I don't care too much about audio quality :?:.


Mounted my batteries inside of the case, as well as the main power switch and charging jack.


I found a lm2596 switching regulator circuit and modified it to output 3.3v via changing the resistors. Since I already had this (and that it's small enough) I decided to go with this instead of paying for another PTH08080. Also it can take an output current of up to 3A so it will do just fine.


Mounted the audio amp and regulator and wired everything up.


After folding the N64 board into place.



Volume trimmer on the left, DC charging jack on the right.




Seated the front part of the case on to see how everything will come together.


Still enough space left for the controller and screen!


To do:
- Integrate headphone jack
- Integrate controller
- Integrate screen
- Integrate expansion pak
- Think about how to integrate the memory card
- Polish up

Let me know what you guys think!
Be careful with that reg. They have a tendency to fry themselves at even half their rated current output.
 
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