Worklog VS2 Worklog

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Maybe too early in the process to start a worklog, but what the heck...

Taking a break from my Wii board redesign since it is a bit overwhelming at times, and started focusing back on the PS2. My previous PS2 portable works great but like anything, the more you use it, the more you find things you would change on the next build.

The biggest flaw in my previous portable is the screen, which is the 4:3 640x480 TFT screen that everyone here uses since it can accept 480i natively which unfortunately is what plagues most PS2 games. Screen looks sharp only if you can force GSM to 480P, viewing angle suck and the constant issue with video scaling is annoying as most games have a large black border around them.

This drove me to want to build an improved portable with a better display solution and redesigned in the same dimensions as the PS Vita Slim, except thicker of course.

Potential features/goals:

- Laminated 5" 800x480 IPS LCD
- 10,000mah batteries (3-4 hours battery life)
- Same Dimensions at Vita Slim (besides thickness)
- China mini controller board, no PS2+ this time
- Vita buttons all around except maybe triggers
- Killer sound quality
- Video DAC relocation/replacement for Expert PS2 Trim

Screenshot (15).png


Screenshot (16).png


You can kind of see the placement of some things in the photo above. Square to the left is batteries, motherboard to the right, and circle is a fan that may or may not be used if it ends up being too large. The speaker grills in the photo above are not permanent, just to see where I can mount the speakers as they will be installed on the bottom portion of the case, just like the original Vita with a sound chamber that travels to the top.

20220929_183254.jpg

RIP Video DAC

Potential heatsink testing using MacBook air fan. Total heatsink size: 84mmx50mmx7mm
20220929_183329.jpg


Couple rough test prints:
20220929_182552.jpg
20220929_182608.jpg


I'll have to adjust the screen height slightly to compensate for a glass panel over it. I'm playing around with the idea to LOCA (Liquid Optical Clear Adhesive) a PS Vita Slim tempered glass over the display panel to have more of a Vita aesthetic. To do this, I bought a pack of Vita tempered glass which has a thin layer of clear adhesive on the underside that just peels off. I'll mark the display visual area and cover with masking tape, paint the underside of the tempered glass borders outside the display visual area, LOCA the tempered glass onto the 5" screen (will have to remove metal faceplate off screen for glass to fit), cure with UV light, and hope it turns out decent. Again just an idea I'll have to experiment with, but should work in theory and would look pretty nice.

20220929_182833.jpg


I have a lot of space behind the LCD to play with as I plan on have a large custom board to house the video driver board solution.

This is the one part of the build that I am stumped with. My goal is to find a solution for the best quality video out of the PS2 and have many ideas but have not found a great solution yet. I have tried 3 different PS2 to HDMI adapter, 2 of which just looked too soft and 1 looked better but ran super hot and is a bit large, a VGA to HDMI scaler adapter that didn't work with 15khz, and an Eyoyo screen using component that looked somewhat decent.

The last option I would potentially try is reverse engineering the GBS 8200 board, just like @YveltalGriffin Shinobi Scaler, as it would deinterlace the 480i signal as well as scale to fit the screen appropriately I believe.

There's a lot to do but at least this is a start.
 
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I hope you could find a better lcd because I did notice the quality on my ps2 and been looking for something better. Do you have a particular ips lcd you’ve been testing with?
 

Y2K

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Personally I'd ditch that huge LiPo battery for 2 18650s, they're way more energy dense than that big pack. A single 18650 can be close to equivalent in capacity to that big LiPo, 2 of them will effectively double your playtime :D

Either way, best of luck to you, it's a nice looking design!
 
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I hope you could find a better lcd because I did notice the quality on my ps2 and been looking for something better. Do you have a particular ips lcd you’ve been testing with?
I have always stuck with these IPS panels from Waveshare since they have had the best saturation and contrast that I have found compared to others.
https://www.waveshare.com/5inch-lcd-for-pi.htm

If I'm not mistaken, I think the 4layertech store stocks them for a little cheaper. Maybe @Shank can correct me if I'm wrong.

Personally I'd ditch that huge LiPo battery for 2 18650s, they're way more energy dense than that big pack. A single 18650 can be close to equivalent in capacity to that big LiPo, 2 of them will effectively double your playtime
Actually, these lipos are equivalent to the highest capacity 18650, just slimmer. I have measured the capacity of Samsung and Sanyo 3500mah 18650s which really are about 3300mah-3400mah, which these lipos measure up to after running a drain test. Plus, two 18650s would give me at best 6800mah at 18mm tall, while these lipos give me a little over 10,000mah and are about 16.5mm tall for a 1s3p configuration. Only 1.5mm shorter but any bit helps to slim down a portable and extra batter is always a plus!
 

Y2K

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Actually, these lipos are equivalent to the highest capacity 18650, just slimmer. I have measured the capacity of Samsung and Sanyo 3500mah 18650s which really are about 3300mah-3400mah, which these lipos measure up to after running a drain test. Plus, two 18650s would give me at best 6800mah at 18mm tall, while these lipos give me a little over 10,000mah and are about 16.5mm tall for a 1s3p configuration. Only 1.5mm shorter but any bit helps to slim down a portable and extra batter is always a plus!
Oh you have multiple cells in that pack? I thought it was just one huge cell at 3500mAh :facepalm:

Well seems like you got that all figured out at least, best of luck!
 
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Small update

I have completed the reg board for the most part:

VS2 PMS Top.jpg


Simple design as it is my first 4 layer board and first completed board using Kicad instead of Eagle. Routing and component placement could probably be a little better but should work fairly well.

I only included the 2 main regs on this PMS, the 1.25v line where the PS2 primarily draws all it's power from, and the 3.3v line that will power the majority of other things such as screen, audio amp, micro sd card, etc.

After much research, I'll be using the TPS564247 for the 1.25v. 89% efficient with the inductor I'm using.

The 3.3v line will be using the TPS630250 buck/boost reg. It's a buck reg until voltage drops below 3.3v then turns to a boost reg for stable 3.3v and a little extra battery life. 94% efficient at the portables predicted 1A of the 3.3v line.

The other 2 voltage lines are the 1.8v and 2.5v that I will be soldering those LDOs directly to the motherboard via the good ol' solder mask scratch and solder. Less professional but more practical since it allowed me a simpler reg board.

The separate USBC charge board will house the PD trigger circuitry for fast charging since I couldn't fit it on this board.

VS2 PMS Bottom.jpg


I try to keep things as cool as possible. Paranoid you ask? Maybe... So as you may have noticed the bottom of the reg board has no solder mask, on purpose.

I did this in one of my portables that worked out well where I welded the reg board with solder paste directly to the copper heatsink which is also why there are no traces on the bottom, just vias to ground between the layers.

The fan will be mounted in the middle of the heatsink, blowing out the top and bottom where the top will have copper fins to cool the heatsink itself and the bottom will be the reg board where the fan blows through to keep them regs cool. That 1.25v line gets pretty toasty.


Still haven't figured out the screen, but may actually go OLED via HDMI using YveltalGriffin's Shinobi Scaler. It will be a bit clunky to fit all that in there neatly but the video quality should be pretty good.

Last, I mentioned I really want a killer speaker system, and my current testing rig is pretty sweet. Sorry boys, no digital audio this time... we're going analog. On top of that, I really want to be able to feel the sound, like the rumbling of a car in game, so I ordered a few laptop subwoofers to mess around with. I'm going for best speakers in a portable for this one.
 
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This worklog is a little slow since I still have many things to figure out, but in the meantime while I'm waiting for parts to arrive, I started working on the motherboard.

Did a fresh trim and wired all rgb888 wires. Definitely need a microscope for something like this, but if you have all the right tools then you can knock this out in about an hour.

20221022_120548.jpg


Threw on a lil solder mask to solidify the wires:

20221022_124942.jpg


I used 40AWG magnet wire, 34AWG was a little to thick. I'd recommend spacing the wires out better than I did. It made it more challenging with the wires so close together. I may have shot myself in the foot by doing the wires too close to the edge since I'm not too sure if I have the clearance for for it in the case. Hope I don't have to redo it...

Messed around with some mini woofers for a subwoofer in the portable and I just don't have the space for it, was a little too ambitious. The speakers I am using however sound fantastic so I'm not complaining.

Will be testing this when it arrives:

s-l1600.jpg


It takes RGB888 and coverts it to an HDMI signal. Not sure if it will just work directly since some members on the Discord mentioned it probably has to be programmed. I'll test it out anyway and maybe it will just "work".

If it does not work, my 2 other options is to used a driver board that can accept 15khz VGA for the 800x480 IPS screen I'm using, or use the GBS 8200 via GBS Control. When using the GBS Scaler, I discovered it doesn't work with the PS2 VGA. However you can combine the H and V sync with a little circuit to create C sync and the use the RGB lines for RGBS which the GBS scaler can handle. But the GBS scaler draws 2.5W extra and add extra heat to the portable, so that is kind of my lesser preferred option.

I found this for the MST-703 Driver IC where I may be able to program specifics for 15khz custom driver board.
https://github.com/csurf/mstar

My next update will have a finalized solution for the display.
 
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Senox

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Good job! It looks great.

However you can combine the H and V sync with a little circuit to create C sync
There is already CSync on the board next to VSync, it goes to pin 79 of the Video DAC ( dont know which via it is).
 
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Thank you, and I couldn't find any documentation about that for the 7900X boards. But I just tested it and sure enough pin 79 is Csync. Thanks for the info!
 

Y2K

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This worklog is a little slow since I still have many things to figure out, but in the meantime while I'm waiting for parts to arrive, I started working on the motherboard.

Did a fresh trim and wired all rgb888 wires. Definitely need a microscope for something like this, but if you have all the right tools then you can knock this out in about an hour.

View attachment 25121

Threw on a lil solder mask to solidify the wires:

View attachment 25122

I used 40AWG magnet wire, 34AWG was a little to thick. I'd recommend spacing the wires out better than I did. It made it more challenging with the wires so close together. I may have shot myself in the foot by doing the wires too close to the edge since I'm not too sure if I have the clearance for for it in the case. Hope I don't have to redo it...

Messed around with some mini woofers for a subwoofer in the portable and I just don't have the space for it, was a little too ambitious. The speakers I am using however sound fantastic so I'm not complaining.

Will be testing this when it arrives:

View attachment 25123

It takes RGB888 and coverts it to an HDMI signal. Not sure if it will just work directly since some members on the Discord mentioned it probably has to be programmed. I'll test it out anyway and maybe it will just "work".

If it does not work, my 2 other options is to used a driver board that can accept 15khz VGA for the 800x480 IPS screen I'm using, or use the GBS 8200 via GBS Control. When using the GBS Scaler, I discovered it doesn't work with the PS2 VGA. However you can combine the H and V sync with a little circuit to create C sync and the use the RGB lines for RGBS which the GBS scaler can handle. But the GBS scaler draws 2.5W extra and add extra heat to the portable, so that is kind of my lesser preferred option.

I found this for the MST-703 Driver IC where I may be able to program specifics for 15khz custom driver board.
https://github.com/csurf/mstar

My next update will have a finalized solution for the display.
Amazing work! Might I ask what microscope you're using to get those clean pics? :rothink:
 
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Amazing work! Might I ask what microscope you're using to get those clean pics? :rothink:
Thank you, and I actually just took a picture through the lens of the microscope with my phone's camera haha. My work has a nice AmScope microscope that I'm the only one that uses, not sure what the model is though...
 
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Well, was worth a shot:

20221028_235816.jpg

20221028_235808.jpg


But doesn't work. The 24bit digital RGB signal from the PS2 was wired to the RGB888 HDMI board, and I triple checked the wiring, voltages, and continuity multiple times with all checking out fine, just no video. The best I got was the TV goes from no connection, to a black screen when the PS2 is turned on which a few seconds later says no signal as if it's trying to detect something at least. Probably does need to be programmed to be configured properly for the PS2. Oh Well.

I sent off a few boards to JLC, one of which is the Shinobi scaler thanks to YveltalGriffin for open sourcing it.

The other two are the PMS which I posted about previously, and a video DAC replacement using the THS8135.

Screenshot_20221029-002841_Gallery.jpg


Last, I'm just waiting for a screen driver board that may work with 15khz VGA for the 800x480 IPS panel I'm using. If it doesn't, Shinobi scaler it is.
 
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I have given up on using GBS Control, was just too buggy in my opinion, creates extra heat and draws 2.5W more power. Also offered little to no quality difference compared to the 15khz VGA compatible display board I found which also scales the interlaced signal really well.

Here are a couple quick shots I took while testing:
20221103_011143.jpg

20221102_233442.jpg


I'm using this board: https://www.ebay.com/itm/173743512076

This board wouldn't work right off the bat, had to modify it a bit to make it work. It is made for a different 40pin display with a different pinout, but there is an unpopulated area that I confirmed is for the IPS 40pin screens we use here. So I desoldered the 40pin connector and resoldered it to the unpopulated area as well as populated the backlight circuit since this board also doesn't have a backlight circuit on board as the screen it's made for has a backlight circuit integrated on its own daughterboard. Also doesn't allow you to change any menu options other than brightness and contrast. I'm familiar with this chip it uses (MST703) so I added a resistor that is needed for an extra button option and now we have full functionality to change other options. It was a lot of work but was worth it!

Next I populated my replacement DAC board. Has only a few components so can be assembly in about 5 minutes which is nice. This board is just for testing and just proof of concept as later on it will be integrated in an all in one display driver board which will require me to also reverse engineer the display driver board I'm using. Most likely will connect to the PS2 RGB888 GPU traces via an FFC connector for cleaner internals.
20221107_231727.jpg


I didn't include the ferrite beads that were in the original schematic on the analog RGB output lines as I noticed neither did Gman when he used this same ic. It's easy to add if truly necessary though.

The THS8135 has many advantages over the original DAC. It produces little to no heat, the original DAC gets piping hot where I had to add a heatsink on it in my last portable for peace of mind. It also requires much less components and the footprint overall is much smaller, which is primarily the main reason why I will be using it.

Surprisingly everything worked first try with this trim and DAC replacement board which is typically uncommon in this hobby.
Yes, spaghetti galore and messy desk. I don't have the patience for clean wiring during testing lol. Only for the final build.
20221109_013416.jpg


As you can see, I get some sort of image but it is really dark. Not sure what's causing that so will have to investigate further but the fact that there is an image at all is progress.

I populated my reg board also and will have to look further on that one as well. Everything works such as turning on and outputting correct voltages and all, but for some reason will not charge the battery. My watt meter shows it draws 0 watts when trying to charge yet the board receives power on the charging line. No shorts anywhere, even removed the BQ chip I'm using and populated it on another test board from a previous project and confirmed the chip does work as it charges batteries on that board so not sure what's going on...

Last, I will be using Retroid Pocket 3 analogs instead of switch sticks for this build. They are essentially a cloned version of the switch sticks with the same dimensions, a larger dead zone (which should help with stick drift in the long run), a different spring and a smaller analog cap. They just feel better in my opinion, and the smaller analog cap matches more of the Vita size cap which fit closer to the original in the small space I have. Plus I like how they look different for a more unique look. They are only $2, but be prepared to pay $20 for shipping...
Switch stick on the left, Retroid Pocket 3 stick on the right.
20221109_123400.jpg
 
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