Archive for the ‘Electronics’ Category

Bartop MAME Cabinet Worklog 02

August 5, 2012

Bartop MAME Cabinet Worklog 01

August 1, 2012

So this blog was hacked recently. I removed the stupid ad they posted, changed my password to something much better. Good luck hacking that one. Derp.

Anyways, this is my new project I’m working on.

My Custom-Built Portable Gaming PC

March 27, 2011

Figures I’d post this here last, days after posting it elsewhere. On another note, I did finish my Let’s Play of The Dark Eye recently. I also participated in FAWM but only posted one finished song. And only got one comment on it. Heh. Oh well. Anyways, on with the PGPC.

8 inch touchscreen LCD
Integrated Xbox 360 controller with Playstation D-pad and face buttons for shoulder buttons
Mini ITX Socket P motherboard – for laptop CPUs
Intel T7300 Core 2 Duo 2GHz 4mb L2 cache
4GB of DDR3
Geforce 9100m 512mb shared
500GB hard drive

Half-built-in wifi – USB dongle inside, motherboard has mini PCI-Express slot but haven’t gotten a card for it yet. Not that I have to. It’s under the righthand control panel and I can take it out very easily. Motherboard also has HDMI out, so this thing will occasionally run double-duty as an HTPC in my house.

The case is made from two OKW enclosures glued back to back, heavily modified of course. You can see where I screwed up the paint job. Maybe some day I’ll fix it.

No internal batteries. I know. I know. Believe me I know. It’s kills me, but it’s just too heavy. I designed it with batteries in mind. I have the power switch for it, the charging jack, the battery life indicator – ALL integrated already. But I decided against putting the batteries in. Right now, it’s already heavy. If I were to add the batteries, it’d be unplayably heavy. I’m going to have to make them into an external pack. As much as it saddens me.

I wanted a motherboard that was very upgradeable, which this one is. I can put a much better CPU in there in the future and maybe bump it up to 8GB if I get Windows 7. I also wanted a motherboard that had a PCI-Express slot. The idea was, when you’re at home, you plug in your awesome desktop card and you’ve got a really decent gaming PC that can run just about anything. I have the riser card and “cartridge slot” cover, but not bothering putting them in until I can afford a better power brick that can handle the amperage.

Ramblatory Nonsense – Episode 02 – Adventure games rant, Alan Wake, Red Dead Redemption, etc.

June 28, 2010

I did not intend to do a podcast (if you even want to call these things a podcast) so soon again. But hearing the guys on Rebel FM talk about Gray Matter, briefly, got me fired up. I ranted for a good 9 minutes or so. Then I talked a bit about Alan Wake, Red Dead Redemption, and some other random junk. When talking about the stuff I’d built in the past, I got distracted and moved on before mentioning that I also built a portable NES and a portable PS2 before as well. The PS2 died, unfortunately.

Music in this episode: Ozma – Bad Dogs (Bottom of the Hill, San Francisco 3/28/2003) and Lorraine (live acoustic at Digevent).

Forgot to add ID3 tags this time. Feeling too lazy to re-upload it.

Download here or use the player below.

(still hating Nintendo) Planning Begins

September 4, 2009

My right arm, which was the one that was screwed up, felt a little better today. The strength is definitely back, for certain. Stability as well. As in, theoretically I think I could hold a soldering iron pretty steady. Still a bit sore though. However, my left arm decided to betray me today. I understand why. I mean, all day yesterday I did pretty much everything with my left hand/arm. It was over-used. Blargh. Rather than push on, I decided to try and give both arms a rest today. I tried not to do much of anything with either of them.

What I did do though is sort of plan out my main project I’m planning to do. It’s a multi-system portable. Sort of a combination of three of my previous projects. It’s going to be a PSOne, an NES and a GBA. Why those three? Well, because that’s what I’ve got handy. The NES is actually a Yobo and takes up very little room. The GBA and transverter doesn’t take up much more, though they’re definitely awkwardly shaped. And the PSOne, well, my first one worked, but was a bit of a mess. It was my first portable and my soldering skills were terrible. Not only that, but the soldering iron I had back then had a HUGE tip and I couldn’t be precise at all. I’ve still got the guts to it, but they’ve been thrashed around in a box so much that I’m not going to bother trying to use them. I have another PSOne though which has never been cracked open before.

I took it apart and figured out how I want to do some things with it. The case I’m going to use for this multi-system thing is a flat square tupperware container. I’m not sure if it’s actually Tupperware brand. Though since it was given to me by my mother, it most likely is. It’s a very sturdy one, not one of those cheap things you can buy for like a dollar at walmart. Should work decently enough. I laid out everything inside it and figured out how I’m going to put it all in. The GBA slot is going to be on the front, unfortunately. Unless I decide to do a cart slot relocation. We’ll see.

It’s going to be a total frankencase sort of thing, which I actually haven’t done a whole lot before. This is actually what I’m most excited about. I can’t wait to get to work on it. I will post a follow-up to this with some crude illustrations and descriptions of the design either before I go to bed, or tomorrow morning. Right now I’m going to start biting into the plastic of the PSOne controller.

Project ADD

September 4, 2009

This is a real issue for me. It always has been. I’ll plan out something or start working on something and then suddenly a new project occurs to me and I move onto that. This tends to result in a lot of half-finished things. We’re going to call this phenomena “Project ADD” or “pADD” for short.

So, since my arm was screwed up today and I couldn’t do anything, I spent a lot of time surfing and researching different things. I’ve got a laptop that I bought well over a year ago that I’d planned to upgrade and resell. Never got around to it (standard pADD) and when I wanted to again, I suddenly had no money. It still needs a hard drive. Well, I still don’t have any money. But I want to get some use out of it, even if I can’t sell it yet. I’m now planning on building a hard drive converter to be able to use a larger 3.5″ hard drive with it. Since that’s all I’ve got. It’s going to be fairly simple, yet time consuming. I mean, it’s 40 pins! Crazy. It’ll probably take an hour or two. Who knows. If I remember to, I’ll take pictures of it.

So that’s what I’m planning to do tomorrow assuming my arm feels better. Unless the dreaded pADD strikes again.

I hate Nintendo

September 3, 2009

Want to know a way to really screw up your arm for a day or two? Take something small, the size of pen, and push it against something as hard as you possibly can. Then, while still pushing as hard as you can, rotate that pen counter-clockwise. Do this over and over for two hours. Congrats, you’ve badly strained the muscles in your arm! Enjoy the extremely uncomfortable pain that will make sleeping that night nearly impossible.

Why did Nintendo have to use those fricken security screws on their consoles? WHY? I hates them. I hates them so much. I still have three screws to go, but there’s no way I can get them out now. My arm is so useless. The N64 wasn’t even necessarily the first project I was going to try building. I just wanted a look at the circuit board.

I highly doubt I can solder today. My arm will not hold anything steady and I can’t lift anything more than like a pound or two. Which means I can’t play guitar either. I can’t do anything today! I can barely use a mouse.

CURSE YOU, NINTENDO!

Gathering Electronic Crap

September 2, 2009

Well, I spent I don’t know how many hours going through boxes and digging out anything and everything related to video game console hacking. That includes all my old consoles, controllers, cords, memory cards/rumble packs and games. All my previous projects (in their half-dismantled states) which includes the all-important LCD screens. All my little bits and pieces and switches and other junk. All my soldering equipment (which isn’t really anything but the iron and some solder).

I’ve got so many ideas of crap I want to try. However, I’ve never been the type to post a progress thread at benheck or modretro. If I get stuck, I’ll post a thread specifically about that problem. I prefer to only show my work when it is finished. That way, if something goes wrong and I never get to finish it, I don’t look like an idiot. I’ve seen so many people start threads there about stuff they never finish. Or stuff they ended up ruining. No, I’d rather just lay it on them. Like, “Here! Look at this crap I just made!”

Mental note: Lower the usage of the word “crap” because it’s really become a crappy habit. Crap.