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Author Topic: Nintendo Console Build  (Read 5687 times)

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Ond

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Nintendo Console Build
« on: April 08, 2021, 12:55:28 am »
I'm going to turn this old laptop:


into this:

It will play only Nintendo NES, SNES and N64 games with really simple on-off power up and menu selection. Controllers will be wireless Nintendo SNES style.  No cartridges, just ROM images.

Extract the motherboard from the laptop and remove unwanted minor boards and parts.  Then add USB hub and controller dongles. Fashion and attach a plate heat-sink for fan-less cooling.  The entire base plate of the enclosure becomes the heat-sink.


Make the case from MDF:


Route out and chisel space for the motherboard and PS.


Cut out display window and power switch openings.  Give it a coat or two of primer.


Fashion a back plate with connector access/ PS socket mount.


Print out logo on transparency sheet.  I will be using more than copy, mounted back to back, to ensure a nice opaque defined logo (to be back lit on red acrylic).

Next, choice of emulator, front-end and menu artwork....

Vigo

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Re: Nintendo Console Build
« Reply #1 on: April 08, 2021, 01:01:34 am »
Very slick, Ond!! Love the sleek design. I also have to say that you have a very nice de-casing going on there. I have opened those type of Lenovo's before, not easy.

bobbyb13

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Re: Nintendo Console Build
« Reply #2 on: April 08, 2021, 02:55:39 am »
I'm excited to see how this goes too of course.
I happen to have 2 similar lenovos myself actually and wondered what for the love of Pete I could do with them.

And where/when/how do you find all this time for such fun dear sir?!  :lol

Unless of course you don't require sleep, and then all of this makes much more sense.
Relax, all right? My old man is a television repairman, he's got this ultimate set of tools! I can fix it.

danny_galaga

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Re: Nintendo Console Build
« Reply #3 on: April 08, 2021, 05:55:02 am »

Fantastic!  :cheers:

How long have you spent on it so far? I bet you did in weeks what takes me years  ;D


ROUGHING UP THE SUSPECT SINCE 1981

javeryh

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Re: Nintendo Console Build
« Reply #4 on: April 08, 2021, 07:23:57 am »
What a fun idea.  Will it run Windows or something else?  I have a few old laptops with broken screens (that still otherwise work) that I’d love to repurpose but I have no idea how.


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Ond

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Re: Nintendo Console Build
« Reply #5 on: April 08, 2021, 08:02:31 am »
Nice to see some early interest in this, thanks fellas!  :D 

So to specific questions,

@ bobbyb13 - I don't sleep well at all, my head is too full of crazy schemes and things I want to build, sometimes I do wake up with the answers to problems.  I guess I like to have a bunch of things on the go so I don't get bored with any one thing.

@ danny_galaga - This project has been on and off for the last few months.  All up, the time spent is probably a week or so of actual build effort.  I got restless whilst ill the last few days, so I gathered up pics and posted it.  :cheers:

@ javeryh - by the time this project is all done, you will know how to take an old laptop and use it for a console.  I'll look at the software side of it in detail in future posts but here are a few things to get started with.

I try and steer away from Windows as much as possible these days.  It's so heavily bloated and encumbered with Microsoft update mechanisms it's just not a good fit for what we are trying to achieve in this hobby especially on older hardware.  Luckily there are some great dedicated Linux based systems out there which focus on a minimal OS and more on the applications (as a complete package). 

This console project runs Lakka which features a nice menu front end sitting on top of RetroArch. You can learn about it here:  http://www.lakka.tv/  It boots fast, straight to the menu and also shuts down fast at the push of the one red button.  8)

Lakka comes with menus ready to use but I have created a fully customized one for my use.  Here's a sneak peek at my start-up menu page.


Lakka adds the game system menu choices to the top of that page, more on that to come...
« Last Edit: April 08, 2021, 08:09:35 am by Ond »

nitrogen_widget

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Re: Nintendo Console Build
« Reply #6 on: April 08, 2021, 08:23:27 am »
does lakka have a front end other than libretro?
i passed on that because of that and went with mxlinux because i could run retropi scripts and after installing what i wanted take a snapshot and make a live usb.

also went with mxlinux because it ran on my old pentium m laptop and will run on the various p3&p4 motherboards i have.

also those wireless controllers are nice.
yrs ago when i built my nes case with a pi2 all they had were cheap nes usb controllers you had to modify with a piece of toothpick.
lol.
toothpick in the d-pad wore down so i found wireless ones for the same price.
so much better.

UnclearHermit

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Re: Nintendo Console Build
« Reply #7 on: April 08, 2021, 07:24:28 pm »
Really interesting concept. Looking forward to seeing how this goes. Just the hollowing out of those bits of MDF looked harrowing enough!

javeryh

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Re: Nintendo Console Build
« Reply #8 on: April 09, 2021, 06:53:43 am »
It will play only Nintendo NES, SNES and N64 games with really simple on-off power up and menu selection. Controllers will be wireless Nintendo SNES style.  No cartridges, just ROM images.

This got me thinking... what if you did use cartridges?  Not actual ones but some sort of disc or square coaster type thing you make with an embedded RFID chip inside that was game specific.  You drop the disc onto the top of the console and the game loads automatically.  Of course, this would be just an added/hidden feature since you wouldn’t want to make one for each game...

Don’t ask me how this works but I remember a project from a few years ago where someone figured it out.

PL1

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Re: Nintendo Console Build
« Reply #9 on: April 09, 2021, 07:27:08 am »
I remember a project from a few years ago where someone figured it out.
Are you thinking about JudgeRob's Web of Wonder build . . .
http://forum.arcadecontrols.com/index.php/topic,149265.0.html

. . . or maybe dgame's Mini NES Pi with Working NFC Mini Cartridges build?
http://forum.arcadecontrols.com/index.php/topic,151786.0.html


Scott

thomas_surles

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Re: Nintendo Console Build
« Reply #10 on: April 09, 2021, 08:26:15 am »
I remember a project from a few years ago where someone figured it out.
Are you thinking about JudgeRob's Web of Wonder build . . .
http://forum.arcadecontrols.com/index.php/topic,149265.0.html

. . . or maybe dgame's Mini NES Pi with Working NFC Mini Cartridges build?
http://forum.arcadecontrols.com/index.php/topic,151786.0.html


Scott
Yes those things were awesome

javeryh

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Re: Nintendo Console Build
« Reply #11 on: April 09, 2021, 11:16:10 am »
I remember a project from a few years ago where someone figured it out.
Are you thinking about JudgeRob's Web of Wonder build . . .
http://forum.arcadecontrols.com/index.php/topic,149265.0.html

. . . or maybe dgame's Mini NES Pi with Working NFC Mini Cartridges build?
http://forum.arcadecontrols.com/index.php/topic,151786.0.html

Yes!  The mini NES was what I was thinking of but I also remember the Web of Wonder - both super creative builds!

Vocalitus

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Re: Nintendo Console Build
« Reply #12 on: April 09, 2021, 08:04:50 pm »
Would the laptop not fit inside this?

A more apt build?   ;D

Ond

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Re: Nintendo Console Build
« Reply #13 on: April 09, 2021, 08:42:54 pm »
Would the laptop not fit inside this?

A more apt build?   ;D

Where is your project post Vocalitus?

Vocalitus

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Re: Nintendo Console Build
« Reply #14 on: April 10, 2021, 12:42:57 am »
Would the laptop not fit inside this?

A more apt build?   ;D

Where is your project post Vocalitus?

I have several, and I will post something for you if you would like.

javeryh

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Re: Nintendo Console Build
« Reply #15 on: April 15, 2021, 11:29:43 am »
Ond - any updates?  It's been a week!   ;D

This particular project has really started the wheels spinning.  You could make custom "consoles" for lost of different systems these days all the way up to Switch depending on the power of the PC inside.   

Ond

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Re: Nintendo Console Build
« Reply #16 on: April 16, 2021, 10:56:43 pm »
Inspiring others to go and build awesome stuff is one of the most satisfying things I've experienced on the forum.  If this project gets you thinking, then I'd love to see the projects that ensue. I will return to this at some point.  Right now my focus is on the Metropolis artwork restoration only.

 :cheers:

Vigo

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Re: Nintendo Console Build
« Reply #17 on: April 17, 2021, 03:57:51 pm »
I don't know if it was intentional, but your console is giving off some serious vibes of a few of the NES prototype variants.




bobbyb13

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Re: Nintendo Console Build
« Reply #18 on: April 18, 2021, 03:55:08 am »
I don't know if it was intentional, but your console is giving off some serious vibes of a few of the NES prototype variants.





These are freakin cool.  Where did you find those?

Inspiring others to go and build awesome stuff is one of the most satisfying things I've experienced on the forum.  If this project gets you thinking, then I'd love to see the projects that ensue. I will return to this at some point.  Right now my focus is on the Metropolis artwork restoration only.

 :cheers:

You have inspired plenty already Sir.
No go get some sleep dammit because you have more inspiring to do later!!!
 :laugh2:
Relax, all right? My old man is a television repairman, he's got this ultimate set of tools! I can fix it.

Vigo

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Re: Nintendo Console Build
« Reply #19 on: April 18, 2021, 04:51:30 am »
These are freakin cool.  Where did you find those?

Somebody was posting about them on Twitter. They are awesome!