Seems these days that the time I once had plenty of for my projects have long since become a memory. With life pushing it’s way in between me and projects, I’ve been forced to scale back and make due just a few hours a weekend.

So that being said, my main priority has been the N64 commission I’ve been working on. A great deal of progress has been made and hopefully within the next couple of weeks I can have this one buttoned up. There are a few pics below that are actually about a month outdated, but they are all I have at the moment so they’ll have to do.

The testing phase for the motherboard as far as its functionality after being trimmed, the expansion pack, power, the cart slot and the A/V have been successfully completed. Now I just need to do some tidying up and securing the system in place for the next phase, the controller.

So far I’m very happy with how this is coming out and the new 3D printing techniques and part finishing is proving to work out nicely. I’m really wishing I had a resin printer for these smaller parts but one step at a time.

So my next post probably won’t be until this is complete, but if all goes well, it should be done in a couple weeks!

The problem with the pursuit of perfection is that it over looks the steps it took to get there when based on a cumulative scale. By that I mean that a project that brings you back to your origins while showcasing the skills that have been put to use since then has a whole different sense of gratification. N64p’s are losing to both practicality and cost reasons on any selling level, but the sheer fact that they can be built just for the sake of it and still get better as time goes on is a very meaningful continuation of an old idea that was so popular just a few years ago.

Anyway, now that the philosophic portion is out of the way, I made a great deal of progress on a N64p Commission I’ve been working on for the past couple of months. With the design process complete, the time came to finally start with the assembly portion of the project. This is an old school mod all they way, but does have a few of the benefits like 3D printing and CNC machining in it’s corner to make this one of the finer designed N64 portables I’ve made.

In any case, just wanted to share a project update aside from the OUYAp V2. These simpler projects are much needed from time to time to remind me that the “hobby” aspect is what I fell in love with long ago and what keeps me going with it, even if it seems a bit obsessive sometimes.

So today one of my favorite tech blogs “Hack-A-Day” posted an article of a really cool hardware gaming mod from Nolan S, otherwise know as [Fibbef]. This mod took a Sega Dreamcast and put a screen and audio speakers in the controller using a USB cable and custom break out box for the A/V…wait…that sounds surprisingly familiar.

The mod is excellent, the quality and the effort speak for themselves with this one, but the coolest part is that it’s directly related one of my older projects that did the exact same thing. The SNES-001 Advance 2 was my 2nd attempt at off TV gaming which eventually lead to the creation of the Cross Plane. The Advance used a breakout box to split the signals to the TV and the controllers so up to 3 video sources could be mirrored at once.

It’s just a really cool feeling to have that people are genuinely interested enough in some of my work to try it out for themselves, improve upon it and make it their own. I’m just excited that it’s making a bit of an impact with other modder’s that are also getting noticed for their work.

Good Job Nolan!

The OUYAp V2 has started to come together. After months of design and getting the parts ready, the assembly has begun. As always, there have been some set backs and issues that did not go according to plan which has forced this to become a bit more of a hack than a professional prototype, but the changes that are made in practice are going back to correct the theory so future builds (if any) will go much smoother and make up for the short comings this version has.

But, for those who wish to be kept up to date and want a more detailed view of how the project is coming together, check out the work log over on the Unofficial OUYA Forum work in progress thread I’ve got going on. Seems to be a pretty popular topic at the moment :)

So I’m not going to have the time to do any more this weekend and the most complex part of the project has yet to be started. I know right, so far this has been the easy stuff. More to come soon!

New Projects For The New Year!

Posted: 01/01/2015 in Uncategorized
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Happy New Year Everyone! Hope everyone had a safe and fun filled New Years Bash! This is the first year in recent memory the wife and I had an in-house celebration, but the little guy wanted to be with us for his first new year’s eve party, so we hung out with him for the evening which was awesome!

Another awesome bit of news, my You Tube Channel as of Jan 1, 2015 has hit the 1K Subscriber mark! Not a huge number by any means, but is a milestone for me! Very excited to see that my projects are striking a chord with so many people around the world! It’s what keeps me going and is the incentive to push the boundaries of my skills so that every project has a learning curve to keep growing with.

So, that said, on to the projects!

First up, I’ve finally revealed a project I’ve been working on since June. It’s been so long because 90% of this so far has just been design work which can take forever, but I’ve finally been able to utilize my 3D Printer and start putting the pieces together for the build! The project itself is another Portable OUYA game console and because of this, I’ve started a build log at The OUYA Forum where I’ve been a member for about a year now. Great group of people over there and some really talented developers so I encourage you to check it out if you’re interested in the console. I’ll be updating that thread as I make progress so be sure to check back often! Below is a pic of the progress of the Code Named “OUYAp V2″. This is probably my most complex project yet because of the number of different fabrication techniques and materials used. 3D Printing, CNC Machining, Styrene, Polycarbonate, ABS, custom PCBs and RGB LEDs. It’s quite the array but the best part has yet to be revealed and won’t be until the system is fully complete. So keep up with the work log for more updates.

Front Half of the OUYAp V2

The next project is a commission that I took over for my friend Hailraizer. I haven’t built an N64 portable in years, so I figured I’d give this one a go to see how the new CAD/3D Printing methods work. This is still in the design phase so it’s going to be a little while before any building happens but it’s getting there and with this little bit of extra time I’ve got due to the holiday, I’ll be cranking that out as much as I can. So that’s what’s keeping me busy and I gotta keep moving so I’ll be hopefully posting a bit more regularly going forward.

12-18 - Front Face Assmebly

Another month and another very long list of life events that need to be accounted for.

First and foremost, the most amazing thing happened to my wife and I on October 22nd. We became a parents to the cutest little baby boy around! As you might have guessed, a very large portion of my time has now been devoted to this little guy, putting modding and design on the back burner to him and my real job. Though I’m still ever persistent to get at least an hour or two of work done a day on my projects, it’s still quite the taxing endeavor sometimes. He’s actually sleeping right behind me down in my office as I write this. Sleep is hard to come by but when he konks out, I have a limited window to get stuff done which is why I’m posting now!

Evan Christopher Downing

Evan Christopher Downing

That was the big news.

The second big news is certainly modding related in that I am also a proud new owner of a FlashForge Dreamer 3D Printer which I just acquired a week ago. This completes the main trifecta of my work shop as I now have a full CAD, 3D Printing and CNC Milling capabilities in house.  This is already helping out greatly in a boat load of projects I’ve been working on and I’ve been working out the kinks to get full sized, quality prints from my new machine which I can then incorporate to the milling machine to make up for the short falls of 3D printing quality and the tolerances that have to be compensated for because of the precision of my CAD programs.

As far as the 3D printer itself goes, I’ve done a (long) unboxing video to show what one from the US might expect to find inside their package. Overall I’m happy with the machine so far, aside from some of it’s corner cutting when it comes to material and exterior construction, but hey it’s been printing reliably enough for the price and a lot of the failures I’ve had are just the early learning curve. Check out the video below if you’re so inclined to do so!

The FlashForge Dreamer 3D Printer

The FlashForge Dreamer 3D Printer

So what have I been up to these past few months? Well it’s been kind of a secret but lets just say that I’m working on trying to redefine what one could call a “hack” as far as making a portable gaming console goes. In an attempt to try and push the boundaries between what has been a traditional portable system to what I feel can be achieved, I’m getting closer to making this a physical demonstration. Since July I’ve been working on the design of a new portable project. This one is going to go where no portable has gone before and employ methods which combine all three of my in house processes along with custom PCBs and help from my good friend RDC.

IMAG1042

A test print of the front face bracket of my new project.

 

With all that said, the next couple of months are going to be quite fun to see where they lead. I’m pretty excited about where things are right now and there will be more updates in the near future!