The Midwest Gaming Classic. What an amazing experience this was the first time I went, which was back in 2018. And since that time, there seems to have been road block after road block to keep me from going back. But provided the piolets don’t quit and the nukes don’t fly within the next two weeks, I’ll finally be making it back!

Most don’t know that back in 2020, I was going to make my return to MGC as 2019 I had to miss due to my younger brother getting married. Little did we know that a few months later, the world would freaking stop. This turned out to be a pretty large bummer though because not only was I going to be returning to MGC, but I’d spent months preparing for an actual Panel about the history of portable console making and the goddamned rug was pulled right out from underneath me with the cancellation of the convention.

And what a freaking mess that followed and continues to unfold even today.

But if all goes well, not only will I finally be making it back to MGC this year, but the panel that seemed like it would be lost is finally scheduled to happen!

And not only will I be presenting on Saturday, 4/30 @ 4PM, but for the time before and after, I’ll have a seat at the BitBuilt Experience table along side friends and fellow modders like GMAN, Shank and CrashBash! So needless to say, I’m very much looking forward to that weekend!

Immediately following my panel, Ben Heck will be taking the stage with perhaps a continuation of the topic! So there should be some pretty interesting stuff happening on the Bonus Stage in that time frame!

The other thing that happened earlier this month was an awesome video posted by You Tuber C4ETech, who I had let borrow my G-Boy Wii Stoned for a test review. This process actually started almost 2 years ago as when he reached out to me, the portable wasn’t even finished yet!

After I completed it and finished my video on it, I sent it on it’s long journey to Dubai, where it stayed for nearly 6 months! But that was fine with me, because his videos about it did me some very nice favors with my You Tube Subscriber count, hitting over 250+ in one day, now over 350 at the time of this writing and still climbing.
So that was very cool and I’ll give a link to both his videos (two different languages) below.

That all said, I’m sure I’ll be making another post after my return and I plan on making a video of the presentation, so wish me luck there!

English Version
Tamil Version
Modified Base Mount for Acer Predator XB273K Monitor

So I decided to treat myself to a late Christmas present this month and picked up a monitor that I had been doing lots of research on for the past few months. And for the price point, the Acer Predator XB273K was toping charts all over the place. The one big complaint though, the base, and it didn’t take very long to figure out why. So knowing this ahead of time, I started to brainstorm on ways I could fix this somewhat invasive base.

So after a few hours I had a design I was ready to test out, but of course, when I took the base off, the arm of the monitor itself had a metal sub-base that had 3 extrusions for whatever reason. So, back to Solidworks to figure out how to recess out the piece to make up for that.

But once I figured that out, all was good!

So it wasn’t very long after I had it installed, I shared the project over on a couple groups on Facebook and got quite the response to it. Most were great and many wanted this for their monitors as well, but others had some feedback that addressed some legit concerns.

So I made a V2 that put 3 recessed hex bolts in the base, under those extrusions so that if one wishes to drill holes though their desk, the can bolt directly too it and not have to worry about the clamp at all.

And the best part, those STL files can be found here:

And though I shouldn’t have to say this, downloading and use of this mod is done at your own risk, but here are some guidelines!

You will need to pick up some M6 Hardware and depending on which method you use to mount will affect what hardware you need. Also, both methods use the included screw on the original monitor base to mount, so don’t lose that!

The Clamp Method (V1) – Depending on how thick your table top is, you will need:
2 – M6 1.0 x 35 to 50mm Pan Head Machine Screws (PHMS) for the main clamp screws
1 – M6 1.0 x 25mm PHMS for the Retention Screw
3 – M6 1.0 Hex Nuts

The Hex Nuts fit very tightly. I found that wide mouth pliers do a great job forcing them in evenly. Alternately you can thread a screw through the back and keep tightening the nut until it pulls into the recess. (That’s an old Prusa trick) Mount the base to the monitor arm and carefully screw the mount plate to the base and then the retention screw to the table. Also, you will need at least a 1.5″ lip on the back of your table for the clamp and retention screw to hold properly.

The Screw Down Method (V2) – Because there would be no way to get a screw driver to stop the screw from spinning when the nut is put on, this version is going to require alternate hardware.
3 – M6 1.0 x 35 to 50mm Hex Cap Screws (HCS)
3 – M6 1.0 Hex Nuts
3 – M6 1.0 Washers

To mount, first you will have to drill 3 holes in your desk. You can use the base as a template.
Then you will have to feed the HCS through the base before you mount the base to the monitor stand. Once that is mounted, feed the screws through the holes on the desk and tighten down from the bottom.

So as you can see, this mount is a HUGE space saver and I’ve now got my desk back!

As a note, I have not personally used V2 yet because I don’t have interest in drilling into my table. So if there is any feedback on this, please let me know so I can make adjustments.

But, hope you enjoy!

The Tiger Boy Advance

Posted: 01/01/2022 in Uncategorized

It’s hard to believe it’s been over 30 years since the release of the Nintendo Gameboy. And truth be told, I can’t remember a time that I wanted something so badly up until the release of the N64. The difference though between being 8 and 14 was huge and because I was able to work and save up money meant I was also able to score an N64 on release day. This was not the case with the Gameboy and the ever so familiar “It’s this or nothing” ultimatum was in play for the only other affordable portable gaming option, The Tiger Electronics Handhelds. YUCK….!

Of course back then you didn’t complain. It was at least, something, that you could take with you in the car or play in your room if the TV was occupied.

But for me, I never really stopped resenting these Tiger Handhelds, or at least my inability to even be able to work towards getting what I really wanted. And this is where times have changed! I’ve got some money, got some skills but more importantly I’ve got issues…which lead to ambition…which lead to making a concept that not only looks cool, functions well and plays better than all the original hardware that went into it, but finally connected the outline of disappointment with something that (had this existed at the time) would have been the most amazing portable experience ever!

So, that was the “Dramatic” version and truth be told, this idea didn’t even pop into my head until after I bought one of those IPS screen and battery upgrades for my Gameboy Advance. But, just like with any idea I decide to go forward with, the rabbit hole turned into a Hell-Portal and suddenly I was in Knee-Deep in it again!

So I’m not going to get into much detail here about the build because the video above does most of the explaining, but for what looked like was going to be kind of a simple project, turned into a nightmare on on a very basic level. But what was even better than that was the fact that said video took more time to make than the damn project itself!

But I guess that’s where I’ve been going lately as I’ve really been trying to increase the content quality of my videos for the past couple of years now. Problem is, the amount of time they take to make is mind-numbing, especially when considering how little time I really have with this still being a “hobby”.

But it’s so worth it when when you can look back and say, “I made all of this!”, even if that means there’s only one or two projects/videos a year.

And as the portfolio increases and the list of projects grow larger, I have to remember that perspective is key. In most projects, I’ve done a majority of the work myself, sometimes calling on friends for PCB help or coding. But all the design, printing, painting, assembly, wiring and testing has all been me. Lots of different hats to wear for sure, but then add on the video side of things and we’ve got a whole new ball pit to play in.

And it’s a funny retrospective look on this because up until about 5 years ago, all my videos were made using Window’s Movie Maker. Very basic, but did what I needed to do. It wasn’t until my last job that I had the chance to look and get a bit of self-training on Adobe Premier that things really started to take shape. The complexity and the freedom the program allowed opened all kinds of doors and by picking away at it year after year, the quality increase of output has been gratifying to watch.

5+ years later with the release of the Tiger Boy Advance, I feel I’ve taken a big step forward with my video making process’ and content and really hope to continue this trend with the next project. Who knows when or what that will be, but I hope that it will deliver!

I wish you all a very happy new year and very much appreciate the time put into reading this blog and watching the video! Hope to hear from you soon!

So back in March, I shared a post about some new equipment that the basement had acquired. One of which was a new soldering station and a custom pen holder and tip cleaning tray.

As of last week though, I’m no longer in my own basement and my whole workshop has been reduced to two 6′ plastic folding tables, which goes without saying…sucks. And though this is only a temporary set-up, the need to conserve space has made itself very apparent.

So today after a couple days of work, I finished off a revised Pen/Cleaning tray holder that added a duel solder spool holder at the bottom of the unit which was designed around keeping in roughly the same footprint of the soldering station itself.

All the STL files can be found at the link above for download if you feel so inclined but you will also need a bit more hardware than last time.

Though you no longer need the bottom brackets that held the tray over the station itself, you will need 8 #2 x 3/16″ flat head sheet metal screws for mounting the 4 round legs to the solder holder base and top, as well as 4 #2-56 square nuts and #2-56 x 3/16″ Flat Head Machine Screws to connect the brackets to the tip cleaning tray.

It is certainly a bit more complex and took a great deal more time to make than V1, but when space is a factor, you do what you need too. Hope you find it useful!

For quite a while now, real life has been has been a crazy ride and it seems to be getting more and more so as time goes on. I recently vacated the longest running actual “Basement” that Downing’s Basement has ever used and am kind of in limbo as to where the next one is going to be set-up. (Basically we’re living in Downing Senior’s basement until the housing market cools down) As a result, most of my hobbies have had their time eaten up, much less giving me the time needed to try anything new.

But, several months ago (maybe even a year ago at this point) I was enticed to start down a path that had been laid out for me many years ago. And that was the path of finally getting into the Wii portable making scene.

Now a little bit of context I think is needed when it comes to what kind of undertaking this project really was. This was much more than the usual N64 portables that I’m usually producing. Because though the projects I’ve done in the past did make use of fairly modern techniques, these kits were very “Next Gen” when it came to what went under the hood.

And when I say that, I mean these were done from the ground up using custom “everything” from enclosure design to operating system and everything in between! So, needless to say, from a creation standpoint, this was well beyond my skillsets to achieve, but fortunately because this was a kit, all I had to do was put it together…Yeah….

So again, as I find myself pressed for time and sanity, I’ll let the video do the explaining, but a final thought is that if nothing else, learning a lesson in humility is still a good lesson learned. However, I am extremely proud of how well this video that explains the process came out.

Again, sorry it’s so long between posts but I do hope you enjoy!

Thanks guys!

Downing

What’s going on guys! Today I’m really excited to announce that on Saturday 4/24 at 8:30PM EST I’ll be joining in on a special livestream with Twitch streamer Noycebru at twitch.tv/noycebru

This has been in the works for a couple months now, but with real talks just happening in the past few weeks. We actually got a chance to sit down and discus some of the specifics of how the stream would work and in our conversations found that we were both very much on the same “life level” and the crossover’s of our hobbies were fascinating to each other!

The fact that he has made robots that you can control in a Twitch chat to actively participate in the stream itself has been a great deal of fun to watch and learn from and I’m excited to find out more!

So that said, I think we’re going to get into some pretty cool conversation and we’ve got loads of questions for each other so I’m looking forward to a really good time with this!

Please join us if you can here at Noycebru’s Twitch Channel at 8:30PM EST! See ya there!