So after about 3 weeks of work, my 2nd N64 Portable Commission is now complete! As I’ve said several times before, this is the fastest build I’ve ever done and damn near the most well made and put together save the Cross Plane.
I’m very proud of this one as it was a medley of several different fabrication methods that all came together to make this what it became. On top of this, it also was a project that had a few “firsts” involved in it, the big one being that since the buyer of this is in the UK, I had to use a PAL system and take their difference in home power output into consideration. Though not a difficult hurdle, I had to find a PAL system with PAL games and also had to get a power converter to send to him so he can plug in the charger and the wall power.
PAL N64 Base System Trimmed w/Expansion Pak and Hardwired Memory Card
Custom 3D Printed and CNC cut casing
5″ 16:9 TFT Display with 4:3 Option
2 – 3.7v 5000mAh Li-Po Batteries in series for 7.4v output and approx 4hrs of battery life.
2 – 25mm Mylar Speakers & 3.5mm Headphone Jack w/manual switch
Custom Audio Amp by RDC
Battery & Wall Power with charge and play circuit
Standard N64 Button Config with Dual Z buttons
Custom Milled PCBs for the main buttons
As I said before, this system was built using several different fabrication methods, the two most prevalent being 3d Printing and CNC machining. This used the case making method I like to call “Plate & Bracket” which is a modular approach to case making that I’ve been implementing for the last few projects. Essentially this is just like it says, rather than printing a full case half with the edges and face all in one, I’ve found that printing edge brackets and using a separate face plate that is attached to them, the fail rate of the print drops dramatically and it adds a bit more flexibility to the build process.
Another thing I’m fond of is using 3D Printing & CNC to give the best quality finishing of any openings in the 3D Printed Face Plates. Though it may be possible to get a perfect circle out of a 3D printer, I’ve yet to be able to master it. This is why when I print the face plates, they look a bit odd, but that’s because they are printed with the intention of being milled after the fact. The clean results just can’t be beat if it were left to 3D printing alone.
After Being Filled & Milled
I will say though, I’m not a fan of PLA’s milling properties. While it prints nice with fewer failures than ABS, when milling it has to be watched constantly because even with a single flute endmill, the melting point is so low and it cools so quick, it makes a gunky mess that can ruin a work piece and tool. In the future I’ll just be printing face plates with ABS.
I did a few extra steps on this one to make sure the quality was where it needed to be which included milling my own PCBs. This added a great deal of strength to the system but also reduced the number of ground wires I was going to need to use freeing up a little bit of space. I had to modify that tact board for the screen though as all those on a single ground didn’t work so hot. I had on button that when I pressed it, the LED would turn on…yeah, something wasn’t right there. hehe
The layout on the inside because of this was very clean for a homebrew project and hopefully sturdy enough that it will not have to come back! This pic doesn’t show the batteries installed but they sat right on top of the N64.
Batteries wired up with protection circuit.
Soooo, yeah, this is my latest commission and after some more play testing to make sure it holds up I’ll be shipping it across the pond and be moving on to my next project. I’ve got several started and almost completed projects in the wings that I look forward to getting back to so stay tuned for that!