Archive for the ‘Current Project’ Category

So it’s been a little over a year since receiving my Ultra VGA conversion boards from Marshall and I was finally able to make use of one of them in my latest portable project a couple weeks ago. I’d been reluctant to try this mainly because of the fine solder work that it would require function. But after meeting Marshall at MGC and doing a bit more research into the process, I decided to give it a go with my latest portable.

Marshall was kind enough to send me two of the flex cables he sends with his Ultra HDMI upgrade kits which uses a similar user interface. So with this in hand, I at first thought the trickiest part of the install was going to be finding room for the VGA board itself inside the portable, but since the revisions with the new battery charger and smaller power switch, the board found a nice place to sit like it was meant for it. The challenge then became wiring the flex cable to the small RCP pins on the N64 itself. Though I’ve done fine soldering before, this was a bitch and required use of soldering techniques I’m not so practiced in. But, after torching the first cable, the second attempt went much smoother and with the Ultra VGA’s built-in “self-test” function, it told me which pins I’d missed or shorted, which after addressing then worked perfectly!

All in all I think the mod was worth the effort, though there is such a thing as “too clean” because being able to see every single pixel color so vividly on such an old console, pixelation becomes apparent. But honestly that’s fairly minor. What I’m now really interested in is building a portable N64 with a 7″ HDMI screen and using his Ultra HDMI mod in 720p. We’ll see if time and money allow for that to happen at some point but it has made it to the potential project list!

What a week this has been! In addition to finally shipping off the 2nd N64p that I’d been working on for months now (video soon), a French friend of mine posted his video on the PSOne Mini which I printed and shipped to him (the SLA version) about two months ago. This guy’s videos are an amazing representation of what truly goes into making mods like these and I’m very excited to have been a part of its creation. It’s a long video but very detailed in terms of explanation of methods and pro/cons of each. A great watch and I highly recommend you check it out! I also thank him for the shout out’s he provided towards the site!

And, Ol’ Ben Heck finished off an N64p himself which he’s been working on for many months now as well.

For some reason or another this has sent a great deal of traffic my way which has added to the excitement of the past few days.

Also, I’ve just started assembly on my new Prusa i3 MK2S  Printer which I got earlier in the week. I’ll have a video of that process posted once complete, but this is what I’m hoping for for an end result. Time will tell if I can assemble the way it needs to be done to achieve the same results, but I’m hoping for a very nice basement upgrade for my FDM 3D printing projects! More to come soon!

Project Updates

Posted: 05/21/2017 in Current Project

What seems like very slow progress on the two commissions I’ve been working on for about a month now really isn’t the case. Considering the fact that everything I would normally do to make one of these portables now has to be down twice, I’m pretty happy with where I’m standing. What I’ve noticed though is when you’re working on two projects at once there is a remarkable amount of time saved when it comes to set-up and production. Running parts in batches rather then 1 at a time also speeds up the process.

Anyway, this is just a quick update to show the progress on both systems. Case work is complete and all parts are mounted in both and are now just waiting to be wired which is something I can pick away at daily whereas casework had to be done mostly on the weekends due to the noise and smells associated with it…(I’d either wake the kids with the sander or fume up the whole house with the paints and bondo if I couldn’t do that work outside).

So I’ll hopefully be posting more updates in the near future and get this shipped off hopefully within the next 4 weeks or so!

 

Today I took on a new N64p commission for a fellow located in Belarus. Admittedly I had to look it up, but I found it’s sandwiched between the Ukraine and Lithuanian and is a first as far as geographic regions go. But I’m looking forward to this one as it goes back to a simpler version of the the N64p, but adds the benefits of the Form 2 printer for the finer details.

So this is a more basic system which does not include a breakout box which means this will be a strictly portable, single player system. It will include an expansion pak and built in memory card, but will be a much easier build on the whole not having to worry about the those additional features.

All the rough 3D printed parts are done, so the case work can begin as soon as I have a few free minutes. All the parts that I didn’t have in house have been ordered so this one is in full motion! There probably is not going to be a big build log with this one as its all been seen, but there will be a few posts about the new features and techniques that have been used on it so there will be a few updates down the road.

I would like to thank Max and his video though, as this project was a direct result of it! Anyway, more to come in the next few weeks and we’ll see what kind of issues pop up with this one! hehe

It’s been nearly 5 months since this project began, but finally my next generation portable Nintendo 64 has been completed and is ready to ship to my customer! That said, this project is a very special one for many reasons, but mainly for who this was built for. Max Mithzan is a Social Media personality and his presence is well felt in the gaming arenas like Minecraft and several others. He’s been a very cool guy to work with and very understanding as events in my personal life have drastically affected the time I’ve had to work on projects like this.

It’s also been the first project I’ve used my new Form Labs Form 2 SLA 3D Printer which has given me capabilities I never imagined I’d have.

Yes, it was a huge learning curve and my first attempt yielded many failures I will not repeat with future builds, but even then this has become the best system I’ve built to date.

I know the video above isn’t as descriptive as my video’s normally are as far as the technical side of the build, but in this case I really just wanted to show off the unit itself. I’m feeling pretty good about this one and am excited to see what Max has to say about it when it get’s to him next week!

But here are a few pics of the process as it went. I didn’t have the time I normally do to make a build log with full details, but I did take some pics of the case work.

The precision SLA provided made me think of case design in a whole new light. But its limitations soon made themselves apparent.

 

But the detail I was able to achieve is far beyond what I could have hoped for.

 

Combined with FDM 3D printing for the large front and back plates as well as the cart cover, I was able to make a very highly detailed and structural enclosure for this system.

 

It still required a lot of filling, sanding and priming to make it look like a single piece, so the time saving was marginal at best, but again, the detail was far above the standard.

Primed with the C-Button Decal

Painted and ready for the next step

But once the SLA decals were in place, it became clear how much of an asset this printer was going to be.

 

Things really got driven home though when the custom 3D printed buttons and D-Pad were put into the mix and functionality met with aesthetics on a new level for me.

and the Mithzan 64 was born!

So I hope you enjoy this video as it’s defiantly been a landmark project for me and it’ll be interesting in the next few weeks to see where this will go after he gets it! I love it so much I hate to see it ship out, but I’ll be just as happy to see it in its new owner’s hands!

 

So what happens when your full time employment disappears and for a little over a month you are a stay-at-home Dad like I’ve been? You stay busier than ever and build really cool shit!

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I gotta say that as far as my modding goes, this has been the most productive and fun month since the days of the Cross Plane and it feels good to have the time again to be doing this. That said though, my new full time job will be starting up Wednesday, but it’s much much closer to home than my last one and I’m finally out of Corporate America which had been digging at me for years. So now I won’t come home hating my life nor will I be spending two hours of my day in the car just to get there and back. Time to mod will be less than it has been, but there will be more of it than there was for certain!

Also, once this project pictured above is completed (look for a dedicated post about that in the coming week), I’ll be starting on a new N64p Commission for You Tube & Twitter personality, Mithzan. This will most likely be the highest profile system I’ve ever done and I’ve taken steps to insure it will be the best work of mine to date. What those steps are I cannot say just yet, but shortly you will see a big upgrade to the capabilities of DB. Some exciting stuff coming down the road here very soon!