Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

Well, this new WordPress editor is pissing me the hell off. I’m not quite sure what it’s trying to accomplish other than irritating the living shit out of me, but I guess I gotta roll with it for now.

Anyway…so once again, it’s been a few months since my last post and of course 2020 is still bringing the shit storm we’ve all become accustomed too (like this goddamn wordpress editor). But, in the time between the release of Project 15 and now, my wife and I had our 10th wedding anniversary!

Though I thought I did pretty well with my gift, she has once again proved she will always kick my ass in the “thoughtfulness” department and reiterating that she knows I’m just a kid who likes expensive toys.

But all that out of the way, the video above showcases what 7 weeks (but realistically about 60hrs) of video editing yields. This is by no means a typical video for me as it has a lot of elements that I’ve never tried before. Some worked well, others fell flat but that was kind of the point of making a video like this.

There have been tons of unboxing/assembly videos of the new(ish) Prusa Mini 3D printers in the past year, but I really wanted my take on it to be unique. I certainly do think I’ve accomplished that, but whether the end result is a positive remains to be seen. 🙂

But the idea was just to have fun with it, which I can whole heartedly say I very much enjoyed making this video!

I hope you enjoy it, and though I know it’s a bit longer than my average video, it does get better as it goes along!

As always, thank you guys so much for your support with this hobby over the the years!

I wish I could say that it hasn’t been two years since this project was commissioned…I also wish I could say this wasn’t the second time the job was completed…but if I didn’t have too, this beauty would have never existed. Kinda funny how that works.

But that said, after two years since the original agreement and a total remake of the original failure, Project 15 has come to light in the most beautiful portable console I’ve ever made. But not only has this been a technical achievement for me in many respects, but I’m very proud of the video I’ve made to accompany it.

You don’t have to scroll down very far in past posts to see what prompted this rebuild but at this point I can honestly say I’m glad it happened!

But being able to use the Form 3 in a way to really bring custom ideas through has been a huge asset to the basement and fine details like this even 5 years ago was not possible. I mean the D-Pad is even 3D printed and just looking at it you’d really think that it came out of a stock controller. But since it doesn’t, it means that it all just fits perfect to the design which has lead to the huge reliability improvements of modern portables.

And on the subject of reliability, low volume FFC PCB’s have become available through services like OSH Park which have allowed some very time and space saving options that do wonders for the assembly.

All in all this is without a doubt my best portable console I’ve made to date as far as N64’s go, though I’d say that it’s probably pretty close to the best I’ve done ever overall.

I’ve still got one more commission to finish off that was started about the same time this one was, but after that is complete, I’ll be done with taking commissions for awhile. These two have been in the works for nearly 2 years and that’s just not fair to my clients regardless of how patient they are. I’ll still be building and making but it’ll only be as a hobby. Now that the “Stay-at-home” orders are lifting, I’ll be going back to a regular work schedule soon which is really the only reason I’ve been able to put the kind of time into this project and the video.

But that said, I hope you enjoy the video as it’s been the biggest effort I’ve ever put into one and I very much wish everyone to stay safe and sane through this cluster F we call reality right now. Maybe this will take your mind off it for a few minutes anyway!

Take care!

It certainly has been a year already and it looks like 2020 is gonna have a lot more to throw at us! It’s been a very very long time since my last blog post and there really is so much to tell that there is no way in hell I can sum it up in even 10 posts.

But that really doesn’t seem to matter anyway as pretty much life for the world has come to a standstill. A few months ago, we had no idea how much life was going to change for pretty much every single human being on this planet, regardless if it had any real affect on them. But life has forever changed and we can only make the best of it as these times keep kicking us in the teeth.

It’s going to be very interesting to see where things go in the next few weeks but it truly is a scary time all around.

That said however, with all this time in home confinement, I’ve been able to get quite a bit done including setting up a small 3D print farm and even getting my CNC Machine that I bought over 5 years ago up and running correctly! (See that fiasco here And The Hits Just Keep Hurting

This has helped in a lot of ways as I’ve been able to start producing face shields in small quantities for my friends and relatives on the front lines of of this health crisis we’re all experiencing. 

As far as modding goes, it’s been slow as I’m still trying to finish up a commission and my Bitbuilt Summer Building contest entry  from 2019. The commission I’m referring to is the complete redo of the GoldeN64 that failed in spectacular fashion. But it gave me the chance to give it some pretty big improvements as far as internal quality goes and some good aesthetic updates as well. 

Also, I parted ways with me beloved Form 2 3D printer, sending it to live with friend and fellow Modder Gman and bought the updated and very much loved Form 3! It’s been an amazing piece of tech and a big upgrade to the shop!

I’ve also been working with RDC a lot over the past couple months working on a new and updated N64 portable design that makes use of all the newer features that have come to light in the hobby. There will be more on this before too long hopefully! 

But below are a couple highlights of the Basement! 

Please all stay safe and healthy. This certainly sucks at the moment, but make the best of the home time as you can. 

 

An amazing piece of equipment, the Form 3 is!

 

One of the many new improvements to the N64 portable design, a single flex cable instead of 48 individual wires!

 

Again, be safe everyone and more to come soon! 

It was a pretty painful day last month when the once promising Portable N64 commission I was building decided to implode on me. Never had I seen this kind of paint failure before, nor would have ever thought that after 3 weeks of being sealed that this could have even happened. But, regardless of belief, here we are and the paint is still cracking everyday, but is still as smooth as the day the last coat of clear was applied.

One may argue though that this is actually a pretty cool effect, giving it an aged and more rustic tone, but most of the time technology and rustic don’t blend well and in this case it prompted a total redo of the project and “The GoldeN64” became the “iSore 64”.

With this demotion, certain components like the Power Management system and custom controller board were downgraded, making this a battery power only and single player system. But the hits didn’t stop there. The expansion pak was also reverted back the original jumper pak and biggest kicker was I had to downgrade to a V2 of the Mini64 controller board which did not have a built in memory chip, but 32 test points to hard wire a memory card, which however is not done in this system. So the features are pretty bare. But I had to do this because I still need to complete the commission I originally started and those features and components are pretty expensive and low supply.

The video and pics below demonstrate just how nasty this failure was. It was very sad to see it fall so far, but it’s for sale now and perhaps will get picked up by a buyer that can add in the missing features and bring her back to her former glory?

Ebay Link Here

 

I’m not gonna lie, the month of August was a roller coaster in many ways, and though I was hoping to have three projects wrapped up by now, only one ended up being completed. However, it did get topped off in the best way possible in that I got to spend the weekend with fellow modders, Gman, Shank and Jackson. We did a nearly 10hr long live stream and it was great to see how these guys have taken console modding to the next level.

 

The BitBuilt Competition

It was with great sadness that on August 23rd, I was not able to have my contest entry “The eNVega64” completed by the deadline. Though I gave it my best effort, I had a few hardware issues that couldn’t be resolved (my custom controller and charger board specifically) on my own. The issues have since been identified and are in the process of being fixed, but I’m still going to need to track down a flex cable for the Ultra VGA board to avoid having to hand wire to the RCP chip on the N64 mother board. I had also screwed up the cart cover quite a bit because of the mounting tabs not being equal height when they were printed, so I’m redoing that in it’s entirety as well. 

 

 

THE GoldeN64

Just prior to missing the competition deadline, I was met with another failure that took the wind out of my sails in the first place. This was a commission I had been working on since February and although I know now I would have run into the same issues as I did with the eNVega with the controller board and charger board, just before I was about to close it up, the paint on the enclosure began to crack and split underneath the clear coat! I had never seen this before and the bitch was the case had been finished for nearly 3 weeks prior and over night decided to break down. 

Long story short, with how far this system was into production, it was decided that I was just going to start over from scratch with this one for the customer, and flip this one once complete as-is and with fewer features just so I could get some money back to buy the parts needed again to restart this project. The goal was to have it finished off last weekend at the meet-up in Boston on live stream, but that’s when the controller issue made itself apparent and it didn’t end up happening.

Once the components get back to me though, I’ll get back on finishing this up and slap it up on eBay for a mercy sale.

Example of cracks and splits and it’s since gotten worse.

THE BITBUILT MEET-UP – BOSTON EDITION

But, as I said, to top it all off, I had a great time meeting with old modding friends Gman and Shank and getting to meet Jackson for the first time. These kids have taken modding to levels that I could never understand and it was awesome to hang out with them for the weekend. We live streamed for nearly 10hrs Saturday into Monday morning and though I didn’t get my project done, progress was made across the board. The stream was unfortunately taken down though due to copyright of the music we were listening too in the background. Kinda bullshit about that, but Warner Brothers Music certainly cares more about music sales than actual enjoyment with friends and that apparently music is only meant to be heard by the individual who paid for it….yeah….anyway.

What’s really cool though is that Gman lives so close now and that offers up the chances for more meet-ups between us. I dunno if I’ll ever be on the same level, but it’s cool knowing I’ve been a part of it!

I should hopefully have more updates as the projects finish up, and hopefully next month my Form 3 will finally be inhouse after being delayed again. I ordered it in June and now not expected to see it till mid October. But I get it, they make a good product and it’s new. Had the same thing happen to me with my Prusa MK2S a couple years ago, but it was worth the wait.

For a few years now, the guys over at the BitBuilt Forums have been running a summer time portable build-off which has been a lot of fun to watch and see the remarkable projects take form that are a direct result. This year I’ve decided to throw my hat into the ring knowing full-well that I’ll be hung out to dry entering a project as antiqued as an N64 portable.

But really, it was more or less about inspiration to get another project rolling and though I’ve done several N64’s in the past, this one will be a first in that it will use an Ultra Everdrive Flashcart to load ROMS (i.e. no game carts needed) and will also use Marshall’s Ultra VGA video mod for the best possible picture using original hardware.

Progress has been steady, most of the parts are in and right now I’m in the process of finishing off the back half of the casing. The first round of filling is done, with lotsa sanding and re-filling in the near future, but hopefully things should start moving quickly once the finish work is out of the way.

It’s kinda funny though, as I entered the contest to get another project rolling, but within just few days of entering that, two N64p kit commissions got booked as well as another full N64p commission…

From dead to crazy just like that. But it’s a good thing all around. I’ll be posting more updates about the contest project over on BB over the next couple months, so feel free to follow along there!