Posts Tagged ‘gaming’

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.

System Specs:

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.

The case halves were then primed with a filler/sandable primer and finished off with a textured spray paint which I found covers the imperfections of 3D printing quite well.

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!



The business end of my hobby now has a face! Though this is just the first run and Beta test and is not 100% completed yet, the site is live. The plan is to have a much more interactive site with some pretty nifty features that will help less experienced modders with their projects and provide them with the assistance and products they need.

Right now the site is based around just a few of the services I offer which is heavy on vacuum-forming and CAD design/milling. In the future though I plan to add a store though which will not only allow me to sell the services but also be a parts and component supply house mainly geared at console modding.

So with that said, there is a great deal more to do, but for now you can have a look at the basic layout and get a feel for what is to come in the future. Just click on the pic above to have a look!

Doom 3 BFG Edition Is Here!

Posted: 10/30/2012 in General News

Though most of you know I love old video games and love console systems, my actual favorite gaming platform is the PC. Just the quality of the games and the fact that they are much more cutting edge than any console can be as the hardware is evolving so rapidly. On the flip side though, it can be a great deal more expensive to keep up. Regardless though, I love them and when I found out earlier in October that Doom 3 was going to be re-released in an all new re-mastered package, I got pretty excited.

Though the re-mastering was really only apparent in the X-Box 360 version (as the original release was for X-box) I really didn’t notice a whole lot in that area for the PC version. But the package of Doom 3,  Resurrection of Evil expansion and the never before released “Lost Missions” was well worth it to me as I’d never played ROE or the Lost Missions either. To top off this nostalgic trip, ID put all three of the original Doom games in as well, including their expansions.

So for $30 they packed a hell of a lot of shooting fun into the package and I was grateful to take the trip back in time in such a cool new medium. That being said however, there were a couple of glitches that you would have thought might have been fixed before the release.

For one, the game has to be played through STEAM, the third party game launcher that forces players to sign up in order to activate and play the game. I can see this for multiplayer games but to have to have an internet connection to play on your own really seems like a bit of loss of control kind of issue. I mean I see why they did it to help prevent piracy which I do admit is a big problem, but if the Internet is down or you have no connection to the net, there is no playing the game which I think isn’t fair. They do make it fun though by adding new achievement badges as you go so you’re not just playing to get to the end, you can actually earn rewards, however arbitrary they may be.

The biggest issue I found though is that with some PC systems like mine, there was a massive drop in performance which by today’s standards shouldn’t have been there. Even with all the graphics options put to their lowest settings, the game was laggey, and jumpy and just not playable. Now my system more that beat out the recommended settings as the original game was over 8 years old and even the remastered edition wasn’t too demanding.  Turns out there was some form of “post-processing” issue that there was no control for in the main options menu. Fortunately a STEAM member found out what it was and provided a simple fix that made the game run as smooth as ever.

So anyway, that’s just my quick review of the game, but I also added a new page under the Guides tab that has the performance issue fix, all the cheats for the original Doom series and Doom 3 as well as 95% of the cabinet codes for Doom 3. Still working on ROE and the Lost Missions.  Check it out here and have fun taking out the minions of Hell all over again!

Still up for grabs people! This is the only one of its kind and is a great bargain! I’d still like $225 for it but if you have a reasonable offer, I’ll gladly give it consideration. Please let me know, all proceeds go to help make me less poor…it’s a sad story. hehehe.

In a time span of less than a week, my knowledge of CNC work has grown over 100% and I still don’t feel like I’ve scratched the surface. As you can see by the video, I did my first test cut on a vacuum-formed casing. The results were nothing less than perfect in terms of how the machine performed. I had a few errors in my design which resulted in the cutting of right buttons twice making them far too big, but that was not the machines fault.

This was cut in about a 6 or 7 minute span and would have been only 5 had I had my drawing done correctly. But the cuts and the placement came out beautifully! This really is an exciting step for me as it gives me the confidence that I can take my work to the next level. Time alone will tell how far this goes, but I have to say that I’m more excited by today’s results than I’ve been with anything for awhile! (Modding wise of course).

I’ll have more projects coming up shortly (like today) that further shows the capabilities of this machine, software and user! Stay tuned!

So I did a commission for a forum member called [FarmerDwight] who was looking for a unique controller used for his emulated NES games on his PC. Though I’ve never been a fan of emulation for many reasons, after finding out his wants I really couldn’t pass up the chance to make this for him. Basically he wanted a controller for his emulated NES games with a USB input. Thats really not that difficult to find as the vast majority of PC controllers are USB anyway. The trick was to get that controller to work while using the original buttons in the Game Boy itself.

Now this really wasn’t much different in theory to many of the other controllers that I’ve built. You have two contacts, one signal, one ground and a tact switch (or PCB pad) that once pressed completes the circuit and registers as a button press for the duration you hold it down. However there was one key difference to what I’ve done in the past and that was the fact that the PCB pads in this case were already integrated with the mother board of the Game Boy.

To make a long story short, that doesn’t work so hot when you have two separate devices trying to function off of the same ground lines. I was getting all kinds of screwy actions when I first powered it on, not to mention the Emulator controller provided went against everything I knew about how PCB pads worked.  This project took me over 10 hours. 2 of which were basic labor and putting together and 8 hours of “WTF is wrong with this thing” troubleshooting.

In the end though, all came out well and though the Game Boy will never work again as a Game Boy, he can still play all the NES, Atari and whatever other emulated consoles out there with 8 buttons or less, including Game Boy.

More info and pics on the MBB forums. But I’m happy with it, and so is the customer which is all that matters! Now I just have to figure out how I’m going to sleep tonight knowing that my router will be arriving in the afternoon tomorrow! Expect a few more cool updates when I break that package open!