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N64 Case Mod (56K Friendly)

Discussion in 'Modding' started by BlastM, Sep 26, 2004.

  1. BlastM

    BlastM Member

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    [Scroll down for pics!]

    I'm working on my first major case mod, which involves modding an N64 into my PC, with controller ports, power button and LED accessible from the front of the case, and interfacing the N64 directly with the computers PSU (rather than using the N64's power supply which means running a power cord out of the back of the case and plugging it in to mains).

    I bought a case with the N64 already in it (as part of another N64 mod) which meant I didn't have to open the case myself.

    So far I have desoldered the controller ports (after half an hour of fsking around) and the power LED and attached the LED to a longer wire (so it can be seen at the front of the case). Fortune smiled and the N64 still boots with sound and video (but alas, it complains about no controllers) and the LED comes on (I might replace it with a blue LED to match my case).

    I bought some wire at Jaycar today, its gauge is about 0.12mm (I think) and it worked fine for the LED, but I'm worried it will be too small of a gauge for extending the controller ports to the front of the case, and then wiring the N64 to the computer's PSU. Can anyone enlighten me concerning this?

    If you want to see pics of what's done so far I might whip out my camera and upload some.

    BTW I'm not a noob, I've been lurking for quite a while and have made lots of posts in The Pub and the discussion forums that don't count towards post number.
     
    Last edited: Sep 27, 2004
  2. Methodtical

    Methodtical Member

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    i thought u were going to put a computer in a N64 case
    now that would be interesting
     
  3. newphilosophy

    newphilosophy Member

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    This could be cool, piccies :D
     
  4. Icarus

    Icarus Member

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    As far as I can tell (quick google search) the controller only uses 3 pins, and the power is only 3.6V and a very low current so the wire you got should be fine.

    Post some pics!

    Ic.
     
  5. OP
    OP
    BlastM

    BlastM Member

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    That would be crazy! You wouldn't fit a notebook in there, you would need to use the guts of an iPaq or something.

    **Pics moved further down**
     
    Last edited: Sep 28, 2004
  6. newphilosophy

    newphilosophy Member

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    Getting there :) Hope it works out, good luck! How long do you reakon it will take to finish?
     
  7. OP
    OP
    BlastM

    BlastM Member

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    Well I'm on holidays at the moment, so hopefully by the end of this week. I'm going to ivLAN;) next weekend and will definitely have it finished by then to show off.

    Thanks for the words of encouragement, and more photos are coming soon!
     
  8. psynapse

    psynapse Member

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    man, this is awsome :leet:

    personally i would've gone the route of integrating n64 ports into my pc to use as standard controllers, and play games via project64, but each to his own :p
     
  9. OP
    OP
    BlastM

    BlastM Member

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    No way dude, emulation is all well and good, but nothing compares to The Real Thing.



    It's got character, and the "cool" or "retro" factor.

    Emulation of older consoles is good though, like SNES and earlier as they are fully emulated, but I haven't seen an N64 emulator that satisfies me yet.

    Now, on to business. A pseudo N64 case mod howto will follow. This is a work in progress.


    [​IMG]
    This is the case to be modded. No, it's not a real G5 PowerMac, it's an Athlon 64 system in a case I bought from PlusCorp.


    [​IMG]
    This is a caseless N64. I took out of the perviously-N64-modded case I bought (Roan's The N64 PC) which meant that I didn't have to frigg around with getting it out of the Ninendo bomb shelter-grade case with those proprietary screw drivers.


    [​IMG][​IMG][​IMG][​IMG]
    However I've replaced the jumper pak with an expansion pak, and you may notice that there are no controller ports (I've desoldered them and will extend them so they're accessible at the front of the case. How crazy is that heatsink?! I have also extended the power LED, as you will see in one of the following shots.

    Ignore the videos btw, they're not mine. I tested it on the family TV (I'm not gonna run it through my video capture card in my brand new computer! What if something shorts and it sends a surge through and my baby gets fried?)


    [​IMG]
    Crikey, it still works! Notice the "No Controller" message on the screen (it's a bit blurry) but I'll fix that soon.


    [​IMG]
    The naked console. Mmmm... console pr0n.


    [​IMG][​IMG]
    This next one's a biggen (56K warning), I've labelled some points on the board. The second picture is the back of the console, featuring (from left to right) AV connector, cartridge slot, power connector (which will be removed if I'm going to splice it into the molex). Below the cartridge slot is the expansion slot (for the 64DD, if you are one of the 7 Japanese kids who bought one) or just for contemplation.


    [​IMG][​IMG][​IMG][​IMG]
    What sort of picture thread would it be without screenies? Enlightenment DR16.7 (give it a go) on Gentoo, with some of the EFL apps from portage (you can just see Iconbar down at the bottom of the screen). And then there are pics of my command centre. :D It's a lot darker though (I had to use the flash or it wouldn't turn out). Sitting on the amp is my Rio Karma, the awesomest digital audio player known to geek kind! You can see the dock glowing blue in the dark pic. It pulses to the music, like a Winamp visualisation, and actually has left and right level dials on the LCD (backlit blue). It has RCA out on the dock, as well as a 100Mb ethernet jack and built-in web server. Being able to upload songs from a Linux laptop wirelessly with the built in Java app absolutely rawks! But enough of that, back to the greatest console ever.
     
    Last edited: Sep 28, 2004
  10. OP
    OP
    BlastM

    BlastM Member

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    [​IMG]
    This is my work area. The metal plate sits underneath the N64's mainboard, probably as some sort of measure to prevent EM interference/emissions. You can also get a glimpse the prototype of my patented "N64 driveBay Technology". I should have probably blurred it as it's also a trade secret, copyright infringement, and provides legal grounds for me to be sued under the Australian equivalent of the DMCA if Nintendo so chooses.


    [​IMG][​IMG][​IMG][​IMG]
    The left-most pic is one of the two desoldered controller sockets. The 3 outer legs on either side are two controller inputs, and the middle two prongs do nothing other than hold the socket to the board.

    The pics that follow it are of my prototype drive bay. The holes are wonky because: 1) I didn't have a drill bit big enough. 2) I had to file the holes to the right size. 3) Even if I did have a drill bit big enough they wouldn't be lined up properly, and I would have to file them anyway because the sockets are actually on an angle (see nearest N64 for details) and I plan on gluing the flat part to the back of the drive bay cover. I'll also have a power switch, maybe a reset switch, a power LED, switches for cold cathodes, and an N64 logo. I wanted to use the badge off the N64's original casing, but Roan said he burned it or something, so I'll have to print it off and have it laminated or something.


    [​IMG]
    Here I am trying to fit the N64 at the bottom of my case. I moved the sound card (I hate the integrated sound, it has nothing on my $10 Ensoniq 5880) and the TV capture card up as close to the video card (GeForce 6800 NU) as they would get. So far the airflow hasn't caused a problem. I also took out another network card but it might fit back in if I need it. The cartridge slot is accessible (pointing in the opposite direction) but I'm worried about the AV cable if it will fit. In the worst case scenario I can desolder it and put it on wires that would allow it to point in another direction.


    [​IMG][​IMG]
    "Mama Mia, it works!"

    After some more soldering it's back to someone else's TV to test it! ;) I've extended the first controller socket (P1 and P2) and have tested it. It works, so that's a success in my books!


    Now that socket works I have to do the other one, drill holes in the drive bay cover/s (still undecided whether I'll use 1 or 2), find a place where the N64 will sit properly in my case (maybe rejigging the AV connector socket) and wiring into the computer's PSU.
     
    Last edited: Sep 29, 2004
  11. silenthunter

    silenthunter Member

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    looks great so far, wouldnt it be better have the cartridge slot accesable from the out side of the case? either mounting it up the top in front of the PSU and then through the roof or sideways against the panel.?
     
  12. OP
    OP
    BlastM

    BlastM Member

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    Yeah it would be, but that's beyond my soldering skills, and access to the slot is buried and I cbf working on it further. I don't mind having to open my case to change games. At LANs 90% of the time it will be GoldenEye in there. :D

    And I thought of mounting the N64 sideways on the panel, but the panels are actually ventilated with a mesh of tiny holes so it wouldn't look too good from the outside, not ot mention it wouldn't be very stable.
     
  13. MiGiSHu

    MiGiSHu Member

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    My god that's fucking awesome.

    Though what I would try to endevour, if possible, would be a way to insert the cartridges without having to open the case up. Because, seriously, it's going to be a bitch later on (maybe find a way to wire the cartridge slot into another empty bay :D)
     
  14. deepspring

    deepspring Member

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    You are so making me wish that I didn't sell my N64 and games. :D
     
  15. OP
    OP
    BlastM

    BlastM Member

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    I'm working on a howto that I was going to put up at the same time as I did the PCDB but I got a bit sidetracked and there's a lot to it. Hopefully I will have it up this afternoon.

    I'm also going to do a "what I could have done differently" and a "where to from here".

    I couldn't have made the N64 cartridge slot accessible outside without moving the actual N64 to the top of the case with cart slot facing up. Or, if I found the manufacturer of or a compatible copy of the slot and a ribbon cable I could extend to the top of the case, but I can't just desolder the one on the board like I did the controller sockets because it's way beyond my soldering skills.

    Thanks everyone for showing interest, and thanks for posting me on the front page of OCAU! :D :thumbup: **crosses one thing off the "To do before I die" list**

    Maybe I can add "was posted on OCAU front page" to my resumé. It's as good as a CCNA, right? ;)
     
  16. stroggos2k

    stroggos2k Member

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    Looks great, I'm in the planning stages of my Gamecube to PC mod myself.
     
  17. verudium

    verudium Member

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    Arh cool mod you have there dude.it;ll be nice if ever i can mod my neogeo AES into a pc case,but the cartridge will be too big to be slotted from the outside of the case.
     
  18. Josh_2189

    Josh_2189 (Banned or Deleted)

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    that is cool, it would be perfect.. if only slot was accessible but other wise im so amazed.. i love all the cool stuff on OCAU ahhaha..
     
  19. OsiC

    OsiC Member

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    Exelent work. should turn out great, I never play my N64 anymore, mostly because its too much work to set up, but with your setup I would play it all the time.

    btw for anyone who want to open the "bomb shelter" N64 or Gamecube case, get one of those cheap bic pens, take the ink cartage and ball point out, then light the end with a lighter and stick it quickly into the screw hole. the plastic should melt into the shape of security screw and allow you to undo it. Its how I got my GameCube open and only took 2 30c pens, compared to the $30 screw driver set.
     
  20. MrSmith

    MrSmith Member

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    This thread is over a year old....
     

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