Introduction: DIY Workbench Playable NES

Picture of DIY Workbench Playable NES
This instructable aims to guide Makers through building a Workbench playable NES using a cheap NoaC (NES on a Chip) and a PSOne LCD.

Every Maker has experienced anger/frustration/mind-numness or any other nasty feeling due to burning circuits, crooked dremeling, melitng materials or what ever misshap every project holds. What better way to sooth out the stress than with some nice SMB Music? Never has up, up, down, down, left, right, left, right, B, A, B, A, Start in Contra so satisfiying than with the DIY Workbench playable NES.


-Miltron B.

Wow! I'm Featured. I feel really flattered.

Echenle un ojo a la version en Espaniol muy pronto!

Edit: Post en Make: en Espa�ol!�Gracias H�ctor!

Post at the Makezine Blog!Thank you Gareth!

HACK-A-DAY Post. Thank you Caleb!

Step 1: Get Ur Materials!

Picture of Get Ur Materials!

The NES Chip.

Go to any kiosk, fleemarket, e-store or biddingsite and get your hand on a MegaJoy 1780983 games in 1 type of thing. If size is not an issue, get a whole NES console.

1x Nes on a Chip.


Do the same for a PSOne LCD.

1x PSOne 5" TTF Screen.

The Controller

For a true 1980 NES experience, you NEED a NES Controller.

The Frame

Get some Plexyglass.

3x 18 cm-13 cm-3 mm
1x 20 cm-15 cm-3 mm

The Power Supply, LEDs and other Electronics

The screen runs off 7.5 V and the NES runs off 5 V. I don't want to be messing about with more than one power supply so I'm going to destribute power from a single adjustable supply. To do so I need to build a tiny Voltage regulator circuits using some ICs.

-For the 7.5 V Power Supply' (Screen)

1x LM350 IC
1x 220 Ohm resistor 5% 1/4 W
1x Stay Set 0-400 Ohm potenciometer
1x 1.2 kilo-Ohm resistor 5% 1/4 W
1x 0.1 uF ceramic capacitor
1x 1.0 uF electrolytic capacitor
1x heat dissipator.

"-For the 5.0 V Power Supply (NoaC and LEDs)"

1x 7805 IC
1x 1 mF electronytic capacitor.

"Other stuff"

You will need some cable, some 40/60 solder (if you can find leadless better) some screws and a 12 V Power Supply. Off course, you also Need a workbench or workspace to put your stress releasing NES.

Step 2: Build the Power Supply

Picture of Build the Power Supply

You want to have the supply ready for when you tear apart the Noac and the PSOne screen. Just to test them out and make sure they are all working OK.

To do so, I used the best electronics source ever made by mankind. Dr. Bolestad's and Dr. Nahelsky's Book: "Electronic Devices and Circuit Theory". I Hope the capitalist swines at Prentice Hall don't sack me for posting pics of their book, but if so, be it in the name of science and hacking.

Use the LM350 to do the varaible power supply and adjut is 'till you get a nice voltage output using the stayset pot. Follow the diagram (Picture 4)

Use the 7805 for the 5V supply, this is much straigh forward. (Picture)

Once this is ready, test the voltage output with a Multimeter and get set to crack open that beautyfull 5" TTF Screen

A word of advice!

The LM350 gets VERY hot. This is where you migh want to add a heat dissipator.

Step 3: Take the PSOne LCD Apart!

Picture of Take the PSOne LCD Apart!

Yes. I know it's pretty. And those $30 bucks you shelled out for it might seem scary to loose if you fool around with your screen too much, BUT, take my word for it.: these babies can take a LOT of punishment. and I mean A L O T. Just be nice to it and tell it everything is going to be fine before you star chopping and it will be all right.

There are many other sources where you can see how this is done, but these pics might help along the way.

Step 4: Wire the Controller to the NoaC and the NoaC to the Screen.

Picture of Wire the Controller to the NoaC and the NoaC to the Screen.

There are many, many, many hackers who have taken upon themselves the task of reverse engineering the NES controller, the NoaC pinout and the PSOne LCD pinout.

But this post at theBen Heck forums, Lady Ada's Game Grrl (Hola Limor!) and this awesome instructableare the best sources outhere.

The rest is all simple!

Since I could never pull off a soldering job on the actual PCB screen, i just used the cables.

After it's all done, Try it out!! I cannot explainthe joy of seeing it turn on and work for the first time.

Step 5: Change the LCD Backlight for Energy Efficient LEDs

Picture of Change the LCD Backlight for Energy Efficient LEDs

This is optional, but is does make everything hell of a lot better.

Also, you need a smaller supply since the current draw iss less!

To do so, just crack open the LCD, change the Kitchen-Ligh-like bulb and replace it with LEDs.

There are plenty of sources that detail this step far better than me.

Go and read other the non lazy posters if you can't make out what to do with just the pretty pictures.

Just connect the LEDs to the 5 V supply in series with a 1 W 26 ohm resistor in parallel with the NoaC.

Step 6: Make a Nice Plexyglass Frame.

Picture of Make a Nice Plexyglass Frame.

Use the dremmel to hole out the plexyglass and use some screws to set it all together.

This is a long and tiresome, specially if you don't have the specific scrw lengt and diameter you need since you are going to need to cut, and adjust everything for what eveer you have available.

Step 7: Test It Out!

Picture of Test It Out!

This is the bestest funnest part of it all.

The final test.

Afet you see all is OK. Find a nice spot in your wok bench to place it.

If you are anything like me, it will take you more time to clean up all the mess and clutter you created while creating your workbench NES than actually MAKING the workbench NES.

Ater it's all clean and tidy, give it a go.

You have your very own work bench NES.

Step 8: A Word on Imported Games.

Picture of A Word on Imported Games.

If you want to run your own game cartridges, you need to make sure you have the propper wiring for the cartridge slot.

In my case, only Famicom games ran and fitt OK.

But I did such a crappy job setting the plexyglass hole up that it's a hassle. Better if you stick to the built in Contra, Tetris, Mario and Pac-Man.

Step 9: Sponsors and Thanks.

Before the final step, I might take a minute to thank all of those who willingly uploaded their knowledge and wisdom for everyone to access.

Specially the Ben Heck forums and Limor, with her wonderfull Game Grrl.

Funding for this proyect was provided by my wonderfull Job at Airtec Servicios.

Energy saving and compressed air specialist.

Especialistas en ahorro de energia y aire comprimido.

Step 10: Voila!

Picture of Voila!
The fruit of all your efforts!!

A workbench NES!


zcheek (author)2014-01-03

I'm going to mod this and replace the standard plug with a car unit. take this on long trips to ease the boredom!

triforce (author)2012-01-10

Great Job! I am working also on a portable.

ptentor (author)2011-07-05

very well

cheeserdane (author)2011-03-20

I see your finger print on the lens.

Cadillachearseguy (author)2010-02-28

up up down down left right left right, then B A B A select start, you got 30 lives

this is for Contra, right?

z3r0 (author)Cadillachearseguy2010-03-05

Actually its only one B A.

Miltron_B (author)z3r02010-03-08

Depends on the game.

TMNT 2 for NES is two BA-s.

Builder86 (author)2010-07-31

Sorry, how many LED you used?

russelljwr (author)2009-09-18

I really like your setup, but I am a little confused on your controller interface. Did you wire you Nes controller into the player two socket? Did you disconnect the control board totally from the NOAC? Thanks Jesse

Miltron_B (author)russelljwr2010-06-25

Hola Jesse! Sorry for the (very) late reply. I wired the Nes controler to P1 NOAC input. Let me know if you can't find the wiring diagram on google and I'll help you tackle it. Good Luck!

Miltron_B (author)Miltron_B2010-06-25

Jesse, Correct Pins are (from right to left): Pin 2 - P1 Controller Clock. Pin 4 - P1 Controller Data input. Pin 5 - P1 Controller Latch (same as P2 Controller Latch). Best of luck!

Heartwood154 (author)2009-08-21

Where do you get the NES on a chip from. I have searched everywhere and haven't been able to find one. This is a great indestructible over all.

Miltron_B (author)Heartwood1542009-08-24

Glad you liked it. I found mine in a Kiosk outside a store in a Mall in Laredo, TX. Try Ebay for MegaJoy III or SuperJoy. There are some other alternatives, like those "plug-and-play" star wars games or the Sega Sonic games.

yawgmoth1 (author)Miltron_B2009-11-18

really? Those can be used to play roms?

Miltron_B (author)yawgmoth12009-11-19

They have roms in them, but you can't add your own.

yawgmoth1 (author)Miltron_B2009-11-19

Hmmm, ok. But any NOAC can have a 72 pin connector wired to it or no? I'm only asking because I cant buy anything online otherwise I'd get one of those nintendo clones and those "star wars" tv games are only 10 bucks at the most at my local target. Just dont want to waste my money.

Miltron_B (author)yawgmoth12009-11-19

You can Follow Ben Heck's tutorial to see how to change famicom cartridge pins to regular NES pins.

I believe they are both 72 pins.

redsoup (author)Miltron_B2010-06-12

can you give me a link???

hintss (author)Miltron_B2010-02-06

famicons 60

check wikipedia

yawgmoth1 (author)Miltron_B2009-11-23

Cool, will do. That guys a wellspring of console knowledge huh? He even wrote a book on making portables.

DuFFxP93 (author)2010-02-10

 Where did you get that pillow?!

hintss (author)2010-02-06

add games for it to the materials?

clark (author)2009-07-31

"OMG its naked." hahahahaahah thats classic. Great instructable, I've been wondering about using the psone screen as a small tv or something else, and this answered most of my questions. (also, the second picture on step two has a small typo. You said sue instead of use.)

Miltron_B (author)clark2009-07-31

Glad you liked it! (Thanks for the heads up)

clark (author)Miltron_B2009-07-31

yup. I picked up a psone screen today, and got it working without a problem. Its actually taking in 10.5 volts, but if you notice, there is a 7805 voltage regulator connected to the 7.5v input on the screen. So im guessing it requires 7.5 volts to account for the voltage drop that the 7805 has.

tristantech (author)clark2010-01-04

You could just bypass the regulator and feed it 5 volts

Miltron_B (author)clark2009-08-02

Yeah! Actually, in 1ups Instructablehe uses the screens 7805 to hook it up to god knows what.

I'm surprised you are getting it to work with 10.5 V, I had a hell of a time getting the 7.5 V Power Source so it could work properly (I had funny lines going down the screen with anything above 7.5!)

Hope you get some pics up soon with what ever you are conjuring up!

husker (author)2009-10-11

 Why a workbench playable NES and not a portable, car NES.

mg0930mg (author)husker2009-10-21

That's liking asking why not get a psp instead of the portable nes. :rolls eyes:

moesboy (author)2009-09-08

could you do this with an old laptop screen

naruto1990 (author)moesboy2009-09-23

any one here to know how to create a virus and what software to use to create virus

Miltron_B (author)moesboy2009-09-09

No. You need something that will acceot a composite signal. You can use the Laptop to emulate a NES and play some roms in it. Then you would only need to make a USB NES controller.

Pocket Universe (author)2009-07-30

Wow, that's so neat! I've gotta try and find one of those NoaCs here in Europe!

Where in Europe are you at?? If you are in Deutschland, I've a bunch of friend who buy MegaJoys off Ebay!

Nope, I'm in Sweden. Thanks for the tip though.

Oh!! I'm almost certain you can find these at any IKEA. haha.

yomero (author)2009-07-30

chidooooo, muy buen instructable... :-)

Miltron_B (author)yomero2009-07-30


Si te gusta este tipo de cosas, te sugiero

Es la versión en español de la revista Make.

yomero (author)Miltron_B2009-07-31

ea, gracias por el link, muy bueno!!!!

Miltron_B (author)yomero2009-07-31

Con gusto.

hellstudios (author)2009-07-25

you play super mario like a chump. I would best you at it anyday! bwahahaahaha....

Miltron_B (author)hellstudios2009-07-25

LOLZZ!!! That's my little brother, I'm the one holding the camera. He actually predicted your comment right before I published the instructable. Thank you for giving us both a good laugh.

1up (author)2009-07-24

Woo! rocks! :D And a reference to my Instructable! Oh yeah! :)

brunoip (author)2009-07-24

nice work

Miltron_B (author)brunoip2009-07-24

Thanks! First comment too!

Ex Marine (author)2009-07-24


About This Instructable




Bio: I'm currently doing my studies in the institute of tecnology for superior education from monterrey (a.k.a ITESM), in M??xico. I just ... More »
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