In this Instructable I will teach you everything you need to know to put together a portable. There will be several different sections:
- What batteries to choose
- How to make a case
- How to wire everything
- What screen to get
These are just the basics. All these and much more will be discussed in this Instructable.
The console highlighted in this tutorial is the Nintendo Entertainment System. I chose it because it has tons of awesome games and it is easy to make handheld. The total cost of this project - for me at least - was $200. Now don't freak out - your price will be much lower. It was so high for me because I broke the first screen and NES. That set me back about 70$. :P You won't make the same mistakes, because you are going to learn from mine.
Now, this project is not for the lazy. It is not easy. It is not cheap. But the reward is worth so much more than what you spent, that you won't even care. :) My portable NES took me about 4 months to build, so lots of dedication is needed.
This Instructable will play with a new format; because the parts list is so huge, it would be ridiculous to post it all in one step. So, for each individual step, I will write the parts and tools needed for that one step. I will tell you one thing: get some IDE cable. That's the stuff that is used to connect hard drives inside of computers. IDE cable is invaluable to any portable. It's amazing stuff, and you will use it many times in this project. Get some in advance.
This project requires that you already have the basic knowledge to solder, use tools, simple stuff like that. This guide assumes, however, that you would have no clue where to start when building a portable. This tutorial is for you.
I urge you to read the following steps on picking and ordering a console, screen, and batteries. They contain very useful information and will help you greatly. It may seem like a lot to read, but please look at it all.
Now, let's finally get to the Instructable. :)
Step 1: What Console to Choose
Nintendo Entertainment System
Super Nintendo Entertainment System
These systems are slightly harder:
And these are VERY hard to portablize:
Obviously, the last list is only for people who are more comfortable with electronics and know their way around a PCB. For a first-time portablizer, I recommend the Nintendo Entertainment System. This console has tons of great games (SMB3, Kirby's Adventure, Legend of Zelda, and Mike Tyson's Punch Out, just to name a few.) and is a easy console to start with. The NES is what we'll be portablizing in this Instructable.
If you want to do a different console, then you need to look at http://forums.benheck.com/ . This is a huge community dedicated to making awesome handhelds, and it contains information on how to get power, video, etc. for your console, and how to cut down many systems to make them smaller. If you are going to do a console other than the NES - which is what we are going to work with in this Instructable - then you need to check out that site. Scroll down and find the forum for whatever system you want to do. Check the stickied topics in that section for all the information we have on that console. Also be sure to look at the Reference section.
Enough chit-chat. Let's get to the first step of portablizing!