Introduction: Make a Handheld NES. (portable Nintendo Entertainment System)

I have loved the idea of handheld portable gaming ever since my first gameboy and I have loved the idea of making consoles portable even more! I saw a few NES handhelds and they were all very nicely made. I decided to make my own and publish a how-to video to help others make their own!

Some people might ask, ''why not just use an emulator?'' and to that I say, it is more rewarding to build something than it is to buy it or in this case download it. The one made by your two hands holds more value than the one off the assembly line. Some people can't understand that point of view. I try to encourage it :) why buy when you can DIY?

For this project you will need a few parts/things
One nes retron
one 4.3 inch LCD monitor
one SPDT switch
one 3.5mm headphone jack
one portable USB charger (5volts- meets the power requirments of all componets- you may need to adjust the power supply to meet the needs of voltage requirments if your componets require higher or lower voltages)
The retron and 4.3 inch screen can be found on amazon.

There are a few things I would like to discuss that I cover in the video, one is the retron. This console has its pros and cons but overall works great when making a handheld. It needs 5 volts to operate. Since the retron needs 5volts we will need a monitor that operates on 5volts and a battery that outputs 5volts. The battery I used is a 1200mah lipo battery that originally was a USB charger. These little battery packs can be found on line and in stores! The monitor I used was intended to be used in cars as a camera monitor. I ordered mine off of amazon and I found out that there are at least two models if not more. I bought two of them (one before and one later on), the first monitor broke, the LCD craked and I had to order a new one. The new monitor that came in has a new circuit that requires 12volts to operate, however the monitor I had (the one that broke) can operate just fine on 5 volts. Since the LCD broke and not the circuit board I was able to take the newer LCD and plug it into the old board.

I cover this entire project from start to finish in the video! it is a bit long but thats only because I cover as much as I can. watch the video and get started! :)


Bluepupp (author)2016-01-11

I would like to do this project, but want to use the retroN 2 because I have access to more snes games. So it would be more money effective. Would it work? Also, have you found a screen that will work with five volts? The only ones I could find were 12Volts.Or how could I make the 12Volt ones work? Please give me any advise you can. Thanks.

Bestitagen (author)Bluepupp2017-09-02

Did you end up doing this with the Retron 2? I'd also like to give it a shot with a Retron 2.

jjgleaso (author)Bluepupp2016-03-02

Many of the TFT monitors that are 12v also accept lower voltages. If you cant find one that can be supplied by 5 volts you could get a step down regulator and that way you could have a 12v battery supplying current to the screen and the step down regulator supplying 5v to the console.

Hvents4 (author)2015-06-11

Wow this is awesome! Your video is a lot more helpful than just pictures and directions. I am in the middle of making this, and your explanations of the inside of the retron are great. I don't know much about physics or circuits but you made it seem simple! I did test out the retron and understand your pros and cons.

But, I am not sure what type of headphone jack or USB charger to order. Can you post a link to them or say a specific type?

Again, thanks so much for the awesome idea.

out-of-the-box (author)Hvents42015-06-11

There are a few cheap 3.5mm on this link

Also, any usb battery pack with one amp output would work. I would shoot for a higher capacity one for a longer run time. 2.8 mah would work great. I would'nt go over an amp output. Thank you for your kind words! I recently made another one, I plan on uploading a video of it soon! On my youtube. It combines am nes with a bluetooth speaker. The audio on it os amazing. Thanks again :)

Hvents4 (author)out-of-the-box2015-06-29

Okay! I will have to check out that stuff, and your video! Thanks.

nc_f (author)2015-01-01

Hi again, is there any specific wires I should buy, to hook up the different components to the console?

Honchkrow (author)2015-01-01

I noticed some visual interference during gameplay...

Homicidal Hawk (author)2014-05-14

Can you give me the link to the screen?

here you go! As I said in the video there are at least two models, one that works with 5 volts just fine and one that needs 12 volts. It depends on the driver board you get with the model

nerd7473 (author)2014-03-17

This is so cool I would love to make a snes version

out-of-the-box (author)nerd74732014-03-17

Thanks! I might make s n64 handheld next.

nerd7473 (author)out-of-the-box2014-03-17

dude after that make a gamecube portable and make the video as detailed as possible

out-of-the-box (author)nerd74732014-03-18

ha ha maybe! definefty might !

nerd7473 (author)out-of-the-box2014-03-18

That would be cool as I have a old gamecube I never use and I would like to see it be used for gaming instead of gathering dust

Penolopy Bulnick (author)2014-03-17


I noticed that this video is from a different Youtube account than you usually use. Is this your Youtube account as well?

Community Support Manager

This is from my original account. I have two but this is my main one that all of my actual uploads are on. Why do you ask?

Just curious :) Seemed different than what you normally post.

how so? this is my first in depth video tutorial. definitely a change of pace :)

Yeah, detinetly more in depth.

good thing? right lol

I think so :)

thanks. :) I was hoping it would be featured worthy. :/

About This Instructable




Bio: My name is Taylor, I am an electrical repair tech by day and an engineer by night, after work or free time.
More by out-of-the-box:Relay Controlled Work Light Easy way to make a dual flash drive! (micro USB and normal USB)Make a Professional OTG Cable From Scratch!
Add instructable to: