Anyone who has watched AVGN is familiar with the Nintoaster. I decided to make my own, as a final project for an engineering class.
The Nintoaster was not my original idea, as all credit goes to vomitsaw on Youtube, along with DoctorWoo's Nintoaster Instructable. I added a few original design aspects, but the idea and name go directly to vomitsaw.
If you have NO experience with circuitry, soldering, and electronics, this will probably be a very difficult project for you. That's mostly how I was, but with a lot of help from YouTube, Reddit, and my very patient and helpful teacher, I was able to finish it in about 3 months. But honestly, who wouldn't want to walk around with a toaster, plug it up to a TV, and play Mario in front of your history teacher?
Note: do this project at your own risk. There is always a risk of electrocution when dealing with electronics. Be careful.
(Tentative) List of Parts:
- Complete Working NES System
- Jumper Wires
- 2n4401 transistor
- 33 ohm resistor
- 220 ohm resistor
- Random pieces of wood that can be cut
- On/Off button (momentary is what I used)
- >7 V AC Adapter
- Perf Board
- Thin Solder (Wick or Solder Sucker for De-soldering)
- Hot Glue
- Solding Iron
- Heat Gun
- Twine (optional)
- Electrical Tape
- AV Ports
- Dremmel Drill
- Spray Paint (optional)
- Foam Board
- NES Controllers and Games
- Extension Cord (optional)
Sheet metal (but enough could be found in the toaster already, and there are ways around using it)
(I may have forgotten a few, so I'd recommend reading the full instructable before starting the project)
Step 1: Disconnect NES Game Board From Original System
Get yourself a working NES Game System (if it doesn't work now, it probably won't work after you've messed with it). It's not a bad idea to test it with your favorite game, and check that your controllers work.
Once you've got your working system in hand, open it up by unscrewing the 6 bottom screws on the gray plastic shell. Once that's open, unscrew the screws on the metal plating. Also disconnect the power and reset buttons, and the controller ports. Generally, unscrew and disconnect everything until you've got the game board alone (with the 72-pin black cartridge reader attached) in hand. We will not need the metal plates or black plastic game tray mechanism (as seen in picture).
Set aside the 2 disconnected ports for later. Keep the black cartridge reader attached to the game board.
Step 2: Remove the RF Modulator and Cut Lockout Pin
Once you've removed the game board from the original system, you need to remove the jutting gray box in the lower right-hand corner. This is the RF Modulator, and it has the Video/Audio Signals, along with a voltage regulator and other things. Now is the time to start the tedious process of desoldering. Using a high-heat soldering iron (I used a 480 degree iron, and at times it was difficult). Melt the solder, and using a solder-sucker or wick, desolder the gray metal box off of the game board. There should be 5 exposed solder holes on the game board after removal. This is a hard process, and be patient.
Once you've removed the Modulator from the game board, desolder (from the loose modulator) the voltage regulator from inside. This will be needed later to convert the wall 12V to 5V (which the game board can handle). Set it aside for now.
Next, cut the "4th from the left on the near side" pin on the nintendo lockout chip (as shown in the picture). Disabling this pin will allow you to play unlicensed games (that Nintendo tried to prevent you from playing.) This will also fix the blinking-red light problem many people experience with their normal NES's.
Step 3: Video Amp Circuit
Because we removed the RF Modulator from the Game board, we need to essencially replace and amplify the output video signal (that the RF modulator originally did). Do to so, we need to construct a fairly simple circuit, consisting of a 2n4401 transistor, a 33 ohm resistor, a 220 ohm resistor, and multiple jumper wires on perf board. The schematic is found above (credit to vomitsaw in his nintoaster review). Make sure you're careful with your solder connections and the orientation of your transistor. The packaging should tell you which pin is the emitter, base, collector, etc. Also, make sure you ground it back to the NES board (which another vomitsaw diagram is shown above). The third diagram shows what the 5 solder points are on the board (which were previously used by the RF modulator). The Video point is where the "video in from NES" should begin from, and go to the base pin on the transistor.
Your circuit does not need to match mine physically, but just make sure yours matches the schematic.
Attach it to the board as seen. We will extract an AV port from a VHS later, so leave those connections alone for now.
Step 4: Power Wiring Circuit
Using our harvested voltage regulator, a >7V AC Adaptor (I found my 8V at a local thrift shop), a momentary switch, and jumper wires, construct the power wiring circuit (as seen in the photos above). Be careful in your connections, and use long jumper wires.
Step 5: Degutting the Toaster
Now the fun part. Go to a local thrift shop, buy a toaster with rotten jelly at the bottom, and open it up.
Try to keep the outer shell intact. If you have to really dissect it like I did though, make sure you keep all the screws and attachments that came with it.
Also, it might be a good idea to see how the spring lock mechanism works (i.e. the order of the metal plates on the shaft, where the spring attaches etc.)
Don't expect for your toaster's inside to be identical to mine; it most likely is not.
I chose a 4-Slot toaster to allow for more room and 2 game storage slots. A 2-slot is perfectly fine, but you may be more pressed for space.
Rip out all the heating elements, but make sure not to completely destroy the toaster's foundation. I found many of the parts and sheet metal useful for mounting stuff later on. But essentially, all we need from the toaster are the sheet metal foundations and the sliding lock mechanism.
If you want, you can spray paint your toaster shell (I did mine black).
Step 6: AV Ports
Get yourself an old VHS or DVD player, and desolder the AV port (red, yellow, white). This is where you will connect the "Video Out to TV" and the audio jumpers. The video signal will come from your video amp circuit. The audio will be jumped directly from the second solder point (from RF mod area) on the board.
When you get to attaching video amp to AV port, send the video to the yellow video. Then audio to the white one, and then I just jumped the white audio to the red audio (so then you can play audio out of either white or red, but it won't be stereo).
Step 7: Sliding On/Off Toaster Mechanism
A simple On/Off switch mounted to the toaster would be much easier, but I decided to keep the mechanism of turning the appliance on by sliding the lever down. To accomplish this, I cut a notch in the plastic shell of the toaster, so when you press down on the lever and slide it to the left, it will stay down in the notch. I then mounted the momentary push button facing down on a piece of angled sheet metal. When the lever wants to slide up in the notch due to the spring's force, a little arm off of the lever presses on the button (probably easier to just see the pictures and YouTube video).
I had to also cut the gray part a bit on the left side so it could rotate.
With all that being said, you can design yours however you want. I just decided this way. You just need the button to be pressed when the lever is down, and not pressed when the lever is fully up.
Step 8: (Optional) Storage Racks
If you want, you can make 2 storage racks if you are using a 4-slot toaster. I saved 4 metal racks from the original toaster, and used them to create a gap to put your NES cartridges in.
Cut 4 identical pieces of thin wood (base will work, or anything you have in your basement), cut to the dimensions of the proper length of the toaster slot and the width of an NES game. Then hot glue these parallel to each other between two toaster racks. The second piece is to make sure the metal pieces actually stay together, and prevent the invention of a simple lever :)
Make sure you glue the top piece of wood at the right height, so when a game cartridge is resting on it, it will stick out enough so you can grab it.
You can then put these newly created slots in the original toaster.
(again, the pictures may explain it better than my writing)
Step 9: Controller Ports
For those 2 controller ports you set aside early on, we are finally getting back to them.
Cut a piece of plexiglass to wedge inside one of the toaster openings. On the plexiglass, cut two small rectangular holes to the dimensions of the black controller ports. (as seen in the picture).
You will then need to splice/lengthen the shorter controller port that comes with the system. It is a bit tedious, but splice the 7 wires on both ends to lengthen the wires. Keeping the colors the same will help with knowing which wires are which. When done with that, make sure to use heat shrink tubing to reduce any wires crossing or shorting (use a heat-gun). You will soon connect those controller ports to the ports on the upper right side of the game board.
Step 10: Putting It All Together
You're probably exhausted by now, and never want to see the system anymore. That's exactly how I felt by now. But YOU MUST FINISH.
All toaster insides are unique, but this is how I arranged it.
Finish all the soldering you still have to do (the hardware-hardware), following the schematics. I would recommend having the AV jacks at the back of the toaster, and the power wiring circuit at the front by the on/off lever. Mount the game board in the center. I used a lot of foam board and electrical to make sure no toaster metal touched the game board (make sure you're careful about that). I held up my game board with twine, so it stayed straight up even when a game was placed in.
Make sure the game part of the game connector is exposed and ready to accept a game in the 2nd slot.
I glued my video amp circuit directly on my game board, with foam board in between.
Also optional, but I placed an extension cord inside the toaster to connect the brick to; I just wanted to have a small plug coming out with some decent distance.
Cut holes in the back of the toaster shell to place the AV jacks.
When everything is complete, place the shell back on.
Step 11: Hook It Up
You may notice when you put the game in, it is very loose (and not actually connected to the pins). You get around this, as clunky as it looks, by wedging something in the toaster to make the game sit at a right angle/straight up. It should be nearly parallel to the game board.
Plug the system into a TV, plug in your controllers, and play some NES.
(note: my Nintoaster has a slight hum when playing. I'm not sure if this is unique to my system, or a flaw in my setup/process. Nonetheless, the video and audio come in fine, and it's only a slight irritant)