Author Options:

Can an Xbox 360 be "portablized"? Answered

I love videogames. I am going to buy an xbox 360 soon. The only problem is that i want to be able to play in the car, in the backyard, wherever without having to mess with a buncle of cables and a huge TV. This gave me an idea. A modder named Ben Heck (http://www.benheck.com) creates portable game consoles from existing ones. I could possibly use the motherboard and extend the ports, put it in an aluminum suitcase, and use an LCD computer monitor for the screen in the lid. I already have most of the materials I need, but I have a few minor concerns. I don't want the unit to overheat leaving me with a dead xbox. I don't know what resolution LCD monitor I should try to get. And I'd like to know if it's possible to hook up a battery that could power the completed unit. Can anyone give me some advice?



Best Answer 9 years ago

easiest 'monitor' hookup would be hdmi. If you get a computer monitor with speakers, or hd lcd tv that can handle hdmi, go for it. To prevent overheating, keep your heatsinks adequately sized, and make sure the 'briefcase' has no less fan power (in cubic feet/min) than the original xbox did. One nice thing about this is you can hook up a standard sata hard drive, you dont have to use the special ones that cost so much.

use a box housing all the electronics and use a hmd to see the game and make some mods to the controller for the hmd and put the box housing the electronics on a back pack.

use a hmd (head mounted display).

I used Google SketchUp to design what it could most likely look like when finished. The Keyboard folds up to reveal a compartment for the cord and removable hard drive. The disc drive is side-loaded, the WiFi ant. comes out the side, and on the back is Composite video, componant video, ethernet, and VGA.

xtop 360.pngxtop 360 breakout board.png

Thats the first step! You just need the measurements of all the parts inside - and then figure a way to make them all fit!

Here's what's great, check out the heatsink I found- It's huge. I'm curious whether it'll dissipate all of the heat from BOTH the CPU and GPU.....

the wombo heatsink.JPG

it looks to have a fair amount of wattage dissipation ability - for large quantities of not very high heat, these are good - like on big electric motors, they are a tradeoff between surface area and ruggedness.

I also found this blower. It's 12V DC and it moves a pretty good amount of air. Though, I don't know if I've got the space for it, I plan to use it as an intake. But, it's kinda loud.... Take a look- It's got a lot of height to it, and I might have to take the blades/motor out of it and make a new frame from sheet metal (and lube it! It's loud!).

blower.JPGblower side.JPGblower top.JPG

That thing is gigantic!!! it would be good to power an air-hockey table...or the likes :D

Good! I hope that if I use this, I'll NEVER get the RROD!!!

use a peter unit like the old imac you can get them out of powered car coolers

Oh, and you can buy some lithium ion batteries online (some sites have AA sized batteries that run up to 6 W apiece) and make your own rechargable batteries. If you made the case big enough, you could play for hours on end.

THEN, it would be TRULY portable! My design is only a portable plug-and-play. How many watts would I need to supply to a 360? I haven't bought a 360 yet......(funny right?)

OK, some quick searching on google found that an XBox 360 under maxed out conditions uses about 200 W per hour and a 17" LCD (the size Ben used) used about 40 or 50 watts per hour. So that's 250 watts per hour. (Please note that my laptop battery is only a 100 watt battery). You could up the size of the case to use a 20 inch LCD. It would consume more (up to 300 watts per hour) but since Ben was able to shoehorn it all into a case the size of a 17" LCD tv, you would have a lot of room for batteries. A standard 20 inch LCD is 19 by 15 (or pretty close). You would have an extra 94 cubic inches. The best battery I could find holds about 9 W and takes up 1.85 cubic inches. So you could fit up to 51 batteries. That type of pack could hold about 450 watts. This would give you about 1.5 hours of play time. It would be quite large, but well worth it. Note: I over rated the power usage to give you real world expectations. If all you do it watch DVD's with it, it would last nearly twice as long.

Awesome. Thanks. I was thinking more along the lines of a 15" LCD monitor to use. Smaller monitor, smaller power consumption, more room for batteries, longer playing time... sounds good to me. Besides, a smaller 15" screen will be lighter (slightly) making it easier to carry (with more batteries). And 15" is still pretty big...

Actually the part about the batteries isn't true. If I remember correctly, Ben had trouble fitting it all into his 17" sized laptop. You'll likely need at least a 16". You could just make it deeper than Ben's (he wanted to keep it as deep as the original xbox 360, but you may not want to limit yourself that way).

That's why I'm getting the case and the montior (and batteries) after everything else is done. That way, all I'll have to do is make sure everything fits! But also note, that Ben flattens the capacitors on the motherboard, makes new heats sinks, and rewires everything if he thinks it'll give him a smaller result. Obviously, I'm not Ben Heck. I am going to rewire the motherboard so that I can put the jacks where I want them on the dashboard in the case, but I'm going to leave the caps alone... And if you looked at my GIANT heatsink in the comments below, I might be able to use it on BOTH the CPU and the GPU on the motherboard (with my fan-also below). But it won't save me any room, that's for sure. As for buying the right monitor, I think I'll cross that bridge when I come to it. The case will be the last thing (or the second to last-depends) that I buy. But nothing is going to get done on this until I get an xbox 360. I still don't have one, and I think I might have to wait until this Christmas to get one (or at least the opportunity to get one)... But so far, I think I have everything that I need. From the green LED power button, to the keyswitch (yes, that's right-a keyswitch; I'm telling you-this world is full of theives who would kill to have one of these). I'm even working on an articulated arm from a desk lamp that can attach to my wall and mount an LCD monitor to it. Then, I plug my Xbox into it, and I can play in my bed, in the chair next to my bed, on the floor, etc. But, that's another possible instructable.

Impressive! To tell you the truth, this is where the whole project started for me! I can't belive you found that article! I seem to have lost my issue of Popsci that this article was in... But yeah, I saw this article, went to the website, and wanted to build one. So I am! I just still need a few things. Anyway, good eye!

I'll tell you what though... I know I can build mine for less than one grand. It won't be as stylish as Ben's elite laptop mod, but It'll be nice! The cost on that article probably includes the cost of the CNC cutting machine as well! Plus I've got $50 off from Best Buy for the monitor, and I've got a Gamestop Edge card (don't exactly know what it does...), so that should help. Do they sell refurbished 360s or even broken (RROD) 360's? If so I could possibly buy one of these or buy a used 360 instead of new. I'd like to spend less than $375.00 on this project (and yes, I'm using Arcade), and I'm just trying to make my money go farther...

Yes. More of less. You found the right website. He also modded a 360 arcade into a Pelican case (that's the one I'm REALLY working after), but all of them helped me understand xbox hacking a little bit.

The battery would be the raging issue. You may want to consider either a very large suitcase, a second battery pack, or having it so that it can connect to a external power source. Running that processor and the disk drives takes a good chunk of energy.

i think the xbox is going to have a compartment where the power cord can be folded up and stored... But an optional removable battery power supply unit would make it truly portable...

Right now I'm actually thinking about NOT having a keyboard. Reasons- -Space issues -They make keyboard kits for controllers -I might need vent space -I could use a wireless keyboard and a USB port if I want to But still. I'm not sure yet.

if u use mommory units instead of an HDD then put the battery in the hdd hole.

That is a good idea, but I need to try to a hard drive..... I could make it an either-or thing that you can take one out and put the other in; hdd, no battery-battery, no hdd.... Or possibly even add some sort of jack on the breakout board and make the battery external. I don't even know what kind of battery to use!

Lithium ion batteries are the most reliable at this moment, but nickel cadmium have a better charge. problem is they hate being charged, and they lose power over their lifetime