Luma 64 – a portable Nintendo 64

img_9311_zps5k9jfg85

Without a doubt this post is long overdue. After roughly five years of off-and-on work, I completed my Nintendo 64 portable gaming device, dubbed Luma 64. I built the shell out of two Tupperware-style containers; one comprised the bulk of the handheld while the other was chopped apart and used as an extension to house the cartridge slot. I doubt I’ll ever use a case like this for any future projects because it ends up being rather thick for a portable and as polished as I tried making the end result, it’s still not very professional. As a friend of mine put it, “you can be the best case-maker in the world, but at the end of the day it’s still Tupperware.”

One feature I made sure to include in this handheld is a LOB64 jack. This multiplayer/AV out jack isn’t built into very many Nintendo 64 portables, but the idea upon its inception was to create a standard connection throughout the modding world. The more portables that incorporate the standard, the more likely you are to encounter another LOB64 portable at a convention or expo.

SuperCon – a portable Super Nintendo inside a Nintendo 64 shell

supercon1
This is a project I began working on in early April of this year. The concept is to make a portable Super Nintendo complete with rechargable batteries and a 3.5″ screen and house the whole thing inside the shell of a Nintendo 64. The shell was leftover from a previous project which I have yet to complete. I’ll create a post on that when I eventually get back to working on it. The name SuperCon is derived from the fact that this will be a graduation gift for my friend Connor and since it appears at first glance to be a Nintendo 64, it is deceiving. Hence, a con. A more detailed worklog can be viewed on Bacteria’s forum. However, I will continue to post updates here as well.

supercon2
After filling the major gaps in the 64’s shell, I applied liberal amounts of Bondo to smooth out the surface. With that complete, I chopped up a third party SNES controller and “frankencased” them into the system. Believe me when I say that a LOT of sanding was done around this time.

supercon3
I also cut holes on the underside of the shell for the controller’s shoulder buttons. Because the stock buttons were so short, they didn’t protrude through the holes very far. I would prefer that they stick out beyond the case by 2 or 3 millimeters. To achieve this, I made new buttons by cutting the necessary shapes out of blocks of acrylic.

supercon4
Modifications to the electronics include drawing power for the motherboard from the screen’s driver board, tapping composite image directly from the mobo, and allowing the whole thing to run off of either batteries or wall power. I also had to perform a cartridge slot relocation, which is pretty standard for consoles-turned-portables.

supercon5
The front and back of the system have both been primed and painted. I created a decal for the front of the system, to be placed between the controls, which I hope to have applied by the end of the week. Once that is complete, finishing the project should be a matter of wiring up audio and controls, mounting all of the internal components, and closing up the case!