reallynotnick
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Re: NES + Raspberry Pi for retro gaming and media center (Difficulty Moderate)

Sat Dec 03, 2011 10:55 pm

I'm going to be really interested to see what kind of software you end up using on this. I'm thinking of doing something similar just not putting it in an NES or anything. I just want a cheap media center that can play whatever video file I throw at it and can play some old retro games via emulators. I'm sure I'll come up with more uses for it once I get one but if that's all it did I would be happy spending $35 on it.

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abishur
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Re: NES + Raspberry Pi for retro gaming and media center (Difficulty Moderate)

Sun Dec 04, 2011 4:29 am

I haven't decided on that very important issue yet. I expect it will be a lot of trial and error until I get a good solution!

As a side note, the ideal situation for me would be if we can end up using xbmc, and use pluggins to get use of emulators. An icing on the cake point for me would be if I could set up a parental controls that would limit access to specific folders.
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Jessie
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Re: NES + Raspberry Pi for retro gaming and media center (Difficulty Moderate)

Sun Dec 04, 2011 6:31 am

Quote from abishur on November 30, 2011, 16:27
And look even less retro then my wireless controllers :P The pin issue is actually a really easy fix and uses just a safety pin. The basic issue is that since the device requires you to push the cartridge down it actually pushes the pins down as well on the 72-pin connector. Over time this created finicky pins that weren't really touching. You could either buy a new 72-pin connector, or use a bent safety pin to pull the pins back up. I did the latter and I actually don't have to push the cartridge down anymore to play it meaning I shouldn't have to worry about the pin issue ever again (though I might be forced to replaces some caps at some point) ;) )

I used to work in a shop that would do this back in the 90's and it would confuse the hell out of the customers. We would tell them and give them a note about the fact that they no longer needed to push the cart down and we would still get phone calls now and then.

There is also a pin you can cut on the 10NES verifacation chip on the motherboard that alleveates many issues with the system (don't recall which one but I'm sure google could tell you.) The system blinking on and off is actually a copyright protection scheme that Nintendo put in the system. The console looks for the 10NES lockout chip in the cart and if it is not seen then it resets the system and checks again, and again, and again. So most of the time just disabiling the 10NES crap all togather fixed the issue. The 72 pin connector can then get much more dirty and sloppy before it needs repair. The non-official NES games got around this by sending a high voltage shock (high voltage in comparison to nominal voltage for the system) to the verifacation chip durring boot up.

rsbrowndog
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Re: NES + Raspberry Pi for retro gaming and media center (Difficulty Moderate)

Tue Dec 06, 2011 7:03 pm

Oh this is really cool!

Having read this I am very very very tempted to drag my old SNES out of the cupboard. I picked it up at a car boot sale for a few quid without a power supply about six years ago. I've had it up and running only a handful of times since, because the video output is slightly duff. I keep thinking about getting it fixed (or trying to fix it) but in all honesty with a Gamecube, Wii, 360, PS3, iPad2, PC, DS and PSP all available to game on I can't see it getting much use.

However as a retro case for my Pi it certainly has appeal. Especially if I can run a SNES emulator on the Pi too!

By the way, I spotted these controllers on eBay that I am going to order:

http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/2006.....844wt_1185

Anyway, good luck with the rest of the project, I'll be keeping an eye on this!

Cheers,

Ryan

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abishur
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Re: NES + Raspberry Pi for retro gaming and media center (Difficulty Moderate)

Thu Dec 08, 2011 4:35 pm

The USB adapter came last night, but I didn't mount it yet. In fact, I'm probably going to hold off until I get the board in. It would be one thing if I was completely gutting the NES and just using the shell, but since I'm trying to get this to fit with the original NES in place as well, I'm running into a small issue with the HDMI, no matter where I try to twist that cable it's too big (seriously, the cable sticks out about 3 inches before you can get enough flex room in it to bend it somewhere). So what I'm thinking at this point is if once the board is in place I can't gee the HDMI to do what I want, I'm going to remove the mounted HDMI and put the USB in it's place. Then I'm going to position the HDMI to be facing the back of the unit in line with one of the ridges. I'll have to make the ridge a little wider to fit the cable through, but once it's in place I can just directly feed the HDMI cable into the NES and think to myself, "ah, well you can't win them all" :P

Also I'm still taking input on where you think I should put the retro log I'm wipping up. Should I do a smaller one that will be visible on the front of the unit (on the flip top lid) or a larger one on the top of the unit that will be slightly hidden?
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allaun
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Re: NES + Raspberry Pi for retro gaming and media center (Difficulty Moderate)

Thu Dec 08, 2011 9:31 pm

In case it hasn't been stated, here is a nice option to keep it "authentic" looking. http://www.retrousb.com/index......1621e9f11e

carf
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Re: NES + Raspberry Pi for retro gaming and media center (Difficulty Moderate)

Sun Dec 18, 2011 10:05 am

For the HDMI it might be worth looking for a longer cable, with my virginmedia box i received a very flexible cable around 1.5m long, I know this would look messy being wrapped around in the box, but with those little pillars to wrap it around it would probably work slightly better than a device running out the box, as you might unplug it by accident and have to unscrew the NES to get at it :O.

This should be thinner and has a swivelhead or something...
http://www.amazon.co.uk/Ivuna-.....38;sr=1-41

I also found a swivel adaptor, don't know if it would help in any way:
http://www.amazon.co.uk/Amazon.....38;sr=1-18

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abishur
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Re: NES + Raspberry Pi for retro gaming and media center (Difficulty Moderate)

Sun Dec 18, 2011 3:32 pm

yeah, the issue isn't so much the cable itself, as it is the part before the cable. That thick part before the thinner cable sticks out several inches... err okay that might be an exaggeration, but it does stick out just enough to be an issue. As you can tell from the lack of updating, I'm trying to hold off on modifying it / buying anymore parts before the r-pi actually arrives so I'm not making guesswork about how it will all fit ;)
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carf
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Re: NES + Raspberry Pi for retro gaming and media center (Difficulty Moderate)

Sun Dec 18, 2011 3:55 pm

Ah, well a possible solution for that could possibly be had with a sharp knife :P

KP9000
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Re: NES + Raspberry Pi for retro gaming and media center (Difficulty Moderate)

Tue Jan 17, 2012 4:33 am

This idea reminds me of another idea I had. There is a community dedicated to speed running games in real time; http://speedrunslive.com/ . I am curious to know if there is a viable way to turn a R-Pi into a capture/stream device. Generally, when you race a game, you are required to stream your progress to prevent cheating. So, when I came across this thread, it reminded me of this idea.

You'd need some way to capture the NES (or just general composite) video and have software that could pipe it to online streaming sites like http://www.justin.tv/ for convenience. I am sure the community dedicated to a "sport" like this would jump on it very easily. It could be something that outlines the standard for being able to easily stream your games. I don't have any computer powerful enough to process an outgoing video stream, so I'd definitely buy a R-Pi if it was capable enough.

equeryah
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Re: NES + Raspberry Pi for retro gaming and media center (Difficulty Moderate)

Tue Jan 17, 2012 9:33 am

wow, this is similar to my initial thoughts on how I want to use my raspi when I get to lay my hands on one:-) although my plan (for now) is to mount it behind my TV and make myself a small case as possible:-). still, I"m following this thread for sure:-) it will be really nice once it"s done!

mightygoose
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Re: NES + Raspberry Pi for retro gaming and media center (Difficulty Moderate)

Tue Jan 17, 2012 10:12 am

3-4 Rpi's brambled on corner rails inside a gamecube chassis using the disk lid for access...  PI cubed.... *run's off to CeX....*


mightygoose
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Re: NES + Raspberry Pi for retro gaming and media center (Difficulty Moderate)

Tue Jan 17, 2012 3:35 pm

DBloke said:


http://www.instructables.com/i.....do-NES-PC/

Its been done before with a small Pc



not quite the same.... your link is a guy doing emulation.... our friend here is leaving the original NES working inside the Original Box as well...

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abishur
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Re: NES + Raspberry Pi for retro gaming and media center (Difficulty Moderate)

Tue Jan 17, 2012 4:59 pm

DBloke said:


http://www.instructables.com/i.....do-NES-PC/

Its been done before with a small Pc



Yep, that's why in the Original Post I start off by saying "A fresh take on an old favorite"

But as mightygoose said, my goal is not to rip out the guts of the NES and have only a PC in there, I want to keep both available for use.  So far so good, now all I need is the actual board in there!

@equeryah - I'm also thinking about ultimately moving to a slimmer case (maybe one just large enough to hold the r-pi, a hard drive, and usb tv tuner) since the NES is so large and takes up a lot of space in my entertainment center.  At this point in time, however, I'm still going to finish the NES mod out and use it for a while since I've put so much effort into it and because it's really cool and fun
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turbocrow
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Re: NES + Raspberry Pi for retro gaming and media center (Difficulty Moderate)

Wed Jan 25, 2012 11:05 pm

amazing love the WIP cnt wait to see the finished product.

SavageMind
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Re: NES + Raspberry Pi for retro gaming and media center (Difficulty Moderate)

Tue Feb 28, 2012 4:22 am

Here is a solution to your SD-Card accessability issue. I inquired about one myself.

http://www.world-beatsonic.com.....s/?page=13

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abishur
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Re: NES + Raspberry Pi for retro gaming and media center (Difficulty Moderate)

Mon Apr 30, 2012 7:44 pm

Okay so I've had my pi for about a week and I've been revisiting this idea.  I hit a fairly big road block with my initial design as while the pi itself fits snugly in the area I prepared, the SD card extends out past the board much too far (ah, hindsight) now I've looked at a couple different solutions, such as rotating it at odd angles and looking at the lower left quadrant.  The rotating only shift the problem port, but the lower left quadrant is a good possibility.  There are a couple configuration options I'm considering, but I'm hesitant on most of them as they would have me cutting into posts and areas just a little more than I had hoped.

I'll probably, most regrettably put this on the back burner for the time being, as I don't want to damage my Nintendo here, but I hope the information I've put up encourages someone who's a little more handy with a dremel and suguru to pick up where I've left off if it takes me to long to revisit this
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Digitsl Logic
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Re: NES + Raspberry Pi for retro gaming and media center (Difficulty Moderate)

Tue May 01, 2012 7:12 am

Wow Abishur! Its awesome to know i'm not the only one attempting this.  Very good work so far! I'll be taking notes from your work. Don't put it too far on the back burner. I thought I'd share my experience so far with you, as well as everyone following your project. This is my 1st attempt at modifying a console, so it's all extremely experimental right now.

I started out a few weeks ago just (physically) hacking away at my NES. I recently sold off my top-loader to raise some money so I dug out my original unit to try and get it to work better. I started with cutting pin 4 on the CIC chip & trying to repair the 72 pin slot but i didn't get the results most get. Frustrated, I remembered many years ago someone salvaging a 72pin card connector from a Game Genie & soldering it right to the motherboard. That works so much better! Days went by and tested the carts I had pulled out and it started to become hit & miss. Cleaning & cleaning and still getting artifacts on screen. In the end, i found that "Brasso" seemed to clean the contacts well & games worked every time. I had a working NES again, much like a top-loader, but now its not inside its original box.

I tossed out the cart tray, and all the metal housing, mainly because the game connector is now in the back of the NES. Also, with the aid of a heat gun, I unsoldered the expansion port that normally would be at the bottom of the unit. The reason for that: to possibly put the Pi where you had intended to put it. After careful research, there is no need for the port, there was nothing created for it. so now, all i have is a mainboard, with the RF/power box on one corner.

I invested in a Dremel and cut (as cleanly as possible for a 1st time user) a cart slot in the back of the NES case.  the carts now fit in the slot and load with the label side down (that's how the pinout on the motherboard is laid out) and yes, they only fit one way, no mis-loading (i got lucky somehow lol). I considered putting this all in a project box but I thought it would be a good case for the Pi.

So, doing a bit more surfing around the net, I am pretty much in the same boat you're in. I'm waiting on the Pi and seeing where to go from there. with the aid of some "Ben Heck" knowledge (a book called "Hacking Video Game Consoles"), I'm considering tossing out the RF box and going simply composite by learning how to build a circuit for the A/V output.  Here are some of my goals for my combo unit:

- like your unit, panel mounted connectors. I did come across the SD breakout board but they're either sold in bulk or really expensive. im thinking i could figure a way to make one out of a MicroSD adapter. Tossing out the cart tray & metal shielding leaves the NES case with plenty of room in the top half of the box. without the expansion port on the bottom there's more room there too.

- i really want to have the whole unit powered by a USB cord. Reason: my set-top box has a "service" USB port and to use it just for power would eliminate an extra power brick on my power strip. question is: what's the output and is it enough to power the whole thing? (watts, amps, volts) I've seen the posts about powering issues and I'm sure I'm bound to come across them attempting to power both boards.

- I'd love to create a circuit where i can implement a separate power switch & reset button (pretty much a momentary switch where it cuts power then resets the Pi). that way, there's no reaching to unplug & plug the Pi.

- I guess the ultimate goal would be to not have to physically touch the Pi at all! Also, adding a powered USB hub for more ports.

I hope my experiences inspire everyone and I hope I get my Pi soon to keep me busy.

Impulse405
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Re: NES + Raspberry Pi for retro gaming and media center (Difficulty Moderate)

Sun May 06, 2012 3:53 am

Abishur said:



As you can see it"s actually designed to be able to access a jack like a mic jack, but it will work just as well for a regular ethernet cable.


I do lighting and video in the theatre world. that connector is called Ethercon and is made by Neutrik.There are many uses. typically its used for video over cat 6 or ART-NET(dmx over cat6). This connector locks in so the connection does not fall out easily. if you wanted you can buy the male connector. Its just a metal boot that goes over the ethernet cable

bsninja
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Re: NES + Raspberry Pi for retro gaming and media center (Di

Fri Jun 01, 2012 2:42 pm

in regards to the stiff HDMI cable:

recently ran into a similar problem when modding a laptop mobo into the back of my TV. Those cables can be unruly. one thing you can try is small polyethelyne (sp?) 90 degree tubing elbows. just take that dremel of yours and cut a slit on the inside of the elbow, running from opening to opening so that you can pry it open some. stuff the cable in, and it holds a tight 90 degree turn in it. might eventually cause some stress on the wires, being that its so close to the connector, but could be worth a shot. you can find these elbows at lowes, home depot, ace hardware, or any plumbing or air conditioning supply house.

to the guy who posted that SD extender ribbon from a few posts up: THANK YOU! that's gonna solve a problem i have with a project of my own.

a few suggestions for the project as a whole: the decal would look great on the front, on the cart lid. Id put it to the far right, to offset the NES regalia, and justify the text to the right side instead of the left. also, im not sure how much of the original case look your trying to retain, but the usb port would probably serve more purpose on the front of the case (and any sd card extension you may choose to install).

youve undoubtedly heard of websites like benheck.com, but if not, youd do well to check out the forums over there for any fabrication tips, techniques, etc. no, im not affiliated with them, just thought id help :) anyways, good luck! its an interesting build.

Wanderlei
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Re: NES + Raspberry Pi for retro gaming and media center (Di

Fri Oct 19, 2012 5:49 pm

Not sure I like seeing old working equipment being gutted to build hipster cases.

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abishur
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Re: NES + Raspberry Pi for retro gaming and media center (Di

Fri Oct 19, 2012 6:58 pm

Wanderlei wrote:Not sure I like seeing old working equipment being gutted to build hipster cases.
Actually the point of my build was that it *wasn't* being gutted. The goal was to get the NES and the Pi working side by side not for a "hipster" case, but because I grew up with the NES and thought it would make for a great retro setup. Now I scrapped my project because I couldn't see a way to pull this off without significant case revisions.

It didn't help anything that the NES didn't fit in my console *and* the pi isn't presently working too hot with emulators ;-)
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