Pics of my nes-pc

Forum: Hardware Talk
Topic: Pics of my nes-pc
started by: curaga

Posted by curaga on Aug. 12 2007,09:20
Though no-one cares the faintest about what I do, here are some pics..

I had the wacky idea of cramming a pc into a nes. Inspirated by numerous others, of course ;)
Some days ago a nes arrived, so I dremeled a little..

I wanted to remove the T, it took way too much space. But I also wanted to glue it back it, to avoid me buying plexi ;D no really, I want it to look original.

The T, sanded:

After all the sittin-an-dremeling today my back started to hurt. So I'll continue tomorrow..

Oh yeah, I ain't using a mini-itx like everybody else, I got a full-sized micro-atx! It barely fits inside, but I like challenges :)

Posted by curaga on Aug. 12 2007,09:23
Specs: Asus micro-atx mobo
PIII - 703Mhz
384mb ram
20gb 3" HD

I'll also change the power led to a ultrabright blue one, and make original nes controllers work :)

Posted by humpty on Aug. 13 2007,08:08
keep posting!
Posted by curaga on Aug. 13 2007,15:14
hey, thanks :D

Today I sanded the inside more, and when happy, shopped for some essentials and then started glueing.
I've never used epoxy before, but I like it already :) it went exactly where I wanted it to, and it doesn't smell like gas.. It's also very strong and transparent. On the other side it has to dry for 24 hours.. So the next pics will come after the glue has finished.

Of course the original power and reset buttons will work..

For the OS, I got the hardware some months before the nes because I really had a hard time finding a broken nes, so I decided to make a basic os *before* cramming stuff into that nes. So it has a fully optimized LinuxFromScratch system with some addons. It just FLIES! I could actually see the difference compared to my previous Aero System on a P3-1066, it outweighed the 363mhz better processor easily!

Anyway I'll make it a cool UI fully operable with the nes controllers, maybe use Freevo. And 'cause it's a Nes, it will have emulators for every system I like ;)

..that was then though, I've now rebuilt my Aero a couple of times, it's also fully optimized now :D

Posted by tinker on Aug. 14 2007,12:57
Yes, epoxy is very useful stuff. BTW, there is also epoxy that dries in about 5 minutes which often can be useful in a project like yours. One can usually, if patient, hold a part in place until it sets up, thus not having to clamp things in place while drying.

I'm not a gamer so I didn't know what a nes was until I zoomed in on the label. Interesting project, something you're likely to surprise some old nes user with sometime and you're definitely increasing your modding skills.

You will probably be able to overclock that PIII, asus boards often support increasing the FSB (and handle it well) and those 100MHz PIII usually handle a moderate overclock just fine without having to increase the voltage and without creating too much extra heat even with the stock cooling.

Posted by curaga on Aug. 14 2007,13:03

The glue has finished:
From the bottom:

While cutting the T I created some holes, so I partly closed them with epoxy, but left a bit for air to flow through, don't want to overheat the system..

Oh yeah, tools of a modder ;) My dremel-copy and a soldering iron..

I realized I hadn't posted a single pic of the top part. Mostly 'cause I had done nothing to it ;), but now I dremeled some vain plastic away, so this is how it looks now:

That's all for today; The ultrabright blue led will arrive at the end of the month, so it will not be finished 'til then.. But now to planning where will I stick the motherboard.

Posted by curaga on Aug. 14 2007,13:55
tinker: Nope, I won't overclock it.. 703Mhz is plenty for my needs, expecially with that much ram. Also I won't include many fans in it, so overclocking might get it overheated..
Posted by curaga on Aug. 21 2007,13:27
Here's where I will place the mobo in the finished product:

As you can see, I decided the place of the motherboard when I had about 70% of the project done. :D it's actually good planning, many of the others have said they only regret they didn't plan better, and have an extra hole or something.
The place I chose is the best (I think), it will support the mobo, lock it down with 2 screws (and I'll add 2-3 more to the center), and give enough space to everything. Oh, and when you open up the hatch, you'll see some cool intestants ;)

I couldn't make the heat sink fit, so I gave it a new hair style:
What do you think?

This new haircut might let less heat through, so I will replace the cracked, age old silicon paste with some new silver one. And reposition the 2cm cpu fan ;)

Posted by lucky13 on Aug. 21 2007,14:25
Ugh. Why didn't you just cut the fins down on the heat sink? It's still not the best solution (surely you can find a low profile or radial heat sink for mini itx?), but pushing them together like that defeats the purpose.
Posted by tinker on Aug. 21 2007,15:14
I have to agree with lucky13, you would probably be better served by a low profile heatsink fan combination. You already mentioned that you have some concern about heat inside the case. You have somewhat compromised the efficiency of that heatsink by bending it like that, in addition to making it necessary to find a new place to mount the fan. Chances are good that it will work as you have done it so you could probably use it like that while you are waiting for a new cooler to arrive. If it was me, I would make sure to use some software to monitor CPU temp while in operation. IIRC, those FCPGA P3's have a max of 70C.
Posted by curaga on Aug. 21 2007,16:06
lucky: please read the whole thread. Not mini-itx!

The plates are not together, just close. By cutting I would've left maybe too little cooling area. BTW this sink was never designed for a fan, so it was previously attached with a screw hack. I believe I'll have no problems mounting it, and while I do, I'll make it blow on the GPU heatsink too, that was pretty hot when I messed with software some months ago.

Anyway, here's v2, I twisted the centermost plates to a heartlike shape, it will increase cooling:

I'm glad I had room to do that..

Posted by lucky13 on Aug. 21 2007,21:22
Mini-ITX, Micro-ATX, it's still not good. Especially in a tight case.

Like I wrote, shortening probably isn't the best solution but at least it would allow for a similar rate of dispersal (and across the same area) as the original design. As far as "cooling area" goes, don't think only of total fin height/area without accounting for changes in the spread between the fins. The latter is every bit as important as the former, if not more so. I think you're going to have uneven heat dispersal with it like that.

Posted by curaga on Aug. 22 2007,14:26
Luckily the Nes has a lot of blow holes originally..
Posted by watupgroupie on Aug. 22 2007,17:21
This is a really cool project and i can't wait to see the finished product. You'll have to make a video of it in action. I'm not going to add any suggestions as your the man running the show and i don't see anything wrong with it except like people are saying you might want to just make sure that this thing won't overheat. The last thing you want is to put it together and in an hour it's melting away.
Posted by curaga on Aug. 22 2007,17:24
Yeah, thanks ;) Meanwhile check some screenshots of Freevo, I'll be using it, and make it a really cool Nintendo/Nes/console theme..
Posted by curaga on Aug. 23 2007,09:23
While I still remember, the total costs so far:

An awesome find - mAtx mobo, cpu, mAtx psu, 20gb 3 hd, and 384mb ram: 30e
The Nes, with one working controller: 29e (incl. shipping)
Two ultrabright blue leds (only one is needed, but I decided to get two ;)): 3,40e (incl. shipping)
A db25 male plug, and a case for it: 4e (incl. shipping)
0.5m ethernet cable, without plugs: 1.5e
Epoxy glue: 9e
A Dremel-copy, a soldering iron and some tin: 32e (yeah, I really got them for this, as I didn't have 'em before..)

Total: 108.90 euros. Not too much, still inside budget :P

Posted by curaga on Sep. 01 2007,14:45
Just checkin' how the power hole will fit:
Posted by curaga on Sep. 16 2007,11:33
I haven't had time to mess with this too much, bot today I finished the controller cable. Pic:

This makes the two ports operate with Linux. It could handle five, but I only had two ports  :p
I know, having a loop out like that is ugly, but I didn't dare to solder those directly to the parport pins, in fear of shorting something..

Posted by Zucca on Nov. 14 2007,23:54
Can't see the pics. ;(
Posted by curaga on Nov. 15 2007,10:04
I guess deletes them when they no longer get enough views
Posted by curaga on Nov. 15 2007,10:06
News update:

I haven't really had any time to mess with this. Only things remaining:
- buy a file
- use it to grind about 2.5mm off the PSU cooler
- drill the holes
- sand the holes, I want them to look good ;)
- put everything in it, and then mess with software :D

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