Consolized Game Gear

Discussion in 'Modding and Hacking - Consoles and Electronics' started by Frank Coroan, Dec 3, 2017.

  1. Frank Coroan

    Frank Coroan Member

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    This is a topic near and dear to my heart as a life-long SEGA fan boy that could never afford a game gear when I was a broke teenager. As an adult with a career, and disposable income, I've finally collected most of the toys I wanted when I was a child....including a pile of Game Gear systems and games. A lot were rummage sale finds and most of the hardware suffered from the usual capacitor issues. I've repaired a number of Game Gears back to original working condition but taking them on the road just wasn't reasonable into my 30's. Why is Candy Crush on your phone acceptable but Sonic Triple Trouble on a giant Game Gear not?

    About 4 years ago I came up with the idea to make a consolized Game Gear using Viletim's GGTV. I bought the GGTV, new caps, and other necessary electronics but shelved it all because of adult things that had to come first. My plan also included machining a custom aluminum case to house this but that's changed as the years have gone by as other technology has become more affordable and easier to come by.

    On a related note: I'm a design engineer for plastic injection molded tooling and a competent product designer. On another related note: I bought a FDM 3D printer for home use that's large enough to make a custom Game Gear case. So away I go designing a case that will allow me to jam the main board and two daughter boards together along with the GGTV, and LED, pause switch, controller port, and S-Video port (I may add RGB later).

    The case was being designed with the assumption that this was 100% a home console. The screen, back light and related electronics, contrast dial were all removed. Stereo audio, power and the on/off switch would be maintained as-is using the standard daughter boards. Video would be via S-video through the GGTV board. I also wanted just a single controller port but leave access to the expansion port of the GG. And away I go designing it. I started with a lot of measurements, some napkin sketches and then went ahead in UG NX and started modeling V1. More to follow....
     

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  2. Frank Coroan

    Frank Coroan Member

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    The first design was close but needed a few tweaks for wire routing and better access to the components. The daughter boards holders needed just a small tweak to fit perfect. Power and sound, including volume control, were accessible through the back of the system. I didnt bother with the top half print because I needed to make sure the half that held the guts was perfect first.
     

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  3. Frank Coroan

    Frank Coroan Member

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    The second design was DOA. I realized I needed some sort of feature to close the case up so I stopped the prints and added some snap features. Daughter board height was now perfect for wiring, they fit with a near-perfect interference fit so there's no need for fasteners. Now I can get it all shoved in, wires shortened and routed, and get some test playing in.

    FYI, the wires did get cleaned up and routed a LOT better than what these pictures show. I had some interference with the sync line so I did some creative moving of the wires. I'll upload new pictures later on with the final case insides.
     

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    Last edited: Dec 3, 2017
  4. Frank Coroan

    Frank Coroan Member

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    I'm currently going to make some tweaks to the top half design for better snap fit to the bottom and more wire clearance for the power daughter board. Here's a shot from the back as fully assembled. I had a corner curl up on me for that top half which will be rectified on the version 4 print. I do have an additional, currently unused, 1/4" hole on the front of the case for adding a power switch to the front sometime in the future.

    Thoughts, comments, critiques? Not that a criticism will bother me too much because I have a consolized Game Gear and you probably don't. :p :D
     

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  5. speedyink

    speedyink Site Supporter 2016

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    That's pretty cool, good job.
     
  6. irvgotti452

    irvgotti452 Rising Member

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    More pics! Looks great I like what you did now just sand paint and add some stickers.;)
     
  7. crypton

    crypton Rising Member

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    Looking pretty good, would you like to put more photos of it?
     
  8. Bearking

    Bearking Konsolkongen

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    I think it looks pretty well designes. I would consider wet sanding it and give it some paint for an even smoother surface :)
     
  9. Frank Coroan

    Frank Coroan Member

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    Those are considered "rough draft" prints. If you're familiar with FDM printing, that was done at 75mm/s and .2mm layers. Final will probably be around 50mm/s and .1mm layers. Final will definitely get filler and wet sanded unless I decide that the design is good and then take it to someone who can do a much finer SLS print for a reasonable cost.

    I also may want to tweak the design to use easily purchased components. Right now the controller port is desoldered from an old broken master system and the s-video port is a through-hole board mount socket....basically the only way I can get it out of the current case is to cut it out or desolder it all. A good panel mount socket with solder lugs or flange mount would be preferred.
     
  10. Muramasa

    Muramasa Rising Member

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    Well we have something in the works :p
    [​IMG]

    Definitely not as far along as you are. I only posted since what we have been working on looks similiar with the Master System inspiration. Looking forward to more updates :)
     
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  11. Frank Coroan

    Frank Coroan Member

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    Definitely similar. The Master System comparison is accurate but it's not the only reason that this shell shape is good for the project. The cartridge port is really what dictates the angles. I mean 90 degrees is an angle but who wants a square box to play their game on?

    How do you plan on keeping your halves together? The GG main board really doesnt have any through holes that are adequately large to do a fastener-through design like most retro consoles. I'm using external snaps at the top edge, which works, but carries the huge design flaw of being something that can break off and then not keep closed at all. I'm debating deepening my case and having 4 screws through at the corners that would not pass through the mainboard.

    Feel free to ask questions if you have any. I have a small pile of rough draft prints sitting on my work bench because something didnt quite work as I had hoped it would. I might be able to save you some of that pain. :)
     
  12. Kaeser

    Kaeser Active Member

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    Looks really good! I recall seeing a GG mod where the cartridge was essentially smashed into the LCD screen. Wasn't too keen on that one.
     
  13. takeshi385

    takeshi385 Mojarra Frita Bandit

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    Looking good. You should think about implementing the vga board. Vga is so much nicer.
    Here is mine shot from my phone.
     
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  14. Frank Coroan

    Frank Coroan Member

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    Maybe some day but I have had this GGTV board around for at least a few years now and just sitting on a shelf. My gaming center is built around a 27" Sharp TV with way better component display than any any of the Trinitrons I've cycled through. Most systems are using RGB >component but a few still rely on S-video. Honestly, the Svideo output from that board is pretty sharp on my CRT setup. Good enough for me.

    I've got a new revision of my shell printing right now that the system will be transfered to so I'll have at least one extra shell around. Plus I've got more game gears and more full sets of caps to make an extra system or two yet.
     
  15. Frank Coroan

    Frank Coroan Member

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    20171216_190415.jpg Design has been finalized and the guts of the machine moved over to the new prints. I'm currently working on finishing the case with XTC-3D and lots of sanding. Here's the photos of how it went together...

    Daughter boards snapped into place, LED/resistor installed on the power circuit and the new S-video connector.
     

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    Last edited: Dec 19, 2017
  16. Frank Coroan

    Frank Coroan Member

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    20171216_195849.jpg Controller port installed, GGTV laid into position and the motherboard screwed down. Wires shortened and routed. I may switch out the sync wire for a shielded piece. Anyone who has done this knows that wire can make or break your system as it'll pick up interference if too close to anything else. As it is now it's good but I'd feel better if it were shielded. The wires on the right of the picture were shortened after taking this picture.
     

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    Last edited: Dec 19, 2017
  17. Frank Coroan

    Frank Coroan Member

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    20171216_201139.jpg I started sanding the top half of the case prior to XTC coating. In hindsight, that was a waste of time... I used epoxy to put a small bezel at the cartridge slot to keep the cart tight and clean looking when in the system. Plus I could print it in a different color to make it stand out.
     

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  18. Frank Coroan

    Frank Coroan Member

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    And here's a shot of one of my boxes of test prints. I'll post some more pictures once I get the case finish sanded and clear coated.
     

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  19. Omnigamer

    Omnigamer Newly Registered

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    Great job Frank! Would you consider sharing the design/mesh files for the shell? I had been considering making something like this for a while, and having an existing prototype to reference would expedite things a lot.
     
  20. Arcadia

    Arcadia Robust Member

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    Impressive stuff! Just found out about it. The GG is worth this attention, considering the great games and poor screen.

    There are multiplayer games on the GG, could an MP solution be integrated into a system like this without having two Game Gears in the box?
     

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