The project which we will be working on for this year’s Ghost of Portables Past is the 80’s NEStop, an NES portable in a laptop design, with the intent of having it look like the old Sony TV I used to play it on growing up. Started in 2011 and last worked on in March of 2014, it is more than time to try and finish this project up. This worklog will be abbreviated showing the highlights of this month’s progress; a more in-depth worklog (and the worklogs of other GHOSTS projects from other contestants) can be found on the Bitfix Forums.

First, let’s start off with how the project as it stood before returning to work. Didn’t get too messy from being dormant for over a year, other than the jumble of wires in the upper right hand corner of the bottom case, and a few of loose/popped wires to seemingly nowhere, and a lot of ground wires for some reason. Just the Power and reset switch wires are soldered up in the top part of the case as the screen is completely unattached. A quick test was done through the A/V out, just to make sure the NES motherboard was still in working order.

To start off the continuation of the 80’s NEStop, we will connect the two case halves together by attaching the (company name) friction hinge. The two inside case inserts were rubberbanded together to line up the drill holes to place and drill out of the aluminum sides. These exposed aluminum parts will be recessed inside the outer cases and will be hidden, where the visible parts were covered in black “Art Tape” to mask where the aluminum sides met the plastic case.

Holes were placed and drilled on both sides of the case inserts as well to hold the case inserts in place and some decorative kickplates were 3D Printed to add in some design aesthetic, moreso than just bare screws being placed bare on the front of the case. The first attempt had the parts a bit too short as they didn’t reach the lip of the outer cases, but after a quick redesign they turned out better.

Since I’m only using one friction hinge in the middle of the case (they are expensive!), there was a bit of side-to-side travel on between the case halves, so some “normal” hinges were 3D Printed for the sides. The wire that goes through the case halves for the connections will be located elsewhere on the case. Just one cable should suffice actually, instead of the two cables on the end as I had before. A quick mockup is attached, but I will double check all the necessary connections before cutting the hole.

So that’s everything that was achieved during October for the GHOSTS Event, mostly casework. The plan is to complete this project by April to display at this year’s Midwest Gaming Classic but as history shows, we’ll see. The plan is to work on the paint next, so depending on how bad the fumes are on the Acryl paint (and harsh Midwest Winter weather) will decide if I get that done before spring or not. Hopefully another update in the near future, before next October.

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