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Zac and Rayzor's HS-NES build


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First off, Zac and I haven't been on the site in A LONG-ASS TIME! Looks great!

Anyway, It looks like our HS-NES build thread went MIA in the website upgrades... so I figured I'd repost some stuff, and let you guys know that we're getting back into the HyperSpin game.

Life's been crazy busy, and the both of us have gotten tied up in the whirlwind.. but we're now hoping to finally finish the HS-NES we started, and get back to the MK arcade project in the spring. That poor thing has been collecting dust in my garage :(


Anyway, here's a little to get you up to speed on the HS-NES we started, and where we plan to go next with it.


First thing’s first: We got a busted NES off of eBay along with a copy of TopGun.
We opened up the NES and tore it down to size up our computer components.
Time to brainstorm our plan of attack!
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After removing the guts of the NES, we placed the motherboard on top of the mounting posts, in the base, just to size things up. We have to figure out the best plan of attack to maximize the usage of our limited space.



Zac and I had to figure out what we were going to do to mount the motherboard inside the NES. We decided we would have to remove some posts using a dremel tool and shorten a couple to screw some sort of backplate to. The motherboard would then be attached to this backplate.


The below picture shows the base of the NES after we removed and resized some posts. The red arrows show the posts that we removed completely. The blue arrows show the posts that we shortened to 5/8 of an inch.

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Back plate screwed down to the 3 posts we had resized.


The motherboard sits in the NES nice now.


When coming up with ideas for the main storage device for the HS-NES, we knew we wanted to incorporate an original NES cartridge. Originally, we decided that a high performance 8GB Compact Flash card would be enough space for the operating system, HyperSpin, emulators, and all of the NES, Gameboy, and Gameboy Color games. We took an 8GB CF Card with a CF to SATA card reader, and made it fit into our Top Gun game cartridge. Below is our original concept. (I have since ordered a 64GB SSD, now that the price has dropped on SSDs DRAMATICALLY)

(Below is the old, original concept, from 4 years ago)



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With the original design idea, we weren't too happy with the end result, so we cut out some of the plastic on the cartridge, and move the CF card and CF to SATA adapter down.

(When I receive the new SSD, we'll replace the CF card and CF to SATA adapter with the 64GB SSD)





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Instead of screwing the motherboard to the backplate, Zac and I decided just to use double sided sticky pads.
Before sticking the motherboard to the backplate, Zac thought we should remove the PS/2 port from the motherboard to give us a little more room to work with. The top of the NES case was pushing down on the PS/2 port slightly, so removing it entirely would remedy this small problem.
Zac tried removing the port with his soldering tools…
Believe it or not, this didn’t work and we wound up using a propane torch… yes, a torch… I was skeptical at first, but with Zac heating the opposite side of the board slightly while I pulled on the PS/2 port using vice grips it pulled right off of the PCB.
Now we had to perform some modifications to the inside of the top of the NES case. We removed one screw post in the back, and 2 plastic lips that would provide us with more working room once removed.
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After cutting off these unneeded parts, it was time work on the cartridge mounting bracket. We took apart the cartridge carriage and cut off the stub on the bottom of it.



We used some super glue to mount the cartridge bracket to the top of the case.


We hot glued the power supply to the top of the NES case as well.


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Next, Zac soldered our RetroKits to the NES controller ports.


We used a front panel USB cable from an old Gateway computer to wire up our RetroKit NES ports and plug them directly into the motherboard. Below you can see that we ran the USB cable under the motherboard’s backplate from the controller ports to the Front USB pinout on the motherboard.


We hot glued the RetroKit chips to the base of the NES case to secure them.



Zac and I worked on installing a new power LED light, power switch, and reset switch over the weekend.

First, we removed the original switches, buttons, and LED.

We then installed the mounting bracket for the original switches and LED backwards to give us more room for the new switches.


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After doing this, we removed the button faces from the original switches and glued them to some switches taken from a broken computer.


We then shortened the back of the plastic for the original power LED slightly, and inserted the new LED that we swiped from a broken computer.


After prepping the new sitches and LED we hot glued them in place.




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We got together and worked out the Reset switch.  Zac created a separate thread in the forum detailing the workings of the project.  That can be found here

Previously we setup an old computer power button to be pressed by the NES Reset switch.  The theory is have that button create a loopback on the serial port that we monitor and have trigger an event (ie…. reset NEStopia). So, instead of resetting the NES completely, it would just "Hard Reset" the current ROM that is playing in NESTopia.

The blue/white wire we snaked under the motherboard which is connected to the serial port (pins 2 & 3).



Then Zac wrote up a check that will poll the button every 1.1 to 1.3 seconds in AutoIt and trigger a the keyboard hotkey for resetting.

Here is a video showing the reset switch in action w/ the AutoIT script:


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Amazing job. Total cost?

Thanks. If I had to guess, probably around $250ish so far... I bought most of the parts a while ago... I know the motherboard, at the time, was $68... the RAM was like $20, the SSD I just purchased was $40... I don't remember what the chips cost me to convert the NES ports to USB... I don't really remember what the power supply cost me either... plus buying the broken NES on eBay... I think it is safe to say I've spent at least $250... 

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I don't want to barge in on anyone's thread. I know these NES conversions are becoming extremely popular and some guys might have spare nes boards laying around.


If any of you are interested in making another NES PC mod and have a spare NES motherboard they want to do a straight trade for a blank case, let me know. I have a case here that i would trade. The original NES inside had a bad PPU and i chucked the entire thing out and kept the case.

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Jezus christ you guys havent been on in a long time indeed. was it 2010? the time when i was still Donnie1979 :P good to see you bck dudes

LOL yeah, I know... I'm pretty sure we started the arcade cabinet build in Oct of 2010... It doesn't feel like it's been that long, but Zac and I have just had a lot going on in our personal lives and haven't had time to work on our fun-filled side projects. I'm glad to see the site is still up, running, and looking better than ever! 

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I LOVE IT! There aren't enough console style builds on here! I LOVE IT LOVE IT LOVE IT!

I went the console route myself, but rather than build it into an old one I got a PC case that was designed with console dimensions (So it lays flat and looks like a console) You can check it out in my signature if you are interested in my take on the idea of a HyperSpin Console.

Either way, FANTASTIC!!

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  • 8 months later...

Ok, so Zac and I actually dug the poor 'ol HS-NES out of the box it was stuffed in to start working on it again last night.

We replaced the Compact Flash card and Compact Flash to SATA adapter we were using as a "poor man's SSD" with a legit 64gb SSD.

The SSD is hidden inside the Top Gun cartridge just like we did w/ the Compact Flash card setup...

We're going to work on getting the software all reloaded and configured with the new SSD, then we'll start working on finishing the hardware configuration.



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