Gamecube to go

gamecube-to-go

[Hailrazer] built a handheld GameCube so he could take his gaming with him. The final product is quite nice, providing a large display and about 3 hours of play time on the lithium polymer batteries.

Starting with the case from a Kidz Delight Datamax game, he used Bondo ABS cement and plastic bumper filler to alter the case but still provide a professional look. The display is a five-inch PlayStation One LCD Screen from which he also incorporated the speakers. At least four controllers were cannibalized for use as the buttons, sticks, triggers, and directional pad. Our favorite feature is the totally exposed optical head mounted on the back.

We’ve embedded video as well as a picture of the optical drive after the break. This goes so far beyond just making the GameCube an all-in-one system. If you like this build, check out the Nintendo 64 and Dreamcast mods on [Hailrazer's] YouTube channel.

gamecube-to-go-optical-drive

[Thanks Palmer]

Comments

  1. Andrew says:

    Wow I’m loving this, cravings for Sunshine coming back again.

  2. Anthology says:

    That open disc drive seems incredibly risky.

  3. griffon says:

    looks great except for the disc drive, i killed a gamecube’s disc controller board by manually stopping a disc, the spindle motor is a stepper motor.

  4. cyrozap says:

    The fact that there is no cover over the optical drive is severely scary. A disk cutting someone has nothing to do with it.

    Potential problems:
    Partially exposed laser = eye damage
    Accidentally stopping disk = read errors

  5. roshamboe says:

    ya you shouldnt cover the disc drive so no one will get hurt, you should cover it so you dont damage the drive itself, anything can get in that thing. also you should make a headphone jack cuz usually people don’t like to hear the game your playing

  6. piku says:

    Fair enough the disk isn’t going to hurt you, but what happens if you put the device down on a table or something while it’s on and the disk is spinning?

    Or what happens if you do that without a disk in and something presses against the laser assembly, bending it out of alignment?

    There’s also the small matter of lasers and reflections.

  7. Adam Ziegler says:

    Switching jack.

  8. Skitchin says:

    The exposed optical drive reminds me of an old psone portable(perhaps an early Ben H. mod). Neat idea of using a donor case rather than starting from scratch. Couldn’t tell if it had this already but controller port(s) + composite video could come in handy!

  9. Skitchin says:

  10. ngth says:

    “…our favorite feature is the totally exposed optical head mounted on the back.”

    Really? This is a serious hazard. At least provide SOME protection between your fingers and the rotating disc.

  11. Thumbs says:

    I’m surprised nobody has pointed out the real error here.
    With a 3 hour battery life he’s going to play for those 3 hours resulting in potential damage to his thumbs.
    Won’t somebody think of the thumbs???

  12. xoin says:

    This is just asking… no screaming for a SSD or something like that.

  13. mic says:

    Thumbs… Poor thumbs. All over impressive. Seriously duck tape a box over the disk while it is in use.

  14. Chuck says:

    I question whether Bondo is safe after it dries.

    “Despite the fact that Bondo is far safer to work with than its lead-based counterparts, it still poses significant health risks. The fumes are quite toxic, and the hardeners can create burns in cases of prolonged skin contact. The use of gloves, a mask, and proper ventilation are all recommended when mixing and applying the filler.”

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bondo_%28putty%29

  15. andrew says:

    @Chuck: well if you paint over it when you’re done, who cares?

  16. Sam says:

    @Chuck
    I recommend you don’t look at the chemicals used to build the house or apartment where you live.

  17. mic says:

    Hmm well chuck instead of bashing you I will say that you are right. But people who can’t exercise common sense don’t belong in the gene pool anyway. Smart people don’t inhale poison when avoidable. Happy trails.

  18. jaek says:

    It’s… beautiful.

    Ben Heck, eat your heart out!

  19. Borgar says:

    wow, if you guys really worry about getting hurt from a spinning disk then i dont se how you even manage to pick up a soldering iron.

    However, without protection you will need to hold the device in the air for for your 3 hour playing period, unable to rest it at your lap

    if you do you will interrupt the reading and maybe even hurt the disk or the motor..

    and the bondo paranoia is also a bit over the top.
    sure you should be careful when applying it, but at this stage i believe its as safe as anything

  20. xrazorwirex says:

    I’m worried about the fact that you have to play GAMECUBE games on the thing.

    THE HORROR!!

  21. Pilotgeek says:

    Hey guys, I know! Lets all just sit in a safe padded-room! Then we won’t be hurt by:
    a. Not wearing helmets.
    b. Laser eye-damage.
    c. Rotating disks.

    Wow guys, I’m sure glad I have you all to help me not kill myself with mildly dangerous everyday items. Now, back to using arduinos (on breadboards of course, soldering is dangerous).

  22. Paul says:

    without a cover he will:

    1: risk damaging the disks
    2: risk damaging the motor and CD drive
    3: risk exposing the optics to dirt and dust
    4: have very tired hands/arms!

  23. Jesse says:

    I worked for a furniture retailer fixing furniture for two years and fixing things with bondo, even large amounts, is common practice. I wouldn’t worry about it.

    and a spinning CD is not going to chop your fucking fingers off.

    sweet hack. I <3 HAD

  24. strider_mt2k says:

    jaek, Ben Heck will never EVER eat his heart out.

    He would probably give advice about covering the exposed optical drive components.

  25. jim says:

    Yes, but Ben Heck consoles tend to be huge. I’m personally not scared of the hardener used for Bondo or three inches of rotating plastic and a 1mw laser, but then again I’m crazy.

    I’ll take utility over a giant case any day. My gripe is that I dislike the speaker holes; I’d have found a way to make those look better.

  26. JD says:

    Don’t heckle the Heck.

  27. M4CGYV3R says:

    Problems: Speakers are mostly covered by your hands, Z switches are too small and awkward to press, C-stick should be switched with the button pad – most gamecube games I played don’t use it that much, and it’s in the way of the buttons.

    The exposed disc problem isn’t about danger, it’s about function. The laser lens will get extremely dirty, extremely fast. The rotating disc will rapidly build up static and *attract* dirt and stuff. Setting it down puts undue stress on the disc and motor assembly.

    Your hand will block the power cord port if you’re holding it like he was, and the plug for the power cord was *not* the original gamecube plug.

    Finally, the thing looks *heavy*. I wouldn’t hold that for an hour, let alone 3.

  28. Hailrazer says:

    Boy you guys are pretty tough critics for people that have never built a portable and probably never could.

    Now to address your issues.

    1.In playing for over 20 hours I have never hit the c button accidentally.
    2.Speakers are so loud they will blast you out of the room even with them fully covered which they never are.
    3. I didn’t use bondo, I used Abs cement and professional plastic bumper filler.
    4. The disc drive will be covered eventually. I have not found anything that works great right now, so it is functioning as-is for now.
    5. The disc CAN’T hurt you. It spins slowly.
    6. It is light enough to hold for 3 hours. But real nice to know that you guys can tell how heavy it “looks” LOL
    7. The power adapter is the original Gamecube power adapter with a new plug soldered on the end. And my hand doesn’t block it while in use.

    Thank you guys for the compliments.

  29. Mike Szczys says:

    @Hailrazer: Thanks for weighing in on the questions/criticism. I’ve updated the post to correct the remark about using Bondo.

  30. Hailrazer says:

    Added a disc drive cover. Don’t know if I am 100% satisfied with it. But it works perfectly and the clear look is cool.

    Pics on the Benheck site or the Modretro site

  31. zacdee316 says:

    Looks great other than the open disc drive.
    A simple cover would be nice. Maybe even one that connects with magnets so it can be a quick fix but still work.

    Waiting for a Ps3 slim version. ;p

  32. Jake says:

    Awesome man i think it’s a really neat idea! Keep up the good work!

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