Name these parts: Verifone payment module tear down

[Jerzmacow] got his hands on this Verifone Vx570 handheld payment terminal at a flea market. It’s got a thermal printer, a magnetic card reader, and then there’s the big LCD screen and buttons. In other words, lots of parts for his hacking amusement. But first, he decided to take a look at the parts that went into the design. He carefully disassembled the device, documenting what he found along the way. He mentions that there’s a switch pressing against the underside of the LCD which disables the hardware when disassembled. So it sounds like he won’t be able to get it to work again (there’s a Lithium battery inside which we’d guess powers some type of hardware kill switch circuit).

He posted an HD video of the tear down which we’ve embedded after the break. We find some of the design to be quite peculiar. Normally we have [Dave Jones] to walk us through design choices in his EEVblog hardware reviews. Since [Jerzmacow] wasn’t able to provide that level of insight, we’d love to hear what you think each piece of hardware is for. Leave your comments, along with time-stamps from the video. Specifically, what’s up with that strange board shown at 1:51? Continue reading “Name these parts: Verifone payment module tear down”

Portable gets a proper home in an arcade controller

[Luke] wanted an arcade-style controller that he could use for some gaming at home. He decided to use a portable game emulator as a base and then added his own joystick and buttons along with a custom case.

The donor hardware is a Dingo A320. It’s a nice little handheld with a 2.8″ screen, and plenty of potential to emulate games like Donkey Kong seen above, or to play homebrew. It’s even been the target of some RAM upgrades we looked in on in the past. The best part for [Luke’s] project is that it includes a video out port.

In the clip after the break you can see that [Luke] now has a compact controller with a huge arcade joystick, four buttons on the top surface, and the rest of the controls all around the edges of the enclosure. The video out option is selected in the menu system, so he preserved the original LCD for use during configuration.

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Sleek, disc-less GameCube handheld

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Console hacker [techknott] has a skill set that is quite possibly second to none. We do love [Ben Heck] and think that his portable consoles are beyond awesome, but you’ve got to check out this portable GameCube [techknott] put together.

While the construction details are pretty sparse, the video below shows off the bulk of the portable ‘Cube’s best features. Far smaller than his Flip-Top GameCube or Dreamcast portables we’ve featured in the past, his new handheld sports a wider screen and is completely disc-less. While the legality of booting backup copies of games from an SD card is something we won’t delve into, we do like the concept.

The console itself is probably only about one and a half times the width of a standard GameCube controller, and while it doesn’t sport an internal battery pack, we wouldn’t turn one down. Besides, who wants to play GameCube outside? With one of these in hand, we are more than happy to keep our pasty selves indoors, thank you very much.

The only complaint we have here is the lack of build details. [techknott’s] handheld consoles are pretty amazing – we just wish that we could see how the magic was made!

Be sure to check out the video below to see the console in action.

[Thanks, Dave]

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Solar-powered GameBoy Color never runs out of juice

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Instructables user [Andrew] was given a free, but damaged GameBoy color by a friend. The friend’s dog had done quite a number on the outside of the handheld, but it was definitely usable.  After replacing some of the outer shell, [Andrew] decided that he would try tweaking the GameBoy to utilize a solar cell in order to keep the batteries topped off.

He bought a solar garden light for $5 and disassembled it, being careful not to damage the heavily-glued solar panel in the process. The GameBoy was pulled apart next, and the solar panel was soldered to the handheld’s battery leads. Once the wires were properly routed through the case, he reassembled the handheld and picked up a pair of rechargeable AA batteries to test things out.

[Andrew] tells us that the solar panel works nicely, and that simply setting it out face-down keeps his batteries charged and ready to go.

Stick around for a quick video demo of his solar-powered GameBoy.

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Palm-sized Atari 2600

[The Longhorn Engineer] is working on a portable Atari 2600. Instead of taking the old gaming system and cramming it into a portable form factor he’s designed his own circuit board in a new-hardware initiative he calls Project Unity. The handheld will include everything you need to play, including video, audio, controller buttons, paddle control, and a cartridge connector. For the demonstration, embedded after the break, he’s using the Harmony Cartridge to store his Atari ROMs but do note that the system is designed to use cartridges rather than work solely as a game jukebox.

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PS3 wireless visual interface

[Technott’s] at it again, this time extending the Playstation 3 with a wireless interface. This handheld isn’t actually a PS3. It provides a wireless connection to your PS3 to receive audio and video, as well as to manage controller data. Think of it as a wirelessly tethered handheld that allows you to play Playstation when your wife is watching the Real Housewives. This is similar in size to his Xbox 360 WVI but the case shape and appearance are a big step up (not that we disliked that one). We’ve embedded a video tour of the device after the break.

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Odroid: all the open, none of the contract

The Odroid derives its name from the combination of Open and Android. The hardware is aimed at the portable gaming market and runs Android. The specs are amazing, the device is open and begging you to develop for the platform.

The Samsung S5PC100 System-On-A-Chip provides the device with an ARM Cortex-A8 processor running at 833MHz. The usual suspects are all here, a capacitive touchscreen, accelerometer, SDHC slot, and WiFi. What you usually don’t expect to see is a serial debugger and 720p HD output. But the best part, we get all of this without a 2 year contract or the hardware being locked down as we’re used to with and Android based cell phone.

[Thanks Stillbourne via LinuxDevices]