Building A Slimline Portable NES

Emulation of classic consoles has long been a solved problem. It’s now possible to run thousands of vintage games on a computer the size of a stick of gum, and to do so with all the benefits emulation brings. [M-Parks] isn’t the biggest fan, however – and decided to build a slimline NES handheld instead. The goal was to produce a portable NES in as compact a package as possible.

Things have come a long way in the handheld console modding scene in the last ten years. 3D printing has largely replaced vacuum forming, and it’s no different here. [M-Parks] modeled up a case and sent it off to be 3D printed in PLA, somewhat mimicking the general layout of the original Game Boy. It’s a little larger, but given that it accepts full-size original NES carts, it can only be so small.

A Retro-bit NES-on-a-chip console was used to provide the motherboard and cartridge connector for the build. Rounding this out is a power supply from Adafruit, an LM386 audio amplifier, as well as a digital volume control which is a nice touch.

While such a build may sound daunting to the absolute beginner, all it takes is a soldering iron, some hot glue, and a willingness to have a go. There’s nothing wild or groundbreaking about this build, but to dwell on that would be missing the point. [M-Parks] now has a portable NES to play on those long train rides, and learned some great skills doing it –  a solid result for any project!

If you’re keen on seeing another take, check out [Dave]’s build from a few years back.

 

3 thoughts on “Building A Slimline Portable NES

  1. I’m just going say…
    IF, it had been designed to just attach to the connector of the game cartridge, instead of swallowing the cartridge, the whole thing could have been built narrower.
    B^)
    The design could also have incorporated vent holes near the connector, to allow players to blow on the connector without removing the cartridge.
    B^)

  2. Maybe the current LM386s are more efficient than the ones I used back in the 1990s but my little amp went through 9V batteries like candy. Even then the LM386 was old tech. These days you can pick up Class D amp modules from Chinese ebay sellers that work off 5V and are significantly more efficient.
    https://www.ebay.ca/itm/152880291649

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.