(Zelda!) The Legend of Zelda continue- *TV static* Super Mario is Back! *TV static* Now, you, are playing with- *TV static* Do battle or die! *TV static* – a hold of the Nintendo Entertainment System *TV static* Nintendo Entertainment System *TV static* Nintendo Entertainment System. Now you’re playing with power! This, is my NES gaming PC, and I’m going to show you exactly how I made it. But first, I want to talk a little bit about the Nintendo Entertainment System. It was such a monumental device in home gaming. (This is as big or bigger than ANYTHING the toy industry has EVER seen) Known as the Famicom in Japan It was released on July 15th 1983 and it thrust the world into the 8-bit Era.
Although it wouldn’t make its way to the North American Market until October 18th, 1985. It was already making way as the greatest video game system ever made. Nintendo re-defined the meaning of a home video game console and changed the world of gaming, forever…. So today, we’re going to remove its insides and make use of its empty carcass.*Knife Noises* *Screams* Like probably many of you are, I tend to be the resident tech support employee of my family so naturally Gram Gram turned to me to fix her virus infested laptop.*Windows Error Noises* Now, I couldn’t get to fixing her laptop in time and she just ended up buying a new one.
Which left me with this, an HP-15af131dx notebook. Boasting a 2.0 GHz quad core AMD a6-5200 APU. More than enough for what we want to do with it. Next, I purchased a broken NES of Ebay for about 40 bucks, and after removing its internal components and the many dead and a few living uninvited guests *Audible Disgust*. (Mind if I uh…. join you?) I gave the chassis a thorough cleaning, Odd Tinkering style. *scrubbing noises* And that brings us to this, a restored NES Shell. Now, I didn’t actually take any footage of the cleaning and trust me you didn’t want to see it. If you’re interested in anything like that I recommend checking out Odd Tinkering’s channel and you can find his links in the description.
For now, we’re gonna move the shell aside and start work on disassembling the laptop. There were a few extra parts from this build and rest assured I did my best to reuse them. I actually ended up 3D printing a shell for this optical drive to be used externally. So, thankfully on the inside, everything was laid out separately, as I imagine many laptops are. The motherboard itself is the perfect size to fit in the NES and I even have an open RAM slot which I did end up filling later on. That brought the system to a total of 8 Gigabytes of RAM, and that extra 8 gigabytes really comes in handy since this is an APU processor which uses the excess onboard memory since it has no dedicated video memory. So now I’m gonna start taking out the hard drive in order to get to the right side usb ports and the sd card slot, which I might actually use for extra storage space in the future. Next we need to get the heatsink and fan off to be able to move the motherboard around a little bit easier.
And now that we have the motherboard removed we can go ahead and get the power button and charging port out, which thankfully weren’t hardwired into the motherboard. And that means that we can really move them wherever the cable length allows inside the case. With the simplest part out of the way, we’ll move onto the more difficult part which is figuring out how I’m going to fit all this in this case. As you can see the only things left in here are the controller ports and the power and reset buttons. I’m actually planning on using the NES’s original power button to press the button from the laptop in order to power it on, but for now we just need everything out of the case.
I’ll have to grind down a lot of these screw posts to make sure I have enough clearance to actually put the motherboard inside. Once that’s done, I can get to my first bit of assembly, I’m going to be using this NES to USB adapter that I’ll have to grind down a little bit to be able to fit in the case. And after it’s all put in place you can’t even tell the difference with it next to the original. Eventually I bought another one and replaced the other one so you can play with TWO original NES controllers on this device. After that was done, I had to rig up this crappy ugly USB hub for the internal USB components like the NES ports.
Then I have a much better looking USB hub for the controllers to be plugged into. I’ve also got this low profile USB bluetooth adapter that’ll fit right into the motherboard’s USB ports. So now that I have the adapter set up, we can go ahead and get the power button working. All that was really necessary for this part was to hot glue it in place so that the Nintendo’s power button would press it on the right spot on the laptops power button. If those annoying Instagram DIY hack videos taught me anything it’s that hot glue is always your friend. Then we’re gonna go back and add the heatsink so I can get the motherboard test fitted and figure out how we’re gonna get this fan in here. I recorded this a while ago and I’ve made a ton of improvements to this device since then. One of which was taking this makeshift mounting device and replacing it with a 3D printed platform that looks and works a lot better. So for now just please bare with the unfortunate way I set it up in this video.
Now that I can see where the final position of the motherboard’s gonna be, we’re gonna put the laptop speakers in, just because. On further reflection there’s honestly no reason why I did this it’s pretty useless. Next I could route the USB port/SD card reader under the motherboard, glue in the power adapter to the back, plug it in, and power it on for the first time… So I’ve got a custom version of linux on here called Batocera and that’s gonna run all my emulators. It’s pretty similar to RecalBox or RetroPie if you’re familiar with those. Let’s go ahead and plug in the NES controller and check if that works, aaaand we’re good to go. And with that out of the way we can go ahead and finish assembling our retro gaming PC. I’m gonna make some little stands to prop up this USB hub for the controllers out of hot glue.
After letting it dry you can see how it’ll raise up the USB ports to give it enough clearance in the front. So I’ll just glue that into place and move on to plugging everything else in. After putting my ugly USB hub inside we can grab this VERY unique right angle HDMI cable and route it through this expansion slot on the bottom of the NES, where it actually fits right into this little slot here on the bottom so I don’t have to do any destruction to the outside of the case. Eventually I 3D printed a little mount for it to fit a little more snug in there. We’ll put the Wi-Fi card back in, plug in the top USB hub and finally bring this project to a close… Like I mentioned earlier I went back and made some improvements like adding some fans for more heat dissipation and air flow inside the case as well as adding the second NES port. Some of these upgrades I actually did on my livestream on Twitch where I stream stuff like this every once and a while so go ahead and follow me over there if that interests you I’d really appreciate it.
I ended up being able to round this build out quite a bit by doing things like adding a headphone jack, adding more fans, and some Sugru to cable manage everything for a much cleaner appearance and allow for better airflow on the inside. If you made it this far I just wanna say thank you for watching and I know that my skills aren’t exactly great but between the time I originally recorded this and NOW? I’ve actually learned quite a bit. If you have any questions about this build please feel free to leave a comment and I’ll do my best to answer. If you liked the video please leave a like as well it really helps my ego and consider hitting that subscribe button.
Lastly if you’re interested in seeing more things like this, please leave me any suggestions or ideas in the comments or check out my stream sometime where you may actually be able to catch me live. Oh and by the way, yes it actually can run Crysis..