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Thread: N64 running Win 8.1 :)

  1. #1

    Default N64 running Win 8.1 :)

    As you can see I'm completely new to the forums but I've been admiring the works around here for a while.
    I was looking build a little HTPC that could run some streaming and a bit of emulation (N64 maximum required) and I absolutely loved the N64 mods you can find around the web (like this one, or the many others).
    I always loved the N64 as a kid and have destroyed many gamepads and friendships playing Goldeneye...

    I don't want to build the suspense, so here it is! (sorry for the crummy pictures):

    It's quite a modest pc that contains the guts of a Pipo X7 windows box. I wanted to have Windows to be able to 'normally' use the internet and use Flash and whatever without all the android hassle. But I also wanted it to be small enough to fit the N64 and not too power hungry. The board is very tiny and comes in a case resembling a router and which contains mainly air. That would of course not do!

    So I bought an old broken N64 off the internet and started cleaning out the insides. I was a bit too industrious and cut of more than necessary, so I had to re-mold some stuff with modelling clay

    Then sprayed it white:

    Painting in Progress:


    Next up was trying to fit the board in there. I made two controller ports into USB ports, but as I didn't trust the power output on the front ports of the Pipo board I decided to add a powered USB hub. I used the bottom plate of the original casing as ground and for heat dissipation, as the X7 is passively cooled and uses the casing for dissipation as well (there is a big chunk of thermal padding underneath the board)

    Quick test run. It's Alive!!!

    Let me know what you think! This is my first case mod ever, so please be gentle!
    It's not completely done yet, what I still want to do:
    -Power slider is functional but not connected. Not sure what I want to switch yet. The Reset button is the power button right now.
    -Cartridge is not fixed and can be swapped/removed, but doesn't have a function yet. Would be cool if it boots up an emulator if you insert the cartridge or something. Had an idea of running Lakka live from a USB key inside a cartridge, but I can't boot from USB (yet)
    -The power led on the board is too far from the plastic piece on the front of the N64. Need to desolder and put in front of the piece like in the orgininal N64.
    -Fix the fans in a more useful position.

  2. #2
    Will YOU be ready when the zombies rise? x88x's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    MD, USA

    Default Re: N64 running Win 8.1 :)

    Looks like a good start. I love the tiny boards we're able to get now with the Baytrail (and now Cherry Trail) chips. I have a few and they give a surprising amount of power from a super low power consumption board.

    Something that would be neat to integrate would be an adapter to actually let an SNES cart be read by an emulator. There was a company that made them, but it looks like they have stopped production. You should be able to find some around though, if that's something that would interest you.
    That we enjoy great advantages from the inventions of others, we should be glad of an opportunity to serve others by any invention of ours, and this we should do freely and generously.
    --Benjamin Franklin
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  3. #3
    Undead Pirate d_stilgar's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Philadelphia, PA

    Default Re: N64 running Win 8.1 :)

    Nice! I love console PCs, especially when they're Nintendo.

  4. #4

    Default Re: N64 running Win 8.1 :)

    Haha thanks, me too!

  5. #5
    Anodized. Again. Konrad's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2010

    Default Re: N64 running Win 8.1 :)

    You could rig up a small microcontroller board to the N64 cartridge slot, basically program it to sense whenever a cartridge is present, read the data, and transfer it to the main PC board through internal USB or something. Launching the emulator software would require some sort of custom USB driver. Perhaps the embedded logic from a Logitech Gaming Keyboard/Mouse (and Logitech's Gaming Software driver suite) can be repurposed to this, it would just be a matter of electrical interface and using the software to map the buttons/keys (to launch apps, etc) as desired.

    It might be simpler to just play N64 titles off a local drive, though, maybe just retain the slot for cosmetic purposes. You'd have to ensure that plugging in cartridges actually doesn't do anything unpleasant (since somebody sooner or later will try it).
    My mind says Technic, but my body says Duplo.

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