Ok, here we go.
Need to get a few things out of the way before we start.
First we want to thank everyone who has emailed us with ideas and suggestions. We are listening and we encourage you to chime in if you have ideas or suggestions.
Second. We are looking for USB cartridges and used working systems. Yes we are buying like mad off of Ebay, but if you are sitting on a pile of working used gaming systems, we would love to offer you cash or trade for what you have. If you would like to donate, we will pay for shipping and post your name, (If you want) on a sponsors page.
Third. Everyone is waiting for prices on our systems. We have reached a point where we will need to generate some funding to pay for development, and research costs. We are working very hard on a cool Kickstarter project we hope to release in a few months. We will not release prices until the results of the Kickstarter project ends. This will determine how much we will be able to charge for our Ninstruments. I know there are a lot people bummed right now, but we will need to buy in quantity in order to bring down the per piece price of our machines. If the Kickstarter project is successfull, we will pass the cost savings directly to you.
This step by step Prototype II build guide is going to start slow, but please realize we are hard at work behind the scenes with testing and developing new features in both this prototype build and the upcoming Kickstarter project.
This may seem a boring place to start, but if you are even marginally interested in building your own, or are even slightly interested in what type of components we will use, this needs to be covered.
The main source of our audio jacks, headers, resistors and basic components is Jameco.com. We have decided to use them because their consistency in parts is excellent. We won’t reference part numbers directly but if you ask us, we will supply part numbers. There are other components we will get from other suppliers. Sparkfun.com is very close to us in Boulder Colorado, so we will support them as much as we can. All Arduino’s, Uno’s for testing and the Pro Mini’s will be purchased from them, as well as headers and some switches. AllElectronics.com has other hard to find stuff, such as specific height stand-off’s that are tough to find anywhere else. Again we will not reference these part numbers directly, but will furnish them upon request.
The metal rack-mount cabinets are from CircuitSpecialists.com. Full steel top, back and bottom. The front is extruded aluminum. These cases are easily modified and are very reasonable in cost. They come shipped in strong cardboard boxes that we will double box and custom cut additional Styrofoam before shipping the final assembled product to you.
As mentioned above we are using systems mainly found on ebay. Prices can fluctuate, but we try and buy in quantity when possible. We have also partnered with a few other gaming stores to buy from them when they acquire them. We will have discounts available to you if you decide to purchase and may even be able to trade Ninstruments for just a large lot of working gaming systems, so start hunting and saving them up as you see them at garage sales and thrift stores, it will benefit both of us!
What systems are we looking for?
Orginal Gameboy DMG-01
Remember, they need to be working, unless you just want to donate as mentioned above. Please don’t discount donation, there are some parts we will be de-soldering off of non-working originals in order to build functioning originals. We want to use as many original parts as possible!
Here is the case. I have decided to build two of these during the prototype build to accelerate bug finding and fixing and to build initial parts by hand, then program the CNC router to cut them in quantity. Again please realize these are PROTOTYPES! These are not finished polished shipping models. If you don’t like something, or think something could be done differently, to be more efficient or more cost effective, please leave a comment.
Dimensions are 17″ wide x 3.5″ tall x 11.75″ deep. This is very large as far as standard rack mounted instruments go, but we plan to utilize every inch of space as we add more and more vintage gaming systems.
Next post will be focused on cutting the front face plate. I will try and post these step by step posts every two weeks. Thank you for the support with this project.
Here is a sneak peak: