I think the title says it all. Taking a NES and Sega and putting them into one smaller case, about the size of a NES. Old NES and Sega gaming is coming back into style, more in the form of emulators. I've got to say, I’ve got nothing against emulators, I love them, but nothing compares to holding the real controller in your hands on the real hardware that you use to play as a kid. I've played choppy emulations with less then perfect USB controllers and the experience is not the same. Needless to say I wanted my old systems at college with me this year. Since space is always limited, it would be awesome to have one box with 2 or 3 systems in it. That’s where the fun starts.
I know what you're thinking....why would you tear apart a classic system, possibly break it, when they work so well on their own. Well i don't really have a good answer, for fun i guess, to save space. You can buy them for so cheap these days, last i heard it was like 10 bucks for an NES. I could be wrong, and all you nerds who still have an old NES mint condition, in the box, keep holding on to it buddy and someday you'll cash out. Anyways, I have to caution you saying, it is a possibility that you could break your system. I can't say I had any problems when i did it (although I did mess up an SNES in a different project). But always be careful when working with electronics, always want to be grounded, don't want to break any components off. OK with that out of the way, let’s dive in.
There was a lot of planning and thinking involved before i even opened up the case. I knew that I wanted the NES and Sega combo but how would it all fit. NES is a side loader, and Sega is a top loader. Since I’d have to fabricate a case from scratch I figure a simple box would work.
The layout was going to be the easy part as it turned out. Fabricating the box was the challenge.
What you'll need
Sheets of ABS modeling plastic in a variety of thicknesses (0.8 in., 0.6in, 0.4
The first step is obvious...take apart your consoles. They are both pretty easy to do, some screws in the back, you'll find them pretty easily. The NES console was designed before they started using the annoying specialy screws that you need a special tool for (if you've looked at an SNES or a gamecube you probably know what i'm talking about). So once you take them both apart you should be left with two boards shown in the figures here.
There were some heat sinks attached to a few componants, i just took those off cause they were bulky, it might bight me in the end but it will make things easy for you. you might think about adding a small fan later on if you are really concerned by this.
Ok now for fabricating the case. I think it would help you most by just giving you tips on construction rather then a complete cookie cutter design. If you're like me, and you probably are, you want it to be your own design and give it it's own look. So heres some advice i have for you, what worked and waht didn't work for me, my mistakes and my revilations whilei was building it.
the first thing you need to worry about is design. Are you going for small and compact or does size not matter at all? if you are looking to make it as small as possilbe you are mainly concerned with how the catridges are loaded. The NES is a side loader while the Sega is a top loader. It makes the most sence to put the Sega on top (thats what i did for mine). The second thing you need to comit to is accessablity, will you ever have to fix somthing inside your box and have easy access to it? i used screw and plastic dowels to secure the boards in place, they are removable. I can't say i feel comfertable about removing them alot, but if worse comes to worse and i have to get in there i can and it will all go back together. Ok enough rambling, lets get on with it.
The Sega board is obviously the biggest so your major dimensions will comform to that. I'd suggest not making it to precise becuase you might have fit problems when it all comes together. leave about a quarter inch or more on each side to be safe.
Cutting the plastic is not to hard with a utility knife, use a straight edge metal ruler to ensure straight lines. You have to run the blade along the line a few times to make a deep gauge and then break the piece off, you don't have to cut all the way through hte piece (sand the edge later if you feel so inclined).
I suggest cutting pieces lining them up and making sure they will fit perfectly before doing anything else. I would suggest having a base plate and secuiring both boards to that first, all the while making sure that they will fit inbetween the walls. With the boards in place you can cut the walls and cut any holes in the walls for ports to come through. On that note i recomomend a dremel tool to cut the holes for all the ports.
The plastic pieces can be secured togehter with this stuff called plastic weld...it works great and sets in 30 seconds (for complete dry time wait around 10 to 15 min). I recomend reenforming all corners and joints with at least quarter inch plastic I-beams or square beams. For the major pices such as walls and screw locations i used epoxy liquid nails (the black and white stuff) it holds really well.
To secure the boards with screws i used round dowels with a shole down the center. I had small screws that fit securly and could be removed easily. Make sure they fit the system circuit board holes. You want to stack the boards on top of one anotehr such that each hole can run a dowel down to the bottom base. It can be down heres a picture of it in a middle stage.
A little explination is needed at this stage. You can see the NES board secured to the base with screws and plastic dowels. The dowels for the Sega board have already been aligned and mounted (they are near the corners on the box) I've put up three of the walls and cut the ports for them. The front plate is made, it is lying flate in front of the box. It was difficult to align every port correctly and cut straight since i was using a crappy bit for my dremel.
It may be hard to see from this picture but the NES loading system has been simplified. You usualy have to slide the cartridge in and then press it down...well turns out you don't have to do that, you can just slide it in in the downward position
Here are a few pictures from the