NES Portable Hand-built

NES Portable, Hand-built
Chapter 7 of the book

Build a portable NES system with a 5″ TFT display, built-in battery pack and cartridges that slide down the back like a Gameboy Advance.

This project can be constructed by hand using printed templates and hobby materials. You’ll also need a soldering iron, X-Acto knife, wire, screwdrivers and other common tools.

Construction Resources

Once you’re ready to begin work on this project the links and information below will be of much help. All links open in a new window so you can easily come back here during your online part collection. This information is all contained in the book of course, but the book itself doesn’t have internet access 😉


Major Project Components

The two primary components of these projects are the original game systems and the display. Below are the correct models to use, with a reference photo and easy-to-use automatic eBay search link.

Console model:
Original 1985 Nintendo Entertainment System
Automatic eBay search for this item (NES)
Display model:
PSOne 5″ TFT display – Official Sony Model
Automatic eBay search for this item (PS1 screen)

Electronic Components Lists and Part Numbers
I’ve separated the electronics parts list into what you can get online from Mouser (www.mouser.com) and what you’ll still need to find at Radio Shack. Therefore the two lists below are the same as the single list in the book. You’ll still need everything from both lists, but the more things you can get online from Mouser the cheaper it’ll be.

Unlike Digi-Key, Mouser’s website has no minimum order so it’s handy for the experimenter, plus they have good prices. Please note that the items for modding the PS1 screen (10 ohm resistors and white LED’s) are also included on this list. Using this list you can easily copy/paste the part numbers into Mouser’s web site (or Radio Shack’s, below) to complete on online order. Sure beats typing!

NES hand built
Electronic Parts List from Mouser:

# Part Name Quantity Vendor Vendor Part #
1 4.5mm Tact Switch 8 Mouser, Inc. 688-SKHRAA
2 Transistor 2N4401 1 Mouser, Inc. 610-2N4401
3 Speaker, 8 ohm 1 Mouser, Inc. 253-5008
4 7805 regulator 1 Mouser, Inc. 512-KA7805AETU
5 220 ohm resistor 2 Mouser, Inc. 660-CF1/4L221J
6 33 ohm resistor 1 Mouser, Inc. 660-CF1/4L330J
7 47k ohm resistor 8 Mouser, Inc. 660-CF1/4L473J
8 3.9k ohm resistor 1 Mouser, Inc. 660-CF1/4L392J
9 680 ohm resistor 1 Mouser, Inc. 660-CF1/4L681J
10 150 ohm resistor 1 Mouser, Inc. 660-CF1/4L151J
11 10 ohm resistor (screen mod) 1 Mouser, Inc. 660-CF1/4L100J
12 T1 size white LED (screen mod) 3 Mouser, Inc. 606-CMD204UWC

Below are the Radio Shack electronics parts. Mostly the bigger, more mechanical stuff, plus the PC boards.

A change: Since the printing of the book Radio Shack no longer sells rechargeable RC car batteries and chargers separately – now they’re typically in a “combo pack” The part numbers of this “combo packs” are listed below. Choose either the Ni-MH (better, more expensive) or Ni-CD (cheaper, weaker) versions.

NES hand built
Electronic Parts List from Radio Shack (stores or online):

# Part Name Quantity Vendor Vendor Part #
1 Heat sink 1 Radio Shack 276-1368
2 Adjustable Voltage Regulator 1 Radio Shack 276-1778
3 Size K Coaxial DC power jack 1 Radio Shack 274-1565
4 Coaxial DC plug 5 mm OD, 2.1 mm ID (Size K) 1 Radio Shack 274-1567a
7 Phono jack 1 Radio Shack 274-246A
8 General-purpose Component PC board 1 Radio Shack 276-149A
9 Grid-Style PC board 1 Radio Shack 276-150
Chose one:
10 Ni-MH 9.6 volt battery pack & charger (BETTER) 1 Radio Shack 230-0432
10 Ni-CD 9.6 volt battery pack & charger (CHEAPER) 1 Radio Shack 230-0342

For remaining materials (screws, glues, plastics) please see the book.


Support Files

Contained in this single ZIP archive are all the files you need for this project. See book for more details. Includes templates, patterns and printable decal graphics.

Download NES_handbuilt.zip


Changes, Updates and Error Corrections

This section contains information on things that may have changed since the printing of the book, corrections to any errors found and better ways of building the projects, if applicable.

Labeling mistake in Chapter 7 Figure 7-19

The book displays an incomplete picture for Figure 7-19 which is missing some labeling. Click here to download my original version which contains the complete numerical and alphabetical labels.

Main change: Addition of labels B and F-I.

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