This is starting to sound like a blog! Ok, I’ve cut the acrylic parts for the prototype VCSp Phoenix:
1) Front of the case. It has a fake wood grain layer over the buttons, and a fake brushed aluminum thing around the screen (They’re technically fake but look quite real)
2) This is the “control board” Right now it’s got the tact switches for the controls, the paddle dial and a audio amp (since the screen module is video only) A temporary volume control, speaker and battery to test it are shown. I considered having circuit boards made but I think I can just “point to point” solder the boards and be OK. This also lowers the overhead cost.
3) I’m pretty proud of this – The battery pack is (2) 3-cell pieces from Digi-key. These screws to a plate which then screws into the back of the control board, simplifying construction (The old VCSp’s had these bent prong things and were a pain) The power leads coming off the battery pack also go right to the control board and regulator(s).
4) Rear of the case. The final production model may have small holes in the back into which a screwdriver can be inserted to adjust color, tint, etc. (Although that stuff will likely be preset)
I’ve ordered the first screen module to try out in this portable. Everything hinges upon it. I designed this unit using the screen’s mechanical drawings so it SHOULD fit. The 2 caveats are a) powering the screen with 12 volts using a step-up switching regulator and b) will it accept the Atari video signal (Some screens don’t, though the ones that don’t all seem to be Sony in origin, such as Vegas or PSone screens). Still, fingers are crossed. If the screen works it’ll be awesome.
Assuming I get some parts from Digi-key and the screen this coming week the prototype should be done sometime next weekend, at which time this site will have an update. From there I will pursue molds (for the case) and other things required for a mass production. So keep those “emails of interest” coming, and check out the Phoenix page for more info on the unit itself and some FAQ’s.