Quest to salvage the NES "Crassic"

Discussion in 'Other Consoles & Oldies' started by Futurdreamz, Jul 17, 2017.

  1. Futurdreamz
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    Futurdreamz GBAtemp Advanced Maniac

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    Long story short: I purchased one of those counterfeit NES Classics because some guy on a spanish forum said it was an exact replica using the same chips and hardware.

    It isn't. the shell and controllers are salvageable, but the CPU is limited to 240p and barely runs as it is.

    So,

    My plan is to toss the guts out and put in a Raspberry Pi so I can still use it.

    Question 1: Is it possible to wire the Classic Controller ports straight to the GPIO board on the Pi? My understanding is that the Classic controllers use I2C so it should work.

    Question 2: What Pi version should I get? Since I want to continue using the included controllers, I won't be emulating the SNES or any other console that needs more buttons (as I still hope to get an authentic SNES Classic). I will emulate the original gameboy and such if possible.

    After that, any recommendations other than just popping RetroPie on it? I expect to not futz with it ever once I get it set up.

    Thanks.
     
    Last edited by Futurdreamz, Jul 17, 2017
  2. DinohScene

    DinohScene Capture the Dino

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    Post some pics of the innards.
    I'm interested in what it looks like.
     
  3. HamBone41801

    HamBone41801 K35

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    and the outards. just give is the whole #!
     
  4. zoogie

    zoogie simple pimp tool

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    Interest piqued.
    Yeah, before you wreck this crassic, please show a video of it in action.
     
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  5. migles

    migles Mei the sexiest bae

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    my dad works for nintendo.
    don't forget to start a flame war with the dude and send him the bill
     
  6. Futurdreamz
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    Futurdreamz GBAtemp Advanced Maniac

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    Sadly mine is still in the mail and most likely will be for about two months. But I can link to everything I've got so far...
    Picture of the mobo (no innie pics yet it seems): http://gbatemp.net/threads/so-counterfeit-nes-classics-are-out-now.475774/page-5#post-7448793
    These should be pictures of the outie: http://gbatemp.net/threads/so-counterfeit-nes-classics-are-out-now.475774/page-4#post-7437160
    The NeoGAF forum: http://www.neogaf.com/forum/showthread.php?t=1402501

    And the Spanish forum's 100+ page thread that has pretty much all the details, along with a witch hunt for those that claimed it would be a perfect replica: https://www.elotrolado.net/hilo_hilo-oficial-nintendo-nes-classic-mini-clon_2238270

    Admittedly it would've helped to wait until I got my unit in hand for more details, but I wanted to get a head start. Here's what i know:

    The mobo is completely different, and is not compatible. It sounds like it can be re-flashed, but no flashing is going to make it 1080P with perfect playback. Maybe it can be salvaged and repurposed, but I doubt it. I can ship it to anyone who wants it.

    The controllers have good feel and are compatible with the genuine controllers. It does sound like they are using the I2C standard like what the real Classic Controllers use.

    The shell and controllers are functionally identical, but may be discolored (making it look like a 20-year old NES and not a brand new NES) and the text may be crooked. Still better than a 3d-printed shell or the more deformed (but admittedly easier to use) Pi-specific shells.

    My intent is to stick a pi in there and hook all ports to it correctly, without drilling through the shell. So I would be using short cable extensions for the HDMI and USB port, and I really want to try to link the front Classic Controller ports to it using the GPIO interface. It sounds possible, but I have not yet found a pin guide or drivers. I see no problem with hiding a receiver inside it for a wireless keyboard/mouse. I wish to load a emulator-specific OS that obviously has NES games (and maybe more like Gameboy, but nothing that cannot realistically be played with a NES controller), themed and set up so that even technically illiterate friends and family can hopefully figure out how to play a game on it. I'm pretty sure I can get by with just the original Pi, or maybe a Pi Nano if I just end up using a Classic controller-to-usb adapter.


    I suppose my end-game is to make an easy-to-follow tutorial with the least number of parts needed so that anyone stuck with a Crassic can make use of it.
     
    Last edited by Futurdreamz, Jul 17, 2017
  7. Futurdreamz
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    Futurdreamz GBAtemp Advanced Maniac

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    Update: I'm picking up a used Pi 2-B off kijiji tomorrow. I ordered extension cables for HDMI, MicroUSB, and CCP, with the intention that I will glue or attach the plugs to the shell (instead of having wires threaded thru), and will try to splice the CCP cables onto the GPIO connector.
     
  8. Futurdreamz
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    Futurdreamz GBAtemp Advanced Maniac

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    Update 2: my Crassic has arrived. Pictures: https://1drv.ms/f/s!AsIQJ23rEAwFgsoQ4lhcmK9l4DIwog

    Notes so far:

    1. it should be simple enough to splice the controller ports to the GPIO port. the power/reset switch? not so much. There may be an adapter for ZIF connectors, which I will need

    2. It's easy to take apart and reassemble, but the button housing is a little fiddly. Be careful not to over tighten, as the plastic is fairly soft - I didn't even realize I was tightening through the plastic on one side until it was too late.

    3. if I hadn't known any better (and was a technophobe), it's highly possible I'd believe it was the real deal. The most important difference is that the reset switch reboots the console instead of going to the menu, which requires a button combination that I forgot. The manual seems to be a photocopy of the original, so it doesn't detail that combination

    4. after taking it apart, I can believe it was made in the same factory as the original. everything looks authentic, with only three exceptions: The coloring and paint job, the motherboard, and the complete lack of tri-wing screws. it's possible you can stick an authentic mobo into this thing. I believe that if they took the effort to put a better CPU in it, it could've made them more money in the long run. That being said, they probably made a lot of money as it is by people duped into thinking this thing had an Allwinner. Those people may be more inclined to track down those counterfeiters and report them, however.
     
  9. Naendow

    Naendow Brick-Master

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    The NES Mini doesn't have tri-wing screws. Just fyi. ;)
     
  10. Razor83

    Razor83 GBAtemp Regular

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    Any chance of some pictures of the back and insides of the controller?
     
  11. Futurdreamz
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    Futurdreamz GBAtemp Advanced Maniac

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    added to the photo library
     
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  12. Futurdreamz
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    Futurdreamz GBAtemp Advanced Maniac

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    You know what? Fuck it.

    Yes, the emulation is a little glitchy. Yes, the menu is shit-tier quality.

    But you know what? After getting my Pi set up I realized something: it's still better then Retropie (at least to me). Having to press select+start at the same time is simple enough, and the save menu is fairly easy to use, despite it's graphical errors when you delete. I don't need all the systems, and my Pi model B can't run N64 games anyways. I could spend a day or two working out a driver from scratch so i can plug the controllers to the Pi, or i can accept I already have a fully functional system.

    I'm not a linux person. I've dabbled, but there's not a single shred of cohesion in the system. Hell, on my Pi I have to switch between keyboard and gamepad to navigate the system - and the mini keyboard I have set up as a gamepad can't be used properly in some places.

    The Crassic works. I can plug it into a TV and go.

    Now to figure out a better use for the Pi...
     
    Last edited by Futurdreamz, Jul 29, 2017
  13. DaFixer

    DaFixer Dare to be stupid

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    In my mencave ;)
    To bad it not workt out to use a Raspberry Pi (with RetroPie).
    I use my RBPi 3 and it works great only using my 8bitbo snes controller.

    I want also get one off those Nes Classic clones to build another RetroPie console.

    You also make a "pi hole" with your RBPI3.