Project 2: GameCube Media Center (Update 1)

Hey everyone,

I’ve been continuing to tinker with my GameCubes and am working a little slower than I anticipated. Instead of dremeling part of the original GameCube, I decided to craft my own piece to mount the USB ports to the GameCube controller face. The first batch has been ordered, so fingers crossed they’ll work!

While I prefer to have the inside of the GameCubes finished first, I decided to try painting a Legend of Zelda version. How do you all like it?

-CurtisRetroMaster

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Helpful Software: MakeMKV

Hey everyone!

As I continue slowly working on my GameCube Media Centers, I thought I’d continue my series on helpful software. This is software I’ve found useful for one reason or another that you may find useful too. Let me know if you have any questions!

Today I’m going to talk about MakeMKV.

MakeMKV.png

MakeMKV is a free DVD/Bluray ripping software that allows the user to convert inserted DVD/Bluray into MKV format. It does not require you to understand complex file formatting or settings, which makes this a great tool for beginners. It also automatically splits the DVD/Bluray into multiple sections: one for the main movie and others for the various extras a movie may have. I also enjoy being able to select and deselect subtitles and audio tracks for the movie, since I don’t speak any foreign languages. 😉

If you want to rip your movie collection, this is a great place to start!

Curtis RetroMaster

Helpful Software: Ember Media Manager

Hey everyone,

When it comes to the movies on my NES media center, I’m very particular: everything from fan-art, to box art, to title/sort title has to be hand-picked by me. I have themes (all Star Wars movies need similar art styles), self-imposed rules (The Fast and the Furious are together in order, even though they’re all over the road with name schemes) and really want to make my collection as crisp and individualized as possible.

One of the tools I use to help with this is Ember Media Manager.

Ember 1.png

After you install it, you simply direct it toward your movie collection. Then Ember scans and tracks what movies you have with a nice interface. Not only can it read local .csv meta-data files, it can cross reference movie file names with IMDB and create local .csv meta-data files with that information if none exists. It also allows you to select from a large collection of fan-art, box art and other supplemental art (like disk art!). When you want to update information manually, like movie rating, actors and taglines, you can change it by double clicking the movie from the list.

Ember 2.png

Ember not only allows you to better organize your movie collection, it also works for TV shows too. Want Season Art? You can get that too! 🙂

Ember 3.png

Overall, this program has helped me tremendously. If you’re interested in going digital with your movie (and TV Show) collection, I really recommend checking this program out!

-Curtis RetroMaster

 

Project 1: NES Media Center (Part 2)

Hello everyone,

Since my NES Media Center is completed, I wanted to discuss how I built it, as well as the thought process.

Final Build NES Pi

Here we have the final build. You can see that the LED lights up appropriately and that it is on by the Power Button pushed in.

NES Pi Media Center - Inside Look

This is the inside of the NES, with everything wired up.

NES Controller Port

The first thing I did was remove the original controller ports and replace them with the NES-USB adapter. Here we see the originals still attached.

NES Controller Port

Once the ports have been removed, we need to dremel the sockets and make them rectangular.

NES - Controller Ports

After stripping the rubber casing from the NES/USB adapter, we get to put it in the NES. This adapter is upside down.

NES Back

This is the back of the NES, where I dremelled ports for the power, HDMI in, and 2 USB.

NES Front - Ports Epoxied!

The cables have been epoxied!

NES Power Button

After removing the power buttons, we need to make a little notch at the top to break the circuit. We also solder up near the top of the far right side.

NES Power Button Wires

After cutting the ribbon, we need to strip the brown, red, orange and yellow wires. We’ll connect this to the Mausberry circuit so it can power the Pi effectively.

NES Power Circuit

The wires have been soldered to the power circuit.

NES Power Pole

You’ll also need to remove this pole.

NES Pi Media Center - Inside Look

Again, here we can see the inside of the NES, with everything wired up!

Kodi - LibreElec

Here’s a demonstration of LibreElec!

RetroPie

And here we have RetroPie!

There you go! Not a perfect step-by-step tutorial, but hopefully shows the various steps required to do this sort of project. This is a really good project for people who aren’t familiar with dremeling, soldering and electronics!

-Curtis RetroMaster

Project 1: NES Media Center

Hello everyone,

I’m sorry I’ve been pretty quiet over the last week and a half. I’ve been working on a new project… and I’m proud to announce I’ve finished my NES Media Center! This was a fairly easy project, relative to others I’ve done.

IMAG0098.jpg

My project wouldn’t have been possible without the help of those who accomplished this project before me.  I’d especially like to thank  on imgur for the tutorial he posted. Very helpful if you want to do the project too!

Make sure you also watch the tutorial video I posted onto YouTube. It describes step by step the process of building your own, as well as a preview of what the final project looks like and how it works. I’d love to hear your comments, questions and critiques!

All the best,

-Curtis RetroMaster

Future Project: Famicom Media Center

Hello everyone,

Today I got the second major part I needed for my Famicom Media Center build: new controllers. They are nearly identical to the original Famicom controllers, but add extra X, Y, L, R buttons and the ability to rapid fire. The cords also comes up from the top of the controller, rather than the side, which makes the original a bit odd to hold. Finally, they increase the playable length. I’m still going to have them internally mounted, like the original, so these controllers greatly increase the media center’s functionality.

-CurtisRetroMaster