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"Portable" Playstation 2 Project

Discussion in 'General Electronics Discussion' started by nobelium98, Jan 7, 2015.

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  1. nobelium98


    Jan 7, 2015
    I have never owned a gaming console so I decided to actually get myself a PS2 Slim because games are cheap now and there are loads of classic legendary games that I just feel the need to play at last.

    Anyway I got inspired by this awesome project:
    and wanted to know if something similar can be done with PS2 Slim. After one night of somewhat heavy research I have found out a lot but loads of questions still remain.

    Connecting to the monitor (version1)

    This device could take the the composite/component?/RCA/AV plugs from PS2 and output that (analog?) signal to VGA (digital?). I am really sorry if Im wrong but from now on I will be calling that 3piece video/audio cable a RCA just to make it short. Anyway I am pretty sure that this controller board device thingy is needed because something need to take PS2 analog signal and turn it into A VGA digital...Atleast thats what I think it is and thats why a simple RCA female 3piece to VGA wouldnt work just by itself (I saw some RCA to VGA cables on ebay. I guess some TVs can take VGA that carries a signal from PS2 straight, but a normal computer monitor cannot do that). Anyway that board needs some power. I guess that 5VDC port is 2.5mm (?) so would a USB to 5VDC cable power this thing if plugged straight into PS2 USB port? That would be pretty convenient, I do not think there is any way to get power from the inner PSU unit in PS2 Slim console itself.

    Connecting to the monitor (version 2)

    There is the idea to add another controller plate thingy that takes the VGA cable and outputs that to LVDS (a laptop screen connector type) and displays that on laptop screen. The only way I think that would make more sense is when the laptop screen is slimmer and that way the overall portable PS2 unit would be slimmer and nicer. The possible problems would be that both the controller boards (I have no idea if thats what they are called but I am saying that the RCA to VGA and VGa to LVDS are the controller boards. Just in case you aren´t really following) would distort the signal or in whatever way wont work together at once (I dont think if thats the case but maybe these two controller boards just will mess up something). Another problem would be the wiring of the laptop monitor. I have no idea where the power comes from, what is the inventer etc. Havent found a very informative article or teardown or whatever about laptop screen wiring yet. A normal computer LCD monitor would plug into the wall and problem solved, however I have no idea what would be the best way to power laptop monitor. Oh well.

    Anyway here is a board thingy for VGA to LVDS

    and I found a straight RCA to LVDS controller board too (I still dont know if RCA is the right term)

    Dont know if it would work though.

    Connecting to monitor (version 3)

    The third and last option would be just to somehow get a flat LCD panel with straight RCA inputs but I dont really know if I could manage to find something like that in the are I live. I guess that would be slightly older tech and wouldnt be that slim and nice. I am taking the screen apart anyway and building a new outer box for all this but maybe there are more complicated electronics in a older LCD panel with RCA input...Problems everywhere but I am sure there is a simple solution that I havent managed to find yet. Oh well


    This all would still be plugged into the wall and not ran by some kind of miracle battery. Unless ofcourse the PS2 doesnt consume a lot of power and the laptop screen would also be good with not much power. Because I know that the regular LCD monitor need lot of power. I havent done research on PS2 power consumption and laptop screen power consumption yet.

    Anyway in BenHeckShow Xbox one project he managed to take the console power wall plug and the monitor´s one and somehow put them together. I didnt really understand that part from the video and havent googled that yet. I guess I still need to study all the names of different cables because I have no idea how a standard wall plug to computer or xbox would be called. Even if I cant take the PS2 plug and a monitor plus and put them together on the device´s end, maybe the end of the wall plugs could be somehow compactly made into only one plug that goes into one socket instead of two. But thats all extra improvements that would just make it look better and somewhat easier to use.

    Quality of the final video

    So another problematic part. I have read that all kinds of connections make the final picture look bad and there has been this "white snow" problem. The first controller board mentioned has some settings knobs but I am not really sure what those are all about and could they fix some problems. I have heard about this white snow problem, picture size and ratio problems, color problems maybe and that on some connection types the picture can be HD but on others its not (I think thats all this composite vs component thing). That could be a problem because the first controller board mentionad has 3input RCA plugs but the component cable (which is capable to display HD) has more plugs. Some people have said that it look fine on LCD monitors but others are sure that those older consoles are supposed to work straight to CRT panels throught scart or RCA or whatever. I am not sure at all how bad those picture problems can get and how big of a deal it is.

    Some other stuff

    Does PS2 Slim need extra cooling or not? Should I add a fan anyway juyst because the console components and the display together can cause heat or somehow be problematic to each other.
    I could add any PC fan and I was thinking about not plugging that exra fan into the console PSU or mainboard (mainly because I have no idea if that´s even possible). Instead I could make little AAbatterybox TO switch TO PC fan thingy. If the fan is 12v, do I need to add a battery box of 8 (1.5V each) or would I be good with less. How long would the batteries last if the fan is blowing at 12V and lets say I have some awful ebay rechargeable 1000mah (There isnt said how much mah these batteries are but they are pretty awful I think. Claimed to be 3000mah but thats ofcourse not true).

    Could the first mentioned controller board 5VDC input be also from a battery box? I would have a separete battery box for that too because I think it would be awesome to turn on all these switches before I can turn on the main system. It would look pretty ghetto and now I am just intensely typing random stuff I think would be cool. In the end the unit would look neat because I care about the design a lot. It would look like a 19inch (If I choose to go with a 19inch monitor) tablet that has some serious weight problems. Similar to BenHeckShow´s Xbox One project.
    Anyway the PS2 is not as wide and tall as a 19inch monitor so there would be extra room on the side for the battery packs and controller plates (can be mounted on top of the PS2 mainboard too if needed).

    More endless text about this project

    I have no idea if I´ll even start with this project because I actually do not have a single item I need. no PS2 Slim, no monitor, no controller boards, no nothing. But I can tell that if I get some positive feedback and information I will certainly want to do something like that and I really hope I have a chance to make this project succesfully. I am sure that I forgot something and there could be a lot more difficulties to make this thing but I guess some time I will give an update (that will most likely to be more endless questions and ideas)

    I have no idea if I am in the right place posting this. I guess it´s not really convenient to post a build log here but to be fair, I havent really started building anything at the moment. I will save this text and post it anywhere I have to to (that "to to" is weird, what should be changed there?) get answers and you, the brave guy who managed to read all this, could help too and say where else should I post all this to get the best answers.

    Looking forward to this project but I am not going to promise anything, its just and idea I have.
  2. Gryd3


    Jun 25, 2014
    Wow. That is quite the post!

    Anyway. Quick summary for you:
    -Finding a display that accepts 'RCA' is certainly possible. Look at some smaller/older TV sets. Depending on how much hacking apart you will be doing, the majority of the plastic housing can be scrapped.
    -Try to avoid daisy chaining conversion boxes. Keep in mind that a similar device to the LVDS box you found is inside the TV anyway.
    -The PS2, has a few different display modes. Do yourself a favor and lookup a Playstation 2 AV pinout to see if perhaps you can make a direct connection, or manipulate the cable for a more compatible signal.
    -When looking at power sources... ie, the 5V you found from USB, you also NEED to consider the current draw. USB typically won't give you any more than 500mA, so if the device requires more, it won't work.
    -Keep in mind that a portable build puts different hardware very close to each other... video clarity can be affected by using unshielded or poorly shielded cable or wire to carry AV signals. (bad connections do this too). The different hardware may emit electrical noise causing poor quality audio/video. Usually the power supply portion of the circuit is responsible, so attempt to keep wiring away from these regions.
    -Power... Avoid at all costs using additive power supplies! If you have a 5V source, but need 12V, don't simply make a 7V battery pack to add to it. This is a horrible practice and can cause some issues. Additionally, be careful pulling extra power out of either device's power supply board, it may not be rated to handle it and could easily fail. A cheap alternative would be a desktop computer power supply. It will provide 3.3, 5, and 12V at a surprising amount of amperage. Find one for a slim computer to save space.
    -Wall power... you can internally connect the main power line of each device, and use one power cord for the wall. Just make sure you use a cord that is properly rated for the current draw of your beast.

    This portable device may require you to mess with the internals of the display or PS2 for space savings. High voltage will be present, and great care should be taken!
    Building the portable device will all of the original housing intact would be the safest method if you are unsure about tracing circuits or working with High Voltage.
  3. nobelium98


    Jan 7, 2015
    So here goes another typing spree. Kind of an update to tell what Ive figured out or changed or whatever. Also some explanation and more questions for Gryd3.

    Im pretty sure I will go with a laptop screen and these two controllers below (maybe not specifically these two models but something like that) - So this one is for PS2 AV RCA cable. It has some useful settings onboard like zoom, position, color settings etc. This unit will take the RCA (I will probably only plug in the video cable, yellow I think, and other two audio ones I will plug into the 3.5mm adapter so I can output the audio to headphones or some kind of external speaker) and output it into digital VGA. - This is the other controller board that takes VGA and turns it into LVDS (for laptop screens). And Gryd3 said the LCD panels already have these board...but laptop screens do not have a straight input for VGA so this VGA to LVDS controller board is really needed and there is no way around. Afterall I would like this kind of unit anyway for future external monitor projects for DSLR or just for a desktop PC or something like that. This would be a great way to save an old laptop screen that works perfectly but the laptop motherboard or whatever is broken. - This is the third option that takes RCA straight to LVDS. The reason Im not going with this is mainly because Im afraid that my stuff wont arrive from ebay and in that case I would lose the whole unit. If I buy the first two boards mentioned above there is a chance that one wont arrive and I would still get another one and not lose all...I have no idea where Im going with it. Anyway the other things is that the RCA to VGA board has all these video zoom, position, color controls without what would all this maybe just not work or be smaller that full screen of the laptop and have wrong colors or something like that. Buying these two boards would be just a little bit more expensive and not too convenient but there for sure is enough space to store these boards in the PS2/screen/boards/wires unit.

    Some more things.

    1. USB output wouldnt work because one controller board needs 4A and other one 2A (VGA to LVDS board needs "Input Voltage: 12V-DC 2A-5A" and the RCA to VGA board needs "DC 5V 2A +/- 0.5V"
    I will be posting questions about powering the unit later.

    2. I didnt have a plan to add 2 power supplies (5V and 7V for example as Gryd3 said). I had an idea to add maybe like a battery box of 8 AA batteries, connect it to the 12V 2A plug (somehow get the voltage and amper right, I have no idea what I have to do to make that kind of a solution work) and power one of the controller boards like that. Maybe I can build another one of these AA battery box thingys for another controller board. I dont know about that but thats one idea...I will not use a desktop PSU unit, I cant get it as slim and small as Id like to. There is a possibility that this unit is going to be maybe only like 4cm thick and no desktop PSU couldnt fit inside there.

    3. What about the AV RCA analog signal getting interrupted because of the electronics? Do you mean controller boards? There is a problem, because shortest PS2 connection cable I know is 6feet (2 meters) long and fitting that into the unit could take up some space and cause problems. I have no idea how simple would it be to cut and solder this wire to make it shorter and I havent found any shorter PS2 connection cables on ebay.

    The VGA cable thats short I can get, saw some 20cm ones on ebay also but they cost like 6euros, which is way too much, there are VGA cables laying around everywhere, just not 20cm ones I suppose. Is it easy to make VGA cable shorter yourself?

    4. I will take PS2 board out of the original case to make everything less bulky, I really do not see any major problems with that.

    aaaand thats it for now, next posts will be about powering the thing and I will get a PS2 (That I wont be going to use for this build because Im lending it from my friend who will eventually want it back. Its just something for the reference and planning) and some laptop screens on what I can start planning the outer case and other options.
  4. Gryd3


    Jun 25, 2014
    This is my personal favorite... but you are right, it does not appear to have any controls to adjust position, or size which could pose a major problem. If you can find one that has adjustments I would jump at it.

    Alright, so you are pushing to go quite small.
    Desktop, and Slim desktop PSUs will be too big, you are right, but from the looks of things you will need to buy or build a power supply for it. By this I mean a DC-DC power supply, or AC-DC power supply that can output a regulated voltage for the 12V and 5V. Batteries will not last very long at all... unless you go with a much larger battery pack. (ie. 8 - AA batteries would at most last about 25-30 minutes.)
    You can also get a more robust 12V supply, and use a small DC-DC buck converter to drop it to 5V. These converters can be quite small, or custom built to fit in your device.

    I mean things like noise could be a problem based on cable position. If you wrap up your AV RCA cord and sit it on-top of the PS2's power supply board you could pick up noise. This is mostly about placement. It's pretty easy to cut and modify a cable, however, you need to make sure that the new joint that is made is done properly, otherwise a poor connection could also cause noise.

    Final notes about powering the device.
    If you want it to be portable, it's time to do some math.
    Average AA batteries hold between 1000 - 1500mAh . So if you make a pack and pull 5A from them, they will not last any longer than 18 minute. (Actual number is smaller, as 5A is a lot for a AA) Rechargeable AA batteries will hold far less than this. The other option would be Lead-Acid or Lithium batteries, but you will be adding lots of weight and size to your device for battery pack(s).
    I would highly suggest powering everything from a wall-plug.
  5. nobelium98


    Jan 7, 2015
    So I made a separate post about one idea to power this thing (In case anyone knows about electricity but doesnt care about playstation stuff)
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