I found this cool article on www.vintagecomputing.com. I immediately wanted to build one myself. The goal was to take an el cheapo DVD player's innards and stuff them into an old Nintendo Entertainment System (NES) shell. I put an ad out in my local classifieds looking for the parts. In less than a week, I had everything I needed and didn't have to pay a dime for any of it. So my build of the NES DVD only cost me a weekend's elbow grease.
NES DVD Player features:
- Working remote control
- Hand controller button functions SELECT for eject, START for play, A or B for stop
- POWER button plays movie, RESET ejects
- Power switch located in back
- FULL video outputs (RGB, component, and S-video)
- FULL audio outputs ( L/R component, digital)
- Side mounted controls for eject, play and stop.
- Region free playback
- Dremel rotary tool with cutting wheels
- Black & Decker drill and bits
- Soldering Iron (nothing bigger than 30 watt)
- Solder Removing Tool
- Screwdrivers, mini screw drivers
- Exacto knife
- Wire cutters
- Needle nose pliers
- Instant adhesive (Krazy glue)
- Hobby Hot Glue gun
- Digital Multimeter
- Safety Glasses
- A Nintendo Entertainment System (NES) - Preferably one that doesn't work anymore. It would be a shame to hack one up that worked.
- A Diamond Vision DVDV807-03 DVD player. You can find these at Walmart for $30 or less. They aren't very reliable so I'm told, but I've know people who have them for a while now with no problems.
- Cat5 cable - This cable has 8 wires inside it, and these wires are PERFECT for doing little wiring runs inside your system, they are easy to bend, shape, solder, etc
- Binder stand off posts - Used for mounting the drive, logic board and power supply. This is the stuff that's used in thick binders. You can make them any length you want. They are made out of aluminum and easy to put together.
- Power switch - A simple on/off power switch that handles 120v AC. You can get these at Radio Shack or any electronics parts store for about a dollar. I had one in my box full of electronic junk.
- Screws and washers
Step 1. DVD Disassembly
Unscrewed all screws to get the top, back and front covers off. Pulled the top cover off first. The RCA/S-video jack assembly is mounted to the back cover of the DVD player, removed the three screws that held this assembly to the panel and saved them, I'll need these for later, in fact, save ALL screws you take out of this for future use. Next unscrewed the two screws that hold the front control buttons circuit board to the front panel. Unscrewed the 4 mounting screws that are used to mount the drive itself to the bottom tray of the DVD player, as well as the removing mounting screws for the power supply. By now I could lift the innards out and place them on the table. I then disconnected all the ribbon cables connecting everything so I could work on each separate component. I also removed the Logic board from the DVD drive assembly.
Step 2. NES Disassembly
Removed the top cover and took out everything that had a screw mounting it down EXCEPT the power/reset board in front. Leave that in there. I also removed the POWER LED from this board with wire cutters, cut it off so that you still have as much lead wire on that LED as possible. Next time I'll just desolder it out. I saved this LED for later. I removed the controller ports from the front as well.
Step 3. Dremel Time !!
Before I start this section, put your safety glasses on, flying plastic pieces dislike eyeballs..... don't ask....
I used a dremel tool with a cutting wheel to remove all the plastic mounting posts inside the NES bottom half that held the NES hardware in place. I had to do this in order to make room for the DVD innards to fit. The only posts I left standing were the 4 corners to mount the top back on, the two posts to mount the POWER/RESET assembly and one post next to the RF switch jack in back (more on that later). I then cut the side audio jack space out a bit to make room for the DVD's button controls.
The top half of the NES needed some cutting as well. The inside of the bay door where the drive will be sitting had plastic getting in the way. I cut all this out to make room for the DVD drive, using the drive itself as a guide to where I should and shouldn't cut. in other words, make the bay as open as possible. When the door is shut, you can't see what you removed anyway. I also had to shave off about a centimeter from the front of the movable drive tray to help make clearance for the drive. The outer part of the drive assembly didn't have to be touched. Once I had everything cut out, it was time for the next step.
Step 4. Position the Parts
I took the DVD assemblies and positioned them where I wanted to mount, making sure everything will fit and not get in the way of the other assemblies.
Step 5. Video RCA and S-Video Assembly Mounting.
The video jack assembly attaches to the logic board assembly via a ribbon cable. So unlike the original article DVD hack, this model of DVD player used was easier to work with since I didn't have to slice an inch of plastic off the rear part of the drive. Also, the original NES hack was rigged for only composite video and L/R audio. My hack includes all video and audio outs. I dremeled out the rear DVD panel to use the audio/video holes as a template to drill out the back of the NES lower shell. I held the template in place, screwed it on temporarily on the outside of the NES with the three mounting screw holes. I then took my drill and matched each hole with the same size bit and drilled it out. I took off the template and mounted the audio/video assembly into it's new location..... Perfect fit !! Looked like it was meant to be there.
Step 6. Logic Board Mounting
Because the Logic board ribbon cable jacks were flush with the back of the DVD drive assembly, I had to remove the logic board from the drive and position it forward a little to make room for the audio/video assembly I just mounted. The logic board has 4 mounting holes for screws. I took 4 of my aluminum stand off posts and secured them to the bottom and placed the board in the lower half of the NES shell, I then marked with a CD writing pen where the posts sit so I can drill the screw holes for the posts. removed board, drilled my holes, then attached the board in place by using the flat screws up through the bottom.
Step 7. DVD Drive Mounting
Using enough aluminum stand off posts to mount the drive assembly high enough in the NES to make room for the logic board AND have enough clearance to make the slide tray clear the door, I marked off the posts where they sat in the bottom NES shell and drilled a hole for each one, I then screwed the drive assembly in place the same way I did for the Logic board and re-connected all ribbon cables.
Step 8. Power Supply mounting
Same deal with this as the previous two assemblies, I used three stand off posts to mount it, marked, drilled, and screwed in place, now that all major assemblies are in there, I removed the power supply for now so I can have room to do my other tasks inside the shell. I desoldered the AC line coming in, ran the cord thru the back and resoldered the line back in. This made for a nice clean appearance in back where the cord comes in.
Step 9. Modding the Hand Controller to Assign Functions
Disassembling the hand controller, I took a close look at the signal traces on the board. I didn't plan on using the D-pad for this mod, only the START, SELECT, A and B buttons. All the buttons on the controller board have two leads traces, one is a common ground and the other is the positive side. All the positive traces went to the chip leads, the ground went straight to the brown wire on it's own trace. Now, that leaves 4 wires remaining, giving me the option of having 4 functions to work with, but I only needed three.... STOP, PLAY, and EJECT. So what I set to do was assign a button on the controller to a DVD function. First thing I had to do was remove that 14 pin chip, it served no purpose here. I cut the chip out with wire cutters, and used a soldering iron to heat the remaining chip leads and removed them all from the board, as well as removing the excess solder from the solder points so I can work with nice clean holes later.
After I removed the chip, I cut the traces that were between the two rows of chip pins that ran under the chip so signals wouldn't interfere with anything I was modding in there. I then looked at the board and traced each color wire coming in to the chip and matched it with whatever positive trace of each button I wanted to use. I didn't bother using the white wire, I used the red, orange, and yellow wires as my positive leads for each function. So it was a matter of matching (at the chip mounting holes) the control button lead to the colored lead coming in. I did this by soldering a jumper across whatever pins for each control to bridge the two with the use of small pieces of wire from Cat5 cable. I assigned SELECT, START and I combined the A and B functions to STOP.
With all the jumpers soldered in, I had to test the buttons before putting the controller back together. I took the controller's connector and plugged it into the controller port which I had previously removed from the lower NES shell. I inserted some Cat5 wire leads into the 4 colors I wired it for (brown, red , orange, yellow) and placed the multimeter ground lead to the brown wire, and started moving the positive lead of the the multimeter to the other colored wires, as I moved to colored wire, I checked the continuity of the wiring, by pressing the associated button on the controller and watching for the short, telling me I had a good connection. Once all three "functions" buttons proved to work, I reassembled the hand controller.
Taking a look at the DVD players control button circuit board, you have three buttons. STOP, EJECT and PLAY. These buttons are momentary push switches, meaning they act the same way as the controller buttons do, when you press one, it makes a contact of Positive and Negative to make the signal pass thru the circuit. This involves a Positive signal trace and a Ground signal trace on the board. The buttons have 4 leads to them and that's how they are mounted to this little circuit board. Two of these leads are connected to the ground trace (the upper leads), the other two leads (lower leads) are for the Positive trace. The Ground trace connects all the grounds to all three switches on this board. So knowing that, and knowing that the ground lead from the controller is the ground lead for the controller buttons, I soldered the controller's brown lead (ground) to the circuit board's ground trace. It doesn't matter which switch lead you solder this to, since all the grounds are connected. The remaining three wires from your hand controller have to be soldered to the positive side's leads of these buttons on the circuit board. It's up to you to decide which controller button will handle what function (PLAY, STOP, EJECT). Once I had the four wire leads from the controllers soldered in, I hooked the power supply back up and tested it. I put a movie in to see if it played. Everything worked so far. Here's how I assigned my buttons:
- Controller wires
Brown - ground wire soldered to ground lead trace on ANY button you wish
SELECT button wire soldered to EJECT positive lead on control circuit board
START button soldered to PLAY positive lead on control circuit board
A & B lead wire soldered to STOP positive lead on control circuit board
So after testing it, SELECT ejects the DVD tray, START plays the DVD, and A or B buttons STOP playback of the DVD.
Step 10. Assigning Functions to the POWER and RESET buttons
Ok, so far I've assigned functions to the hand controller, as well as keeping the original buttons working on the DVD control board. I'm not done yet, I also wanted to assign functions to the two front buttons POWER and RESET. I set out to assign the POWER switch to play a DVD, and the RESET to eject the disc. I know this sounds a bit overkill for button functions (hand controller, remote, side buttons and FRONT buttons), but I wanted this NES hack to be that much more with every option available.
The mini board the switches are mounted to is located in front on the lower half of the NES. The 5 wires that come from this board handle the signals and LED light power. Using your multimeter (applying the "finding the short" method), find the two leads for the POWER and the two leads for the RESET. One will act as a ground and the other the positive. Then apply the same theory you just did for the hand controller's wiring. Solder one side of your lead pair to a ground lead on one of the button switches on the DVD controller circuit board, and then solder its positive lead to whatever function you want. Here's how I assigned the front buttons:
POWER button wire (positive) to the PLAY button's lead on control circuit board. Solder your ground lead to a lead on PLAY button's Ground side on the control circuit board.
RESET button wire (positive) to the EJECT button's lead on control board. Solder your ground lead to a lead on EJECT button's Ground side on the control circuit board.
So again, I powered up and tested the front buttons.
Step 11. POWER LED wiring.
In Step 2, I removed the POWER LED from the board in front, well...time to wire in the NES LED in it's place. I took two pieces of Cat5 wire leads (12 inches long) and stripped a centimeter of the plastic off the ends of each wire. I straightened the leads on the LED with needle nose pliers so it was easier to work with. I then tinned the two ends of the Cat5 with solder, applied heat to the leads and soldered the leads of the LED to the heated Cat5 leads. Once that was done I pushed the LED back into place on the POWER/RESET switch circuit board's clear plastic light mount. The other end of the LED leads were be soldered into the DVD's controller circuit board where I removed the original DVD player's LED.
So again, powered up, hit power on the remote control and guess what? the LED didn't work. Here's why..... LED's only work one way in terms of voltage. You have to make sure which side of the LED the positive is connected to. In my case I soldered the wire leads from my LED into the control circuit board backwards, easily fixed though, I desoldered the leads from the control circuit board and reversed them. Powered up, tested again and now the LED works.
Step 12. Remote Control Sensor Relocation
In order to use the DVD player's remote control, the remote sensor has to be removed and placed in front somewhere on the NES shell. I desoldered the leads and removed the sensor. Using three pieces of Cat5 wire leads, I soldered these in place where the sensor leads were. Make sure your leads are long enough to reach the front of the NES shell (about 10 inches), then I tinned the other side of these leads and attached the sensor leads to them. Remember to know which wire lead goes to which sensor lead or it won't work. Since I wasn't using controller port 2 for anything, I decided to use that port to hide the IR sensor in. I used my dremel to shave off the back of the control port which had all the wires coming out of it, glued a piece of plastic in its place, drilled a hole that was big enough for the sensor to peek through in the piece of plastic I just glued on, then hot glued the sensor in place to the back of the controller 2 port. I then colored that piece of plastic with a black sharpie pen to make it match the rest of the controller port. Now with both controller one and controller two taken care off, I screwed them back into place on the NES shell. Again......yes, I sound like a broken record here, I tested the remote sensor, to make sure it works before moving on to the next step.
Step 13. Installing the Power Switch
Since I used the POWER button in front as a PLAY function, I needed a way to turn this thing on. I decided to use a on/off toggle switch I found sitting in my electronics junk bin. I also wanted to place this in the back of the unit to keep the front normal looking. Underneath the NES is a plastic cover of some sort that's held in by prongs, I took that thing off and used a piece of grey plastic from it to cover the holes in back next to the power cord. I glued it in place with Krazy Glue. After the glue dried I drilled a mounting hole through it for the switch. Before I installed this switch I had to rig it to the power supply. I cut the original switch off and installed this one in it's place by soldering the freshly cut leads to the switch's contacts. I tested the switch to make sure it worked, once I was happy with it I mounted the switch into the hole I just drilled and tightened it in.
Step 14. Installing the side control buttons.
With all the control options I included now wired in on the DVD player's controller circuit board, I decided to make use of the actual buttons from the DVD player itself. On the lower half of the NES shell where the audio connectors on the right side were, was my new location for the controls. I used my dremel to cut out the plastic part that held the buttons from the DVD player's front panel, as well as cut out a little bit of plastic where the audio ports were on the NES to make it more visible, and glued the plastic part in it's place. So now I can use the NES without a remote OR hand controller.
Step 15. Hacking the DVD player to be Region Free
I looked up the model of my DVD player, and found there was a hack out there to make it region free. This hack is for the Diamond Vision DVDV807-03.
open DVD tray
press setup on remote
press direction arrows on remote to alter region to 0
press setup to exit menu
that's it, I can now play movies from any region.
Step 16. Final check
Before screwing the top cover on, I made sure all ribbon cables were securely in place, ensured there were no broken or loose wires from solder points, re-checked all solder points to make sure they were solid, and cleaned out any loose parts or particles of plastic from all the dremel/soldering I did. After this I performed a full functional check of everything and finally screwed the top half of the NES onto the bottom half. Project complete. People ask me why I would do something like this........ well...... why not? It makes an interesting conversation piece.
Hope you enjoyed my version of the NES DVD Hack
Have a question regarding my project? Feel free to contact me @ firstname.lastname@example.org