Salvage that busted Nintendo console with Raspberry Pi and some Lego bricks

jbaker1225/Imgur

It's one thing to have an Nintendo emulator running on your computer. It's another thing entirely to rip the innards out of a broken NES console, replace it with a Raspberry Pi, and convert the original box into a fully functional emulator that can play the classics from both the original NES and Super NES.

Apparently, Imgur user jbaker1225 was itching to play some original Nintendo so badly that he decided to try to breathe some life back into the corpse of an NES that he purchased on Ebay. The Raspberry Pi was a fairly obvious choice for the machine's brains, but the Lego bricks were a surprising addition that certainly increased the geek cred of this project. I know Lego is for building, but I certainly never thought to use them to build electronics.

To accomplish this feat, jbaker1225 ripped out the console's innards and replaced them with the Raspberry Pi, using the Lego bricks as structural support. He wired the Raspberry Pi to a circuit he used to power it on and off and connect it to the original power button. He also wired the original reset button to the Raspberry Pi to two pins that will reset it if shorted.

Due to voltage incompatibilities, jbaker1225 needed to replace the power-on indicated light, and he had to wire a new LED into the 3.3V pin on the GPIO. The next stage required some desecration of the console, as the ports on the back had to be expanded to fit USB, Ethernet, and HDMI adapters. In addition, jbaker1225 expanded the front controller ports in order to fit a USB plug for some USB Super NES controllers.

Just like that, jbaker1225 was scratching his Nintendo itch with a little Mario Bros. action. And the results weren't bad for what he says is his first attempt at rebuilding an old console. It sounds like a weekend project worth undertaking if you ask me. Head on over to the Imgur gallery for more photos and details.

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