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Project Log: Xbox Portable (xbp)


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#1 brendon7800

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Posted 31 January 2007 - 01:45 AM

Hey all, I figure I should start somewhere, and it's better late than never. Here's the basic rundown. I'm in the middle of modding my xbox1 into a portable.

Back in November I saw in an issue of OXM the Ben Heck xbox360 laptop. Along with the rest of you my jaw hit the floor. I was stunned at the craftsmanship, the quality, and the sheer awesomness of his project. And immediately I wanted to do that with my regular old softmodded xbox1. I mean how sweet would that be to take the xbox anywhere and play any game, watch any movie so long as you have a power connection.

So I did a little research on the interwebz and found a lot of useful info and started to tackle my big project.

Features I want out of the xbox portable (aka xbp)

-17" flip up, laptop style screen
-VGA output so I can still hook it up to my Plasma TV
-internal speakers
-1/8" headphone jack
-RCA left and right audio out
-TosLink out plug for surround sound
-2 built in wireless xbox controllers
-4 controller ports for wired controllers
-upgrade to 250 gig HD
-install XBMC as new dashboard
-only one power cord (standard computer power cable)

That's basically all I want out of it. Now to figure out how to build it.

Big hurtle #1- the monitor
I found that there aren't many 17 inch wide screen lcd monitors on the market. I think mainly because people who buy wide screen computer monitors use them for watching movies and whatnot, a multimedia computer. The bigger the screen the better, for that kind of use. So I just bought the same one that Ben Heck used on his project. It is a Westinghouse 17" monitor I got from my local Best Buy store. That is probably going to be my single most expensive component I need to buy for this project.

Big hurtle #2- the case
I also found out my uncle has the machinery to mill and bend metal. So getting the case made isn't that big of a hurtle because of the family discount I get to use his shop equipment. But designing it and making everything fit will be a challenge.

Big hurtle #3- making everything work seamlessly. I'm sure there will be a trouble shooting phase of construction. Hopefully I'll be able to tie it all together and it works.

That's the rundown, tonight I'll post some pics and the current state of the project.


#2 gottastopdrinkin

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Posted 31 January 2007 - 01:53 AM

Sounds great! Alot of projects of this size that get started, eventually end unfinished. I hope you are willing to stick this one out.

#3 brendon7800

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Posted 31 January 2007 - 02:38 AM

IPB Image

monitor

IPB Image

monitor circuits

IPB Image

basic layout inside of the case

IPB Image

another angle

IPB Image

quad stack of the front controller ports

IPB Image

capacitors that I resoldered sideway to conserve space

QUOTE(gottastopdrinkin @ Jan 30 2007, 07:00 PM) View Post

Sounds great! Alot of projects of this size that get started, eventually end unfinished. I hope you are willing to stick this one out.


Well I'm kinda to the point of no return. I've purchased everything for this project already, now I just need to piece them all together.

Tried to update bios to accept larger hard drive. Turned out to be a bad flash. So I'm ordering an xecuter2.6ce chip to get past the FRAG. Oh well sh*t happens.

#4 brendon7800

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Posted 31 January 2007 - 01:43 PM

I'll post another update of the work done so far, and what's left to do yet. Right now I'd estimate that I'm about 25% complete. Don't get me wrong, a project like this takes much planning. I just want to get it right the first time. Rushing things causes errors. Like FRAGing your box while trying to flash a new bios. Anyway more updates on current work done today or tonight, depends if it's busy at work.

Edited by brendon7800, 31 January 2007 - 01:43 PM.


#5 brendon7800

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Posted 31 January 2007 - 05:09 PM

Parts Ordered:
17" widescreen monitor
X2VGA+ (adapter allowing xbox to plug into VGA monitor)
250 gig hard drive upgrade (from an 80 gig)
Xecuter 2.6CE chip (because I FRAGed during a bad flash)
wireless controllers (less cords = happy gamers)
heat shrink tubing (to keep soldered cables looking clean and professional)
female RCA connectors (audio out)
RJ45 coupler (network connection)
male & female 15 pin d-sub connectors (VGA in/out cables)
3x 25mm fans (cooling)
.080 aluminum sheet (material for case)
spare cat5 (used for wiring)


Parts Still Needed:
Female TosLink plug (surround sound)
various internal connectors and cords (making cords longer)


Work that's been done:
designed case
rewired fans to run off one 3pin plug
originally tried to make my own VGA cable, couldn't get it to work so I bought the X2VGA+


Work still to do: (and in that relative order)
install modchip
install 250 gig HD
install XBMC as dashboard
fabricate case
secure all components in case
wire audio RCA out
wire audio TosLink out
wire VGA out
hardwire the wireless controllers
wire the eject on/off buttons and LEDs
wire the wireless connect buttons and LEDs
wire the power connector
lengthen wires going from monitor circuits to monitor
wire RJ45 ethernet coupler
design & fabricate a tote bag for xbp (can't find any that are big enough, besides the one I make will have a custom xbp logo embroidered on it)

#6 brendon7800

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Posted 01 February 2007 - 03:13 PM

I finally got my xecuter2.6ce in last night. Installed it and deFRAGed my xbox with a properly working X2 5035 bios. Right now I'm in the process of transferring my info from my old 80 gig to the newly installed 250 gig hard drive. Here's a few pics of the chip, with the glowing LEDs.

IPB Image

IPB Image

I think I'll wait to attach the chip switcher. Once I have everything in my new case I'll stick it to the inside of that. I really don't plan on messing around with too many different bioses. And even if I wanted to a different one it really would be that hard to take the top of the case and flip a few switches, flash, then I'm done.

But once I get my xbox back to full working order with XBMC as my dash, I'll be gonig full throttle on fabricating my new case. If I have time I might even make up a 3D render in Maya or something to give you guys an idea of what the finished product will look like. Only time will tell.

#7 keatonreckard

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Posted 01 February 2007 - 06:56 PM

it isnt that hard to get xbmc installed as a dash, and if you havent trransfered all your files from the 80 gig to the 250 gig i would suggest using chimps hd cloner, works like a charm.

#8 brendon7800

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Posted 01 February 2007 - 08:59 PM

I've found a tutorial that shows you how to set up XBMC as your dash. It doesn't seem to hard. I'll post my results as to how difficult it was once I get it working, which might be by this weekend. I'm FTPing everything back onto the box now, and it's taking awhile. But once everything is there I'll switch over to the XBMC dash.

#9 Dano2k0

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Posted 01 February 2007 - 11:40 PM

Ummm, if your going to be using anywhere near a recent build of XBMC, from a quick look that guide would be useless.

The majority of the new builds of XBMC usually come with a document with them stating what to edit and what to use to make XBMC become your default dash.

Its actually very easy to do, you'll probably have to edit a file or two and change a few bits and pieces, but it'll tell you what to do, i don't really see how you could go wrong with it.

But yeah, check around and see if theres a document telling you how to make it become your dash.

Good luck beerchug.gif

#10 brendon7800

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Posted 02 February 2007 - 01:42 AM

Are you sure that the tutorial above is out of date? I checked and it was last modified on December 18 2006. I'm pretty much a newb at anything dashboard related. Haven't really needed to change mine till now. The last time I downloaded XBMC was in mid November. I don't see any documents that explain how to make it my dash. I'll check on the latest build and see what's in there.

#11 Bass182

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Posted 02 February 2007 - 06:35 AM

I just used an XBE shortcut maker..like the first tutorial kind of. They make it more complicated than it needs to be though...

#12 brendon7800

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Posted 02 February 2007 - 03:07 PM

Ok this project is like taking 2 steps forward 1 step back. 2 forward, 1 back.

I transfered everything over to my box except for the backup xbox games themselves. So emulators, applications, everything but my games are on the box. I do the XBMC shortcut for the dashboard, and its working. I even reboot a few times with no problem.

Now all of a sudden when I reboot I get a black screen. Everything sounds like its booting normally but no visual or audio. I'm kinda new to the whole chip scene, I had a softmod for a long time then went to upgrade the bios to accept a larger HD and had a bad flash, so I bought the chip to recover from the FRAG.

I noticed that when it was working I would need to startup by pressing the eject button. If I hit the power button it would give me a blank screen like what I have now. But now when I hit the eject button the light flashes green and the tray acts like it wants to open but it doesn't and I get a black screen.

Can anybody help? (I also posted this in the xecuter forum)

#13 brendon7800

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Posted 05 February 2007 - 05:56 PM

Current Update:

Can't seem to figure out what's up with my xbox, so I'm buying my friends xbox and installing my HD in his soft modded xbox.

Pretty sure my DVD drive on my old box has gone to DVD drive heaven... or hell. And my mobo might as well be an oversized paper weight.

Anyhoo, I'm glad to get back on track with a working xbox. After all, how the hell am I supposed to make an xbox portable without a working xbox?

#14 lostboyz

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Posted 05 February 2007 - 06:17 PM

xbox dvd drives (tommies at least) are ~$20, a lot cheaper then a used xbox

#15 brendon7800

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Posted 05 February 2007 - 08:58 PM

Yeah I know that DVD drives aren't as much as replacing the whole system, but my box is actually really old, and when I'm done with this project I want this newer box to last quite a long time. I'd rather spend a little more for less hassle in the long run. My motto: If you're going to do something you might as well do it right and not cut corners. You'll only hurt yourself in the end.




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