New project: building a Windows PC into a Gamecube case. This is a project I’ve been intending to do for a long time. I don’t know how fast it’s going to go, mainly because of one specific reason: GameCube emulation and hardware requirements.
The MB of the gamecube is 12cm x 12cm:
Pretty, isn’t it?
Anyway. Turns out that the motherboard of an Intel NUC is 4inch x 4inch or… (drumroll) 10.16cm x 10.16cm! Coincidence? I think not!
So that’s the plan: build an Intel NUC into a Gamecube. More specifically, this GameCube:
Nice and shiny. I will be doing something about that paint job as well.
Just found out somebody had the exact same idea here, which I will be using for inspiration! He even had the same idea on the next point:
Next trick will be making the controller ports fully functional! How? The Wii U GameCube adapter:
It’s a USB-connected adapter intended for use with the Wii U, but I read you can get it running with Windows (and more importantly, Dolphin) as well.
So I got one for about 20 euros and opened it up. Compared to the front plate of the actual GameCube. On the left: original GC ports. On the right: contents of the official Wii U GameCube controller adapter.
And they align perfectly!
Coincidence? I think not!
As this HTPC will be intended for the TV in the living room, it will need a DVD player. I’ve got some plans here too, which I will share later. Quick hint:
There is one big issue. I’m not sure the boards I’m looking for are powerful enough to run Dolphin… I don’t want to drop 400 euros on board+memory+disk+windows, so a board that is more within my price range will contain a Celeron N3050/3205U or a Pentium N3700.
I’ve been looking around but as far as I can see those systems will not be powerful enough to run Dolphin properly. And what’s the use of a GameCube HTPC if you can’t run GameCube games!?
So my current options are looking for a proper board second hand, or waiting for the next generation of NUC to come around. I just read that Dolphin got a major upgrade (5.0), so that might help things along as well!
That means this project will very likely be in the freezer for a while…
Instead of waiting for the perfect PC, I took my chances and started the painting.
First step, separate the shell from the electronics:
Then sand it down, first with 240 grit paper, then with 400 grit paper.
On other projects I used spraying cans from the local hardware store but they never ended up nice. Always gritty and thick. So I tried Montana cans from the art store this time. First the Montana plastic primer, then purple (Montana Gold – Valery)
Better than the other cans, but still not very happy. It’s difficult to see on the photo but the finish is very coarse and gritty. Maybe I’m just doing something wrong? I sprayed outside (in the shed, which is basically outside) and it’s kind of cold lately, but I understood that these cans should be fine at any temperature.
I’ve sanded it down again slightly (600 grit paper) and sprayed another time. Good to see that the paint is at least quite scratch-resistant as I didn’t see the white plastic after some sanding.
Next step: masking tape and re-spraying everything black (Montana Gold – Chocolate Black). Removing masking tape is one of the most satisfying parts of this piece!
Time for some test assembly!
Next step was adding lines to divide the squares and adding a Montana Satin varnish to the entire casing. To finish off, I hand-painted gloss varnish (Vallejo Game Color gloss varnish) over the purple to get more of the color back.
Done! Final picture quality is horrible, my guess is it’s due to the weather. I will try to make a better picture when we have some sunshine again.