Archive for March, 2010

Playstation 3 “Portable” – The PS3 Luggable

March 22, 2010

I set out to make some sort of custom Playstation 3 case, but with little experience, resources or patience my options were limited.  Not a lot has been done to mod a PS3, except for Benjamin Heckendorn’s awesome PS3 laptop and an equally awesome wireless viewing interface by techknott on the forums.

I wanted to use something unique, but since I can’t solder or rewire much of anything, I needed a large sized case to place everything into.  Enter the Compaq Portable:

The Compaq PortableThe Compaq PortableThe Compaq PortableThe Compaq PortableThe Compaq Portable

(images from DigiBarn Computer Museum)

Click here, here, here or here for more information on the Compaq Portable.

With a built in monitor and keyboard plus the ability to carry it around, I figured it would be a good bet.  Plus it was big enough to be able to mount the PS3 circuit board without having to desolder or rewire to much.

So to begin, I ordered a non-functional Compaq Portable off eBay and proceeded to gut it.

My Compaq PortableCompaq Portable Side PanelCompaq Portable Warning SignThe gutsGutted case

After I had the case emptied, all I had to do was put a PS3 slim (without it’s case) inside, along with whatever else I needed to display on a 7″ lcd screen that was going to replace the original tube monitor.  I wanted to have the ability to have the PS3 show on the built in screen and a HDTV at the same time.  This presented a challenge since the PS3 can’t send a HDMI and composite RCA video signal at the same time.  To achieve my goal I had to connect a string of adapters together (HDMI->DVI->VGA->RCA) along with a powered HDMI splitter.  It isn’t especially glamorous looking, but it gets the job done.

Making sure the LCD screen fits

Luckily the 7″ LCD screen I bought fit pretty well inside the case.

Part way finished, with a sliding charger added

There was all kinds of extra room in the case, so I put drawer slides in it and attached a controller charger.  It opens from one of the old 5.25″ floppy openings.  The second 5.25″ opening houses 2 USB connections.

LCD screen and chargers workAlmost functional

Next I needed to make sure it could display on the 7″ LCD and a HDTV…

Viewable on 2 sources

…and it can.  Next I added a latch to open the controller door, put a black frame around the screen and mounted the USB plugs.  I installed some exhaust fans in one of the side panels and the other panel has a HDMI cable, power cable and headphone plug.

Finished frontGlued in fans

I also had to test the keyboard, since I had to remove it’s innards to shave down the size of the case to make it fit in the original keyboard tray.

Front with keyboard

Everything works like a charm!  It still is able to fold up into “Luggable” mode for easy transportation!

Case and keyboardLuggable PS3

I’m scared to paint the two latches on the bottom of the keyboard for fear of painting them closed.  I also had to cut a battery access hole in the tray to have access to the new keyboard’s batteries.

Bottom of the case

And here it is again showing on both the built in 7″ LCD screen as well as a 32″ LCD.

Final Product

Sometime I’ll get around to taking pictures with a real camera, and not my Blackberry.