Welcome to Mouse Bite Labs! This is where I document electronics projects I am working on, most of them being focused on old retro games. I try to make thorough posts for public consumption. And any of the PCBs that I make and sell are boards that I have used for my own purposes. I’m always looking to improve my designs and website, so helpful feedback is always appreciated. I hope the information I’ve compiled on this site will help you can learn something that can help you achieve your own project goals.
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10/25/2022: The past few months, I’ve focused mainly on the DMGC – an original Game Boy with Game Boy Color guts, and a bunch of improvements. This is basically a follow-up to last year’s Game Boy Color in a DMG shell project I did, but this time with fully custom PCBs and some better enhancements. It has been *such* a ride getting here, and already plenty of people have built some of their own. It’s truly awesome to see. This is my biggest project yet! I’ve got a few more Game Boy things coming soon, so keep your eyes peeled!
Oh, I’ve also opened a discord channel. Just in case you needed yet another retro-themed discord.
Nintendo Entertainment System
I grew up playing my dad’s old NES back in the early 90’s. Since getting older, I’ve designed a handful of PCBs for NES games that covers a good portion of the most popular games available for the system: a board that covers the simpler games that use digital logic chips, boards for the more advanced MMC1 and MMC3 mappers, an NES Maker compatible Mapper 30 board, and adapter boards for donor cartridges to make using replacement ROM chips a lot easier.
Super Nintendo Entertainment System
I actually never had a SNES growing up – I only really grew to love the system after buying one in college. This is kind of the console I’ve spent the most time on developing projects for. You’ll find a handful of donor cart adapters, programming adapters for ROM chips commonly used in making SNES games, as well as two main cartridge PCBs that can be used for (probably) more than 95% of the SNES library of games – the Basic board for simpler games, and the Advanced board for larger games and multicarts.
Sega Genesis/Mega Drive
The Genesis was the first console I ever actually owned myself. It was a hand-me-down from my cousins, and this is the console I probably played the most growing up. Luckily for adult Nick, Genesis game PCBs are quite a lot simpler than Nintendo games, and so my single Genesis design can be used for more than 99% of Genesis games!
Other than the Genesis, my other childhood console was my trusty Game Boy Color. So far I’ve made my own PCBs for a Game Boy Color inside of a DMG shell, but I’ve also dabbled in my own custom Pocket Color PCB as well. Cartridge PCBs should be on the way eventually too!
Over the years I’ve accumulated a handful of tools and equipment to round out my bench. Here’s a list of items that I use on a regular basis.
- Safety glasses
- Soldering/hot air station: 852D+
- Fume extractor
- Solder (leaded and non-leaded)
- Low-melt solder (Chipquik)
- Solder paste
- Copper sponge
- Flux (Amtech brand)
- Copper braid
- Wire (teflon 28 gauge, kynar 30 gauge)
- Flush cutters and wire strippers
- ESD tweezers
- Helping hands
- Power supply
- 3D printer: Prusa Mini+
- Dremel, box cutter, X-ACTO blade
This website, and my projects, would not have been able to get to the point they are today without the great help of many people across various communities I’ve been a part of. In no particular order, here’s a special thank you to those who have truly been a great help to me, whether through direct interaction or indirectly through resources they compiled or otherwise provided:
- Many users on the NesDev forums/wiki
- Muramasa Entertainment
- Infinite NES Lives
- John Riggs
- Andy West
- Mattia Martelli