The STARFORCE NEO System

StarforceNeo (1)

SFNeo_Logo

In parallel to working on a limited release run of the STARFORCE PI, I decided to explore the possibility of building a Neo Geo MVS into the smallest and lightest form factor possible. This was to compare actual Neo Geo games on original hardware with the more budget friendly emulated experience of the SFP. After roughly 4 months of working, tinkering, cutting, thinking and cursing I finished a fully functional mini Neo Geo MVS system: The STARFORCE NEO All-in-One System.

Built inside a converted 1982 Minitel 1 case, the system features an original SNK MV-1B motherboard which means the games aren’t emulated, authentic Seimitsu buttons and joystick for single player action, two additional Neo Geo compatible controller input ports at the back and all of the same features as SNK’s classic Neo Geo arcade cabinets.

The internal monitor is a crisp 8″ LCD screen with 4:3 aspect ratio behind a glossy protective window. The system pumps its SCART signal via a scanline generator and shoots 480p resolution sprites onto the internal display. Additionally, an HDMI-out port is hidden on the bottom for external head-to-head arcade combat on the big screen!

StarforceNeo (3)

Inside the matte two-tone Stormtrooper exterior lies a 1.2Watt dual stereo speaker system by Logitech, delivering an impressive deep sound, with the option to connect external audio capture devices or headphones through the 3.5mm audio jack.

Neo Geo MVS cartridges simply slot in the back, and by placing the power input port & player 2 controller input port to the sides, games can be changed without having to unplug the system.

StarforceNeo (4)

The STARFORCE NEO All-in-One system comes with an original Neo Geo Gamepad for two-player action and the SFNeo MVS MultiCart in AES shell, which features 97 classic original Neo Geo titles. The entire build cost around €600, using original and premium components, with a further €150 euro for the extra controller and multicart.

It turned out quite spectacular, but it was a hell of a job to get right, and pretty expensive. I had to sell about half of my completed Neo Geo Pocket Color collection to finance it, but ultimately, it was totally worth it.

Marcel J. de Haan
SFP Development Team

SFNeo_Pack (3).png

SPECS:

  • Authentic SNK Neo Geo MV-1B hardware
  • Neo Geo MVS Cartridge Compatible
  • 2x Neo Geo Controller Inputs (Player 1 & 2)
  • Integrated SEIMITSU Joystick & 6 buttons (Player 1)
  • Integrated 8” 480p LCD Screen (4:3) + HDMI Output
  • SmallCab SuperGun SCART-to-HDMI
  • SGL3000 Scanline Generator
  • Logitech Z120 Internal 1.2Watt Stereo Speakers
  • 3.5mm Headphone Stereo Jack
  • BeQuiet! Silent PSU SFW Power 2 400W
  • Vintage 1982 Minitel 1 Converted Case
  • Dimensions: 23 x 25 x 26 cm, Weight: 10kg (22lbs, without cart)
Advertisements

35 thoughts on “The STARFORCE NEO System

    1. Cheers! I found one trashed near my work and thought it looked perfect for conversion 😛 I’ll make another blog with more information about how I built it, that should give you a better idea of the internals. And that mini-cab kit is the one used for the first STARFORCE PI actually! I started working with the engineer behind HWHardSoft on that project, so it’s a great place to start. Good Luck and thanks for the support!

      Like

      1. That sounds great. I can’t wait to learn how you managed to cut the cathode-ray tube to get such a seamless screen cover. Also of great interest: If I’d like to have the SGL3000 Scanline Generator with the Raspberry Pi Mini Arcade, do I need to connect the Raspberry Pi to an HDMI to VGA adapter to the SGL3000 to a VGA Display? Or are there Scanline Generators for HDMI?

        Like

      2. I did something simpler: I took the CRT monitor out of the Minitel, built a rudimentary vacuumformer and vacuumformed 3mm plastic over the original monitor. This gave me a perfect imprint of the monitor, and after I cut off the excess with a dremel, I could mount the LCD screen into it, and voila, seemless removeable curved plastic window with a pretty thin formfactor. I had only something like 4-5cm depth, as the powersupply stuck out a lot, so I had to be economical with space. I’ll share some pictures of it on the build report soon 🙂 I haven’t found scanline generators that output to HDMI I’m afraid, but you can buy a VGA adapter that fits on the Raspberry Pi GPIO pins and connect this to the SGL3000 v2 version (VGA to VGA), whilst keeping your HDMI output free at the same time for another monitor -> https://www.raspberrypi.org/blog/gert-vga-adapter/

        Like

    1. Totally, in fact I just found out that Philips did the same thing back in the 80s by putting a Magnavox Odyssey² (Videopac G7000 in Europe) in their Minitel cases. It was the Philips N60, only released in France and the Netherlands (which is appropriate, as I’m a Dutchman living in Marseille) http://ghs-guru.de/catalog/images/philips-n60-box.jpg. And feel free to use the pictures on your blog:) Cheers! (source: http://www.videopac.org/n60/)

      Like

  1. Just a friendly note that if you want the katakana characters to be grammatically correct in Japanese, it should be スターフォース. Currently it’s pretty short sounding because it’s missing the lines (they stretch out the previous character).

    There’s actually a game called Star Force on the Famicom, so you can look up “star force famicom” on Google Images and find an example.

    Looks like a great product and design otherwise, good luck!

    Like

    1. Yeah, it was a bit of a gamble, but I did it really for esthetics more than anything. Also, considering NeoGeo’s propensity to include some classic Jenglish in to their games, I thought it’d be nice to go the other way 🙂 Thanks for the correction though, and I’m glad you like the system. Cheers!

      Like

  2. Love this build, love the curved window. Then I saw the Pi build and though… how in heck did he get a joystick in there? Anywhere I can see internals of the Starforce Pi?

    Like

    1. I had to cut down every non-essential part of a SANWA joystick, and then wedge it between the top and bottom, making a hole for the joystick to stick through. No internals yet, the prototypes kinda shift and change with different boards, but I’m working on a see-through version.

      Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s