YES, it is possible to RGB your MiSTer!
I decided to put my MiSTer into a steel and aluminum instrument case, made by a company called Hammond. It's a bit expensive and overkill, but my device is now VERY protected.http://www.hammondmfg.com/pdf2/9C-1458.pdfhttps://www.digikey.com/product-detail/en/hammond-manufacturing/1458D3/HM338-ND/248067
I chose the 8"x8"x3" variation. I picked that size because I wanted a roomy case and it's fairly close to a "traditional" console in size. The NA NES for comparison is 10" wide by 8" long by 3.5" high.
The aluminum front and rear panels were milled using a manual (non-CNC) milling machine. My uncle is an accomplished metal worker and helped me with that. If anyone else wants the (rather complex) measurements needed to precisely cut out all of the holes for the front and especially the rear panels, let me know, as I think I can still get his notes.
Here is the back view, without the connectors. The DE10 and IO board are flush with the rear panel. The 3-hole aluminum piece was designed so that I can route new expansion cords in the future should I wish to do so. It separates into two halves and is held together internally with a strong rubber o-ring. Currently I have one power cord (shown) coming out that powers the marquee LEDs, which are driven by a 5v Arduino Nano (clone) which is inside the case.
Here is a back view with all of the cabling in place.
The network port is made by routing an extension cable internally to the DE10.https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B01LX86YD4
The front panel has three external buttons that also function as indicator lamps (LEDs). They plug into the external connectors on the IO board. I liked that I could consolidate the button and LEDs into one compact unit, streamlining things a bit.
I purchased them from Adafruit:https://www.adafruit.com/product/1439
The 4 usb ports on the front panel are made using 2 extension cables running inside and connecting to a 4-port unpowered hub (https://www.amazon.com/MakerSpot-Accessories-Charging-Extension-Raspberry/dp/B01JL837X8
) which is connected to the MiSTer.https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B01FS4UB4M
Internally things are a bit of a rat's nest. Cabling takes up space surprisingly fast. The DE10, which is cooled well via a 5v Noctua 40mm fan and good case venting, is covered up by the large acrylic marquee MiSTer logo that I designed. It is was made by spray painting the back side of a carefully measured rectangular piece of "plex" with black spray paint. After drying, a CNC laser was used to etch away the vector based logo. The laser was set to "frost" the logo so you can't sharply see the 8x6 LED matrix that lives underneath it. Even with the frosted effect, at first you could still clearly see each individual LED, so I built a little stage for the plex to sit on that moved the LEDs about 1/3" away from them. By defocusing the LEDs this way I was able to diffuse their light and achieve the smooth rainbow effect that I wanted. As for the LED strips themselves, they are WS2812B's:https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B01LSF4QDM
I cut six 8 LED strips and pasted them down above and below each other to create a matrix. After wiring them, they can be driven with a cheap microcontroller. I used an Arduino Nano for this task:https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00Q9YBO88
It was easy to find code online to drive the rainbow effect I wanted. I had to modify it a bit, but it's not hard to do cool things with these LEDs.
The marquee itself has a 1/4" lip which is pushed up tightly into a corner-rounded rectangular hole which was cut in the steel top "clamshell" of the instrument case.Note:
The LEDs are not powered by the DE10 itself. These LEDs can draw a lot of current, and although I certainly could
power them that way, I did not want to overtax the DE10's circuitry, so I opted to take an old wall wort PSU I had and power them externally.
Please forgive this video that I made, but as a demonstration it works well enough I think. The audio is public domain and I had some fun playing around with effects--so feel free to mute. It was fun to make, but I know the footage ain't that great and I'm still a beginner.Link to MiSTer Case Video---> https://youtu.be/hSAArUm49Aw
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