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The Onestation

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Then Onestation is a relatively new, but unknown, gaming platform. The only place I could get it in the Netherlands is here. It sells for about 30 Euro's, and that price makes it interesting enough to buy as an hacking object. I bought one plus the 9-in-1 cartridge.

As I opened up the device and the cartridge, I saw what I already read on the Internet: the device itself consists of nothing more than the screen, a few buttons, a speaker and some power-regulating stuff. No controller, rom or ram: that's all inside the cartridge! While this is hardly a new idea, it is something that makes hacking the Onestation a tad different: you can connect your own microcontroller to it and make it do interesting stuff. Problem is: you'll need your own display controller...

I'm still thinking on what I could do with this, and more important: with what hardware. If you've got any ideas, don't hesitate to leave a comment. More pics and info will arrive here as soon as I find anything.

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27 comments

rnadmo wrote at 9 Jul 2016, 14.32:

Maybe the cartridge could be tuned to work as a spectrograph or a radio sniffer. Could Raspberry Zero fit in a cartridge? Arduino Micro maybe? Why's this idea dead? Is there a hackaday project or something?

max wrote at 26 Aug 2010, 11.09:

I've bought something like this: The digital dragon system. It has the same guts as the onestation, but a built in ROM chip with crappy homebrew on. also there is a 99 in 1 cartridge with it. check this out, it could be easy to hack.

rusty wrote at 7 Jul 2009, 21.54:

the best similiar thing is a miuzi i think is what it is called i payed like five bucks came with a screen and a usb dongle haning outta the side cracked it open and there were hidden buttons and if u held down start and reset it would go into debug mode using the hidden buttons it gave u an option to "update firmware" but ended up frying it and usuing it for parts

Deborah wrote at 28 May 2009, 0.45:

So, if the controler lcd is on the cartridge, can I only buy a cartridge, put a lcd, a controler and have fun? I have a mp4 player broken, and a nes controler. A onestation for 5$. Is that possible?

Simon wrote at 20 Apr 2009, 20.19:

Couldn't you take the display driver from an existing cartridge?

RayGamma wrote at 14 Dec 2008, 1.26:

Btw, if you press the down-button and the square and circle button (on mine they are labeled like that) and power it on while holding down these buttons it shows some screen showing an nes joybad, a checksum and some color bars.

RayGamma wrote at 14 Dec 2008, 1.19:

I bought a similar device on amazon (Micro Game Power 25in1) for sth. like about 30 euro bucks and the board has a two glob top setup (sth like the onestation with cartridge on board). The interesting thing is that one of these globs is between to rows of pads that match a tsop48 package and due to the connections i was able to determine what kind of flash would most probably fit in there. So theoretically I could try to solder in some wires and dump the flash but ... it hasnt happened so far. Here is a picture of the pcb: http://fileload.us/1182546002-game_board.png Greetings

Sprite_tm wrote at 12 Nov 2008, 17.32:

I'd guess it's the same hardware as I have here: no processor in the device itself, everything is on the cardridge inside one or more epoxy blobs.

Anonymous wrote at 11 Nov 2008, 22.20:

Hola! DealExtreme (dealextreme.com) sells OneStation units, too. OneStation Elite, as well. Got any specs on it, by chance? I'm looking for details about the actual hardware.

Diablo wrote at 14 Oct 2008, 22.26:

Get the onestation elite the nes hardware is in the unit. All that is in the cart is a flash chip and it has a great screen

steve wrote at 29 Mar 2008, 16.58:

how about a pinout for the controller part of this. if its based on nes, which wires are clock, data, latch, ground, etc. would it be possible to wire in a nes controller port, so you could use origional nes controllers? also is there a way to wire a headphone jack?

KernelPaniq wrote at 5 Mar 2008, 9.42:

Well, here in Holland I got myself a simmalar portable thingy and there are 2 chips inside, 1 looks like a Flash rom... so im going to look at the contents... Build a reader first... I check back latr

Sprite_tm wrote at 15 Nov 2007, 9.07:

I've noticed these boards, but imo they're a bit expensive to be using them as a plaything.

mike wrote at 15 Nov 2007, 1.38:

Sprite_tm: how about one of those Virtual Cogs ARM9 boards? Looking at their PSP LCD panel-control kludge made me think of this, again.

Sprite_tm wrote at 30 Oct 2007, 15.37:

Sorry, but I'm not working on it anymore. The need for a LCD-controller means that a small solution kinda isn't really possible, and I wouldn't like to have something with such a small screen but with a huge amount of PCBs connected to it.

Honas wrote at 30 Oct 2007, 12.38:

Hi, is there any progress with this awesome console??? Im eager to know if its hackable and if you could use the screen somehow for putting another thing inside... like mini Commodore 64 console or so... thanx for replying dudes...

Antti wrote at 28 Sep 2007, 10.57:

to zaxxon - its already "work in progress" ;)

zaxxon wrote at 24 Sep 2007, 19.52:

Make a cartridge with FPGA, RAM and SD controller. A gameport clone! :D

techforumz wrote at 30 Jun 2007, 8.18:

How about putting an SD card reader onto the 9-in-1 cart and load your own software?

Gr8Scott wrote at 6 Jun 2007, 13.40:

Has anybody hacked this bad boy yet? please post any ideas/pics! and yeah i had that same av wire problem too...

Eric wrote at 4 Jun 2007, 20.26:

Put in a SoC (ADM5120) with linux and run a Gameboy emulator or something like that.

Widdershins wrote at 29 Apr 2007, 9.06:

So any new info on this yet? That screen is just begging to be used for "more interesting" purposes...

alexzander1 gmail com wrote at 25 Apr 2007, 10.15:

i have some ideas that i think wuld be cool: * if it allready has a A/V-output why not make a micro size gaming console with snes style cartridge feeding and separate controller? * old school game boy style with the buttons under the screen * some way to run homebrew and i would like to see the in sides of it an and the cartridge. alexzander1 gmail com

mike wrote at 24 Apr 2007, 0.32:

I just saw this today (a tad late) but I thought it was worth chucking a comment your way... Does stripping the cartridge down to the PCB give you enough access to put a scope on the thing? At least that way you can see if the display drive signals make any sense from the perspective of the drive electronics that many (ie ARM) microcontrollers pack. Pictures? hint hint ;)

JAB wrote at 20 Dec 2006, 9.36:

How about an MP4 (AMV format) video player. Its just a ATJ2097 and a flash chip. That would be easy to do. You could probably use one of those 20 euro nano clones from ebay as a donor board.

elan wrote at 2 Dec 2006, 14.44:

Hi Mate. Sad ist that JungleTAC ist not producing SD-card adapter with build in emulator(nes.snes,sega)...If it is available sdcard cartrige U can make homebrew *.ROM for Nintendo and Sega and run it on OneStation...BTW I want to buy one.

Jeremy wrote at 18 Nov 2006, 6.32:

I'm curious. Have you tried connecting to a TV yet? My OneStation had the A/V plug connection soldered backwards to where it was sending the ground connection to the tip of the Video plug, the Video to the tip of the Audio plug, and the audio to ground. I had to make my a spliced-up adaptor that reversed the order. I didnt feel like soldering anything inside the unit. Works great now.

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