Worklog Attempting to put a Wii in a Wii U Gamepad

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I've been wanting to do this project for a long time, but have never had the time or money to do it until now. I've seen a number of people put Raspberry Pis into a Wii U Gamepad, but I have only found two examples of someone putting a Wii into a Wii U Gamepad (You can check out the posts here and here). Unfortunately, the former post used a 3D printed enclosure mounted to the back of the Gamepad to hold the batteries, and the latter post has been inactive and looks as though the build was never completed. My goal with this project is to make a functioning portable Wii inside the Wii U Gamepad without adding any bulk to the original shell. So, without further adieu, here is my plan for each of the components of my planned Wii portable:

Display
Currently I am debating on whether to use a 6.2" or 6.5" display for this build. The 6.2" display would likely be a little small, but it would fit easily in the mounting area for the screen in the Gamepad. The 6.5" display, however, i'm not sure will be able to fit without modifications to the case. If you have any thoughts on what size display to get, let me know.

For the display I have decided to go with the 6.5" display with controller board linked below because it is cheap and has the smallest controller board I could find. This is important as my build is going to be very tight. Unfortunately, I will have to cut off the left and right sides of the display bracket in the gamepad because, as quoted by Stitches,
The gamepad's LCD cavirty is 152mm x 94mm
and the display size is 155.2mm x 89.4mm.

6.5" VGA AV LCD Display with Controller Board AT065TN14 800X480 LCD Screen ($58.30)

Controls
For the controls, I will be using the original Wii U Gamepad buttons. In order to get them to be recognized as a Gamecube controller (and later modded to emulate a Wii remote), I have purchased two of these breakout boards ($12.60). This will easily allow me to wire up each button to the GC+ 2.0 ($18.99). Next, I will desolder the joystick connectors from the Gamepad motherboard in order to more easily wire them to the GC+ 2.0. Additionally, I am going to try to utilize the power, home, and TV buttons on the gamepad as well. I am going to try to use the original board and wire up power to use as the power switch, home as reset (or home if I can figure out how to do that), and the TV button to turn on and off the display. Looking at the PCB, however, this looks like it will be very difficult, so I will either need help figuring out how to wire up those buttons as well as the LEDs, or I will go for this solution, which is a custom PCB with breakout headers ($10.90). The only problem with that is I believe I will have to source and solder all the small components for it myself.

Power
For power, I plan on using the RVL-PMS-LITE ($74.99) as it integrates seamlessly with the RVLoader software and provides all the functionality I need in a very small form factor. The only downside is that it is really freaking expensive. Additionally, I will also be using the PMS-PD 2 ($23.99) board to go along with the PMS-LITE is order to take advantage of USB-C charging as well as an internal USB port.

Cooling
To be honest, I have no idea what I'm going to do to cool the system. I have a few fans lying around that i'll try to use, and i'll probably use some sort of copper thermal pad as well. I'll add more to this and the other sections as the build progresses

Audio
For audio I was originally going to go for a cheap amp from China, but I realized that those don't support analog volume control, which I need to have in order to wire up the Gamepad's slide potentiometer. Due to this, I decided to purchase the U-AMP 2 from 4-Layer Tech as it will integrate seamlessly with my other components as well as the RVLoader software and it has analog volume support

Total Cost: ~$211.96 (not including cost of Wii, wires, soldering iron, etc.)

That's all for now! I currently am waiting for my Wii to arrive in a few days as my other ones no longer work for some reason. I have the Gamepad and have disassembled it already, so the next step will be softmodding my Wii when it gets here and then cutting it to size.
 
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Stitches

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The gamepad's LCD cavity is 152mm x 94mm, so neither of those LCD panels will fit without modifying the shell. They both have the same external dimensions, only the active display area is different.

Also, any reason why you didn't grab a U-Amp or RVL-Amp from 4layertech to go with your PMS and PD? Both have full headphone support and ouput a much higher audio quality than any PAM amp.
 
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The gamepad's LCD cavity is 152mm x 94mm, so neither of those LCD panels will fit without modifying the shell. They both have the same external dimensions, only the active display area is different.

Also, any reason why you didn't grab a U-Amp or RVL-Amp from 4layertech to go with your PMS and PD? Both have full headphone support and ouput a much higher audio quality than any PAM amp.
Hmmm, if neither of those displays will fit, is there a size that will? Or is it better to go with one of the sizes I mentioned and modify the case?

In regards to the audio amp, since I will be using the analog volume slider to control volume, I won't need the software capabilities of the 4layertech board and I will also be saving a lot of money going for the cheap Chinese board instead. I don't really mind the tradeoff of worse quality audio.
 

Stitches

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As far as I remember, we've always had to cut down the two sides of the LCD cavity to fit the 6.2/6.5" screens in. I don't remember there being a comparable one that fit inside
 
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As far as I remember, we've always had to cut down the two sides of the LCD cavity to fit the 6.2/6.5" screens in. I don't remember there being a comparable one that fit inside
Gotcha. I'll just go with the 6.5" then and modify the case.
 

Stitches

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You only have to cut the two side walls down. The top and bottom walls are fine, and can assist in aligning the LCD if you 3D print out a few small chocks to hold it in the ideal position
 
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Today my new Wii arrived! The good news is it works (other than it can't read disks) and I got the homebrew channel installed as well as RVLoader. The bad news is i'm pretty sure something is wrong because both Wii and GC games are failing to show up on the main RVLoader menu and I am also unable to boot into safe mode. I tried multiple games with multiple formats and no luck. Could it just be an issue with my memory card? I'm using a Micro SD to USB adapter. I'm going to try a different USB stick and see it that works. Also, turns out the Wii I got is a 6-layer board unfortunately. That won't stop me, though.
 
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Stitches

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Can you provide a screenshot of the file structure of your games?
 
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Here is a screenshot of the root file structure of my USB stick:
1688037555307.png


Here is a screenshot of the games folder:
1688037634730.png


Here is a screenshot of the wbfs folder:
1688037660655.png


I tried multiple USB sticks and none work. Also, I did take out the SD Card I used to install the homebrew channel. I'm not sure if that matters or not, though.

UPDATE:
I found out that holding down the reset button while turning on the Wii will boot to the Priiloader menu which allowed me to go back to the system menu and also launch the homebrew channel. From the homebrew channel I launched Nintendon't which recognizes both of the gamecube games on my USB stick. The one strange thing is that for some reason the homebrew channel is completely upside down, but nothing else is. Very strange.

UPDATE 2:
Updated my file structure to match that of the RVLoader documentation. The issue was I didn't put the gamecube games in separate folders and I didn't rename each .iso file to game.iso. Unfortunately I am still unable to get Wii games to show up.

UPDATE 3:
I was able to access the RVLoader menu by pushing the right joystick to the right and now I am able to view the Wii games on my USB stick! Next step is getting everything configured the way I want and then cutting up the motherboard.
 
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The upside down Homebrew Channel is something that consistently happens for the rest of us, as well. If you go to the Homebrew Channel screen of RVLoader it shouldn't be upside down, though. The explanation I've been told is that it's something to do with the patched cIOS, which Homebrew Channel detects:

What do you mean by "the Homebrew Channel screen of RVLoader"? I don't see anything in RVLoader except the one game I have installed. Is the homebrew channel supposed to show up in the RVLoader main screen?
 
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What do you mean by "the Homebrew Channel screen of RVLoader"? I don't see anything in RVLoader except the one game I have installed. Is the homebrew channel supposed to show up in the RVLoader main screen?
Within RVLoader, move the right joystick on your controller, you'll see a circular menu displayed in the center of the screen. There are is an option with label "HB". Move the joystick to select that option and stay on it 2-3 seconds, RVLoader will then display to its own Homebrew Channel screen with all your apps on it.
 
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Within RVLoader, move the right joystick on your controller, you'll see a circular menu displayed in the center of the screen. There are is an option with label "HB". Move the joystick to select that option and stay on it 2-3 seconds, RVLoader will then display to its own Homebrew Channel screen with all your apps on it.
Ohhh ok that makes sense. I was wondering why I couldn't acess any menus or anything and it's because I didn't have my gc controller plugged into port 1 on the Wii. Now I can access the menu and both Gamecube and Wii games are recognized!
 
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Quick update on the happenings of my build and a few questions:

I have been hard at work trying to get all the software setup since my last update, and I have had a lot of success but also a lot of issues. I have installed a number of apps as well as a few games to test to make sure they work before I start hacking away at the motherboard. I have run into a few issues and have a few questions.

1. The main issue i'm having is that my wii freezes often when trying to load games. After one or two reboots the games work fine, but this is very annoying. Does anyone know any fixes for this? The console often freezes when trying to load things from the RVLoader menu such as Wii Channels as well.

2. I am trying to set up wimmfi in hopes that I will be able to play games such as Mario Kart online using the System Hacks method. However, when I go into the system hacks menu from Priiloader it complains about not having the hacks_hash.ini file. Since there is no Priiloader folder to put the file into. I tried putting it in the RVLoader folder, but that didn't fix the issue. If anyone knows how to fix this, please let me know. This isn't a hugely important issue as i'm not even sure i'll have space to add wifi to my build, but it would be a super cool feature

3. My last question is about USB Loader GX. I really like the interface of it, but i'm not sure if it's compatible with RVLoader. Is there any way to get USB Loader GX working with RVLoader also installed?
 

Stitches

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Quick update on the happenings of my build and a few questions:

I have been hard at work trying to get all the software setup since my last update, and I have had a lot of success but also a lot of issues. I have installed a number of apps as well as a few games to test to make sure they work before I start hacking away at the motherboard. I have run into a few issues and have a few questions.

1. The main issue i'm having is that my wii freezes often when trying to load games. After one or two reboots the games work fine, but this is very annoying. Does anyone know any fixes for this? The console often freezes when trying to load things from the RVLoader menu such as Wii Channels as well.

2. I am trying to set up wimmfi in hopes that I will be able to play games such as Mario Kart online using the System Hacks method. However, when I go into the system hacks menu from Priiloader it complains about not having the hacks_hash.ini file. Since there is no Priiloader folder to put the file into. I tried putting it in the RVLoader folder, but that didn't fix the issue. If anyone knows how to fix this, please let me know. This isn't a hugely important issue as i'm not even sure i'll have space to add wifi to my build, but it would be a super cool feature

3. My last question is about USB Loader GX. I really like the interface of it, but i'm not sure if it's compatible with RVLoader. Is there any way to get USB Loader GX working with RVLoader also installed?
1. Freezing during load operations is almost always USB related. First thing to check is that your USB data wires aren't too long, the wires are tightly coiled together, and the wires aren't running right next to power regulators or your audio amp. If that's all good, it could be the USB drive itself. It might not be fully compatible, or it may have had a bad format and needs a fresh one.

2. No clue about wimmfi compatibility, but there have been a few people who have previously worked on that. Probably worth having a go at finding those threads.

3. No, you cannot properly use USB Loader GX in a portable alongside RVLoader. You could try to CIOS your way to making it mostly functional, but you'd be on your own and none of the RVLoader specific functions would be possible. Aurelio has said that he has no plans to work on compatibility with other loaders, so this is likely never going to be a supported thing.
 
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1. Freezing during load operations is almost always USB related. First thing to check is that your USB data wires aren't too long, the wires are tightly coiled together, and the wires aren't running right next to power regulators or your audio amp. If that's all good, it could be the USB drive itself. It might not be fully compatible, or it may have had a bad format and needs a fresh one.

2. No clue about wimmfi compatibility, but there have been a few people who have previously worked on that. Probably worth having a go at finding those threads.

3. No, you cannot properly use USB Loader GX in a portable alongside RVLoader. You could try to CIOS your way to making it mostly functional, but you'd be on your own and none of the RVLoader specific functions would be possible. Aurelio has said that he has no plans to work on compatibility with other loaders, so this is likely never going to be a supported thing.
Ok, it's almost definitely a problem with my USB stick then. I haven't started any of the wiring yet or cutting of the motherboard, but the USB stick i'm using is very old and cheap. I'll probably pick up a bigger and higher quality one soon and see if I can't get the system to be more stable. About Wiimmfi, i'll probably scrap the idea for now. It would be super cool, but definitely not ideal for a portable build. Maybe i'll add wifi in later after I finish the build, but most likely not.

UPDATE: I can confirm it was an issue with the USB stick. I switched to a different one and everything works great.
 
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Viilmo

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Quick update on the happenings of my build and a few questions:

I have been hard at work trying to get all the software setup since my last update, and I have had a lot of success but also a lot of issues. I have installed a number of apps as well as a few games to test to make sure they work before I start hacking away at the motherboard. I have run into a few issues and have a few questions.

1. The main issue i'm having is that my wii freezes often when trying to load games. After one or two reboots the games work fine, but this is very annoying. Does anyone know any fixes for this? The console often freezes when trying to load things from the RVLoader menu such as Wii Channels as well.

2. I am trying to set up wimmfi in hopes that I will be able to play games such as Mario Kart online using the System Hacks method. However, when I go into the system hacks menu from Priiloader it complains about not having the hacks_hash.ini file. Since there is no Priiloader folder to put the file into. I tried putting it in the RVLoader folder, but that didn't fix the issue. If anyone knows how to fix this, please let me know. This isn't a hugely important issue as i'm not even sure i'll have space to add wifi to my build, but it would be a super cool feature

3. My last question is about USB Loader GX. I really like the interface of it, but i'm not sure if it's compatible with RVLoader. Is there any way to get USB Loader GX working with RVLoader also installed?
I have wiimmfi working on my portable using an beta version of Hiirda. I patched the wbfs file on my pc, instead of using Priiloader.
You can get the beta version of Hiirda by sending a DM to Aurelio.
 
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I have wiimmfi working on my portable using an beta version of Hiirda. I patched the wbfs file on my pc, instead of using Priiloader.
You can get the beta version of Hiirda by sending a DM to Aurelio.
Very interesting, I might look into that more once I get further into my project and have a better idea about whether i'll even be able to fit wifi in my system.
 
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I've been wanting to do this project for a long time, but have never had the time or money to do it until now. I've seen a number of people put Raspberry Pis into a Wii U Gamepad, but I have only found two examples of someone putting a Wii into a Wii U Gamepad (You can check out the posts here and here). Unfortunately, the former post used a 3D printed enclosure mounted to the back of the Gamepad to hold the batteries, and the latter post has been inactive and looks as though the build was never completed. My goal with this project is to make a functioning portable Wii inside the Wii U Gamepad without adding any bulk to the original shell. So, without further adieu, here is my plan for each of the components of my planned Wii portable:

Display
Currently I am debating on whether to use a 6.2" or 6.5" display for this build. The 6.2" display would likely be a little small, but it would fit easily in the mounting area for the screen in the Gamepad. The 6.5" display, however, i'm not sure will be able to fit without modifications to the case. If you have any thoughts on what size display to get, let me know.

I have decided to go with the 6.5" display and controller board as both displays have the same dimensions, and both will require case modification to fit in the Gamepad. and the display size is 155.2mm x 89.4mm, which means I will have to cut the left and right LCD retainers out of the Gamepad.

6.5" display ($24.23): 6.5" TFT LED LCD Screen Display Panel for INNOLUX AT065TN14 800(RGB)×480
6.5" display controller board ($24.99): KYV N2 V1 VGA AV LCD Controller Board For 6.5inch AT065TN14 800x480 LCD Screen (I will likely be using a slightly different board as I already have one of a different model that should work for this display, but I will have to manually desolder the ports from the board, and with this one you won't have to do that)

6.2" display ($25.00): 6.2inch TIANMA TM062RDH03 60 pin LCD Screen Panel Module Controller
6.2" display controller board ($24.99):
VGA AV LCD Controller Board For 6.2inch TM062RDH03 800x480 60Pin LCD Screen

Controls
For the controls, I will be using the original Wii U Gamepad buttons. In order to get them to be recognized as a Gamecube controller (and later modded to emulate a Wii remote), I will first desolder the ribbon cables on either side of the Gamepad and solder them to this breakout board ($7.66). This will easily allow me to wire up each button to the GC+ 2.0 ($18.99).
Additionally, I am going to try to utilize the power, home, and TV buttons on the gamepad as well. I am going to try to use the original board and wire up power to use as the power switch, home as reset (or home if I can figure out how to do that), and the TV button to turn on and off the display. Looking at the PCB, however, this looks like it will be very difficult, so I will either need help figuring out how to wire up those buttons as well as the LEDs, or I will go for this solution, which is a custom PCB with breakout headers ($10.90). The only problem with that is I believe I will have to source and solder all the small components for it myself.

Power
For power, I plan on using the RVL-PMS-LITE ($74.99) as it integrates seamlessly with the RVLoader software and provides all the functionality I need in a very small form factor. The only downside is that it is really freaking expensive. Additionally, I will also be using the PMS-PD 2 ($23.99) board to go along with the PMS-LITE is order to take advantage of USB-C charging as well as an internal USB port

Cooling
To be honest, I have no idea what I'm going to do to cool the system. I have a few fans lying around that i'll try to use, and i'll probably use some sort of copper thermal pad as well. I'll add more to this and the other sections as the build progresses

Audio
For audio I will be using the 4pcs PAM8403 Mini 2 Channel 3W Audio Power Amplifier Module 5v Board USA Seller ($3.90) board because it is small and cheap. This board does not have protections for headphones, however, so just be aware of that and don't put your headphones on full volume. I will also be using the stock Wii U Gamepad speakers and volume slider

Total Cost: ~$190.42 (not inclusing cost of Wii, wires, soldering iron, etc.)

That's all for now! I currently am waiting for my Wii to arrive in a few days as my other ones no longer work for some reason. I have the Gamepad and have disassembled it already, so the next step will be softmodding my Wii when it gets here and then cutting it to size.
The gamepad's LCD cavity is 152mm x 94mm, so neither of those LCD panels will fit without modifying the shell. They both have the same external dimensions, only the active display area is different.

Also, any reason why you didn't grab a U-Amp or RVL-Amp from 4layertech to go with your PMS and PD? Both have full headphone support and ouput a much higher audio quality than any PAM amp.
I already did it but it is impossible to put the batteries without support and without adding volume
 

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I already did it but it is impossible to put the batteries without support and without adding volume
Very cool to see someone else try the same project idea! What kind of batteries did you use for your system?
 
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