Worklog Beginner Project - The Wii ToU

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Hi all, I’ve been looking into portablising for a long time and have finally decided to give it a shot!

My plan is to fit a Wii portable into a Wii u gamepad with original buttons and the batteries to be stored externally with a 3D printed mount.

I hope this worklog can be helpful more importantly for what NOT to do, so that you guys don’t make the same mistakes I inevitably will as a beginner XD.



Parts so far:

4x 18650 cells

6.2 inch LCD + driver board

Wires (24AWG for power/GND, 30AWG for data)

Solder (with lead)

Keflon tape

Hot glue (I’ll try to be conservative with it XD)

4x PTH08080WAH

Red Board (for charging)

4 layer Wii (CPU-40)

Wii U gamepad (faulty, but I can use the joysticks and the buttons)

Fan

Heat sink and paste

3D printing filament

Battery spring contacts

EDIT:
Below I will list all the issues I came across in the project and what fixed them. This could become a list of common errors or things that are easy to avoid if you consider them.

1). Use thick wires for ground and higher voltages, (22 or less AWG, 22AWG or thicker). Otherwise the wire is too thin, making it harder for the current to flow, causing more energy to be lost as heat, reducing the voltage.
Explanation: https://www.quora.com/What-is-voltage-drop

2). Please, PLEASE buy an RVL PMS instead of trying to use PTH08080 voltage regulators and a red board. It looks so much easier and it’s so much smaller. It’s more expensive but it is DEFINITELY worth it. It means you can connect to batteries, power input (from charger) and power output (to wii) to one tiny 44x33mm board. It also has built in charge and play and a power indicator which is great too.
Link to buy: https://store.bitbuilt.net/rvl-power-management-system/
(Edit): This is actually no longer for sale following the closing of the BBStore. The files are open source and you can get these manufactured and made for yourself. You’ll need a board manufacturer (lots use JLCPCB), a PICKIT (to write the code to the microchips) the components (look at the BOM) and fine soldering skills! Alternatively somebody might be willing to make you one (boards are often manufactured in batches of 5 or 10, so ask around and you might be lucky!

3). Do the U10 relocation before trimming the board.
This allows you the ensure that your motherboard is completely working before trimming and so you can reduce the amount of time you are desoldering and resoldering everything if something goes wrong, unlike me who ended up re-wiring essentially the whole system and the U10 several times and ended up with a motherboard that I still couldn’t get to work

4). Tape over/cover the GPU and CPU before trimming
If you don’t do this metal dust can get stuck underneath and cause shorts, tape a few seconds just to tape this over to make sure you don’t end up like me poking around constantly with a multimeter to find a short on a board that frustratingly won’t boot!
 
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I’ve modified my video board to run off of 3.3V and it works great! No issues here :)
D329F83A-2E34-4EC9-8774-B0BC53D365A1.jpeg
 
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Hey mate,
welcome to the world of portabilizing.
Im actually working on a wii U gamepad wii myself. So i look forward to seeing how your project goes.
I would advise using the RVL-PMS for the handheld, its smaller then using WaHs. i think they are also more efficient but don't quote me on that, more experienced members could advise you better.
also dont forget magnet wire.

have fun with the building
 
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I’ve designed a basic holder to fit on the back of a gamepad. The design is a bit funny, but I’ll make some changes at some point to ensure it all looks good and feels good.
9D9B9D20-844F-4E8D-A084-7588E2A1F0FC.jpeg
 
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Hey mate,
welcome to the world of portabilizing.
Im actually working on a wii U gamepad wii myself. So i look forward to seeing how your project goes.
I would advise using the RVL-PMS for the handheld, its smaller then using WaHs. i think they are also more efficient but don't quote me on that, more experienced members could advise you better.
also dont forget magnet wire.

have fun with the building
Thanks man! Good luck for your portable :)
 
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I’ve run into some problems with my Wii. The Wii still heats up but there is no video signal at all, no image.



I just realised I might be under voltage

The shared ground from the PTHs regulators to the voltage input spots on the Wii give higher voltages, whereas the voltage readings from GND on the Wii motherboard to the voltage lines display 0.91V, 1.08V, 3.19V.



I've measured the resistance of the voltage lines (when the console is off) first time I've done it so idk if it's accurate, and I’m getting a new multimeter soon to ensure this is correct as I’ve been needing to replace my old one for a while.

GND 1V, 43.1 ohms

GND, 1.15V, 53.2

GND, 3.3v, 211

1-1.15V - 156

1-3.3V - 240

1.15-3.3V - 168



The 3.3V line looks to be a VERY low resistance, but I don’t know if this is the issue?
4D993148-BFBF-41A0-873D-CC127F0FB8C4.jpeg
E11B1F59-465B-4828-8EF6-A4F1F081FB90.jpeg
796B37A7-3178-41E6-B661-614702B38BB1.jpeg
 
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Plan of action: I’ll follow through in this order and hopefully get the Wii working! If anyone has any suggestions that might work other than these feel free to reply :)

- Resand the sides of the board and try to make them even more smooth

- Clean board fully again with IPA.

- Changing the resistance on the 0.91V line to increase the voltage.

- Test with a higher power power supply and maybe a few different ones (12V, 1.5A, 12V 2A)

- Remove redundant components on the outside of the normal trim (my motherboard is larger than the normal one, so there are some components there that wouldn’t usually be on a trim, could this be an issue?)

- Wire the input voltages to a different part of the board.

- Replace/resolder U10 (last resort if other forum members see it is a viable option, but I doubt this is the issue, since I used a U10 that wasn’t from a Wii motherboard, rather a single component I bought).



If this doesn’t work, I’m sadly going to have to scrap this motherboard and start on a second :(
 
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You should make sure that you use at least 22awg for the voltage and ground lines. I had issues before trying to use 24 awg and there was too much of a voltage drop.
Hi,
Thanks for the advice, I’ll give that a go. :)
 

Stitches

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You should make sure that you use at least 22awg for the voltage and ground lines. I had issues before trying to use 24 awg and there was too much of a voltage drop.
Can confirm, too thin wires make portable no worky
 

Nold

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Uuuh never seen a black "red"-board, hehe

You might also want to redo your solder joints on the voltage lines, too. Bad soldering can cause this issues. Also make sure you have a good/direct ground connection between the wii and display pcb.
 

xsping

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Sand more to eliminate any short of 3.3v, from my opinion, this board was most probably aready fried
 

Stitches

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Also I just noticed that your u10 wire is just.... twisted with another wire. Put some solder on that joint, simple contact isn't always enough for low current lines like that. The u10 via joint also looks pretty cold, might want to flux that up and redo it.
 
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Thanks for the advice everyone, I’m going to try these and report back once I receive the parts I need.
I have already tried resending and the different power supplies to not avail :(

I ought to note, the GPU and CPU chips on this Wii do heat up when it is powered on, but there is no signal on the screen sadly :(

Edit: Also the ‘black’ red board is just a different revision of the 2S charge and play board that is referenced in the BitBuilt battery guide. I’ve got some 20AWG wire and better flux coming. Do you guys use lead free flux? It’s very cold where I am now and don’t want to be surrounded by toxic fumes in my little workspace :)
 

Stitches

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Never heard of leaded flux before, but I have decent ventilation so I use leaded solder. Lower melting temp, easier to work with
 
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Thank you for all the support here guys! I really appreciate it :)
I have done two things since. I tried cleaning the whole board with IPA. It made no difference.

However, I made a breakthrough (kind of)!
I rewired everything with 20AWG wire (instead of 24AWG to reduce the voltage drop effect) and found that it sorta worked.

The Wii GPU and CPU heated up from touch and the LCD sensed a signal (AV single 20AWG wire). However, the screen was just a grey light, nothing else. I tried two wires, a 20AWG wire to the side of the filter cap towards the Wii. Do I need to solder it to the other side of the filter cap?

Is there a way I can get this to work or is the board a goner? :(
D0B2488F-864D-430F-A0A5-536D6E8C85D6.jpeg
 
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Stitches

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Apart from the ground wire, thems don't look like 20AWG. Look more like 28s. As for composite, you could try twisting a ground wire around the composite wire to mitigate some interference. Beyond that, I'm out of ideas
 

Nold

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Apart from the ground wire, thems don't look like 20AWG. Look more like 28s. As for composite, you could try twisting a ground wire around the composite wire to mitigate some interference. Beyond that, I'm out of ideas
Yea these wires look horrible thin - are they even stranded? Also you might want to remove some of the components you [nearly] cut through.

Are your resistances on the voltage lines now [after removing cut components] better btw?
 
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Hi, thanks for the advice I’ll do that and report back. :)
Sorry, I assumed that you didn’t need the higher gauge wires for the lines to the Wii, just the lines to the regulators and ground (which are all 20AWG), since the voltage was so low.
 
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Hi,
I’m back to having no signal output.
I’ve redone the U10, changed the voltage wires and removed components outside of the trim.

At this point I’ve decided to get another Wii, since they are cheap (around $15 where I am) and I will hopefully do it better this time. Doing the U10 first and testing that before the trimming process. :)
 
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