Worklog First Wii Portable (unnamed so far)

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I probably started this work log too early but oh well. I’ve finally decided to start my project!

So I kinda got into trouble on the first soldering part. After removing all of the components on U5 and finally desoldering U9 (one of the legs on U10 snapped) I wanted to clean all of the pads to prepare for the relocation. The only problem is that I accidentally removed all of the solder on one of the pads (see image) and I just can’t seem to get fresh solder on that pad. The solder doesn’t melt on the pad and when I put it right next to my iron it just sticks to said iron.

Does anyone have any experience with this or should I just keep at it with a different iron tip? (I’m currently using a 0.8mm tip). If you guys have any techniques that you would like to share please let me know asap. I really wanna get this part done!

PS. Just realised. I’m going to have the same problem when relocating Bluetooth right? How do you guys get the solder to stick to the traces?

I hope these questions aren’t too noobish. Thanks in advance guys!

Edit: After some more research I’ve concluded the solder panda might’ve come off. In that case I was wondering if that pin has to be connected to that pad. Seen as I’m cutting the trace leading from the pad I was thinking that it doesn’t serve much purpose anyway right?
 

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cheese

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Edit: After some more research I’ve concluded the solder panda might’ve come off. In that case I was wondering if that pin has to be connected to that pad. Seen as I’m cutting the trace leading from the pad I was thinking that it doesn’t serve much purpose anyway right?
Yep, you pulled that pad off. Since that is the output pin that you run the wire to, you don't need to worry about it, just solder the wire directly to that leg instead of the pad

PS. Just realised. I’m going to have the same problem when relocating Bluetooth right? How do you guys get the solder to stick to the traces?
For that you need to scrape the solder mask off the top of the trace to reveal the copper below, which you can then solder to. Make sure to not expose the ground plane around the trace and to not short the two traces together (it's fairly easy to do since they're so close together)
 
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OK. U10 relocation is now complete. I must say that the desoldering was a lot harder than the soldering. Eventually I just cranked up the heat on my iron and the chip came right off. Now I’m building up the courage to start soldering to those traces.

Unfortunately I’m not able to test my untrimmed board because I happen to have practiced my soldering skills on some of the chips in the regulator-area. So I’ll test the board after I’ve hooked up custom regs after trimming instead. If that doesn’t work I’ll be very disappointed.

So far however everything looks fine. Hoping to start the Bluetooth relocation tomorrow!
 

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GingerOfOz

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A couple things:

First, you need to get some magnet wire for soldering to vias. Thick wire like that does not make a good connection, and will likely short out against other vias.

Also, you've shorted the input and output pins of U10 together. It's ok if the three pins on the left are all connected because those are all just ground, but if the two pins on the right are shorted then the Wii won't work.
 
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A couple things:

First, you need to get some magnet wire for soldering to vias. Thick wire like that does not make a good connection, and will likely short out against other vias.

Also, you've shorted the input and output pins of U10 together. It's ok if the three pins on the left are all connected because those are all just ground, but if the two pins on the right are shorted then the Wii won't work.
Thanks for the tip! I do have some 38Awg magnet wire but unfortunately it’s not insulated. Maybe I could use some electrical tape for that? Should I replace the wire? I’m sure that the solder joint isn’t in contact with the other vias. Could trying to boot a trimmed wii damage it in some way if that connection turns out to be bad?

Also, as I mentioned before, I’m using U9 instead since one of the two pins on my U10 came off. In your Exhaustive guide u said that when using U9 you must bridge those to pins as well as the 3 pins on the other side. Maybe I misunderstood that...
 

GingerOfOz

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Don't use the uninsulated magnet wire, go ahead and order some insulated stuff. You can get a spool that will last you until the sun blows up from eBay for less than $10.

And sorry the U9 part wasn't clear, the bridging pads part was meant for the 2 pads where you removed U9 from. You don't need to that if you aren't testing until after the trim though.
 
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And sorry the U9 part wasn't clear, the bridging pads part was meant for the 2 pads where you removed U9 from. You don't need to that if you aren't testing until after the trim though.
I'm sorry if I'm misunderstanding this, but should I separate those 2 pads that I bridged or not?

Don't use the uninsulated magnet wire, go ahead and order some insulated stuff. You can get a spool that will last you until the sun blows up from eBay for less than $10.
I've seen people on these forums use it on multiple occasions. And also, would 38 AWG be enough for the connection between U10 and the via?

Thanks again for all the help!
 

jefflongo

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I'm sorry if I'm misunderstanding this, but should I separate those 2 pads that I bridged or not?



I've seen people on these forums use it on multiple occasions. And also, would 38 AWG be enough for the connection between U10 and the via?

Thanks again for all the help!
Yes, you need to separate the two pins on the chip. You need to bridge the two pads where the U9 chip used to be.

38 awg is just fine for the u10. It's just a digital signal, so there's virtually no current.
 
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Yes, you need to separate the two pins on the chip. You need to bridge the two pads where the U9 chip used to be.

38 awg is just fine for the u10. It's just a digital signal, so there's virtually no current.
Thanks a lot for the clarification Jeff! I’ll separate the two pins. I’ll also wait to replace the wire until I’m sure that It doesn’t work well. I’ll be gone for a few days but I’ll start relocating Bluetooth and whatnot when I get back.
 
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Ok so I swapped the cable for the U10 and I also connected the data lines for bluetooth to the module. All I need to do now is trim. Any tips before I start trimming?

Oh btw here's a pic of the motherboard:
IMG_0090.JPG
IMG_0091.JPG


Do you mean enameled wire? It looks like bare wire but there is a coating on it to prevent it from shorting on things
And yes I'm using enameled 38 awg wire for this.

Btw sorry for the crap quality of the pics, not much I can do about that I'm afraid...
 
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Make sure to test your wiring before trimming, but besides that, covering the chips with some painters tape and trimming should be fine
Unfortunately the solder joints to the traces came off as I was outlining my cut line. I'm just going to have to redo them when I've trimmed the board. I'll start the trimming tomorrow hopefully. I'll post here when I'm done the process of sanding.

Also, If I want to keep the AV-port, how would I remove the sync port on top? Do I desolder the pins and then just jank it off?
 

Nold

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As for trimming in general:
- Remove all components, that are in the way of the cut. esp. the big inductors!
- don't cut to close to the outlines
- watch out that the board or dremel dosn't "move uncontrolled" while trimming (idk how to say that.. - keep it under control)
- sand it to size, then sand it carefully, until everything is smooth
- measure resistance
- ...
- Profit!

Also, If I want to keep the AV-port, how would I remove the sync port on top? Do I desolder the pins and then just jank it off?
I would use a dremel or hacksaw and just cut it off.. i think i did this for the wii nano.. IIRC it's like pure plastic, if you cut close to the AV-Port.
 

Stitches

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If I want to keep the AV-port, how would I remove the sync port on top? Do I desolder the pins and then just jank it off?
You'll have to cut it with something. I find crushing it with pliers and then using flush cutters to trim it off bit by bit is the neatest method.
 
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To add on to what Cheese said, absolutely test your bluetooth and U10 before trimming. If you can exit postloader to the Wii system menu successfully then you will be good to go.
Ehe. I kinda fucked my regulators on the wii by practising my desoldering on them. It helped tremendously in removing U10 but now I can't test things until after I trim. I'm just going in.

Btw, do you guys recommend washing the board with water after trimming? And scrubbing it? How do you clean off dust and sanding residue?
 

GingerOfOz

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The best thing to use is Isopropyl alcohol, but be sure to put masking tape over the BGA chips (GPU, CPU, RAM) before trimming to limit the amount of dust that could potentially get in there.

You shouldn't need to do much scrubbing to get the dust off, I'll usually just wipe along with a paper towel and use a toothbrush to scrub IPA in any of the spots it gets lodged in. I reccomend getting 91% IPA (you can find it in the pharmacy section of most grocery stores) as the higher ratio is also useful for getting hot glue off cleanly, removing flux stains, and other handy uses when building a portable.
 
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The best thing to use is Isopropyl alcohol, but be sure to put masking tape over the BGA chips (GPU, CPU, RAM) before trimming to limit the amount of dust that could potentially get in there.

You shouldn't need to do much scrubbing to get the dust off, I'll usually just wipe along with a paper towel and use a toothbrush to scrub IPA in any of the spots it gets lodged in. I reccomend getting 91% IPA (you can find it in the pharmacy section of most grocery stores) as the higher ratio is also useful for getting hot glue off cleanly, removing flux stains, and other handy uses when building a portable.
Alright. Yeah I've stocked up on a litre of IPA but unfortunately I think my cutting blades are too wide to cut off the AV-port. If you look at the trim guide the margin is basically non-existant. So I would need a really thin blade and the one I'm using is like 1,5mm. I did however cut off the mx-chip and the GC ports without any issues. Here's a pic of what I mean about the margin:
upload_2019-7-20_18-9-5.png
 
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