Spent a bit of time today working on PCBs and tweaking the case.
First off, I started by making a mount for the screen driver board as well as UltraVGA. This will be pressed right up to the LCD so that it will hold it in place while also providing me with screw posts in order to be easily able to remove the driver board or UltraVGA if need be.
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As you might be able to tell from the images, I've also cloned Gman's shoulder button setup from the G-Wii for use in this portable. I had thought about employing a hinged setup for the triggers, but this setup uses much less space and feels pretty close to that. Once I do a full print of the case I will be able to thoroughly test it and make sure it feels good enough, otherwise I will most likely tweak the design to incorporate a hinge but for now this will do.
I've also been spending a bit of time trying to find a good way to remove the expansion pak slot from the motherboard while being able to trim the board below the pins off. To better show what I'm talking about, here's an image of the N64 as it currently sits in the case.
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As you can see, currently in order to make room for the upper screw posts, I'll need to perform the board bend (which has always been the plan) however I will need to move the motherboard down a few mm in order to ensure there's enough space for everything to clear. To do this I will be removing the expansion pak slot from the board and attempting to find a suitable solution to replace it. I've tried to relocate the passives from the jumper pak a couple of times with no luck.
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This was my first attempt, and because I'm not terribly familiar with how the RDRAM on the N64 works I thought it would be worth a shot to try and terminate the rambus from the RCP. Unsurprisingly it didn't work, so I asked Marshall who pointed out however that the termination resistors need to lead to Vterm with minimal impedance. So I desoldered everything and tried again, which resulted in the setup seen below:
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Unfortunately this still didn't work, and so I resoldered the slot onto the board and still didn't get it to boot. At this point I'm convinced that during my Frankenstein-ish experiments I might have killed the board, but I haven't yet lifted the PIF relocation from the other side of the board to verify that all of the connections are in tact (since I hot aired the slot off in the first place it's possible that something came loose). However, I'll need to trim another board regardless, so what I've done is come up with a flex PCB that sits on top of the pins in the picture above and it should
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If the board works I'll make a few tweaks to the design and probably put it in the store. I'd like to grab Vterm and ground from the slot pins themselves, but due to the fabs limitations I just wanted to verify that something like this is possible to begin with before doing anything more advanced than this. I should hopefully have the flex boards within a couple weeks time and will be able to verify whether or not the design will work.
Finally, I've modeled the cart slot cover on the back of the case.
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Since the cover will cover (lol) the bottom two screw posts that will hold the portable together, I've made the cover be a snap fit design that clips into the back housing. Thanks to SixtyFlex as seen in one of my previous posts, that means that the entire cart slot will be able to be released from the unit by unclipping the cover from the back half and releasing the FFC connector on the PCB. This will make it extremely easy to swap out the cart slot if it's ever needed since it won't be buried in the case behind the motherboard and other circuitry!
That's all I've got for now in terms of updates. The design is very close to being done so once I finalize the controller PCBs I will go ahead and print the case while I'm waiting for them to arrive. I should be able to verify basically everything once I have the print in hand so that by the time the PCBs arrive I can put a unit together as a "prototype" build before building the final one I'll be bringing to MGC.