Worklog Luwiigi Portable Worklog!

Luca

.
.
Joined
Jun 5, 2017
Messages
39
Likes
56
Location
Netherlands
Hey everyone!

In this worklog, I'm going to present my work on a followup to my Wii laptop. I had some major issues with that portable that want to fix in this version. They include: External USB ports, Internal controls, a proper screen, good battery life, reduced size and a custom case instead of a frickin' DVD player.

Some of my earliest ideas:



Version 0.1:


Case
My previous effort at a portable used a Portable DVD player with composite input. This time I want to 3d-print my case. The shape is inspired by the PS Vita. I have minimal experience with CAD, so it will be interesting to see how that works out. I've started doing some modeling in SketchUp:

I designed this panel around the existing 7" screen I have and the Wii motherboard.

On the outside in terms of ports:
  • og 12v Wii port
  • Headphone jack
  • Single 2.0 USB port
  • Sd card slot

Internals
I will not be trimming my motherboard and not use any of the hard work that the PortablizeMii team has put into their board trimming and custom regulator guides. I am sorry. Forgive mii. It's just that I am still a newbie and I don't want to go through the process of trimming it since I only have one 4-layer board available at the moment and don't want to muck it up (unless someone on the forums can persuade me).

I will be incorporating a wiimote without motion plus and a traditional GameCube controller. I won't be using a GC+ because I am on a budget and they aren't available (unless someone can persuade me to get one). I have a original first-party controller and I was wondering if I can follow this guide: http://www.gc-forever.com/forums/viewtopic.php?t=1300
He cut out the red areas and soldered button inputs and voltage onto the traces on the chip and the rumble circuit. Would that work? I think I can remember people who've done this in the past.

The batteries will be internal but swappable. I'll be using a cover that can be taken off so that I can carry an extra set of batteries and use them.

I am using Panasonic batteries and a 4S protection circuit:



I have sliced a Wii heatsink (thanks to Cheese for that wonderful idea). I am planning to have my fan not directly above the heatsink like most computers have them mounted, but about 10mm above the top of the heatsink. Am I making a big mistake by doing this or is it going to be enough airflow for the 4-layer Wii? The fan will suck air and blow it out of the case.

For the buttons, I want to use ds lite buttons and the ds lite button-pcb so that it can be screwed in place and so that I have test pads to solder on. If this proves to be too much of a hassle, I will just use some perf boards and regular switches.


I'll be using a nunchuck pcb on one side and on the other a right analog stick pcb by adding screw-posts
on the front-plate where the holes in the pcb are.

I will primarily use the portable to play Wii games since I grew up in the Wii era, though it should also play gamecube games. The dpad is a bit of a pain to try and incorporate because in games like Super Paper Mario, you hold the controller horizontally whereas with the metroid trilogy you hold the controller vertically. That's why I need a "4PDT" switch that'll take care of that: link

I will be cutting off the ground planes on the side of the motherboard to make it thinner and remove all ports:


I once picked up a backup monitor from the Dutch Craigslist for ridiculously cheap. It's 7" which is a good size. The resolution is what I would consider the bare minimum, two-player Mario Kart Wii is just about playable. Uses composite. May upgrade it down the road, probably not.


To future-proof my device I've decided to get one of those touch screen digitizers and just plopping it onto the screen so that whenever TouchMii comes out, I don't have to tear apart my portable just to shove in a touch screen somewhere. I was thinking to get something like this: https://www.ebay.com/itm/7-Four-Wir...ver-Controller-for-Raspberry-Pi-/182754840279 but cheaper of course.

Oh and "Luwiigi" beause it will be painted green and I couldn't find a better name.

Questions!
  • Will trimming my GC controller using this guide work?
  • Will my thermal solution be cool enough?
  • Will cutting off the ground strips (not all, I will leave a small strip of ground be) result in any problems?
  • Where do you recommend I sand the edges of the board after cutting the board?
  • Is there any special type of wire you guys recommend to use when wiring USB or SD signals?
  • Since I will probably not be trimming the board, is the wiimote power button enough to power on/off the Wii or should I wire to the on/off button on the mobo?
  • Can I split my USB stick into two partitions, one partition WBFS formatted, the other FAT32 so that I can play games off of the WBFS partition but store homebrew apps onto the FAT partition?
  • What cool pattern should I make my fan holes into?
  • Are these too many questions?
 
Last edited:

GingerOfOz

no wario
Staff member
.
.
.
Joined
Dec 16, 2016
Messages
1,009
Likes
2,228
Location
The Oregon Wildlands
Portables
3
WHAT IS THIS ABOMINATION?!?!?!

Banned.

Anyways, to answer your questions :

  • Will cutting off the ground strips (not all, I will leave a small strip of ground be) result in any problems?
  • Where do you recommend I sand the edges of the board after cutting the board?
I'm not entirely sure about the ground plane, but I believe it's ok if you cut it off. I know a couple of people have done it. After cutting the board, sand everywhere you cut just to be safe.

Will my thermal solution be cool enough?
Are you using the stock fan? I'm not sure how well just sticking the fan on the sink would be since you wouldn't really be directing the hot air anywhere. It may be better to just make a whole new cooling system, but you might be able to get it work since 4 layer boards are fairly forgivinG when it comes to heat.

Is there any special type of wire you guys recommend to use when wiring USB or SD signals?
Magnet wire is really nice for this. 32 gauge is a good thickness for it. I believe there's some I'm the BOM that peoplease really like, so I'd check there.

Since I will probably not be trimming the board, is the wiimote power button enough to power on/off the Wii or should I wire to the on/off button on the mobo?
If I were you, I'd leave a physical button to turn on the Wii, just in case something is up with your Wiimotes.


Can I split my USB stick into two partitions, one partition WBFS formatted, the other FAT32 so that I can play games off of the WBFS partition but store homebrew apps onto the FAT partition?
Wiis don't work with drives that has multiple partitions, so it'll just use whatever's the main partition. PortablizeMii can do Wii games and homebrew and everything else off of FAT32 which is one of the many reasons why we love it so much.

Will trimming my GC controller using this guide work?
Yeah, that guide would work. It's probably worth it to wait for the GC+s and store to coke back though, just because GC+s are super easy to use.

As far as other reccomendations, I'd reccomend moving to PortablizeMii. You don't need to trim a Wii to use it, it runs just as well as on home consoles.

Also, I'd strongly reccomend dropping the built in Wiimote. That system is very complex and harder to pull off and get working than an OMGWTF trim by a long shot. You'd need to implement a variety of ICs, a ton of wires, and it's more likely to fail after a long time.

DS buttons might feel too small with a 7 inch screen. That's just how I see it, but if it doesn't bother you then go for it!

That's about all I have. I feel like you should definitely look over your planned features, as well as the things you don't want to do. I think that if you've successfully pulled off a Wii laptop, that you should try an OMGWTF trim. If you follow the guide carefully, I think you can do it.

Good luck!
 

Stitches

2 and a Half Dollarydoos
Staff member
.
.
Joined
Feb 5, 2017
Messages
1,533
Likes
1,334
Location
Banana Bender Land, Australia
Portables
6
WBFS formatted drives are a thing of the past. It's FAT32 all the way with the new loaders. I recommend using PortablizeMii, or USBLoaderGX/Postloader with cios 249.
 

Luca

.
.
Joined
Jun 5, 2017
Messages
39
Likes
56
Location
Netherlands
WHAT IS THIS ABOMINATION?!?!?!
Oh yeah, that's right... Forgot you were on the forums. Fuck Walu-stink-i. Luigi 4ever.
But in all seriousness, I appreciate your help a lot. I'm going to take everything you said into consideration.

As far as other reccomendations, I'd reccomend moving to PortablizeMii. You don't need to trim a Wii to use it, it runs just as well as on home consoles.
I've been using PortablizeMii for quite some while now and I like the features a lot, I meant that I just wasn't going to trim the board, I am going to use the software.

WBFS formatted drives are a thing of the past. It's FAT32 all the way with the new loaders. I recommend using PortablizeMii, or USBLoaderGX/Postloader with cios 249.
I couldn't get any downloaded games played on my Wii, WBFS was the only thing that I could get to work(with usb loader gx anyway). The built-in PortablizeMii Wii game loader hasn't worked for me for some reason, I'll look into that some more.

I see you got yerself a life sentence there, may want to take uncle bumblefuck's advice and cover 'er up before she's the death of ya. Could be a real shocker if ya bump the wrong thing
Hardy harr harr, that's my dad. He's kind enough to lend me a hand with my projects.
 
Last edited:

BocuD

.
Joined
Jul 21, 2016
Messages
452
Likes
502
Location
The Netherlands
Portables
2
Looking great for a second portable!
If you want i can trim your wii for you. Since were both in the netherlands shipping wouldnt be a problem. Just pm me if you’re interested.
 
Joined
May 7, 2017
Messages
31
Likes
5
Location
Florida
I have sliced a Wii heatsink (thanks to Cheese for that wonderful idea).
So this is one thing I have seen a couple people do. With what tools can you do this? I have a dremel but it doesn't seem like it would be able to cut metal like that. Is there a blade I can buy that will allow it?
 

Stitches

2 and a Half Dollarydoos
Staff member
.
.
Joined
Feb 5, 2017
Messages
1,533
Likes
1,334
Location
Banana Bender Land, Australia
Portables
6
So this is one thing I have seen a couple people do. With what tools can you do this? I have a dremel but it doesn't seem like it would be able to cut metal like that. Is there a blade I can buy that will allow it?
The Dremel EZ-Lock metal cut blades can do it. The Wii heatsink's fins are easy as pie, but the base takes a while and a bit of technique to get through. If you have a hacksaw, a good eye, and half an hour, it's pretty simple to cut one by hand as well. You'd also need to grind/file the edges a bit to make sure the sink doesn't cut your fingers or drop metal fragments into your system later.

Whichever way you choose to do it, be very careful, use a vice and wear gloves if you can. Cutting the sink produces a lot of heat and you can burn your hands if you touch it.
 
Joined
May 7, 2017
Messages
31
Likes
5
Location
Florida
The Dremel EZ-Lock metal cut blades can do it. The Wii heatsink's fins are easy as pie, but the base takes a while and a bit of technique to get through. If you have a hacksaw, a good eye, and half an hour, it's pretty simple to cut one by hand as well. You'd also need to grind/file the edges a bit to make sure the sink doesn't cut your fingers or drop metal fragments into your system later.

Whichever way you choose to do it, be very careful, use a vice and wear gloves if you can. Cutting the sink produces a lot of heat and you can burn your hands if you touch it.
I have a kit for my dremel including various attachments, these are the cutting wheels bundled with it. Are any of these the correct one? If so which? If not, can I have a link of where to buy the right ones (preferably amazon)

unnamed.jpg
 

Stitches

2 and a Half Dollarydoos
Staff member
.
.
Joined
Feb 5, 2017
Messages
1,533
Likes
1,334
Location
Banana Bender Land, Australia
Portables
6
I have a kit for my dremel including various attachments, these are the cutting wheels bundled with it. Are any of these the correct one? If so which? If not, can I have a link of where to buy the right ones (preferably amazon)

View attachment 5043
3 of those are sanding/grinding wheels. The black one is a reinforced cutoff disk, so it might work.
 

cheese

the tallest memer in town
Staff member
.
.
.
Joined
Mar 2, 2016
Messages
2,710
Likes
2,352
Location
Florida
I used a bit similar to the black cutoff wheel in the center. I held it with some pliers since it got quite hot while cutting it, and then I sanded it with varying grits of sandpaper (I think I went up to like 400 or so), and finished by washing it off with water and a toothbrush to get all the metal dust and such off.
 

Luca

.
.
Joined
Jun 5, 2017
Messages
39
Likes
56
Location
Netherlands
I used a fretsaw in combination with metal cutting blades. It takes a lot of elbow grease, but it works. I can imagine using a dremel is way simpler.
 
Joined
May 7, 2017
Messages
31
Likes
5
Location
Florida
For the buttons, I want to use ds lite buttons and the ds lite button-pcb so that it can be screwed in place and so that I have test pads to solder on. If this proves to be too much of a hassle, I will just use some perf boards and regular switches.
How exactly are you doing this? When I press a button on one of my DS lite boards, and check continuity between its solder pad and ground, I get nothing.
 

kennsj

.
Joined
Jan 29, 2018
Messages
14
Likes
5
This looks cool. I was toying with the idea of incorporating a Wiimote and nunchuck, but because I'm planning to play GC games on my unit, I'm going with an NGC controller. If you do want to play GC titles, you might find your choices a bit limited with your currently planned controller setup, given the lack of a 2nd joystick/paddle.

Also, mightn't you be better off incorporating the Wiimote horizontally, to allow you to play games like Mario Kart just by tilting the Luwiigi? Just an idea.
 

Luca

.
.
Joined
Jun 5, 2017
Messages
39
Likes
56
Location
Netherlands
I've successfully managed to cut off the ground planes on the Wii mobo and it works just fine. I may end up trimming my board since space is becoming a concern now.
DSC_0930.JPG

I've decided to ditch the SD card slot and dual USB ports for a single USB port. I'm kinda stuck on the power side of my portable. Miceeno used this red board to safely charge and discharge his two 18650 batteries. I currently have a 4s board that only discharges and I want to use the red board. There's a diagram on the red board ebay ad that connects four batteries to the 2s board like this:
Untitled.png
I'm guessing I could use this formation and still charge/discharge all four batteries safely or do I need a 4s board for that? If I can pull that off I'll just make the batteries internal and not swappable.


How exactly are you doing this? When I press a button on one of my DS lite boards, and check continuity between its solder pad and ground, I get nothing.
I followed this pinout and it works fine, it does help to press the little rubber onto the contacts when you test continuity. http://www.acidmods.com/forum/index.php?topic=21933.0

Also, mightn't you be better off incorporating the Wiimote horizontally, to allow you to play games like Mario Kart just by tilting the Luwiigi? Just an idea.
I've thought about this, but since I'm using the vertical wiimote + nunchuck combination, I think there are more games that use vertical motion controls than horizontal.
 
Joined
Jun 7, 2016
Messages
146
Likes
192
Location
New Mexico
The red board is only good for 2 cells in series (2S.) You can add more cells in parallel (2S2P, 2S4P, etc.) but not more cells in series. If you decide to trim the mobo and use custom regulators, you can use the batteries in 2S2P with the red board. If do not trim the Wii you cannot use the red board since the Wii stock regs require around 12V.

4S battery management boards may exist on eBay but I would not recommend using one in a project you care about. :mumble:
 

DeoNaught

.
.
Joined
Dec 10, 2016
Messages
573
Likes
627
Location
Constant Fear
Portables
sin^2(x) + cos^2(x) +e^(i*pi)
Oh btw, The 'Y' and 'A' buttons are backwards, so the 'Y' would actually be the 'A' button. I forgot to change over my two revisions
 

Luca

.
.
Joined
Jun 5, 2017
Messages
39
Likes
56
Location
Netherlands
Everyone strap on 'cuz I'm back! And stronger than ever! Now with better software, better ideas and better tools!

I finally ditched Sketchup for Fusion 360 because it was becoming more and more clear that I needed something with more features and I was pleasantly surprised with Fusion. Despite its instability and regular freezing/crashing on both Mac and Windows, I don't think I could go back to Sketchup. I think it's efficient and packed with all of the features I want. I redid the entire thing in Fusion and made it aligned and nice 'n stuff so it wouldn't look like a shitty child's drawing! :)

compare.png

After Before


Aaaand here's everything I redid in Fusion:
front.png
back.png

And yes, the screen isn't perfectly centered and not everything is symmetrical, but it's okay because we don't care about quality control over on this worklog! Well at least not a lot

Up to now its new changes/features:

  • @DeoNaught 's ds lite button boards which (up to now :P) are working great
  • 3ds sliders instead of the chunky nunchuck joysticks
  • 7" HDMI screen
  • Wii U speakers (might change these since they sound pretty bad up till now)
  • ABS printed case
  • Completely external batteries
Oh and btw I finally got myself a 3D printer - Prusa MK3 - so I didn't have to rely on my school to print anything for me. Printer in its natural habitat:
IMGP2631.JPG

And Jesus Christ this thing was a headache to set up. Bad instructions and wrong temps on filament rolls caused this, but now it prints just fine.

Time to whip out the 'ol DSLR!

TINY2610.JPG
TINY2607.JPG
TINY2606.JPG
TINY2608.JPG
TINY2611.JPG
TINY2615.JPG
TINY2614.JPG

Lots of changes still have to be made, but here's the general idea.
7" display has yet to be ordered.

Wii mobo will probably not be trimmed because I have a deadline for this, but the final version may very well have one inside™. I have however determined that if I cut my mobo in this way, I'll be able to fit it in.

IMG_0402.JPG

(This mobo is dead btw inb4 all of the obligatory "u hav to sand it" posts)

And now for my battery solution which may very well be extremely uncomfortable and impractical but who knows!
IMGP2625.JPG
IMGP2626.JPG
My revolutionary (not really) SwiftChangeBatteryGrip™ technology turns the most bulky part of the portable into handy grips!
IMGP2628.JPG
These will be screwed onto the back of the portable with one screw per grip.

IMGP2629.JPG
IMGP2627.JPG

No idea if these are too bulky to be comfortable to hold in combination with the already ∼400mm thick portable.
grip.png

STL/F3D files attached. Could be handy for any project really!

Still wiring up the buttons/joysticks to the GC controller, but I'm almost done!

IMG_0400.JPG

I'm currently waiting for parts to arrive which is the cause of this essay! When they do, I can finish the back half of the project. Any concerns/questions may be posted below!

*It somehow deleted some photos so here's a repost*
 

Attachments

Luca

.
.
Joined
Jun 5, 2017
Messages
39
Likes
56
Location
Netherlands
Oh btw, The 'Y' and 'A' buttons are backwards, so the 'Y' would actually be the 'A' button. I forgot to change over my two revisions
Ah, thanks for the heads up. I actually have to screw the boards in upside-down, so I'm already having to do some testing but thanks!
 
Top