Worklog My first GC Portable!

Discussion in 'GameCube' started by jefflongo, Feb 2, 2017.

  1. YveltalGriffin .

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    Have you checked the backlight voltage on the FFC?
     
  2. jefflongo Broke BitBuilt Staff Member . .

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    No I haven't, been trying not to mess around with the FFC/screen itself so much because I don't want to risk damaging it since Gman said it was working before shipping..

    In other news, I think I've diagnosed the memory card issue. It appears the DO pin relocation point is not making good contact to the board. Perhaps it got damaged while soldering to it. I busted out the multimeter and found a bunch of handy relocation vias I can use instead. I think I'll try the ones right next to the ICs as it might be easier to solder to vias despite them being so close together. I'll wire it up and report back when I get home.
    RY1oUS5.png
     
    Last edited: Apr 24, 2017
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  3. jefflongo Broke BitBuilt Staff Member . .

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    So the memory card is up and running again after wiring to the vias. :)
    Hoping this is the last time I have to mess with it.
    ekpcaIO.jpg

    As for the screen, going to try a new one next week and figure out what the deal is from there.
     
    Last edited: Apr 24, 2017
  4. jefflongo Broke BitBuilt Staff Member . .

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    I am once again being plagued by memory card issues...

    The card was working and I hotglued the solder points to ensure they stayed in place. I started testing a game and mid game the memory card stopped working. Turned off the system and checked for continuity from the GPU vias to the memory card and all connections just fine with no shorts between any of them either. Honestly don't know what to do at this point. I don't think it is the memory card because when I removed it the first time and tested it on a console it was working... Pretty disheartened :( Anyone have any advice?
     
  5. Bakuku .

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    I see in your screenshot that you are not powering pin 4 with 3.3v. Maybe try that first. You can bridge pin 4, 8 and 12. Bridge pin 2 and 10 for ground as well. Might help?

    Try soldering to the vias on the gpu directly? That's the way I do it and it workd. Just make sure you put the tiny wire trough but not insanely deep. Use some flux and make sure there's enough solder.

    Good luck
     
  6. jefflongo Broke BitBuilt Staff Member . .

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    Do you think the 32g magnet wire is fine or should I try something else? The reason I didn't bridge those other 3.3v/gnd points is because they're internally bridged in the memory card but I'll try bridging them with wire anyway.
     
  7. jefflongo Broke BitBuilt Staff Member . .

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    Okay guys, time for an update. We're back in business!!

    After the memory card stopped functioning again despite wiring it to the intermediary vias and hot gluing it down when it was working, I was feeling pretty hopeless. I decided to try getting a new memory card and wiring it straight to the GPU vias. I did this and when it was working, I immediately hot glued the wiring on the vias, a secondary spot to secure the wires, and on the memory card to prevent any weirdness from happening. It's been a few days since I did that so I think I can safely say everything is working permanently this time! I have a feeling it was probably the memory card at fault even though I removed all the wiring and tested it in a stock GC..
    20170412_211830.jpg

    I received my new screen from Gman today and this one is working perfectly off 5v! It seems the other one was damaged during shipping. I will be sending it back to Gman though and maybe he can fix it and reuse it for one of his awesome projects. The quality is nice and there's not a lot of lag. Next I will be working on a solution to switch between external and internal AV and I'll probably do some case work on the front side of the case. Going to clean up the wiring some more as well. I'm so glad that I can go at this with full force again now that all my problems are fixed!
    20170417_173445.jpg
     
    Last edited: Apr 24, 2017
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  8. jefflongo Broke BitBuilt Staff Member . .

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    Update time!

    So after wiring up the screen, I noticed some interference on the video signal. I chose not to be lazy and to investigate the issue. It ended up being the regulator being too close to the video line. I cut up a Nintendo AV cable to use its shielded wire in hopes to fix the interference. At first it wasn't working, but after grounding both ends of the cable, all the interference was gone! I then put the video line on a DPDT switch to make sure the signal isn't degraded by being split between the internal screen and the external AV port. On the other side of the switch, I hooked up power to the screen to also turn off the screen when it's not in use. I will also hook up the power to the audio amp whenever I get that so that flipping the switch to external mode also kills the internal audio. Thus my switch performs the following:

    Portable mode: remove video signal from the external port, provide video signal to the screen and power screen (and audio amp in the future)
    Console mode: remove video signal and power from the internal screen, remove power from the audio amp, provide video signal to the external port

    20170428_202323.jpg

    Next thing I've done was work on the wall power port. I trimmed the little PCB with the stock power connector and wired it up to a switch to perform charge and play. I don't have my battery circuitry yet so the switch just needs the battery part hooked up. My smart charger did arrive today so I'm excited for that, however I'm still waiting on the protection circuit so I'm holding off. By the way, if anyone has any idea how I can test my battery circuitry before I install it into the portable that would be great. I would hate to mess something up with the batteries and then fry the entire system. I've heard that measuring the voltage out of the protection circuit isn't reliable (don't know if that's true or not).

    20170428_202619.jpg

    I also hooked up my fans today. I got these cheap little fans off ebay and they're actually a perfect fit. They didn't fit until I trimmed the board and now they just barely fit where I want them to. I epoxied two of them together, hot glued the wires down to the top, and it turned out nice. They actually provide a lot of airflow (although they are a bit noisy, it might not be so bad once the case is closed). My plan for thermals is to place kapton tape on top of the heat sink, drill ventilation holes on both sides of the case, and have the fans intake cool air and have it travel under the kapton tape through the heat sink and out the other side.

    20170428_203058.jpg

    The last thing I've done is shortened up all the wires to the regulator. I need to start planning how I'm going to make the batteries fit so I figure the place where I have the most space will be next to the regulator. It's definitely going to be a tight fit though, and I can't really move the regulator much more to the right. It's a little messy in the case but it's the best I can do. My plan for the layout of the internals is this, and it's going to be tighter than it looks:

    caseschematic.png

    When my protection circuit comes, I will work on that next. I still need to do a large amount of casework and will probably work on frankencasing the controller shell into the top of the case and making the cutouts for the screen and power connectors next. My plan is to cut out the area for the shells with a dremel, use epoxy to secure them, and then use bondo or epoxy puddy to add more support, but I'm not really sure as I've never done this before. Excited to make more progress! Finally, a pic of the project thus far:

    20170428_201457.jpg
     
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  9. Toaster912 .

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    Maybe try 4 battery cells? If you even can fit them in there.
     
  10. jefflongo Broke BitBuilt Staff Member . .

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    Ha, even two will be a struggle. Maybe when I do a Wii I will do 4 cells, because I'll have a smaller trim and less things crammed in there.
     
  11. Madmorda Painting Queen Staff Member . . .

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    I had those exact fans and after a while they became extremely loud and I had to replace them. I could've gotten bad ones, but it might be a good idea to plan for the possibility of using a different fan setup just in case. I had a hard time suddenly upgrading to larger fans
     
  12. jefflongo Broke BitBuilt Staff Member . .

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    What kind of time frame are you talking about? I'll keep that in mind. Reason I'm using these ones is because they fit in that slot which is very narrow.
     
  13. Madmorda Painting Queen Staff Member . . .

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    A few weeks, maybe a month or so after I finished my gcp they started rattling / grinding. Granted, I hardly ever played it so it wasn't all that long. So pretty quickly.
     
  14. Marnario . .

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    What will you do when it comes up to charging the cells? Will you use a battery management system, or use a charge and play circuit?
     
    Last edited: Apr 29, 2017
  15. cheese the tallest memer in town Staff Member . . .

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    Well, you would always use a smart charger, even if you were to do charge n play, since you don't want your batteries to turn into fireworks
     
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  16. Toaster912 .

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    Awesome can't wait to see the finished product!
     
  17. jefflongo Broke BitBuilt Staff Member . .

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    I'm just using SS's charge and play method using a DPDT switch. So you either play off batteries or play off wall power and simultaneously charge the batteries. Of course I'm still using a protection circuit and smart charger.
     
  18. Marnario . .

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    cool
     
  19. jefflongo Broke BitBuilt Staff Member . .

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    Okay another update, my protection circuits came in the mail. I got the pack of 10 from the BOM. When soldering to them, the pads actually starting moving around, but they still worked out well. Soldering to the batteries was a bit difficult, but turning the temp up a bit and using the side of the tip to maximize surface area worked out. Also I think I was just nervous haha. I soldered the battery charging port to the charge and play switch and wired up the battery pack. It seems to be working well. I just charged the batteries up fully so the charger and protection circuit seem to be functioning properly. The battery pack is definitely a tight fit in the case though. The wiring is a little messy but it's the best I could do. The batteries lasted approximately 1 hour and 20 minutes from a full charge.

    Basically I just need to get the audio amp/speakers, complete the casework, and wire up the internal controller and we're done! If anyone has any recommendations for some speakers/amp I'm all ears. Not sure if I'm going to do a headphone jack though.

    Here's the battery pack/protection circuit
    20170507_140953.jpg

    The internals
    20170507_152452.jpg
     
    Last edited: May 9, 2017
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  20. Toaster912 .

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    Are you sure it's okay to hot glue them to the protection circuit board like that?
     

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