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Worklog Nold's N64p

Nold

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After finishing my GCp[0][1], I'm totally motivated to get on my next portable project. But hopefully it won't take 5 years this time to finish ;-)

Here's the plan:
Mainboard: N64 PAL (trimmed)
Display: 5" ZJ050NA [2]
Case: Frankencase again [3] (Still hard to find good cases in Europe :/ )
Battery: ToDo.. ~5000mAh (7.4v + 3v3 via step-down)
Controller: N64 + GC Analogstick + 64CC

Here is a small sketch of the front (not in scale):
IMG_20170729_085428.jpg

On the back I'll do some more frankencasing, to make the case more ergonomic..Maybe something like this:
IMG_20170729_085436.jpg


I would also like to implement a memorycard-slot, so I can play on the TV & portable. Or maybe I'll put in an "expansion"-port, with external composite and 4 controller ports.. don't know yet. Since all parts haven't arrived yet, I'll have to be patient and then take everything step-by-step as I did with my last portable ^^

[0] https://www.gc-forever.com/forums/viewtopic.php?f=26&t=893
[1] https://bitbuilt.net/forums/index.php?threads/the-portacube.1539/
[2] http://www.ebay.de/itm/271913032715
[3] http://www.ebay.de/itm/112473526856

 
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Nold

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Today I finally could trim the mainboard, trimming was pretty easy & went pretty well (as I think)..
DSCF5138.JPG

After some sanding & a short break... it actually looked pretty nice!
DSCF5143.JPG

Then I had to solder a sh**load of kynar, to super tight solderpoints, before I could test the board...
Note to me & all other N64p-virgins: Don't remove the extension-slot before trimming! -.-'
DSCF5169.JPG

After soldering a few cables I thought: "Damn, I could defiantly use a magnifier!...". And suddenly remembered that my awesome new lamp has one build in! :D (First time I made use of this feature..)
DSCF5165.JPG

So after another short break, I went for the first test after trimming!
Sadly I couldn't get a video signal... I even rewired a trace that's got cut after trimming.. nothing..

DSCF5173.JPG

Tomorrow I will check the wiring of the RAM... and if everything gets voltage...

Did I miss anything? In there anything I need to rewire? Is it trimmed to much for a PAL-Board?
I got most of my information from here: https://bitbuilt.net/forums/index.php?threads/trimming-your-n64-revs-1-4.52/

I used this DENC-NUC Pinout & wired composite to "VIDEO" (pin 20)


Tomorrow I will also check the DENC-NUS with my oscilloscope if nothing helps.. Any advises?
 
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Matthew

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It's possible that you trimmed off a resistor that's important to the PIF. Try putting a 20 ohm resistor between pin 8 and 3.3v. I
 

fibbef

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Maybe you just haven't taken a picture of it, but your cart slot needs wired to the system. The 64 won't output video without a cart connected.
 

GC64

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Definitely should have trimmed the board, rewired cartridge slot, and rewired the expansion pak one at a time.. now it'll be much harder to track the source of the problem xD. Also, you didn't put the cartridge slot relocation in the picture.. I'll just assume you forgot to take a picture of that

EDIT: what @fibbef said
 

Nold

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Maybe you just haven't taken a picture of it, but your cart slot needs wired to the system. The 64 won't output video without a cart connected.
Yea... well... ok.. I basically knew that... but I thought it might just work without soldering, too :D bend some pins a little bit, so they would make a better connection... but might not be enough ;-)

So that's point one for tomorrow.. sadly my back want's to relax >.< :D
 

Pacal

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can you put a picture from the back of the board?
 

Shank

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Stitches

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Today I finally could trim the mainboard, trimming was pretty easy & went pretty well (as I think)..
View attachment 3783

After some sanding & a short break...
View attachment 3784

... it actually looked pretty nice!
View attachment 3789

Then I had to solder a sh**load of kynar, to super tight solderpoints, before I could test the board...
Note to me & all other N64p-virgins: Don't remove the extension-slot before trimming! -.-'
View attachment 3786

After soldering a few cables I thought: "Damn, I could defiantly use a magnifier!...". And suddenly remembered that my awesome new lamp has one build in! :D (First time I made use of this feature..)
View attachment 3785

So after another short break, I went for the first test after trimming!
Sadly I couldn't get a video signal... I even rewired a trace that's got cut after trimming.. nothing..

View attachment 3787

Tomorrow I will check the wiring of the RAM... and if everything gets voltage...

Did I miss anything? In there anything I need to rewire? Is it trimmed to much for a PAL-Board?
I got most of my information from here: https://bitbuilt.net/forums/index.php?threads/trimming-your-n64-revs-1-4.52/

I used this DENC-NUC Pinout & wired composite to "VIDEO" (pin 20)


Tomorrow I will also check the DENC-NUS with my oscilloscope if nothing helps.. Any advises?
You going to enter a pub tournament with that dart?
 

Nold

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Went up early today to get it working.. rewired the cart-slot, fixed two wires on the extension slot & checked all wires.. some have a "short" but I guess these are just there by design..
Also I rewired two more traces..
DSCF5177.JPG

Long story short: It still isn't working... I can't find any more cut traces.. the sides of the board all look pretty nice, so there shouldn't be shorts because of bad cutting/sanding, too... Damn it, I'm close to cutting yet another board, if you don't have an idea :\

Anyway.. here is a pic of the back as requested:
DSCF5174.JPG

DSCF5182.JPG

Ah, before I forget: Is it normal that only the first RAM chip gets warm in this part of the boot-process?.. all other three stay cool. RCP also gets warm pretty fast, CPU slowly..

Thanks a lot for ya help.


//Edit 1:
Rewired 12V to card-slot.. status: unchanged :/
DSCF5183.JPG
 
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Pacal

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Ok there's one more thing you can do put a 2k Ohm resistor between 3.3v and PIN number 8 from the PIF
Like this
IMG_0535.JPG
I'm working on a 64 portable too and I had the same problem i wasn't getting any image and after I put the resistor It works but I didn't remove the jumper pak slot like you
 

Nold

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Ok there's one more thing you can do put a 2k Ohm resistor between 3.3v and PIN number 8 from the PIF
Like this
Thanks, that's definitely has been missing, too.. but sadly it's still not working :(
DSCF5193.JPG
(Didn't hat a 2k ohm resistor, so used 2x 1k...)
 

Matthew

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You may just be out of luck then. N64's are really finicky. The problem probably has to do with your rewiring of the Expansion slot. @ShockSlayer may be able to give you more advice. He's the expert around here on N64's.
 

ShockSlayer

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GC64 is right, if you aren't 100% sure of what you're doing you can't just do 20 things at once and expect to be able to do any meaningful troubleshooting.

If I had to guess, you've probably solved most of your problems like reconnecting 3.3v across the board(you don't need 12v on the cart slot.) But you tried to do the most PITA relocation without any means to test it.

The real N64 expert, Lord of Shibe wrote this in the PPR thread:
Rambus is very picky and needs controlled impedance traces, with careful attention towards return paths.
Here's a lovely picture of a working relocation:

I don't remember who did this(I think it was benheck,) but he used really short, even lengths of 34 gauge magnet wire. Wish I was that smart.

Anyways, your board trimming skills and solder look better than average, so I think you're close to getting it working. If you have another board, get it in working order, then ONLY relocate this part first. Then you can do the cart slot, test that, then trim the board. It's a bitchy, slow process, but it's the most effective way to do it.
 

Nold

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reworked the relocation today:
DSCF5210.JPG

Give thanks to the almighty 80-con-ATA-cable!!1 :D
Found out it seams to be the best method (to remove the isolation from the cables) to cut the isolation with a (not super sharp) scalpel & then pull it of with the fingers.. the solid-core cables are actually pretty strong.
The I added some kapton to isolate the wires from each other, on the card-site.

Anyway, my n64 is still not starting, so tomorrow I will start from scratch, with a new board. Just need to transplant a PIF first ^^

But I haven't been lazy in the meantime, i built the ultimate AIO-n64 heat sink! :D
DSCF5212.JPG
DSCF5215.JPG

This is the same PrimePower-800 heat sink, I used in my GCp.. they are simply awesome :D
Btw.: How hot does a n64 get? I will still need a fan in the case, right?
 
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Matthew

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How hot does a n64 get? I will still need a fan in the case, right?
If you have a good heatsink and ventilation then you shouldn't need a fan. I don't have one in mine and it's been working amazing for months.
 

Nold

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OMFG! I made it working!.. I don't even want to tell how.. >.< .. seams like my AVR doesn't like composite anymore....... ....... ........ .

Whatever.. here is the next problem: First it seams like everything boots up nicely.. The game intro starts to show up or game says "please connect controller 1".
But after a few seconds, i get this:

DSCF5220.JPG

Is this a common problem? As said, it's a PAL-Board with a DENC-NUS Video chip.
 
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