Worklog Reviive Worklog and Questions - Portable Wii Brought Back From The Dead!

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I bought a broken Nintendo Wii/NGC Portable for $130 (USD) on eBay and I plan to fix it.

I took apart the portable and from what I’ve seen from people’s worklogs, I don’t see anything apparently wrong with it. I also plugged the USB into my PC and it seems to have standard RVLoader and PriiLoader stuff. The issue is that it won’t charge nor turn on. I also have a soldering iron on standby for repairs. Thank you so much for any help you can give to get this up and running again. If I do get it working, I’m going to call it the Reviive.

Please see pictures of the internals, and please quote this message if you need to see a close up pic of something. Thanks again.
 

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GingerOfOz

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Yeah, that guy's work is well known for not working. I don't see anything obvious from the photos you posted, but if it's not charging or booting up at all then there's definitely something wrong with the PMS or the batteries. What voltage are the batteries at right now?
 
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Yeah, that guy's work is well known for not working. I don't see anything obvious from the photos you posted, but if it's not charging or booting up at all then there's definitely something wrong with the PMS or the batteries. What voltage are the batteries at right now?
Yeah, I didn’t really notice anything bad either. How should I check the voltage? Is it labeled on the cells? Unfortunately I don’t own a multimeter either.
 

Shank

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Send it back to him, and demand it be repaired with no charge to you. He should pay return shipping and for all repairs, as the failure is due to his craftmanship. The community should not be expected to continue cleaning up his messes, or serve as free customer service for him.
 
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Send it back to him, and demand it be repaired with no charge to you. He should pay return shipping and for all repairs, as the failure is due to his craftmanship. The community should not be expected to continue cleaning up his messes, or serve as free customer service for him.
Sorry to disappoint, but I bought this for $130 and it was labeled as broken. I sort of doubt the seller I bought this from was the guy who built it, because the description said that the person didn’t know what was wrong and they had 99% positive selling feedback, along with joining eBay in 2016. My bet is that this person didn’t have a clue about soldering or modding and bought it off the guy who built it and when it crapped out on him, he sold it back to eBay. Then I come along, someone who hasn’t built a portable before but has some modding experience in PC building and GameBoy mods but have always had in interest in portablizing. I saw this as an oppunitunity to get a portable for a decent price while still fixing it and learning from it, but not building one from scratch and not worrying about the potential of messing something up bad. If it still can be fixed, I’d love to do it. I apologize for not asking the community for advice before I purchased it.

I suppose if it can’t be fixed, I’ve learned my lesson that it you want something done right, to go all the way and do it all yourself.
 
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Shank

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Sorry to disappoint, but I bought this for $130 and it was labeled as broken.
That makes sense. I was under the impression this was another familiar story. In this instance, the original maker/seller would not be liable. Best of luck repairing it. My first suggestion would be to check the voltage of the batteries. If they are below 3v, you will need to charge them with an external battery charger. The BQ chip used on the first iteration of the PMS (bitbuilt store) was a little... quirky... but the 4Layer ones use a different chip that doesn't have the same issues.
 
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That makes sense. I was under the impression this was another familiar story. In this instance, the original maker/seller would not be liable. Best of luck repairing it. My first suggestion would be to check the voltage of the batteries. If they are below 3v, you will need to charge them with an external battery charger. The BQ chip used on the first iteration of the PMS (bitbuilt store) was a little... quirky... but the 4Layer ones use a different chip that doesn't have the same issues.
Thanks so much. My plan is to first purchase a multimeter, check voltage, if the batteries are sketchy, I'll most likely replace them. If that doesn't solve the issue I'll buy a RVL PMS 2 from 4layertech and resolder all the wires from the old one to the new one. Also, I noticed this portable uses the GC+ 1.0, is it worth swapping for a 2.0, or does it not matter?

Thank you Shank, Stitches, and Ginger for contributing to this thread, it really means a lot to have your guys' help. I'll continue to post here for updates as I go.
 

GingerOfOz

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Thanks so much. My plan is to first purchase a multimeter, check voltage, if the batteries are sketchy, I'll most likely replace them. If that doesn't solve the issue I'll buy a RVL PMS 2 from 4layertech and resolder all the wires from the old one to the new one. Also, I noticed this portable uses the GC+ 1.0, is it worth swapping for a 2.0, or does it not matter?

Thank you Shank, Stitches, and Ginger for contributing to this thread, it really means a lot to have your guys' help. I'll continue to post here for updates as I go.
I'd say it's probably not worth upgrading in this case, GC+ 1.0 is still very solid.

At the very least, there's some good parts in there for making a better portable, $130 isn't too bad. Hope you're able to figure something out!
 
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Yeah honestly I think with some troubleshooting and new PMS and batteries (potentially) this will hopefully be a cheap restore! Multimeter is a must though as others have said above. I'm not super experienced but I believe in you!!! You can do this!
 
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Yeah honestly I think with some troubleshooting and new PMS and batteries (potentially) this will hopefully be a cheap restore! Multimeter is a must though as others have said above. I'm not super experienced but I believe in you!!! You can do this!
Thanks so much! I really appeticate the feedback and I continue to look forward to your G-Wii updates!
I'd say it's probably not worth upgrading in this case, GC+ 1.0 is still very solid.

At the very least, there's some good parts in there for making a better portable, $130 isn't too bad. Hope you're able to figure something out!
Thanks for letting me know. Yeah, all the parts in there now, even in the state that it’s in, are worth more separately than what I paid for this.
 
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Hilariously enough this portable also came with an official Nintendo Gamecube carrying case that is way too big for this system. It arrived with it covered in like 4 layers of bubble wrap to fill the void. When I do inevitably travel with this portable once I fix it, I’ll most likely buy a case with a block of foam inside and cut out a perfect indent for it and the charger. Just thought it was funny that this case is intended for an entire Gamecube rather than a small portable.
 

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I have now obtained a multimeter and have measured voltage of the batteries. Both of them are at 0.68V. Following Shank’s instructions, next I will order an external 18650 charger to get this bad boys up to 3V which will hopefully solve the issue. If not, I’ll replace the PMS.
 

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RoseDagger

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0.68v sounds super super dead
Lithium-ion is charged at approximately 4.2 ± 0.05 V/cell except for "military long life" that uses 3.92 V to extend battery life. Most protection circuits cut off if voltage greater than 4.3 V or temperature greater than 90 °C is reached. Below 2.50 V/cell the battery protection circuit may render the battery unchargeable with regular charging equipment. Most battery circuits stop at 2.7–3.0 V/cell.
Batteries below 2.5v need special equipment to charge, and Lithium batteries don't like to be deep cycled, so even if you managed to charge them, they would likely be rather degraded if they managed to drop so low somehow (Maybe a short completely drained them, as they would not be able to be drained so much during any natural use). And also as a btw the goal would be to charge them to above 3.7v, preferably more like 4 - 4.2v to properly power the wii. Only changing to 3v would not make the wii boot as it draws/requires too much power.

But again 0.68v sounds like they are completely defective and broken, and not worth trying to fix. Getting new good 18650 would probably be a way safer and more reliable solution.
 

Stitches

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I have now obtained a multimeter and have measured voltage of the batteries. Both of them are at 0.68V. Following Shank’s instructions, next I will order an external 18650 charger to get this bad boys up to 3V which will hopefully solve the issue. If not, I’ll replace the PMS.
0.68v sounds super super dead


Batteries below 2.5v need special equipment to charge, and Lithium batteries don't like to be deep cycled, so even if you managed to charge them, they would likely be rather degraded if they managed to drop so low somehow (Maybe a short completely drained them, as they would not be able to be drained so much during any natural use). And also as a btw the goal would be to charge them to above 3.7v, preferably more like 4 - 4.2v to properly power the wii. Only changing to 3v would not make the wii boot as it draws too much power.

But again 0.68v sounds like they are completely defective and broken, and not worth trying to fix. Getting new good 18650 would probably be a way safer and more reliable solution.
I was just typing this. As Rose said, don't try to charge those. Throw them out and buy new cells, safer that way.

How those cells got to such a low voltage is a little concerning...........
 
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I was just typing this. As Rose said, don't try to charge those. Throw them out and buy new cells, safer that way.

How those cells got to such a low voltage is a little concerning...........
0.68v sounds super super dead


Batteries below 2.5v need special equipment to charge, and Lithium batteries don't like to be deep cycled, so even if you managed to charge them, they would likely be rather degraded if they managed to drop so low somehow (Maybe a short completely drained them, as they would not be able to be drained so much during any natural use). And also as a btw the goal would be to charge them to above 3.7v, preferably more like 4 - 4.2v to properly power the wii. Only changing to 3v would not make the wii boot as it draws/requires too much power.

But again 0.68v sounds like they are completely defective and broken, and not worth trying to fix. Getting new good 18650 would probably be a way safer and more reliable solution.

Gotcha. Thanks, guys. I’ll order a pair of these ASAP. I really appeticate the guidence here, I would have most definitely fucked up here if you both hadn’t caught me.
 
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Update: I desoldered the batteries and will take them to a special dump for electronic batteries to be disposed of safely. Just placed the order for the two Samsung 18650s which will hopefully get this thing up and running. Stay tuned for more updates!

Also, these cells had no obvious branding and look pretty sketchy and cheap to me. I agree with Shank; the guy who originally built this 100% half-assed it.
 

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