Worklog Starlight G-Wii Worklog

cy

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Hello all, I recently found myself printing a G-Wii shell in a certain filament because I wanted to see how it would turn out. A while back, Noah built one like this during one of his streams using this filament and a thread showing a completed one made with this filament exists here. I always wanted mine to look like this and now that I have a 3d printer of my own, I couldn't resist seeing what the shell looked like in person. One thing led to another, and here I am building ANOTHER G-Wii. Here's what my shell is looking like:
20221021_121706.jpg
20221021_122153.jpg

After these initial prints, I found myself deciding to include HDMI out in this build as well as a volume wheel and a few additional buttons. I also decided that it's pointless to include HDMI out without having a good controller solution, so I have plans to make a controller hub that'll connect directly to the Wii's 4 player ports via USB 3.0. This will be a separate attachment that I'll need to build specifically for this project. I'm also going to need a switch that's accessible on the outside of the unit that'll switch between the GC+ controls and player 1 on the control hub. Considering I've got some experience with the G-Wii (I've built 3 of these darn things) and since this project has plenty of extra room, I think this is the perfect unit for something like this. It'll also force me to learn which isn't something I've done much of in my last few projects. The end goal of this build will be to have a Wii that's fully functional on any monitor (with the exception of wifi) that also functions as any portable should. This also means relocating Bluetooth and adding a sync button as well as reset and screen power buttons. Work is still being done on the case files to accommodate everything, here's some of my progress so far:

Custom USB 3.0 mounting solution (the bracket does lay flush with the screw posts, it's just floating to showcase the two separate pieces)
20221021_122522.jpg
20221021_122343.jpg

Since I plan on adding more buttons for reset, sync, and screen power, I've decided to divide the screen control bracket into two groups of three buttons:
The group on the top of the unit will be for screen power, reset, and Bluetooth sync.
The group on the bottom will be for menu, increase, and decrease for brightness, saturation, etc.
Here's what my groups of 3 buttons will look like (ignore the slit in the print, it's a WIP for the volume wheel):
button mount side.png
button mount.png


I've also decided to replace the Dpad with four pause buttons (out of personal preference). Here's what that assembly looks like:
20221021_122609.jpg
20221021_122712.jpg


Finally, last night I trimmed and sanded the Wii:
unknown.png
Wii Clean Top.png
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Since I'll be re-printing this case, I've put together a bit of artwork that'll be 3d printed into the bottom of the case. The designing process is 65% of the way there, but I don't plan to share it until the print in the back of the case is finished. Other assemblies such as the HDMI hole and likely mounting point are also still in progress. If anyone has any suggested features or advice feel free to reply and let me know, thanks!
 

cy

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Time for an update! I'm still working on the top half of the case, progress on that has been slow, but it is almost finished. Here's a shot of my HDMI mounting solution completed:
20221029_181320.jpg
20221029_181400.jpg

For this project, I'm using the Electron Shepherd HDMI board. It has two screw holes which mount into a bracket I've designed. Said bracket screws into the sample wall which represents the case. The switch works similarly except it shouldn't require any additional mounting, worst case I'll end up just gluing it.

Since this project is using Wesk's remix, I've also printed out a set of button gates, and screen bezel. The ones from my initial post are glued to the top half of the first shell, but I printed a new set because that shell doesn't meet the criteria for this project anymore. Here's what those look like:
20221029_181522.jpg


Anyways, on to the real progress!
I've started the back half of the case, and have successfully wired up the batteries achieving fan spinage in the process!
20221029_175805.jpg


I wired up the Wii and Bluetooth while I was at it:
20221029_175730.jpg
20221029_175708.jpg


Not only that, but the trim appears to be working along with Bluetooth? I can't confirm conclusively because I'm still waiting from my screen to arrive, but I doubt Mr. Remote is lying considering I had to sync him post-trim (this was fun...):

20221029_175931.jpg


I'm also assuming my USB data lines have been wired up correctly, because all four of the Wii remote's lights go on and stay on after I press A to presumably select a game (of course this is after waking up the remote meaning I have to press it twice).

20221029_175943.jpg


So TLDR:
I seem to have the Wii, Bluetooth, and Data wired correctly, but I don't know yet because I'm still waiting for my darn screen to arrive from China. I've waited over 2 months now and they didn't ship the darn thing until 3 weeks ago despite me paying over 2 months ago. It works out because I still need to finish the front half of the case, but I've got no reason to until the screen arrives really.

Whoops, I almost forgot! I also made a GC Hub which uses USB as a passthrough. The plan is to connect players 2, 3, and 4 to the USB port pins, and player 1 will be attached to the switch which will have a GC+2.0 mode (for normal portable use), and a GC controller mode for when the unit is being played on a big screen. Here's how the hub turned out (it's been tested and is working!):
20221028_203422.jpg

Internals aren't too clean on this thing being that I used hot glue to mount the ports in it. That's also why they aren't perfectly flat, but it looks clean and works fine otherwise! Since the internals aren't anything to write home about, I ended up skipping taking pictures. It would've been hard to get well-lit ones anyways.
 
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cy

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I'm overdue for another update and I actually need help this time, but we'll get to that. After nearly 3 months of waiting, the screen finally arrived! So I
decided it was the appropriate time to print the front of the case. I had a few dumb technical difficulties with getting the scaling correct - really I should've double checked the units the original case was printed at, but anyways here's what the final case is looking like with the screen in place:
20221105_010904.jpg

Speaking of the screen, because this build features additional functions that aren't normally present in the G-Wii, I settled on locating them at the top on the top half near where the screen usually sits. I didn't think this far ahead when designing and as a result, the screen cannot be removed after the screen bezel is glued in place. Despite being fully aware of this after printing, I've decided to proceed being that I trust myself enough to not mess the screen up. This image illustrates what I mean about the screw posts making it impossible to remove the screen:
20221104_001753.jpg

I still wanted to avoid gluing the screen to the bezel however in the off chance I'm somehow able to remove the bezel without destroying the screen (again, this is in the event that I need to remove the screen). So in order to do this, I glued the top half of the bezel without the screen inside, and then peeled up the bottom so I could slide the screen in like so:
20221104_001747.jpg

I decided to hold off on gluing the bottom half of the screen bezel in place until a later point in this build. Again, if something were to happen to the screen... God DAMN it! I jinxed it... The screen's ribbon cable came with a break in it. I don't have any way of effectively showcasing what exactly I'm talking about, but basically, when the ribbon cable for the screen moves at all inside the unit, power to the screen is lost. At first, I tried securing it in a static position with hot glue, but I was unable to secure it in a manner that would hold up. I waited almost 3 months for this screen to arrive, and I really didn't want to wait for another one, so out of desperation, I tried another LCD panel I had lying around that looked similar. It turns out, it was the identical panel, it just had a different screen driver board, but this driver board ended up being compatible.

TLDR:
I shouldn't glue the bottom part of this screen bezel until the build is nearly finished and I know the screen will hold out.

With that brief nightmare out of the way, I proceeded to wire things up for a while until:
Untitled.png

As this picture shows, I've made plenty of progress and I'd say I'm around 65% of the way there. I was really able to plow through it there for a while, but things slowed down when I decided to wire up analog audio for the Analog2HDMI board. I'm wiring left audio and right audio straight from the AVE to L and R on the electron shepherd Analog2HDMI board. I have tried multiple solder points including the literal pins of the AVE and I've still gotten absolutely no audio out of it. I am shielding with ground and all 4 wires (Left, Right, and the 2 ground wires) are twisted together tightly and are avoiding sources of interference. I have verified continuity via multi-meter for each of the solder points that I've tried and I'm still getting nothing, not even static. Here's what my wiring is looking like.
20221105_010943.jpg
20221105_010936.jpg

Anybody know what might be going on here? Am I doing something wrong? I've never wired up analog audio before, so I really don't know what I'm doing with it.
I will post proper internal pics tomorrow. I'm excited to show how I was able to mount the volume wheel without any glue or screw posts.
 

cy

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So it turns out, the HDMI board I bought is faulty. I don't know what exactly is wrong with it, but Shank suspects it is running the wrong firmware. Either way, I was able to get audio on the replacement board I ordered. I suppose that's what I get for ordering from Skent though, One of my gamecube controller ports was also broken when I got it - the pins were bent in an irreversible manner (and believe me, I did try to repair it):
GC port.png

I decided to buy these because Curtis from Shank's discord did something similar to what this project is doing and claimed this was easier than trimming GC ports off a Wii. He was wrong though, it was honestly easier and more effective to trim all 4 ports off a Wii because these ports aren't attached to each other. This was a complete waste of money; do not buy these if you need GC ports. With all of this said, I needed to figure out the pinout for the OEM GC ports off the Wii in order to continue. I found a diagram on Mod Retro, but it was incomplete so I made my own. Here it is it anybody wants it:
Diagram 1.png

Anyways, I promised last post I'd share some internal pictures. I meant to keep this thread up to date, but once I got rolling on this project, everything kind of fell into place. I guess that's where building 3 other G-Wiis an Ashida, and a G-boy gets ya. Anyways, here's what the final internals look like:
Internals 1.png
Internals 2.png

Believe it or not, an attempt was made at keeping the internals clean, but I kind of just stopped caring once I got halfway through the project. The HDMI board mounts upside-down inside the case. This works well for positioning and orientation outside of the case, but was a source of interference for the video signal. Luckily I was able to circumvent this interference issue after an embarrassingly long trouble shooting session dedicated to fixing it and help from Shank.

I found myself opening this project back up again though because of an issue with my Micro SD card. Micro Center micro SD cards are cheap and appear to work with RVLoader, but don't be fooled; they cause crashes to happen at random. I had my file system formatted to Fat32 with 32kb clusters, I tried re-formatting it and re-doing the USB data lines, but this didn't make a difference. Finally, I decided to plug it into another untrimmed Wii with RVLoader installed on it - lo and behold, it consistently crashed. This isn't the first time I've had issues with these cards with RVLoader although I've had success with them before, so I wasn't convinced this was the issue at first.

TLDR:
Learn from my mistake, don't buy Micro Center's 20$ 256GB micro SD cards for use with RVLoader.

With a clean video signal, MX Chip and Bluetooth relocations, Volume Wheel, HDMI out, Full set of screen controls (including a screen power and Wii remote sync buttons) and working USB pass-through I'm happy to call this project complete. Expect to see a show-off thread in The Cutting Edge soon enough with a proper video demonstrating the HDMI, USB pass-through, and other cool features.

Anyways, here are some pictures of it completed:
Front Off.png

The 4 pause buttons may look a bit strange, but they are very useful for games like Puyo Pop Fever and Tetris Party, both of which I play. I will get into more detail about this unpopular design in my actual show-off thread.

Here's a game running on it (pardon the light adjustment and one blurriness of image 2):
Front On.png
Front On 2.png

The back has a special design printed into it which I will save for the show-off thread. I would like to thank Shank, Curtis, CrashBash, Ginger, Gman, Cheese, Skent, Aurelio, SparkleBear, Wesk, and The Textures Resource for all of their contributions to this project. I really feel like I've created the ultimate Wii with this build and it's a great having a Wii that can "Switch".
 

cy

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Okay so, sorry for the double post, but I'm realizing this seems to be drawing a lot more current than it should be. It gets worse the lower the batteries get, but at a full charge it draws -2300 mAs and when it gets lower it starts to draw around -3000. Regardless of how charged it is, it discharges faster than it charges by -600 to -700 mAs. It's possible that this is normal behavior, but it's going to reduce the battery life by quite a bit and one of my goals was to be able to charge and play considering it has HDMI out. Does anybody have any suggestions? Thanks!
 
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Concerning your statement about the PMS charging, I don't think the PMS can charge as fast as the batteries discharge. I remember seeing this on a different thread and @CrazyGadget gave this response:
From what I've heard, the PMS is not able to charge as fast as the batteries discharge, so charge and play will just lengthen the overall discharge time, but not let it actually charge
As for the battery discharge... I'm not sure what to say. I'm not an expert, but your batteries look like 3,500mah in 1S4P, and if they discharge at 2,300 milliamps (and going on 3,000 milliamps), that should still provide you with 4-5 hours of battery life. In my opinion, as long as nothing is blowing up or making a giant squeaky noise (and as long as it's getting as many hours of play time as it should), you should be fine.
 

cy

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Concerning your statement about the PMS charging, I don't think the PMS can charge as fast as the batteries discharge. I remember seeing this on a different thread and @CrazyGadget gave this response:

As for the battery discharge... I'm not sure what to say. I'm not an expert, but your batteries look like 3,500mah in 1S4P, and if they discharge at 2,300 milliamps (and going on 3,000 milliamps), that should still provide you with 4-5 hours of battery life. In my opinion, as long as nothing is blowing up or making a giant squeaky noise (and as long as it's getting as many hours of play time as it should), you should be fine.
After reading this and having time to sleep on it, I decided to open the unit back up to disconnect 5 volts from the HDMI board to see how much current it was drawing. It didn't make up the entire difference (normal G-Wiis draw around -2000 mA, give or take one to two hundred), but it made up a lot of it (-500 mA or so). Between that, the USB, and the bluetooth module (this is being compared to another G-Wii that doesn't have bluetooth), I don't think anything is wrong.

Thank you for reassuring me that things are probably fine. I could have added a switch to disable HDMI and the extra USB and I might still at some point. But for now, I'm happy with the result and I'll do a proper battery life test sometime soon. I doubt it'll get the 4 to 5 hours of battery life it should simply due to the extra current draw from these features, but that's really not a big deal as long as it is reasonable.
 
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Nice work. I'm glad to see the issue was with the firmware on the HDMI board and not some other ghost somewhere.
 
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