Worklog VOS MOD's Second N64 Portable - The "N64C"

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This is coming along quite nicely - love it! I made a weak guitar amp out of an lm386 once - probably the exact same circuit. I’m curious how the 64 sounds through it, although the piezos will probably be the real killer.

Fortunately there aren’t too many audiophiles in this hobby; people seem to be more concerned with screen resolution. But then again, these are video games, not audio games.
Thank you! Before I soldered up the amp circuit I used a breadboard and tested it with some Ocarina of Time music to get a basis of how it would perform. It's not the clearest speaker but suits my needs.

Be careful with that reg. They have a tendency to fry themselves at even half their rated current output.
Will do. Do you know if these have commonly been chosen as an alternative to the PTH in the past?
 

Stitches

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Thank you! Before I soldered up the amp circuit I used a breadboard and tested it with some Ocarina of Time music to get a basis of how it would perform. It's not the clearest speaker but suits my needs.



Will do. Do you know if these have commonly been chosen as an alternative to the PTH in the past?
Yeah they've been tested a fair bit. For low current applications they're not terrible, but you can't run a Wii off them or they burn. Hopefully yours plays nice, but it might not last very long.
 
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Yeah they've been tested a fair bit. For low current applications they're not terrible, but you can't run a Wii off them or they burn. Hopefully yours plays nice, but it might not last very long.
Interesting! Thanks for the heads up i'll definitely look out for it now.
 
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Hey guys.

So i just hacked up my superpad 64 controller, and next im going to implement that analog stick as shown in the picture below.



However, I have an obscure question. Since trying to integrate the memory card slot will take up a lot of space and will require me to make the case thicker, I was thinking if it would be a possibility to not include it at all. Since i'm planning on implementing a breakout box that allows more controllers to connect for other players, I was wondering if N64 games allow you to save to a memory card thats connected in another player's controller? This way if i'm playing a game that requires a memory card to save (which isn't that frequent for me) I can just plug in a second controller and save to the memory card in that controller. Please let me know if this is possible.

Thank you!
 
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fibbef

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I think so, but I’d have to check. If you need me to, I can test tonight with one of the Tony Hawk games, since I know those require a memory card.
 
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I think so, but I’d have to check. If you need me to, I can test tonight with one of the Tony Hawk games, since I know those require a memory card.
Yes I would really appreciate that. Unfortunately I don't have a spare N64 to test it on lol.
 

fibbef

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Bad news, amigo. Tony Hawk 1 and 2 both look for the memory card in controller 1. Even before I get to the main menu, it notifies me that a controller pack isn’t in controller 1 so it can’t save. I then tried to load a game (even though I don’t have a THPS save on my card) but it told me to insert a card in controller 1 and didn’t give me the option to search other controllers.

Even worse is that now I want to replay old school THPS, but I don’t have time right now.

What you could do with your breakout box is break out controller 1 in addition to the other three. Doing that means that for any game that needs a mem card, you’d have to play with an attached controller.
 
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Bad news, amigo. Tony Hawk 1 and 2 both look for the memory card in controller 1. Even before I get to the main menu, it notifies me that a controller pack isn’t in controller 1 so it can’t save. I then tried to load a game (even though I don’t have a THPS save on my card) but it told me to insert a card in controller 1 and didn’t give me the option to search other controllers.

Even worse is that now I want to replay old school THPS, but I don’t have time right now.

What you could do with your breakout box is break out controller 1 in addition to the other three. Doing that means that for any game that needs a mem card, you’d have to play with an attached controller.
Yeah, you're right. I will implement a switch that disconnects the internal controller so that I can connect an external first player controller via the breakout box. It will be nice to have the option to play as first player with an external controller anyways, especially for multiplayer games. And yeah Pro Skater was one of the first games I played on the system lol, such a classic.
 
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Hey guys, I need your help. Please respond with any info you have.

So today I was planning on wrapping up my portable as it's 90% done. All I had left to do was make the breakout box. However, I noticed that the external speaker wasn't outputting any audio other than noise, while the headphones were working fine. I tried the audio amp with another, bigger, speaker and then I could here the game's audio. So I went to find a small enough, high quality speaker to replace my piezo speaker and when i found one and wired it up, the N64 had no output whatsoever! No video or audio via headphones or speaker. I tried taking out the expansion pak (which I didn't update yet but successfully utilized the board bend method) and checking the connections and they seemed fine. I also notice all the CPU's and ram get hot so it seems as if the game is processing but the output part of the board has malfunctioned?

I tried so many things to no avail, and before this I tested it multiple times today and started up no problem every time. I have no idea why this is happening. If anyone could give me any suggestions at all it would be GREATLY appreciated. Thanks!
 

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It will help us help you if you post pictures of the problem
 
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It will help us help you if you post pictures of the problem
Red light is on.



No image whatsoever (or audio).


Like I said, It's almost as if it stopped working out of nowhere. It was working all day every time I tried to turn it on. I tried running the unit off an external power supply as well, so It's not a problem with the batteries. Also I tested the resistance from pin 8 on the PIF to the 3.3v line and there's 2k Ohms as expected.
 

Gman

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Red light on means 3.3v is working which is good. Have you tried a different jumper/expansion pak? Board bends can be fragile and unpredictable.
 
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Red light on means 3.3v is working which is good. Have you tried a different jumper/expansion pak? Board bends can be fragile and unpredictable.
I only have the expansion pak that's in the board right now to test with unfortunately. As i said, I took it out and tested the traces and they seemed fine, unless there's a few I missed that are broken, although visually they look in tact as well. Also the the pak gets hot which tells that it's at least partially working. I can't imagine that it's the expansion pak as it has been secured this whole time without any room to move, and I have been very delicate with it. I'm thinking I might of shorted one of the DAC chips without noticing. I tested the voltage on the composite video out and it's a constant .24v or so, which is odd as it should be fluctuating.
 
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So I haven't updated in awhile, however I have been working nonstop on this in the background. Matter of fact, It's done!! And I'm very happy with how it came out.

Here are some of the few pics I've taken since my last update on the progress that's been made up to now:

Wiring up my breakout unit.


After epoxying the two halves of the case together.


Painting the epoxied edge.




Something that I had to do that's not shown in the pics is get a new N64 mobo. I came to the conclusion that my previous mobo was fried so I bought a new N64 and replaced the mobos which was fairly easy. The expansion pak was not the issue because it worked fine with the replaced mobo.

And here is a sneak peek of the finished product.






Ventilation grills


Size comparison next to a controller.


Breakout box functioning (There is a switch so player one can use an external controller via breakout box).



I plan on posting a Cutting Edge post on it either tonight or tomorrow, after I film a walk-around video.

Well let me know what you guys think!
 
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While I don't particularly like the epoxy holding it together, it looks pretty good for a second portable! Good job finishing it up
Yeah I wasn't planning on using epoxy at first, but due to the vacuum forming I didn't have much of a choice. Thank you!
 
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So big update guys.

After further exploring the finish of my portable, I decided that I hate the unprofessional look of the epoxy, and the imperfections of the vacuum formed case altogether. I decided to strip everything back down, and start from the beginning. I rewired all of the components, and placed them as efficiently as I could on the motherboard to save space. I then decided, to make this thing look as professional as I can, I need to go back to 3D printing. I know some people mentioned I should of went with 3D printing from the beginning, but it was still a cool experience giving vacuum forming a go. I designed, in my opinion, a very professional looking case in CAD and I plan to have it 3D printed tomorrow. The resulting design is even smaller than the previous. I even decided to add a directional pad, just to give it that extra 2% compatibility with all games lol.

Here is a pic of everything wired up, minus the shoulder buttons which will be wired after putting everything in the case. (I know it looks a mess :P)


Sneak peek of part of the case design.



I apologize for the false positive on finishing it, but I truly believe that this was the better way to go. Hopefully I'll have some more updates tomorrow!
 

fibbef

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Ayy three cheers for rebuilding a 64p from the ground up!
 
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Done. (And for real this time.)

Pic of the insides before closing up the case.


The finished product.




I absolutely love the way it came out. I played it for 2 hours straight last night and can safely say it is very comfortable to play for long duration. No to mention this thing is tiny! About the same size as a nes cartridge. Complete "Cutting Edge" post will soon come, along with a walk-around video. In the meantime, let me know what you guys think!
 

fibbef

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Ooo! Love the different heights on the face! Very eye-catching and unique.
 
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