Worklog Wii SP

Discussion in 'Wii' started by JacksonS, Jun 3, 2016.

  1. JacksonS . . .

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2016
    Messages:
    299
    Likes Received:
    537
    Location:
    Georgia, USA
    Portables:
    6
    Now that I'm not spending my nights slaving away on school work, I've got a new portable to make. It's been a long time since I've done any big projects with a gaming system, so I'm excited to see how it turns out. I want this to be an all-Wii portable, ensuring that it emphasizes this is a Wii and not a GameCube. The name kind of sounds like a pun on PSP, but it's really not. It's named after my original GameCube portable, the "GameCube SP"; SP is taken from Nintendo's GameBoy Advance SP.

    I have drawn some inspiration from Ashen's GameCube Fusion Rev. 4 as well as the Wii U Gamepad to make something... magical. Or at least something that works. It will be a landscape orientation system with rounded edges and corners that make it feel less like a brick and more like a soft pillow. I've decided to do everything by hand, starting from scratch, which means I'm using a vacuum-form case and lots of superglue.

    Here of some of the main features of the system:
    - An actual Wii motherboard (crazy) with WiFi and Bluetooth
    - 4.3 inch HDMI display (480 x 234)
    - A Wii remote, a Wii Classic Controller, and a GameCube controller inside
    - DS Lite style buttons with 3DS joysticks
    - HDMI video and audio output
    - 6800 mAh batteries at 7.4v
    - Double-press L and R buttons for "analog" compatibility
    - A Wii 12v jack for external power
    - An internal USB flash drive
    - An external SD card slot

    Other standard stuff will be included like a DC charging jack, digital volume buttons, headphone jack, etc. I am trying to re-purpose as many items as I can from other deceased projects, like my Raspberry Pi portable that kind of fell apart. I'll be posting updates with pictures when I can.
     
    Josiah, Shank, Aurelio and 1 other person like this.
  2. Noah The Manager Staff Member . . .

    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2016
    Messages:
    1,799
    Likes Received:
    1,998
    Location:
    The World Wide Web
    Portables:
    4
    Are there really that many advantages to keeping the WiFi chip besides a few homebrew things? IIRC nintendo shut down all of their Wii services a few years back and homebrew is really the only piece that still uses it.

    Nevertheless good luck!
     
  3. Shank Certified Wiitard Staff Member . .

    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2016
    Messages:
    1,057
    Likes Received:
    1,976
    Location:
    Texas
    Portables:
    3
    Heres a few uses:
    Official servers for some Wii games like Call of Duty are still up
    Unofficial servers for games like Project M and Mario Kart Wii are still active
    Browsing Bitbuilt.net on your Wii
    Watching the Bitbuilt stream on your wii
    Netflix
    Download and update homebrew apps without a computer
    Download useful files like cover art and cheat codes
    Transfer files over wifi to and from the wii

    All bells and whistles, but it can be useful nonetheless. Without a wifi module though you should still be able to do all of this with a wired connection.

    Looking forward to the project, JacksonS!
     
  4. ShockSlayer Ivan - the tyranny of evil men . .

    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2016
    Messages:
    1,491
    Likes Received:
    3,730
    Location:
    Ragnarok, re-entry
    Portables:
    All
    480 x 234 netflix sounds awesome
     
    fluiddaudio, Matthew and Aurelio like this.
  5. JacksonS . . .

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2016
    Messages:
    299
    Likes Received:
    537
    Location:
    Georgia, USA
    Portables:
    6
    Well yeah I was going to keep it for homebrew but the things Shank said are relevant too.
     
    Sharpsword likes this.
  6. JacksonS . . .

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2016
    Messages:
    299
    Likes Received:
    537
    Location:
    Georgia, USA
    Portables:
    6
    To make the case, I found a little tutorial online to build a vacuum forming table with wood and some pegboard. This is my first time vacuum forming and it's all pretty makeshift; I'm using a conventional oven and a household vacuum cleaner. The plastic I'm using is High Impact Polystyrene (HIPS) with a thickness of 0.09".

    My mold for the vacuum forming is made of medium density fiberboard (MDF), which I like because it sands very well and isn't hard to cut. It's kind of difficult to get out of the plastic once molded but I'm not sure if any other materials would be easier.

    Both the front and back halves start as rectangles. The length and width dimensions on the mold are about 170 mm X 92 mm:
    [​IMG]

    Then I apply a fillet to each corner, which gives it an appearance somewhat akin to the Wii U Gamepad:
    [​IMG]

    After that, I used fairly fine sandpaper to round the outer edges about as much as the edges on the Gamepad (I really like the Gamepad):
    [​IMG]
    A few of these pictures are going to have my signature BitBuilt card. I think it's quite tasteful.
    Those holes in the molds are there so I can bolt them together and sand them together to ensure they fit correctly.

    Afterward, I added a smaller plywood rectangle to the front mold in order to create a bezel for my screen. It is slightly lifted off the mold with holes underneath in order to allow some suction around the edges of the bezel:
    [​IMG]

    And I filled in the space behind it with Bondo to ensure a flat surface on the top:
    [​IMG]

    I chose to have a raised bezel for the screen because I like the look of it and I do need it in order to fit my screen inside along with all the other components behind it.
     
    Toaster912, Noah, cheese and 4 others like this.
  7. JacksonS . . .

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2016
    Messages:
    299
    Likes Received:
    537
    Location:
    Georgia, USA
    Portables:
    6
    Due to using a conventional oven, I had to do the vacuum forming in my kitchen. Melting plastic in the kitchen may have been a terrible idea but I haven't tasted any traces of it yet.

    The mold on top of the table before forming the plastic:
    [​IMG]

    I had to form the front three times, heating the plastic a little longer each time and softening it with a heat gun. The third time came out just as well as I'd hoped, and the back case formed correctly the first time.
    This is the results of one of the molds (not the final one):
    [​IMG]

    I used a Dremel with a cutting wheel, mounted on a stand, to cut the case halves out of the whole sheets of plastic. I had to sand the cut edges further to get the final front and back cases to fit together:
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    The final product here turned out very well. I really like this plastic because it's much easier to sand than ABS, but of course it's not quite as sturdy either. I will add supports in the sides to fit the two halves together and ensure it is sturdy enough to perform well.

    In terms of the portable's insides, I chose to use the original Wii Classic Controller (not the Pro version) because it has curved analog triggers, and I will use those triggers in my portable. The trigger buttons fit the corner curves of my case very closely. The main PCB has one little IC on it and two data lines to communicate with the Wii remote:
    [​IMG]
    Interestingly, I think this controller uses the same IC as the Classic Controller Pro, even though the Pro version does not have analog triggers. I've worked with the Pro controller before and it appears to have exactly the same pinout as this one.
    There are some 1.8k resistors connecting each data line to 3.3v, but they do not appear to be necessary for the controller to function.

    For my display, I really didn't want to use composite video because the Wii outputs native component video. I can't miss out on progressive scan video all the time. I didn't know of any 4.3" screen supporting component input, so, as mentioned above, I chose to use HDMI with a component-to-HDMI converter. The converters are really common and fortunately small.

    I ordered this LCD driver board from eBay: http://www.ebay.com/itm/HDMI-VGA-2A...845411?hash=item236820f3e3:g:1skAAOSwMVFXIcOb. I didn't need to order an LCD for it because it actually uses the same LCD as one of the standard AV car backup monitors that I've had for a while. The driver board itself is about the same size as the LCD, but a little less wide. It also has VGA input, but the reason I chose not to use a component-to-VGA converter is because I don't know of any small converter that can handle 480i component video. I'll be using 480p most of the time, but for any time that I find myself using 480i, I would like the display to work just as well. The HDMI converters do that well.
     
  8. Aurelio The Fixer ᕕ( ᐛ )ᕗ Staff Member . . . . .

    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2016
    Messages:
    1,742
    Likes Received:
    2,342
    Portables:
    2
    The two pullup resistors are needed for the i2c protocol and should not be removed, check if they are at least located on the wiimote connector side.
    Also have you tested the hdmi converter yet? I tried one and it really sucked, with that video quality I would rather choose the composite video
     
  9. JacksonS . . .

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2016
    Messages:
    299
    Likes Received:
    537
    Location:
    Georgia, USA
    Portables:
    6
    Thank you, I suppose they do exist on the Wii remote because I haven't had any issues without them.

    I got the Musou adapter. It looks great on the Wii (much better than composite video) and it does not upscale. I can connect it to a Wii U and it outputs 1080p almost as well as the built-in HDMI port. However, it creates black borders around the edges of the screen, so I'll probably get a different one. I've been told the Sewell one is great.
     
  10. Aurelio The Fixer ᕕ( ᐛ )ᕗ Staff Member . . . . .

    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2016
    Messages:
    1,742
    Likes Received:
    2,342
    Portables:
    2
    Good to know, I might look into them in the future. Mine was a crappy chinese one :D
     
  11. JacksonS . . .

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2016
    Messages:
    299
    Likes Received:
    537
    Location:
    Georgia, USA
    Portables:
    6
    Maybe I gave off the impression that I haven't planned this out well. I have. Yes, there are tons of components and lots of wiring, but I like to have a lot of features and I'm going to enjoy making this.
     
    Luke likes this.
  12. Aurelio The Fixer ᕕ( ᐛ )ᕗ Staff Member . . . . .

    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2016
    Messages:
    1,742
    Likes Received:
    2,342
    Portables:
    2
    So are you also going to put a wiimote into it?
     
  13. JacksonS . . .

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2016
    Messages:
    299
    Likes Received:
    537
    Location:
    Georgia, USA
    Portables:
    6
    Yes, the wiimote is an a sideways orientarion with the accelerometer still attached so that you can tilt or shake the system (maybe not a good idea) in games like Paper Mario or New Super Mario Bros. Wii.
     
  14. trevor403 .

    Joined:
    May 1, 2016
    Messages:
    50
    Likes Received:
    20
    Do you have a solution for IR yet? Also what if the game requires the Wiimote to be in the right side of orientation? How would you adjust the standard position of the accelerometer?
     
  15. JacksonS . . .

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2016
    Messages:
    299
    Likes Received:
    537
    Location:
    Georgia, USA
    Portables:
    6
    I have decided not to put IR LEDs in my system, and games that require an upright wiimote will simply require you to connect another wiimote. I think that is an alright solution. I didn't dismiss the idea completely, but I figured that finding some way to make the controls work both ways (upright and sideways) would be too much of a hassle for me.
     
    trevor403 likes this.
  16. JacksonS . . .

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2016
    Messages:
    299
    Likes Received:
    537
    Location:
    Georgia, USA
    Portables:
    6
    Just a side note, I am already well into the process of putting my portable together and this worklog is not yet up to date. I'll keep posting entries in chronological order until everything is up here.

    In order to get those lovely DS Lite buttons in my portable, I had to destroy an unfortunate DS Lite to harvest its case and motherboard. The DS console I used was black, but I have white buttons I'm using from a different project (the portable is all white). As I have been doing since my very first portable, I cut tight-fitting holes in my case for the DS button cut-outs and secured them in with super glue:
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    Originally, I really wanted to have the controls set up like the Wii U Gamepad with both analog sticks on top and buttons on the bottom. However, I found that a layout like that was uncomfortable for me in a portable like this, so I went with the old GameCube (or XBox) layout.

    Lots of sanding and cutting ensued. I cut out the rectangular screen hole as straight as I could, and I cut out two holes (each about 11 mm in diameter) for the analog sticks. I had to sand the edges of the ABXY and D-pad cut-outs significantly to make them fit the curves of the case, but otherwise they fit very well:
    [​IMG]

    Here's a picture of a screen in the unfinished case (not using the HDMI driver board):
    [​IMG]

    After that, I put three more button holes on the front. From left to right they are: Home, Minus, Plus.
    [​IMG]
    I later gave the edge of the home button hole a fillet because the button will be more recessed, like on the Wii remote.

    For speaker holes, my original idea was to model it like that of the original 3DS. It didn't work out very well because drilling precise holes just isn't my thing. This is what it looked like:
    [​IMG]

    Since I didn't like it, I transplanted the speaker holes from the DS Lite instead. I really got my use out of that thing. The holes are much smaller this way:
    [​IMG]

    As for the back half of the case, I discovered that my measurments were somehow off about 1 mm and the case was overall not quite thick enough. There was not enough room because the batteries would hit the 3DS sliders before the case would close. My solution was to create a tiny, permanent spacer attached to the back case using bondo. I put the two halves together with the correct thickness and added bondo into the gap, ensuring that it adhered more to the back of the case. It came out a little rough on the inside, but otherwise great:
    [​IMG]
    As an added bonus, it made the two halves fit together more perfectly because it took shape to the front case as well.
     
    Gman likes this.
  17. Noah The Manager Staff Member . . .

    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2016
    Messages:
    1,799
    Likes Received:
    1,998
    Location:
    The World Wide Web
    Portables:
    4
    Looks good!
     
    JacksonS likes this.
  18. ShockSlayer Ivan - the tyranny of evil men . .

    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2016
    Messages:
    1,491
    Likes Received:
    3,730
    Location:
    Ragnarok, re-entry
    Portables:
    All
    The only way that could've been more rough for you is if you wrapped it in sandpaper and put a stamp on it. But thanks for the condescending rundown, I'm sure someone like mega who could easily expose how little you actually understand about video really appreciates being told for the millionth time, by you, the state of video on the Wii. Can you come by the TS again later and beg him some more while you're at it? Interesting how you turn so easily when you're not told what you want to hear...
    Gentlemen, what we have hear is a prime example of the classic, age-old adage: monkey see, monkey do.
    Proper design accounts for your pocket snagging problem, but in order for that to happen you have to think critically, so I'd say you're a few truckloads of plastic and months of design labor before you discover how to embed a USB port. I look forward to seeing your continued tumble from "laser precision" to "struggling with a couple mm" in the future.

    Lookin' good Jackson, keep up the good work. This reminds me of the Envision!
     
  19. JacksonS . . .

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2016
    Messages:
    299
    Likes Received:
    537
    Location:
    Georgia, USA
    Portables:
    6
    Cutting all the holes in the sides of the case was not my favorite part. But it was all a lot easier with sandpaper and a set of flat, square, and round metal files.

    On the front I decided to have the screen controls (3 buttons), 2 digital volume buttons, and a headphone jack. Speaking of the headphone jack, I'm not using a standard switching jack this time because I want to make sure the headphone output is quieter than the speaker output. The only clear solution I saw for that is two amplifiers, but if anyone has another idea, maybe I could update the portable.
    The front after drilling some holes:
    [​IMG]
    From left to right is: Down (screen), Menu (screen), Up (screen), Headphones, Down (volume), Up (volume).

    On the top is where I have to house all the big stuff. A 3-way switch for selecting controllers, a power switch, an HDMI port, a Wii 12 jack, a DC jack, a sync button, and a reset button. The reset button is there mostly for Priiloader.

    I marked the outlines with pencil first:
    [​IMG]
    I used a drill to make the initial holes and then sanded with a file for a long time. This plastic is so soft that one wrong move would probably ruin a flat edge.
    [​IMG]

    One of the last thing to do on the top (aside from the SD slot) was the holes for my shoulder buttons. The ZL and ZR buttons are just some ellipsoid shapes that I cut later on, but the L and R buttons are a little more difficult. I glued the two halves together to make the cut (they didn't have screw posts yet):
    [​IMG]

    Then I sanded and sanded some more with a file. I was wearing a mask and I still feel like I probably have plastic in my lungs right now.
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    This is a lot of casework for someone who doesn't like casework. I almost wish I'd gone the 3D-printed route, but I think it will be good to have the experience of making this case so I can 3D print an improved version sometime later.

    In the back case, I inserted a chopped up vent from a Wii console. I'm glad I finally found a use for these sad, empty Wii shells I've had lying around. I also used part of a GameCube disc drive's aluminum shield as a guide for the placement of some more vent holes at the top.
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    At the bottom you can see two holes I made for screw posts (I made them bigger after that). Those will allow the case to be closed with some large screw posts I found in the corner of a Wii shell. The screw posts look like this:
    [​IMG]
    The white part is glued to the back case and the black part is glued to the front case.

    They hold the bottom of the case together, but not the top, so I will also have screws in the side and the top of the portable using tabs on the inside. The tabs are just some more ABS plastic from a Wii shell. I used superglue to glue them into the front case so that the screws can go through the back case and into the tabs. Then I used a drill to make countersink holes.
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    I haven't shown the motherboard yet, but the placement of the vents are based on how I built the fan into the motherboard. That's coming soon.
     
  20. cheese the tallest memer in town Staff Member . . .

    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2016
    Messages:
    2,462
    Likes Received:
    2,194
    Location:
    Florida
    Not sure if this would add noise, but you could have one amp -> switching jack -> another amp to make speakers louder -> speakers.
    Also for future portables, you may be able to passively convert the YPbPr component out to VGA if your screen supports it.
    Besides that, the casework is really impressive, this is gonna be one great portable when it's done.
     
    JacksonS likes this.

Share This Page

Loading...