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Author Topic: GCN Modchip = SUCCESS  (Read 5238 times)
FyberOptic
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« on: July 13, 2007, 10:14:59 PM »

YET ANOTHER LJ CROSSPOST:


So you might remember how, oh I dunno, maybe a couple summers back, I ordered a modchip for my Gamecube.  A XenoGC, of which I think the company that made it is out of business now.  It was the size of a postage stamp, the cheapest of all modchips out there, and was supposed to install wirelessly.  Like this, infact:



Well, I tried that, and had a shitty soldering iron at the time.  The solder I have is also a bit thick.  So it apparently didn't make contact entirely on all the points, and simply didn't work.  I tried taking it back up, but accidently pulled one of the solder pads with it.  This pretty much meant it couldn't go back in the same way anymore.  The point it ripped off wasn't vital, and had another pad connected to the same path not far away, but it definately meant the chip couldn't lay down in the designed spot and still be soldered down.

So last summer I thought I could try using wires to install it, since I heard some people did that with this model chip.  All I had were thick wires, around 26awg or bigger, and since all the contact points were so small, the wires kept popping back off every time the wires bent very much.  Plus it was practically impossible to get'em to stick anyway.  I remember going a few months and then again thinking "I should try wires again", but after opening it and remembering how small the pads were, I gave up pretty quick yet again.

This summer, I bought me some 30awg kynar wire, which is usually used for wire-wrapping.  It's really thin, and better yet, single-core, instead of a bunch of individual strands run together.  I got it for various purposes actually, since it's so light, easy to bend, and single-core, but I also realized I might could use it on the GCN.  Well, today was the day..!

I had to put solder on the tips of the wires first, otherwise I'd have ended up with huge droplets on the GCN dvd assembly motherboard had I tried to to it in place.  I really need thinner solder.  But anyway, it took effort, and sometimes some crimping of the wires with small pliers to make notches for solder to stick in, but I was able to get all the wires down and make them stick.  Keep in mind, the solder points were barely wider than the wires themselves at some points.  You couldn't have even fit two wires side by side on the same point if you'd tried, I bet.  Smallest thing I ever soldered.

I brought the dvd assembly back in here, popped the 'cube back together (with a modchip hanging out the back on wires), powered it up, and to my surprise, the chip status light came on.  Bright red, then it changed to green.  That means it intercepted the standard way the GCN reads discs and raped it into thinking burned ones were legit ones.  After some fudding around with discs while trying to get one burned properly, adjusting the POT (potentiometer) for the laser to read the discs better, I got Starfox Assault on one finally, and popped it in.  And again to my surprise, it worked!

I really just can't believe I finally got this thing working after all this time, especially considering the tiny solder points.  It's pretty fragile with so little solder, so I put tape over the wires farther up on the board to keep'em from flopping around and breaking the solder points.  I would have taken better pictures, but by the time I got it assembled again and found it was working, I really didn't want to take it all apart again and risk fucking it up.  But here's some I took of it mostly reassembled to at least give you an idea of what it looks like/where it is:


The back of the Gamecube, when the status light is red at startup.


The inside, angled from the back.  I tucked the chip down in a gap, which is conveniently directly behind a vent, so I can still see the light.  It's green in this pic, but it's really hard to see the richer LED color on the camera.  (click picture for huge version)

So now that it's there, to be quite honest, I don't find myself as excited about burning games as I might have been when I ordered it.  Especially since they're hard to find, take forever to get, might be corrupt and waste a dvd (as I've already done with 2), etc.  If anything, I might look into making some homebrew stuff.  I don't have the broadband adapter though so that knocks out some interesting things I could do (like streaming video and such to it).  The biggest thing I can think of doing on it is putting tons of roms on a dvd, and running NES/SNES/N64 emulators on it.  It can use either a 3" disc that can hold about 1.4gb, or a normal 5" (just not at full capacity) as long as I leave the lid off the GCN (or buy a custom lid that can hold one that size).

I take this as a good omen for future electronics projects~!
« Last Edit: July 13, 2007, 10:22:18 PM by FyberOptic » Logged
Bluejay
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« Reply #1 on: July 14, 2007, 11:35:43 AM »

Fyber, your gamecube is in pieces!
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One day, when the zombies rise and destroy humanity; I will survive, I will live on, I will take your best stuff for myself.
Boris
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« Reply #2 on: July 16, 2007, 09:30:28 AM »

I would just like to mention I opened my GCN to adjust that laser strength pot once myself when it got detuned. So I've seen them guts before myself~
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FyberOptic
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« Reply #3 on: July 16, 2007, 10:56:24 AM »

Boris, your gamecube is in pieces!
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Boris
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« Reply #4 on: July 16, 2007, 01:12:38 PM »

Damndable lies sir, I put it back together and it acutally worked better than it had in years. Point of interest, thats where I learned the flaming bic pen trick that I used to work open that SNES in the other topic. I know far less about the guts of the gamecube through, seeing as I had a very exacting guide to where the potentiometer for laser strength calibration was situated. Also the guts are probably more complicated compared to the rather oldschool SNES hardware, since its far more like a computer than the lowest manufacture speciality device style the older consoles had.

I could probably modchip it though, I've just never had cause too, I wound up buying pretty much every game I wanted, and as you said, mod/emu/pirating the latest generation crap gets harder and harder.

Anyway, gooder job again at your mods turning out so well.
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<Armature> i just really want centaur Azula
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