ATTENTION PORTABLIZERS!!! LET'S TRIM THE WII MOBO!

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Tchay, Apr 23, 2013.

  1. Tchay

    Tchay Frequent Poster

    OKAY! So, some members believe it is possible to trim the Wii motherboard down to size - close to the WTF cut of the gamecube's motherboard.

    BUT, after having Ashen closely obvserve a dead wii mobo SS gave him, he realized the wii has 6 layers comprising the motherboard. Granted this may be different for certain revisions.

    Wouldn't it be nice to have tiny wii portables/laptops? Wouldn't it be real nice to have a trimming guide that tells you what is okay to cut? Hellz yeah.

    SO, how can you help? By sanding any dead motherboards you have and scanning them. We need a full motherboard scan for every layer. AFAIK, we don't have a FULL scan for the outer layers yet. I'm going to try to get some dead motherboards, but I don't have access to a belt sander, which would make the sanding process a lot easier.


    If we all work together to knock this out, one layer at a time, we can have a better shot at doing some serious trimming for the wii. Now, we will need to document the revisions for the layers we scan. It would be great to start getting info on all the different wii motherboard revisions (I've heard there's quite a few).
     
  2. bentomo

    bentomo Frequent Poster

    I've got a dead wii at home. First thing I do when I get out of school!
     
  3. Ashen

    Ashen GameCube Révolutionary

    I've got the board SS gave me @ Downing's. I've got all the components removed, but had no time to sand yet. Its on my high priority list.
     
  4. DK

    DK Donkey>King

    What you really need for this is a drum sander. I've got one in my workshop that could sand the layers off in a few minutes and would be accurate enough to take it down one layer at a time :awesome:

    Would offer to do it but don't want to risk gumming it up as I'm getting back into luthiery and it's practically vital for making sound boards.
     
  5. SNEAKxxATTACK

    SNEAKxxATTACK Active Member

    I don't know if scan means using a scanner, but if it does, there is an alternate method for those who don't have a scanner but rather a high quality camera, or DSLR.

    Get a box large enough to fit the subject matter.

    Line the inside bottom and 4 walls of the the box with
    something white (printer paper)

    Then place the subject matter on the bottom of the box

    Take your focused shot real close (best done with a macro lens, or my method, take a magnifying glass, hold it in front of the lens)
     
  6. Tchay

    Tchay Frequent Poster

    You do realize you can get printers that come with a good scanner for around 30 bucks right?
     
  7. SNEAKxxATTACK

    SNEAKxxATTACK Active Member

    Yeah, I know some stuff. Just mentioning this method so people don't have to buy something they don't have. But usually, people do have printer/scanner combos. Or find them cheap like you said.
     
  8. Diminuendo

    Diminuendo Well-Known Member

    do not take photos with a DSLR. lens distortion will make them worthless, a scanner with 600DPI has a million times higher resolution and scale already built into the document (you know the 600DPI)
     
  9. ShockSlayer

    ShockSlayer Probably SS

    Here's most of the stuff I've already done:
    Wii compendium junk(giant images) - http://forums.shockslayer.com/viewtopic.php?f=65&t=188
    Regulators info - http://forums.shockslayer.com/viewtopic.php?f=65&t=217

    Basically, there are two ways you can go about figuring out how to trim the Wii:
    1. The expensive way: just start cutting and see if you can make it work.
    2. The slower, cheaper way: sand and scan layers and put together a compendium.

    So, what's a compendium you ask? Well, basically, you take one side of the motherboard, remove all the components and sand off the paint/silkscreen junk so you just have the copper, then you scan it into the computer. Then you do the same for the other side, and then line up your two motherboard scans in an image editor, and now you can easily flip between layers and see where everything goes! Then you can draw on that and trace out stuff easily, all without having to kill countless motherboards. Here's the shining example: viewtopic.php?f=33&t=9817

    So, obviously, having a compendium would save everyone countless hours of troubleshooting and allow us to "propose" much more reliable and less work intensive trims. That's why you see everyone cut N64's into weird shapes, because we know "Okay, so I can cut all this off, but if I cut past here I have to do some insane rewiring, etc."

    Here are some samples of the Wii compendium I was working on.

    A/V pinout:
    [​IMG]

    Some power tracing:
    [​IMG]

    I'll have to look around on my computer for the junk I've already got done and host it. It's all done in Paint.NET, because it's free, not complicated, and allows you to work in layers so that's all you really need.

    So, trim-related things we've accomplished with the Wii so far:
    1. I've removed all the onboard regulators and replaced them with TI regs(see second thread above), so 7.4v has been done.
    2. Zenloc's claimed to have trimmed a Wii to the size of a gamecube, or one of the gamecube trims, I can't quite remember which. So someone's done neat stuff already, just waiting on documentation.

    Now let's talk about revision differences. If the Wii's like the N64, it shouldn't be too much of an issue. Usually only small things get changed between revisions. Here's the thing that makes that less painful though, and again drawing from our N64/GC experiences, RCP wiring is the exact same for every revision. Because regardless of what path the cart slot takes on the board, because it's the same chip it must always go to the same place on the RCP. I believe this is also true with the gamecube. Ashen's traced gamecube stuff all the way up to the CPU, so regardless of GC revision you should be able to wire to these same points and it'll work.

    So I'm thinking the Wii's gonna be the exact same way as it's two predecessors. All Wii's use the same CPU I think. Meaning that, if we got at least one good compendium for one revision, we can trace everything up to the CPU, and then we can have a constant reference point for everything. And if we have that, getting trims for every revision wouldn't be a problem. Even obnoxious revisions like the Wii Mini. I already said all this though, it's just a matter of doing it. :p

    So anyways, about getting GOOD board scans, here's what I've learned:

    -Sanding
    1. Hand sand the top layers. The finer the grit the better, smoother copper is more legible scanned in, I could make an example pic.
    2. Belt sanders are basically a no-go. It's too easy to screw up, especially once you get past the top layers, which you should be hand sanding anyways.
    3. Peeling traces off can work wonders for layer removal, but should be used sparingly.
    4. Inner layers are finer than the outer ones, so be more careful with those.
    5. Sand the previous layer entirely off. We're looking for scans that clearly show just the single layer, if you leave junk on from the above layer it complicates things and could easily hide more traces, and it's a pain to look at.
    - Examples of what not to do: This or this.
    - Examples of good sands: This and then this!

    -Scanning
    1. Scan at the highest DPI you can. It's easier to make things smaller than it is to make things bigger.
    2. Make sure that the board is completely flat up against the scanner. If it's warped even a little bit, that part won't be as clear and may be unusable.
    3. Host on a file sharing site, not an image sharing site. Image sharing sites like to compress, resize, weird junk we don't want. If need be you can just email me junk and I'll gladly host it in all it's glory for you.

    -General tips and ideas I have
    1. CNCing a board could be a viable option, after sanding and scanning the bottom layer, superglue it to a super flat piece of wood or something, then find a CNC machine with very precise Z depth and go down by ridiculously tiny increments.
    2. It's a good idea to write down all the revision stuff somewhere before you sand.

    That's about all I have to say right now, if I think of other useless nonsense I'll definitely post it.

    SS
     
  10. ttsgeb

    ttsgeb Breaker of Everything Staff Member

    For the record, Diminuendo, a 12 mp DSLR has slightly higher of a resolution than a 600dpi scanner if you can fill the whole frame with the board. On top of that, lens distortion doesn't matter one bit if it's consistent amongst all the pictures. In order for there to be. difference of a million, you would be taking the picture from about 100 feet away.
     
  11. gman

    gman Well-Known Member

    Is this a good price for a wii motherboard. I only have one wii that i didnt buy so i wouldnt know. I dont think it comes with a disc drive but i've got a wiikey which i think you dont need a disc drive mainboard for.

    Also just wondering, what would be the point of a wii portable? You wouldnt be able to play any games that require motion i think so it would just be a classic controller? So it would play gamecube games and some wii games i guess? It would be cool if there was a way to use both a gamecube controller and a classic controller.

    http://www.ebay.com/itm/Used-Nintendo-W ... RTM1303752
     
  12. Diminuendo

    Diminuendo Well-Known Member

    I still disagree, the lack of flat lighting and sense of scale make photos not nearly as useful as scans. Not I have used photos of boards in a pinch, but we aren't really constrained by any deadlines here so that's irrelevant

    I've all ready made the argument before so instead I'm going to issue a challenge; I challenge someone to take a mobo pic with a digital SLR camera that is of high enough quality to consistently be used as a modretro resource over a scanned version of the same mobo.

    I will transfer $1 to the paypal account of the first person to do this.

    Now, for the record, I'm not saying it can't be done, I'm saying it's not worth the effort.
     
  13. ttsgeb

    ttsgeb Breaker of Everything Staff Member

    The one on the top is a picture taken with a cell phone camera with no tripod and less than 5 minute of preperation. On top of that, it's larger than most boards we would be scanning anyway.
    The one on the bottom was scanned at 600 DPI
    Neither has been edited beyond cropping and putting them in the same file
    [​IMG]

    You were saying something about the scanner at 600DPI having more resolution?
    With manual focus, I could have gotten that picture 10x better, and with a tripod, another 10x. If you're doing board scans, you only have to set it up the tripod and focus once, then replace the board every time. Just like you would with a scanner.
    Also, as you can see, lense distortion barely accounts for anything.
    Furthermore, scale doesn't matter worth flax here, it's not like we sit here with micrometers planning where to put our trims. Seriously.
    Finally, the quality of the pic doesn't mean crap for use in a guide. It's what we put ON the picture that matters. This is why we still have guides where it's a crop of a bigger picture and pixels are the size of Canada.
    Stop being so stubborn and dimwitted. We aren't using digital cameras from 1992 anymore.

    Also, throwing this out there, this is less than 5 minutes of touch up in photoshop:
    [​IMG]

    I think we can all agree that that is far from "Unusable". Just because you don't know how to take a picture doesn't mean other people don't.
     
  14. ShockSlayer

    ShockSlayer Probably SS

    Yeah, pictures can work fine for single sides of the board, but for the compendium we want scans because we know they are always gonna be flat and we can line them up and everything will match up.

    SS
     
  15. LOCtronicz

    LOCtronicz Formerly known as zenloc

    Alright! I found my old sanded down wii board. Here are some fresh scan's. I sadly only have the hidden inner layers. The rest is lost I'm afraid. I was researching the layers a long time ago and made a cut around the size of a regular gamecube mobo with grounding trimmed off. Since me moving stuff about I have lost it but these scans helped me with the trim.

    The wii mother board layers work as follows:

    Top side:
    Top layer
    Ground layer
    Hidden layer

    Bottom side:
    Bottom layer
    Ground layer
    Hidden layer

    As far as I have encountered there are 6 layers in total. People saying it has 7 might also be possible but I doubt it. Having equal layers makes more sense production wise. But then again wouldn't surprise me if certain models did have 7 layers. I know there are wii boards which have 4 layers. Newer revisions.


    Here are some pics:

    Bottom[​IMG]

    Top Hidden:
    [​IMG]

    Bottom Hidden:
    [​IMG]

    Now the magic happens in these layers and the top layers. The ground layers are not really worth you time to investigate unless it is required to rewire grounding (which I highly doubt considering it covers the whole board on both sides.

    I'll also add a pic later with some pinouts if I can remember them.
     
  16. ShockSlayer

    ShockSlayer Probably SS

    Zenloc, dude.

    You make me go wii.

    SS
     
  17. LOCtronicz

    LOCtronicz Formerly known as zenloc

    :lol: I remember sanding down this board was a Sega. Especially if you want to sand the first layer and get the full ground layer visable. That ground layer is so thin you only have to sand a bit to much and it comes off. I just didn't bother at one point.

    Now that I think about it there might be a couple of traces in those layers aswell. Not sure though. I rewired the wifi, bluetooth, gamecube controllers and memorycards and used a custom regulator.

    After I finish my commission I'm working on I'll see if I have some time to get back to the Wii.
     
  18. Tchay

    Tchay Frequent Poster

    Thnks Zenloc!

    BUT, these scans are way different from the ones I posted a while back (anyone remember). They were like voltage sections. These scans are totally different. hmmmm.
     
  19. LOCtronicz

    LOCtronicz Formerly known as zenloc

    These are the hidden inner layers. Maybe there are not 2 ground layers but also one voltage devider layer like on the gamecube. This is also a different revision. I actually have a couple of dead wii boards to mess around with. When I have found an easier method to sand them I will do layer for layer scans.
     
  20. ttsgeb

    ttsgeb Breaker of Everything Staff Member

    ... I may be trying to fix a problem that doesn't exist here, but what happens if you use etching solution to clean the traces off after each scan, giving you a nice flat board to start the next phase with?
    Has anyone played with this, or is it too likely that we'd lose a bunch of stuff at the vias, where we need it most?
     

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