The Retro64 Worklog. NEWS: Finished! Got nice pics!

Includes but not limited to: SNES, Genesis, Sega CD, PlayStation 1, Nintendo 64, Dreamcast, Game Gear and I guess the Virtual Boy.

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Mario
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Post by Mario » Tue Nov 11, 2008 12:37 pm

Neildo_64 wrote:You don't NEED flux. You can use flux but you could also just use solder. Tin both areas first and then just solder them together. I never use flux (can't stand it) and I do a lot of fine/difficult soldering.
I'm afraid to tin the batteries, what if they explode?!?
I tin the wire and hold it on the battery, then add the soldering iron for half a second so the solder melts, but the solder does not stick.

Also, I took off the tabs before I read your post. :roll:
hailrazer wrote:Once you break off the metal tabs it is really hard to get solder to stick anywhere.

I have used flux and different types of solder and it is next to impossible to get it to stick.

"Sometimes" you can get it to stick on the small metal speck that the metal tab was stuck to.
What kind of flux do I get? Are there even different kinds? I know there's paste, but is that all there is?

I'll try soldering to the small piece of metal still stuck on there.

UPDATE-EDIT:
Here are my drawings for my Retro64. This is the front: (It is missing the speaker grills, and the A/B and C buttons will probably be swapped)
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Here is the back. The crossed out stuff was where the switches were going to be, but I'm moving them. The universal video connector is my own design. It plugs in there, and it has L/R audio, Composite, RGB, and S-Video. It will be present on all my handhelds from now on.
The air vents will be above the RAM and the 2 CPUs. Air will be drawn in there, so it goes straight over the heatsinks. It is blown out in the lower-right corner.
The four switches next to the R button (which is a Z button) are, from left to right: Charge Battery (It cannot charge while playing), Wireless Player 1 or Player 2 select, Wireless On/Off, and Power On/Off. Up is on ( 1 ), down is off ( 0 ).
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These were drawn while I was at school, so everything is not exactly yo scale except the PSone screen. Everything is VERY close to actual size. These images were shrunk to the real size of my portable (7" x 5"), so if you print them, they will be actual size.

Here are the buttons and screen placed on:
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Here is the screen board chopped to the ABSOLUTE MAX! As you can see, it would be best to switch the C buttons and the A/B buttons, because there is more room up top. Plus, it's more like the original controller.
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collinE
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Post by collinE » Tue Nov 11, 2008 1:44 pm

That's awesome if you can keep it that small.

Also, I don't know if it would help, but you could try sanding the metal that you're soldering to so that it has a fresh surface. and sometimes solder doesn't like to stick to a surface that isn't hot. You may need to keep the iron on the metal longer, if it doesn't hurt the batteries.
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Neildo_64
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Post by Neildo_64 » Tue Nov 11, 2008 2:13 pm

On the screen, what about all the stuff on the other side? I don't understand how a screen chopped like that could work.
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Mario
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Post by Mario » Tue Nov 11, 2008 2:27 pm

Neildo_64 wrote:On the screen, what about all the stuff on the other side? I don't understand how a screen chopped like that could work.
None of the components are chopped off, the only parts I took away was just grounding.

(Actually, this was a dead mobo, so I have no way to test if it still works or not. But in theory, it should work. :P )

You might wonder: "Wait! What's the point of cutting up the screen's board if the screen is still in the way?". Excellent question. As stated before, the screen/lightbox will be mounted on the outside of the portable, and the mobo will be on the inside.

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marshallh
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Post by marshallh » Tue Nov 11, 2008 3:04 pm

Careful doing that to a good PCB - the PCB is a multilayer board and there are traces inside the board that you can't see.
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Post by bacteria » Tue Nov 11, 2008 3:37 pm

If you just solder to existing places where there is already solder, you are fine. If you need to scrape the surface off a board to solder a wire to it, you need to use some flux. If you want to solder to traces on a game cart or similar, you can do without but flux makes it so much easier and faster.

I just use a flux pen, nothing fancy, the liquid is clear and hardly any comes out, but does the job fine.
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Post by Gordon1 » Tue Nov 11, 2008 4:22 pm

marshallh wrote:Careful doing that to a good PCB - the PCB is a multilayer board and there are traces inside the board that you can't see.
Is the ps1 screen not just 2 layers (front and back)?

Just to clear up the potentioal confussion, I do know that there is such thing as a PCB with more than 2 layers.

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Post by ShockSlayer » Tue Nov 11, 2008 4:39 pm

Gordon1 wrote:
marshallh wrote:Careful doing that to a good PCB - the PCB is a multilayer board and there are traces inside the board that you can't see.
Is the ps1 screen not just 2 layers (front and back)?

Just to clear up the potentioal confussion, I do know that there is such thing as a PCB with more than 2 layers.
I think it is only two layers...marshall where are you getting this from? :)

Nice job on the screen, never seen such a hacked mofo!

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Post by Sun-Wukong » Tue Nov 11, 2008 4:57 pm

This is gonna be AWESOME!
Chapel wrote:Ah shucks, I was really hoping to make an SNES encased in a 19 pound glob of hotglue and duct tape. :lol:

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Post by marshallh » Tue Nov 11, 2008 4:57 pm

Hehe, I was pretty sure those were blind vias. My bad :lol:
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Mario
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Post by Mario » Tue Nov 11, 2008 5:27 pm

marshallh wrote:Careful doing that to a good PCB - the PCB is a multilayer board and there are traces inside the board that you can't see.
Are you getting confused with the N64? Or is that just a myth, too? :)

Okay, after 2 hours of scared-out-of-mind soldering, I finally got the battery pack soldered together. I finally got solder to stick to the small remnants of metal tabs still on the batteries. I checked all my wiring a million times, then finally hooked it up to the charger. Here is the final result:

Image
Image

The rest of the plastic will be cut away, and another layer of plastic will be put on top, to completely insulate the batteries from anything else. The total height, with the other piece of plastic, is exactly 1cm. That gives me 1.54 more centimeters for everything else. :roll:
This project is ridiculous! I can't believe I have to make sure something isn't a couple MILLIMETERS too high! I actually have to get new heatsinks for the N64. These ones are about 2mm too big. :lol:
Last edited by Mario on Fri Dec 26, 2008 11:32 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Neildo_64
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Post by Neildo_64 » Tue Nov 11, 2008 5:43 pm

Coming along nicely. I see how it's chopped now. I have mine chopped down about the same with the exception of the places the light box is. What are the specs on your batteries?
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Mario
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Post by Mario » Tue Nov 11, 2008 5:46 pm

Neildo_64 wrote:Coming along nicely. I see how it's chopped now. I have mine chopped down about the same with the exception of the places the light box is. What are the specs on your batteries?
The PSone board will not be chopped that much, it is only a visual to see how much it can be cut up. I'll only cut away the parts that need the space.

The batteries are Li-ion, SONY camcorder batteries. They are 6000mAh. That gives me 4 hours of playtime with the jumper pack (most games), and 3 with the expansion pack (only a few games).

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Post by Neildo_64 » Tue Nov 11, 2008 6:56 pm

Damn. 6 Ah is quite large comparing it to most of the portables around. Nice.
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Post by grossaffe » Tue Nov 11, 2008 10:29 pm

hailrazer wrote:Once you break off the metal tabs it is really hard to get solder to stick anywhere.

I have used flux and different types of solder and it is next to impossible to get it to stick.

"Sometimes" you can get it to stick on the small metal speck that the metal tab was stuck to.
I ran into this problem when attempting to replace the battery of an old gameboy game of mine. A solution I read about was to use a spot-welder to weld the tabs onto the battery. There were also instructions on how to make a spot-welder out of a camera (you know, that whole flash part of it). I, of course, decided to go the easy way and just used electrical tape to keep the battery in place, but I think with a larger battery for a more delicate project, the spot-weld idea may work.

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