Worklog N64 Portable V3

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Beautiful people of the Bitbuilt forum,

Amongst my many packages that have arrived recently, one from the mystical land of China has arrived after only a month of waiting...

If like me, you're short of cash... or just tight as a ducks arse... but wish to still get the most authentic tactile response from your custom PCB's, I have a budget option!

I have bought ENIG gold plated boards and brand new carbon rubber tacts from China for circa £50 all in for two variants of board (5 pcs of each) and 100 tact buttons. These work PHENOMENALLY well, and the positive tactile feedback is ridiculously good in my opinion. Far better than any squishy tacts microswitches I've tried.

But... if you do want to save money, you can have your boards printed in HASL (cost me something like £4 posted for 5pcs vs £17 for gold ENIG), and use your original 25+ year old rubber membranes cut up in some sort of Blue Peter fashion! (It's a UK TV show... Google it if need be).

But, you'll quickly find, this is unreliable and without constantly wiping the HASL with alcohol, it won't register.

But... for a mere £3 - 4 (not sure what the current exchange rate is to Freedom Eagles), you can get a sheet of these wondrous things!

Immediate conductivity, stick straight over your old carbon pills, et voila!

Hopefully this'll be of use to someone and I can say I've contributed a little something back to the community! :awesome:

 

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4 : O-Wii (V1,V2,V2.1)/ BS2
Ohh, thanks ! Very nice the trick with conductive pads things.

I'm definitely going to use it for prototyping, it'll be cheaper than doing ENIG every time,
when you make mistakes and have to re-order PCBs it quickly becomes super expensive.

I don't think it will last over time though.
We should do a long-term test to see how well the glue holds.
 
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Honestly, definitely give them a go. I bought them on a whim, didn't expect much and forgot I'd even bought them :awesome:.
But they are so much more robust than I ever imagined. They really do stick solid to the carbon pill and feel like they'd like last. Not like a sticky back foil (which is something I did consider making myself), but instead they're like a woven mesh.

I honestly think if you used them in a build, you'd never actually see a failure off them. I've just reordered my D-Pad/ Logic gate PCB's in gold ENIG, and I wish I'd just stuck with HASL and used these; especially given I'm using an original Gamecube rubber membrane and the carbon pills in that are far worse than the much older N64 ones! o.O (N64 pills read around 600ohms on average. The Gamecube ones were well over 2k each!)
 
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A couple of updates pics.

Nothing major, the case has been a steep learning curve with SLA. Results so far have been satisfying; total of five Easter egg sprites if you're looking for them ;)

Still getting fitment to where I want it, had the odd bit of chipping to small bits inside, but aside from my OCD reminding me about them at 2am during the night... nothing to worry about when built up.

Next steps, finish wet sanding it to within an inch of its life. Handing over to a buddy of mine who was a professional sprayer to do the clearcoat with some 2k. I'm crap at spraying at the best of times.

Machine out my screen lens from polycarbonate. Find someone to UV print the design on the back.

Get the battery cover fitment sorted.

And much more...

Anyway... pictures.
 

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Well, I've had another round of food poisoning... second this year. So that left me sofa bound all day.
I had my laptop in reach, so played around with CAD and the slicer settings on Chitubox whilst i felt sorry for myself. Set the slice height to 0.015mm, I'm amazed it worked flawlessly.

Hooked it all up to the gold plated D-Pad PCB... the Gamecube membranes are absolute crap, even with the gold plating, so I fitted my new magic sticky pads and it works beautifully now.

Anyway, feedback and thoughts people, this will be used as a master for a silicone mould, and cast in grey to match the OEM D-pad colour... question is, too jazzy? It's small and subtle, or should I stick to plain ol' arrows, and maybe a single easter egg?
 

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Small update.

I haven't fallen off the face of the earth or forgotten about the project; I've been dealing with a few nuisance pieces.

Firstly, realised I've buggered the D-Pad logic board slightly... it is meant to have a resistance level output... which I have done... but I've idiotically put them on individual outputs. The options are, solder together all of the outputs and be done with it... orrrr... redesign a simpler, tidier board, especially now other folks on here have released a simpler design than the one I've used.


Next issue has been the case. I'm still waiting for my buddy to clearcoat the test piece... never mind the final piece. I had a go at spraying another test piece myself... and whilst it went better than expected, it is no where near my personal standards.

And the biggest issue I've been having is my screen lens design... Good god it has been a headache.
The cheapy little CNC router I inherited has done a good job so far, but I've had to wait for cutters to arrive from China to level the spoilboard as well as new material and keep test fitting Small adjustments.
The biggest headache with the lens' by far has been transferring the boarder and logo design. I've tried so many methods. I always wanted to find someone with a UV printer, but I've really struggled to find anything locally... I am casting my net further and getting some people interested in helping from much further away... and then the holographic foil idea for the logo. With limited funds, this whole project has been crawling along. I've not been able to afford the silicone rubber/ resin/ pigment or vacuum pump oil for the past few months now, otherwise I'd have started casting the buttons!

Anyway, that's probably enough of my usual babbling for you all to endure.

Here is a preview of the best test piece lens to date. But it is still far, far from finished.
 

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I've become impatient waiting for my buddy to clearcoat the practice case (never mind the final version...), so without over committing to a final fix, I've started doing some light soldering and testing of bits I can easily remove/ rewire.

Controller seems to work well; albeit the wiring guide I found lied! Bridging the pins just made the whole thing die. Return to one pin and it works perfect. (Pic attached for reference).

Also, ran the video through the FCC and it seems to work A OK
 

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