Worklog The Phiinix

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After taking a long hiatus following the failure of the Zoowiimama (RIP) I wanted to come back and actually finish a Wii portable, so from the ashes of the Zoowiimama rises the Phiinix!

I contemplated just making an Ashida but I really like the design process so decided against it. I also didn't want anything too boring so I had to design around a gimmick. This time, instead of choosing a dock as my gimmick, I decided to go with passive cooling! I thought it would be really cool to have a silent portable, and getting rid of the fan meant I could probably make it a bit thinner too. Plus I wasn't able to find anyone that had done this yet (I saw a few people start it but I didn't see any completed worklogs. Please let me know if someone has finished this already). I used a heatsink calculator and determined that a completely flat plate heatsink of the size I wanted was borderline good enough to cool the Wii but I figured if I cut grooves into it to increase the surface area that it should definitely be good. So I got started with the design process and this is where I'm at so far.

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The heatsink is the waffle looking part on the back. Luckily my cousin works at a metal working shop so I should be able to have him cut that out for me. The raised grips on the back act as pretty nice handles as well as keeping the heatsink off of the ground when the system is put down that way it can get some more air; they also give a place to put some batteries. Initially I was gonna use 21700 batteries for longer battery life but pretty late into the design process I found out that I didn't actually have room for them so 18650's it is! Dimensions wise this is almost identical to the switch lite (give or take a couple mm in either direction) except for the obvious height difference. I did that on purpose so that I would be able to use a switch carrying case for travel. I don't have the cutouts for ports/buttons as I'm waiting until I finalize the PCB design.

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Still relatively new to PCB design but I think this should get the job done. It's basically just a board that connects everything for me so I don't have a rats nest of wires inside. I know I didn't necessarily follow good design etiquette (especially with the component references) but It'll be easier to assemble for me this way and I don't really care. But if anybody sees any glaring design issues, please let me know!


So far the project is moving along nicely. Just have a few more things to finish up then I should be able to buy everything it get it all put together. I know I'm gonna have to use some other type of filament that isn't PLA (was thinking PETG) so as not to deform in the parts where it's in contact with the heatsink. I figure as long as the glass transition temperature of the filament is above 70 degrees I should be good as I believe that's the temp that the PMS will shut things down at so my heatsink shouldn't get any hotter than that. But let me know if anyone has any filament recommendations for this. That's all for now, thanks for checking it out!
 

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After taking a long hiatus following the failure of the Zoowiimama (RIP) I wanted to come back and actually finish a Wii portable, so from the ashes of the Zoowiimama rises the Phiinix!

I contemplated just making an Ashida but I really like the design process so decided against it. I also didn't want anything too boring so I had to design around a gimmick. This time, instead of choosing a dock as my gimmick, I decided to go with passive cooling! I thought it would be really cool to have a silent portable, and getting rid of the fan meant I could probably make it a bit thinner too. Plus I wasn't able to find anyone that had done this yet (I saw a few people start it but I didn't see any completed worklogs. Please let me know if someone has finished this already). I used a heatsink calculator and determined that a completely flat plate heatsink of the size I wanted was borderline good enough to cool the Wii but I figured if I cut grooves into it to increase the surface area that it should definitely be good. So I got started with the design process and this is where I'm at so far.


The heatsink is the waffle looking part on the back. Luckily my cousin works at a metal working shop so I should be able to have him cut that out for me. The raised grips on the back act as pretty nice handles as well as keeping the heatsink off of the ground when the system is put down that way it can get some more air; they also give a place to put some batteries. Initially I was gonna use 21700 batteries for longer battery life but pretty late into the design process I found out that I didn't actually have room for them so 18650's it is! Dimensions wise this is almost identical to the switch lite (give or take a couple mm in either direction) except for the obvious height difference. I did that on purpose so that I would be able to use a switch carrying case for travel. I don't have the cutouts for ports/buttons as I'm waiting until I finalize the PCB design.


Still relatively new to PCB design but I think this should get the job done. It's basically just a board that connects everything for me so I don't have a rats nest of wires inside. I know I didn't necessarily follow good design etiquette (especially with the component references) but It'll be easier to assemble for me this way and I don't really care. But if anybody sees any glaring design issues, please let me know!


So far the project is moving along nicely. Just have a few more things to finish up then I should be able to buy everything it get it all put together. I know I'm gonna have to use some other type of filament that isn't PLA (was thinking PETG) so as not to deform in the parts where it's in contact with the heatsink. I figure as long as the glass transition temperature of the filament is above 70 degrees I should be good as I believe that's the temp that the PMS will shut things down at so my heatsink shouldn't get any hotter than that. But let me know if anyone has any filament recommendations for this. That's all for now, thanks for checking it out!
What about making an aluminum case? Maybe it might help even more with the cooling of the wii
 
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What about making an aluminum case? Maybe it might help even more with the cooling of the wii
I thought about it but that would probably be pretty pricey (even with my cousin at the machining shop). Also I didn't want the parts of the system that you hold with your hands to get hot and uncomfortable.
 
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Update 1:

Took a little vacation and came back to my PCB's being delivered. Got one fully assembled and will be testing it out here shortly!

Also got some white PETG+ from microcenter to print out the case with but I've been having a ton of trouble with it. Box says to print between 230-250 but I did a few temperature tower tests and was getting the best results around 195-200 so that was a little concerning. Even at those temperatures (or any temperature) I was having a ton of problems getting the prints to come out well. In the end I decided to give up on this filament because of the issues with printing and I'm also concerned that it wouldn't be as temperature resistant as normal PETG would be due to the lower print temps. So I ended up buying some prusament white PETG and I'm just waiting for that to come in now.

And my cousin who is making the heatsink for me is doing it in his free time in the shop that he works in so it may take a little while for him to finish that. On top of that I've gotta find somewhere that will anodize it for me when it's done. I've seen a few places in town, just trying to find one that isn't too expensive.

Lastly, I had a quick question. On my board I accidentally bridged these 2 pins on the Bluetooth plug so pin 2 is currently grounded. Does anyone know if this is an issue at all? Not really sure what this pin goes to as it isn't necessary for the Bluetooth module to work.
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Stitches

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It's probably not connected to anything on the module side, but I don't know for sure. If you're concerned about it and don't want to waste time figuring it out, you can just pull that pin out of the socket and it won't matter either way
 
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Dude, your build looks sick. I wish I knew how to make custom PCBs.
Thanks! It's not too bad after watching a few tutorials. Especially if you make something basic like I have that basically just connects a bunch of daughterboards
 
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