How NOT to mod your Wii - pics included.

Discussion in 'Wii - Hacking' started by homesickalien, Jul 4, 2008.

Jul 4, 2008
  1. homesickalien
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    Newcomer homesickalien Member

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    Hey folks, I recently modded my Wii and just wanted to offer some advice and share my story and lessons learned from the whole experience.
    First off, if you have little to no experience soldering small, delicate electronic components, DON'T DO IT YOURSELF. If I knew then what I know now, I wouldn't have even bothered. I had taken 3 electronics courses in high school (a decade ago) and I've built a few basic DIY electronic kits over the years, so I figured from a variety of tutorials that it wouldn't be that big a challenge. I was very wrong.

    I was lucky enough to have one of the original, easy-to-mod, wiikey compatible, D2B models from around the time of the Wii's launch so I bought a wiikey online. They were going for dirt cheap and it SEEMED like it would be easy enough to do. I was feeling very confident in my abilities and acquired all the necessary tools to begin my project so I carefully opened my wii and kept all my screws and pieces neatly organized on a strip of masking tape stuck to a piece of paper. Here's a couple of pics:
    [​IMG]

    My artistic abilities depicted below. [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    my diagram was crude and I'm not an artist, but it served it's purpose very well. The screws on the masking tape helped keep everything in order in case there was a sudden jolt to the table I was working on. I managed to disassemble and reassemble the wii very quickly and easily. Upon opening the wii I realized that this wasn't going to be nearly as easy as I thought. First, I identified the location for my WiiKey here.
    [​IMG]

    This picture and all similar ones you see on the net do NO justice to the actually scale of what you're seeing. I have my camera set to macro mode and it's 2 inches away from the circuit board. To give you a better idea, the yellow square grid you see on the board is about the size of a dime.

    So, I take a deep breath and line up my wiikey with the appropriate contact points on the board. The wiikey design has what is described as "the easy quicksolder installation method" that doesn't require any wires. I HIGHLY recommend that you abandon this method and opt to use wires instead. My quicksolder method was disastrous. I couldn't tell where solder was going. The solder never seemed to go in the direction that I wanted it to and just accumulated on top of the wiikey.

    Even though I was extremely careful not to apply too much heat to the pad, one of the wiikey pads flaked right off. I was so pissed off and frustrated I almost punched a hole in the wall. Any hope for the quicksolder method was out the window now. Worse still, my wiikey was now welded to the board and I couldn't reach the soldered areas because the friggin chip lies against the board. So then I had to run out to radio shack and buy a desoldering bulb to try to suck the solder through the tiny holes in the wiikey.

    After an hour and a half, I finally managed to ease the chip off the board. Fearing for the health of my wii at this point I plugged it back in and thankfully it still worked ok. I probably should've stopped then, but I was determined to get this wiikey working.
    In the end, I used the wired method and had to solder one of the wires directly to the leg of the wii chip since I had burned off one of the pads. Although it was successful, I now have one of the ugliest mods out there and I'm still waiting for my wii to explode at any given moment.
    You can see the damage here:
    [​IMG]

    And closer still:
    [​IMG]

    Yes as you can see, it is quite a messy, sloppy, unprofessional, perhaps even a dangerous mod and I don't know if I've effectively halved the lifespan of my wii. If I could go back in time, I would have just spent the extra 40 or 50 bucks to go to a pro and have it done right. I feel pretty dumb about it and would never ever put myself through that mental anguish again. I'm sure there are a lot of you out there that managed to get your wiikey installed with no problems at all and I applaud you for your success. You're either very skilled or very lucky. I recently told a friend I had modded my wii and he was like "wow that's great can you do mine too?" I wanted to hit him.

    So for all of you with your next gen D2C boards with your dremel tools ready and dozens of wires, cut drive pins and high hopes...STOP. Look at the pictures above. Don't do it. Let a pro do it. You'll be glad.
     


  2. djcraze

    Newcomer djcraze Advanced Member

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    WiiClip FTW. I have a D2C board, and am using D2Pro with WiiClip and it worked perfectly! No problems yet, only took 10 minutes to install. [​IMG]
     
  3. CJL18

    Member CJL18 GBAtemp Advanced Fan

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    same here
     
  4. Sir-Fritz

    Member Sir-Fritz GBAtemp Maniac

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    Have you tested the chip? Does it actually work?
     
  5. teq

    Member teq GBAtemp Maniac

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    Actually, DB15 ftw... external drivechips are so much better.
     
  6. homesickalien
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    Newcomer homesickalien Member

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    Man, I wish I knew about that before I modded my wii. I don't think it was available though when I modded my wii late last year. How long has that been out for? I wouldn't hesitate to use a solderless clip on a friends console. That's awesome.

    sirfritz - > ya my chip works great, it just looks like ass.
     
  7. teq

    Member teq GBAtemp Maniac

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    WiiClip is somewhat overrated. I mean, if you're willing to open the console, why not go all the way?


    External still seems about the best, though.
     
  8. Redsquirrel

    Member Redsquirrel GBAtemp Advanced Fan

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    Wiikey installs are pretty damn easy but it does take a few to get right.

    A micro soldering iron helps too..
     
  9. Puxel

    Member Puxel GBAtemp Regular

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    Drawing up a diagram to where the screws go. That's hardcore. I just threw all mine in a bowl and hoped I grabbed the right ones when I was putting it back. I have a Wiikey too, but I did the quick solder.
     
  10. apcarr

    Member apcarr GBAtemp Regular

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    I'm no expert but your wires are far to long,I've done 4 Wii's(2 WiiKeys 2 Yaosms) and had never soldered before in my life,I found that tinning both the wires and the points helps greatly, when it comes to soldering I used a 15 Watt iron with a fine tip,I also found that soldering the the wires to the points first then taping them down before soldering them to the chips worked best.
     
  11. KeitaroBaka

    Member KeitaroBaka Advanced Member

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    Modding my wii was a real pain. It's a DMS (yes early wii) and i lifted a pad and blew a fuse on the drive (i had to short it). My wii is working like a charm, but next time ill need to mod a wii, i'll go to a pro and pay extra money with pleasure. [​IMG]
     
  12. yuyuyup

    Member yuyuyup GBAtemp Psycho!

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    c'mon man, everybody said to use wires
     
  13. Freeben666

    Newcomer Freeben666 Member

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    I'm modded my brother's wii a few weeks ago (a DMS). As a member of the robotic team of my school, I know how to solder, but still, I found it not that easy to mod the Wii. I you never soldered anything in your life, don't try it, or at least practice a lot before.
    Anyway, buying the required tools (Very fine tip solder iron, solder, ...) will cost you the same as having your wii modded by a pro.
     
  14. gamidi

    Newcomer gamidi Advanced Member

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    I went through the same pain when modding my brothers wii with yaosm. I burned 2 pads off the wii drive board bacause i was using an old 30w soldering iron. But then i got a 15w iron and managed to fix it in 15 mins. Then the real pain was where to fit the chip. I found this part even harder than the soldering.In the end i stuffed the chip near the usb ports. If you have no experience with console mods the limited space inside the console is a challenge even if you know how to solder. As for your install, i believe it is not as bad as you think it is, as you havent pulled any pads from your wiis board. The worst thing it an happen is that the wiikey stops working and you have to resolder it.
     
  15. hippyharry

    Member hippyharry GBAtemp Regular

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    Wiiclip V3 on a DMS FTW

    Its just the bloody tri-wing screws that are stuck which are the main problem!
     
  16. Social0

    Member Social0 GBAtemp Advanced Fan

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    it's a very hard mod to do but I'm glad you managed to do it in the end [​IMG]
     
  17. Endogene

    Member Endogene GBAtemp Fan

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    make a diagram if you don't want to have spare srews at the end, trust me
     
  18. Defiance

    Member Defiance oh my god.. it's full of trading cards...

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    Should I use 30 gauge wire for all of the points including the ground points?
     
  19. Cheater912

    Newcomer Cheater912 Member

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    I quick soldered my WiiKey. I'm lucky that it works...
     
  20. darkhawk

    Newcomer darkhawk Member

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    ^Same did a quick solder, worked out pretty well and its been working great for a few months now. Also 15W soldering irons are rubbish(from my expirience) i could get the 4 smaller points to melt but the bigger two just would'nt(my guess the iron wasnt hot enough) luckily i had a spare 25W iron and that did the trick.
     

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