Hardware Making a Non Gamecube Wii to an GameCube compatible Modell ?

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Hello.:)

Yesterday I stumbled over this (german) Article:

https://wiki.wiidatabase.de/index.php?title=RTC-RVL&oldid=9394

It says:

RTC-RVL is a multifunction IC manufactured by Macronix for Nintendo in the Nintendo Wii. It is considered the successor to RTC-DOL in the GameCube, but unlike the latter, it does not contain the GameCube IPL. RTC-RVL contains:

The Wii's battery-backed real-time clock (RTC).
Battery-buffered SRAM, in which GameCube-specific settings are stored
A mask ROM with two GameCube-specific fonts (one western, one Japanese), accessible only in GameCube mode
Various power management functions

It is connected to Hollywood via the EXI bus, to which the GameCube memory cards are also connected. There is also a connection between RTC-RVL and the drive, which is used to store in the chip whether the eject button was pressed or the disc was swapped. This status is read from the system menu.

Only one revision is known to have been used in all Wii consoles in all regions from launch in 2006 until the last Wii Mini consoles: RTC-RVL A. The designation used by the manufacturer Macronix is MX23L4005-24C1.

The counterpart installed in the Wii U has the designation MX23L0002, but is once again clearly different from RTC-RVL. It no longer contains any GameCube fonts, has no connection to the drive and is housed in a QFN chip casing. However, it is still connected via the EXI bus from the GameCube.


So a "Thought" on the first View is:

If this MX Chip exists
and there is maybe a Change according to this Article about the different Wii Mainboard Revisions:
https://wiki.wiidatabase.de/index.php?title=Wii_Mainboard-Revisionen&oldid=9392

RVL-CPU-01
Very late (mid 2008) example of a RVL-CPU-01 board; with Hollywood AA and Broadway B.

Launched (late 2006) by mid-2008
Known specimens contain one of the following Hollywood revisions: Hollywood (90nm), Hollywood AA (90nm).
Known copies contain one of the following Broadway revisions: Broadway (90nm), Broadway A (90nm), Broadway B (65nm, large package).
All known copies are capable to install Bootmii into boot2

RVL-CPU-10

Relatively rare, therefore no details known

RVL-CPU-20
RVL-CPU-20 (end of 2008) with Hollywood AA and Broadway B

Mid 2008 - end 2008 (overlap with RVL-CPU-30)
Simplifications in various voltage generation components and some passive components -> less expensive, but voltages take minimally longer to stabilize
Always comes with boot1c, boot2v4 and newer, adapted revisions of IOS
Older revisions of IOS as well as boot2 do not work or only unstable (timing problems due to changed voltage generation)[1].
Known copies contain the following Hollywood revision: Hollywood AA (90nm)
Known copies contain the following Broadway revision: Broadway B (65nm, large package)
Basically not capable to install Bootmii in the boot2

RVL-CPU-30

Mid 2008 - end 2008 (overlap with RVL-CPU-20)
Adaptation to smaller chip package and changed pinout for Broadway-1, otherwise identical to RVL-CPU-20
Known samples contain the following Hollywood revision: Hollywood AA (90nm)
Known copies contain the following Broadway revision: Broadway-1 (65nm, small package)
Basically not capable to install Bootmii in boot2

RVL-CPU-40
RVL-CPU-40 (early 2009) with Hollywood-1 and Broadway-1

Beginning 2009 - beginning 2010
Strongly simplified PCB (only 4 layers instead of 6; voltage and ground mainly on the inner layers, data/signal lines on the outer layers)
Adaptations for Hollywood-1 (e.g. modified chip package with less pins)
Known copy comes with boot1d and boot2v4
Known examples contain the following Hollywood revision: Hollywood-1 (65nm, Napa and Vegas combined)
Known copies contain the following Broadway revision: Broadway-1 (65nm, small package)
Basically not capable to install Bootmii into boot2

RVL-CPU-50

End of 2009 - ?
Voltage generation of the always-on 3.3V voltage is done by buck converter instead of linear voltage regulator; thus lower standby consumption
Known examples contain the following Hollywood revision: Hollywood-1 (65nm, Napa and Vegas combined)
Known examples contain the following Broadway revision: Broadway-1 (65nm, small package)
Basically not capable to install Bootmii into boot2

RVL-CPU-60

Approx. 2010?
Known copies contain the following Hollywood revision: Hollywood-1 (65nm, Napa and Vegas combined)
Known copies contain the following Broadway revision: Broadway-1 (65nm, small package)
Basically not capable of installing Bootmii in the boot2

Wii (Family Edition)
RVK-CPU-01

Mid 2011 (production start) / end 2011 (sales start)
Gamecube-specific connectors removed (pads for this however still available -> retrofitting possible)
Instead of the Gamecube MemoryCard slots, a proprietary connector was installed, which is not accessible from the outside (the case part, under which the Gamecube connectors were previously located, has to be removed)
This connector is needed in production for the initial installation of the system software as well as for various tests - one of the Gamecube MemoryCard slots was previously used for this purpose
Known copies contain the following Hollywood revision: Hollywood-1 (65nm, Napa and Vegas combined)
Known copies contain the following Broadway revision: Broadway-1 (65nm, small package)
Basically not capable to install Bootmii in boot2

RVK-CPU-02

approx. 2012
Known copies contain the following Hollywood revision: Hollywood-1 (65nm, Napa and Vegas combined)
Known copies contain the following Broadway revision: Broadway-1 (65nm, small package)
Basically not capable of installing Bootmii in the boot2

Wii Mini
RVO-CPU-01
Mainboard RVO-CPU-01 of a Wii Mini with Hollywood-2, the last known revision of Hollywood, as well as Broadway-1, manufactured at the beginning of 2013.

End of 2012 - 2013
Known copies contain one of the following Hollywood revisions: Hollywood-1 (65nm, Napa and Vegas combined), Hollywood-2 (45nm, Napa and Vegas combined).
Known copies contain the following Broadway revision: Broadway-1 (65nm, small package)
Basically not capable of installing Bootmii in the boot2




So,if the MX Chip is programmed with the GameCube Stuff,the Non GameCube Wii "turns" into a GameCube compatible Wii ?

Your Thoughts please ?
Thank you.:)
 
Last edited by Alexander1970,

KleinesSinchen

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[…]
So,if the MX Chip is programmed with the GameCube Stuff,the Non GameCube Wii "turns" into a GameCube compatible Wii ?

Your Thoughts please ?
Thank you.:)
As far as I know there is no truly "non-GC compatible Wii". The Wii Family Edition (RVL-101) lacks the connectors as well as the ability to catch and center 8cm discs. Maybe opening the console and manually centering the disc will suffice to get GC mode loaded.
Swapping the drive for an older version will make the RVL-101 boot into GC mode with a legit GC disc, right from the disc channel. That is just like playing Lego. Plug in replacement drive – done. But from there on you will not be able to do anything because of the missing controller ports. Those had to be added as well.
Having only one blue RVL-101 there is no way I'm going to open it up without a good reason (it's not even softmodded). Cannibalizing a working RVL-001 for the sake of getting the connectors also feels wrong (maybe if I get my hands on a broken motherboard and a beat-up RVL-101). The solder joints in question are quite large so it might need a preheater and pretty good (de-)soldering equipment as well as patience in order to safely and successfully desolder them. I never tried though.

The Mini (RVL-201) is a different topic. You can easily insert a GC disc into the toploading drive – but the drive firmware will reject it. The drive connector is different and I don't think any adapter exists. That would mean very complex manual rewiring – if documentation about this even exists. DeadlyFoez did it for connecting a WODE to the Mini. I guess the Mini would go straight to GC mode with an older drive connected as well. Missing not only the connectors but also the unpopulated pads you will not easily add GC connectors (again: DeadlyFoez found a way for the memory cards and controllers 1 and 4, but not controllers 2 and 3).
===========

Having all that said: Although it has no real use, it would be a very cool project to upgrade the butchered Family Edition Wii to a full-featured console with the help of a "braindead" older console.
 

JaapDaniels

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As far as I know there is no truly "non-GC compatible Wii". The Wii Family Edition (RVL-101) lacks the connectors as well as the ability to catch and center 8cm discs. Maybe opening the console and manually centering the disc will suffice to get GC mode loaded.
Swapping the drive for an older version will make the RVL-101 boot into GC mode with a legit GC disc, right from the disc channel. That is just like playing Lego. Plug in replacement drive – done. But from there on you will not be able to do anything because of the missing controller ports. Those had to be added as well.
Having only one blue RVL-101 there is no way I'm going to open it up without a good reason (it's not even softmodded). Cannibalizing a working RVL-001 for the sake of getting the connectors also feels wrong (maybe if I get my hands on a broken motherboard and a beat-up RVL-101). The solder joints in question are quite large so it might need a preheater and pretty good (de-)soldering equipment as well as patience in order to safely and successfully desolder them. I never tried though.

The Mini (RVL-201) is a different topic. You can easily insert a GC disc into the toploading drive – but the drive firmware will reject it. The drive connector is different and I don't think any adapter exists. That would mean very complex manual rewiring – if documentation about this even exists. DeadlyFoez did it for connecting a WODE to the Mini. I guess the Mini would go straight to GC mode with an older drive connected as well. Missing not only the connectors but also the unpopulated pads you will not easily add GC connectors (again: DeadlyFoez found a way for the memory cards and controllers 1 and 4, but not controllers 2 and 3).
===========

Having all that said: Although it has no real use, it would be a very cool project to upgrade the butchered Family Edition Wii to a full-featured console with the help of a "braindead" older console.
Hackaday.com tested adding the controllers and they should work on model RVL-101 right when attached.
reading the discs is however not possible with original drive, so that would have to be replaced, or you'd emulate them.
the RVL-201 however can only work with the nintendont way to boot the games and will need a replacement controller, the hardware in it is too limited.
 

KleinesSinchen

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Hackaday.com tested adding the controllers and they should work on model RVL-101 right when attached.
reading the discs is however not possible with original drive, so that would have to be replaced, or you'd emulate them.
the RVL-201 however can only work with the nintendont way to boot the games and will need a replacement controller, the hardware in it is too limited.
I completely forgot about this article. Thanks for bringing it up!
Nintendont is not running GC mode. The console stays in Wii mode and allows Bluetooth controllers to be used. I wouldn't count this as real GC compatibility in the sense of this thread.

Always good to better document the system, although the practical applications seem limited...
Statistically 10% or fewer of the Wii units produced lack GameCube compatibility.
Practical? No. Still a fun project. Even though it only has more or less a theoretical value, I would like to see a nice to have a step-by-step tutorial with a lot of photos. Reading the comments on above Hackaday link was a bit discouraging though (and hilarious because of the piracy discussion). DeadlyFoez mentioned a preheater and stated he spent 6 hours on the soldering process. And he actually knows what he does. Oh my…
I would still attempt this if I get the needed things (braindead or hopelessly softbricked RVL-001 and bad condition but working RVL-101).

Any source for the 10%? (Just interested in actual sales data RVL-001, RVL-101, RVL-201)
 
Last edited by KleinesSinchen,
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Hello.:)

Yesterday I stumbled over this (german) Article:

https://wiki.wiidatabase.de/index.php?title=RTC-RVL&oldid=9394

It says:

RTC-RVL is a multifunction IC manufactured by Macronix for Nintendo in the Nintendo Wii. It is considered the successor to RTC-DOL in the GameCube, but unlike the latter, it does not contain the GameCube IPL. RTC-RVL contains:

The Wii's battery-backed real-time clock (RTC).
Battery-buffered SRAM, in which GameCube-specific settings are stored
A mask ROM with two GameCube-specific fonts (one western, one Japanese), accessible only in GameCube mode
Various power management functions

It is connected to Hollywood via the EXI bus, to which the GameCube memory cards are also connected. There is also a connection between RTC-RVL and the drive, which is used to store in the chip whether the eject button was pressed or the disc was swapped. This status is read from the system menu.

Only one revision is known to have been used in all Wii consoles in all regions from launch in 2006 until the last Wii Mini consoles: RTC-RVL A. The designation used by the manufacturer Macronix is MX23L4005-24C1.

The counterpart installed in the Wii U has the designation MX23L0002, but is once again clearly different from RTC-RVL. It no longer contains any GameCube fonts, has no connection to the drive and is housed in a QFN chip casing. However, it is still connected via the EXI bus from the GameCube.


So a "Thought" on the first View is:

If this MX Chip exists
and there is maybe a Change according to this Article about the different Wii Mainboard Revisions:
https://wiki.wiidatabase.de/index.php?title=Wii_Mainboard-Revisionen&oldid=9392

RVL-CPU-01
Very late (mid 2008) example of a RVL-CPU-01 board; with Hollywood AA and Broadway B.

Launched (late 2006) by mid-2008
Known specimens contain one of the following Hollywood revisions: Hollywood (90nm), Hollywood AA (90nm).
Known copies contain one of the following Broadway revisions: Broadway (90nm), Broadway A (90nm), Broadway B (65nm, large package).
All known copies are capable to install Bootmii into boot2

RVL-CPU-10

Relatively rare, therefore no details known

RVL-CPU-20
RVL-CPU-20 (end of 2008) with Hollywood AA and Broadway B

Mid 2008 - end 2008 (overlap with RVL-CPU-30)
Simplifications in various voltage generation components and some passive components -> less expensive, but voltages take minimally longer to stabilize
Always comes with boot1c, boot2v4 and newer, adapted revisions of IOS
Older revisions of IOS as well as boot2 do not work or only unstable (timing problems due to changed voltage generation)[1].
Known copies contain the following Hollywood revision: Hollywood AA (90nm)
Known copies contain the following Broadway revision: Broadway B (65nm, large package)
Basically not capable to install Bootmii in the boot2

RVL-CPU-30

Mid 2008 - end 2008 (overlap with RVL-CPU-20)
Adaptation to smaller chip package and changed pinout for Broadway-1, otherwise identical to RVL-CPU-20
Known samples contain the following Hollywood revision: Hollywood AA (90nm)
Known copies contain the following Broadway revision: Broadway-1 (65nm, small package)
Basically not capable to install Bootmii in boot2

RVL-CPU-40
RVL-CPU-40 (early 2009) with Hollywood-1 and Broadway-1

Beginning 2009 - beginning 2010
Strongly simplified PCB (only 4 layers instead of 6; voltage and ground mainly on the inner layers, data/signal lines on the outer layers)
Adaptations for Hollywood-1 (e.g. modified chip package with less pins)
Known copy comes with boot1d and boot2v4
Known examples contain the following Hollywood revision: Hollywood-1 (65nm, Napa and Vegas combined)
Known copies contain the following Broadway revision: Broadway-1 (65nm, small package)
Basically not capable to install Bootmii into boot2

RVL-CPU-50

End of 2009 - ?
Voltage generation of the always-on 3.3V voltage is done by buck converter instead of linear voltage regulator; thus lower standby consumption
Known examples contain the following Hollywood revision: Hollywood-1 (65nm, Napa and Vegas combined)
Known examples contain the following Broadway revision: Broadway-1 (65nm, small package)
Basically not capable to install Bootmii into boot2

RVL-CPU-60

Approx. 2010?
Known copies contain the following Hollywood revision: Hollywood-1 (65nm, Napa and Vegas combined)
Known copies contain the following Broadway revision: Broadway-1 (65nm, small package)
Basically not capable of installing Bootmii in the boot2

Wii (Family Edition)
RVK-CPU-01

Mid 2011 (production start) / end 2011 (sales start)
Gamecube-specific connectors removed (pads for this however still available -> retrofitting possible)
Instead of the Gamecube MemoryCard slots, a proprietary connector was installed, which is not accessible from the outside (the case part, under which the Gamecube connectors were previously located, has to be removed)
This connector is needed in production for the initial installation of the system software as well as for various tests - one of the Gamecube MemoryCard slots was previously used for this purpose
Known copies contain the following Hollywood revision: Hollywood-1 (65nm, Napa and Vegas combined)
Known copies contain the following Broadway revision: Broadway-1 (65nm, small package)
Basically not capable to install Bootmii in boot2

RVK-CPU-02

approx. 2012
Known copies contain the following Hollywood revision: Hollywood-1 (65nm, Napa and Vegas combined)
Known copies contain the following Broadway revision: Broadway-1 (65nm, small package)
Basically not capable of installing Bootmii in the boot2

Wii Mini
RVO-CPU-01
Mainboard RVO-CPU-01 of a Wii Mini with Hollywood-2, the last known revision of Hollywood, as well as Broadway-1, manufactured at the beginning of 2013.

End of 2012 - 2013
Known copies contain one of the following Hollywood revisions: Hollywood-1 (65nm, Napa and Vegas combined), Hollywood-2 (45nm, Napa and Vegas combined).
Known copies contain the following Broadway revision: Broadway-1 (65nm, small package)
Basically not capable of installing Bootmii in the boot2




So,if the MX Chip is programmed with the GameCube Stuff,the Non GameCube Wii "turns" into a GameCube compatible Wii ?

Your Thoughts please ?
Thank you.:)
IIRC every Wii has the software capability of running GC games natively, some of them are just missing the ports, as well as missing MIOS but that can be installed. With Nintendont of course, you can use any controller and it doesn't depend on GC support as it runs in Wii mode, so it's kind of a moot point anyway.
 
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N7Kopper

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IIRC every Wii has the software capability of running GC games natively, some of them are just missing the ports, as well as missing MIOS but that can be installed. With Nintendont of course, you can use any controller and it doesn't depend on GC support as it runs in Wii mode, so it's kind of a moot point anyway.
It's still an interesting theorycrafting dive and a learning exercise. Nintendont is great for the end user, but tinkerers gonna tinker, and engineers gonna engineer.

The thing I find ironic really is that the whole "make GameCube games forwards compatible with the Wii" idea was pioneered by a guy who was extremely anti-piracy for out-of-print retro games, yet Devolution never worked with original discs, while the piracy supporting Nintendont does. That's why nobody remembers Devolution anymore.
 
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It's still an interesting theorycrafting dive and a learning exercise. Nintendont is great for the end user, but tinkerers gonna tinker, and engineers gonna engineer.

The thing I find ironic really is that the whole "make GameCube games forwards compatible with the Wii" idea was pioneered by a guy who was extremely anti-piracy for out-of-print retro games, yet Devolution never worked with original discs, while the piracy supporting Nintendont does. That's why nobody remembers Devolution anymore.
Realistically I think what most people wanted from Devolution was warez loading, the number of people who actually wanted to use discs are probably in a minority as USB loading is so much more convenient anyways, there is no reason not to use it.
I bet tueidj got endless requests to enable warez loading, and probably little support considering the console hacking scene is mostly pirates, so he didn't have much incentive to continue working on and improving Devolution and ended up just quietly exiting the scene.
Devolution was impressive for its time but it was quite a hassle to set up especially on the family edition Wii or the Wii U which couldn't recognize GameCube discs without hardware modifications so you needed an older Wii to do the setup.
I own most of the GC games I like so I was going to go through the setup for each of them to get them working with Devolution on my Wii U but I just couldn't be bothered with all that hassle. And that's probably half of the reason why it wasn't more popular, the other being the anti-piracy.
 
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