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Game Console Mods

dDave

Well-Known Member
V.I.P.
Anybody ever mod a game console before? I'm not quite to that point but I am gearing up for it.

I'm going to be performing two mods.

1. N64 RGB nondestructive Mod

2. GameCube NTSC/JAP switch mod. (I'm getting an imported orange GameCube for this one)


These require soldering work. Not really all that hard but you do have to be careful.

The N64 mod is necessary because it makes N64 look good on HDTVs (considering what it was originally supposed to look like on CRT televisions). It requires using a sync on luma scart cable and converting the signal to HDMI. Scart was never a standard for America.

Anyone ever do anything like this?
 

Crouton

Ninja
V.I.P.
I've never done it, but I have a friend who has.

One thing that always stopped me from doing any console modding is that once you mod it the warranty etc is gone, and a lot of repair places won't repair them.
 

dDave

Well-Known Member
V.I.P.
I'm modding hardware that is well beyond the warranty anyway.

Also, if a GameCube or N64 breaks then I'll just get another one, they're dirt cheap these days due to modern Nintendo consoles, HDTVs, and Virtual Console.

The way I see it, it's a good way to have some fun and make my hardware better in the process. :)
 

Crouton

Ninja
V.I.P.
Dirt cheap? You're lucky. Here all the old consoles are becoming extremely expensive to buy, due to so many collectors trying to buy them for nostalgia etc. Trading and collecting in old consoles and games has become a very pricey business. I thought about getting into it once but then decided it wasn't worth the money for me at the time. But I may consider it again one day.

But yeah it's worth modding for fun with old consoles I guess. As you said they are too old to still be under warranty anyway.
 

dDave

Well-Known Member
V.I.P.
The consoles themselves are reasonably cheap here. The games are becoming insanely expensive though. Luckily, I already own most of the games I like as I've been collecting for years. Accessories such as controllers aren't terrible to acquire but if you want most any other first party accessory then you'll have to fork over serious cash.

Expensive accessories.
-N64 DD
-N64 Hori Mini Pad
-GC Component Cable
-GC Broadband Adapter
-GC GameBoy Player (especially the disc)


The GameCube component cable is especially bad. You could literally get a Wii U for the price of that cable.
 

Smelnick

Creeping On You
V.I.P.
I've never modded a console, but I have taken my 360 apart a few times. The disc drive is failing and so if it gets even a bit dirty, it can't read the discs. So occasionally I have to take the console apart, and take the drive apart, and clean all the dust off the gears and what not. I hardly ever use my 360 anymore anyways since i have a ps4, but yah lol.
 

dDave

Well-Known Member
V.I.P.
I've never modded a console, but I have taken my 360 apart a few times. The disc drive is failing and so if it gets even a bit dirty, it can't read the discs. So occasionally I have to take the console apart, and take the drive apart, and clean all the dust off the gears and what not. I hardly ever use my 360 anymore anyways since i have a ps4, but yah lol.
This is a common problem with a lot of game consoles. The laser eye went bad in my first gamecube years ago and I had to open the thing up and replace it.

I'm also considering fixing the red ring of death on a 360 I picked up for $10 a few years ago. I'm not at all uncomfortable with any part of the process but I'm also not sure if it's worth about $20 and some of my time to do it.
 

Konshentz

Konshentz
Nah, I've never done it. And probably never will. I don't own any of the old consoles and I'm with Crou on not wanting to screw up my warranty on the newer ones.

I had to take my PS3 apart because it was so full of dust bunnies. But that was only a few weeks before I got my PS4, so who cares if the warranty was gone or I killed it. Haha.
 

dDave

Well-Known Member
V.I.P.
Newer consoles don't really need modification though. A modern console does everything it needs to do but you can get software fixes to do things it was not originally intended for (such as the Homebrew channel on the Wii)

With the older stuff there's actually a problem.

When your best possible option is to run one of these...



It's kind of a problem. That's S-Video. Many TVs today don't even support this connection. It's pretty bad but definitely far superior to...



^that cable. That's a composite cable (they're extremely common for older Nintendo consoles) and no matter what you do, whatever you're running on a cable like this is going to look terrible. This is the common option for running the following consoles...

Sega Genesis (actually, most run RF which is even worse)
Sega Saturn
Sega Dreamcast
PlayStation 1
PlayStation 2 (component cables available but not common)
NES
SNES
N64
Gamecube (component cables are EXTREMELY expensive)
Wii (shipped with composite cables, component cables are super cheap right now though)

Some of these consoles have other options available but the good cables are expensive now and most do not have any options that look acceptable on an HDTV. That leaves us with modding.

Let's look at the N64 RGB mod which is kind of my original motivation in posting this thread anyway.

RGB is a pure video signal that the N64 produces but does not output natively. PAL users most likely know what this is. It technically outputs S-video natively but it doesn't look good, especially since most S-video cables are made incorrectly and produce dot crawl and checkerboards.

Here's the N64 RGB mod installed....



It's actually quite simple, it requires soldering four wires (R, G, B, and power) from the motherboard to an amplifier chip and then soldering four more wires to the output (R, G, B, and ground.) That's the full extent of the mod.

To actually use this mod you need a Sync on Luma Scart Cable. (unless you're daring enough to install a composite sync to your N64).



Obviously, HDTVs in America don't accept a signal like this so it has to be converted over to HDMI.




And suddenly you have a picture quality on your N64 that looks incredible instead of crappy. It's the best possible picture you can get from your N64. You can still output composite from your N64 if you really want to even with this mod installed.

It's not the cheapest thing you can do but N64 is my favorite console so it's definitely something I'll use a lot.
 

dDave

Well-Known Member
V.I.P.
I got the last thing I need in the mail today to do the region switch mod on the Orange Gamecube.

I'm probably going to do it tomorrow. Really looking forward to it, it seems like the kind of thing that will be really fun to do.
 
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