Wednesday, 11 September 2013

Two Nintendo items have arrived!

An expansion pack

And one of my favourite all time multiplayer games

I have never played the N64 version - hope it's good!

Replace a dead SNES cart battery

Gutted. Me and my wife had a marathon super Mario world game, switched on the next day and - no save :-( dead cart battery. So I bought a batch of 8 cr2032 battery holders on eBay for £2. Thought if you're going to replace a cart battery, may as well make it easy to change in the future.

First unsolder dead battery :

Use a solder sucker to clean holes out, the battery holder will fit right in!

Make sure to get positive and negative the right way round. Positive is on the right in this photo toward the centre of the cart.

Make sure all joints are good and solid, shove in a battery and enjoy!

Thursday, 5 September 2013

The N64 from France (NUS-001(FRA)) was in excellent condition, all items individually packaged and it arrived in 4 days! Amazing.

Also in the mail were a set of Nintendo security bits and a couple of carts - handy!

First step was to open the N64 up and remove the board - ive never opened a N64 - I was shocked by the number of screws!

Next locate the rare S-RGB chip, this is the chip the outputs amplified RGB - it is not present in any PAL model, except the NUS-001(FRA), the reason I had to have this console from France!

I solder 4 wires, R(red), G(green), B(blue) and Black for Sync, these are soldered directly to the S-RGB chip outputs.

Next, flip the board over, the next step is to connect these wires to the correct outputs on the N64 AV port - connecting them this way "the standard nintendo way" will allow you to use a regular SNES RGB cable without modifying it. Nice.

Each RGB line will require a 75ohm resistor (to stop the picture blowing out), I soldered the resistors first, straight to the PCB pins on the AV port

Next cut the trace to the sync on the board (see the bad job on the V Sync trace) add heat shrink and solder the correct RGB signals from the chip to the AV Output

Thats it - job done! Reassemble the N64, plug into a SNES RGB Cable and enjoy!

I have to say the picture is AMAZING! Colours are bright and vibrant. There is NO interference caused by contrasting colours, everything is sharper! Perfect!

I took a couple of snaps of Zelda, before mod and after - unfortunately the photo's haven't come out very well (iphone camera). Ill use the SLR and get some better photo's another day, as now im off to enjoy the best possible picture quality on a PAL N64.

Total cost : £40 for french N64, 3 games, 1 controller, £1.24 for resistors. 

Quest completed :-)

Composite video:

RGB video:

A package from France....

Has arrived at my home!

I will be taking it apart tonight. Nearly RGB time ;-)

Monday, 2 September 2013

Quest for a PAL RGB Nintendo 64!

15 years ago, I went into Game in my lunch break and bought a Nintendo 64. It was a PAL UK model, I also bought a scart cable assuming I would get lovely RGB video from the new console.

I got home set it up, how wrong was I? The picture was terrible, after research it came to light that PAL N64's only outputted via shitty composite and even shittier UHF.

Even the previous SNES console was capable of outputting RGB. God knows why someone in Nintendo thought it would be a good idea to remove RGB from the console. Anyway...

The N64 was returned the next day for a full refund. That was the end of my adventures with a N64 until yesterday.

While sifting through the box's of consoles and computers for the new games room, I came across my wife's N64.

We cleaned her up (the console) plugged her in and the wife played Zelda for a few hours (over UHF!) I couldn't stand the picture, so off I go on the hunt for a RGB modifiable console.

After a little research it came to light that not one UK PAL console can be modified for RGB output. USA ones can (by tapping the RGB signal and then feeding it through a home made video amp) - but then we would need to re-purchase all the games from America. 

I want a PAL RGB Console!

When launched in France, the N64 (model number - NUS-001(FRA)) was released with some RGB components intact (RGB output was disabled, but this rare console contains the S-RGB-A chip, we can tap RGB signals from this chip). As supplies of the NUS-001(FRA) ran low, Nintendo France released the EUR console (Unmodified-able - same as the UK model). 

Today, I scoured eBay FR for N64 consoles and picked up a NUS-001(FRA) model with three games, one control pad and power pack for £40 delivered. Not bad at all!

My quest for the Nintendo 64 that should have been, but never was has begun....