MobiusStripTech
Posts: 23
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Re: N64 HDMI converter thread

Tue Apr 04, 2017 9:13 pm

You could definitely have bridging under the ribbon. I have seen that before. The RCP connects to the board using a trace with minimal pad. Lifting the cable can be done without damage but it's not easy. The best way I have found is to use a hot air station and slowly lift.
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MRKane
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Re: N64 HDMI converter thread

Tue Apr 04, 2017 9:25 pm

I'd not thought of bridging under the ribbon either...can it stand up to heat from the gun? I lifted and checked one last night and did it by slowly heating the solder at one side and then releasing it gradually. I'll be doing a bloody good check with the microscope by the sounds of things and trying to spot anything stand-out or obvious.

Describing the symptoms of both: they both have no signal on the video out. I'm also now wondering what the HDMI board would make of this situation but don't want to risk damage to the board as consoles are a pittance in comparison. Will definately get back to the forum with my troubleshooting! 8-)

MobiusStripTech
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Re: N64 HDMI converter thread

Tue Apr 04, 2017 9:27 pm

I have a hot air rework station and it held up just fine. I had to lift one for a customer recently. He managed to break off the RCP pins. Just like using the iron though, you have to be careful and don't linger.
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MRKane
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Re: N64 HDMI converter thread

Thu Apr 06, 2017 4:30 pm

So we all want a follow up right? :) One of the first projects I was given was soldering old ram chips onto a PCB - the basic premise being "if it doesn't work, you've done something wrong. Go back, check it, fix it, try again. Eliminate each problem, and do it again"...we've been doing that!

I spent ages agonising over what I could have done wrong, looking at it under microscopes, checking connections, but it wasn't until I tried it late at night that I spotted the problem - there was a tiny arc happening occasionally between a couple of the pins on both consoles. After two days of repeated cleaning and drying I've managed to get one of the two consoles running, albeit with a flickering image and stuttering sound (inductance from a slightly offset but not contacting ribbon?). Doing a quick test I confirmed the problem was the strange brand of liquid flux that I purchased after I ran out of my other stuff - for whatever reason it wasn't cleaning up, or was somehow leaving a film that wasn't immediately visible (and I've made a cool little micro-sparky thing out of an old chip of ram).

That done, I guess this brings me to the next question which is: what's the hardiness of the N64 RCP? Is there a possibility that shorts like these have caused damage, or is it more that I keep cleaning hoping it'll come right? I'm not super-familiar with this part of the hardware, but in general have found the N64 to be a very flaky system.

MobiusStripTech
Posts: 23
Joined: Thu Jan 05, 2017 6:30 pm

Re: N64 HDMI converter thread

Thu Apr 06, 2017 8:05 pm

From what I have seen they are fairly resilient, but it also depends on what pins were being bridged.
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MRKane
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Re: N64 HDMI converter thread

Thu Apr 06, 2017 8:18 pm

It appeared to be the ones immediately in the gaps of the FCC ribbon. I'm going to assume they were VCC (mainly because they were earthing) but I'd suspect the black screen is because the output is earthing too much to become a proper signal.

It's good to know they're pretty hardy, and I've usually only had the unit on for a small burst to see if it's working so hopefully it won't have caused damage. Thank you so much for the trouble-shooting, I've got one more ribbon and HDMI mod which I might try putting in with the new flux I've picked up, and see how that goes!

So another update: The second unit (the totally dead one) I went through with a fine toothed comb, and then found two pins that were bridged. For the life of me I couldn't see any bridging there but remembered what you'd said about the solder potentially bridging under the FCC so went ahead and tried cutting between the pins with a scapel. It turned out that was the problem and I was able to reflow and wick out the errant solder with a dry iron. Thank you so much for that hint - I'd have not made any sense if you'd not mentioned that!

God what a mess of blues this whole thing has been - and I've still got one more to do lol

EDIT:
So one is stable, the other runs for about five minutes before glitching and then stopping - if anything it'll be a pertinent reminder about how to do things properly! God what a mess this has turned into.

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marshallh
Site Admin
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Re: N64 HDMI converter thread

Mon May 01, 2017 9:45 am

Anybody have interest in a preset/slot system for storing a few saved presets?
What would be the min. number of slots that'd still be usable?

Honestly the biggest problem is re-arranging the menu so everything fits :)
Maybe have a few slots that are pre-named? Like "Casual, Streaming, etc"

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Tim.
Posts: 35
Joined: Wed Aug 27, 2014 11:56 am

Re: N64 HDMI converter thread

Mon May 01, 2017 10:58 am

Yes! For the most part the only preset I change from time-to-time is disabling scanlines. I find that on some games the scanlines sort of produces a stuttering effect. I believe Worms Armageddon was one where this happens. Having the ability to easily switch would be a nice feature.

MobiusStripTech
Posts: 23
Joined: Thu Jan 05, 2017 6:30 pm

Re: N64 HDMI converter thread

Mon May 01, 2017 11:00 am

It might be a cool feature. The biggest use case would probably be for swapping the scanlines as mentioned.
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RdCrestdBreegull
Posts: 16
Joined: Thu Jun 11, 2015 1:37 pm

Re: N64 HDMI converter thread

Mon May 01, 2017 11:16 am

That would be awesome! I would have a preset for no blank lines, thick blank lines, and thin blank lines (all tied in with other appropriate settings).

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