“Ultra VGA” Screen Upgrade Installed for my N64p

Posted: 05/19/2018 in Current Project, General News

So it’s been a little over a year since receiving my Ultra VGA conversion boards from Marshall and I was finally able to make use of one of them in my latest portable project a couple weeks ago. I’d been reluctant to try this mainly because of the fine solder work that it would require function. But after meeting Marshall at MGC and doing a bit more research into the process, I decided to give it a go with my latest portable.

Marshall was kind enough to send me two of the flex cables he sends with his Ultra HDMI upgrade kits which uses a similar user interface. So with this in hand, I at first thought the trickiest part of the install was going to be finding room for the VGA board itself inside the portable, but since the revisions with the new battery charger and smaller power switch, the board found a nice place to sit like it was meant for it. The challenge then became wiring the flex cable to the small RCP pins on the N64 itself. Though I’ve done fine soldering before, this was a bitch and required use of soldering techniques I’m not so practiced in. But, after torching the first cable, the second attempt went much smoother and with the Ultra VGA’s built-in “self-test” function, it told me which pins I’d missed or shorted, which after addressing then worked perfectly!

All in all I think the mod was worth the effort, though there is such a thing as “too clean” because being able to see every single pixel color so vividly on such an old console, pixelation becomes apparent. But honestly that’s fairly minor. What I’m now really interested in is building a portable N64 with a 7″ HDMI screen and using his Ultra HDMI mod in 720p. We’ll see if time and money allow for that to happen at some point but it has made it to the potential project list!

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