Part V – Controller and Control Stick Wiring
- Wiring RDC’s miNi64 V2.1 Controller Board
Traditionally, a portable system had to use a first or third party controller and its main motherboard which 9 times out of 10 would have to be trimmed to fit. Not only that, depending on how small you made it, you’d have most likely trimmed the contact pads forcing you to scratch off the solder mask on the traces and wire directly too them. Cumbersome and risky anyway you slice it and it was normally a big sticking point for kits like this in the past.
So a few years ago, RDC came up with a solution to that, which is basically an advanced breakout board that takes all the components off an original N64 controller board and moves them to this board which is much smaller than the original PCB, has clean test points to solder too, is case mountable and makes wiring up a memory card a much simpler process.
For the kit we took that concept a bit further, adding a generic low-profile CLK and mounting holes specific to this kit. All-in-all this PCB saves a huge chunk of time in the prep & assembly process’ by offering a clearly labeled layout and easy mounting without the trimming, scraping and rewiring of the original controllers.
On top of RDC’s N64 Controller Board, we’ve also included custom PCBs for all the buttons and control stick which are easily mounted into the case. These are designed to use either TL-9000 soft push tact switches or rubber contact pads, however those are not available as of yet and TL-9000’s will be supplied in the kit.
Though things are pretty well labeled as to what goes where, the diagrams below are color coded to correspond with the test point on the controller board and the test points on the tact boards.
- Wiring The PS3 Control Stick to RDC’s miNi64 V2.1
The control stick is also wired to a custom breakout board which is then in turn wired to controller board. The control stick board is reversible and can be used for a left or right stick board, so make sure you have the Left Stick silk screen facing up and the pot soldered to the opposite side. Remember you’ll have two wires for the “+” and “-” pads so plan accordingly to make a clean joint.
- Wiring The Memory Card to RDC’s miNi64 V2.1 (optional)
Though personally I didn’t play many games that required a memory card, in the interest of having a fully compatible system, wiring up the memory card is the last step of the process. The controller board makes it pretty easy, but it will still take some time to do just because there are 32 wires to cut, strip, tin and solder. But again, the guess work is taken out of it and wiring one pin at a time will get the job done.
Now there is enough room in the casing that no trimming is needed on this board, however if you wanted to save some space, you could wire right to the chip or vias, but it’s not necessary and if you’re not 100% confident in your skills, I would recommend trimming. The contacts a wide enough to get a good solid joint using 30AWG wire.
The pics below are credit to Element18592 a.k.a “The Mod Shop” who used the STL files for the Northwood version of these N64p’s that were available on My Mini Factory and to my knowledge is the only one to have made one using it. He also used RDC’s controller board and did a great job of wiring the memory card to it so I figured his example will work best.