Part VI – Final Testing and Closing Up
Alright, we’re on the home stretch! At this point we should be nearly all wired up and our components secured in place. Now it’s time to go through a quick punch list to make sure everything is good to go before we close up the system. The most important part of this process is to make sure that your power leads are wired up correctly. The 3.3V and 12V lines cannot get mixed up as this is the easiest way to brick the N64. Granted by now this should have been tested shortly after finishing up the Cart Slot, just make sure your voltages are in check.
- Testing Power, A/V, Controller and Checking All Connections
While the system is still open, now is the time to systematically test all the major categories of the system. Again, everything begins with power and making sure your connections to the batteries and wall power are wired up correctly. Once you’ve confirmed everything has been wired up correctly, move on to checking the Audio/Video and insure you have sound coming out of both speakers, the headphone jack and make sure you’re getting a clear picture from the screen. Once the A/V checks out, thoroughly test the controller’s functionality, making sure all buttons fire as they are supposed to and make sure the buttons themselves are secure and won’t fall out.
- Reinforcing Solder Joints and Wire Connections
After the testing has been complete, reinforcing weak solder joints or wire connections need to be done. Hot glue works for this purpose quite well because there is no real stress that is involved in holding thin wires down. You can use more permanent methods like Epoxy or super glue, but I tend to stick with hot glue just in case I have to remove a wire or do some rework. Then make sure you coat the pins on the cart slot very well to relieve the strain on the solder joints. You can do this on the N64 Mobo as well for the cart wires.
- Adhering The Cart Cover
Once you’re confident the cart slot is good to go, adhering the cart cover is a fairly easy process. What I like to do so is take a small amount of goop and dab it on the inside edge of the cart cover, line up the cover and let the goop set. This will “tack” it in place so that you can then go back with an extended q-tip or some kind applicator and then hit the entire perimeter of the cart cover with goop. This will lock it in place after it sets.
- Closing Up and Play Testing