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Modding Wii Project: Black Swordsman Update 08-07-18 Wiimotes

Discussion in 'Modding' started by Hazer, 4 Jun 2008.

  1. Hazer

    Hazer In time,you too will be relixalated

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    Greetings fellow enthusiasts! I decided I wanted to share the progress of my current project. I have a Wii that I have been staring at for quite awhile thinking of how 'bland' it is. Sadly enough, I have spent much more time imagining different ways to mod it more than I have played it. First was the theme. I am a moderate anime watcher, but my passion goes straight to Berserk. Yes, I do like hack-and-slash anime, but Berserk is much more than your average blood-letter. The character development in this series was amazing. And now I am one of the thousands of fans who wish Miura Kentarou would get off his high horse and that the anime developing houses would step up and continue this story line.

    So....yes....I like the series.
    [​IMG] [​IMG]


    I finally decided on a few basics and have since moved into what I consider a fairly aggressive make-over for my Wii. First off, I have practically no time to lend to projects anymore as it is. I have yet to update the Microcontroller site in over a year. I have been too busy enjoying watching my son grow-up and establishing a home here in Florida. So a key factor is to try and keep material handling to a minimum. If it can be purchased to save some time, thats what will happen.

    On that premise, the old case goes. I had decided to get the red chrome replacement case and I was going to cut a couple of windows into it. But it occured to me that instead of cutting and gluing windows, I could get the ii-case and cover it with one of those vinyl kits. I have a grand reasoning for doing this other than to make things easier...

    I will explain soon enough, but lets see some pics: Clear plastic always needs to be etched. The only bad limitation to etching is your image turns out to be monotone. Have you ever had an image you wanted in your window, but did not want to lose the effect that certain colors from it portray? Here is one of my favorite tricks: Transparency.
    [​IMG] [​IMG]

    The fun part is choosing certain aspects of the image and transferring that to the plastic:
    [​IMG] [​IMG]

    I am not an artist. But I can stay in the lines...with a little help ;)
    [​IMG] [​IMG]

    [​IMG] [​IMG]

    The one thing I have learned from clear plastic and lighting etches with LEDs is to always light from the edges. Edge lighting is soooo much more effective than spot lighting. Once you see the difference, you just cannot justify spot-lighting ever again. But the problem here is that the case thickness is roughly 2.5mm and my LEDs are 3mm :duh:. Also, the most common practice I have used is to drill the holes in the edge and glue the LEDs right into the hole. In effect, the entire sheet of plexi/polycarbonite becomes a light guide. In order to get my LEDs into the plane of the case wall, I had to drill an oblong hole for each LED. The LEDs were then shaved down to the same thickness and IPS-4 glued sideways into these holes.
    [​IMG] [​IMG]

    Afterwards, the printed transparency is afixed and the vinyl skin is layed over, creating the window. The test images do not give enough credit though. The red chrome is also very impressive.
    [​IMG] [​IMG]

    The next image is a daylight shot without the flash, and a night shot for comparison.
    [​IMG] [​IMG]

    Now you can see why I ditched the idea of painting the original case, or getting the other case and cutting the window. I cannot get the red chrome effect with paint, and lighting just a window would not be nearly as impressive as the edge lighting on all of the corners/molded edges of a completely clear case. I am covering all of the open faces of the case with the vinyl skin, but leaing all edges/lines exposed so that the LEDs will high-light all of the edges.

    As a sidenote: This is my first documented project. All of my previous work has been on cases I have built for other people and quite frankly did not have the time to properly document anything. I also never went all out on any of those projects. I already have designs for my own cases, but the complexity is way deeper than I have time to get into on any kind of a regular basis. With this project, I can already see the end by the time I started it and I can justify the time that way.

    I have placed this in general modding since actual project logs require an actual PC as the subject.

    Coming soon: Mounted LCD and internal surgery. :thumb:
     
    Last edited: 19 Jul 2008
  2. 500mph

    500mph The Right man in the Wrong place

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    I see no pictures...
    Sounds nice though..
     
  3. Hazer

    Hazer In time,you too will be relixalated

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    My ISP account must have a really low limit :wallbash:

    Fixed.
     
  4. 500mph

    500mph The Right man in the Wrong place

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    It highlights the sword rather well.
     
  5. Hazer

    Hazer In time,you too will be relixalated

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    Update: I have alot of wiring to do. One of the bigggest attractions of this project will be a 20X4 LCD mounted in the top/side of the Wii. I have a CrystalFontz red LCD that I had inverted awhile ago so it is red text on dark blue background. This will go well with the red chrome effect. The problem is that if you have ever seen the inside of a Wii, there is literally no room in there. To make things even more difficult, the backlight draws nearly 200mA which I did not want drawn off the 5V bus. The powercord powersupply runs 12VDC into the back, so I decided to use a 5V regulator to provide the backlight power. The case LEDs have also been wired to use the 12V bus. Now I have to use a tiny relay to only have these lights on when the Wii turns on:

    [​IMG] [​IMG]
    By rhayes33

    [​IMG] [​IMG]

    [​IMG] [​IMG]

    Now to fit the LCD into the top of the case:
    [​IMG] [​IMG]

    The LCD has maybe 2mm of thickness to it, but I have less than that for space. I had to cut out the heatsink shroud to make it fit:
    [​IMG] [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    Now to try and finish the wiring...
    [​IMG] [​IMG]

    [​IMG] [​IMG]

    And finally a quick power test to see if everything wired correctly:
    [​IMG] [​IMG]

    The whole time I was soldering all of this together, I kept imagining the worst. To see the LEDs light up without any magic smoke released from the tiny black boxes was a true relief.

    I am hoping that this weekend I can get the etching done on the top of the case.
     
  6. Hazer

    Hazer In time,you too will be relixalated

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    More work done:

    Drilled and tapped the mounting holes for the LCD.
    [​IMG] [​IMG]
    By rhayes33


    I plan to shape a circular 'window' out of the red chrome. This image was the best monotone Berserk art I could find, and I am really looking forward to the face:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG] [​IMG]

    It came out rather well. I did a test etch on some scrap and decided that by cutting more into the plastic for the face gave it some 3-d depth:
    [​IMG] [​IMG]

    Props to Imageshack for the free hosting :thumb:

    The enxt step is to glue in some more sideways LEDs and solder them up. Then all I have left is applying the skin to the top....and more work on the front face.....and I also have some work on the controllers. This may be longer than I thought.
     
  7. idzver

    idzver What's a Dremel?

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    how long did that take?:clap:
     
  8. Hazer

    Hazer In time,you too will be relixalated

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    So far, the modding has taken about 24 hours over the past 3 weeks. I hope to finish in the next 3, if all goes well.
     
  9. charlesbeams

    charlesbeams TRANCEFORMer

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    :thumb: woo Berserk. looks awesome
     
  10. Hazer

    Hazer In time,you too will be relixalated

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    More work done:

    I have drilled the holes for the LEDs and glued them in:
    [​IMG] [​IMG]

    By rhayes33 at 2008-06-15

    There was one place I made my first mistake. I was using superglue to 'fill' in some of the extra space to reduce the occurance of bubbles on the vinyl skin.
    [​IMG]

    I managed to buff most of it out. You can still see the outline of the puddle real close. I still managed to finish up the wiring for the LEDs though.
    [​IMG] [​IMG]

    A preview of the lighting. It amazes me that this lights up so well in full daylight.
    [​IMG]

    I managed to squeeze enough time in this weekend to get some preliminary skin work also:
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    A few small bubbles are present, but I am going to give the skin some time to settle and then use a hairdrier to shrink out anything that stays. I did this on the bottom side and it came out well.

    I still have a little wiring left to do for the DVD slot and all of the skin work for the little pieces. I also have the clear base and I have been toying with the idea of lighting that as well. I have the same skins for it, but I am not sure I want to use blue LEDs for the base. I was toying with idea of using red LEds and cutting/etching out the Sacrifice Brand on the front. I remember seeing a Wii mod where someone used a switch to actuate the lighting of a Wii base. I was thinking I might custom mount tabs to the bottom of the Wii (just like a phone cradle) so that the LEDs are lit only if the Wii was nested in the base. I need to find an old phone or something else that cradle charges to get parts.....
     
  11. Hazer

    Hazer In time,you too will be relixalated

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    I am getting closer to finished. I started on the front face.

    [​IMG] [​IMG]

    I also glued another LED for the DVD gate:

    [​IMG]


    So now I have enough to start assembling the case. I finished some more of the skin detailing.

    [​IMG] [​IMG]

    Now that the Wii can stand up again, I am beginning to dislike how the bottom window ended up. There are 'humps' where the LEDs were glued in. And there is that transition where the skin meets the transparency. To be honest, most vinyl skin I have worked with was thicker mil than this. I have decided to order some more Red Chrome vinyl in a roll. I plan to re-print the transparecny, but I will glue the entire transparency onto the bottom, and cover that with the vinyl afterwards for a bubble-free and seemless finish.

    [​IMG]

    I am not completely finished with the inside, I have some work still left. But for now, its nice to get a pre-view of the lighting:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    I plan some more work on the base this weekend. I also have some SMD LEDs coming tomorrow for the controller mods. And I still have to find suitable contact tabs for powering the base LEDs.

    I thank you for the comments thus far.
     
  12. Cheapskate

    Cheapskate Insane? or just stupid?

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    Awesome.:D
     
  13. airchie

    airchie What's a Dremel?

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    Hehe, mod looks cool but the name sounds like an african porn star. :D
     
  14. Hazer

    Hazer In time,you too will be relixalated

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    LOL. :hehe:
     
  15. Stonewall78

    Stonewall78 What's a Dremel?

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    Do you have the LCD hooked up to your own micro or is it connected to a mod chip (I haven't seen any with LCD support).
     
  16. Hazer

    Hazer In time,you too will be relixalated

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    I have it hooked up to a PIC microcontroller. It allows me to read out the gameID of the disc, but it is not a modchip.
     
  17. Hazer

    Hazer In time,you too will be relixalated

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    July 7, 2008. Time to work on the base. I decided to go with red LEDs. I am hoping the contrast would work nicely. So, more drilling and filing and glueing......

    [​IMG]

    I wanted to get the Brand on the front face, so a little etching to help it glow.

    [​IMG]

    Now, the problem I have been facing is that the vinyl is sooo thin anything underneath it shows. I have tried using superglue as a filler and sanding down to get rid of bumps and bubbles where the LEDs get glued in, but it still does not get 100% flat. I have used sign vinyl in the past that was like 7-10 mil and that was what I was expecting when I ordered this kit. I even searched at getting some rolled red chrome vinyl and cutting it myself, but I could not find anything better than 3 mil thick. So here is something I decided to try. I adhered the vinyl skin to some transparency that is pretty sturdy thickness, and plan to use some spray adhesive to bond that to the case.

    [​IMG] [​IMG]

    [​IMG] [​IMG]

    Its not bad. One of the corners did not adhere completely, but since the transparency is so thick, it stays in place anyway. I plan to redo the back/bottom side (showing the sword) since I cannot stand seeing the edges bump out like they do.

    The LEDs do thier job nicely. Only problem is, I try to sit the Wii on its stand and completely brain-farted on if the LCD was in the way. :duh: Time for some more dremel action. :dremel:

    [​IMG] [​IMG]

    I have seen people use USB cables as a way to light thier base. This of course will not do. I did some research beforehand and saw one Wii mod where a guy used either a switch or hidden connections to make the lights only go on when the Wii was in the stand. So I dug around in the closet for an old cordless phone and base charger and raped the necessary parts.

    [​IMG] [​IMG]

    [​IMG] [​IMG]

    So I glued and wired the tabs to the Wii's case and the LEDs to the press tabs on the base. Now the base will only get its power from the Wii when it sits in the stand. The resistor for the LEDs is inside the Wii so that if the contacts on the outside ever get shorted, it just draws a little power through the resistor. No worries about burning it up.

    While I had the case open again, I tapped some holes for better fitting and also tied the ii-chameleon lights to the PIC also. The pre-packaged LEDs are under the heatsink for the drive and have different modes switching from 7 colors (inc white) and fading all of them by pressing a button in the back. I wired the button directly to the PIC and now the modes can be changed by either the button, or by changing discs.

    [​IMG] [​IMG]

    At this point, I only have finishing touches left for the case itself. The controllers are the next big step. But I am wondering if lighting on this has gotten to the point of overboard......
     
  18. Stonewall78

    Stonewall78 What's a Dremel?

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    Mind sharing that info? I have a ton of micros and LCD's ready for such a project.
    I don't think the lighting is overkill and if it is why not just make it all overkill to tie it all together.
     
  19. Hazer

    Hazer In time,you too will be relixalated

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    I would love to post the code for this, but the problem is that it could very easily be used to bypass copyright protections. I dont mind sharing that I got the interface from the 'homebrew' scene.

    Remember the Dreamcast? It had an LCD VMU memory card that displayed things about the game while you played it. Different pics would display on the little LCD particular to the game that was loaded at the time. That is what inspired me to link the game title to this LCD. In order to get it done though, I had to borrow someone elses code. And since I dont exactly want the DMCA raiding my house over a case mod, I dont feel comfortable about posting the code I used since it can easily be used for illegal activities. That said:

    Y ou can
    A lways look around the internet
    O vertly
    S earching for techinques that
    M ay work for you.

    B ut I warn you that performing this mod will
    E xplicitly void your warantee
    L ike it or not.
    L ook at your own risk.

    There is constant NEWZ about the WII.
     
  20. Stonewall78

    Stonewall78 What's a Dremel?

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    Ahh I haven't looked at that project in awhile and didn't know they added and LCD. There was even xbox mods that added LCD's back in the day. I can't say I have ever owned a dreamcast but I have seen the million things that people have done with them.
     
    Last edited: 9 Jul 2008

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