Mini Guide - How to install megalomaniac's MEGAudio board

Portables, case replacements, mods etc, all in here!
Post Reply
kel01
Posts: 149
Joined: Fri Feb 18, 2011 10:45 pm

Mini Guide - How to install megalomaniac's MEGAudio board

Post by kel01 » Wed Mar 06, 2013 3:20 pm

I received a MEGAudio board from megalomaniac and it took a bit of brainstorming of how and where to install it. I didn't mind because I enjoy doing challenging mods which you have to put a bit of thought into so this was the perfect mod for me to sink my teeth into.

Anyway I thought it would be a good idea to make a little guide on how and where I installed it for anyone interested in adding digital audio to their GameCube. The quality difference is noticeable if you have a good ear for that kind of thing for example different sounds played at the same time are a lot clearer and sound more separate from each other instead of slightly muffled together.


You will need to strip down the GC, remove the motherboard and turn it over so that you can see the A/V connector terminals like in the image below. I have marked the terminals in the image that you will need to connect the MEGAudio board to. There are only 5 wires to solder as you can see and the connections are also marked on the MEGAudio board so the next part is pretty straight forward.

Image

Cut 5 peices of wire about 25cm long to be on the safe side and then solder them to each of the points marked in the image above. When finished it should look something like the image below. Notice in the image below that I have used the hole which is already in the bottom right hand corner of all GC motherboards to route the wires through.

Image

Now turn the Motherboard over and then cut any excess wire and solder the ends of each wire into the corresponding terminals of the MEGAdio board so that it looks something like the image below.

Don't forget to solder 2 extra wires into the 5v and GND terminals of the MEGAudio board as shown in the image below, along with another wire which needs to be soldered to the OUT terminal of the MEGAudio board. These are for the optical connector and should be about 25cm long also.

Please ignore the red and black wires in the image below that go off to the left hand side. They are from a previous mod and could not be hidden for the purpose of the photo.

Image

In the images below I have put some heat shrink tubing over the MEGAudio board then shrunk it and glued it into place to make sure that there are no shorts between the motherboard components and the MEGAudio board. If you don't have any heat shrink tubing then wrapping the board in insulation tape should do the job just as well.

Image

Image

Continued in next post...
Attachments
DSCI0246.jpg
(91.9 KiB) Not downloaded yet
DSCI0245.jpg
(86.07 KiB) Not downloaded yet
DSCI0244.jpg
(100.75 KiB) Not downloaded yet
DSCI0243.jpg
(141.43 KiB) Not downloaded yet
DSCI0242new.jpg
(216.63 KiB) Not downloaded yet
Last edited by kel01 on Wed Mar 06, 2013 8:03 pm, edited 3 times in total.
kel01
Posts: 149
Joined: Fri Feb 18, 2011 10:45 pm

Re: Mini Guide - How to install megalomaniac's MEGAudio boar

Post by kel01 » Wed Mar 06, 2013 3:23 pm

Now you will need to drill a hole into the metal sielding that covers the top of the GC motherboard for the wires to come out of, like the one in the picture below that I had made a while ago for a previous mod. It may also be a good idea to add a grommet to the hole once drilled to keep the wires safe. Please ignore the wires coming out of the same hole with the white connectors on the ends as they are also from the same previous mod. It is the red, black and blues wires that we will be using.

You will need to be very careful when drilling any holes in the metal shielding as it is relatively weak and if the drill snags then you could end up spending quite a while straitening out the bent mess that the shielding has now become :( I should know, I spent the best part of an hour straightening mine out when it happened to me :roll:

Notice the rough square on the shielding for the power regulator board. That is where the optical connector will be going. I have made the suface rough to help the epoxy bond to it. It is totally up to you if you want to bother doing the same but it will give a more secure bond if you do.

Image

Next up is the back panel. You will need to cut the right most bar away from the air vent under the analog AV out connector hole like in the image below.

Image

Now use a file to roughen the surface on the back of the optical connector and get some high strength plastic epoxy like the one shown below.

Image

Use an optical cable to hold the optical connector in place with the back panel sandwiched between them using the hole that we made earlier by cutting some of the air vent away. Bend the pins of the optical connector toward the back panel to ensure that they don't get covered in epoxy and then apply a large blob of epoxy to the back of the optical connector.

Image

Now tightly hold the optical connector in place using the end of the optical cable and carefully push the back panel into place on the GameCube so that the epoxy on the back of the optical connector also touches the metal shielding of the GameCube's power regulator that I mentioned earlier. Hold tightly in place for about 5 min and then let go and leave for another 10-15 minutes before pulling the optical cable out of the connector, or as long as your prefered brand of epoxy takes to set. When set and the back panel is removed it should look something like this in the image below.

All you need to do now is cut the excess from the 3 wires that we connected to the MEGAudio board earlier and solder them to the terminals on the optical connector. I forgot to mark the image so the connections for the optical connector are from left to right: OUT, 5v and GND same as on the MEGAudio board but you can probably see that from the images anyway. Notice that I have also added a plug between the MEGAudio board and the optical connector. Again it is totally up to you if you want to do the same or not, it is just there so that I can easily disassemble my GameCube without needing to use a soldering iron.

As megalomaniac kindly pointed out in the post below, it is very important that you insulate the pins on the bottom of the optical connector once you have soldered the wires to them to make sure that they don't touch each other and accidentally fry the GameCube. I'll leave it up to you to decide the best way to insulate them being as though I haven't done it myself yet.

Image

Continued in next post...
Attachments
DSCI0277.jpg
(89.35 KiB) Not downloaded yet
DSCI0263.jpg
(59.27 KiB) Not downloaded yet
DSCI0257.jpg
(79.08 KiB) Not downloaded yet
DSCI0248.jpg
(58.94 KiB) Not downloaded yet
DSCI0247.jpg
(93.22 KiB) Not downloaded yet
Last edited by kel01 on Wed Mar 06, 2013 8:13 pm, edited 12 times in total.
kel01
Posts: 149
Joined: Fri Feb 18, 2011 10:45 pm

Re: Mini Guide - How to install megalomaniac's MEGAudio boar

Post by kel01 » Wed Mar 06, 2013 3:24 pm

...and here is the final picture with the back panel on to give an idea of how it will look once the GameCube is fully assembled.

Image
Attachments
DSCI0278.jpg
(71.4 KiB) Not downloaded yet
User avatar
megalomaniac
Posts: 2480
Joined: Sun Aug 21, 2011 5:33 am
Location: Drunk in Texas
Contact:

Re: Mini Guide - How to install megalomaniac's MEGAudio boar

Post by megalomaniac » Wed Mar 06, 2013 4:52 pm

WOW!!!!

very nice installation...
may also want to consider adding epoxy (or at least tape) to make sure those wires dont touch each other on the bottom of the connector..(second to last pic)
emu_kidid wrote: beer is like WD40 for megalomaniac's brain, gets the gears moving
>>> BadAssConsoles.com <<<

Image Image Image
kel01
Posts: 149
Joined: Fri Feb 18, 2011 10:45 pm

Re: Mini Guide - How to install megalomaniac's MEGAudio boar

Post by kel01 » Wed Mar 06, 2013 7:17 pm

That's a good point megalomaniac, I can't believe I missed that :o

All it would take is for the wires to be pushed around a little while putting the GC back together and it could very easily make those pins short with each other. I'm going to add this to the guide. Thanks for letting me know.
User avatar
Anticonformity11
Posts: 10
Joined: Thu Jan 31, 2013 6:40 pm

Re: Mini Guide - How to install megalomaniac's MEGAudio boar

Post by Anticonformity11 » Thu Mar 21, 2013 1:54 am

Thanks for posting this, it really helped me out during installation. I tested the audio before I put the epoxy on, but I couldn't hear a big difference from analog on the Wind Waker Title screen. Can't wait to actually test during gameplay on different games, I'm sure it will sound great!
User avatar
ChristianMswanson
Posts: 6
Joined: Sun Aug 04, 2013 9:58 pm

Re: Mini Guide - How to install megalomaniac's MEGAudio boar

Post by ChristianMswanson » Tue Aug 06, 2013 6:07 am

Here is the biggest question.. Would making it have Fiber Optic capability make it quadraphonic or 5.1? or would it just stay stereo? I understand what pro logic does by creating a matrix from two channels into 5.1 but since it is not DD they are not separate channels of sound. I read the GC doesnt support DD so im essentially questioning the validity of going through the trouble of installing Optic sound when the difference is only minor, as well as im told that it slows down game play 100ms or so...

but in all honesty ive had my ps2 hooked up with fiber optic since day one mostly due to the fact i used it as a dvd player for a long time :P

im still interested in this mod but again.. is it worth it?
User avatar
Drakon
Posts: 86
Joined: Thu Jun 13, 2013 2:55 am
Location: Toronto Canada
Contact:

Re: Mini Guide - How to install megalomaniac's MEGAudio boar

Post by Drakon » Tue Aug 06, 2013 12:27 pm

Going fiber optic automatically makes it 800.7.
User avatar
megalomaniac
Posts: 2480
Joined: Sun Aug 21, 2011 5:33 am
Location: Drunk in Texas
Contact:

Re: Mini Guide - How to install megalomaniac's MEGAudio boar

Post by megalomaniac » Tue Aug 06, 2013 5:01 pm

ChristianMswanson wrote:as well as im told that it slows down game play 100ms or so...
So Nintendo designed the use of digital audio with a faulty 100ms lag??
Also will you notice 100ms??
I've seen no lag on my end..



Adding fiber optic audio allows a direct digital signal to your receiver instead of a digital signal converted to analog then converted to digital again..

Code: Select all

GC.          Stereo
Digital --- Digital


GC.                         Stereo
Digital -> Analog  ---  Analog -> Digital

the audio format will always be limited to the audio encoding of the title: stereo or DPL.
emu_kidid wrote: beer is like WD40 for megalomaniac's brain, gets the gears moving
>>> BadAssConsoles.com <<<

Image Image Image
User avatar
ChristianMswanson
Posts: 6
Joined: Sun Aug 04, 2013 9:58 pm

Re: Mini Guide - How to install megalomaniac's MEGAudio boar

Post by ChristianMswanson » Tue Aug 06, 2013 5:38 pm

Drakon wrote:Going fiber optic automatically makes it 800.7.

Hrrm.. that may be worth a try.. I'm assuming you can install the plug where ever you want.. judging by the picture the reason you didn't install it next to the digital a/v port is due to your eng/jap switch.
megalomaniac wrote: So Nintendo designed the use of digital audio with a faulty 100ms lag??
Also will you notice 100ms??
I've seen no lag on my end..
Im not sure if it was a faulty design or what but from what I read fiber optic slows down all of the 6th gen systems with an exception of the xbox due to its MCPX which actually encodes a DD5.1 signal.

Personally i've never owned an xbox but as for the delay.. i cant say i have noticed a delay due to the fact ive always used a fiber optic cable with my ps2... the only delay ive ever noticed was trying to play a ported snes game on an lcd tv. I'm also stating the delay for others who may be concerned.. now if this is true or not i do not know... maybe one of you can upload a direct recording of the gamecube through fiber optic on youtube :D
kel01
Posts: 149
Joined: Fri Feb 18, 2011 10:45 pm

Re: Mini Guide - How to install megalomaniac's MEGAudio boar

Post by kel01 » Wed Aug 07, 2013 11:26 am

I'm no expert but I can't see why using digital audio would add any lag at all because:

1. If what you say is true and it does slow down the system by 100ms then control input would also be affected by the 100ms slowdown, after all it is part of the system also. This means that effectively there would be no lag because lag is determined by the difference between control input to display time.

EDIT: Actually scratch what I wrote above. Sorry I think I'm getting myself confused between audio and input lag. If the system did slow down by 100ms to match the digital audio then it would be more like a delay than a slowdown and you would not notice it at all as the game would just start 100ms later than it would of normally to match the audio.

2. Even without adding a digital optical out mod the digital audio lines are still being used anyway as they are always connected to the ave-dol DAC which converts them to analogue for the analogue AV out socket. All we are doing is piggybacking onto the digital lines before they go through the audio/video DAC so I don't see how this could slow down the system any more than it would when just using analogue audio instead.


The reason I mounted the optical connecter there is because it seemed like the easiest place and best fit. the connector fitted perfectly between the two vent holes with the center bar cut away and also fitted perfectly between the back panel and the shielding around the power regulator board so it just seemed like the best place for it. Although I don't see any reason why you couldn't mount it next to the digital AV out port like you said.

To answer if I think that this mod is worth the hassle. I can think of three reasons why anyone would want to go through he hassle of intalling this mod:

1. If you are an audiophile
2. If you just enjoy modding consoles for the challenge
3. If you find it easier in you setup to use optical audio for example more consoles in your setup than analogue inputs on your reciever but plenty of digital inputs spare.

I installed mine for the later two reasons as even though I can notice the difference in sound quality between digital and analogue I still do not mind using analogue. The difference is not big enough for everyone to notice or even care about unless you are an audiophile or have a good ear for that kind of thing. If you fit into any of those reasons above or any others that I have not thought of then I would say go for it but just don't expect too much from it. After all it is what it is, just a digital alternative to the already existing analogue audio output.
officialfbomb
Posts: 5
Joined: Thu Apr 13, 2017 5:16 am

Re: Mini Guide - How to install megalomaniac's MEGAudio board

Post by officialfbomb » Thu Apr 13, 2017 6:18 am

Ik I'm late to the party by years, is there any way to still but this mod :(
citrus3000psi
Posts: 22
Joined: Tue Sep 02, 2014 6:16 pm

Re: Mini Guide - How to install megalomaniac's MEGAudio board

Post by citrus3000psi » Mon Apr 17, 2017 3:02 pm

I have created a board, that is opened source.

https://oshpark.com/shared_projects/HDcsvIOO

http://imgur.com/a/uhfsS
User avatar
Streetwalker
Posts: 1736
Joined: Mon Dec 30, 2013 7:50 am
Location: Israel

Re: Mini Guide - How to install megalomaniac's MEGAudio board

Post by Streetwalker » Mon Apr 17, 2017 4:05 pm

citrus3000psi wrote:opened source.
So where are the CAD files?
citrus3000psi
Posts: 22
Joined: Tue Sep 02, 2014 6:16 pm

Re: Mini Guide - How to install megalomaniac's MEGAudio board

Post by citrus3000psi » Mon Apr 17, 2017 5:51 pm

Streetwalker wrote:
citrus3000psi wrote:opened source.
So where are the CAD files?
Are you asking for the files or trying to be a dick? Because I originally released this project on assembler and I think I posted the Gerbers there. But since assemblers have been down for 2 months and I made this board about 2 years ago I don't remember.

Here are the gerbers: https://mega.nz/#!T9kgAJDb!hDGSsFCcY84y ... bXnPVi1yA0
Post Reply