Using Alternate Contacts for GameCube NTSC-J Region Switch

Portables, case replacements, mods etc, all in here!
Post Reply
User avatar
StarkNebula
Posts: 59
Joined: Fri Feb 21, 2014 5:58 am
Location: Toronto, Canada
Contact:

Using Alternate Contacts for GameCube NTSC-J Region Switch

Post by StarkNebula » Sun Feb 02, 2020 5:02 am

It's been a while since I last frequented the forums. I'm as busy as ever but have gotten some time recently to revisit modding.

I'm looking for some advice for how to approach adding a region switch to an NTSC-J GameCube (DOL-001) without using the R6 contacts. I had an unsuccessful run a few months ago where I burned both R6 pads off by accident. I have successfully done the mod before many years ago on an NTSC-U. I used an old soldering iron (of the wall-plug variety) and, in hindsight, was a little impatient, resulting the situation. I've since collected myself and finally acquired a Hakko FX-888 along with a fine nose tip (0.2mm) to help prevent future mistakes.

The question I'm left with at this point is how to approach selecting alternate contacts for modding the switch in. I'm not sure how to go about verifying which would be best to use. Looking at mmmonkey's old guide there is mention that while other pads are workable that some have issues based on unspecified criteria. The gc-forever wiki page notes the sense traces and, in NTSC-J's case, a requirement for ground but does not point to a preferred contact (other than R6). If you know which might be best I would appreciate the knowledge. Otherwise resources for figuring this out would be great as well.
Shambolic
Posts: 1
Joined: Mon Feb 03, 2020 2:54 am

Re: Using Alternate Contacts for GameCube NTSC-J Region Switch

Post by Shambolic » Mon Feb 03, 2020 3:15 am

You can add the switch non-permanently without soldering by using wire to bridge 2 through-holes, either on the top or bottom of the board.

http://web.archive.org/web/200807100652 ... %20switch/

According to the guide however, "there are known issues when using component video with the hole method on a japanese system. This is due to the fact that the top hole used also runs to ground."
Not sure if this includes GCVideo solutions as well.
User avatar
StarkNebula
Posts: 59
Joined: Fri Feb 21, 2014 5:58 am
Location: Toronto, Canada
Contact:

Re: Using Alternate Contacts for GameCube NTSC-J Region Switch

Post by StarkNebula » Fri Feb 07, 2020 3:57 pm

Thanks for the reply Shambolic.

I do still want a permanent solution though. The region switch resource you provided was helpful. In reading the document and referencing the region switch docs on the gc-forever wiki I realized a solution that should bypass the issue on NTSC-J DOL-001 models when using the through-holes. The wiki states that the GameCube reads the sense signal for 3.3v for NTSC-J and 0v for NTSC-U. In my circumstance I only need to attach the switch from the incoming sense by R6 to ground to switch to NTSC-U as as the default sense is high on NTSC-J. I ended up using the center-aligned through-hole by R6 and connecting it to the large ground pin on the hi-speed port by the component video output. Since I avoid the other "top" through-hole which has, from my understanding, inconsistent voltage, there should not and has not been any issues with video (using GCVideo).

Image
NOTE: There are known issues when using component video with the hole method on a Japanese system. This is due to the fact that the top hole used also runs to ground.

My solution uses the ground contact and through-hole pictured below. I find this solution (for NTSC-J) to be easier to solder as there is only 1 tiny solder point which relieves the stress of not accidentally desoldering the other joint if you have a "beefy" tip. Every time I go to do this mod I forget how absurdly small these components and contacts are.
Image
Attachments
gc_region_switch_ntsc-j_alt.png
(493.78 KiB) Not downloaded yet
Post Reply