Using a Wii drive replacement on a GameCube

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Gamecube with Wiikey Fusion installed (with DVD Drive removed) by emu_kidid

Note: This site and its members are not responsible for any damage incurred while attempting this modification. Perform at your own risk.

Background

The Gamecube and Wii DVD drive are different in appearance but very similar in communication protocol with the host console (GC/Wii). This shared similarity allows the Gamecube to use a Wii DVD Drive or DVD Drive Replacement Chip via hardware modification. However, the Gamecube's proprietary style DVD port connector and pin configuration prevent "plug and play" connectivity for these devices.


All credit goes to Ashen from GC-Forever for figuring most of this stuff out :)


Considerations

  1. Soldering skill required.
  2. To retain the ability to reconnect the original GC DVD drive:
    1. soldering may be performed to the DVD connector pins on the bottom of the GC motherboard.
    2. Both GC DVD Drive and Drive Replacement Chip cannot be directly connected to the DVD port at the same time.
    3. Ensure pins are correct when viewing GC motherboard from the bottom
  3. Desoldering iron or hot air rework station is recommended (but not necessary) to remove the DVD port connector.
  4. Only original Gamecube titles work with the Wii DVD drive.
  5. Not all Wii DVD drive revisions are tested.
  6. May experience disc insertion/disc eject (slot loading mechanism) issues with Wii DVD drive.
  7. Wiikey Fusion is not compatible with IPL (Gamecube "BIOS") 1.0.
    1. Using Swiss as initial ISO for WiiKey Fusion allows IPL 1.0 compatibility.



Pin outs

Signal and power pin outs for Wii DVD Drive, Wiikey Fusion, WODE Jukebox and Gamecube.

WiitoGCPinmatch.jpg


Wii Device Pin Out Reference

Wii DVD Drive D32.jpg
Wiikey Fusion Wiikeyfusion.png
WODE Jukebox Wodepins.jpg



Gamecube Pin Out Reference

DVD Interface Connector Top View (Processor Side) DVDConnector-1.jpg Gamecube dvd connector-3.jpg
Power Regulator to Motherboard input (Rev A/B only) GCPower.jpg


The Process

Making the connections between the systems

However you decide to make the connection between the systems a high gauge 24-28awg solid insulated wire type is recommended. IDE wire has also been reported to be acceptable. Keep your wire length to a minimum. Anything over 5-6" wire length may run into latency issues. To sum it up, the shorter the better.

1. (DVD/Wiikey/WODE) Currently the best connection option is to order one of the connectors listed below. This option allows you to connect the flat ribbon cable directly from the DVD drive/Wiikey Fusion/WODE and provides good sized solderable pads/thru holes to run your wires to. Depending on the interest shown in this mod emu_kidid may end up stocking one of them in the web store.

2. (DVD Only) The second method is to solder to the test pads right on the Wii DVD drive daughterboard. As you can see in the photo above each connection coming from the ribbon cable has its own test pad that can be soldered to. Since there are so many different revisions of the Wii DVD drive daughterboard you will need to do your own testing and confirm what pads go to what pins.


3. (DVD/Wiikey/WODE) The third option is to solder directly to the ribbon cable leads. This can be very precarious work and for long term use may not be reliable depending on your soldering skills. However it is do'able. The easiest way I found is to split every lead on one end of the ribbon cable with a razor blade and fold every other lead back to avoid bridging. Hold the bent back leads in place with some double sided tape placed beneath them. Tinning the leads before hand should aid in making a proper connection. The leads on the ribbon cable are very easy to burn through so make sure you use as little heat and contact time as necessary with your soldering iron. After confirming continuity on all pins covering the soldered end of the ribbon cable in hot glue or epoxy is recommended to avoid future broken connections. Here is an example of this method:

Ribboncables.jpg




Special Pins/Connections

Pin 29 (Wii side) controls disc sensing and disc eject. For the DVD drive/Wiikey Fusion/WODE to work properly a switch such as this needs to be wired in between this pin and the GC motherboard ground as such:

Switch.jpg

If you are using the same type of switch pictured above it is marked on the side of the switch which pins are "common" "normally open" and "normally closed" The common (C) pin should be run to pin 29 of the wiikey connector, the normally closed (NC) pin should be run to the GC motherboard ground and the normally open (NO) pin should go to 1.9v line from the GC regulator (1.9v is only needed for the Wii DVD Drive! Wiikey Fusion/WODE requires only the switch/gnd). Emu_kidid has stated that this connction on the WODE acts more like the GC lid switch. So you can skip the next part (pin's 23/12) if you are using a WODE.


Pin23(WII) to Pin12(GC) controls the systems "lid open/closed" signal. The Wiikey Fusion has been confirmed to work with multidisc games using a SD card swapping method. If you wish to retain multidisc compatibility wire a on/off switch between these pins (the normal GC lid switch is fine). If you are here for the purposes of portablizing and are going to make the Wii DVD drive top loading and scrap the disc insertion/eject mechanism you may also use this method.

SD swapping seems to work on the Wiikey Fusion for all multidisc games. When asked to switch discs simply swap the SD card to a SD card with the next disc .iso on it and flip/press your lid/open closed switch. There is however one other catch.

When adding games to SD card it seems that the Wiikey uses whatever "slot" the game is loaded to to identify what image to mount if the SD card is removed and reinserted during gameplay. So if on one card you have 5 games and on another card you have 3 games and the multidisc game you are playing ends up in a different slot than it is on the first SD card. The trick will not work.

Example:


DOES NOT WORK SD CARD 1 SD CARD 2
1. GAME A 1. GAME C (disc2)
2. GAME B 2. GAME D
3. GAME C (disc1)
WORKS SD CARD 1 SD CARD 2
1. GAME A 1. GAME D
2. GAME B 2. GAME E
3. GAME C (disc1) 3. GAME C (disc2)
4. GAME F


The game needs to be in the same "slot", to work.

I'm not 100% sure how WBFS manager arranges things on the card and why. Honestly the best way I can say to play a multidisc game this way is to just go buy two 2gb SD cards and put disc 1 on one of them and disc 2 on another.


Pin 32(Wii) 3.3v is only needed for the Wiikey Fusion/WODE. It supply's the modchip with power. The 3.3v on pin 32 is not needed for the Wii DVD drive. It will not hurt the drive if you do connect it however.

I ask that anyone who does this mod please report back here with the results you have gotten with different setups/wii drive revisions and GC/Wii modchips. Even if they are not working we need to know. Wii DVD drive identification can be done here: http://www.wiidrives.com/list All help testing various different setups is of course very much appreciated.





Confirmed Working/Not Working Setups

DVD Drives Drive Version Status
GC2-DMS Working (tested on DOL-001 NTSC-U IPL v1.0 & IPL v1.1)
GC2-D2A Working (tested on DOL-001 NTSC-U IPL v1.0 & IPL v1.1)
GC2-D2B Working (tested on DOL-001 NTSC-U IPL v1.0 & IPL v1.1)
GC2-D2C Working (tested on DOL-001 NTSC-U IPL v1.0 & IPL v1.1)
D4 (previously D3S) Working (tested on DOL-001 NTSC-U IPL v1.0)
Modchips / Drivechips Drivechip / Drive Replacement Status
D2lite on DMS Drive Not working
Sunkey on DMS Drive Not working
Wiikey (first revision) on DMS Drive Working
Wiikey Fusion Working (SD/Flatmode) Works!)
WASP Fusion Working (SD/Flatmode) Works!)
WODE Jukebox Working (HDD/SD/Flatwode (passthru) Works!)
    note: D4 (previously D3S) = newest revision Wii drive with smaller daughterboard

Video Links

Ashen - Wii DVD Drive on Gamecube test: http://www.youtube.com/user/Ashen123451#p/u/3/sMeXMlDtaGE
Zenloc - Epic Wiikey Fusion on Gamecube "First Video": http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jht0PBJVTZE
Emu_kidid - WODE on Gamecube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pKGwzPU0Bs4