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possible for a newb to install a d2ckey?

Discussion in 'Nintendo Wii / Wii U' started by Rdysn5, Jan 7, 2008.

  1. Rdysn5

    Rdysn5 Member

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    In a nutshell I've got a D2C PAL Wii. I believe the d2ckey is the only chip that is compatible with it. Can someone who is not experienced in soldering do it? Is it even worth trying? Or is it only experts who can do the install?
    I know you need a soldering iron, dremel tool, flux, im not sure what else. don't know what a flux is either.
    Any advice at all gratefully received :)
     
  2. enligh10

    enligh10 Member

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    Sure it's possible. Do you have very steady hands? You need to think of this like surgery, but for your Wii. I would definitely practice soldering on something else first though. Perhaps an old TV remote or something like that. Try de-soldering a very small IC with very fine contacts and then try to solder it back on. As for what type of solder to use and flux, you should just use some rosin flux core solder in a very small diameter. You will also need a soldering iron with a very fine tip (around 0.3mm).
     
  3. Kafluke

    Kafluke Active member

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    Short answer is NO!

    There are many experienced professionals who won't touch a D2CKey install. I've done them and it aint easy!
     
  4. NDarkness

    NDarkness Regular member

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    You don't even need a dremel tool lol...

    DO NOT do it if you are not experienced. Just send it to a professional.
     
  5. Joshewah

    Joshewah Regular member

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    I agree with the others, send if off to a pro. A 30 wire install with close connections and being performed by a newb is a recipe for disaster.
     
  6. EddyC

    EddyC Member

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    This chip is not for the faint of heart. Because of the way it works each and every point has to be solid and having ANY (and i do mean ANY) of the points off will render it useless. Couple that with the fact that the tiny IC legs are prone to bridging which will make your wii dvd drive a paperweight if not handled correctly. I've heard of n00bs blowing fuses, destrying wii's. I'm studying electrical engineering and have done soldering for 5+ years, and I spent roughly 30+ hours on it, although I did a fair amount of tinkering.


    Since you don't know what flux is, and the fact that you think you need a dremel...just no. Please. No.
     
  7. Rdysn5

    Rdysn5 Member

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    Ok what about an argon chip? should i steer clear of that as well? I believe the argon is only 13 wires. but it might still be impossible for a noob. I dont know anyone who can install it. There must be people out there but I don't want to just give it someone who isn't reliable. Any UK-based modders here who can do the install?

    Thanks for your responses guys.
     
  8. spinalix

    spinalix Member

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    While I'm not familiar with the Argon chip and its installation, perhaps you would consider the Flex PCB for the D2CKey. I haven't actually used this product myself, only that I found out about it after doing a wire install. I can't really say how difficult it is with the Flex board but this is suppose to simplify the installation.

    Still though, only attempt to mod yourself if you know how to handle electronics.
     
  9. NDarkness

    NDarkness Regular member

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    Haha no. The flexPCB makes the install quicker, but it's not for a n00b to soldering.
     
  10. rudster

    rudster Guest

    well i member my newb days, install the wiikey, broke 2 points! right now its the easiest thing to install, after experience and practice i think i can actually do a d2ckey, just practice its cheaper and better investment for the future never know when soldering can be needed
     
  11. enligh10

    enligh10 Member

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    Rdysn5,

    See this thread to see if you can handle the installation of the d2cKey with the FlexPCB.


    There is also a great video in there showing exactly how to install the chip with the FlexPCB. The guy in the video does the whole install (disassemble Wii, install chip, test, reassemble Wii) in about 20 minutes. I wouldn't expect anyone other than a professional installer to do it that quickly, but an hour and a half should be doable for someone pretty familiar with soldering. For a newb like yourself i would expect a few hours. Of course, as a newb you would have to have pretty big balls to attempt installing this, but it is possible. Why don't you go a soldering iron with a very fine tip (something like a Weller WM120) and practice on an old Motherboard. Then get a magnifying glass and check your soldering points under it. You may also want to read a couple of tutorials online for proper technique (since pretty much everything is available online now, I'd imagine there should be one somewhere). If you feel comfortable with that and everything looks good, then you may be able to handle the install yourself. Just because you don't know how to do something right now doesn't mean you can't learn.

    If it doesn't work and you fry your Wii you can just send it back and have them repair it. They will charge you since you tampered with it but it won't be more than the cost of the Wii. Worst comes to worst you're only out $300 (not sure how many quid they go for).

    As for the Argon chip, i don't hear it mentioned as much as the d2cKey. From that alone, i would assume that it might not be as good as the d2cKey. But I actually haven't read up on the Argon chip so i don't really know.
     
  12. Joshewah

    Joshewah Regular member

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    I think its just becasue the Argon is too new. Its only been out for a couple of weeks while the D2Ckeys have been out for months. We'll have to wait and see how Argon performs.
     
  13. Rdysn5

    Rdysn5 Member

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    enligh10 that helped a lot. is there a list of tools needed for the install? I am aware of the following - fine-tip soldering iron, rosin flux core, wiring, flexpcb, d2ckey itself, electrician's tape. What else is needed? Also I only said dremel because I have seen that mentioned on blackcats. I guess you don't need a dremel. Couple of other questions.

    What soldering iron do pro's use?
    What does 'tinning your wires' mean?
    What is bridging?
    What gauge should the wire be?
    Do you need a 20x magnifying glass?

    I want to get as much knowledge as possible before I think about attempting it.
     
  14. enligh10

    enligh10 Member

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    What soldering iron do pro's use? Pros use soldering stations. These run a couple hundred dollars. They allow you to adjust the temperature of the iron.

    What does 'tinning your wires' mean? Tinning refers to the actual soldering iron. Take your hot iron wipe off any residue from the tip with a wet sponge or clothe and then apply solder to the iron itself until it looks shiny. Make sure you are not putting tons on there; just enough to lightly coat it. By doing this you are effectively coating the tip of the iron and ensuring that no containiments get mixed in with the solder on your connections. Essentially this will give you better conductivity.

    What is bridging? Let's look at the tiny connections on an Integrated Circuit (IC) like the ones the d2cKey connects to. The contacts on the IC are very close to each other. If you are not careful while soldering, the solder on one contact can flow over to an adjacent contact and cause a short between the two. When this happens it is known as a bridge. To avoid this I would recommend a magnifying glass to examine all of your soldering points on the IC. If you do get a bridge, no worries; get a copper soldering wick to help pull some of the solder out.

    What gauge should the wire be? For the d2cKey i would highly recommend getting the flexPCB. Look at the thread i provided the link to. It's kind of a pain to hold a soldering iron, solder, and a wire together and also try to do a clean job. Kudos to the guy who did that really clean wire install. I don't know where he found that parallel wire but that definitely helped keep it clean.

    Do you need a 20x magnifying glass? I don't know if you need 20x. You might be fine using a 10x depending on how good your eyes are. But as i mentioned above i would recommend using one for the install.

    One additional thing to consider while soldering is not to hold the iron to the contacts too long. You could end up burning the contact patches on the PCB itself. When you practice you'll see what i mean. Also make sure that you are heating both parts that are getting soldered. This will help ensure good connectivity for your connection. Google "how to solder" and you will get better guidelines than what i am telling you. I'm not an expert; I'm just some guy on the internet offering you a little advice.
     
  15. juniR

    juniR Guest

    Listen to what experienced ppl are saying - If you have never soldered before I would put money on you ****in' it up m8. Go buy the gear you need by all means - you are never too old to learn new skills but good soldering skills don't come without a LOT of practice and heartbreak is often the result if you are overconfident.
     
  16. Rdysn5

    Rdysn5 Member

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    if a fine-tip soldering iron is recommended, does that mean a non-fine tip iron won't work?
    I am going to buy a 15 watt one. NDarkness said he uses one so it should work.
     
  17. enligh10

    enligh10 Member

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    I now see where you got the idea of needing a dremel for the chip install.

    http://www.modchip.ca/install/wii/wii.htm

    Scroll to bottom. The dremel is for d2b chipsets with cut legs on the IC. Since you are installing a d2cKey, you obviously have a d2c chipset and will not have the cut legs; therefore no need for a dremel.
     
  18. enligh10

    enligh10 Member

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    The whole point of using the fine tip iron is to prevent you from accidentally heating up two adjacent legs on the IC at the same time. As i mentioned in a previous post, doing this could result in you bridging the two contacts when you add the solder. The difference in price for the fine tip Weller vs the typical fat tip radio shack iron is probably $20 or so. I think it would be a wise investment for you to get the Weller. I found mine at Fry's; luckily for me they had mispriced it and marked it at $15 :). I don't know if you cook or not, but think of this like using a heavy cleaver to do any detailed cutting vs using a fine paring knife. Sure you might be able to make precise cuts with the cleaver, but you'll do a much better job with the paring knife.
     
  19. Rdysn5

    Rdysn5 Member

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    I had a look around for the WM120 and I can't find that specific model. I am in the UK so maybe they dont sell it here. I have seen a lot of Wellers but they all the fat ones with the red handles. :(
     
  20. enligh10

    enligh10 Member

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    just do a google search for places in the US (ie google.com vs google.co.uk). I'm sure many places will be able to ship to the UK. Just send an email to them and ask. With the exchange rate you'll save quite a bit.
     

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