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soldering help

Discussion in 'Nintendo Wii / Wii U' started by jason8983, Feb 19, 2007.

  1. jason8983

    jason8983 Member

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    I just opened up my Wii and I never thought the points you have to solder for the cyclowiz would be so tiny.

    Plus whenever i practice soldering all the solder does is stick to the tip of the iron.
    Also points A B and C look so close together that I think it'd be impossible to leave them unconnected. What would happen, say, if I accidentally "bridged" a or b or c, because they're so close.

    Either way, Any suggestions would be appreciated. Thanks.
     
  2. carbon14

    carbon14 Member

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    You have to heat the components as well in order for the solder to adhere to them. The trick is to heat it just enough to get the solder to transfer to the component(s) without over-heating them. If you overheat the Wii, you could damage the board or even de-solder something. Use THIN gauge Resin-core solder, which has flux inside and will speed up the process for you. Thick solder will provide you with a nice mess.

    Step 1: unplug the Wii with the power on. This should discharge most components inside the Wii. Then turn the power off, just as a good safety habit.

    You should have a fairly wet sponge nearby when you solder, if you don't have one already. You need to keep the tip of your soldering tool clean to get the best results, and the water from the sponge will do this for you. Once you get the iron to around 650-670 deg. F, wipe the tip of the tool on the sponge to remove any slag. You will know it's clean when the tip looks like chrome, and this should only take a wipe or two. This is also a good way to tell if the tool temp is too hot or too cold. It should be hot enough to create a decent amount of steam when coming in contact with the sponge, but not so hot that it burns a hole in the sponge upon light contact.

    Once you get the tip clean, apply a small amount of solder to the tip of the tool. (There should be some on there at all times, except during the cleaning process) Then apply the tip of the tool to the part of the chip that you want to solder, for a few seconds, while keeping the solder in close proximity. The chip should be hot enough after 4 or 5 seconds. Apply the solder to the chip, not the tool. You want the solder to come to the heat, it will always run toward the heat source, not the other way around. Be ready to do this quickly. You just want to coat the part of the chip to be soldered, and want to avoid keeping a hot soldering tool on the part for very long. you will repeat this process for all points on the chip to be soldered.

    Once that's done, do the same thing to the Wii, working quickly.

    Then be ready to put the chip in place on the Wii, and apply heat to the chip, point by point. As the heat melts the solder you just applied, you provide light pressure to the chip. The two components will fuse as the heat is transferred through the touching parts and the presoldered contacts merge. Remove the heat quickly and that point is done.

    You may have to work a little to get the handle of it, but once you figure it out, you just repeat the process for the remaining points to be soldered.

    What happens if you solder two points on the Wii? Unless you power up the unit, nothing should happen. Although, depending on the circuitry of the unit, you could fry something if there is still some potential stored on the circuit (in a capacitor or something) and you connect that potential to ground and discharge the voltage. You SHOULD be safe, however. Just get a thin copper wire...one thinner than the span between the 2 points that you just joined...and hold it with a clamp or hemostat. Apply heat from the tool while placing the hot wire in the gap beween the 2 points. The heat in the wire should be hot enough to attract the excess solder from between the 2 points and onto your wire. Voila!

    I don't guantee your results, as I don't know you, your tools, or skills. But that should point you in the right direction.

    Anyone care to comment?
     
  3. Cantide

    Cantide Member

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    Thanks for the soldering tips! I should be getting my cyclowiz today or tomorrow, and this information will come in handy for sure :)

    I'll let you know how it goes
     
  4. Cloudkill

    Cloudkill Regular member

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    Hi I solderd the cyclowiz on, I found that wheneva I lined the Cyclowiz up there was an area were I though I would end up soldering a new path, so what I did was use a very small amound of electical tape to cover it up on the drives board so the solder would only go were it should.

    And I rolled the electrical tape up so i could stick it to the bottom of the chip so it would sit were I wanted it to sit.

    Then cover the two big chips in electrical tape when done, then I connected the drive and faceplate back on, pluged it in turned it on I was holding the drive in my hand, and hay one green light.

    And when I closed the Wii up I found one screw that never made it back in damb those last screws you always find.
     
  5. DraTs

    DraTs Regular member

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    lol, when we soldered my ps2, when we got it back together, we had like 3 extra screws... oh well, the ps2 has run fine for years after that, never a prob, so i dont care lol
     
  6. theoipod

    theoipod Guest

    carbon14,
    Since you seem to know a lot about soldering modchips to the wii,could you please tell me exactly what i'll need to solder it on.
    thanks
    theoipod
     
  7. carbon14

    carbon14 Member

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    I don't know anything about modchips, and the Wii is my first game console ever.

    But I was an electro-optics tech in the USMC back in the day, and did my fair share of work with circuit boards, electronic components, and sloddering...especially in my year-long tech school.

    Will offer my help whenever possible.
     
  8. Cantide

    Cantide Member

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    Success!

    Had to wait another week after I got my Cyclowiz, after I determined I needed a tri-wing screwdriver to open the case (I assumed I'd be able to get the job done with a tiny flat head screwdriver, but the screws are made of a very soft metal and I was afraid of stripping them [especially the part where there are screws down in about 3/4" holes where you can't see what you're doing!])

    I used wires to attach my chip, as I've heard it's easier to fix if you make a mistake. For those of you taking the same steps make sure you use the THINNEST wire you can find.. I used some wire I snipped off of my speakers (then soldered them back together for practice) which was WAY too big and difficult to work with. Ultimately it worked, but things would have gone much more smoothly if I had used much thinner wire.

    Thanks again Carbon14
     
  9. spring83

    spring83 Member

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    I would like to ask that what kind of solder station should I get? and besides the tools to open the console and wires, what else things do I need in order to perform this work?
     
  10. fandr78

    fandr78 Regular member

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    Cantide,

    Is this the first time soldering?I will be getting my Wiikey soon,and will be installing it myself.
     
  11. Cantide

    Cantide Member

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    This was my first major soldering project.. I soldered a couple wires before, but nothing as delicate as this.

    The tools I used were:

    1 x Cyclowiz
    1 x tiny Philips head (+) screwdriver (size #1, used for repairing watches [easy to find at a dollar store])
    1 x magnetized medium size Philips head (+) screwdriver (same size as used for computer repairs, I used this one for easy removal and replacing of the drive screws)
    1 x Triwing (Y) Screwdriver
    1 x 25 watt soldering iron
    1 x spool of the thinnest Resin-core soldering wire with flux inside
    1 x spool of 30 AWG Kynar wire (called "wrap wire" at radioshack, $5 for 50')
     
    Last edited: Mar 16, 2007
  12. fandr78

    fandr78 Regular member

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    Thanks for the info.
     
  13. fandr78

    fandr78 Regular member

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    Cantide,

    Once you have the mod chip in,could you use electric tape to secure in on the board better?What did you do?Thanks in advance.
     
  14. ZafierX

    ZafierX Guest

    If you arent a proffesional solderer I suggest you get it done by a modding group because seriously those pins are SMALL!
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 12, 2007
  15. backyboy

    backyboy Member

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    Might be a stupid question but ' what happens if you link the pins by mistake and power the wii up' Does it go bang or does it just not work.
     
  16. Cantide

    Cantide Member

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    If you're going with the wired way it's probably a good idea to tape it down to keep it from bouncing around inside the console. I couldn't really press my chip against the board due to the thickness of my wires, so it's just wedged there between the drive and the case (I covered most of the chip with electrical tape). if something comes loose and I have to take it apart again, I'll probably try to tape it down.

    If you do bridge the tiny pins, most likely the Wii will display an error message as data coming from the drive wont make any sense. this is just a guess, I strongly suggest you make sure the pins aren't bridged before powering on the system.
     
  17. Cantide

    Cantide Member

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    redid my soldering job tonight, the thick wire made the connections come off :(

    Went to Radio Shack (or "The Source") and bought some blue 30AWG Kynar wrap wire.. really tiny stuff and was a lot easier to work with. Added on the upgrade switch wires this time too.. I poked the wires out of the filter in the bottom of the case and taped them to the outside.

    Everything is working perfectly again :)

    *added wire info to my list of supplies
     
  18. hendrix04

    hendrix04 Member

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    On the cylcowiz you will have the green light flash at you (happened to me the first time). Didn't damage my wii in any way, but i may have just been lucky. I figure though that since flashing light/connections bridged is in their troubleshooting guide it can't hurt to much...
     
  19. leosdesk

    leosdesk Member

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  20. leosdesk

    leosdesk Member

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    Yes the wire method is the best so far. Did two cyclowiz's with just soldering the chip to the board. But the wiikey has the extra wire you need so yeah using the 30awg wire is best. I was using a 35watt iron and found the best resuts in a 15 watt iron after i also sharpened the point.

    I like the idea of making a canal for your solder. I might try it next time i do a cyclowiz
     

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