Install at your own risk, I offer no liability for any damage to your Nintendo 64
What you get:
1 x n360 PCB
1 x miniB USB to USB A (Female) Extension Cable
1 x Double sided adhesive pad
What you need:
Bunch of wire (25 AWG recommended)
Soldering iron, solder etc
Gamebit 4.5mm screw driver
Xbox 360 Wireless Receiver
Xbox 360 Wireless Controllers
CR2032 button cell battery for Controller Pak
What you do:
The intent is to connect the n360 PCB to +12V power after the main power switch, ground reference, reset button (optional) and the player 1,2,3 and 4 controller data lines.
If you want in-game reset you must connect a wire to the reset button contact. Technically player 2,3 and 4 are optional if you only plan to use 1 controller. In any case you can still connect an original N64 controller to any port as required.
Make sure you have appropriate anti-static protection measures in place!
Take apart the console to the point you can access the bottom of the main motherboard. The details of this are not covered here, but are all over the internet already.
The following image shows the solder points we need to connected our wires to. My particular N64 is a PAL version, but they all should be very similar for this particular mod.
Solder wires to all points. I recommend using different colours for at least power and ground points. Note which wires go to which controller port. Direct the wires so that they flow to the top right corner of the board and ensure they don’t short against an adjacent pin! You should have 7 wires soldered to the motherboard and note which wire goes to wire controller port.
Replace the bottom shielding. Direct the wires between the gaps. Ensure that they don’t pinch anywhere and are not sitting on top of any sharp points etc.
In the bottom of the case remove a section of the following bit of plastic. This makes it alot easier to route the wires out. Remove any sharp burs in the plastic.
5.1 Place the N64 motherboard back into the bottom shell. Route all the wires through the section of removed plastic.
5.2 Reinstall the top shielding and heat sinks. You should have something like the image below with 7 wires.
5.3 Using the 2x double sided adhesive pads, place the n360 PCB as shown in the image shown in step 5.4. Position it so that the screw hole (near the USB port) can still be accessed.
Optional: If you plan on doing any USB development/programming on the board, I recommend you solder in a 6-pin header now onto the Arduino FTDI programming header. See ‘Use Another Game Controller‘. Make sure there is no risk of the soldered pin headers shorting on the heatsink below.
5.4 ‘Pre-tin’ the solder pads to make it easier to solder the wires into place
5.5 Cut and strip the wires to length, and ‘pre-tin’ the stripped ends. Solder them to the n360 PCB using the silk screen markings as a guide:
1 = Player 1 data line
2 = Player 2 data line
3 = Player 3 data line
4 = Player 4 data line
R = Reset line from the reset button
G = Ground
+12V = +12V
5.6 Install a CR2032 Battery for Controller Pak save game support.
Connect the miniB USB to USB A (Female) Extension Cable to the USB port on the n360. Route it towards the back of the case and loop it under the edge of the heat sink as shown in the photo.
Now would be a good time to give it a quick test before continuing to ensure everything is working as it should. Connect an Xbox 360 Wireless and receiver and you will need a game and expansion pak/jumper pak installed in the console (make sure you install them the right way around!). Apply caution when powering on the N64 without the top cover.
When you apply power, the n360 PCB should initially have two red LEDs illuminated. When an Xbox 360 Wireless Receiver in connected the LED on the receiver should solidly illuminate and the 2nd LED on the n360 PCB should turn off. This is a pretty good indication everything is working, however you should try out a few games to double check. Don’t forget to sync up an Xbox 360 Wireless Controller to the receiver.
Mark where you would like the cable to exit. Using a round file, file out a small notch for the cable. File out a corresponding notch in the top half of the case. Alternatively you could put the two halves of the case together and carefully drill a small hole at the seam to match the diameter of the cable. Remove any sharp burs in the plastic.
I put a cable tie on the cable in the interior of the case to add some strain relief when the case is closed.
Reinstall the top half of the case and ensure that they rejoin properly and that it is not pinching the cable too tightly. It should looking something like the below image:
Before screwing the case back together, you can give it one last test.
Sync up your Xbox 360 Wireless controller as you normally would (Pressing the sync buttons on the receiver and controller). Repeat for up to four controllers. If everything is working correctly, reinstall all the screws and enjoy! Return to the homepage for a reminder of all the features.
One final note: The Controller Pak may indicate that it is corrupt for the first use. To initialise the Controller Pak, hold START whilst booting into some games to open a Controller Pak menu and this should give you the option to repair (Some games will just repair automatically). Once the repair is done it should remove this error. This repair will need to be conducted on both Controller Pak memory banks. If the error keeps returning, ensure the CR2032 battery is correctly installed.
If the below tips don’t help, send me an email at email@example.com
The n360 PCB is always powered, regardless of the position of the Nintendo 64 power switch.
The n360 should be powered on/off by the same power switch as the console. If the device never turns off (indicated by the power LED on the n360 PCB) it would indicate that the +12V wire is connected to the wrong side of the switch. Double check your connections at the power switch.
The Xbox 360 Wireless Receiver LED does not light up
3-4 seconds after power on, the LED on the receiver should illuminate solidly to indicate it has been detected successfully. It this fails to happen confirm that the USB extension cable has been correctly connected to the n360 PCB, and the n360 PCB is getting power (a red power LED should illuminate on the PCB). Also check that the Xbox 360 Wireless Receiver works on a PC. If the device is detected on a PC, confirm that the USB Vendor ID/Product ID matches those listed on the FAQ page.
Player 1,2,3,4 are mixed up or are not working (But the Xbox 360 Wireless Receiver LED is illuminated solidly)
Double check the connections from the controller port to the pads labelled 1,2,3,4 on the n360 PCB. If you have a multimeter handy, you can do a continuity check between the centre pin on the controller port to the corresponding pad on the n360 PCB. Controller port 1 should be connected to pin ‘1’ etc.
The Rumble Pak doesn’t seem to be working
First thing to check is to ensure the Rumble Pak has been ‘installed’. This is achieved by holding BACK then pressing D-RIGHT. The controller should perform a small rumble to indicate the peripheral has been changed.
Check that the game supports the Rumble Pak and the Rumble Pak has been installed when the game has prompted the user to do so. To be 100% sure (although it shouldn’t be required), ‘insert’ the Rumble Pak then reset the console to ensure the game scans and detects the peripheral.
Finally, if the Xbox 360 Wireless controller batteries get too low, the controller may fail to Rumble. Try a fresh set of batteries in the Controller.
Controller Pak is not working or games are not being retained after power down
The Controller Pak is only available on Player 1 Controller and it has 2 independent memory banks. Confirm the Controller Pak has been ‘installed’ (Hold BACK then press D-UP, for Bank 1, BACK+D-DOWN for Bank 2). Remember the bank that you saved on to ensure the save is detected next time you play.
On the next power cycle of the console, Player 1 will default back to Bank 1.
Only change/remove Controller Pak with the button combos when prompted to do so by the game otherwise you risk corrupting your saved games. Basically practise the same caution as you would if you were using a genuine controller and Controller Pak.
If the saved games are lost on power down, confirm that a fresh CR2032 button cell battery has been installed on the n360 PCB and that it is correctly seated.
Controller Pak shows that it is corrupt
This is expected the first time you power on the n360 PCB or you remove the battery. To repair the Controller Pak, hold START whilst booting into most games (Games that actually require a Controller Pak should work) to enter a Controller Pak manager. This should present you with an option to repair (some games will just repair automatically) If the Xbox 360 Wireless Controller doesn’t sync up in time for the game to detect the START button on boot up, just reset the console whilst holding START until the menu appears.