2 Replies Latest reply on Jan 24, 2020 4:44 PM by bojangles&cerberus

    Wii u Console Mod, True Portable Build


      okay so here is the basic ins and outs of it Currently i am modifying a Wii u console to be a single screen hand held unit that has full functionality of the original console with some added capabilities.


      I have absolutely no experience in electronics, fabrication, engineering, or design just a strong curiosity on making this project work.

      My inspiration for even attempting this is from seeing ideas and concepts from youtube builders like yungjeezus and MyMateVince, and of course element14's The Ben Heck Show

      but no one had exactly what I was looking for.


      Included is a basic and i mean basic top design and my progress thus far.


      Progress to date...

      1. Ripped apart an old Sony vio laptop and harvested the screen from it (not much else was useful)

      2. Located the appropriate mcb from eBay and purchased along with recommended speakers.

      3. Purchased GISSARAL 35000mAh Power Bank Portable External Battery Charger for Surface Pro 4 Book Pro 3 Pro 2 RT. and removed cells from original housing.

      4. Purchased alternate fans to remove heat from enclosure once built 2 of Cooler Master Sleeve Bearing 80mm Silent Fan for Computer Cases and CPU Coolers.

      5. Removed and broke down original Wii u console from its enclosure & removed original heat sink(see picture for reference) for modification later.

      6. Wii u Has been modified to run Wii U Backup, vWii Backups, GameCube Backups, and several retro arch emulators.

      7.Other items purchased include longer cable to place optical drive to the right of the console motherboard as opposed to stacked on top, and a short 90 degree to 90 degree

      HDMI cable to be plugged into the console and monitor while in handheld mode.

      8. Broke-down pro controller


      In the end the modified console will be able to be plugged in to the wall outlet(for power) and HDMI output to the TV and played as the original console(CONSOLE MODE),

      and yet be able to be unplugged and ran off of the internal power bank at aprox. 4-6 hrs of battery life(untested)(Portable Mode). While in PM it will also have a kickstand to allow

      local multiplayer and to accommodate vwii functionality as I will have a sensor bar built into the front of the console


      What still needs to be done...

      1. Construct a case most likely out of walnut, or possibly out of resin cast & make appropriate vents, slots, and holes for all components

      2. Wire Fans to console motherboard via original fan control port, either both fans to the port or one to the port one to a 5v usb plug not sure if the stain on the system is too much (again not an electrical expert).

      3. Modify the heat sink to allow clearance of other components and to keep build thickness to a minimum.

      4. Add copper heat-pipes to dissipate heat from heat sink to fans (this step will include "fusing" copper heat pipes to the aluminum modified heat sink, no clue how to do this).

      5. Add spdt to cut off power to monitor, and power bank while in console mode.

      6. Solder direct power from powerbank to console motherboard pins under power plug.

      7. De-solder AV/ Wii sensor plug to allow for direct solder of sensor bar to console motherboard.

      8. Move power bank control board from one side to the other to allow charging access.

      9. Hard wire power for pro controller from console front usb

      10.Split Pro controller components and extend out buttons half to one side ( Left stick, directional pad, Left bumpers), and the rest to the right of the console build( Right stick, Right bumpers, A,B,Y,X, Select, home, Start, Power)

      can theses be extended? can they rotated? or remapped the buttons somehow(see pictures) should I place the whole board on right and only extend the left stick to the left side of the build.

      this is really what I need the most help on and I am open to suggestions, I'm really hoping someone can help me with this


      I will add more pictures later if people require.


      Update # 1


      After alot of thought and tinkering I have tested the pro controller pin out and had what I would say is success.


      I was able to connect wires to the face of the pro controller board and duplicate up, down, left, right, a,b,x,y quite simply by touching tinned wires to the separate contact points

      and then back to the other end of those wire thus completing the circuit.

      My hope is to be able to solder wires to each of the copper button points and extend and duplicate the plates configuration wherever I want in the new housing once built


      Progress Made...

      #2. Wire Fans to console motherboard via original fan control port...  Done!

      I have decided to only wire the one directly to the console MB and wire the second one to the power bank 5v USB.

      #9. Hard wire power for pro controller from console front USB. Modified!

      I have decided that because the Wii U pro controllers have an 80hr. battery life I will leave the battery pack in and instead create a way to occasionally charge up the pack externally. skipping any extra strain on my internal power bank that is already running the console, monitor, speakers, and fans.

      #10.Split Pro controller components and extend out buttons half to one side, and the rest to the right of the console build. Getting there!

      can theses be extended? yes. can they rotated? yes. or remapped the buttons somehow(see pictures) no need to.

      at least for me I think I've got a solution for these problems it would seem they can, or in at least my primitive knowledge I can make it work.



      I had a thought to sync joy-cons from the Switch(Via MyMateVince's method from YouTube) and have them slide onto rails into the case housing but nixed the idea simply because I like the parts on the pro better and thought the joy-cons might cause me more issues on down the road... plus they are $80 and I'm not willing to spend that when I have other options right in front of me.


      Worked on the layout of the whole portable and I have included (See pics)


      as always help me I'm fumbling in the dark. I am always willing to take advice or help from those who know. Seriously please comment if you have anything add method or experience wise.


      Update # 2


      Okay so its been a few days and I've re-thought a few things.


      Having the pro controller built in is a great idea but it breaks down when actually trying to use portable functionally, in that you have to use the game-pad to navigate and select content initially, and then switch to the pro controller setup

      for this reason I have decided to include the game-pad in the design of the original build essentially having a "DS" type look.


      I also came across a post on gbatemp I believe, that outlined a way to modify and remove the optical drive and converting to an all digital library, which is something I think I will attempt as I really dont have any need for the optical drive and it

      will also help to reduce total weight in the end product.


      Today I did some amazon shopping and picked up a few odds n' ends


      1) new thermal pads for the CPU,

      2) four 9 inch flat copper heat-sink tubes,

      3) thermal epoxy to bond heat-sinks for better thermal dispensation

      4) the kill switch to cut power between portable and console modes, 1NO1NC SPDT  rated for 5A and 30Vdc (Wii U only requires approx. 15V and I believe 3A)+(the other components)

      5) a spare after market pro controller to use for parts,

      6) square copper pads to put on the end of the heat tubing for greater surface area at the point of the fans

      7) and a larger battery for the actual Game-pad itself


      I also determined which pins on the under-side of the Wii U motherboard are needed to hard wire the sensor bar while in vWii mode. This location is important because I will need to de-solder the sensor bar/ composite junction and solder just the sensor bar back to

      the motherboard. also that connection is bulky and redundant as I am running audio/video via HDMI.


      I am also brainstorming whether I should use low profile USB to hold my digital content, or wire a USB to SDXC card reader and use SD cards more like the switch game carts.


      If you have any input or features you think I should include that I have overlooked please feel free to post, and let me know your opinion. Currently at the time of writing this the switch scene is on fire so my console build is slightly obsolete but ehh who cares.

        • Re: Wii u Console Mod, True Portable Build

          I'll admit, I'm a little late to the party but I have been planning a similar project and just had a couple of questions. How do you tell the battery pack to provide the power? It seems to me it is way easier to use that battery pack instead of making my own, but is there anything special about connecting the surface pro dc jack to the Wii U? I know a lot of fancier power delivery systems will have some way of communcating how much power is required before providing the power, and am worried that this will be a major roadblock. Also, how did the project end up going for you? I hope you were able to finish it! EIther way, thanks for your time!

            • Re: Wii u Console Mod, True Portable Build

              Read the specs from the link in the description on the power bank. Unless im  totally wrong it(power bank) has 2 boards that in it that regulate everything.  I stripped  the wires from one end of the pro cable the one for the 15v connector and soldered those + and - wires to the respective terminals on the bottom of the wii u motherboard. In place of that solution  you could splice the pro cable (power bank) connector  with the wii u power pack plug that comes with it. if you didn't want to mess with desolder and solder on the mb. This wasnt the case for me as earlier  in tinkering I arced the mb and blew the power fuse and had to replace it already so I figured  what the heck let's just solder the power connector  directly. Either solution  works as I tried both.


              As for now the project is at a stall because I was yet again tinkering and fried its circuit board on the power bank. so as of now it is at a stand still. Hoping to pick it back up and later this year when I have the time.