50 Pin relocation

Saturday, January 31, 2009
So an update on my tablet. As I said in my previous post I got the 50 pin relocation of the GD-Rom controller board working so I wanted to share my experiences with it.

So to start off I first needed to remove the original connectors. I have read how some have done it with a heat gun and melted the solder and then pulled the connectors off. I could not go this route because I don't have a heat gun. So I tried a slightly different method. On the Motherboard side you can see the pins come up off the board from the traces so I took a razor blade and just sat there cutting along the pins until they were cut through. Then I heated up each side of the connector with my soldering iron and lifted that side up. It came right off. Be careful when cutting through the pins though. Its best to apply moderate pressure and just do a lot of runs along it rather than trying to muscle through each one at a time. I did moderate pressure the first time and it came off in a breeze. Then I was dumb and accidentally broke one of the caps off doing something else and since I don't have a spare cap lying around I just got my other Dreamcast and cut off the connector again. Only problem was I was kind of mad about it so I tried to muscle my way through it and I ended up pulling up 3 traces. Good thing I had found the pin-out of the traces so I could solder on one of the points and all was good.

From Dreamcast Laptop

From Dreamcast Laptop

So since I cut it off I just had to take off the remaining end of the pins that was left over in the traces. I found the easiest way to do this was to heat up the trace and then drag to the side. The remainder of the pin should come up with your soldering iron, then wipe it off on a wet paper towel. I would not suggest using your sponge or whatever you use to tin your soldering Iron because then you get these REALLY annoying tiny pieces of metal that are a pain to get out because thy stick into it.

When preparing to solder onto the wires I highly suggest tinning the ends of the wire before trying to solder it to the trace. Connection goes much faster and less painless. Plus in the end you will get a stronger bond which is always good. I really thought that soldering the wires on would take a while but it took about 5 minutes to do 25 wires since I had already previously cut, stripped, and tinned all the wires.

From Dreamcast Laptop

So after finishing that I needed to figure out how to connect them to the GD-Rom controller. Only problem is that you can't see the the pins on this side so trying to cut the pins won't work. So this is the point when I decided to try and connecting the wires to the points that I had found that I described in my previous post. Well this failed because I ended up soldering wires to the wrong spot multiple times and in the end it didn't work. The LED on the controller turned on but that was it. No video or audio and obviously the GD-Rom didn't spin up. So I decided to try again but I did it a different way by trimming down the plastic on the connector and bending the pins out and soldering to the pins there. Got that all wired up and tried it out and the LED would blink and shut off. So as a last chance effort I'm going to try and Dremel off the connector and then doing direct trace to trace.

This proved to do the trick as I got the 50 pin relocation done and my Dreamcast is working. I ended up taking my dremel with a cutting disc to the connector on the GD-Rom board and just slowly cut a little bit off at a time until I got down to the traces. Then I just took my razor blade and pulled the remaining little pieces of plastic off. Then took the soldering Iron and removed all the remaining pins. I actually managed to only tear up one trace on this side but I just took a look at my pin-out and all was well.

In total I had 3 torn up traces on the Mobo and 1 on the GD-Rom board and with my pin-outs I got the Dreamcast to work.

Got some pics.

From Dreamcast Laptop

From Dreamcast Laptop


Anonymous said...

Excuse me can I know what type of battery(and the cost) have you used?

Matthew Sessions said...

I used two Camcorder batteries, rated at 7.4v 6600mah, in series

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