Gamecube XenoGC Chip Installation Tutorial

Discussion in 'Modding and Hacking - Consoles and Electronics' started by Nully, Feb 18, 2019.

  1. Nully

    Nully Dauntless Member

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    Today I will teach you how to do a simple xenoGC modchip install for the Nintendo Gamecube.

    Required tools:
    Soldering iron
    Solder
    Flux
    XenoGC chip (Sold by our fellow member Bad_Ad84 https://assemblergames.com/threads/for-sale-modding-parts-chips-etc.39971/)
    30awg (preferably kynar) wire
    Digital Multimeter
    Mini DVD-R with a game burned to it (test disc)

    1. Dissassemble the Gamecube and remove the shielding from the drive
    2. I don't like soldering the chip directly to the board so I use a "wire install". Remove this screw and then screw the XenoGC chip down
    [​IMG]
    3. Tin the xenoGC and drive board pads you will be soldering to with flux, cut a piece of wire 1ft or so long (I solder the wire to the xeno then measure and cut to the pad then solder to the pad, it doesn't take as long as measuring pieces individually)
    [​IMG]

    4. Solder your connections, you can wire it however you want but generally I do it like this
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    5. Insulate with kapton tape and try to boot your game
    [​IMG]
    6. If the disc doesn't boot then you need to 'tweak' the "trimpot", this cheap tool will be your best friend for this. I won't explain how to do this in depth as this step could cause issues to your disc health and your laser. You'll have to find another guide online unfortunately.
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    7. Once you have a few successful boots you're likely finished, if it's stuttering or freezing you need to go back to step 6 or install a replacement laser worst case scenario.

    Video of boot process (there will be a final "click" from the laser, accidentally cut it off in the video), if your LEDs are flashing then you likely have a bridge.
    https://streamable.com/c5wor

    "Oh god I lifted a pad, I'm screwed!"

    There are several documented alternative points for this chip luckily, take your pick with this color coded guide. There are more for those not shown I will try to find some pictures of as well.

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Feb 18, 2019
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  2. Mord.Fustang

    Mord.Fustang Fiery Member

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    Nice work!

    I'll add as "additional info" that the best way to test the chip's install is using an original out-of-region game. For example, boot a PAL game in an NTSC machine. Those lasers kinda suck with burned media and using an original eliminates you having to guess "is my chip install bad or is the laser just not reading my burned media?". I know many people wouldn't have one available, however.

    Another way to test this, is to install one of those region switches as well as the modchip. This only works on NTSC models. For example, if you have a US console, switch your console into J mode and try out your US game. If it boots, your chip install is (most likely) succesful.
     
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  3. Nully

    Nully Dauntless Member

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    This is true as well, but I figured the chance of already having a burned disc would be more common than an NTSC-J game on hand so I went with the former. This can make it a pain for first timers when you can't really test until the "tweaking" is done, sometimes they will boot on their own but more often than not it requires alterations. :)

    But as long as the wiring is correct the boot sequence will be the same visually (like in my video) whereas if there is a bridge it will endlessly flash the LEDs. If anything, buy yourself a cheap NTSC-J test disc off eBay for a few bucks then deal with the trimpot afterwards if burned media is still not working when doing this for the first time.

    I may add a simple region change tutorial by just using a grounding wire rather a switch, but you need to solder to the tiny pad or the via next to it where I doubt anyone with those skills would need this tutorial in the first place. These issues make the Gamecube a crapshoot for beginners and don't even TOUCH the trimpot without a multimeter as the slightest uncalculated movement can cause it to stop reading originals as well and you don't have a reference point which is why I basically left that process out.

    One last bit would be that you can use a regular sized DVD-R with the case off as well considering how much cheaper they are nowadays as a test disc then buying mini DVD-Rs afterwards because as I'm sure we can agree; DIY typically goes hand in hand with being a cheapskate. ;)
     
    Last edited: Feb 18, 2019

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