An Open Source Hardware Modchip

OSHW XenoGC Clone

Many Hackaday readers might remember the days of buying modchips from somewhat questionable sources. These little devices connect to a gaming system to circumvent security measures, allowing you to run homebrew games (and pirated games, but lets not focus on that). [Guillermo] built an open source hardware Gamecube modchip based on the XenoGC.

The XenoGC was a popular modchip back in the Gamecube days, and its source was released in a forum post. A Wiki page explains how to build a clone of the device based on an ATtiny2313.  Most modchips were closed source, but this project lets you look at how they work. You can browse the XenoGC source on Google Code to learn more about the exploit itself. You’ll find the AVR code, which manipulates the DVD drive over a serial interface, in the XenoAT folder.

[Guillermo]’s hardware is available from OSHPark, so you can easily order boards. He’s also hosted the design files on Github. With one in hand, you can start building homebrew for the Gamecube, which can probably be picked up for around $25 nowadays.

A Gamecube and N64 console mashup


[Hailrazer] over on the Made by Bacteria forums was a bit tired of all his consoles cluttering up the space underneath his TV. No worries, though, because it’s actually fairly easy to combine a Gamecube and an N64 into one system that looks very professional.

While [Hailrazer]’s Gamecube was left reasonably complete, not including the addition of a mod chip and SD card to hold Gamecube disk images, the N64 portion of the build required quite a bit of hardware hacking. After finding a Game Boy Advance player for a Gamecube – a neat hardware add-on that allows you to play GBA games on a Game Cube – [Hailrazer] thought he found the perfect enclosure for an N64 case mod.

The guts of the GBA player were thrown out and the guts of an N64 were carefully filed down to fit inside their new home. An Everdrive 64 holds almost every US N64 release on an SD card, making access to the cartridge port unnecessary.

A switch on the side of the Gamecube toggles the video and audio output between the Gamecube and N64. It’s a neat little setup, and packs two consoles into the space of the tiny Gamecube.

Continue reading “A Gamecube and N64 console mashup”

Multi-system Nintendo emulator uses stock controllers

The first month of [WoolyDawg5’s] summer break went into building one Nintendo emulator to rule them all. He thinks there’s nothing like playing the games on the original controllers, and we agree with him 100%. Here you can see that the cartridge door on this NES enclosure hides the extra connectors he needs.

With that door closed this looks like a stock console, but only from the front. If you take a look at the back of it you’ll see how he pulled this off. There’s a Zotac motherboard whose I/O panel has been fitted into the back. It’s responsible for emulating games for the NES, SNES, and GameCube consoles — we’re sure it can do more but that covers the controller ports seen here. Each port is wired to a USB controller module. The cables for these modules exit the back of the case and plug into the motherboard’s I/O panel. There is WiFi for the board, and that’s what [WoolyDawg] uses for configuration, tunneling into the OS instead of connecting a keyboard or mouse.

Of course you could just shoehorn all-original console hardware into one package to accomplish something like this.

[Thanks KoldFuzion]

Grab your iron and add GameCube back to the Wii

One of the really cool things about the Nintendo Wii when it was first introduced was the ability to play GameCube games on it. This made it a no-brainer for a lot of folks to upgrade. But as the heyday of legacy systems fades into history, Nintendo decided this was no longer a selling point and stopped populating those components. The good new is, if you don’t mind a lot of PCB soldering you can add your GameCube bits to a modern Wii motherboard.

[Deadlyfoez] launched a raffle to raise enough money to buy a new version of the hardware (we guess the raffle prize is the modded console). He then proceeded to solder on four GameCube controller ports and a memory card reader. There are also a number of passive surface mount components that need to be added. But as the video after the break shows, once in place the functionality reappears on the software side.

Continue reading “Grab your iron and add GameCube back to the Wii”

The most portable GameCube ever

Here’s the smallest GameCube we’ve seen, straight from the fruitful workbench of [lyberty5] over on the ModRetro forums. Even though we’ve seen disc-less GameCubes before, [lyberty5] puts this project together so well it wouldn’t look out-of-place in the Nintendo product lineup.

Unlike most of the other portable GameCubes we’ve seen, [lyberty5]’s build doesn’t have a disk drive. The games are loaded off an SD card with the help of a Wiikey Fusion, a small FPGA’d device that replaces the CD drive in GameCubes and Wiis with an SD card.

The enclosure was constructed out of vacuum formed plastic with the always popular ‘dremeling and bondoing a controller for proper button placement’ method. Inside the enclosure is the hacked up GameCube, a 3.5 inch screen capable of displaying NTSC video at 640×480 resolution and enough battery power to get two or three hours of playtime from a single charge.

After the break you can check out [lyberty5] fast-paced demo video that really sets the bar for portablized console presentation.

Continue reading “The most portable GameCube ever”

Sleek, disc-less GameCube handheld


Console hacker [techknott] has a skill set that is quite possibly second to none. We do love [Ben Heck] and think that his portable consoles are beyond awesome, but you’ve got to check out this portable GameCube [techknott] put together.

While the construction details are pretty sparse, the video below shows off the bulk of the portable ‘Cube’s best features. Far smaller than his Flip-Top GameCube or Dreamcast portables we’ve featured in the past, his new handheld sports a wider screen and is completely disc-less. While the legality of booting backup copies of games from an SD card is something we won’t delve into, we do like the concept.

The console itself is probably only about one and a half times the width of a standard GameCube controller, and while it doesn’t sport an internal battery pack, we wouldn’t turn one down. Besides, who wants to play GameCube outside? With one of these in hand, we are more than happy to keep our pasty selves indoors, thank you very much.

The only complaint we have here is the lack of build details. [techknott’s] handheld consoles are pretty amazing – we just wish that we could see how the magic was made!

Be sure to check out the video below to see the console in action.

[Thanks, Dave]

Continue reading “Sleek, disc-less GameCube handheld”

Bass Hero combines Guitar Hero with Dance Dance Revolution


Standing up to play Dance Dance Revolution type games is sooooo much work. Thankfully, [Jebadiah0001] is taking the strenuous exercise component out of the game by altering a guitar controller to play dancing games.

He’s calling it Bass Hero because the DDR games only use four inputs, reducing the guitar controller to four string buttons like an electric bass would have. His implementation uses a GameCube controller to connect to the console. He took it apart to get at the button connections. Each string button on the guitar is connected on one side to a button on the GC controller, the other side is a common connection. But instead of pulling those straight to ground, he routes that signal through the strumming actuator. This way the player can get the correct buttons ready, then strum at just the right time to complete the circuit.

It certainly makes the harder levels of DDR quite a bit easier. See for yourself in the video after the break.

Continue reading “Bass Hero combines Guitar Hero with Dance Dance Revolution”