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Nintendo 64 multisystem mod (half working)

somacast

Active member
Original poster
Jul 13, 2019
29
4
3
hello ,

I followed the multinorm n64 guide from here http://www.retrovideogames.de/mods-adaptors/nintendo/n64-multinorm-single-switch-mod-overclocking/

now it works in NTSC side of the switch only , flipping the switch to PAL , the system in TV is detected as pal, game gives a few random small horizontal flakes (tiny lines like) , black screen, pressed start etc no sound ..

games fully functioning in ntsc mode ..

so what could be wrong?

this is my test setup it will be finalized later ..

thsnks alot
 

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cta

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Jun 7, 2019
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I don't know about you guys, but I for one can't tell what's what in that absolute, blurry rats' nest of wires. Could you try taking better photos?

FWIW, that guide asks for including an additional PIF chip as well as a multiplexer, yet I can only make out a single extra IC...
 
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somacast

Active member
Original poster
Jul 13, 2019
29
4
3
I don't know about you guys, but I for one can't tell what's what in that absolute, blurry rats' nest of wires. Could you try taking better photos?

FWIW, that guide asks for including an additional PIF chip as well as a multiplexer, yet I can only make out a single extra IC...


first of all your reply is appreciated

second , nest is a trail setup, once its all working , it is gonna look good ?

third , the quad multiplixer 14551b is floating on the right side , the back to back European chip is on top of the original chip ,legs lifted

My own preliminary review says that since i was able to get NTSC mode to work , mean connections to the motherboard and original pif-nus chip are good , there is a problem with the top floor , the European chip pif(u)-nus ...
 

Mord.Fustang

Well-known member
Jun 17, 2019
50
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I'm trying to understand what exactly this is... so it's a mod to play NTSC and PAL games on a single N64 using parts from 2 consoles?
 

Ice Man

Well-known member
Jun 8, 2019
100
8
18
You're not trying to switch when the console is on, right? From what I know this will not work and might damage your console.
Switching from PAL <-> NTSC with 2 PIF + multiplexer, etc. should only be done when the console is off afaik.

Also, that's one hell of a cable mess there. I'd first try to clean that up so it's easier to follow each cable.
 
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somacast

Active member
Original poster
Jul 13, 2019
29
4
3
You're not trying to switch when the console is on, right? From what I know this will not work and might damage your console.
Switching from PAL <-> NTSC with 2 PIF + multiplexer, etc. should only be done when the console is off afaik.

Also, that's one hell of a cable mess there. I'd first try to clean that up so it's easier to follow each cable.

thnx for the useful information, most of time 99% i tried it while console was off, tried it once maybe while its on and as you said it didn't work, but thanks God nothing was damaged..

as for the wires , its my way of testing, as you can see its all lose until it works then i tie things up, agree with you that this makes it quite difficult to trace , but obviously there is something wrong with the top pif(u) the pal only , as i got it to runthe ntsc without any problems
 

somacast

Active member
Original poster
Jul 13, 2019
29
4
3
ok a huge update , I had one side of the top pif chip with few legs not connected to the pif below it, now thanks God Pal games run, however still unstable screen, screen jumps to the right every now and then , dont know why really... ?
 

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somacast

Active member
Original poster
Jul 13, 2019
29
4
3
iam trying to share the link of the uploaded video to one drive but for some reason the site is preventing the link from pasting..

i wonder if the RGB chip has something to do with this flickering in picture? mainly that its much more in rgb scart , and much less when i use av cable , but no colors of course ... (talking about PAL games only, Ntsc games runs perfectly)
 

MRKane

Member
Registered
Jun 8, 2019
11
6
3
I made a real journey of this mod, and ended up making a little PCB to try and make my life easier (I can send it to you if you're willing to pay postage). Lessons I've learnt with this mod:
-It's truly horrible to do
-The PIF is very fickle and can hard brick if you switch while a game is running. The solution I found was to leave the system off for a couple of days if this does happen
-Keep all wires the same length
-Source VDD and GND from somewhere else on the board as the line to the PIF itself really doesn't seem to provide enough power

In the end I was unhappy with the results, but did manage to expand everyones knowledge a little back then. Here's a video of the mod before it decided to brick itself:
 

somacast

Active member
Original poster
Jul 13, 2019
29
4
3
I made a real journey of this mod, and ended up making a little PCB to try and make my life easier (I can send it to you if you're willing to pay postage). Lessons I've learnt with this mod:
-It's truly horrible to do
-The PIF is very fickle and can hard brick if you switch while a game is running. The solution I found was to leave the system off for a couple of days if this does happen
-Keep all wires the same length
-Source VDD and GND from somewhere else on the board as the line to the PIF itself really doesn't seem to provide enough power

In the end I was unhappy with the results, but did manage to expand everyones knowledge a little back then. Here's a video of the mod before it decided to brick itself:



really thanks for the excellent reply, I will see if I give up I will sure get your pcb ..

but In addition to your advises, what can cause the screen to jump periodically to right , work normally for a few seconds then repeat that (only in pal games, works good in ntsc)? i attached a screenshot of the screen when it is flickering as the site is not allowing my onedrive link of the video? could the top pal pif chip got damaged somehow? can a faulty multiplixer chip cause it? bad RGB board ?

first things first , I will run a wire with 3.3v to the corresponding pin of the switch instead of pin 28 from original location of original pif and see..

VideoCapture_20190905-165135.jpg
 

somacast

Active member
Original poster
Jul 13, 2019
29
4
3
ok ... unbelievable, thanks God !! it worked!!

replaced the rgb to hdmi adapter , and its working..
 
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MRKane

Member
Registered
Jun 8, 2019
11
6
3
Great stuff! I'm glad to hear that you got it going because it's a horribly finicky mod to undertake and really puts you up into the upper echelons of modders if anything from sheer stubbornness alone!

Out of interest, there is a PIF replacement being developed here:
 
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somacast

Active member
Original poster
Jul 13, 2019
29
4
3
Great stuff! I'm glad to hear that you got it going because it's a horribly finicky mod to undertake and really puts you up into the upper echelons of modders if anything from sheer stubbornness alone!

Out of interest, there is a PIF replacement being developed here:

haha , thnx ,

great link of the PIF in progress, maybe i can use it if its completed someday in my next n64 mod ,
 

Undead Sega

Member
May 21, 2020
13
0
1
guys
there is this mod kit...... this has the dual frequency oscillator so games are clocked correctly according to region

I have this fit to my n64, along with the ultrahdmi.

I've seen this many times before, but he's not selling at the moment because he's on holiday. :(
Also, does anyone know which project they based that on??

The Ultra PIF, the site is in German thus it's taking place in Germany, and there hasn't been a new post since March :'(

But does anyone know if the project works or if it was ever completed?