Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Ashen’s sweet YDPG18 mod

Kudos to Ashen, one of the members of our Yinlips Forum, who posted this massively great guide to how he modded his YDPB18 –  original post here! Very impressive Ashen, cheers!

UPDATE 20/8/12: Read this for more information on how to make the RAM upgrade work!

Heya everyone! This is my first post over here, I registered here specifically because I found so much useful information on this device here on these boards. I specifically want to thank Qbertaddict for his well put together and informative video's. After watching/reading a lot about this little device and tossing it around for over a month or so, I decided to take the plunge and finally purchased one.

Shipping and service from Willgoo was very good and the free shipping was super fast, so thanks to them for that. I was more than a little bit underwhelmed when I received the unit though. Luckily I have a bit of a knack for taking things apart and making them my own and had made my purchase knowing full well that I'd likely have to mod it. So I did just that, and I figured I'd share my experience and some good information about the unit here with everyone.

So, firstly here are my major complaints about the system as it comes stock:

1.The D-Pad that comes with this thing is totally unacceptable and ruins the whole experience right out of the box. The included d-pad is four [i]separate[/i] buttons, which honestly may well have worked fine had they not been beveled upwards in middle of the d-pad.

2. Stupid button layout... A, B, X and..... OK buttons. All in non-standard button positions. Not a huge deal, but again I ask [i]WHY?[/i] When they could have used the standard A, B, X, Y or Triangle, Circle, Cross, Square.

3. Terrible battery life. Original battery was giving me 3 hours or less. Luckily this seems to be a symptom of the cheap crap li-po battey they stuck in this thing. The original battery claimed to be a 2900mah 3.7v single cell li-po. However I swapped it out with a smaller (physically) 3000mah cell that I had here (batteryspace cell) and I now get roughly 6 hours hard playing time out of it.

4. Small internal flash memory installed to unit. 4gb that's gotta be shared with the system partition? C'mon...

5. "Clicky" (and I mean LOUD when pressed) buttons for everything other than the D-pad and A, B, X and OK.

6. Pre-installed android OS is full of Chinese BS and shovelware.

7. This thing gets pretty damn hot, hot enough that I was actually a bit worried it would catch fire....

So yea, some of the stuff may seem trivial. But to me everything listed above needed a bit of tweaking to make this thing the device it should be. So, What do you ask? Well lets crack this beast open:

The unit is pretty easy to get apart. Take out the 4 screws on the outside of the unit (2 on top and 2 on bottom) and ([i][b]carefully[/b][/i]) pry off the back plastic piece. I'd recommend de-soldering the li-po battery from the board once you get this far, just so its not flopping around while you work on the system (remove the + positive wire first!). There are 8 more screws on the inside that hold the motherboard to the front of the case (4 screws on the left and 4 on the right). Remove them and you can easily get the board out. Please be careful of the HDMI port on the top of the board! The HDMI port on my unit was not being held to the board by anything but the ports solder connections. The ports support stems were never soldered to the board! doh!. After all that, you should have something in front of you that looks like this:

http://i628.photobucket.com/albums/uu4/Ashen12345/IMG_0266.jpg

http://i628.photobucket.com/albums/uu4/Ashen12345/IMG_0273.jpg

`As you can see, the board is for the most part built pretty well. I was pleasantly surprised to see when I opened it that right beside the main flashram chip is a spot for a second flashram chip! How convenient! Especially since I happened to have a dead Wii motherboard sitting here with a 8gb flashram chip of the same type on it:

Instant +8gb upgrade :D (Note that I had to do a clean wipe/reformat/re-install after I put this 2nd chip in)
http://i628.photobucket.com/albums/uu4/Ashen12345/IMG_0276.jpg

http://i628.photobucket.com/albums/uu4/Ashen12345/IMG_0279.jpg

Ahh, how sweet. But damn, this thing still gets smokin hot... what do:

http://i628.photobucket.com/albums/uu4/Ashen12345/IMG_0284.jpg

http://i628.photobucket.com/albums/uu4/Ashen12345/IMG_0286-1.jpg

I actually didn't expect this little sheetsink to do much good. But the system now feels a good deal cooler when playing for an extended time. It still gets warm though. I imagine this would allow me to overclock it and not have to worry so much about that. But I haven't found a reason or need to overclock yet.

You can also see my solution to the clicky tacts (buttons) in the pic above. I just glued some thin membrane material to the buttons that press the tact switches. Its not a 100% improvement but it does feel better and is a little less loud when you press those buttons.

[b]My d-pad solution[/b]:  Luckily the d-pad layout in this thing is close to the size of a standard PlayStation controller d-pad, and with a little modding you can make one fit right in:

On the left is my modified PlayStation d-pad, on the right is a standard un-modded PlayStation d-pad for comparison. Aside from removing the plastic edges I also had to sand/file away a bit of the actual edges of the buttons to get it to fit correctly.
http://i628.photobucket.com/albums/uu4/Ashen12345/IMG_0280.jpg

My solution to the Yinlips retarded button layout was to simply take out the buttons and sand the bottoms of them until the text wore away. I used some plastic polish on the bottoms afterward so the scratches from sanding were not apparent and I then repainted them all black on the underside. I had originally thought to use the colored SNES or xbox color scheme on the buttons, but I thought since everything else was black on the unit it might look odd.

After all that, this is what I ended up with:

http://i628.photobucket.com/albums/uu4/Ashen12345/IMG_0289.jpg

Everything just feels so much better now. Initially if I had to rate this thing out of the box I would have given it a solid 6/10 on the awesome scale. After modding its a definite 10/10. Its definately worth the time and effort to make this thing awesome.

UPDATE 20/8/12: Read this for more information on how to make the RAM upgrade work!

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