PulseVU for Wii
Open source information for programmers available here.
Some notes regarding installation
Please be aware that this install is not recommended for beginners. Some soldering skills are recommended as there are some difficult points to solder to. Improper installation can permanently damage your Wii. Installing this device voids your warranty with Nintendo and you will not be able to return it in case of problems. That being said, if you have soldering skills and are comfortable opening your Wii, this install should be quick and easy for you.
Please know also that to have the standby fading as seen in the video, your Wii must have internet access enabled (orange standby). Without internet access, the Wii does not power the LEDs when the console is off, and therefore they won't light up. They will still be fully functional for pulsing with the audio when the console turns on however.
To open your Wii, we used and recommend this dissasembly guide by Informit. Make sure to keep track of all parts and screws for reassembly. You will need small triwing and phillips screwdrivers that you can purchase on eBay or at most hardware stores for under $5. When turning over the motherboard, take extreme care not to remove the heatsink or allow it to become loose. If it becomes disconnected, you will need to reapply the thermal paste to connect it again.
The install points
- +: Connects to the 3.3V point on the motherboard. This provides power for the PulseVU.
- -: Connects to the GND point on the motherboard. This provides ground for the PulseVU.
- MP: Connects to the side of C50 nearest to the edge. For advanced users, you can use the via that connects to the GPU labeled in the diagram.
- AL: Pin 1 on the A/V connector. This is the left channel of the audio signal.
- AR: Pin 2 on the A/V connector. This is the right channel of the audio signal.
- VU: Connects to TP52 on the motherboard. This controls the lights.
- RF: Connects to TP114 on the motherboard. This determines if the Wii is on or off.
- PO: Connects to TP107 on the motherboard. This connects to the Reset button for enabling/disabling the PulseVU.
It should be noted that this PCB was designed to be used universally by several consoles, so the pads and size are not optimized for the Wii specifically. Specifically, the MP pad on the board is a bit out of place, but is essential for the message feature of this device.
[Here is a picture] showing a good location for mounting your PulseVU. Some of the wires are going to alternate points, as this was a prototype install. Please follow the guide above for wire locations. This picture is for reference on where to mount the device and how to route the wires. Be sure to not block any holes or get near the metal shielding.
After the install
The very first time you plug in the Wii after installation, the PulseVU may not turn on. Do not be alarmed. The PulseVU will become active once you turn on your Wii. From that point forward, it will work whether the Wii is on or off (provided you have orange standby). The reasoning for this is because after being unplugged, the Wii looses it's standby power, so the first time you plug it in, it needs to be turned on once before it gets standby power.
To disable the PulseVU, simply hold down the Reset button on your Wii for 4 seconds. Do the same to turn it back on.
If you need any assistance or troubleshooting, feel free to ask questions in our forums or use our contact form to contact us. We always like to hear about successful installs and other thoughts also, which you can post in our forums.
Thanks for your interest in the PulseVU for Wii, the first hardware mod for the Wii! We hope you enjoy the new features of the light bar on the Wii.
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