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Hi-Def NES kit few questions for those that have it

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I just complete the installation of my Hi-Def NES I ordered from Game-Tech.US this weekend. It look amazing! But I've a few questions for those that have purchased and installed this kit for themselves, or purchased one of the already modded systems from Game-Tech.

 

First is what power supply you are actually using with your NES? As most know, the PS for the NES has AC output on it. The NES power and rf board inverts the power back to DC and so the actual console is just running on 5v from a standard 7805. However, the Hi-Def NES replaces this part of the system with a more efficient +5volt switching circuit. However, on the original NES it was totally possible and deemed to better for the life of the console to use a DC ouput PS instead of the AC one originally from Nintendo. I can confirm this as I've played many many hours nonstop on my NES both modded now and unmodded using a Genesis model 1 power supply.

 

But here is the question:

Have you noticed your regulators on the Hi-Def NES getting crazy warm? So much so that they are too hot to touch? Mine appear to generate a ton of heat. And it isn't due to the PS because I was first running it with my original NES power supply. But I thought the +14.5 reading from it I was getting from the 7805 old vias was perhaps a bit too much. So I played about 4 hours solid on my NES with a Genesis model 1 PS only putting out about +11.5. Regardless of which I use the Hi-Def NES seems to get very very warm. My main concern is that on the front loader with it located directly under the power and rf board, that there might not be enough ventilation there for the Hi-Def NES board to breathe? So again curious on others observations of this?

 

Second - is there a newer firmware for the Hi-Def NES aside from 2.25? That is what was preloaded on mine and wasn't sure if there was a newer one available? How and where do we check periodically for such an update when one becomes available?

 

Third - 1080P vs 720P issues. I've noticed that this is one of the first devices I've used where I can really see a substantial difference in picture between 720P and 1080P. However, when I use the 1080P mode, my Hi-Def NES will drop the picture just once after a min or two of being powered on and then it comes right back and doesn't seem to drop out again. Never lose audio, just picture for a second. It will do this between games everytime. 720P never does this. I also noticed it has to do with HDMI cable quality as a thinner HDMI cable I use for testing things had a bunch of picture drop out issues to the point of causing corrupted graphics and clipping audio. This was make worse with use of my Power Pak. Switched to a much higher quality and thicker HDMI cable and the only issue now is the 1 second or so screen blank that occurs only once after first turning on a game I mentioned above. Again at 720P none of this happens.

 

Last - What are some of your settings that you are using? I'm still at 1080P as the 1 screen drop out isn't a huge deal. I just leave the game on the title screen for a bit until it does it and then I'm good after that. Otherwise i use the 4x mode 1080P, with NES scanlines set at 80. I'm not using any scaling effects and have moderate panning set between 60 and B0 alternated between the various audio channels for a subtle pseudo stereo effect. Overall I'm really liking this modification and though it was without a doubt the most expensive Mod I have ever done, the results to me seem totally worth it!

 

 

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Any luck with this yet? Hi-Def NES is awesome.

 

I don't know if this info is online yet (check game-tech's site), but I was talking to kevtris and I think he mentioned this heat issue showing up in a few cases. The fix was something like replacing a ferrite with a 0.1 Ohm resistor, and this discharges some kind of unexpected build-up on the regulator's input. This is just going by memory of something mentioned in passing in conversation, so please confirm this before modding anything.

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I just complete the installation of my Hi-Def NES I ordered from Game-Tech.US this weekend. It look amazing! But I've a few questions for those that have purchased and installed this kit for themselves, or purchased one of the already modded systems from Game-Tech.

 

First is what power supply you are actually using with your NES? As most know, the PS for the NES has AC output on it. The NES power and rf board inverts the power back to DC and so the actual console is just running on 5v from a standard 7805. However, the Hi-Def NES replaces this part of the system with a more efficient +5volt switching circuit. However, on the original NES it was totally possible and deemed to better for the life of the console to use a DC ouput PS instead of the AC one originally from Nintendo. I can confirm this as I've played many many hours nonstop on my NES both modded now and unmodded using a Genesis model 1 power supply.

 

But here is the question:

Have you noticed your regulators on the Hi-Def NES getting crazy warm? So much so that they are too hot to touch? Mine appear to generate a ton of heat. And it isn't due to the PS because I was first running it with my original NES power supply. But I thought the +14.5 reading from it I was getting from the 7805 old vias was perhaps a bit too much. So I played about 4 hours solid on my NES with a Genesis model 1 PS only putting out about +11.5. Regardless of which I use the Hi-Def NES seems to get very very warm. My main concern is that on the front loader with it located directly under the power and rf board, that there might not be enough ventilation there for the Hi-Def NES board to breathe? So again curious on others observations of this?

 

Second - is there a newer firmware for the Hi-Def NES aside from 2.25? That is what was preloaded on mine and wasn't sure if there was a newer one available? How and where do we check periodically for such an update when one becomes available?

 

Third - 1080P vs 720P issues. I've noticed that this is one of the first devices I've used where I can really see a substantial difference in picture between 720P and 1080P. However, when I use the 1080P mode, my Hi-Def NES will drop the picture just once after a min or two of being powered on and then it comes right back and doesn't seem to drop out again. Never lose audio, just picture for a second. It will do this between games everytime. 720P never does this. I also noticed it has to do with HDMI cable quality as a thinner HDMI cable I use for testing things had a bunch of picture drop out issues to the point of causing corrupted graphics and clipping audio. This was make worse with use of my Power Pak. Switched to a much higher quality and thicker HDMI cable and the only issue now is the 1 second or so screen blank that occurs only once after first turning on a game I mentioned above. Again at 720P none of this happens.

 

Last - What are some of your settings that you are using? I'm still at 1080P as the 1 screen drop out isn't a huge deal. I just leave the game on the title screen for a bit until it does it and then I'm good after that. Otherwise i use the 4x mode 1080P, with NES scanlines set at 80. I'm not using any scaling effects and have moderate panning set between 60 and B0 alternated between the various audio channels for a subtle pseudo stereo effect. Overall I'm really liking this modification and though it was without a doubt the most expensive Mod I have ever done, the results to me seem totally worth it!

 

 

 

I have the one second video drop out as well.

 

I have top loader and Hi Def mod does get warm, but its still working.

 

I use the stock AC power adapter.

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Any luck with this yet? Hi-Def NES is awesome.

 

I don't know if this info is online yet (check game-tech's site), but I was talking to kevtris and I think he mentioned this heat issue showing up in a few cases. The fix was something like replacing a ferrite with a 0.1 Ohm resistor, and this discharges some kind of unexpected build-up on the regulator's input. This is just going by memory of something mentioned in passing in conversation, so please confirm this before modding anything.

 

I would like to know more about this? Again I have one of the newest revision boards that is on red colored PCB. This version has the latest 2.25 firmware and the HDMI port installed further forward so you don't have to cut the HDMI jacket off the connectors. But the heat worries me since I paid quite a lot for this mod and would hate for it to literally burn up. I get mods in hopes that they last as long if not possibly longer than the original components they are replacing.

 

I will check the game-tech forums though I'm not a member there.

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My board fried after about an hour of use. It was working fine, then i decided to try out Lagrange Point on my everdrive, but when i tried to load it, the os on my everdrive was too old. when i put my sd card back into the everdrive and turned the console back on after updating the os files, nothing happened. the on board power section of the hi-def nes had shorted out.. i had the replace the CPU and PPU which got the console working again through rf but the hi def nes was dead. Jason had me remove r35 from my board (which is a 0 ohm resistor) so that the hi def nes would be powered by the 7805 along with the rest of the console, but still the hi def nes board would not work. I sent my console to him, but unfortunately had to pay for a replacement board.

 

they are investigating the cause of the failure and may refund me later but im not really counting on it. it kind of sucks that they have dont really stand behind their product with any kind of warranty unless you pay someone to install it for you. its a fairly easy install so its not really necessary to pay someone extra to do it for you if you have the right equipment. but if you want a warranty, that is the only option.

 

so if your board is getting extremely hot, i would recommend you disconnect the wires going from where the 7805 was to the hidef nes board, remove r35 from the hi def nes board, and then reinstall the 7805. I dont feel the power section of the hi def nes is really too reliable while the 7805 is pretty reliable. if your hi def nes dies, you are most likely going to have to pay to replace it if you installed it yourself and are not one of the recommended installers.

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I actually sent my videos of my installing my Hi-Def NES as an 'application' to be on his approved installers list. But I honestly doubt that will happen. He didn't like my use of QDCs on the power and ground to the H-Def NES, and just criticized things like my lighting on my videos. The only thing he mentioned to me besides the use of the QDCs, was that my HDMI opening didn't look good at all. Which, I agree it isn't stellar but with just small drill bits and my dremel, was the best I could do for the front loader case. And I told him as I also mentioned in my video that I need to invest in some small bar and or flat files to assist with that.

 

I also don't think he like the fact that I complained about the template not printing to actual size from the file they provide on the website. I ended up having to measure as best I could without calipers, the actual size of the back section on the front loader NES and then resize the template you download to those new measures. Then it printed accurately but since I did an entire resize of the image this would have caused the opening spots to enlarge as well.

 

Anyway, if that does actually work by removing r35 and putting the 7805 back in service I might go that route. Course if I modify the Hi-Def NES by removing that o-ohm resistor..that will definitely kill any hope of a replacement should it fail me in the future.

 

But I have to ask..if you remove r35, that also means you disconnect the power and ground to the hi-def nes? So..how the heck does it get power at that point?

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it gets power from the 7805. here is a pic i took after removing r35. its location is circled in green.

 

http://imgur.com/jROxfpL

 

and you need to remove the wires going from the 7805 vias to the hi def nes and reinstall the 7805.

 

there is pretty much no chance of you getting a replacement anyways, but i cant say for sure, so do this at your own risk. this is from the sale page:

 

Warranty:

Unfortunately we are only hobbyist, not wal-mart, so we cannot warranty the kit unless it has been installed by one of the approved installers listed above.
We do test each kit fully though, so we can guarantee it worked fine when shipped.
We can’t control things like ESD and bad upgrade practices.
We can do repair work, just not for free.

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I sounded a bit harsh in my previous post, but I was under the impression from Jason that a few of the things I do seemed like extras that aren't needed. Additionally i advised him that I have a normal day job from 8-5 with on call and that doing 2 or 3 a day wasn't possible for me. I could do maybe 2 or 3 a week on my own time but I guess I can't meet the demand requirements he needs. Fair enough..

 

Okay..so R2 is easily located. My main concern is it being SMD stuff. I'm not very good with smd stuff, but removing that resistor should be easy enough. I also wonder if adding in an actual resistor would help of some actual value. Also in thinking about it and where the switching section is on the Hi-Def nes board...I'm leaning more to the heat coming off the FPGA instead? I think tonight I will take my NES apart and run it for a while with a game and see if i can better tell where the heat is coming from. If from the FPGA, that is a different story completely and would require adding in a heatsink to it somehow, but I'm not sure there is clearance for that on a front loader? And if it did take care of the what I consider to be a heat issue, then I have no idea what a top loader would do since there is literally no clearance for additional cooling.

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it gets power from the 7805. here is a pic i took after removing r35. its location is circled in green.

 

http://imgur.com/jROxfpL

 

and you need to remove the wires going from the 7805 vias to the hi def nes and reinstall the 7805.

 

there is pretty much no chance of you getting a replacement anyways, but i cant say for sure, so do this at your own risk. this is from the sale page:

 

Warranty:

Unfortunately we are only hobbyist, not wal-mart, so we cannot warranty the kit unless it has been installed by one of the approved installers listed above.

We do test each kit fully though, so we can guarantee it worked fine when shipped.

We can’t control things like ESD and bad upgrade practices.

We can do repair work, just not for free.

 

Did you notice while it was working about it being hot on the bottom of the console near the Hi-Def NES?

 

Forgot to mention that I did a cap replacement as well on the power/rf module. I also removed Q1 so I could keep the RF and composite working as well on mine.

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Did you notice while it was working about it being hot on the bottom of the console near the Hi-Def NES?

 

Forgot to mention that I did a cap replacement as well on the power/rf module. I also removed Q1 so I could keep the RF and composite working as well on mine.

 

i never checked heat. i installed the kit, put the console back together, and started using it. it was after using it for about an hour over a couple days, when my console just stopped powering on.

 

I sounded a bit harsh in my previous post, but I was under the impression from Jason that a few of the things I do seemed like extras that aren't needed. Additionally i advised him that I have a normal day job from 8-5 with on call and that doing 2 or 3 a day wasn't possible for me. I could do maybe 2 or 3 a week on my own time but I guess I can't meet the demand requirements he needs. Fair enough..

 

Okay..so R2 is easily located. My main concern is it being SMD stuff. I'm not very good with smd stuff, but removing that resistor should be easy enough. I also wonder if adding in an actual resistor would help of some actual value. Also in thinking about it and where the switching section is on the Hi-Def nes board...I'm leaning more to the heat coming off the FPGA instead? I think tonight I will take my NES apart and run it for a while with a game and see if i can better tell where the heat is coming from. If from the FPGA, that is a different story completely and would require adding in a heatsink to it somehow, but I'm not sure there is clearance for that on a front loader? And if it did take care of the what I consider to be a heat issue, then I have no idea what a top loader would do since there is literally no clearance for additional cooling.

its r35 not r2. and do not put another resistor in there if you remove it. it is just connecting the power supply section of the board to the logic portion. r35 is just a jumper so that that the power section of the board can be disabled.

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Thanks again for the input on this! I've used mine for well over an hour in sitting with it just getting really warm (Hot far as I'm concerned). But I will crack it open again tonight and run it open and see where the heat is actually coming from. Again, I'm starting to think it is more from the FPGA...in which case there really isn't anything to be done about that.

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Well...I have been running my Hi-Def NES for about 4 hours solid playing games...just leaving things running in demo mode with the cover off so I can find out where the heat is coming from. Turns out most of the heat is actually coming from the square IC between the Cyclone III processor and the HDMI connector itself. All other components are barely warm to the touch to be honest. Also whatever that IC is...actually gets much hotter on the bottom than it does on the top.

 

So..not sure what that chip is since most of the text appears rubbed off and unreadable. But that is where the heat source is.

 

Interesting...

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My Hi-Def NES turns off randomly. When this happens the orange LED on the Hi Def NES is off.

 

Is there another way to power the HiDef NES without using the HiDef NES power circuit?

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Yes...though i've not tried it yet, Mickris stated above how to do this. You remove the smaller SMD 0 ohm resistor located at R35. Then remove the power wires you ran to the Hi-Def NES. Reconnect the original 7805 and from there the 7805 linear provides the power to the hi-def NES.

 

As for random turning off, is it only video drop outs? Does it come back on its own or do you have to power cycle the NES? I had similar issues when I first tested mine out and it ended up being the cheap monoprice 6ft HDMI cable I was using. Eventually switched to using a higher quality GE made HDMI cable this at least 1.2 spec'd and aside from the video drop out that happens after the first minute or so it is on, I haven't had any other issues.

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I also don't think he like the fact that I complained about the template not printing to actual size from the file they provide on the website. I ended up having to measure as best I could without calipers, the actual size of the back section on the front loader NES and then resize the template you download to those new measures. Then it printed accurately but since I did an entire resize of the image this would have caused the opening spots to enlarge as well.

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I can't believe that something as simple as a template is STILL an issue ?! No way.

Id bet money that there are templates just not for the people outside of a certain circle.

Good way to stop non-verified installers from offering the service.

 

You can get decent results making three pilot holes cutting the excess and filing to shape and fill any excess with grey hole filler. Best we can do without a template.

I will be offering installation (again) at some point just waiting on a template and any possible bugs to work out. Can't afford to insure my work if the kits are prone to fault.

I will probably just make my own template to bypass these delays.

 

 

I wonder if the heat is specific to certain revisions ?

Also I'm not using the NES 7805 possibly relevant. I did however notice quite a bit of heat.

Heat outside of the chips specifications would probably shorten their lifespan a little no ?

Does anyone have the actual temps being put out ?

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No..I don't have any FLIR or similar equipment to measure the chip temps accurately. One other thing to note about the power and ground connections , at least on the current "red" revision boards. The stand off boss on the lower casing for part of the PCB assembly is right there next to those power connections. As a result the wires you solder there will be bent upwards at a 90 degree straight up, or bent to the side possibly overlapping. If you have too much cable jacket cut back and have wire exposed, it could touch and short out. So My advice, aside from only stripping as much wire back as you need, is to possibly cut away part of the Boss support right there to allow room for the power and ground wires to fit around the boss. I will see what I can do about getting pictures of what I'm talking about. And this only applies to the front loader installations.

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Few things to point out regarding the Hi-Def NES as I was working on mine again last night.

 

As some of you who follow Game-Tech on Youtube might have found out, Jason and Kevin have finally discovered that thin bladed style contacts into round holes don't usually create the best electrical connections. As such they plan to stop using interconnect headers on the top parts of the CPU and PPU interposer boards and instead use normal 40pin dual wipe IC sockets. I had toyed with this idea when I first received mine and wondered why they hadn't done this before. (I'm assuming the interconnector pins and headers are cheaper vs IC sockets). Anyway, I went ahead and replaced mine out last night with dual wipe IC sockets. But...I ran into a major snag and I'm sure it will happen with their kits as well going forward since I've not seen them address this yet.

 

The problem is that IC sockets are roughly the same height as the interconnects when install. But unlike the interconnects, the CPU and PPU don't seat completely flush against everything. As a result the use of the IC sockets will add a few mm of additional height that wasn't there before. If you have installed these kits already, I think you know where I'm going with this? Especially in the case of the front loader model NES.

 

The problem is that using the IC sockets along with the other inter-connectors that are used to attach the inter-posers to the main board of the NES, will make the entire assembly too tall to fit back into the NES properly. As a result you have two options at this point and neither are very good. Again this is for the front loader or original release NES back in the 80's.

 

1st option - would require you to use a dremel or similar tools to literally cut out the entire rectangular portion near the unused expansion connector. That is because it is this part of the bottom shell of the standard front loading NES that will now be in the way of the new skyscraper CPU and PPU assemblies you have attached. Since my NES no longer has the bottom cover to cover the expansion opening, I wasn't thrilled about a 2"x3" hole in the bottom of my NES for creepy crawlies, additional dust etc to have easy access to the electronics like this. Bad enough you can't use the bottom RF shield with this kit to help protect the electronics so yeah...

 

2nd option - and the option I ended up going with, was to instead, remove the interconnects from the main NES board and instead solder the actual inter-posers directly to the main board. There are still two big issues with this and they relate to the PPU section specifically. One is that doing this requires you to relocate both the small ceramic cap and the electrolytic 1uf cap near it to the opposite side of the main board. This will cause issues if you still have the original 72-pin connection assembly and tray and will require additional modifications to allow room for these two caps. I have a BLW installed so I just had to mount the caps and fold them over flat to allow clearance. Second and larger issue from that, is that even when you locate these two caps, the ribbon connector on the PPU inter-poser won't be able to fit over the IC chip that is mounted directly to the right of it. As a result, you have to be very careful and mount that inter-poser with a slight angle. This will prevent nearly half of the pins from making complete contact through the vias on the main board and may require a small tip iron to solder those pins down from the top of the board in the small gaps that are made from it sitting slightly too high. Sucks...but not sure what other options there are.

 

so yeah neither option is that great honestly. There is a third and probably the best option..

 

That is to not use an IC socket or the interconnects at all on the top of the inter-poser boards and just solder the CPU and PPU directly to the inter-posers. This would also allow full clearance and not require relocating anything on the mainboard either. But should you need to replace either chip, it would be made more difficult doing so.

 

To combat this, Game-tech and Kevin need to see if they can find a way to move the ribbon connector to the top side of the interconnect boards. This would allow the PPU interposer to then sit flush against the mainboard on the NES. You would still have to relocate the two caps but that is a very minor thing.

 

So far so good after doing this, but yeah...quite a bit of work required for everything on the front loader side of things. Likely not an issue on top loaders since they have the chips mounted upright instead of upside down as they are in the front loader. Still that slope on the top of the top loader could be problematic for the CPU side... not sure since I've not installed this kit personally into a top loader.

 

Thoughts? Ideas? Suggestions to the above for those who have done this?

 

I still have the issue of a lot of heat being given off by the Hi-Def NES but it doesn't seem to cause any issues with the extended play time I've been given it thus far.

Edited by -^Cro§Bow^-

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I received my Hi-Def NES kit on Thursday and just completed the installation this morning. I got the preassembled inter-posers which have the dual wipe sockets. The whole installation went beautifully. What a great kit. This is truly a marvelous piece of engineering. Thanks Kevtris! One thing I would like to see is an original style sticker replacement for the HDMI port. Also a little sticker for the front of the unit that says something like, "Hi-Def NES Enhanced" or "Hi-Def NES Enhanced from Zimba Labs"

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I just complete the installation of my Hi-Def NES I ordered from Game-Tech.US this weekend. It look amazing! But I've a few questions for those that have purchased and installed this kit for themselves, or purchased one of the already modded systems from Game-Tech.

 

First is what power supply you are actually using with your NES? As most know, the PS for the NES has AC output on it. The NES power and rf board inverts the power back to DC and so the actual console is just running on 5v from a standard 7805. However, the Hi-Def NES replaces this part of the system with a more efficient +5volt switching circuit. However, on the original NES it was totally possible and deemed to better for the life of the console to use a DC ouput PS instead of the AC one originally from Nintendo. I can confirm this as I've played many many hours nonstop on my NES both modded now and unmodded using a Genesis model 1 power supply.

 

But here is the question:

Have you noticed your regulators on the Hi-Def NES getting crazy warm? So much so that they are too hot to touch? Mine appear to generate a ton of heat. And it isn't due to the PS because I was first running it with my original NES power supply. But I thought the +14.5 reading from it I was getting from the 7805 old vias was perhaps a bit too much. So I played about 4 hours solid on my NES with a Genesis model 1 PS only putting out about +11.5. Regardless of which I use the Hi-Def NES seems to get very very warm. My main concern is that on the front loader with it located directly under the power and rf board, that there might not be enough ventilation there for the Hi-Def NES board to breathe?

 

I've used the oem and the yellow box generic one (dc output - NES and sega), had no problems. The OEM ran pretty hot.

I fried a main board on my first install (due my mistake),messaged twice, both times I messaged Jason a asked about the heat. That part was ignored both times. The updated install info now says it gets warm.

The thing I found surprising was that one of the recommended install methods was to put a giant piece of foam (included) on the main chip to hold the board in place!

I ended up cutting up a gift card into a "c" shape and used it under the HDMI board for some air space. Seemed to be a little cooler.

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I haven't fired up the NES since my last posting as I'm back on a Genesis kick currently along with the new Zelda...LOL. But again, with the dual wipe sockets I got and the interposers...etc, the entire assemblies were just too tall to fit back into the shell properly. I'm sure on the top loader these aren't an issue since they likely have more space in the shell for everything.

 

As for the heat, I still don't know what the chip was that was getting hot, but I'm assuming it is the HDMI processor chip. I did cut part of the supports out for the boss post that sits next to the power and ground connections. I also redid those connections to make sure no exposed wire is seen from the top. Again, those two connections are pretty darn close together. Technically I would even advise scraping away solder mask elsewhere for the ground connection on the Hi-Def NES and attach ground on the opposite side of the power to keep them as far as you can.

 

I'm curious to know what the latest rev of the PCBs etc look like? I only have the 2nd revision or red PCBs.

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