Author Topic: My modded Yinlips YDPG18A  (Read 14842 times)

Offline Ashen

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My modded Yinlips YDPG18A
« on: June 14, 2012, 01:41:41 PM »
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 separate 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 WHY? 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 (carefully) 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:





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)






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





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.

My d-pad solution:  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.


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:



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.


Offline Pballwiz

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My modded Yinlips YDPG18A
« Reply #2 on: June 14, 2012, 05:42:55 PM »
When can I send you mine to mod? :)

Offline raygan

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My modded Yinlips YDPG18A
« Reply #3 on: June 14, 2012, 06:17:12 PM »
Very impressive! The ram mod is probably beyond my skills, but I may try the d-pad mod!

Offline indask8

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Re: My modded Yinlips YDPG18A
« Reply #4 on: June 14, 2012, 07:28:00 PM »
You're amazingly good, especially for adding an extra flash chip on it.

I wonder how you can solder such a small component without bridging every single pins into a lot of solder... (which is what would happen if I tried, I'm not too good at soldering...) I guess it involves using flux.

Offline Articus

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Re: My modded Yinlips YDPG18A
« Reply #5 on: June 14, 2012, 07:34:40 PM »
Great Project!!  Good description of work done.  Kind of makes me want to get one!

I have to agree RAM Mod is way past my soldering skill level.  Ive seen tuts on youtube, but ive never been able.  Yet they make it look easy to solder all those tiny pins flawlessly.

Again, congrats!

Offline w1ilk

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Re: My modded Yinlips YDPG18A
« Reply #6 on: June 14, 2012, 07:37:06 PM »
where you bought the batteries, and what are the dimensions of the battery ?, btw nice mod ;)

Offline exodus

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Re: My modded Yinlips YDPG18A
« Reply #7 on: June 14, 2012, 07:58:09 PM »
How hard would it to be to replace the stock battery? Could you make a video doing it? Where would you recommend buying one of them?

My thing is I am worried that I could not reattach the screen properly. The ribbion is way to small. How are is it to do that?

Offline Ashen

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Re: My modded Yinlips YDPG18A
« Reply #8 on: June 14, 2012, 08:17:31 PM »
Thanks everyone! Actually, I'm usually in the business of building GameCube portables. So this was kind of an easy afternoon project for me. :D

You don't have to remove the screen or the motherboard from the case at all just to change out the battery. You can access the battery of the unit simply by taking off the back of the case. Pretty much all it amounts to is de-soldering 2 wires (battery + and -) from the board and swapping in a new battery.

The dimensions of the stock battery (a single cell 3.7v li-po) are: 8.5cm x 5.5cm x 5mm though I figure we could potentially fit in something up to 9.5cm x 6cm x 6mm max with a bit of squishing. I get all of my lithium ion/polymer batteries online from either batteryspace.com or allbattery.com. Please remember if you swap out the stock battery for a new one you NEED to install a protection circuit/board on the new li-po you are swapping in. This is very important, as without a proper protection board installed the battery will explode. you can of course take the protection board off of the stock battery you are swapping out and use it for the new battery.

Offline yoshi41

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Re: My modded Yinlips YDPG18A
« Reply #9 on: June 14, 2012, 08:39:53 PM »
Cool. You're a very skilled modder. 8)

This is very important, as without a proper protection board installed the battery will explode.

Regarding batteries in general for (cheap) chinese handhelds. As you said, these batteries are mostly cheap as well.

What do you think is the risk they can explode?

I'm not planning to open any of my handhelds. Just due to the fact they are cheaply built. Sony had issues with exploding notebook batteries in the past, when they tried to save money in the production process. I could imagine some cheap handhelds have even worse batteries.
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Offline bamboori

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Re: My modded Yinlips YDPG18A
« Reply #10 on: June 14, 2012, 08:46:57 PM »
well normally they shouldnt explode unless you put them in the wrong way round (regarding + and -) or if you forget or use a wrong protection circuit.

Offline lemonlimer

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Re: My modded Yinlips YDPG18A
« Reply #11 on: June 19, 2012, 02:00:26 AM »
What did you use for your sheet sink?

Offline Kryptofacist

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Re: My modded Yinlips YDPG18A
« Reply #12 on: June 20, 2012, 05:54:32 AM »
What did you use for your sheet sink?

Also, how is it attached?
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Offline Ashen

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Re: My modded Yinlips YDPG18A
« Reply #13 on: June 20, 2012, 11:21:33 AM »
Most lithium polymer batteries that explode/catch fire do so either because they have been punctured or because of manufacturing defects. As long as you install a proper protection board and use an appropriate charger there is very little risk.

The sheetsink I made is just a 1mm thick sheet of aluminum. I cut it out on my bandsaw and with my dremel the way I wanted it. Its attatched with artic silver thermal epoxy. Not the best thermal solution, but in my experience its better than nothing at all.

Willgoo, I'll get back to you soon with a more in depth explanation of the d-pad mod.

Offline willgoo

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Re: My modded Yinlips YDPG18A
« Reply #14 on: June 21, 2012, 04:44:22 AM »
Thank you, Ashen.

We are looking forward to your depth explanation of the d-pad mod. We will release it on Willgoo and let more people to mod their device- Again, we will not take any respondsibility for any risk on you guys modding on handhelds- Make sure you are skillful when they do this modding. :)