One Less Dongle

10 May 2023

I have a decent HDMI dongle for the Nintendo 64 but the picture quality is stretched and quite blurry then one day on Youtube I see an overview of a budget friendly HDMI kit for the N64. I knew I had to get one for myself but the kit required advanced level soldering so I decided to challenge myself and pre-order one.

The kit was expected to release in a few months so I had some time to kill. Soldering and modding things has become my one of my favourite hobbies, at the expense of my wallet, so I took this opportunity to refurbish my N64. I ordered new capacitor sets for the power brick and console as well as new thermal pads to replaced the incredibly old ones. Instead of boring you with more details, here’s a series of progress pictures.

A few months go by and the 64HD from Gamebox Systems arrived at my doorstep. Both excited and nervous, I install the kit almost immediately. Same as before, here’s a bunch of pictures.

The pre-order batch did have an HDMI board thickness error and we were instructed to cut the corner to make it fit. Not ideal in my opinion but it’s the price you pay when pre-ordering.

Pressing a combination of buttons on the controller pops up an OSD menu where you can control resolution and filters. Super cool!

Adding HDMI to the N64 doesn’t make polygons smooth or have the same fidelity as emulators but it does make the pixels crispier and more pronounced which I love and one of the reasons why I wanted the kit in the first place.

Installing the mod was so much fun and an amazing learning experience. This has given me the confidence to maybe try my holy grail mod of adding HDMI and hard drive support to the original Xbox.