In a roundabout way, this post is a continuation of this post: http://www.grandrapidsdevs.com/o3dsxl-hardmod-example.html , and this post: http://www.grandrapidsdevs.com/o3dsxl-7-wire-hardmod-example.html , except here we will be talking about a N3dsXL 7 Wire Hardmod. After hardmodding the O3dsXL, I decided the next natural step was to buy a N3dsXL and hardmod that as well. Let me say right off the bat, I had been spoiled by the ease of the O3dsXL Hardmod, once you remove the main cover from the O3dsXL everything you need to solder to is right there, exposed and beautifully accessible. This is NOT THE CASE AT ALL with the N3dsXL. Here is a look at the N3dsXL when the back cover has been removed
The problem with the hardmod on this model, is some of the points we need access to actually reside on the underside of the motherboard. There are several connectors of varying types that need to be removed in order to properly extract the motherboard. Please use the utmost care, and take your time when removing these cables, a broken cable or clip here could mean huge problems for you. I find the hardest one to get reseated to be the one that’s in the hinge, most likely it carries the display signal to the top screen. There’s a bit of a trick to it, you almost have to get it to wedge itself in the slot, then use a toothpick or some other small implement to push the retention clip down. The other clips/ribbons that need to be removed are pretty easy to get to and should present very minimal problems when re-seating them. Here’s a shot of all the necessary cables detached from the bottom of the N3dsXL, with the top portion of the device completely removed.
After removing the motherboard, this is what the area we will be soldering to looks like
Here’s the points we will be soldering to, the CLK line is definitely the hardest point to solder to here, be extra careful with it to avoid lifting the pad. Really, I would recommend to avoid trouble, to use the alternate CLK point on the top of the motherboard, it’s much easier to access and results in a shorter wire to CLK, offering less resistance for the N3dsXL 7 wire hardmod.
Here’s a shot after I soldered everything up, as I stated earlier, I would recommend using the alternate CLK point on the top of the motherboard, as I eventually ended up doing with this exact mod.
It did end up being a bit of a challenge to get all the points I needed to solder to covered while keeping in mind routing the wires properly to reach the top of the motherboard, but with a multimeter and some patience, I was able to get everything fitted nicely. This next image shows where I decided to route my wires out from underneath the motherboard, I think this may be one of the only areas, but it also worked out well for me as I intended on putting the external connector in the same area
Here’s a pic of the 7 pin micro JST male end, with everything soldered to it. As you can see, the wires are quite close, and pretty hard to keep separated while soldering. But, with some patience, it can be done.
Here’s a pic of me just doing a little testing before permanently installing the plug, just want to be sure everything is working with the N3dsXL 7 wire hardmod
Here’s where I landed on placing the plug, really, there’s not a whole lot of space available, I think you will find this yourself. There’s not the convenience of the carrying-strap holes that the O3dsXL has on the N3dsXL.
Here’s a pic of the plug mounted with a little epoxy
I ended up with some extra wire, it was kind of needed to allow me to solder to the extremely small plug properly, so I tucked those wires under the motherboard, works well and got them out of the way. Here’s what that looks like
I used a dremel to strip away the portions of the OEM case that I needed to in order to provide access to the plug, here’s the final product
All in all, I’m very happy with the look and location of the plug, and it is ultra convenient having an externally accessible spot to flash the NAND should I mess up anything. This is a great looking N3dsXL 7 wire hardmod!