How to do a N64 Controller Pak mod for long term storage

I came across this site with some promise, it’s called kbase64. It is intended to be a forum that hosts a series of hardware tutorials for the Nintendo 64. So far, it only has one Controller Pak mod that you can find in the OP of this thread.

The post covers every step in the process, it even lists all the things you might need to do the mod. You’ll need the typical circuit borad things like a soldering iron, flux, wick etc. Specifically for use in this mod, you will need a FRAM-Chip such as the FM18W08 or the FM28V020 (about £12-13) and of course a Controller Pak to install it on. A game to test it comes in handy as well, of course.

Should you do this Controller Pak mod?

I won’t go into too much details about the process since this is covered fairly well by the tutorial, but I will have a look to see the cost/benefit of this mod to see whether it is worth it.

  • Battery saves, last somewhere around 10-20 years (give or take), so it’s likely these original pieces no longer work and need a replacement.
  • FRAM doesn’t rely on a battery to save data, so it is predicted to last 70-80 years, much longer than a battery save would.

On the other hand, there are some drawbacks.

  • The chip on its own costs a fair bit, so replacing the battery would probably be a cheaper option.
  • It requires some precision soldering, it’s recommended to have a variable temperature iron and a steady hand. It’s quite expensive to get if you don’t have the tools lying around.

I hope this helps put things into perspective, and happy modding!

Articles across the web

Ever wanted to do a controller pak mod that replaced those old battery-backed memory banks with something longer-lasting? This tutorial shows you how.
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