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After watching this video tutorial: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AyJsOoQKRjQ

I'm wondering what the whole deal was with the batteries. Apparently, you can resolder the circuit board inside the Rumble Pak slightly to make it batteryless. And there is no mention of the rumble effect being "lesser" when not using batteries, or anything like that; it seems to work just a swell with the power it gets through the cable from the console! This is surprising to say the least.

So why did it officially require batteries? I also remember seeing ads in magazines for third-party Rumble Paks which didn't require batteries, and I always wondered back then how that was possible. But apparently, Nintendo could've easily sold their own official ones without any battery compartment. But they didn't.

How can this be explained? Most likely, there is a logical explanation.

4
  • 4
    I can think of two reasons: - Was there a wireless controller for the N64? If the answer is yes, the rumble pak would drain even more energy from the controller's own batteries - The N64 controller wire was not designed to allow too much energy being transfered through it. Probably it was too thin and it would be dangerous due to overheating and/or prone to short circuit May 8 at 17:28
  • 3
    Another issue is that if one had a cartridge that was drawing the maximum allowable amount of current at the same time as all four rumble packs were triggered, that might exceed the power capacity of the N64 supply. It's possible voltage drop in a controller cable might be great enough to make controller operation unreliable, but a wire would have to be fairly big for a 5-volt supply to overheat it. Otherwise, the smaller the wire, the less heat it could generate even if the far end was a dead short.
    – supercat
    May 8 at 20:46
  • The Wikipedia entry says, with respect to third-party variants, Some draw power from the controller instead of batteries, but the lower power makes them less effective. May 8 at 22:09
  • I think electronics.stackexchange.com might have a better chance of answering. May 9 at 8:23
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According to Willis82 at https://www.tapatalk.com/groups/nintendo_64_forever/rumble-pak-mod-t6706.html

Nintendo actually did this to kiosk rumble packs so shop owners wouldn't have to change batteries. They even went so far as to glue the battery doors shut. It's ok to run a rumble pack this way but never run 4 controllers with 4 modified packs, it draws too many amps through the ports and the system can't handle it. The kiosks came with disclaimers warning what would happen if you ran more than two modified packs on one system.

So it seems likely that the battery was to allow you to use more than 2 paks with an N64 system.

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