[HARDWARE MOD] Increase the earphone output volume of your 3DS (some models so far).

Discussion in '3DS - Tutorials' started by KipMudz, Oct 20, 2015.

  1. Nazosan

    Nazosan GBAtemp Regular

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    Well, there is valid reason behind it. People are generally harming their hearing via this sort of thing. But the problem is that simply arbitrarily limiting volume at the device side is a completely incorrect solution as it assumes all headphones/IEMs/earbuds have exactly the same specifications in impedance and sensitivity. Which is obviously utterly and wildly impossible. Of course, a lot of younger people especially do listen to things too loud for too long at a time which does actually impact their hearing over time. For that matter older people do too. So these laws exist ultimately trying to help people. They just happen to do much more harm than good is all. Not everyone uses really cheap super low quality IEMs that came with some $5 MP3 player from China or something. Since not all devices are the same, the limitations actually don't work right and ultimately limit far too much on most real devices under the intention of protecting from dangers with the cheapest, lowest quality devices.

    Now, the biggest reason Nintendo is doing this is likely to specifically meet those European laws. A lot of companies do find it easier just to use the same hardware across all such devices and change only the minimum -- this is just basic business in that it's cheaper this way. I suspect, though, that at least in part Nintendo may at least still agree with the basic idea. As I said, a lot of their audience is younger. Don't forget they go to extremes like having the original DS (does the DSi do this?) boot up every single blasted time with that stupid warning message. (BTW, FlashMe can bypass this if anyone still uses a DS. I don't believe there is or ever will be a FlashMe for the DSi however. It was mostly intended for running NDS code from slot 2 devices which became unnecessary when they figured out how to make slot 1 devices work. Not just outdated, but inapplicable on the DSi.) I still suspect Nintendo implements the volume limiting far more willingly than most among other such things.
     
  2. Foxi4

    Foxi4 On the hunt...

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    I have, and I commented before, when the thread was originally posted. Back then I also suggested an external amp for the headphones jack since headphones themselves are external anyways and you can boost their volume easily without ever opening the console. Since then I've also included a method to boost the internal speakers, keep track of the conversation. I respectfully disagree regarding the resistor, it's there for current control and to provide a volume floor, it's supposed to be there, the engineers who designed the system put it there for a reason. Removing it increases volume and the risk is minimal, which doesn't make the resistor pointless in the circuit. To be fair though, the volume slider is a potentiometer, so technically a variable resistor, and thus there's a resistor in the circuit either way, so I suppose it's same difference. ;)
     
  3. Nazosan

    Nazosan GBAtemp Regular

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    First, the potentiometer usually adjusts before the amplification, not after. Second, if you had read this thread first you would also realize that A. we're talking about the headphone jack, not speakers, and B. this has already been done and tested many times over for long periods of time and the mechanism is known and verified safe.

    And the reason the "resistors aren't supposed to be there" is not "because no engineer intended and someone just stuck them on there for fun." I'm saying that it's just a hardware implementation of the volume limitation principle. It's not a necessary part of the circuit by any means and has zero benefits whatsoever beyond that Nintendo can say they've absolutely 100% met the letter of those laws in those countries that require volume limiting without having to have different runs of hardware just for those countries or implementing complex software mechanisms to achieve the same thing. (In fact, with devices like the DS and DSi this was probably impossible. It might be possible with the 3DS, but then likely only in 3DS games, so in the end it's still easiest from Nintendo's perspective to stick with the resistors on these systems.) It's not that they are a necessary part of the circuit, it's that they are just a way of being really cheap and/or an external helicopter parent so to speak. So, no, they "aren't supposed to be there" in the way that you keep insisting without basis.
     
    Last edited by Nazosan, May 5, 2017
  4. Foxi4

    Foxi4 On the hunt...

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    The pot adjust pre-amplification to pass less current through itself and allow for finer, more precise volume control, sure. I don't know if you're reading my posts or not, I know the OP was about the headphones jack, we've since deviated from that point to an overall conversation about volume. I also never said that it's not safe, I said that it's silly - there are better ways to do this. Again, conversation's getting circular, so there's no point in continuing, we can just agree to disagree on the matter.
     
  5. Nazosan

    Nazosan GBAtemp Regular

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    The person you were responding to was talking about the headphone jack even. You're off on tangents for no visible reason suggesting something that is orders of magnitude more complex to implement with almost no benefits in actually implementing whereas a simple and more direct solution is far more clean, efficient, and effective all around.

    Anyway, clearly this discussion is going nowhere. I will say no more on this.
     
  6. GuitarJav

    GuitarJav Newbie

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    Hi again, sorry to bother guys, but I have disarmed the dsi xl, I do not have much knowledge about electronics componentes and that, but I have done to disarm it equally, I used my multimeter to check the path from the jack that makes the current in left and right channel in reverse, and I notice that the 1st component that mark continuity are these 2 small components(check pict) and then 2 more micro components (I suppose these would be); Could these be the same resistors that limit the signal in 3DS? These are marked with R89 and R88 in description on the board. Thanks is advance guys.
    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited by GuitarJav, May 5, 2017
  7. Foxi4

    Foxi4 On the hunt...

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    I wouldn't know - it's uncharted territory. The problem here is that it's a multilayered PCB, so God knows what these are connected to besides the jack. You can perform a simple test - short the contacts and see if the volume is affected at all. Connecting the terminals of the resistor should drop overall resistance enough to make an audible difference. Just make sure that they're actually on the same line as a jack. Just double-check the markings on the components so you know what you're actually shorting - you'll need a magnifying glass.

    EDIT: Actually, just plug in some headphones and measure the resistance - that'd be safer. If it matches the resistance in the OP and changes as you plug in the headphones, it's a safe bet that you're on the right track.
     
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  8. GuitarJav

    GuitarJav Newbie

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    well..Its possible a more detailed description of how to measure or where to put the test leads of the multimeter to measure along with the headphones placed in the jack:unsure:, I dont have much knowledge on the matter; only the small resistor, it marks me on the multimeter when I put it on the 20k knob it marks me: 0.09-0.10, and when I leave the knob in 2000 it marks me: 099-101, when I leave the knob At 200 me the above gives me 102 and the resistor below 99, I do not know if I'm doing something wrong; My headphones give me a resistance of 16 ohms when Im test it in the same way.
    [​IMG]

    As you can see follows the same diagram and order of components as the other versions of the ds. but I cant get the 25 ohms of the resistor that shows OP.
     
  9. Vipera

    Vipera Banned

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    Great mod! I was very disappointed as well back when I used my 3DS as MP3 player. Music was less enjoyable when I was outside and I only used it for talk shows.

    What I've been looking for recently is a bluetooth adapter mod so I could use my bluetooth headphones with it. I have looked up for any external adapters but they are all too big :(
     
  10. Foxi4

    Foxi4 On the hunt...

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    To measure the resistance of the whole circuit, check the resistance between the actual terminal on the headphones and the end of the resistor, each resistor should correspond to one channel, either left or right. The value of the resistors by themselves should be around 25 ohm each, as in the original - I doubt they'd use different ones. Once you have both values, compare them. Keep in mind that, as I said, volume control on the DSi is digital, so there's a fair chance that the resistors aren't even there and you're measuring something else entirely - it could be done in software. I looked for a more detailed schematic for you looking for those resistors but found none, so I'm drawing a blank as much as you are. That being said, if your meter is showing continuity, they are definitely in that circuit. Reduced resistance in the circuit should boost volume, you just have to be sure what you're bridging.
     
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  11. Nazosan

    Nazosan GBAtemp Regular

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    The resistors on the headphone jack are NOT part of volume control. It is a hardware implementation of volume limiting implemented in the cheapest possible way. Thus digital volume control is unrelated to this.

    I think there was a post about this a while back, but this is a bit beyond the scope of this particular thread. If you do some searching this has been done though and is possible. Bear in mind of course that if it draws from the system battery the battery life will be ever so slightly worse for obvious reasons, but this is entirely possible.

    It's also possible just to grab an external transmitter from Amazon/whatever for fairly cheap these days and just velcro it to the back. This may not be as convenient as what you're looking for, but just so you know, they make transmitters that are really tiny these days.
     
    Last edited by Nazosan, May 6, 2017
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  12. Foxi4

    Foxi4 On the hunt...

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    Volume limiting is something I'd consider a part of volume control - it provides a ceiling value, but each to their own, I guess. As for the digital control, I mentioned it because many devices implement volume limiting to comply with various health and safety standards in software with IC's doing the monitoring. Android handsets are a good example as they do so in two stages, allowing you to use full volume for a set period of time before the output is shunted to a "safe maximum" and a health and safety message is displayed. I don't know how the DSi does it and I don't have a detailed schematic, so I mentioned the possibility for the sake of clarity.
     
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  13. Azel

    Azel GBAtemp Advanced Fan

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    What you do fail again and again and again to understand, just like @tbb043 said on the last page, the 3DS pcb+components (and DSi and everything else starting with the gameboy) is the SAME in every country in the whole world, I don't know about each and every countries law, but there those resistor are A DIRECT IMPLEMENTATION of a LAW, at least we have this law in France.

    you've also been arguing for pages that it's better to use a chain with signal-resistor(solely designed to limit output dB, nothing else)-amp-filter-headphones than signal-no resistor-anything you want.
    well I'm sorry but just go ask your signal treatment teacher, if it's better to amplify a limited signal and filter it than just having a clean signal and go from there. (and if you don't trust him use tools to analyse both signal, the result is so obvious in nature, I'm not sure why you're arguing :\)
     
  14. Foxi4

    Foxi4 On the hunt...

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    My point was that it's not a "clean signal" because the DAC sucks and doesn't have the oomph to power a stronger audio output device and the resistor is there to limit current. It's clean in the sense that it comes straight from the source, however quality at higher volume is debatable. It's there for legal reasons, I agreed that's the case, but there are other reasons for why it's there. A resistor on the line limits the amount of low-level noise as well, I'm sure your teacher explained that to you, although in this case it's not really a pull-up resistor as it's not a logic circuit. I already ceded the point that reducing resistance on the line will increase volume, my concern was audio quality, but that's besides the point, really. I tend to go for solutions that do not require performing surgery on multilayered PCB's, so if I were to increase the volume for my headphones, I'd use an external amp and if I were to increase the volume of the internal speaker, I'd cut into the speaker wires which can be easily patched. That was my whole point, sorry if it sounded more complicated than I intended. I never wanted to argue, I just introduced a different opinion - there are ways to increase volume without ever opening the system which is significantly safer for users who don't know how to use an iron, don't have the equipment to solder SMT components or simply lack confidence. Is that clearer?
     
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  15. Nazosan

    Nazosan GBAtemp Regular

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    I refuse to waste more time with this meaningless argument. What I'm saying is -- and this is really directed at GuitarJav rather than you -- "you are indeed looking for a resistor, not some sort of complex volume control circuitry." Whether those are the right resistors or not I really can't answer obviously, but that they are at least on the right track I can say.
     
  16. Foxi4

    Foxi4 On the hunt...

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    Why are you so irate? I never said that it's not what he's looking for, I said that some devices limit maximum output differently and I personally don't know how the DSi does it specifically. I swear, you must be reading my posts partially or something because I was agreeing with you there.

    Anywho, you're right in saying that those are the right tracks if they show continuity with the jack's terminals. Whether they're the final resistors he's looking for remains to be seen as he can't seem to get a consistent reading on them.
     
  17. GuitarJav

    GuitarJav Newbie

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    Hi again guys, first thanks for ALL the help, In a day or two Im going with a specialist in repairing board laptops,consoles and reballing and see if he can advise me on the subject and make the resistors bridge(because is SOOO small), and not end up killing the console(I'm preparing psychologically if the case comes D:).
    I will be reporting the facts.
     
  18. Nazosan

    Nazosan GBAtemp Regular

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    You may already know this, but if your system is modded you can backup all your saves. I personally recommend this one: https://gbatemp.net/threads/release-jks-savemanager-homebrew-cia-save-manager.413143/ Seems to be very capable and reliable IMO. Then at least if anything did happen and if you had to actually go to another system you could restore your saves.

    Honestly, it should be fairly simple to test. Basically just test each point of the resistor to the ground of the headphones. If it is the correct resistor you should see the expected resistance added to the headphone impedance on one side and not on the other. BTW, I forgot to mention this before, but do bear in mind that resistors typically vary slightly, so one might be slightly different from the other. SLIGHTLY. It shouldn't be, say, 5 ohms different. I don't know what official tolerance range Nintendo would aim for here (as I said, this is just the cheapest possible implementation of something they don't even think is important enough to dedicate any real thought over even if you and I would disagree with them on this point) but it likely will be really really close -- less than one ohm difference. Probably significantly less. Still, it could be as much as the 3 ohm total difference you saw (especially if you factor in the headphones too...) Oh, and you should use a lower test range for smaller impedance like this. The 200 on your tester would likely be ideal. This should be more accurate at lower ranges. If you do a lot of this sort of thing on a regular basis you might

    Oh, and they make "paintable circuit" stuff. You can actually use this pen-like thing to paint on something (sort of like how white-out pens work in that it's a thicker liquid) to draw a circuit. In a pinch, graphite is conductive, so you could even try using a pencil, but this likely won't work well on components like this. (Still, it worked well enough to unlock multiplier locked AMD processors back in the day, lol.) This is unsuitable for permanent use and has a bit of resistance in itself (though at that range it should be very little) and it can't handle much current or voltage at all, but for a headphone jack it should be fine for simple testing. If you think you are sure about one you can try something temporary like this and just do it on one side. Then you should hear a noticeable difference from one side versus the other if you test it like that. (You could technically just do both and see if you hear the difference, but sound is subjective, so it's easiest if you have a marked difference from one side to the other to get a more objective test.)

    Because red herring arguments only serve to derail for no real value adding purpose.
     
  19. Foxi4

    Foxi4 On the hunt...

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    Fair play. Anywho, back to the actual issue, I've already suggested measuring resistance between the jack and the resistors, and yeah, a lower range would be suitable. I can't say that I concur with your suggestion for using a printed circuit pen, it's not exactly a flat surface, but it might work. I remember using pencils on AMD CPU's - unlocking multipliers was fun times. Soldering one copper thread across the two ends would suffice though and it's not that bad, the risk of tombstoning is minimal, but if we're looking for alternatives, I have heard some success stories with conductive adhesive, although in those cases, funnily enough, it was also used to short buried vias on AMD CPU's. Electrically conductive adhesives are available cheaply online and it should do the trick (as long as it's explicitly electrically conductive and not just thermally conductive), but nothing really replaces a good 'ol blob of solder and some copper leads. Hope we can put the argument behind us, sorry, it's been a long week. ;)
     
  20. Nazosan

    Nazosan GBAtemp Regular

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    Oh, I just mean that to be a temporary test mechanism and nothing more. After testing (successfully or not) it should be removed. It's just a simple quick way to test without needing a soldering iron.

    The conductive pens use a thick enough material to work on a non-flat surface. I have doubts about a pencil, but somehow it used to work on those CPUs back in the day. Mind you they probably weren't too picky about resistance as long as it was non-infinity.