Bad GBA Expansion Cart?

Discussion in 'M3 Adapter' started by Pharrox, Jun 23, 2008.

Jun 23, 2008

Bad GBA Expansion Cart? by Pharrox at 3:35 AM (1,771 Views / 0 Likes) 17 replies

  1. Pharrox
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    Newcomer Pharrox Member

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    I ordered my M3DS Real (perfect bundle) a few months ago. Since then I haven't really used either of the GBA expansion cards at all. I've tried loading a patched Opera browser with it and I always get an error, but I figured it was a problem with how I patched it.

    Anyway, I'm running the hacked 1.11 version of Sakura, and I'm trying to load a few GBA games with the thing, but most of the time it doesn't even get recognized. If I load to the main DS menu it says "There is a DS option pack installed", but in the actual M3 Real I get nothing. If I keep restarting it will say it is recognized about 5% of the time, but during that 5% if I try to load a ROM all I get is a blank white screen after it says Gameboy. It does load a little bit though because it will say Nintendo underneath which is more than will happen without the pack inserted. Opera still wont do anything.

    I took it apart, which isn't that hard because the screw doesn't even fit into its hole so it just popped right open. I couldn't really see any problems with it (not that I'd really know what to look for). So is there something I could do about this or is it just a bad cart? I'll be pretty annoyed if there is nothing since I paid twice as much just to get the perfect bundle and the rumble pack is basically useless to me. I have a 3-in-1, but I'd like to have the ability to load right from the main GUI with cheats and RTS. And now that I've mentioned that, I know its off topic, but how do I change the save directory on GBA ExpLoader? I change it in the .ini file and put it in the root of the SD card, but it never makes a difference.

    It's been too long for the store to return it, so that isn't really an option. I'm kinda annoyed at M3 right now. With this, the fact that the spring on my M3 Real never worked (I always have to eject the M3 to swap SD cards), and the fact that there has still been no mention of DS-Wii connectivity even being looked at. Sorry if this is turning into a rant. Anyway, if anyone can give some advice it would be greatly appreciated.
     
  2. tguellich

    Newcomer tguellich Advanced Member

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    Try turning your DS on while the GBA expansion is inserted. Let the thing run for a few hours (plugging it in to charge is recommended) then see what happens. If I am correct, the GBA expansion has a small battery that needs to charge before you can get anything out of it. It has worked for me in the past.
     
  3. Pharrox
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    Newcomer Pharrox Member

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    Thanks for the reply. I've had the card in for a couple weeks (and charged it a lot during that time), so I don't think that's it. Still, I'll give it a try just to be sure. Is there something specific it should be doing during that time (game, ds menu, m3 menu)?
     
  4. Fun_Zephyr

    Member Fun_Zephyr GBAtemp Fan

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    As silly as this might sound just ensure you have the GBA Expansion Pak in as one of them is a Rumble Pak which will not run GBA games.

    As stated in the previous post by tguellich make sure that the GBA Expansion Pak has been in for a while so that it does charge.

    Also ensure that you have good dumps of the GBA Roms you are using that are unpatched.

    Laslty, I am not using the Sakura software yet but when I tested it all I did was select my GBA game and it loaded fine - heaps faster than with the the traditional M3 Software.

    Other than that I am out of ideas.... I guess you could try and see if you can load GBA games using teh original Sofwtare for the M3? v3.7e. Just ensure there is a GBA folder on the Root of your Card and place a game or two in there and then try to load a game and see if t works.
     
  5. Pharrox
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    Newcomer Pharrox Member

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    Hmm. Yeah, I'm sure its the right card. The dumps all run fine on the 3-in-1, so they aren't corrupt (but it's a hassle). And I just upgraded to Sakura today because it wasn't working on the regular M3 firmware, so that isn't it either.

    About the battery in the card. Do you know what it looks like and where it's located? If the symptoms fit and charging it doesn't work, maybe it's just a dead battery?


    EDIT: I'm almost positive it's something loose on the card. After letting it sit for three hours I tested it multiple times to see if it made a difference, but it didn't. I took the card apart, put it back together, banged it on the table afew times, put it back in and it worked...kinda. I got it to load a couple ROMs for a couple minutes, but from what I could tell, shaking the DS even a little will cause it to freeze and turn the sound to a wierd static. One time I loaded Sakura and it said "0MB GBA Expansion cart detected". If it doesn't detect it, I can take it out, bang it on the table and it will at least detect it then (and play ROMs if held perfectly still).

    Any idea what could be loose or whow I could find out?
     
  6. g6team

    Member g6team GBAtemp Advanced Fan

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    There is a screw behind the expansion you can unscrew it and see if there is something loose. Of course if you are uncomfortable with taking it apart then please don't.

    [​IMG]
     
  7. Fun_Zephyr

    Member Fun_Zephyr GBAtemp Fan

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    It sounds like you have tried everything and that either the battery is dead or there is a lose connection somewhere within the Expansion Pak. Unfortunately - I only know of a battery being in the pack due to what others have stated. As for replacing it I have no idea.

    I gues syou only have 3 options left:

    1. Try and get teh Expansion Pak replaced from where you purchased
    2. Speak with the M3 Team. info@m3adapter.com
    3. Purcahse a new GBA Expansion Pak only

    Sorry I can be of no more help. [​IMG]
     
  8. Toni Plutonij

    Former Staff Toni Plutonij *has TrolleyDave & tiny p1ngy on moderating shelf!

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    When you open your expansion, believe me, it won't be hard to locate a battery..It's a big round disc-a-like thing, but it's probably soldered to the board, so actually it's a bit difficult to replace it..
    And from this what you have said, it's not the battery problem, but something inside is probably moving and like that it loses connection.....
    Open it, and look for something that could have bad connection, try to shake the whole board (don't touch it too much with your hands, use gloves or take the board by it's sides), and try to find some spot inside it's case, that could make it loose, and try to make it stand still inside the case..
    I hope you can understand my suggestion, my English is making me problems with explaining..
     
  9. Pharrox
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    Newcomer Pharrox Member

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    Thanks again to everyone who replied. And yeah, Toni, your, explanation was fine.

    Well I opened it up and saw that there were two wires pretty close to each other and I pulled them apart. I restarted and was able to load a ROM that didn't crash even by shaking it. Tried it with another ROM, seemed to work okay.

    Then I tried it with the patched Opera browser. I got the no memory expansion installed error and it reset. Now it only seems to detect the cart half the time and when I try to load a ROM it doesn't work again. Whenever I got a ROM to load it was using slow load, but that's not really an issue because I'd mostly use that anyway.

    It seems to be a problem with the small cylinder connected by two wires (battery?). Pulling those wires apart is what got it to work temporarily Under it is a metal pad. Should it be touching that or should it be below/pulled away from it? Currently I have it so it isn't touching. Do I need to do something special to get it to work with Opera (other than patching the ROM), or should it be fine switching between being used for GBA and being used for Opera?

    It's getting pretty late here, so I'll probably just look into it more some time tomorrow.

    EDIT (again): Toni Plutonij posted while I was typing this.
     
  10. Joe88

    Member Joe88 [λ]

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    thats not the battery
    the battery is the large circular near the top, should stick out of the cart a little and have yellow rubber going around the side of it
     
  11. OSW

    Former Staff OSW Wii King

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    i have a similar problem. i think the contacts are just a bit wobbly and it's causing bad contact.
     
  12. Toni Plutonij

    Former Staff Toni Plutonij *has TrolleyDave & tiny p1ngy on moderating shelf!

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    Well, there isn't anything you should do to make it work with Opera, M3 Real detects GBA or memory expansion on it's own, no need for anything other than patching ROM..

    I'm not completely sure what should you do with that wire, but it seems like it was short-wired..So when you shake NDS it losses/gains contact and it makes your game to freeze..
    It's not battery matter for sure, because expansion would work even without the battery, as it actually doesn't use it except for keeping the save file..(Battery looks like Joe88 said, large circular with yellow rubber around it)..

    You'll have to try to see what setup (with those wires on board of expansion) is working the best..I'm not quite sure how could GBA ROMs work, but Opera not.....It probably loosed the connection or something, when you tried to use Browser..
     
  13. Pharrox
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    Newcomer Pharrox Member

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    Well I'm pretty sure whatever the problem is isn't related to the wires (at least anymore). After seperating them I used electrical tape to tape the piece so I was sure it was touching the board and then I wrapped it in electrical tape to be sure it wasn't. Both time it was able to detect the cart a couple times but still not very often.
     
  14. Roman_42

    Newcomer Roman_42 Advanced Member

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    Stop worrying about your GBA expansion. It's not working properly, you paid for it, so send it back. I've got exactly the same problem as you have. I've sent it back, got a new one and now it's working every time.
     
  15. Pharrox
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    Newcomer Pharrox Member

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    Well, I guess it couldn't hurt to try. Still, I ordered this back in January. Even though I didn't even take the card out of the original packaging until a couple weeks ago (when I couldn't get Opera to work), I'm pretty sure they wouldn't accept it.

    I ordered the card from Real Hot Stuff. Does anyone know how they are on this type of thing?
     
  16. Joe88

    Member Joe88 [λ]

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    they will replace it if you bought it in 6 months but some people bought stuff over a year ago there and they replaced it free
     
  17. Pharrox
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    Newcomer Pharrox Member

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    Well I contacted them and they said they would replace it, so I guess I'll just do that. Thanks again to everyone who offered suggestions to try to get this working.
     
  18. Toni Plutonij

    Former Staff Toni Plutonij *has TrolleyDave & tiny p1ngy on moderating shelf!

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    Be sure to let us know, when you get the replacement if everything works properly!!

    ...and, you're welcome!! [​IMG]
     

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