Best "Faulty" DS version to Buy for Repair?

Discussion in 'Other Flashing Hardware & Software' started by ncc74656m, Mar 26, 2014.

  1. ncc74656m
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    ncc74656m Member

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    Hey everyone,

    So I'm looking to buy a DS Lite, since it seems like that is the best form factor for still wanting to play GBA games, but I'm open to other options. Right now I have an EZ-Flash IV on my backlit modded GBA, and I love it, but the screen isn't the clearest, and I want things like stereo sound and an internal rechargeable battery. If I go with a Lite, it would seem an EZ V is the best option for a Slot 2 cart.

    I want to ask two questions here:

    First, which version would I be best off buying? The DS Lite is the only one with official GBA backwards compatibility, as I understand, but are there other options for the other form factors using flash carts? Do they work as well as the pure GBA mode?

    Second, depending on that version you recommend, what "fault" is typically the easiest to fix if I'm looking at broken ones on eBay? I don't mind doing some work and soldering, so I'm open to answers. I'm also totally willing to snap up a good working one and just replace a messed up case or something if I can find a good price.
     


  2. Kyouhei

    Kyouhei Official 任天堂 Lover

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    1. DS Phat's support GBA also, I'd reccomend one of these, They are a bit bulkier, and have the more reliable GBASP Style hinges
    2. If you're deadset on a broken DS in any form, Get one that only has a broken hinge, The replacement cases are usually 12 dollars at worst and come with a tri-wing, buttons, ETC
     
  3. ncc74656m
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    ncc74656m Member

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    I certainly understand the sentiment about the hinges, but I don't think it's what I want. You're right, it is bulkier - too much so in my taste, but also the screens just aren't as clear as the DS Lite, or even better DSi or XL.

    As far as being broken goes, I'm ok with more work than that, and most of the ones with broken hinges aren't that far off from the price of an otherwise good unit, not enough to make it worth it to me, anyway.
     
  4. Ozito

    Ozito Not a new member anymore

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    I used to this a lot a while back(buy broken units).
    The worst (natural) broken condition, as long that the person didn't use a hammer on it, would be a cracked hinge hinge with the top screen snapped right off. For that you would need new housing and top LCD and a soldering iron for replacing the speakers to the new LCD.

    Cheapest (and favourite) repairable unit are the ones that can't charge(orange led just blinks). If that's the case, you just got to replace one of the two fuses to the right of the card slot.
    There's even a variant were if the unit doesn't power up and you hear a rattle from the inside when shaking it, then it's the L2 inductor to the left of the card slot, that has become loose, it's located beneath the power switch, now that's a score!
    No need for new spare parts just solder back the inductor and you're done!
     
  5. Apache Thunder

    Apache Thunder I have cameras in your head!

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    I got lucky and bought one with a broken hinge for just 20 bucks (free shipping too) off eBay. Seller had mentioned in the description that it just "flops around". But both screens still work!. He didn't mention the couple of small scratches on the touch screen, but they aren't that big a problem for me. Speakers still works and after later getting a flashcart and some games, the Mic and wifi still works too.

    Photos:

    DSHinge01.jpg
    DSHinge02.jpg
    (after gluing the right hinge back in place, I used a black marker to make it less visible at a distance as the little hinge piece that the top screen grips on to is white in color and contrasts with the black shell case that the DS came with)


    In fact the hinge wasn't even that broken. I just put on a little epoxy glue I happen to have left over from other things I needed to fix, thus didn't have to even replace anything. Now it clicks into place when open and goes to sleep as it should when closed. It came with a Ben 10 skin.

    Unfortunately had to rip most of that off to disassemble the bottom shell to do a proper fix job to the hinge and the right shoulder button. Iadded a tiny bit of hot glue to the part that contacts the click button as whatever caused the hinge to break also made the right shoulder button a little weak on button presses so I had to press it in a little harder then normal to get it to register, so just tacked on some extra material to the inside of the shoulder button to make it press as good as it used to.

    The actual button on the motherboard seems to be undamaged so it seems localized to just that button piece relatively easy to replace.. So when I do replace the shell, the DS will be 100% again aside from the scratches on the touch screen which I also plan to resolve in the future.

    I plan to anyways down the road but for a quick cheap buy, it turned out great. It was a little bit of a shot in the dark since the seller didn't know if it read games or not, but it does. So a couple weeks after I bought it, I got a cheap R4 of RHS and now I'm quickly back into DS gaming.


    Long story short, if you're looking to find one cheap that is being sold as is with some defect that would drop the price to something cheap, hinge damage is probably your best choice.

    Your best bet is to find one that hasn't completely detached and the damage needs to be on the right side since the ribbon cable to the top screen goes through the left hinge and if that side is damaged your more likely to have damage to that ribbon cable and if the right side is completely detached that also means better chances of the top screen no longer working due to added stress to the ribbon cable. Some epoxy or hot glue may restore the hinge actuator thing that makes it click in place when open. Be careful to get it in the right orientation as you will need the glue to set with the DS closed. Last thing you want is to glue it with that hinge joint in the wrong position and end up with the DS going to sleep mode when you have it open. :P

    That little hinge connector thing that slips in the right side has a magnet/metal piece in it that trips a sensor in the motherboard and that's how it knows when to go to sleep mode. ;)

    However if you're looking to replace the top screen and shell casing anyway that might not be a big deal for you. Ones that have top screen damage with major hinge damage would be a good buy if you can find the top screen (with speakers as they are attached to the same ribbon cable that the top screen uses to communicate with the main board) and shell parts a good price.

    Ones that don't power on or read games will need more repair work and soldering skills might be needed to fix that. So tread carefully with those.
     
  6. FAST6191

    FAST6191 Techromancer

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    The thing about broken anything really is it could always hold many deeper problems than you first think, in most cases you are not the only person willing to leverage a bit of time and use of a screwdriver either. This can happen with anything of any apparent condition (consumer types do not pay the prices to have proper testing so even new is no guarantee). My personal favourites are dodgy trigger buttons but Ozito's suggestions work as well.
    You might also consider a singly scratched screen if you just want it for GBA purposes.
     
  7. tbgtbg

    tbgtbg Shaking the ring ropes up in the sky

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    For GBA games the original DS screen is just fine, and the D-pad and buttons are better than you'll find on a lite, i, etc. Much less chance of a busted shoulder button. And the games don't stick out funny.

    Since you seem to mainly care about GBA, maybe think of a GBA Micro or a back lit SP (as opposed to front lit), those would be perfectly fine options for GBA, with great screens (though the micro screen might be smaller than you'd like)

    If the flash cart is for the GBA slot, it will (or should anyway) work in anything with a GBA slot, same as any GBA game. If you mean a DS flash cart, there are emulators, the best only runs on a DSTWO, but they're not as good as the real deal. Depends how picky you are, but I'd honestly rather play GBA games on a PSP with an emulator than using the DSTWO emulator.
     
  8. Ozito

    Ozito Not a new member anymore

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    If you are after the GBA functionality only then the choice is more simple i guess.
    Just buy whatever ds with a broken top screen that still powers on and make the mod that enables the DS to power on without the top screen.

    Like i did here. Soldering a 1k resistor between LEDA2 and LEDC2 (beneath P06) tricks the DS to power on.

    I believe it's the transistor looking-component in the middle of the action buttons to the right, that senses the magnets from the speakers, resulting in the DS going to sleep (seen here).

    Try putting a magnet to it. ^_^
     
  9. Apache Thunder

    Apache Thunder I have cameras in your head!

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    I think you might be wrong on that. I flipped it closed prior to fixing the hinge and it did not go to sleep. It appears to be that hinge mechanism that tells it to go to sleep since with the missing plastic broken off the hinge area, that thing never rotated when closing the DS.

    I don't know about the original DS phat and the DSi/3DS consoles. but I know for sure how it operates for the DS lite from first hand experience.

    [​IMG]

    The image above shows what I mean (the thing on the left obviously). the metal part that large piece of plastic is attached to must be what the DS uses to tell if it's closed.
     
  10. Ozito

    Ozito Not a new member anymore

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    Mine does it, without the hinge :evil:
     
  11. Apache Thunder

    Apache Thunder I have cameras in your head!

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    Did you really just upload a video to YouTube just to respond to my post? I'm flattered... :P

    You're doing it with the whole thing disassembled. Trying closing it with the hinge axle removed while fully assembled. (you can open it just a tad to see if it's still on, or better yet put in a game and run it so you hear the audio)

    If that's how it worked then it would be a super odd coincedence that mine started to go to sleep properly as soon as I fixed the hinge. :P
     
  12. Ozito

    Ozito Not a new member anymore

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    Here you go buddy


    EDIT
    Hmmm, you were asking for fully assembled and i gave you the same thing again......
    I'll build one tomorrow, I'm hitting the sack now.

    Good night
     
  13. Apache Thunder

    Apache Thunder I have cameras in your head!

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    ROFL now it has a music track. :D

    Just simply connecting the top LCD assembly doesn't count as a fully assembled unit and your still cheating by putting the speaker right on top of the unit closer then it could normally. You not have a fully put together unit? That includes the plastic enclosure and such. The right hinge is held on with two screws, so you can easily remove that part from an assembled DS without tearing down the whole unit. Though you may have to lift up the circuit board a bit to get to the screws.

    Then you can proceed to operate the DS like you normally would. Without that axle part, I can bet you it won't go to sleep on it's own without cheating with that detached speaker. :P

    The speaker may just a large more powerful version of the one in the axle.

    How close does that speaker have to be for the DS to go to sleep? I would bet it never gets that close if it's off in the top case assembly during normal operation. Better yet if you have the hinge axle piece you can position it near the left of where the right trigger goes and rotate it around a bit. I would bet it would sleep then. I can't do it myself since mine is permanently glued into the top housing. Otherwise I would have attempted to demonstrate this myself. :(
     
  14. Ozito

    Ozito Not a new member anymore

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    Ok, I'll give you one more video, then i need too sleep.. really hard
     
  15. Apache Thunder

    Apache Thunder I have cameras in your head!

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    Rodger. I do have a small magnet myself and put mine near it. It does go to sleep with the magnet further away then the speaker inside the top screen would be when the unit is closed. It does seem to only respond when I hover it right above the A/B/X/Y buttons.Very odd indeed that mine never went to sleep until I fixed the axle....

    Then again, the magnet I have might not be a good comparison since it came out of a larger speaker and might have a larger magnetic field.
     
  16. Ozito

    Ozito Not a new member anymore

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    One video to rule them all.....tututututatatanananalalalala

    The speaker i was using is taken from a DSL.

    This was fun! Let's do it again sometime soon!

    Good fight, Good night:P

    EDIT
    Forgot to show you what the hinges do...... nothing :tpi:

    EDIT2
    The only time when the DSL doesn't go to sleep is when it's in GBA mode
     
  17. ncc74656m
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    ncc74656m Member

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    I plan to eventually get the EZ Flash V, so that's not a problem for me.

    You're kidding, right? :P The SP is ridiculously uncomfortable to hold. My hands aren't the biggest, mind you, but for reference, I comfortably use a 14" fielder's pattern glove for baseball and softball. As for the Micro, it's cool, but they're just not worth their price these days. I have a GBA classic I use for my day to day stuff, like I said, I just want a little sharper screen, and I want to get into a little bit of DS gaming. My cousin's wife works on the team that made most of the Scribblenauts followups. I will get a 3DS at some point too, but just working with a limited budget right now.


    I have an EZ Flash IV right now, so hopefully that will work! :) I also have a couple of DS Flash carts. Not even sure if THEY are legit, but who knows, I'll see when I load it up and try to play something. Also, as I said, I'll eventually just get an EZ Flash V to keep in my DS Lite.

    Speaking of which, I got one! Picked up a used white DSL on eBay for a mere $15, the only (listed) problem with it is the top screen going haywire. I'm going to GUESS that the issue here is that the LCD cable is loose or being strained. I got it today in the mail and only got a chance to look at it, haven't opened it up or played with it yet, and so far the condition is as follows: Filthy, scratched up pretty good (but the interior looked ok), the battery cover was replaced with a pink one (WTH, but ok?), and the hinges are at least loose. By loose I mean that the DSL flops open about a centimeter when flipped over. When the screen is fully opened, it seems to be held in place to about the standard I'd guess it should be for a new or gently used DSL. If anyone has any recommendations for this, I'd appreciate them.

    Tonight when I get home and have time to sit with it and work on it, I'll pull it apart, give it a serious cleaning, and see if I can figure out why the hinges are so loose, and check the video cable as well. I expect I will replace the housing on it anyway, which is fine, since I'm very partial to the red/black or blue/black color scheme. Depending on how much of a pain I find it to be, I plan to also replace the device's power connector with an ordinary Micro USB connector so I no longer need a secondary cable - which is of course on order from Hong Kong.

    Thanks to everyone for their advice so far - if you have any thoughts, let me know. :)
     
  18. Ozito

    Ozito Not a new member anymore

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  19. Ericthegreat

    Ericthegreat Not New Member

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    I would recommend one with a broken hinge and get a really nice custom case (got my brother a dbz one and it is the most awesome DS lite there is.
     
  20. ncc74656m
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    ncc74656m Member

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    Thanks - yes, I picked a backlight unit up from Zerey quite a while ago. :D I did mine, I'm just not quite as happy with the clarity of the unit as I'd hoped to be which is why I'm looking to go to an upgraded unit, and specifically, the DS Lite. :) I think when I did my mod, actually, it was still only Zerey himself selling the modded units on eBay, and Wiggy had just gotten started doing them for RCG.



    Thanks ETG, as I just noted above, however, I bought one - just got it today. Haven't had the opportunity to play with it yet, though hopefully tonight I'll have it mostly working, and then when I get paid tomorrow, I'll buy a replacement housing. I'm not a fan of the custom cases they have, and for now what I'm going to do is just use a stock red/black or blue/black one. When I've got more money to blow, I will be trying to do a custom painted unit myself.
     
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