Hardware Current Draw Tests on Moded GBA (AGS 101)—Original Cartridge/EZ-Flash IV

Zmajchek

Member
OP
Newcomer
Joined
Aug 14, 2017
Messages
11
Trophies
0
Age
37
XP
38
Country
Croatia
Hello Everyone,

I have an original GBA (40-pin model) and I've replaced the original screen with AGS 101 model b screen that I've bought on aliexpress. Both screen and adapter are model b and the small wire from the adapter is soldered to DA1. Everything works perfectly—there is no ghosting or interlace problems but I've noticed that rechargeable batteries last under 10 hours with New EZ-Flash IV. I've decided to measure the current draw to see exactly how hungry is EZ-Flash IV.

Test Results:

GBA + original cartridge = 120mA

GBA + EZ-Flash IV = 200mA in menu and when loading a game into SRAM; around 210-220mA when in game (loaded either from NOR or SRAM), however there were instances when the consumption briefly jumped to 250mA (during animations)

Conclusion:

EZ-Flash IV is very power hungry as it uses 100mA during normal operation—it is almost like you have another GBA on top of the first one. One other thing that I've noticed is that this flash cart is very sensitive to voltage when it comes to writing games to NOR. I only use rechargeable AA batteries and two of those have a bit more than 2.4V, which isn't enough to write the games into NOR—what happens is that it looks like the game is being written to NOR, but when the process completes there is simply nothing there. I was only able to write games to NOR by using GBA power adapter (3V) that's plugged into a wall socket.

One other problem with NOR is that while I can load a game from it while having less than 2.4V (red light on) I can't load savegame properly once I'm inside the game—it loads the savegame with all kinds of graphical artifacts and sound goes awry. If the light on GBA is green (above 2.4V) the savegames load without problems. As the rechargeable batteries relatively quickly drop below 2.4V playing games from NOR is simply not practical for me because of these issues, so I'm sticking with loading them into SRAM on each play session.
 

Shadow#1

Wii, 3DS Softmod & Dumpster Diving Expert
Member
Joined
Nov 21, 2005
Messages
10,797
Trophies
1
XP
6,350
Country
United States
Hello Everyone,

I have an original GBA (40-pin model) and I've replaced the original screen with AGS 101 model b screen that I've bought on aliexpress. Both screen and adapter are model b and the small wire from the adapter is soldered to DA1. Everything works perfectly—there is no ghosting or interlace problems but I've noticed that rechargeable batteries last under 10 hours with New EZ-Flash IV. I've decided to measure the current draw to see exactly how hungry is EZ-Flash IV.

Test Results:

GBA + original cartridge = 120mA

GBA + EZ-Flash IV = 200mA in menu and when loading a game into SRAM; around 210-220mA when in game (loaded either from NOR or SRAM), however there were instances when the consumption briefly jumped to 250mA (during animations)

Conclusion:

EZ-Flash IV is very power hungry as it uses 100mA during normal operation—it is almost like you have another GBA on top of the first one. One other thing that I've noticed is that this flash cart is very sensitive to voltage when it comes to writing games to NOR. I only use rechargeable AA batteries and two of those have a bit more than 2.4V, which isn't enough to write the games into NOR—what happens is that it looks like the game is being written to NOR, but when the process completes there is simply nothing there. I was only able to write games to NOR by using GBA power adapter (3V) that's plugged into a wall socket.

One other problem with NOR is that while I can load a game from it while having less than 2.4V (red light on) I can't load savegame properly once I'm inside the game—it loads the savegame with all kinds of graphical artifacts and sound goes awry. If the light on GBA is green (above 2.4V) the savegames load without problems. As the rechargeable batteries relatively quickly drop below 2.4V playing games from NOR is simply not practical for me because of these issues, so I'm sticking with loading them into SRAM on each play session.
Try this test with a Everdrive GBA X5 and see what u get this be interesting to know
 

Zmajchek

Member
OP
Newcomer
Joined
Aug 14, 2017
Messages
11
Trophies
0
Age
37
XP
38
Country
Croatia
@Shadow#1

I would if I had Everdrive GBA X5 :)

Anyway, I've decided to do these tests because I couldn't find any info here or elsewhere about GBA (AGS101)/EZ-Flash IV current draw. I've seen on other threads that other people are also interested in this info, so here it is. I hope it helps someone troubleshoot their problems (especially NOR writing problems as I've seen quite a few of those).
 

Shadow#1

Wii, 3DS Softmod & Dumpster Diving Expert
Member
Joined
Nov 21, 2005
Messages
10,797
Trophies
1
XP
6,350
Country
United States
@Shadow#1

I would if I had Everdrive GBA X5 :)

Anyway, I've decided to do these tests because I couldn't find any info here or elsewhere about GBA (AGS101)/EZ-Flash IV current draw. I've seen on other threads that other people are also interested in this info, so here it is. I hope it helps someone troubleshoot their problems (especially NOR writing problems as I've seen quite a few of those).
Then get an Everdrive GBA X5
 

JCR1

Well-Known Member
Member
Joined
Jun 25, 2011
Messages
220
Trophies
0
XP
571
Country
Mexico
I hear that everdrive consumes just a bit more than retail cart, by the way how much power drains using goomba or other emulator? I think my battery drains faster in both, ezflash and even on everdrive.
 

Localhorst86

Robert'); DROP TABLE members;--
Member
Joined
Jul 17, 2014
Messages
2,523
Trophies
1
Location
Nintendo works for my dad
XP
3,533
Country
Germany
Interesting to know. Battery consumption with the EZ-Flash IV has always been noticeably lower than retail cartridges but now we have it with real numbers :)

While it would be interesting to know how exactly the EDGBA X7 compares here (my guess is that the power draw would be slightly higher than a retail cart but considerably lower than the EZ-Flash) but I can understand why you wouldn't want to shell out more than $100 just to test the power draw.
 

Zmajchek

Member
OP
Newcomer
Joined
Aug 14, 2017
Messages
11
Trophies
0
Age
37
XP
38
Country
Croatia
Localhorst86,

yes, Everdrive GBAs are quite pricey. I've already spent almost 100$ for screen, adapter and EZ-Flash IV and I don't want to spend another 100$ on Everdrive when EZ-Flash runs all of the games just fine. It would be interesting to find out how much current Everdrive draws but somebody else will have to measure it.

On a side note, I remember that GBA without the wire soldered to DA1 for maximum brightness needed 100mA with original cart, and with the soldered wire the consumption jumped to 120mA. It's now actually a bit too bright for my taste, but at least I can experience Castlevania: Circle of the Moon properly (that has to be the game with the darkest gamma setting in a whole GBA library).

JCR1,

I haven't put any of the emulators on cart, so I wouldn't know. The whole purpose of GBA modification for me was to be able to experience games natively on a better screen. If I was interested in emulators I would probably buy some handheld that comes with them preinstalled (there are a lot of those on aliexpress or ebay).
 
  • Like
Reactions: Localhorst86

Shadow#1

Wii, 3DS Softmod & Dumpster Diving Expert
Member
Joined
Nov 21, 2005
Messages
10,797
Trophies
1
XP
6,350
Country
United States
Wow, thats what you get for trying to help someone round here....

FYI You could have easily worked out the power consumption of a backlit modded GBA + EverDrive GBA X5 using the readings given in this thread and the thread I linked.
No that's like using the power draw of psp for this test
 

Razor83

Well-Known Member
Member
Joined
Dec 23, 2009
Messages
370
Trophies
0
XP
1,254
Country
No that's like using the power draw of psp for this test
After your last reply i'm not sure why i'm even bothering to respond, but its easy to calculate a rough estimate based on the figures given.
Since I know some people find maths difficult-

GBA SP + original cart = 52.3mA
GBA SP + EverDrive-GBA = 56.1mA (7.27% increase)

Backlit modded GBA + original cart = 120mA
Backlit modded GBA + EverDrive-GBA = 128.72mA (Estimated with 7.27% increase)

Thats if you take OP's readings as accurate. However most reports state that original GBA systems use around 100mA, and backlit modded GBA systems use even less power at around 85mA:-
Its possible that later GBA board/CPU revisions use less power than the early 40pin models, but to my knowledge no-one has looked into this.

Not going to read/respond again, and I have added you to my ignore list so dont bother replying.
 
Last edited by Razor83,

Zmajchek

Member
OP
Newcomer
Joined
Aug 14, 2017
Messages
11
Trophies
0
Age
37
XP
38
Country
Croatia
How did you measure the power draw?

Hi Essometer,

I've measured it by connecting multimeter in series with batteries (like everyone does).

I've tested the current draw today and I took some pictures, so people don't think I'm making up measurments:

1) GBA with no cartridge = around 90mA
2) GBA + Ez-Flash IV (in menu) = around 170mA
3) GBA + Ez-Flash IV (M&L: Superstar Saga) = around 200mA
4) GBA + Game Boy Color game (Super Mario Bros Deluxe) = around 120mA

GBA0.jpg GBA1.jpg GBA2.jpg GBA3.jpg

There are two excellent posts on imgur about various models of Game Boys and their power draw if anyone is interested, however they don't contain EZ-Flash IV measurements:

https://imgur.com/a/BVQvn#gayYiLI
https://imgur.com/a/aLSxD

What I've learned from the test data in those imgur posts is that there is quite a difference between 40pin and 32pin GBA models regarding current draw:

1) Stock 32pin GBA with GBA game = 64mA
2) Stock 40pin GBA with GBA game = 101mA
 

Bazahazano

Well-Known Member
Newcomer
Joined
Jan 18, 2018
Messages
48
Trophies
0
XP
60
Country
United Kingdom
HI,

I have have just tested my Modded AGS-001 it has a new replacement back-lit screen and a 12v regulator to power the screen. Thought you may like to see my results.
The screen is at maximum brightness I can't dim it at the moment as the button needs replacing but it is modded to dim like the an AGS-101
I tested using a cheap Lidl Multimeter

1) No game around 80mA
IMG_20180214_200242.jpg

2)With game (Monster Jam) around 90mA
IMG_20180214_200341.jpg

3)With Easy Flash IV reform Menu around 140mA
IMG_20180214_200419.jpg

4)With Easy Flash IV reform and game (Mario Kart Advance) Around 150mA
IMG_20180214_200502.jpg

The easy flash IV Reform appears to add around 50mA to 60mA, Mario Kart was ran from NOR ram but other games I tried pulled the same current. Hopefully I can borrow a calibrated FLUKE from work and see if there is much difference in the results.

If your intrested in my mod you can see it here https://gbatemp.net/threads/ags-101-screen-on-ags-001-motherboard.472415/page-4

Hello Everyone,

I have an original GBA (40-pin model) and I've replaced the original screen with AGS 101 model b screen that I've bought on aliexpress. Both screen and adapter are model b and the small wire from the adapter is soldered to DA1. Everything works perfectly—there is no ghosting or interlace problems but I've noticed that rechargeable batteries last under 10 hours with New EZ-Flash IV. I've decided to measure the current draw to see exactly how hungry is EZ-Flash IV.

Test Results:

GBA + original cartridge = 120mA

GBA + EZ-Flash IV = 200mA in menu and when loading a game into SRAM; around 210-220mA when in game (loaded either from NOR or SRAM), however there were instances when the consumption briefly jumped to 250mA (during animations)

Conclusion:

EZ-Flash IV is very power hungry as it uses 100mA during normal operation—it is almost like you have another GBA on top of the first one. One other thing that I've noticed is that this flash cart is very sensitive to voltage when it comes to writing games to NOR. I only use rechargeable AA batteries and two of those have a bit more than 2.4V, which isn't enough to write the games into NOR—what happens is that it looks like the game is being written to NOR, but when the process completes there is simply nothing there. I was only able to write games to NOR by using GBA power adapter (3V) that's plugged into a wall socket.

One other problem with NOR is that while I can load a game from it while having less than 2.4V (red light on) I can't load savegame properly once I'm inside the game—it loads the savegame with all kinds of graphical artifacts and sound goes awry. If the light on GBA is green (above 2.4V) the savegames load without problems. As the rechargeable batteries relatively quickly drop below 2.4V playing games from NOR is simply not practical for me because of these issues, so I'm sticking with loading them into SRAM on each play session.

Is your easy flash the reform??
 
  • Like
Reactions: Zmajchek

Zmajchek

Member
OP
Newcomer
Joined
Aug 14, 2017
Messages
11
Trophies
0
Age
37
XP
38
Country
Croatia
Hi Bazahazano,

I have original EZ-Flash IV—you can see it on the last photo from my previous post. Thanks for sharing your results with Easy Flash IV Reform, it seems to be more power efficient as it draws around 50% less current than the original EZ-Flash IV on my system. I found it interesting how there is only 10mA difference between my GBA at full brightness (without inserted cart) and your GBA SP at full brightness (without inserted cart), but the difference becomes quite noticeable with original games—my GBA draws around 30mA per game while yours draws only 10mA. It would be interesting to find out how much exactly would my original EZ-Flash IV draw on your system, and if power draw of original carts that I've mentioned is any indication, it should draw less current than it does on my system.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Bazahazano

Bazahazano

Well-Known Member
Newcomer
Joined
Jan 18, 2018
Messages
48
Trophies
0
XP
60
Country
United Kingdom
Hi Bazahazano,

I have original EZ-Flash IV—you can see it on the last photo from my previous post. Thanks for sharing your results with Easy Flash IV Reform, it seems to be more power efficient as it draws around 50% less current than the original EZ-Flash IV on my system. I found it interesting how there is only 10mA difference between my GBA at full brightness (without inserted cart) and your GBA SP at full brightness (without inserted cart), but the difference becomes quite noticeable with original games—my GBA draws around 30mA per game while yours draws only 10mA. It would be interesting to find out how much exactly would my original EZ-Flash IV draw on your system, and if power draw of original carts that I've mentioned is any indication, it should draw less current than it does on my system.

I have an AGB-001(40 pin) that I am going to add backlight screen to soon I am thinking of also adding a 12v supply for the screen as I suspect that it will be more efficient than taking the power from DA1. Will also be able to achieve full brightness.I have ran some tests on it before I mod it.

1)No game 70mA
IMG_20180216_165909.jpg
2)with game (monster Jam)90mA
IMG_20180216_165813.jpg
3)With tetrisDX 90mA
IMG_20180216_165705.jpg
4)Easy Flash IV Reform Menu 170mA
IMG_20180216_165613.jpg
5)Donkey Kong Advance on Easy Flash IV Reform 170mA
IMG_20180216_165537.jpg

The Easy Flash appears to draw more current in the AGB-001 compared to the AGS-001.

It may be a while till I mod this system but it will be interesting to see the results.
 
Last edited by Bazahazano,
  • Like
Reactions: Zmajchek

Zmajchek

Member
OP
Newcomer
Joined
Aug 14, 2017
Messages
11
Trophies
0
Age
37
XP
38
Country
Croatia
Hi Bazahazano,

interesting results. I bet that when you add AGS101 screen at full brightness that the overall consumption will jump around 20-25mA. However, I could be wrong as I don't know how the 12v supply for the screen is going to impact the overall battery consumption. I would say that there isn't a noticeable difference between Easy Flash IV Reform and original EZ-Flash IV regarding the current draw (on 40pin GBAs) when taken in consideration that you yet need to add AGS101 screen.

Keep us informed how the mod goes.


Hi Migles,

there is no difference in current draw if the game is run from NOR or PSRAM. I've also thought that there is going to be a difference as I've read somewhere that NOR is more battery friendly but after testing this myself I found this presumption to be wrong.
 
General chit-chat
Help Users
    Psionic Roshambo @ Psionic Roshambo: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=29CDSMBhH1w