DIY Panda Dev Unit (Converted Retail Console)

Discussion in '3DS - Console, Accessories and Hardware' started by NekoMichi, Mar 27, 2016.

  1. NekoMichi
    OP

    NekoMichi Retro Collector

    Member
    1,304
    928
    Jun 4, 2015
    Minus World
    So, I was looking through rare Nintendo consoles and it occurred to me that it would be really cool to have a "Panda" development unit 3DS as part of the collection since they're super-rare and unique. But then, I realised that such an item would be wasted if kept in a collection to gather dust when homebrew developers could use it to analyse the 3DS system. (translation: couldn't afford one)

    However instead of getting an actual dev unit, I thought I'd make a replica by doing a case-mod of an existing retail unit. After picking up a half-dead 3DS from a secondhand electronics store, I got to work.

    [​IMG]
    Here are the starting materials and tools: one newly-adopted cosmos black O3DS, some nail polish, adhesive, and a screwdriver set.

    [​IMG]
    It looks like the store didn't reset the device, the previous owner's data is still intact. It couldn't hurt to poke around a little, right? Seems like they made a large number of empty folders for some reason. This was only one half of the icons they made. Weird.

    [​IMG]
    There were a bunch of Miis stored, but unfortunately StreetPass Plaza data couldn't be found because it didn't have an SD card.

    [​IMG]
    And here's the camera roll- Oh God, is that what I think it is? Yep, the previous owner took a picture of someone bending over with their butt in the air. Abort! Abort! No more snooping!

    [​IMG]
    The 3DS itself is in fairly poor condition and aside from the dirty pictures stored in the memory, the housing was filthy too, with several deep dents and scratches. I had to sterilise the whole exterior with medical disinfectant while brushing out the dirt from all of the crevices. This took a ton of time.

    [​IMG]
    The back was in better condition, except for the serial number sticker which looked like someone had attempted to chew it off. Since the numbers were illegible, I removed the serial sticker completely. Let's start disassembling this console.

    [​IMG]
    We'll only be modifying the bottom half of the casing, so most of the fiddly electronics can be put aside for now.

    [​IMG]
    Two coats of red nail polish later, the coloured trim of the DIY Panda unit is done. The polish had a rose scent, which smelled nice for the first minute or so, then it started to make me nauseous and hear weird voices. Eep. The colouring might look uneven at the moment, but it flattens out when drying.

    [​IMG]
    Panda units don't have writing printed on the bottom covers, instead they are completely black (as opposed to the shiny grey on the cosmos black retail 3DSes). Again, this coating seemed very bumpy at the time but evened out a lot over the drying time.

    [​IMG]
    Here's the unit put back together. I also painted the 3D slider to match the red trim. The battery cover still needed some cleaning up.

    [​IMG]
    Designing the back label...

    [​IMG]
    ...and here it is stuck to the back of the 3DS.

    [​IMG]
    It came with firmware 8.1, which was handy for setting up a CFW. Unfortunately it had a dying L trigger button and a faulty SD card reader that would always detect cards as being write-protected and failing to read any data off them. I had to once again open up the console and then manually bend the write-protect pin in the SD reader so that it would properly detect SD cards. The store had sold it as "fully functional", the liars! :angry:

    [​IMG]
    A couple of hours later, and here's the DIY dev unit. From the exterior, it looks almost the same as an actual panda unit, and it runs the SDK tools too. While it's not a real developer console, it's still a nice little addition to the collection. :D
     
    Last edited by NekoMichi, Aug 3, 2017
  2. AquaX101

    AquaX101 GBAtemp Advanced Fan

    Member
    713
    165
    Apr 15, 2014
    United States
    Somewhere
    i want to do this so bad now lol
     
    NekoMichi likes this.
  3. NekoMichi
    OP

    NekoMichi Retro Collector

    Member
    1,304
    928
    Jun 4, 2015
    Minus World
    ...and hopefully not putting it on eBay for auction, right? Right?? :)
     
  4. ihaveamac

    ihaveamac GBAtemp Guru

    Member
    5,503
    6,093
    Apr 20, 2015
    United States
    Tigard, OR
    I've been wanting to get a standard black 3DS again to replace mine with a broken hinge, because I just think it looks really good. I might do this when I get one eventually. nice job :D
     
    VinsCool and NekoMichi like this.
  5. Ericjwg

    Ericjwg GBAtemp Psycho!

    Member
    3,133
    842
    Jul 2, 2015
    Canada
    eh........ what's the point:wacko:
     
    MAXLEMPIRA likes this.
  6. ihaveamac

    ihaveamac GBAtemp Guru

    Member
    5,503
    6,093
    Apr 20, 2015
    United States
    Tigard, OR
    it looks cool? :P I like the look of the developer units so I think it'd be nice to have something that looks like it, knowing I can't get an actual developer unit probably ever.
     
  7. gudenau

    gudenau Largely ignored

    Member
    GBAtemp Patron
    gudenau is a Patron of GBAtemp and is helping us stay independent!

    Our Patreon
    3,300
    1,253
    Jul 7, 2010
    United States
    /dev/random
    Interesting find in the camera roll I suppose.
     
    Red9419 likes this.
  8. MassExplosion213

    MassExplosion213 .

    Member
    1,433
    956
    Feb 15, 2015
    United States
    Would be nice to go with my dev FW retail console. :P
     
  9. 20AD02

    20AD02 Newbie

    Newcomer
    7
    0
    Jan 22, 2017
    Gambia, The
    Sorry for reviving an old thread, but how exactly did you manage to install dev FW on a retail unit?
     
  10. zenamez

    zenamez GBAtemp Regular

    Member
    154
    101
    Sep 7, 2016
    Most likely Luma 3DS with the "UNITINFO" toggle on (which makes the console believe it's a dev unit) coupled with the dev SDK apps installed.

    Failing that, there's an SDK version which allows you to install the SDK apps on stock, non-Dev spoofed CFW.