DS Lite Power On Failure

Discussion in 'NDS - Console and Game Discussions' started by Bassplayer, Apr 29, 2014.

  1. Bassplayer

    Bassplayer Newbie

    Apr 29, 2014
    United States
    Hi all,

    I began a project a while back to create an Arduino-controlled DS Lite to assist in some of my more monotonous Pokemon-related adventures (soft resetting for shiny, nature, etc.).

    I have run into the same issue on three different DSL motherboards and I can't figure out what I'm doing wrong. To clarify up front, I have measured both fuses on each board and they are all continuous; the fuses are not blown.

    Whenever I try to start the DSL, the power light will come on and then turn off shortly after. Here is a video showing what I mean:

    All three motherboards were fully functional before disassembly. I have enough components for two different DSL's so I have tried things like switching the lower screen, upper screen, wifi module, etc.

    Any ideas? This is driving me crazy.
  2. D4nny26

    D4nny26 Member

    Apr 30, 2014
    First off i'd try it with a charger plugged and see what happens.

    Second i'd remove the motherboard from the case and connect the battery up with just the Wifi board, Lower LCD (no touch screen) connected, then see if when you press the power button the bottom screen flashes, if not try the same process but with the top LCD fitted instead of the bottom LCD,
  3. Bassplayer

    Bassplayer Newbie

    Apr 29, 2014
    United States
    When it's plugged in, the same thing happens, except the orange light is on too.

    I'll give your other suggestion a go and report back what happens.
  4. Kyohack

    Kyohack Advanced Member

    Mar 27, 2010
    United States
    Las Vegas, Nevada
    Over the past few weeks, I've been working on a project identical to yours. I noticed a similar problem when I wanted to test a prototype. My DS Lite refused to boot unless all components were connected. Just as you described in your video, the power light would flicker on for a second, and then shut off. Check your ribbon cables, especially the small one for the touchscreen (I had some problems getting it to stay plugged in, until I realized the connector wasn't closed) Push your ribbons cables in all the way, and close the connector until you hear a snap. Firmly press on the Wi-Fi daughter board to make sure that is in place as well.

    Also, if you've chosen to solder your wires to the test points, be absolutely certain that you don't have any shorts. I noticed the same problem when a short occurred. The DS Lite would randomly turn off, sometimes it would boot into GBA mode, random keypresses would occur for no reason, etc. Having an electrical short is a disaster.

    Some of the test points you need to connect are UNDER the touchscreen, or are in very close proximity to it. Remember that the backing of the touchscreen is metal, and is grounded. I realized this the hard way when I seated my touchscreen back onto the motherboard... on top of a few solder joints that I had made. This caused a short. You'll want to use electrical tape to cover your solder joints.

    A lot of the solder joints to the test points on the DS Lite motherboard can be difficult to accomplish if you don't have experience with surface-mount soldering. The start and select test points are particularly close to each other, so make sure they haven't accidentally shorted. The ABXY test points are located somewhat close to other surface mount components on the motherboard, so take care that you do not damage them.

    I used some 30 gauge wire, which was thin enough to allow me to use a pocket knife to cut out a section of the shell where the wrist strap is located. I slid 8 of the wires through the right hole, and the other six on the left. Here's a recent pic:

    Here are some other pics if you're interested:
    Warning: Spoilers inside!
    Ozito likes this.
  5. Cartmanuk

    Cartmanuk GBAtemp Advanced Fan

    Nov 20, 2010
    Make sure top screen is plugged in correctly
  6. YoshiInAVoid

    YoshiInAVoid GBAtemp Advanced Fan

    Jan 10, 2011
    Will the DS Lite turn on if the bottom LCD is connected, but not the touch component?
  7. Bassplayer

    Bassplayer Newbie

    Apr 29, 2014
    United States
    I have now gone through 5 DS Lites. They all work perfectly well when I start the process. I think I've narrowed the problem down to removing the bottom screen. It will work and boot fine until the lower screen is removed. Once I've done this, it is done working forever, no matter how many times I assemble or disassemble it.

    What could I possibly be doing wrong? There is never any physical damage, nor is there enough force through the process to do that. Definitely no static damage...

    I'm lost. I'm an engineer and I cannot figure this out... It's become a personal battle for me... I will make this work.

    With as consistently as this is happening to me, there's no way that others have taken DS Lites apart without this happening to them.

    Kyohack, I appreciate your suggestion. I've checked and re-checked the ribbon cables many times. Any other ideas?
  8. Ozito

    Ozito Not a new member anymore

    Mar 20, 2006
    How about telling us about the process?
    Maybe somebody might the see the problem.
  9. Kouen Hasuki

    Kouen Hasuki Kouen the Cyber Husky

    Jan 9, 2013
    Gaming Bunker
    Disconnected screen cable check all 3 (top, bottom and touch)

    Thats the exact same thing that will happen when a screen is not connected to the motherboard