GBA Cartridge Internal Battery

Discussion in 'GBA - Hardware, Devices and Utilities' started by smurfvyn, Aug 2, 2006.

Aug 2, 2006
  1. smurfvyn
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    Newcomer smurfvyn Newbie

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    Hi all,

    hope someobody can help me on this issue. I have heard of the case where gba cartridges will lose their ability to save as there is an internal battery that will drain out after sometime. Thus, I am looking for a simple way to backup the games onto the PC and transfer the game back onto another media that I can attach it to the GBA SP and continue playing without touching my original cartridges.

    Alternatively, is there a way to change the battery inside the cartridges once it is drained out? And is it possible to DIY? I have amassed quite a collection of GBA games and I don't want to end up not being able to save a game because of some battery issues. Thanks for any help rendered!
     
  2. FAST6191

    Reporter FAST6191 Techromancer

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    The games that will lose their save are the SRAM saving games (468 games out of the 2400 odd according to my list), unfortunately the comprises some of the best games for the GBA and a bunch of RPGs so saving really is nice.

    You can swap out the batteries, I do not know offhand what type they use but provided you observe polarity, use a rechargeable battery with the same physical size (you have to fit it in), voltage and have a the abilty to solder one wire to another you should be good.

    As for transfering to another media you can grab a rom image and stick it on just about any GBA flashcart, a fair few linker based flashcarts will also enable you to dump you own roms (and their saves if they do not use EEPROM) if you like as well.
    You can buy linkers by themselves: http://www.jandaman.com/games.mvc?p=ezflas..._code=GBADEVKIT
    but that probably defeats the point slightly for you.
     
  3. smurfvyn
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    Newcomer smurfvyn Newbie

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    Hi Fast6191,

    thanks for the reply. Would you happen to know a site that list the 468 games that are affected? And games that use EEPROM? It would seem that physically changing the battery is no as easy as it seems and I do not know of anyone who provides this type of service over here.

    Looks like I would have to go the linker + flashcart way then. [​IMG]
     
  4. FAST6191

    Reporter FAST6191 Techromancer

    pip
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    I used the program offline list and the GBA dat it comes with: http://offlinelist.free.fr/
    A site that will list the games:
    http://www.advanscene.com/ hit advanced search, check the GBA list select save type under the search for and put SRAM in the find box.
    The same can be done for EEPROM, none and Flash.
     
  5. Orc

    Member Orc ‎(ღ˘⌣˘ღ)

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    [​IMG] Wow, good thing to know that Summon Night: SS cart doesn't have SRAM [​IMG] I was worried of playing it because I don't want to play anything that I'll lose the save eventually. lol It's still in the bag I from the shop. EEPROM IS SMALL [​IMG]
     
  6. Psyfira

    Member Psyfira Credit: 0ml. Insert tea to continue

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    Hang on a second, how long do the batteries in original carts last? Cause I've never heard of anyone being left with a game they can't use because the battery died...
     
  7. FAST6191

    Reporter FAST6191 Techromancer

    pip
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    The manufacturers estimate 5 years or more although people still have SRAM backed NES carts working fine (I still have a early megadrive one working somewhere around here).

    The few people that have had them fail that I know of either caught a defective unit or abused theirs.
     
  8. TanookiSuit

    Member TanookiSuit Game Reviewer/Writer -- formerly Vampire Hunter D

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    My release day Legend of Zelda cart has a good nearly 20 year old battery that's still kicking along nicely. [​IMG]
     
  9. TanookiSuit

    Member TanookiSuit Game Reviewer/Writer -- formerly Vampire Hunter D

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    My release day Legend of Zelda cart has a good nearly 20 year old battery that's still kicking along nicely. [​IMG] If they're still estimating 5 years now just like they did in the day you have to wonder how long they really could last with two decades of progress.
     
  10. smurfvyn
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    Newcomer smurfvyn Newbie

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    Hmm, would that mean my worries about the battery going dry is quite unfounded? As long as I keep the carts well maintained, I should not have to worry about the battery drain in a long long time to come?
     
  11. BaHaMut_ZeR0

    Newcomer BaHaMut_ZeR0 Member

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    My FFTA cart's battery died. I popped it open (wow, my dad has triangular screwdriver heads) but there was no battery! The game is for sure, running on batteries, because it just stopped working one day. (Can't be static shocked)

    Anyone know why this is?
     
  12. TanookiSuit

    Member TanookiSuit Game Reviewer/Writer -- formerly Vampire Hunter D

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    Actually if you don't see a battery odds are it could be an EEPROM and in that case if that's busted you're screwed.
     
  13. BaHaMut_ZeR0

    Newcomer BaHaMut_ZeR0 Member

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    Not EEPROM.
    Because I used a gameshark to load the save off of it, which means it's an SRAM backup. Moreover, statistical database sites cites (aha, pun) FFTA as using battery backup.

    I've read that there are microcontrollers with batteries built in. Is this the case with gba catridges? 'Cause that means I'd need to send it in to Nintendo =(
     
  14. BaHaMut_ZeR0

    Newcomer BaHaMut_ZeR0 Member

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    Further investigation on other sites shows the savetype as Flash v130.
    What the heck? My flash chip failed?
     
  15. ZuluEdison

    Newcomer ZuluEdison Member

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    i think all nintendo catridges have used batterries, atleast the older systems definately did. and i know all my nes games still work.

    if newer catridges are failing, it sounds like they are being made cheaply to me.*


    *of course i have no basis to really talk whatsoever, about nearly any subject you can think of.
     
  16. BaHaMut_ZeR0

    Newcomer BaHaMut_ZeR0 Member

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    See, the point is, starting from GBA catridges, they've started using EEPROM (which is absurdly small) aside from the typical battery-backed SRAM, and also Flash, which seems to be less used, is not battery backed, but can support larger saves.

    However, my game's flash seems to be botched. Anyway, does anyone know if one could fix this oneself, or will I need to send this into Nintendo?
     

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