GBA Flash Carts still available?

Discussion in 'GBA - Flashing Hardware and Software' started by KOman, Sep 22, 2013.

  1. KOman
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    KOman Advanced Member

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    Hey all,

    So I've been away from the handheld emulation scene for a while. Recently pulled out my GBA with my Flash2Advance cartridge which I got like 12 years ago. I mainly use it for NES emulation, but realized the cart was too small to fit all my favorite games on it. I was wondering if any retailer still sells new GBA flash carts at this point. Any information would be great. Thanks in advance,
     
  2. justinwebb

    justinwebb Advanced Member

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  3. KOman
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    KOman Advanced Member

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    Thanks for the reply. I noticed that it uses a miniSD. Is this for the DS compatibility or for the GBA functionality too? I ask because for my GBA I have a Flash2Advance, which directly connected to the computer for writing. I have a SupercardDS one for the DS, which uses an SD card. Sorry if this is a silly question; I've been out of the GBA emulation scene for a long time
     
  4. Bonny

    Bonny GBAtemp Advanced Fan

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    For the EZ-Flash IV you need a mini SD, for GBA and NDS games. You can directly put files on it via your PC. I know that F2A Carts are getting flashed throu the GBA. But this is totally different here.
     
  5. FAST6191

    FAST6191 Techromancer

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    From the days of the F2A things moved on, stuck around in part for the start of the DS, moved to expansion packs for the DS and have now more or less ceased. The days of a cable (be it to the cart or to the serial port of the GBA) went away and the better teams usually went to linkers/cradles instead and then to computer managed or DS managed.

    After the F2A the flash cart makers realised that NOR memory was not getting any bigger (1024Mbit was as big as any commercial flash cart maker ever went) and NAND memory (used in everything that usually gets called flash memory) was not fast enough. This would be the likes of the EZ2 and In some cases they can still be found but for the most part they are rare as you like.
    To that end they made carts with RAM instead and copied games to it at runtime. Most still had a small NOR section though. This is the likes of the EZ3 and they are rare as anything today.
    The DS came along and people stuck with GBA slot stuff but rather than NAND chips and fancy USB cables/linkers they went to CF and various flavours of SD card with simple PC management tools. This is the likes of the EZ4, most dropped a bit of functionality compared to the full on GBA carts but still ran GBA ROM images and did so well, unless you had a supercard or a cut down GBA pack (the GBA hardware was expensive and if people wanted DS stuff they did not need it- the EZ4 lite compact, the M3 Pro and the supercard rumble being the big three here).
    After people went to DS slot stuff you still needed a GBA slot device to run GBA so the teams instead made expansion packs and had DS programs manage the packs, ultimately store the saves and hold all the relevant data. They can work on a GBA but we do not suggest it.
    Today it has been some years since the last DS intended GBA slot stuff was made, even longer since the dedicated GBA stuff and even the expansion packs are getting harder to find. Supposedly the EZTeam were coaxed out of hibernation for another spin of the EZ4, the result of which justinwebb presumably just linked you to, but for months they have been hard to find and in some cases commanding a reasonably high price.
    Theoretically they probably could have made them work in a limited capacity without a miniSD but they need one as that is what stores the games, saves and such when it is not running. Best to actually get a miniSD rather than a microSD to miniSD adapter -- I do not know if it is the slots used or the adapters themselves but they tend to cause no end of hassle for EZ4 users, if you have one sitting around then by all means try it as some get on great but if you can lay your hands on a miniSD then do so. Also it is SD rather than SDHC so you are limited to 2 gigabytes.
     
  6. KOman
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    KOman Advanced Member

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    Are miniSD cards still manufactured? Seems like the only ones available on the web are microSD and regular SD cards...
     
  7. FAST6191

    FAST6191 Techromancer

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    Yeah they have been reasonably hard to get your hands on for a year or two now. Have a chat with shops that sell old cellphones/mobile phones, cameras and anybody that might have the same. After that Amazon is not bad for this sort of thing (though the would be EZ4 users have been hitting it pretty hard this last year or so) and if you are going to use ebay then avoid anything coming out of China/Hong Kong.
     
  8. Sakitoshi

    Sakitoshi everything is going according the plan...

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    microSD to miniSD adapters aren't a real problem, I myself have a EZFlash IV working with a Kingston 2GB microSD card trough a microSD to miniSD adapter, the adapter got sort of stuck on the EZFlash IV though but with tweezers you can get them out if you need, the microSD slot of the adapter is of easy access so I don't have problems taking out the microSD to transfer files.
    but yeah, good flashcards are very rare to find and on top of that expencives, I wanted to get another EZFlash IV for link play but never showed up again on the stores around here. the only device a little more available is the Supercard miniSD, but I had a Supercard SD before and the slowdown were terrible on games like Mario Kart Super Circuit.
    the best bet to buy one are chinese sites or eBay.
     
  9. FAST6191

    FAST6191 Techromancer

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    You may well have got lucky then -- most issues that are not just software issues come down to those adapters being less than brilliant.
     
  10. justinwebb

    justinwebb Advanced Member

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  11. KOman
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    KOman Advanced Member

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    So, couple of questions:
    1.) Is realhotstuff a reliable site?
    2.) Do they sell new and used products?
    3.) What is the difference between realhotstuff.hk and realhotstuff.com? Are they shipped from the same place?
     
  12. Xexyz

    Xexyz GBATemp's™ Official Xexyz

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    (.hk means hong kong) (.com means US)
     
  13. KOman
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    KOman Advanced Member

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    Thanks for the reply; I know the fundamental difference between .hk and .com; I was just wondering if they are shipped FROM hong kong and the united states respectively or if they were both shipped from the same place,
     
  14. Xexyz

    Xexyz GBATemp's™ Official Xexyz

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    Realhotstuff.com ships from New Jersey, USA. Realhotstuff.hk ships from hong kong.
     
  15. KOman
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    KOman Advanced Member

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    Do you guys use one over the other? The U.S. site says "For even better deals, please check out:
    RealHotStuff.hk"
     
  16. Joe88

    Joe88 [λ]

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    they are both the same, hk one is a little cheaper and takes 3 weeks to got you're item where the us site is a bit more expensive but you get it within a few days
     
    Xexyz likes this.
  17. KOman
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    KOman Advanced Member

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    So, I just got a hold of some EZ flash IV carts that are supposed to be new and I noticed that a lot of the connector pins on one of the carts had black specks. I can't tell if this is rust or foreign matter or something and I won't be able to test it on my GBA for another week or so. Does anyone have any clue what this may be?
     
  18. FAST6191

    FAST6191 Techromancer

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    Rust is strictly an iron and iron alloys thing. But anyway yeah it could be a bit of corrosion, more likely it is flux or some remnant of the manufacturing process that gathered a bit of dirt over the years. Though a photo would be handy it might (read probably) will do nothing and can be cleaned off easily enough if it does cause issues (usually cart pin detection issues).

    If you can undo the screw on the back you can get access to give it a clean. I do like my electrical contact cleaner (do not go in for the automotive contact cleaner as they tend to be a bit potent for home electronics) but a pencil eraser or a cotton bud/qtip in a pure acetone nail polish remover (not all them but many). Basically something that is a reasonable solvent that will not dry and leave things behind.
     
  19. KOman
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    KOman Advanced Member

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    Thanks for the reply. I gues I was just surprised that one of the cart's pins look great and the other's doesn't. Just seems odd since they are part of the same "last batch". Anyway, I'll try and take a picture and post it on here,
     
  20. KOman
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    KOman Advanced Member

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    Here are some pics. I honestly don't think they look great, but this is the best I could do on my camera phone: