GBA from a DS Lite

Discussion in 'GBA - Hardware, Devices and Utilities' started by rs1n, Aug 29, 2013.

  1. rs1n
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    rs1n Advanced Member

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    I know this has already been done, but I recently won four consoles in an eBay lot (GBA SP, GBA, and two DS Lites) and got them all to work, with one DS Lite turned into a GBA. Here's a preview:



    I suppose there are a few things different with my mod. With just a few touches of the soldering iron, I can completely reverse the mod, and if I decide to buy a replacement top screen ($8.00) and slot-1 card slot ($2.00), then I basically have a fully function DS Lite. The current mod has:
    • stereo sound
    • fully functional touchscreen, and the brightness can be adjusted
    • wifi
    • microphone
    • can autoboot or manually boot
    Future plans: map shoulder buttons onto X and Y (works better for fighting games) though this may require permanent mods. Anyway, I'll work on putting together a full video tutorial sometime soon for those interested.
     
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  2. reprep

    reprep GBAtemp Advanced Fan

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    so you made a SS lite (single screen lite). congratz on that. ds lite has a great screen and built-in stereo speakers are great. wish it could play gb/gbc games too. i wouldn't need a gba sp ags 101 then. i never do multiplayer gba gaming or gba-gc connection etc which ds and ds lite lack.
     
  3. rs1n
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    rs1n Advanced Member

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    Yeah, I guess that is probably the best name for it: a single screen ds lite. I too like the stereo speakers (though I wonder if there are GBA games that output stereo sound since the old GBA only has a single speaker). My wife is into gaming, so the multiplayer thing is a must for me. We keep our backlit GBAs (non-SP) for that reason.
     
  4. Arm73

    Arm73 GBAtemp Addict

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    Pardon me, but aren't the speakers located on the sides of the top screen ? If you removed it, where did you put the speakers ?
     
  5. rs1n
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    rs1n Advanced Member

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    I placed them inside the bottom half. The right speaker sits behind the start/select buttons while the left speaker sits where card slot 1 used to be. I slightly modified the case inside to use certain parts to hold the speakers in place. But these modifications don't actually prevent me from turning my console back into a working DS Lite.
     
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  6. reprep

    reprep GBAtemp Advanced Fan

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    gb,gbc,gba,gba sp have all stereo output through headphones and mono speakers. stereo audio games go back to black and white gb games. try pokemon games or final fantasy adventures. i could differentiate stereo audio on most gb,gbc,gba games i have played. i nearly always play gameboy games with headphone for stereo gaming.
     
    rs1n likes this.
  7. rs1n
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    rs1n Advanced Member

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    Hm, I cannot recall if I ever used headphones ever on any of my old consoles, but it makes sense when I think about the inclusion of the headphone jack (I don't do too much thinking =). Good to know, though -- saves me from having to trace signals.
     
  8. Arm73

    Arm73 GBAtemp Addict

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    Yeah, Id like to confirm this.
    I had a GB brand new in 1989 when it came out and although it had just one speaker, all of my games were in stereo when connected with a headphone set ( and Sunsoft's Batman comes to mind with it's amazing soundtrack ).
    It's been that way ever since.
     
  9. Plstic

    Plstic Guru Meditation Error

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    LSDJ would sound crap if it wasn't in stereo and I know for sure that all of the game boys have stereo. I have every iteration of the game boy lol, including the light.
     
  10. theBitman

    theBitman Newbie

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    That first statement isn't true. LSDJ sounds fine mono, fine in stereo. It's all about how the songs are written.
     
  11. Plstic

    Plstic Guru Meditation Error

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    Stereo Master Race:tpi:
     
  12. DanTheManMS

    DanTheManMS aka Ricochet Otter

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    Woah, that's actually really really cool. You managed to trick the DS into thinking that the top screen is present even when there's literally nothing there, and you gain the additional benefits that the DS BIOS provides (pictochat, brightness controls) before you enter GBA mode. I am quite impressed.

    But yes, even though the handhelds themselves didn't include stereo speakers until the DS came along, stereo audio was always available through the headphone jack.
     
  13. Chaos Rush

    Chaos Rush GBAtemp Regular

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    I did a similar mod to my DS Lite today, however without speakers, so I have to play using headphones/external speakers. However, I am absolutely loving how it feels, the wider grip feel a lot more comfortable than the GBA-SP.

    I'm assuming you need to have the top screen ribbon cable still working in order to get sound? Is there any way to attach say, a GBA-SP speaker somewhere on the motherboard and have it actually work? My DS Lite's ribbon cable was faulty to begin with (I had the white screen issue that many DS Lites seem to have), and after merely opening the DS Lite up the top ribbon cable just stopped working completely.

    EDIT: also, idk if this matters or not, by my DS mod is currently in permanent GBA mode, and it works just fine, but only if you have a GBA game loaded. There's a common misconception that if there's no signal from the top screen, the DS Lite won't turn on at all, but while that is partially true, it will still work if your DS was in auto-boot mode prior to removing the top screen, and if you have a GBA cartridge inside. Then it won't even check for the top screen and just boot straight to GBA mode. My DS Lite doesn't even have the top ribbon cable attached to it anymore (it was broken anyway), yet I can still turn it on as long as I have a GBA cartridge inside.
     
  14. rs1n
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    rs1n Advanced Member

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    Yes there is a way. On the side where the two LCD connectors are are two places you attach the positive (red) terminals of the speakers. They are just to the right of the D-pad and are labeled SPL0 and SPR0. The ground terminal for both speakers can be connected to the thru-hole just to the immediate right of the "44" found by the top LCD connector. (http://www.n-mod.com/n-mod/mods/DSL/layoutdsl/front/1a.JPG) NOTE: that's to the right of the "44" not below the "44" -- the neighboring thru-holes are actually an connector location for SPL0 and SPR0!

    As for the misconception about needing the signal from the top screen -- you DO need it if you want to boot into menu mode. Otherwise, it will turn on, but only blink for a split second (on the screen that properly produces a signal) and then shut off. Without the menu mode, it would be impossible to change the backlight setting. Of course, if none of that matters and you only play GBA games, then you are correct.

    Even if your ribbon cable appears damaged, as long as the part of the cable where the thick traces are found (for the speakers and LEDA2, LEDC2, and speaker ground) are in tact, you can still use that cable for sound. Otherwise, you will have to get some 30-guage wire to solder and then wrap toward the connector slot side of the mobo to place the speakers.
     
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  15. Chaos Rush

    Chaos Rush GBAtemp Regular

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    Thanks for the info. Right now my DS Lite mod looks a bit unorthodox (I used electrical tape to cover up a lot of stuff, after all this is more of a "rough draft" kinda thing), but when I get around to it, I'm going to make a "version 2", and follow your advice for the speakers (I might PM you if I have more questions), which I will probably start when I get around to buying a scrap DS Lite from ebay. I actually might prefer this to the backlight original GBA mod, because I like having the start and select buttons on the right side rather than the left, as with the original GBA.