Hardware GUIDE: Change your EZFlash 3-in-1 Battery (w/ PICS)

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I purchased my EZFlash V 3-in-1 expansion just over a year ago. All of a sudden, my GBA games stopped saving. They played fine, but refused to save. I searched all over and finally concluded that my battery must be dead. The battery is necessary to hold a game's SRAM save.

When your battery dies, you can buy a new 3-in-1, or if you're not scared of electronics, you can change it.

If your games aren't saving and you've exhausted your options (using GBAExploader, flashing the game to NOR, etc), you probably have a dead battery. Changing it will fix your woes.

Some people have mentioned soldering a new battery onto the PCB, but that's not necessary. You can change your battery with just a few household items and NO SOLDERING.

Please note: This guide assumes you've opened up some electronic devices in the past and understand the risks of doing so. If you slip up or push something too hard or rip a component off, your 3-in-1 will be dead. I am not responsible for any damage you cause to your own belongings. I'm simply showing you what I did to change my battery. If you want to try it, I'm not responsible for the outcome.

You will need:[*]New Battery - CR1220, available from Radio Shack for just under $6[*]Electrical Tape[*]Scissors[*]Razor Blade, preferably with a handle to grip easily[*]Very small Philips screwdriver[*]Patience, and possibly an adult beverage
First, flip over your 3-in-1 and locate the small screw in the top left corner. You'll need to unscrew it with a small Philips screwdriver.

20090131-f7fbjxb8c5pi5ic5giub1jct2j.jpg


Once the screw is out, CAREFULLY pry the front and back of the 3-in-1 apart. Several components are attached to the casing by sticky stuff, so go slow. You'll see this when you've got it open:

20090131-ttssykfp6kyjybt47xhgh3764u.jpg

Pink circle: This is the battery.
Green circle: This is the sticky stuff that holds the cart together.

Use your razor to scrape the sticky stuff off the casing as it will probably be in your way later. Set the top case out of the way and take a gander at the PCB. You'll notice the battery is attached to the board via two metal tabs.

20090131-n8fee1wir3xahj7kra7itumhpi.jpg


Normally you would remove these and solder on a new battery. BUT, RadioShack doesn't typically carry CR1220 batteries with tabs, only those without tabs. AND we don't want to solder. So we'll try something else.

In the previous picture, you'll notice there's a little space between the battery and the connection tab. Awesome. CAREFULLY stick your razor blade into that gap.

20090131-55qubxwhuerpperymag5j432q.jpg


You're going to pry the tab off the top of the battery. Take a deep breath and work the blade across the battery, underneath the tab. The tab is connected at two small points and with a little twisting of the razor, you should be able to get them to pop off. When you succeed, you'll see this:

20090131-n8t2fabksui36wn2ds19rimrrm.jpg


Notice that I sort of mangled the top tab. Try to avoid that to ensure a snugger fit when you're finished.

Now you need to disconnect the bottom tab in much the same way as you did the top. This time it's harder though because you're working UNDER the battery. Go slow. Small twist of the blade. Pop. Pop. You'll have a better feel for the amount of pressure needed after having removed the top tab.

Battery out and tabs empty:
20090131-e4gub731c95eq3xgu6m5q8m4cc.jpg


Grab your new battery and double-check that it matches what you pulled out. Your new battery probably won't have a rubber coating like your old one, but that's okay. Again, you need a CR1220 3v.
20090131-xuxwtiya3yjsi8yr4fe7raq7id.jpg


To attach the new battery, we need electrical tape. Cut a 1.5-2 inch strip. Now turn it lengthwise and cut strips down the length of the tape, a few millimeters wide each. Imagine running the tape through a paper shredder - that's what you're going for. Lay one strip sticky-side-up UNDERNEATH the bottom battery tab.

20090131-gdy6k2kjsrxrd9k5mxngtk2295.jpg


Now lay your new battery BETWEEN the tabs with the positive + side up. Try to make the tabs very flat against the battery so you have a good connection. Fold the tape strip around the battery and make a good seal. Now, take several more strips of tape and repeat the process from another angle or two until you're satisfied that the tabs are well connected to the battery. There's no good way to illustrate the process, so here's the end result:
20090131-jexu4ur1aac4kjsh6ihppu3u55.jpg

20090131-rbnh1b3164t7fqs4su783dnrs3.jpg


Make sure everything is lined up and then put the casing back together. Replace the screw. Hopefully if you were careful to not bend the tabs and pressed your tape flat, everything will fit, or bulge only slightly.

All done. Your GBA games should now save just fine. Much cheaper than ordering a new 3-in-1 + shipping + waiting on delivery.
 
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Jdbye

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Agu Fungus said:
Will this work with M3 lite? It also uses a small battery.
It might. If you open it up and it has similar metal tabs you should be able to use the same method. The battery might be different though.
 

triften

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This is an excellent consumer service. I'm not having trouble with my 3-in-1 Plus right now, but I had battery trouble in the past. AND MANY OTHERS have had battery problems, too.

This guide was long overdue, and I'm ecstatic that someone has found a way to replace the battery without soldering. THANKS A LOT!!
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Shin-Ra

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My EZ doesn't save anymore.
However I tested the battery with a voltimeter and i get 3.1V
Tried everything, but the EZ doesn't save anymore.
Should i change the battery?
I don't want to waste time and money on it if the problem isnt the battery.
 

Karzahnii

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Shin-Ra, that's a battery problem (if it isn't, I have no idea what it could be, internal damage?).

Anyways, great guide, but I'm having trouble prying off the top of the battery.
 

grape_garden

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I have a question. Can this be applied to the RAM expansion catridge that's included with the M3 DS Real, as well? I can't imagine it would, since save files are written to the flash card and not the GBA slot, but then again, I really don't know much when it comes to this, so.
 

Shin-Ra

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Karzahnii said:
Shin-Ra, that's a battery problem (if it isn't, I have no idea what it could be, internal damage?).

Anyways, great guide, but I'm having trouble prying off the top of the battery.
Thanks, but it wasn't the battery. I'll guess I'll have to get a new one
 

triassic911

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grape_garden said:
I have a question. Can this be applied to the RAM expansion catridge that's included with the M3 DS Real, as well? I can't imagine it would, since save files are written to the flash card and not the GBA slot, but then again, I really don't know much when it comes to this, so.
When playing a gba game through any slot-2 expansion, the game saves on the onboard chip. The next time you turn the ds on, it saves to your ds. If your battery is dead, you will not save to the onboard chip, thus your save not saving.
 

jordanqu

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Genius, i followed all the steps and, although managed to break a tab, and now my gba games save really well. I just soldered the tab back on with a pinpoint soldering iron but everything else went fine. Thanks again
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