Gaming HeartGold cartridge turns off DS Lite & 2DS XL when inserted

herbarium

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I have an authentic HeartGold cartridge that is not working. I am wondering where I can get some electronics advice on what to check for in the pcb or chips of the cart?

Whenever I insert the cart into my DS Lite and try to turn it it, I get a flashing red light where the green 'on' led is supposed to be. It does not boot at all.

Whenever I insert the cart into the 2DS XL (which allows for hot swapping), as soon as the cart is inserted, both screens go black but the system stays on. If I remove the cart, after a few seconds, the screens come back.

I think there is something up with the electronics of the cartridge itself, maybe a bad connection, resistor, or capacitor. I have already cleaned all the pins and I have a multimeter as well, so I can test continuity, but I don't know exactly what to look for. (I also have a working cart of HeartGold to test against, but when I did that, it all seemed ok).

Has anyone faced this issue before whereby inserting a cartridge turns off the DS system?
Does anyone have info about game electronic schematics and what to look for?
 

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Necron

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Clean all the solder joints with isopropil alcohol and if you've got flux and soldering iron, you can touch up connections, sounds like a short.
 

herbarium

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Sounds like there is a short present on the cartridge. Check 3.3V to GND and see if a short exists.

I can confirm that there is continuity between 3.3V pin (#8) and the GND pins (#1, 7, 17).

thanks for the schematic (even tho it's different for the HearGold cart).

--------------------- MERGED ---------------------------

Clean all the solder joints with isopropil alcohol and if you've got flux and soldering iron, you can touch up connections, sounds like a short.

looks like a short too. I do have IPA and an iron and flux. Is there a specific chip or component that I should reflow?

How can I test the resistors and capacitors to see if there is one that is faulty? Or would it be the chips that are faulty?

my biggest fear is that it is a trace that is damaged instead of a component.
 

Necron

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looks like a short too. I do have IPA and an iron and flux. Is there a specific chip or component that I should reflow?

How can I test the resistors and capacitors to see if there is one that is faulty? Or would it be the chips that are faulty?

my biggest fear is that it is a trace that is damaged instead of a component.

Try with the chips with the most legs, check continuity there. If a trace is damaged, the only thing you can do is put a jumper wire and everything will work again. As for the capacitors, I only see a couple on the board (even if they are caps), but if you have continuity between any of those, that's most likely the case.
 

herbarium

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Try with the chips with the most legs, check continuity there. If a trace is damaged, the only thing you can do is put a jumper wire and everything will work again. As for the capacitors, I only see a couple on the board (even if they are caps), but if you have continuity between any of those, that's most likely the case.

So there is continuity between the capacitors. However, when I check it on the good HeartGold cart that I have, the capacitors there also have continuity.

I'm not sure what to test at this point.

--------------------- MERGED ---------------------------

Would the resistors be the problem? there isn't supposed to be continuity between the resistor right?
 

Necron

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So there is continuity between the capacitors. However, when I check it on the good HeartGold cart that I have, the capacitors there also have continuity.

I'm not sure what to test at this point.

--------------------- MERGED ---------------------------

Would the resistors be the problem? there isn't supposed to be continuity between the resistor right?
Yeah resistors do have continuity. Those smd components could be caps or resistances, so it's either way.
 

WigWrm

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I doubt its a cap or resistor. A broken trace wouldn't cause a short, so I think you can rule that out.

Its not enough to do a continuity "beep" test. Look at the actual resistance across the caps and resistors. The caps are probably shorted because they are connected to 3.3V and GND.

My guess is one of the ICs are shorted internally. If you can find the pin outs for each chip, go ahead and check VCC to GND. The chip with the lowest resistance will be the one thats bad.

Good luck! If it's the flash chip, you might as well get a new cartridge. Fixing this will require a lot of patience and time to find the issue. I hope its something simple for you!
 
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herbarium

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I doubt its a cap or resistor. A broken trace wouldn't cause a short, so I think you can rule that out.

Its not enough to do a continuity "beep" test. Look at the actual resistance across the caps and resistors. The caps are probably shorted because they are connected to 3.3V and GND.

My guess is one of the ICs are shorted internally. If you can find the pin outs for each chip, go ahead and check VCC to GND. The chip with the lowest resistance will be the one thats bad.

Good luck! If it's the flash chip, you might as well get a new cartridge. Fixing this will require a lot of patience and time to find the issue. I hope its something simple for you!

I think you're right too about an IC being shorted. I have been trying to find a pins out image for the cart, but I have not found anything at all! this would really help.

I have some random (bad) DS carts that I can use as donors for the IC parts if one of them is indeed broken, but I am not sure how the board is routed.
 
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