(HELP WANTED) extreme DS Modification

Discussion in 'NDS - Emulation and Homebrew' started by Johntendo, May 27, 2015.

  1. Johntendo

    Johntendo Member

    May 27, 2015
    United States
    DS modification project.

    (Project origin date: May 14th, 2015) Created by Johnathan Toro (CitraXas13 / Johntendo64)

    INB4 "what is"
    To prove it can be done.

    ***Note that this is intended for the original DS or Nintendo DS Lite, NOT the DSi, 3DS, etc. (as the DSi, 3DS use different firmwares, operating systems, and would need special keys to open up the system.)THIS PROJECT IS NOT INTENDED TO PROMOTE PIRACY, USE OF PIRATED SOFTWARE/TOOLS IN ANY WAY, SHAPE, OR FORM!!! THIS PROJECT IS INTENDED TO MODIFY A GAME SYSTEM TO DO MORE THAN ALREADY POSSIBLE***
    Inb4 tl;dr:

    Necessities: (to gather a knowledge base)

    • Writing code in C/C+
    • Graphic design for menus, buttons, etc.
    • Familiarity with the Nintendo DS software or firmware (CPU, RAM, ARM, dev Kit, libnds, etc.)
    • Familiarity with PCB [Polyfluorocarbonate boards (motherboards/green boards,etc.)], wiring/soldering points, addresses, etc.
    • Experience in creating (building/writing/signing/ etc.) custom firmware (Doesn’t have to be a Nintendo system, either.)
    • Ability to use powered tools

    Feasible ideas for project:
    *It should be noted that there are two peripherals that were released with the Nintendo DS browser for DS and DS Lite that expand the RAM available to the system, if there isn't enough RAM, there is an option to forgo the HDD for a permanent installation of that cartridge' RAM to expand memory to the system.*
    • Create a Nintendo DS system that is modified to use a storage medium as system memory (NOT RAM) / create a DS with storage space from a Micro SD card and can play games or at least homebrew from the storage medium. (similar to the DSi’s built in SD compatibility), add a microSD card socket (for software/ homebrew/ firmware,) (again, similar to the DSi’s SD card socket) in place of the iPod Classic HDD (if size constraints arise)
    • Create a real custom firmware for the Nintendo DS system and load it INTO the motherboard/system memory/RAM/wherever firmware/software is stored (NAND?), create an interconnected operating system for Nintendo DS
    • Remove or replace SLOT-1(DS cart port) and SLOT-2 (GBA cart port) to make room for the new sockets, or wire/solder the microSD Socket into one of those slots existing contacts (if possible), and HDD to the other (since there's more room available, and they’re not necessarily to be slots, but if need be, we can keep the cut outs in the housing)
    • The battery door should be kept obviously for a battery, but if it needs to be removed so be it (AC power is still a thing people, and this is a conceptual prototype) but if we forego the battery and keep the door, we should place the SD/HDD there to allow easy access without disassembly.

    What we could do
    • Put a DS Lite motherboard in the shell of an original DS system (the shell could provide more room for adding the hard disk drive)

    What we need to do:

    • Solder a Micro SD socket to motherboard
    • Dissasemble DS
    • Solder a socket that will take the iPod classics hard drive
    • Rewrite, modify, or complete replace the DS' operating system/firmware to accept reading from these media. (Possibly create new pointers where the software that detects the DS card will now detect a hard drive, or trick the system into believing a DS cart is there, so that it will boot the hard drive/SD card.
    Tools/hardware needed:

    • Soldering Iron
    • De-soldering iron
    • scissors
    • electrical tape
    • Micro SD card socket (to wire or solder onto the motherboard)
    • Hand dremel
    • Solder
    • Tri-wing screwdriver (#00)
    • Philips (crosshead) screwdriver (#00)
    • Metal spudger
    • Hand knife
    • Safety pin
    • Black Sharpie™ marker
    • Krazy Glue
    • Tape
    • Hard disk drive from iPod Classic

    Resources and information:(1) introduction to DS programming (2) HOW to run code on the DS

    Images of parts:SD Socket examples:[​IMG][​IMG][​IMG]


    Soldering iron and Desoldering iron: [​IMG][​IMG]

    Nintendo DS (Lite) Motherboard:[​IMG]Original DS motherboard: [​IMG]

    Original DS shell
    DS Lite shell:

    iPod Classic hard drive

  2. Tomato Hentai

    Tomato Hentai hot death grips singles in your area

    Oct 30, 2014
    May I ask what you plan on doing with this/what it's for?
    Like, you said a little bit, but I want to know exactly what you plan on doing with this project, because it seems kinda interesting.
  3. Johntendo

    Johntendo Member

    May 27, 2015
    United States
    Basically, i just want to completley rewrite the software, if possible, and use the system for development, or make some kind of integrated system, honestly, i just want to create it and see what can be done with this, hence why i put help wanted haha. :)
    DjoeN and Tomato Hentai like this.
  4. Tomato Hentai

    Tomato Hentai hot death grips singles in your area

    Oct 30, 2014
    I see.
    I may be able to help with the project. Not with coding or soldering, anything like that, but maybe something else.
  5. DjoeN

    DjoeN Captain Haddock!

    Oct 21, 2005
    Somewhere in this potatoland!
    Can't you use CF with MicroSD as HDD, the one in the picture holds 4x16GB MicroSD ($30) / 2x64GB (around $12 or lower)
    Less space needed, no moving parts, etc...

    [​IMG] [​IMG]
    Tomato Hentai likes this.
  6. ironmaster49

    ironmaster49 GBAtemp Advanced Fan

    Aug 9, 2015
    So you want to make the ds lite work in a similar fashion to a 3ds? Like have a built in firmware?
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