Part I: Visual reference of the PCB You will have to open the 3in1 and look on the back of the PCB to find out which version you have. Some versions of the 3in1 will require specific versions of some software to work properly. These are the LITE versions: The 1st one is marked by the EZ5C10 printed in the lower left. The 2nd one is marked by the EZ5C13 printed in the lower left. The 3rd one is marked by the EZ5C3 printed in the lower left. The 4th one is marked by the EZ5C11 printed in the lower left. EZ5C10 This is the original 3in1 (version 1), identified as 3in1 by GBA Exploader. EZ5C13 This is the new 3in1 (version 2), identified as New3in1 by GBA Exploader. EZ5C3 This is the 3in1+ (version 3), identified as 3in1Pls by GBA Exploader. EZ5C11 This is also labeled as 3in1 (version 4), identified as 3in1 by GBA Exploader. EZ5C5 (clearer picture by Zolotor) (picture by Atrius) This is the only known PHAT versions. The 1st one is marked by the EZ5C5 printed in the lower left. This is the labeled as 3in1, identified as 3in1 by GBA Exploader. SRAM Test SRAM test can be used to check if your SRAM is working correctly or not after replacing the battery. Cory1492's v2 of the SRAM test: : SRAM test 2 Your results should match any of the test results below results. Errors do not necessarily mean there is an issue with your 3in1. 3in1+ (v3) new3in1 (v2) 3in1 (v1) Part II: Slot1 flashcarts and other GEPs are available besides the 3in1 There is no best GBA Expansion Pack (GEP), and assumming there is one is like asking whats the better hand to write with. There are 2 were 3 expansion packs or GEP for short, 1 of which is not made or sold anymore. The 2 that are left are: A. EZ Flash V 3in1 expansion pack B. M3 GBA expansion pack C. EWin GBA expansion pack (not made or sold anymore) There are roughly 3 ways people prefer to get a GBA game running. The first is the integrated loader and the second way is through an external loader like GBA exploader and the third way is with an emulator on a slot1 flashcart with a built-in CPU. Those that choose one with an integrated loader are limited with what slot1 they can have. slot1 integrated loaders for the 3in1: Acekard 2 (AKAIO) CycloDS EZ Flash V Any flashcart capable of running Wood (Wood is the open source clone of AKAIO) DSTT/R4 running YSMenu (YSMenu is an alt firmware) slot1 integrated loaders for the M3 GEP: M3 Real M3 Zero slot1 integrated loader for the Supercard lite/slot2: Supercard DS1/2/i (IF your flashcart IS NOT listed above under integrated loaders for 3in1 will need to use an external loader.) Those that choose one with an external loader are for those that have none of the above slot1 flashcarts. The other benefit to using an external loader is that even if you upgrade to a different slot1 flashcart, you can still use the same loader to play GBA games and save data. The only issue with using GBA exploader is that Roudolph blacklisted the M3 slot1 flashcarts from using the exploader and backuptools homebrew after the M3 team sent Roudolph a C&D. With that in mind, you can use any slot1 except M3 with GBA exploader. More recently some M3 user made a patch removing the blacklist in exploader. In doing so and the Majicon crackdown in Japan, GBA exploader development is stopped at 0.58b. Now we look at what slot2 devices are support with what external loaders: cory1492's GBALdr loader: 3in1 (all versions: v1, v2, v3) NDStation: 3in1 (versions: v1 & v2) Roudolph's GBA exploader: 3in1 (all versions: v1, v2, v3 partially) M3 GEP (all version: non RTC and RTC) M3 Perfect lite (not a GEP, but acts like one with exploader) Ewin GEP EZ Flash IV (all versions, except the compact lite) DANGER OF BRICKING YOUR EZ-FLASH IV USING GBA EXPLOADER EWin loader: EWin GEP The third way is with an emulator on a slot1 flashcart with a built-in CPU. These can these play without a slot2 because they happen to have an ARM processor and onboard RAM on the flashcart itself. The result of onboard CPU and RAM was to deal with the DSi and the lack of a slot2. The emulation of GBA is not perfect if you choose this route. Flashcarts with built-in CPU: iPlayer Supercard DS2 Ex4 (clone of the iPlayer) iSmart MM (the iSmart is not the same as the iSmart MM) Bonus features available to certain setups: EZ-Flash V with a 3in1: Use of multi-rom mode for NOR and GBA cheats (kernel 1.90 OB11 or below) M3 Real/Zero with a M3 GEP: GBA cheats and RTS Other Notes: Pokemon users will want to get a M3 GEP for the RTC, this is especially the case with pokemon emerald. Because there is no known RTC patch for the pokemon emerald game. Software The 3in1+ requires GBA Exploader version .58b or higher. You can get exploader here for your flashcart GBA ExpLoader 0.58b (Use this, or any previous version if you DON'T HAVE a 3in1+) GBA ExpLoader 0.58b0 (This doesn't fix rumble or browser mode, only the NOR reset bug.. Use this if you have a 3in1+) GBA ExpLoader Moonshell2 0.1 The 3in1+ requires NDS Backup tool version 0.31a. NDS Backup tool 0.31a If you got an M3 slot1 (M3 Real, M3i Zero and M3 iTouch) you will need the modifed version GBA Exploader 0.58X M3 Patch (You will also need to download the 0.58b to patch) or GBA Exploader 0.58b0 MX (Combined b0 and M3 patch) (This doesn't fix rumble or browser mode.) You can also use cory1492's loader, you will need the ini from the first file. Also read the text file on setting things up etc: http://ezflash.sosuke.com/viewtopic.php?f=16&t=4749 or filetrip link Working standalone Opera 3in1+ patch from cory1492, the new setRomPage is now to 0x100 instead of 0x300 http://nds.cmamod.com/ez5/CZ-O31Pp-test2.zip (Link is dead.) Or goto the 3in1 Wiki page and pick something else if gba exploader is not what you want to use. Wiki page for other software to use (Wiki path keeps moving, your advised to use the Wiki link in the forum menu.) What about integrated support from those of CycloDS, Acekard, etc? Go and ask the respective developement teams when a new firmware supports it, I do not work with any of them to tell you when something like that comes out. Why isn't YSmenu listed? That is because Yasu doesn't allow a direct download if your running an R4, you have to build your own copy. BUGs, fixes, and weird behaviors BUG: A default install of AKAIO causes gba exploader to freeze randomly. FIX: Copy the ak2_sd.dldi from the official firmware in the __ak2 to your __aio folder on your MicroSD, overwriting the AKAIO ak2_sd.dldi. BUG: If you are using the M3 GEP and have multi-save turn off. Switching between RAM expasion mode and GBA mode will turn off autosaving. FIX: To fix this, turn on multisave in the gba_exloader.ini save file, then play a few games and turn it back off. It will go back to normal after that. BUG: Importing my AKAIO gba save file to exploader/VBA causes the game to say my save is corrupt and erases everything. FIX: AKAIO sticks a 16bit header to all gba save file it generates. To make it compatible with exploader/VBA, you will have to delete the first 16 bits in the save file with a hex editor or file trimmer. Here is an example of how much you need to trim to make the save work for you. BUG: It doesn't work on an iTouch. FIX: No homebrew is known to work on an iTouch. No fix. It is a crippled flashcart that can only run commerical roms. BUG: I got one of those EZ5C11 3in1s, why can't I access the rumble/ram mode under gba exploader. FIX: There is no fix. Roudolph stopped working on DS homebrew for some time now. There isn't any chance he will start up again either. Q & A Q: How long does the battery last? A: 2 to 3 years. Less if you get an older version. Q: Can the battery be recharged? A: The 3in1 uses a NON-rechargable battery. Q: What is the difference between the plus and non-plus 3in1? A: The 3in1 has 32MB of NOR, while the 3in1+ has 64MB of NOR. Other than that everything else is the same. Q: Does this work in a GBA/SP/micro? A: Yes if you flash a game to NOR. You have to have the PHAT version, the one that looks like a GBA cart. Q: Can a lite work in a GBA/SP/micro? A: Yes if you put the internal parts in a GBA sized flashcart shell or game. Or you can use an adaptor like an Action Replay/gameshark/codebreaker. Or you can modify the lite shell to fit inside a GBA/SP/micro, you might have problems pulling the thing out. Q: Can I use a slot1 as a cheat tool for GBA roms on the slot2? A: No. Unless you got a M3 Real/Zero with a M3 GEP or a EZ-Flash V with the 3in1. Q: Why does the game say my battery is dry when the 3in1 is new? A: The rom is looking for hardware that the 3in1 doesn't have, a RTC (Real Time Clock) chip. Most pokemon games require this RTC, to play them on the 3in1 you will have to RTC patch the game. Q: Why does the game give me a 1M sub circuit error? A: It means you SRAM patch the game with a SRAM patching tool that doesn't support save sizes of 1M. You will have to use another SRAM patching tool. Q: What is SRAM? A: SRAM is where your save data is stored. Q: What is PSRAM? A: PSRAM is where where games under 16MB are temporarly stored so you can play. Q: What is NOR? A: NOR is a type of flash storage where you write the game once and can repeatedly use again even after powering off the DS or GBA. Q: If I play a game in NOR, are my saves automatically backed up for me? A: No. It is your responsibility to backup your save data for a game in NOR. Q: What is the difference between a loader and an emulator. A: Loaders copy your game to a device like the 3in1 then unloads and switches the DS to GBA mode to run your game on real hardware. An emulator like the one found on the SCDS2 stays in DS mode and mimics ALL GBA hardware by software to run a GBA game. Q: Does the SCDS2 loader support the 3in1? A: No. Supercard makes a competing product. It makes little sense for them to support another product that isn't thiers. Q: Why do flashcarts like AK2/i and CycloDS have integrated loaders like the EZ-Flash V/i? A: The EZ-Flash team released source code to allow such things to happen. You can get a copy here: click here. Q: I heard that the you can convert the gba into a nds rom and is run via hypervisor and where can I download one and avoid the 3in1 all together? A: Hypervisor is a OS layer, if your firmilar with PS3 architecture. There is NO hypervisor layer with a DS or any of it's derivatives (the DSi/XL/LL), the DS uses direct hardware interface. There isn't one to download. If you are refering to what NDStation does, it embeds the gba file inside the loader for use later. It is what is called a self-contained loader. Hypervisor on the DS is made up BS to con newbs into thinking you can avoid getting a GEP. Q: Why does the EZ5C11 doesn't work like the EZ5C10? A: The EZ5C11 technically comes AFTER the EZ5C3, even though it is basically a minor revision of the EZ5C10. It is that small difference that makes any existing loader, integrated or not, to not fully support it completely. As is the case where gba exploader doesn't give access to the rumble/ram modes for a EZ5C11. Q: Does the 3in1 have RTC, so I can play pokemon? A: No, you will need to use a RTC patch on the rom. ALL versions of the 3in1 do not have RTC. Q: What is the battery for? A: The battery powers your SRAM, where your save data is stored when it is not plugged in or the DS is turned off. Q: What setup allows me to play pokemon games with RTC? A: GBA Exploader with the M3 GEP. Outside of having a M3 Real/Zero, GBA Exploader is the only app that supports the M3 GEP. ROM Patching IF you got a game and currently have issues with playing it, IE saving issues, game events, etc; see if it needs a certain patch first before complaining: http://bubbz.pocketheaven.com/?system=gba§ion=patch This ALSO applies to YOU if you play POKEMON. Tools for ROM patchingthat are useful: GBATA : here 3in1 tool : here EZ-Flash IV client : here Adding cheats to games : GBAATM Why is this here when AKAIO can autopatches everything? AKAIO doesn't patch everything correctly. GBA Exploader doesn't patch everything correctly either. History and Manufacture 3in1 (v1 and phat) : Made in APR 2007, it is a stripped down version of the EZ-Flash IV. Ended due to supply issues of certain chips. 3in1 (v2) : Made in 2008, design revision to support new chips. Had the shorted production run. 3in1 (v3) : Made in 2008, Released during the second week of December, current make contains 64MB of NOR. Was a planned upgrade to the previous version. 3in1 (v4, aka EZ5C11) : Made in 2009 and early 2010, Made shortly after Multi-ROM mode was disabled. Nobody noticed until supplies of other versions ran out. From reports of other users on the forum, the EZ5C11 might have a high failure rate. Maintainence NOTE: If your 3in1 is less than a month old since you got it and you think it is the battery, it is better to just RMA it and get a new one than to use the battery replacement guides and not be able to return it. Time to replace your battery or go get a new one if these things are true: A. you had the 3in1 for OVER 18 months (1.5 years) B. you find that exploader says it wants to initialize the cart C. your saves dissappear frequently if you previously had saves working before The 3in1 uses a CR-1220 battery with tabs. Solder free battery replacement guide: http://gbatemp.net/index.php?showtopic=132872 For those that prefer to solder a new battery on rather than using tape: *USA (48 states): digikey P279-ND (CR-1220-1FCE) Outside the USA: Not Available, nobody contribuited any information on where to get a CR-1220 with tabs. You can try hobby stores or a electronics (as in parts) store, the equivalent of digikey in your area to order from. * There is a transport restriction on batteries of this type. This also can be used in other GBA flashcarts.