Integrated Rechargable GBA mod

Discussion in 'GBA - Hardware, Devices and Utilities' started by Dend, Mar 27, 2017.

  1. Dend
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    Dend Member

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    Hello everybody. Im new here, signed up after reading a couple of threads.
    As the title says, i am interested in having a rechargable AGB 001.
    Now, i know that there are rechargable packs and batteries that can be used out there. But was wandering if anyone has managed to have an integrated rechargable battery pack, with a usb micro or mini.

    Sorry in advance if this is an already discussed topic.

    Cheers!
     


  2. FAST6191

    FAST6191 Techromancer

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    A few different people have some things done over the years. I don't really have any kind of instructables type how to guide though as it is fairly basic in concept -- you want to get a lithium battery pack that clocks in at 3V (the voltage of 2 AA batteries), or maybe a bit lower as the cutoff voltage will be lower as well, and a charge management chip that usually gets sold in the same sorts of shops (something like https://www.adafruit.com/product/259 ). If you are doing it internally then the space you have to do it in is smaller than the 2 AAs if you measure directly and do not want to snap the little tabs from. Still probably get 40x30mm in there though.
    Most charge controllers these days have a microUSB port on them so there is that.

    Most flat lithium cells ( https://www.alibaba.com/product-detail/3000-mah-cell-phone-battery-flat_60409622647.html ) I see seem to be 3.7V which is probably going to be too high so you will possibly also want to regulate that down a bit (it is a bit outside typical electronics safety factors and even if it does run something might well toast itself quicker than expected). They do make tiny buck converters these days ( http://www.ebay.com/itm/5x-Buck-Ste...o-3-7V-3-3V-3V-repl-AMS1117-Adj-/171842550323 ) but I am not sure you can get that, a battery and the charge controller all in there.
     
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  3. Dend
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    Dend Member

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    Hey Fast6191, thanks for the suggestions. I got a couple ideas to go on, but good point on the voltage issue. From what i see, most Li-Ion battery packs (if not all) are 3.7V :huh:. I will update the post as soon as a find a way of getting around it.

    I hope i dont burn my GBA out, i just installed a backlit screen on it not to long ago... lol
     
  4. Dend
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    Dend Member

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    So, I have an update for who is interested.

    Spoke to a friend who is an electrical engineering graduate, and got some good advice from him. The 3.7V source from the Li-Ion pack will not damage the unit, but it will most likely make it shut down because it is more voltage. He advised me to try and use a diode component inline with the battery to step down the voltage. According to him this would work just fine.

    As for the charging, he recommended these charging boards (as Fast6191 recommended as well) that do a great job at overcharge and discharge protection as well(so that nothing goes BOOM, Li-Ion batteries can be dangerous).

    He has some of these materials handy since he uses them on his own projects and was willing to give me a set to try this project out. I will look for a suitable battery and give it a go.

    Ill update you guys as i have something more definitive.

    Cheers!
     
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  5. FAST6191

    FAST6191 Techromancer

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    Assuming your friend has not taken a look at a GBA he may be overestimating Nintendo's safety/extreme conditions approaches. You might get a fuse but over voltage protection can be a bit thin on the ground.

    I did think about other methods to lower the voltage that might fit into a smaller area. I don't know what sort of current the GBA draws, much less one with a screen mod, but I can't imagine it is too out of line with a DS that I did once measure at between 100mA and 200mA ( https://ezflash.sosuke.com/viewtopic.php?t=15020#p62892 ). The diode mentioned is likely one called a Zener diode, more http://www.electronics-tutorials.ws/diode/diode_7.html if you are unfamiliar with the concept.
    It is not the most efficient way of doing it but will certainly be able to get it done and they are very small and able to be put out of the way far more easily than a whole board if you are pressed for space.

    You can quite often find battery packs in phones and all sorts of old electrical devices. Be aware that the 3.6V variety may not work with newer charge management controllers. Might be physically too big but if you are doing a proof of concept you can tape it on or use another cover or something for the meantime. Then if you have to order a new one it should just solder right in there and you can stick it all together.
     
  6. Dend
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    Dend Member

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    I really am not worried about the backlit screen increasing the consumption. It was actually proven that the backlit screen is more efficient than the original (youtube "backlit mod BGA battery test").

    The diode that was suggested is of the 1N400 series. I did some research (since work was slow as heck :D) and found out that the the 1N4001 diode is a 1 Amp diode with a 50V rating. if the NDS has a consumption of 100 mA - 200 mA I don't see the AGB-001 being much higher (I need to actually measure the exact consumption), its well within the 1 Amp tolerance of the diode. They should have a drop from .4V to .7V, which is obviously going to fluctuate depending on the power output of the battery at a given time; but it should keep the output within the threshold to satisfy the GBA.

    I agree on the inefficiency though, since the diode is essentially another consumer added; but i found a 3.7V 1200 mAh camera battery that should last a long time regardless; who needs a camera nowadays when having a smartphone lol. Its a small one but the back piece of the shell will need cutting nonetheless. I was thinking of completely cutting the battery compartment and permanently gluing the battery cover on. Kind of a turn off but its not very usable if the GBA is rechargeable anyways.

    Worst case i will burn out my GBA logic board.... But ill give it a shot in the weekend and see what happens.

    Fingers crossed. :gba:
     
  7. FAST6191

    FAST6191 Techromancer

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    Been a while since I have used the voltage drop of a non Zener diode for anything. I had a look at a few datasheets for various 1N400 offerings and some were a bit higher forward voltage drop, some were in line with what you had. Easy enough to measure these things though.

    On cameras then while I have seen some very nice phones these last couple of years I still like my camera for zoom, proper flash and a proper lens. Then again I don't have a phone if I can help it so yeah.

    Have fun either way.
     
  8. Dend
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    Dend Member

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    So i gave it a shot yesterday, and it worked.....
    It ran perfectly for an hour or so, but it was too late and i couldn't test it any longer. Spent till 2:00 AM with that thing and had to be up at 7:00 for work.
    I had to do some significant cutting though, but everything came together pretty well. Ill take some pictures later tonight and upload them.

    Cheers!!
    :D:D:D:D
     
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  9. Dend
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    Dend Member

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    As promised i am posting the pictures of the rechargeable mod. In my opinion this is how the AGB was supposed to be to begin with, rechargeable and backlit. Makes the whole experience of using it hassle free. I am uploading the pics that i took just earlier. Sorry as they are kinda large, but its easier to see the details.

    This is the port:
    IMG_5608.JPG
    IMG_5609.JPG

    The following is the charging board and battery setup:
    IMG_5601.JPG

    Sorry for the very large pic, but i wanted to show the detailed image. Its not very pretty but it works well. I have another AGB that i am going to do this to, maybe i will be able refine this a bit more. On a full charge it really lasts a long time, I probably have used it at least 4 or 5 hours by now and it is still running strong. The downfall is that with this charge board, I can't charge and use the AGB at the same time.

    The board plugged in and charging, when it is charging a blue LED turns on and the red one turns off:
    IMG_5605.JPG

    The cut that i had to do to the back of the shell. I had to remove the whole part the holds the batteries. When its put together its perfectly normal. The battery cover is also glued on so it will not come off anymore.
    IMG_5603.JPG

    Here is how it looks from the outside:
    IMG_5604.JPG

    And the unit running:
    IMG_5615.JPG


    I hope this helps you guys,

    Cheers!!
     
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  10. FAST6191

    FAST6191 Techromancer

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    Talk about get to and do. Usual time between "wouldn't it be nice" and actually doing is usually between 2 months and never.

    "In my opinion this is how the AGB was supposed to be to begin with, rechargeable and backlit"

    Backlit I will give you, doubly so as they had a backlit GB model, but recalling the horror that was rechargeable batteries back in 2000/2001 I am kind of glad they went with disposables.
     
    Last edited by FAST6191, Apr 1, 2017
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  11. Dend
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    I have actually been looking into this for a while now but your suggestion (@ FAST6191) and the conversation i had with my friend just gave me some confirmation that it could be done.

    I actually had one of those rechargeable back covers but the battery life is horrible and the charges is bulky and heavy as hell. This was a much easier way i think.
     
  12. ltsheppard

    ltsheppard Member

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    I actually prefer normal battery ports in consoles and controllers. I hate having to take a charger with me all the time.

    Also, using eneloop pro rechargeable batteries, I've got twice as much battery capacity than your li-Ion (they've got 2500mah individually).

    Still, I love modding, and this is a pretty cool mod in my opinion.

    Who did? I've never heard of that before.
     
    Last edited by ltsheppard, Apr 1, 2017
  13. FAST6191

    FAST6191 Techromancer

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    Gah, added a C... I am going to have to work on losing a muscle memory it seems

    It was a Japan only model called the gameboy light and quite rare but it did exist
    [​IMG]
     
  14. ltsheppard

    ltsheppard Member

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    Oh, still nice. Not as nice as a backlit GBC though.
     
  15. Dend
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    Do they even make a backit GBC screed? Id love to build one... As for the game boy light, i have found only one or 2, all above $120.

    Well, i just use my iphone charger cube with a micro usb, which i have with me most of the time if i travel. The battery at full charge lasts days with my current playing habbits. It still has to run dry from the first time i charged a full cycle on it. There also is much bigger capacity batteries out there, that can fit in there. I just like the convenience; and you are right, it was fun to build. It takes about 20-30 min to charge. And thats it i got a full charge for about a week.

    I looked at the eneloop batteries and i think ill be usingthem on my other AGB so i dont have to cut it up, and keep it original
    (Thanks for that Itsheppard).
     
  16. FAST6191

    FAST6191 Techromancer

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    There are some third party versions on the market nowadays, and some mods to adapt other more common screens, but I know little of them, and they are certainly not as tested and easy to come by as the current wave of GBA stuff.
     
  17. gamesquest1

    gamesquest1 Nabnut

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    i love the Gameboy light, personally my 2 favorited Gameboy systems were the 2 oddball systems, the Gameboy light (mine has no battery cover though, and I don't think anyone makes replacements for them as they are kinda wierd:glare: ) and the Gameboy micro..... but neither has GBC support though so the real winner would probably be a AGS 101, but seeing as I am yet to come across one in the wild I don't have one yet :(

    PS nice mod OP, I'm currently in the process of botching together a backlight for an original Gameboy so its good seeing other peoples projects
     
    Last edited by gamesquest1, Apr 2, 2017
  18. porkiewpyne

    porkiewpyne Report-er

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    My uncle actually had the GameBoy Light. The light intensity is controlled by a slider which goes from intensely dark to so-bright-everything-seems-washed-out-so-why-is-this-even-a-thing which is pretty neat imho. And if memory serves me correctly, the light has a green tinge. Great collector's item if nothing else :)

    On topic though. Glad you managed to get your GBA project going (and so quickly at that). Looks really good. Roughly how many hours can you squeeze out of that battery?
     
  19. gamesquest1

    gamesquest1 Nabnut

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    the game boy light actually just has a extra position on the power switch, so it's off|on|on with light

    then you have the standard contrast control

    (ps not meant as a "urge I know the best" statement, just clarifying incase anyone wanted to know :) )
     
    Last edited by gamesquest1, Apr 2, 2017
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  20. Dend
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    It lasts quiet a long time, I was actually surprised. I finished it on Wednesday really late at night, and i let it charge for a while to make sure nothing was going to overheat (it didn't). The battery was charged in full and has lasted me since. I don't play too much, but id say it lasts upwards of 8 hours. Ill charge it to full and i will count the hours to have an exact answer later on. But i was digging online and there are exact batteries like these but with more capacity, i am sure they last way longer. The battery itself didn't take long at all to charge though, just about 20 min or less.

    If someone wants to do this just let me know and i can post how to set up the board and connections.

    Cheers!
     
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