M3 GBA Expansion Pack battery question

Discussion in 'M3 Adapter' started by str8desifer, Jan 24, 2012.

Jan 24, 2012
  1. str8desifer
    OP

    Newcomer str8desifer Newbie

    Joined:
    Jan 17, 2012
    Messages:
    3
    Country:
    United States
    Hi,
    I found a site that has a couple of m3 gba expansion packs in stock. Being how the product is old, and the battery most likely dead, would i still be able to save my gba files using the real time save? Or is the real time save for ds only? I know that the battery can be swapped by soldering a new one, but I have no such skills. Reason I want it is for the rtc and action replay cheats for the gba. Don't really care about ds games as i have a dsi xl for that.
     
  2. DinohScene

    Member DinohScene The Gift of Dino

    Joined:
    Oct 11, 2011
    Messages:
    12,900
    Location:
    В небо
    Country:
    Antarctica
    It doesn't have to be dead.

    I recently bought a Kirby NES game in mint condition wich still had it's original battery + saved game.
    Assuming the battery is more then 18 years old, it still works perfectly fine.

    Why do people think batteries only last a few years ;s

    How ever.
    You could cellar tape a new battery in.
    It maybe somewhat of an hillbilly solution but it does the job pretty well.
    Still I'd recommend soldering it in.
     
    1 person likes this.
  3. str8desifer
    OP

    Newcomer str8desifer Newbie

    Joined:
    Jan 17, 2012
    Messages:
    3
    Country:
    United States
    Thanks for the reply. From reading around the forums, there are people that when they bought came with a dead battery.
     
  4. DinohScene

    Member DinohScene The Gift of Dino

    Joined:
    Oct 11, 2011
    Messages:
    12,900
    Location:
    В небо
    Country:
    Antarctica
    Doesn't always have to be.

    If the battery is dead, cellar tape a new one into it.
    Maybe a hillbilly solution but it works.
     
  5. alphamule

    Member alphamule GBAtemp Fan

    Joined:
    Oct 24, 2011
    Messages:
    428
    Country:
    United States
    Another trick if you want to try it, is to do like I did with my old Gameboy and GB Color systems. I used something called a Mega Memory Card which even worked on the Gameboy Camera I got cheap off of eBay. It was $15 or so with S/H ~10 years ago. The memory card was around $10 if I remember right. If you're playing on a Gameboy Advance/SP, then you can use the multiboot cable to get the same ability. This assumes that someone has wrote the software and it's compatible with the saved game. It would be annoying though to have to constantly upload/download the save before/after a softboot, assuming that it'll even reboot without killing the power to the cart (there's ways to bypass this as well but it requires a hardware mod such as a capacitor+diode on the power rails). By the way, my eCube 1GB cards arrived so I can use the other solution: Just mod one cartridge to have a removable battery clip!

    A small solar panel and super capacitor would work so long as you backed up your saved game data when done playing. In hindsight, the capacitor would only rarely have to be charged. In theory, a super cap can run the battery-backed SRAM for a long time. The reason no one does this is expense when they're trying to cut every nickel off the price of the cartridge's hardware. For a hobbyest, it's not a big difference. Here's an example of using a super capacitor for a similar project.

    I looked up places to get a small and cheap super capacitor:

    http://www.sparkfun.com/products/10317 3.3V, 0.2F, similar to 2032 lithium cell, $2

    eBay item #150694457525: 5.5V, 0.22F, 3/8th inch diameter (smaller than dime), solder tabs, $3 for 2, another $1.50 for each additional pair. (75 cents to $1.50)

    The 5.5V one would probably work better since it has a higher maximum charge(potential AKA voltage).

    BTW: Here's a scary eBay item: 370578012182
    3000 Farads = dangerous
     
  6. str8desifer
    OP

    Newcomer str8desifer Newbie

    Joined:
    Jan 17, 2012
    Messages:
    3
    Country:
    United States
    Thanks for the links. I ordered the m3 with the gba expansion pack. I'll see how it goes.
     
  7. alphamule

    Member alphamule GBAtemp Fan

    Joined:
    Oct 24, 2011
    Messages:
    428
    Country:
    United States
    Awesome. Good luck with your cartridge! :)

    The only thing with super capacitors that would hurt us is that they self-drain pretty damn fast. Even compared to a Nickel-Metal-Hydride cell such as 'rechargable AA batteries' you can get at a Wal-Mart or the like. We're talking at most days to fully drain. But the good news is that the RTC has virtually no impact on that time, which is hilarious!

    A solar cell charging it up while you're awake would keep up the charge, in theory. I'd not trust it for my game progress, although an LED flashlight would be a great application of some of the larger super capacitors. Even 'just' 1 Farad is enough to run an LED at full brightness long enough to be useful. It sure beats batteries or having to use a magnetic/mechanical charger/generator. That 3rd link was a PITA to find, by the way. I was thinking that the ones I had back in the 1980s had a dynamo that you had to pump your fist to spin. They were the yellow/plastic ones but the brand name has long escaped me. Bah, that third link just talks about them. http://safetycentral.com/dynpumflas.html This is a more faithful reproduction. The flywheel makes it run a lot smoother and gives more currant than a LED would ever need.
     
  8. Ajax

    Newcomer Ajax Member

    Joined:
    Apr 26, 2008
    Messages:
    47
    Country:
    United States
    I'm bumping this topic to let you guys know that installing a supercapacitor in place of a dead battery seems to actually work quite well.

    The battery on my M3 GBA expansion cart died a year or two ago, so I replaced it with another battery, and when that one died a fairly short while later, I was pretty bummed, and figured that I would be forever doomed to have a cart that wouldn't hold sram. After reading this thread, I eventually decided that this super capacitor would work the best (this one is similar to one of the ones linked in this thread, but has the solder tabs in the same arangement as the original battery, making it really easy to solder in). Even though the capacitor was a lot smaller than I expected, and solder tabs were a bit closer together than the ones on the original battery, it was still a sinch to solder it in place, and shouldnt be too hard to do as long as you have had a little soldering experience.

    One thing to note, however, is that these little super capacitors seem to take a long time to charge. I was getting errors for a quite a while before the card finally started booting games properly, so I suggest turning on your DS and letting the capacitor charge for 20-30 minutes (though honestly, I have no idea if the capacitor needed to charge, of if my cart was just being flakey).

    Well anyway, I have no idea how this will turn out in the long run. I'm just happy to have my GBA expansion cart working again.
     
  9. yellowsnowcone

    Newcomer yellowsnowcone Member

    Joined:
    Mar 21, 2012
    Messages:
    28
    Country:
    United States
    Your cart's memory was probably working on near-threshold voltage, and draining the cap too fast, causing hard errors all over the place. High internal resistance makes for longer charge and slower discharge, which is what makes a supercapacitor useful. I don't know enough about the M3 GEP (I ended up getting a EZ IV) to say whether it will work better in the long run than a battery.
     
  10. Ajax

    Newcomer Ajax Member

    Joined:
    Apr 26, 2008
    Messages:
    47
    Country:
    United States
    The funny thing is that even when I had a dead battery (really dead, 1day after DS power off. Though in actuality, as long as you quickly reboot your ds after playing a GBA game in order to get the M3 firmware to transfer sram to the SDcard, you should be fine.

    ...though now I need to fix my broken L button, anybody know of any decent sources for DS lite shoulder button switches?
     
  11. alphamule

    Member alphamule GBAtemp Fan

    Joined:
    Oct 24, 2011
    Messages:
    428
    Country:
    United States
  12. yellowsnowcone

    Newcomer yellowsnowcone Member

    Joined:
    Mar 21, 2012
    Messages:
    28
    Country:
    United States
     
  13. Densetsu

    Former Staff Densetsu Pubic Ninja

    Joined:
    Feb 2, 2008
    Messages:
    3,435
    Location:
    Wouldn't YOU like to know?
    Country:
    United States
    You should ask how_do_i_do_that directly. He's like, the resident expert on all things Slot-2.
     

Share This Page