M3 GEP - Where to buy?

Discussion in 'NDS - Flashcarts and Accessories' started by Tungs, Sep 14, 2015.

  1. Tungs
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    Tungs Newbie

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    So after 7 years of use, my M3 GBA expansion pack died on me (it was not the battery, I tried it).
    Although at this point it would be much easier to get a 3-in-1, the 32MB PSRAM and real time clock makes the M3 GEP such a better deal to me.

    The problem is: I can't find it anywhere, I looked at shoptemp and couldn't find any.
    Does anyone know where can I get it? Or if I can get it at all?
     
  2. Gyron

    Gyron GBAtemp Regular

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    http://www.gamersection.ca/product_info.php?manufacturers_id=18&products_id=730
     
  3. Tungs
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    Tungs Newbie

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  4. Gyron

    Gyron GBAtemp Regular

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    It's worth noting, the battery will probably need replacing when you receive the card as these cards are about 8 years old.
    It's also worth pointing out, if you're using the GEP to play the Pokemon games, then change the battery like for like, ie. use an ML-1220(rechargeable) rather than a CR-1220. The reason is, Pokemon save games can get a little screwy if a non-rechargeable battery is used in the GEP. Kuru Kuru Kururin also doesn't save correctly on the GEP if a CR-1220 is installed rather than an ML-1220.

    Just out of interest, what is the problem/symptom that makes you think your GEP is broken. Is it completely dead?
     
    Last edited by Gyron, Sep 15, 2015
  5. Tungs
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    Tungs Newbie

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    I tried to change the battery (this would be the 3rd time) but even after I change it the games wouldn't work, Moonshell state that there was only about 32000kb of ram on the thing, so I tried another battery and even changed the solder, it also didn't work so took it for granted. It was also very rusty because back when I got it I didn't know how to take care of my stuff.

    Honestly I don't really care about Pokemon anymore I just like the idea that if I ever need the RTC function, it will be there. Didn't know there was a difference between batteries though, I always thought the CR-1220 was rechargeable, it was probably why after the first change the batteries died so quick thanks for the advise.
     
  6. Gyron

    Gyron GBAtemp Regular

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    Moonshell displays memory in 'kb', so 32000kb is correct. You will probably find it says 32,768kb, which is 32mb. The GEP has 32mb of PSram, so the amount of ram being detected is correct. What is your slot-1 card, and how are you loading your GBA games. M3, GBA ExpLoader or YSMenu?
     
    Last edited by Gyron, Sep 16, 2015
  7. Tungs
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    Tungs Newbie

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    Not really, I don't undertand much about the terminology of kb/Kb/KB but back when it worked Moonshell displayed a much higher number, I think it was about 32.000.000 kb/Kb/KB.

    Edit: I think I was mistaken, Moonshell show ram in normal bytes, not in kb.
     
    Last edited by Tungs, Sep 15, 2015
  8. Gyron

    Gyron GBAtemp Regular

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    What are you using to load GBA Games?
    Here is how my working GEP is detected in Moonshell:

    GEP-Moon.jpg
     
  9. Gyron

    Gyron GBAtemp Regular

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    The CR-1220 will keep the RTC running just fine, it's the Pokemon save game that is the issue. There is a workaround for it though if you do decide you want play Pokemon again and you have a CR-1220 installed in your GEP. Just remember to save at least once during the game each time you play. Then you can safely write the save back to your Micro SD. If you forget to save in-game, just make sure you don't write the save back to your Micro SD (overwriting the save you have just loaded from), otherwise your save will be screwed. You don't need to do any of this for Pokemon if the ML-1220 battery is installed.
     
  10. Tungs
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    Tungs Newbie

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    Eh now I kind of confused, I will run some more tests and then report back, it might take a while though since I'm pretty busy this week.

    Edit: I'm using gbaexploader
     
  11. Gyron

    Gyron GBAtemp Regular

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    If you're using GBA Exploader v0.58b and you are getting the '0' games issue, drop back to v0.53. It should bring the file browser back up so you can load a game. If this works, you can then go back to using v0.58b. Bear in mind though, the '0' games issue will reappear soon after in v0.58b if your battery is done, or badly installed.

    GBA Exploader v0.53
    GBA Exploader v0.58b0
     
    Last edited by Gyron, Sep 16, 2015
  12. Tungs
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    Tungs Newbie

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    So I was finally able to give a better test to mine M3 gep, indeed it does display the correct amount of RAM with Moonshell but it doesn't load games no matter what. I tried 7 different games each downloaded from a different site, tried 2 new CR-1220 batteries with both GBA Exploader 0.53 and 0.58b0, nothing worked. So I decided to dig my old M3 flashcart and tried to use the native loader and it still didn't work, it just loads the rom into a black screen.

    Is it safe to say it is dead?

    Edit: I did most of the test on a DSTWO.
     
    Last edited by Tungs, Sep 21, 2015
  13. Gyron

    Gyron GBAtemp Regular

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    Is GBA ExpLoader loading the roms to PSram ok and then white screening after the Gameboy Advance Logo? Or is GBA ExpLoader failing when loading to PSram?

    Have you cleaned the cartridge contacts with Isopropyl Alcohol. If not, do so. Use some compressed air on the PCB too. Also check the PCB for any stray solder blobs because you changed the battery.
    You mentioned it being rusty. If there is rust on the contacts, use an Emery Board (the fine side which is beige) to gently remove the rust, then use a PCB brush to remove any residue, blast with compressed air, and finally clean with Isopropyl Alcohol.
    Post a good picture of the PCB (top side) if you can.

    Try the following:
    Download 'memtestARM v0.03' (attached to this post) and copy it to your Micro SD card.
    Start Moonshell
    Browse to 'memtestARM v0.03.nds'and run it.
    Select 'G6 Flash' (You should now get the message 'I found G6 Flash of 32768 KiB in SLOT-2').
    Select 'Test Ram' (Note: Don't change the 'Set RAM Speed' option. It is set to to 'Slow but safe (4,2)' by default).
    Now wait for the test to complete or fail (it can take up to 10 mins and sometimes look like it has hung) and post the result here.
     

    Attached Files:

    Last edited by Gyron, Sep 29, 2015
  14. Tungs
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    Tungs Newbie

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    It fails to load to PSram, although the M3 loader loads it into a black screen.

    I don't have Isopropyl Alcohol, I do have a proper contact cleaner though (the brand is Wurth or something like that) I don't know if it have the same effect but I have used it several times to clean the cartridge, I will trie to use Emery Board though when I can get my hands on one of them.

    The test says the ram is broken.
     
  15. Gyron

    Gyron GBAtemp Regular

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    Yeah, it sounds screwed. I mentioned an Emery Board as you can pick them up in supermarkets, but any fine file will do as long as you're careful. Contact Cleaner is a broad term, and different brands often contain quite varying chemicals. If it's isopropanol based and not lubricant based it should be fine to use on cartridge contacts.
    What message does GBA ExpLoader give when it fails?
    Also, can you tell me at what memory address memtestARM fails eg. 'Moving inversions says your ram is broken at 0x82fe426'.
    If your soldering is good with no solder splash anywhere, battery polarity is correct (postive(+) facing PCB, see pic below), rust removed from contacts and cleaned up, and it still doesn't work, then it's time to get another.

    gbaexbatt.jpg
     
    Last edited by Gyron, Sep 29, 2015