Hardware Need help with fixing a pokemon gba game.

tuxdude143

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So my little brother found this pokemon cart on the side of the road not that long ago. Sadly it didn't seem to work. The game just boots to a white screen. I've cleaned some contacts and opened the cart to check for broken connections but I found nothing.

I'm not really that experienced on gba game repair so I thought I'd ask on here.

I've attatched some pictures of the circuit board of the game

Note that the solder spats where there when I got the game and seem to be from the previous owner.

Front:
BQqn9bY.jpg





Back:

fZpcOhF.jpg


So what do you think? Can this game be saved? I'll appreciate any help I can get because if I can get this working I could save myself around 40 bucks (pokemon games ain't cheap)
 

dibmem

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That chunk of solder on the right hand side of the board where it is marked '32' doesn't look good.
Which cart is this? If I have it, I can post a photo of mine for comparison.
 

migles

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my pokemon emerald, without the battery (i removed the battery, i was to replace it but leaved it that way)
yeah i also suggest to remove that solder, specially on the back..
 

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Drud1995

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First try removing the excess solder on ground by heating the joint and shaking the board to get it off. If that does not work, desolder the battery, reflow the solder on each point of the rom chip (the chip below the battery), then solder the battery back on. I have faced this issue with pokemon yellow before and reflowing the solder completely repaired it.
 

Drud1995

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I actually feel like the blob of solder might be fine if it is just merely bridging a burned copper connection. Try reflowing the solder there as well as the above mentioned if this does not work!
 

tuxdude143

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First try removing the excess solder on ground by heating the joint and shaking the board to get it off. If that does not work, desolder the battery, reflow the solder on each point of the rom chip (the chip below the battery), then solder the battery back on. I have faced this issue with pokemon yellow before and reflowing the solder completely repaired it.
Thanks for the suggestion! I'll give that a shot. I was beginning to suspect that the rom chip was at fault myself actually because if I moved the game cart about in the gba slot the system started making weird noises out of the speaker. Probably a loose connection. I'll try and borrow my friends soldering iron which has a finer point and reflow the rom chip. I'll tell you how it goes!

Also to add to the broken copper connection comment I did notice a smallish crack of sorts going along that side of the cart where the solder was. It seems that was what the solder was doing. I tested both points with a multimeter and got a reading so they seem to be working.
 

tuxdude143

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Update!

Bad news I'm afraid. The cart is 100% fucked.
I was in the process of reflowing the rom chip when a few of the bottom metal plates came off when I placed the iron on them. They were right next to each other in the top left corner and that made reflowing impossible.

My guess is that the moisutre that I found inside the game when I found it caused a few of the panels to become loose. Still, the game makes the exact same noise when I pull it out of the cartrige slot slightly leading me to believe that probably was the case.

Oh well, it was worth a try

Thanks everyone for your help, kinda bummed I couldn't get the game working but this stuff happens.
 

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