Hardware [SOLVED] Fixing GBA power switch with missing metal from lever/arm


Jan 20, 2021
This isn't me asking for help since I already solved this. But since I never found any other thread online with a similar issue, I want to share my journey in case anyone else needs it.

Around last month while I was cleaning the inside of the my GBA's power switch, the metal piece that's supposed to be part of the plastic lever somehow fell off. Without the metal to short the pads of the switch, it's basically useless. With how small it is, I ended up never finding it. Since replacement power switches are hard to come by these days (and I also hate waiting for shipping), I just decided to salvage the power switch lever from my childhood GBA SP.


Of course, that's my childhood system, and I definitely couldn't just leave it dead like that. So I decided to try to come up with a way to fix it.

I originally thought maybe gluing aluminum foil, but it's kind of hard to affix metal to plastic with thin adhesives, Also foil isn't exactly rigid enough to keep its shape sliding across the pads constantly. I then realized I could use a small cut of wire instead, since it's easier to glue rubber and plastic together.

So I did just that. I had some 30 AWG solid wire (the solid part is important) that fit snugly right into the lever. A dab of superglue and it stuck right in place! I then folded the ends of the wire over so that it can make contact with the pads. You won't be able to do this with stranded wire. Lastly, I put a little extra superglue in the sides and inside of the wire, to prevent the wire from sliding back and forth within the rubber tube as well as rotating.


Once it was all in, I gave it about 50 test slides back and forth to make sure it's stable (that's what led me to realize to put extra glue on the inside to keep the wire from rotating). Once I made sure it was completely stable, I soldered the shield of the switch back on. Then I did another 50 or so test sides to make double sure.

Here's a video of my test showing it really does work: https://imgur.com/WRVn9Y6.

So yeah, if you ever do lost the metal piece, not all hope is lost and you can make it work again. One note I should make is that the switch will feel a little stiffer by nature of stuffing the wire with its rubber in there. Additionally, you will have a lot of trial and error with the length of the wire. Just take your time with it and you'll find a length that works. Lastly, you may find the outer plastic part of the switch won't move the lever far enough. I did end up cutting a bit of plastic to make it slide all the way. Hope this helps anyone!


Editorial Team
Nov 21, 2005
United Kingdom
Nice going. If a switch is missing parts like that I normally rip the whole thing off and bodge something else in there from the box of switches.

Surprising amount of wear on the inside of that as well.

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