1. FAST6191

    OP FAST6191 Techromancer
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    For years GBAs had basically been given away so if one kicked the bucket I would just go to any second hand electronics seller and get one. Today though it seems we once again have hardware mods (usually retrofitting a nice screen to them) and that the thing is now retro and costing lots.

    It is then about the time we start to consider component level fixing and diagnostics. Indeed this last 6 months or so we have seen a few threads that might benefit from such things.

    Full diagrams and diagnostics routines, possibly a stress test or three to see which things are most likely to cook themselves too, would be the best outcome/final goal. In the meantime though a little compilation of the failures we have seen and their fixes might be an idea. Common fuses to blow, joints that come unstuck and items that fail because of age, general use or common types of abuse. If it turns out the GBA was built to EU/French directives and thus limits headphone sounds we can arrange to have eardrums burst as well.

    Also if someone knows a compatible battery for the SP that would be nice. I had considered sorting out a little kit (open source gerber + reasoning type thing) if I could find some lithium of a suitable size and capacity to allow it to charge using the existing circuitry.

    Thoughts and ideas?

    Edit. Example might be.
    "My GBA screen is squashed like in GB/GBC mode"
    Solution
    Check the little slider in the cartridge slot is not stuck. This is what selects GB/GBC mode.
     
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  2. Stremon

    Stremon GBAtemp Regular
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    I think that's a great idea !
    We can also do a list of all the mods that are out there, with the pros and cons they have.
    There are still some active members around who seem to know a lot about GBA electronic, searching in this forum we can find lot of info.

    In my case it is :

    Problem : my power switch is acting weird, when I touch it a little the GBA is powering off or the led is becoming red.

    Solution :
    The reason of this problem is mainly because the switch isn't a switch but a slider, a potentiometer, so It can have dust, rust, or simply getting damaged after too many uses.
    In the first case the switch will still work but have a bad contact. In the second case the switch will have trouble working at all and the issue will be far worse. The second case is pretty much a dead end since there are not extra parts to replace the broken switch, but luckily happens less often.
    Be careful, whatever happens DON'T UNSOLDER the switch as it's really hard to put it back in place and might damage it even more.
    So the first thing to do is to dismount your GBA (and remove the battery of course), and use an electronic contact cleaner spray on the slider while sliding it off and on few times. Let it dry, close your GBA, try again.
    If the problem is still present after few tries, you can try a second solution, more risky but more efficient if done correctly.
    This time beside the contact cleaner you need a small piece of very thin sandpaper.
    After using the contact spray once agajn, insert the sandpaper slowly and gently between the slider and the top metallic part, and try not pulling the metal part to not deform it.
    Then again slowly move the switch on and off while moving the sand paper to rub both parts.
    When finished, put some more contact cleaner and switch on and off again few times. Wait for it to dry, close the GBA and try again.

    — Posts automatically merged - Please don't double post! —

    To answer your question there are some compatible batteries on Chinese websites like AliExpress that work well.
     
  3. slaphappygamer

    slaphappygamer GBAtemp Psycho!
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    Oh, I've got the same issue with my gba. I just don't touch the slider while playing. Lol. And sticky that thread. :)
     
  4. Stremon

    Stremon GBAtemp Regular
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    Yeah I used to do the same until I found the fix lol
     
  5. Todderbert

    Todderbert Korg Fanboy
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    Any Ideas for a flickering screen? Not the light but the screen itself. I think there is a tuning pot on the MB for this if I'm not mistaken.
     
  6. Stremon

    Stremon GBAtemp Regular
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    Yes, for the original GBA there is a potentiometer behind the back sticker you can turn with a small screwdriver. On the SP it's there too but I don't remember where to access it. It changes the voltage of the screen, so turning it slowly will change the way your screen will behave.
    But be very careful as the screw itself is very fragile and very sensitive, turning it just a little bit can make a big change.
    But for flickering I don't think the potentiometer will help, I think it's more a contact problem.
    If I were you I would first try to open the GBA and clean the inside, and disconnect/reconnect the screen connector.
    Also, is you GBA original or did you mod it?
     
  7. Localhorst86

    Localhorst86 Robert'); DROP TABLE members;--
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    The flickering should be fixable with the potentiometer. Get this ROM put it on a flash card and hold L+R when booting it: x127 - Aging Cartridge (World)

    It has a flickering test that allows you to easily identify the best setting while adjusting the potentiometer.
     
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  8. Stremon

    Stremon GBAtemp Regular
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    Oh I didn't know that, it's a great info thank you :D
     
  9. Todderbert

    Todderbert Korg Fanboy
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    Ok found a title named "AGB_CHECKER_TCHK10" I'm guessing its the same tool, yes?

    Looks correct according to your post here : https://gbatemp.net/threads/gba-and-nds-test-cartridges.477622/
     
    Last edited by Todderbert, Oct 5, 2017
  10. Localhorst86

    Localhorst86 Robert'); DROP TABLE members;--
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    Yes, that's what the header says. Hold L+R when booting the ROM and you'll come to a menu. If you want, you can use the configuration menu to make it always boot t the target "Menu".

    Anyways, with the Rom started go t the test program selection and run the item "flicker adjuster". You'll see various gradients with horizontal lines. Any flickering due to a misadjused potentiometer will be very apparent on this screen. With the GBA running carefully adjust the potentiometer through the hole in the back (very carefully, don't use any force and only the slightest of movements). Try to eliminate the flickering completely, if that's not possible at least try to get the smallest amount of flicker.
     
  11. migles

    migles All my gbatemp friends are now mods, except for me
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    my ags 101 makes a noise, specially when writing a game with EZ IV with the volume all way off
    make sure to include "noise" stuff in the list..

    also, my gba couldn't play a gbc bootleg i had, even tought the bootleg works fine in a gbc, and every original gb\gbc game i have works fine in it..
    seen a video mentioning that gba couldn't play old bootlegs but i am not sure if that's true
     
  12. Localhorst86

    Localhorst86 Robert'); DROP TABLE members;--
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    Sounds weird. Do you happen to know the title of the cartridge or have a dump of the Rom to check? I would love to see if I can find it to test on a GBC flashcard.
     
  13. migles

    migles All my gbatemp friends are now mods, except for me
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    it was a multi in 1 cart, which even if dumped, i think it's not possible to run it in a flashcart, at least it doesn't work in emulators.. (due to the how the way theese carts work with the special bank controller)
    i have this dumper: https://www.insidegadgets.com/projects/gbxcart-rw/
    the software currently is just able to dump the menu, the guy was very nice, sent me several modified versions of his software to test it, which correctly dumped one of the games.. i just went "hey you can have this cart, it can be an use for you" the cart will take time to arrive, but once it does, extremely likely he will tell me news and i will send you the correct rom dump so you can try it
     
  14. FAST6191

    OP FAST6191 Techromancer
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    I have met the noise thing before and even with my years of power tools, concerts and genetics not leaving me with amazing hearing I heard it too with some flash carts during quiet periods, and seemingly not there with a normal cart.
     
  15. Stremon

    Stremon GBAtemp Regular
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    For the noise stuff, there are two kind of noises, the ones that can be heard no matter the volume, and the ones that changes with the volume.
    For the first ones, the great GBATemp member Malheur found a fix here:
    https://gbatemp.net/threads/gba-speaker-noise-fixed.450093/
    I did it and it's working really great!
    For the second type of noises, there are some that can't be avoided because they are produced by the way the hardware works, and other that can come from bad soldering or bad electronic contacts. For instance if you have a noise when loading a game with the EZFlash cart, it's normal, and can't really be avoided. But if you have some constant buzzing or humming sound, and you have a Backlight mod, you might want to check your soldering and connectors.
    Again the problems can also come from the original hardware like the volume potentiometer, the power switch or even the cartridge slot.
    So far the best result I had with eliminating noises is my original GBA with Backlight mod, all cleaned from the inside and with Malheur's noise fix mod.
     
  16. slaphappygamer

    slaphappygamer GBAtemp Psycho!
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    my ezflash3 makes a high pitch noise when writing to the cart. its very faint. it doesnt matter which gba id use.
     
  17. Stremon

    Stremon GBAtemp Regular
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    That's something normal on gba and can't be avoided, the EZFlash 4 is doing the same too.
     
  18. Bazahazano

    Bazahazano Member
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    I have fixed power switch issues by putting the pcb's into an ultrasonic cleaning tank for 10 minutes. I'm lucky to have one at work.
     
  19. slaphappygamer

    slaphappygamer GBAtemp Psycho!
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    That’s awesome! Just YouTubed it. I never knew something like that exists.
     
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  20. FAST6191

    OP FAST6191 Techromancer
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    Was floating around the internet and found some stuff that out to be here
    https://bitbuilt.net/forums/index.php?threads/gba-board-scans.807/
    led me to https://circuit-board.de/forum/index.php/Thread/13913-STRIP-CLUB-PCB-Scans/?pageNo=1
    Their dropbox link having a bunch more
    https://www.dropbox.com/sh/33886pwfi08kvxg/AAABOeOZqH1v53pUM_-8uHrOa?dl=0

    This is motherboard shots containing components, components removed and solder mask removed to reveal top and bottom traces (don't know how many layers the GBA is offhand).

    Also worth noting as part of this is https://gbhwdb.gekkio.fi/consoles/agb/ which has a bunch of GBA models and GBA models gathered, info on some of the key parts and some PCB shots (not as nice as the others now linked here but hey) in many cases.

    Anyway thumbnails, click for larger (most images in the 1 to 2 megs range).
    GAME_BOY_ADVANCE_AGB-CPU-03_TOP_WITH_PARTS_PCB_SCAN_ATV.jpg GAME_BOY_ADVANCE_AGB-CPU-03_TOP_WITHOUT_PARTS_PCB_SCAN_ATV.jpg GAME_BOY_ADVANCE_AGB-CPU-03_TOP_STRIPPED_PCB_SCAN_ATV.jpg GAME_BOY_ADVANCE_AGB-CPU-03_BOTTOM_WITH_PARTS_PCB_SCAN_ATV.jpg GAME_BOY_ADVANCE_AGB-CPU-03_BOTTOM_WITHOUT_PARTS_PCB_SCAN_ATV.jpg GAME_BOY_ADVANCE_AGB-CPU-03_BOTTOM_STRIPPED_PCB_SCAN_ATV.jpg
     
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