What type is the M3i Zero's firmware update connector?

Discussion in 'M3 Adapter' started by doyama, Jul 30, 2009.

  1. doyama
    OP

    doyama GBAtemp Maniac

    Member
    1,288
    3
    Nov 30, 2006
    United States
    I'm curious what connector the M3i Zero uses to update its firmware. The cable shown doesn't appear to be any standard USB (mini or micro) which seems an odd choice. From a manufacturing perspective, it wouldn't make sense for the M3 team to make up their own connector and cable. It's simply too expensive. Most flash cards are just standard components around an ASIC chip. So theoretically they should be using some kind of existing 'standard' for the cable.

    One concern would be that if you were to lose or damage this cable you would then be unable to update the firmware. With the latest 1.4 firmware update, this cycle may start happening more often. Thus being able to obtain a replacement cable easily might be worth looking into.
     
  2. kobykaan

    kobykaan GBAtemp Addict

    Member
    2,994
    0
    Aug 27, 2007

    its their own connector it as a flat ribbon with two contact strips and on the other end its a standard USB connector [​IMG]

    there is pictures of the cable/connector up close in my signature under M3i ZERO review [​IMG]
     
  3. doyama
    OP

    doyama GBAtemp Maniac

    Member
    1,288
    3
    Nov 30, 2006
    United States
    So then I guess my second through applies. What kind of connector is it if it's not standard USB? It doesn't make sense for the M3 team to make some new connector because they're not selling any accessories like a typical cell phone company would. So there's no 'lock in' incentive. Not to mention since it's designed in China, I highly doubt they're going to bother re-inventing the wheel when they could have easily used a mini or micro usb connector which we know will fit on a typical flash cart.

    Just seems like an odd design choice. Though perhaps I'm not giving the M3 team enough credit for being able to design and implement their own interface standard?
     
  4. Zantom07

    Zantom07 Advanced Member

    Newcomer
    84
    0
    Jul 30, 2009
    England
    Maybe it's because they want their card to be the same size as a normal cart. A mini USB wouldn't allow for it. Micro would fit though strangely enough. So I agree with doyama. Why didn't M3 go for a normal micro USB?
     
  5. eth0

    eth0 Member

    Newcomer
    25
    0
    Jul 13, 2009
    Belgium
    if i'm not mistaken,

    it just wires the USB power connections to two pins that plug into the card, there is no actually data communication going over it. I'm fairly certain you can remove the USB end and hook up a battery if you want.
     
  6. zero383

    zero383 GBAtemp Advanced Fan

    Member
    649
    0
    Apr 4, 2009
    Canada
    Vancouver - #1 City in Canada
    Correct, it's only two wires that provide power the cart for the update and it makes direct contact with the PCB. There is no data transfer at all.
     
  7. Zantom07

    Zantom07 Advanced Member

    Newcomer
    84
    0
    Jul 30, 2009
    England
    I forgot that. I have to say though, people won't know that, and get a replacement cable instead. But they can't because it is a unique cable
     
  8. théo

    théo Member

    Newcomer
    31
    0
    Feb 2, 2008
    Strangely enough, even thou the cable is just for power, the M3i Zero won't flash if it is connected to a MAC as reported by a user here who had to connect his M3i Zero to a PC in order for it to be flashed.
     
  9. Chris_Skylock

    Chris_Skylock GBAtemp Advanced Maniac

    Member
    1,501
    0
    Dec 26, 2008
    Philippines
    make sense as if you put two pins on the PCB to provide power. make sense now

    though it's strange it wants a PC type USB, though
     
  10. Zantom07

    Zantom07 Advanced Member

    Newcomer
    84
    0
    Jul 30, 2009
    England
    I had seen that, and I reckon it is because mac is looking for where in the device it tells it how much power is needed. Unfortunately as it is a power cable, it can't find it, and gives next to nothing's worth of power. Connect to a PC and BAM. Instant power.
     
  11. emphy

    emphy Member

    Newcomer
    15
    0
    Jul 14, 2009
    Netherlands
    Interesting, as I flashed the M3i with both a unibody macbook pro, and an iMac.
     
  12. Zantom07

    Zantom07 Advanced Member

    Newcomer
    84
    0
    Jul 30, 2009
    England
    Well, I tried. Maybe he has a rubbish USB on his mac.
     
  13. emphy

    emphy Member

    Newcomer
    15
    0
    Jul 14, 2009
    Netherlands
    The M3i connector is crappy as well, I had to wiggle for a while to get it to work [​IMG] And macs can be Odd at times. Then again I'd never go back [​IMG]
     
  14. eth0

    eth0 Member

    Newcomer
    25
    0
    Jul 13, 2009
    Belgium
    Yep, my macbook pro is very selective on what power it pushes over the USB peripherals.
    My Mac Mini isn't though, I guess it's part of the power savings or something.

    The iPod/iPhone/... usb power adaptor may work though!
     
  15. théo

    théo Member

    Newcomer
    31
    0
    Feb 2, 2008
    Well its good that I have my MacBook Pro and my made-with-my-hands PC. Its always good to have both.