Hacking Whats a Good GBA flashcart for my DS Lite (Slot-2)?

zragnarok

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Hi, I am currently using an original R4DS with my DS Lite and was wanting to add GBA support... from what I gather you either need a Slot-2 solution or some new device called the DSTWO.

I just want something simple that works for most games and is cheap (much like the R4DS) except all I need it to do is play GBA roms. Can I just buy any GBA flashcart and it should work or is there a certain model that is most reccomended by the community?

I looked at the EZ 3-in-1 but i read that it only holds 1 rom at a time (i would like to have more than 1 rom at a time) and i do not care for the vibration support
 

Another World

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you can hold as many roms as your slot-1 micro-sd card will hold. if you are using the original r4ds then you are limited to 2gb of storage. you would use a tool like gba exploader to flash the .gba files from slot-1 to the 3in1 in slot-2.

if you want a dedicated slot-2 then grab an ez flash IV. it uses mini-sd cards (not micro) but will accept some high quality adapters.

there really isn't any other choice. no other slot-2 cards are still being manufactured. if you have the means to track down an older card then try to find an m3 lite perfect.

-another world
 

1c3_5n0w

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Yup. Agree with Another World, EZ Flash IV FTW! But if you put a Micro-SD in the MiniSD adapter, it would be really hard to take the adapter out so I recommend buying a new MiniSD instead of getting an adapter. It is worth the purchase, used it before to play Pokemon Emerald. Runs flawlessly.
 
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Another World

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calling it the best is your opinion, it isn't a fact.

the gba emu works fairly well, but is is far from perfect. there haven't been any updates to it. if you go with a 3in1 you are running roms on actual gba hardware and not via emulation. that means 100% compatibility and a MUCH higher gba homebrew compatibility.

-another world
 
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If you really want to use a microSD-to-miniSD adapter, don't be afraid to get the most expensive, better ones because if you take a bad one, it most likely won't work.
 

FAST6191

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I should also mention if you can find an EZ4 lite deluxe (quite rare these days) they use microSD (and only microSD - no SDHC) and will mimic the GBA slot dust cover. They also have 256Mbit of onboard RAM (enough for every commercial release unlike the EZ4 regular which had 128 Mbit and needed to flash the larger stuff to the 256Mbit side of things- still works just an extra step).

Alas the only place I know of that still does them is http://shop.01media.com/info.asp?ProductID=33290 and it seems to run about $60 USD (after the EZ3 and maybe some of the M3 line and maybe the EZ2 the EZ4 lite deluxe is probably the most sought after GBA flash cart though) and I have idea what shipping would be.

On the other hand do not get an EZ Flash 4 Lite Compact (they were built with limited GBA abilities to allow people an entry level DS flash cart).
 
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alphamule

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I'm using a eCube 1Gb (EZFA variation) and use it with my GBA SP and original DS, but... I'd recommend that since you own a DS, just get the DSTwo. It is compatible with DS's with only Slot 1 support so in theory, you can use it up to last DSi hardware revision. Has anyone found a way to make them work with 3DS systems in DS mode, yet? (That would be nice...)

Cons of non-DS carts:
Very little storage compared to Slot 1 carts (Or with game compatibility issues like the SD-Mini Slot 2 carts)
DS has no link port so you have to hope there's support in the DS-based tools.
If you're wanting to play a different game and out of space, you have to erase and rewrite the file.
Pros of non-DS carts:
Don't lose the stored game after shutting off so only write it once. Good if playing the same game a lot.
Works on GBA (doesn't apply to you)

Cons of DS carts:
If it has only PSRAM, you'll need to keep copying to it from the Slot 1 cart. Doesn't apply to DSTwo (runs directly off internal emulator).
No way will you ever play a game that needs the GBA link port, in multiplayer. Doesn't apply to you...
Pros of DS carts:
You can write to RAM pretty fast, or load the emulator directly off of a SD card. Great if playing many games.
The DSTwo works without a need for a separate Slot 2 cart and makes your DS into a portable SNES as well. :D
Availability
Storage - Slot 1 carts support SD cards and most support SDHC cards. That's a pretty cheap expansion option if you run out of storage space.

As you can see, there's some good reasons to just go ahead and get a DSTwo. If it wasn't so expensive, I'd have one already! It just makes sense to not need any Slot 2 carts if you don't own a GBA.
 

GreatCrippler

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I'm using a eCube 1Gb (EZFA variation) and use it with my GBA SP and original DS, but... I'd recommend that since you own a DS, just get the DSTwo. It is compatible with DS's with only Slot 1 support so in theory, you can use it up to last DSi hardware revision. Has anyone found a way to make them work with 3DS systems in DS mode, yet? (That would be nice...)

Cons of non-DS carts:
Very little storage compared to Slot 1 carts (Or with game compatibility issues like the SD-Mini Slot 2 carts)
DS has no link port so you have to hope there's support in the DS-based tools.
If you're wanting to play a different game and out of space, you have to erase and rewrite the file.
Pros of non-DS carts:
Don't lose the stored game after shutting off so only write it once. Good if playing the same game a lot.
Works on GBA (doesn't apply to you)

Cons of DS carts:
If it has only PSRAM, you'll need to keep copying to it from the Slot 1 cart. Doesn't apply to DSTwo (runs directly off internal emulator).
No way will you ever play a game that needs the GBA link port, in multiplayer. Doesn't apply to you...
Pros of DS carts:
You can write to RAM pretty fast, or load the emulator directly off of a SD card. Great if playing many games.
The DSTwo works without a need for a separate Slot 2 cart and makes your DS into a portable SNES as well. :D
Availability
Storage - Slot 1 carts support SD cards and most support SDHC cards. That's a pretty cheap expansion option if you run out of storage space.

As you can see, there's some good reasons to just go ahead and get a DSTwo. If it wasn't so expensive, I'd have one already! It just makes sense to not need any Slot 2 carts if you don't own a GBA.

I love my DSTWO, but if you're on a DS Lite anyways, a Slot 2 GBA option is Strictly superior. >.>
 

Another World

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its superior because its running roms on actual gba hardware. this means a 100% compatibility rate, better support for hacks/translations, and a really high homebrew compatibility. the scds2 emu works fairly well but it is far from perfect.

-another world
 

emmanu888

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Yup. Agree with Another World, EZ Flash IV FTW! But if you put a Micro-SD in the MiniSD adapter, it would be really hard to take the adapter out so I recommend buying a new MiniSD instead of getting an adapter. It is worth the purchase, used it before to play Pokemon Emerald. Runs flawlessly.

actually its better to have the microsd to minisd adapter since its easier to get the microsd out of the adapter than the minisd card
 
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alphamule

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Has anyone tried making a battery backup option for RAM carts including the Memory Expansion Pak (Opera kit)? It would be really short term and have to have some way to prevent destroying a cell when left off overnight but would be great for turning it off for a few minutes. This is assuming that there isn't some feature that kills the memory regardless of power levels. Even just booting a Slot 1 card and having it ask you if you want to play the already written game would be a nice timesaver.
 

FAST6191

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emmanu888 if those adapters worked reliably we would suggest them whole heartedly but they have a long history of being very very unreliable. Also the slots tend to get a bit better after a couple of weeks.

Re opera- some people looked at the opera pack but it seems it mapped the memory to higher locations and repointing an entire GBA rom (to say nothing of pointers calculated at runtime without seeds from the ROM itself and hardcoded values as far as the BIOS/boot sequence goes) would be horrific and GBA carts were/still are available so nobody probably will head down that path.

Battery backed PSRAM.... not as far as I know. The most interesting thing even remotely connected was stuff I believe you were playing with using high capacity capacitors for energy storage to power the plain SRAM. Between the NOR, the not terribly long waits of the EZ4 and the issues with initialising the thing in the first place nobody has really investigated it. Also look around and some GBA games had something approximating a sleep mode (especially puzzle games and long RPGs released later in the GBA lifetime) and there were patches able to be applied to games similar to the reset patches to do much of the same but I have not tried much there lately.

As for your other post much of it is accurate but not really the whole picture which today usually amounts to if you want it for the GBA itself or something that gets it done get an EZ4 and or an EZ4 lite deluxe. I guess a fire card clone might be worth a look as they are relatively available still ( http://www.virtualvillage.co.uk/usb-flash-cart-for-nintendo-gba-gba-sp-gbm-nds-128m-C07400-300.html ) and do OK.

Regarding storage... I usually find 2 gigs of SD spec card does serious damage to the GBA library (most GBA games were 8 or 16 megs before trimming) and is more than enough to induce pirate's apathy/too much selection.

Most devices that were not memory card based did not link through the GBA and instead either went to the cart itself or had a cradle. Now for the non memory card stuff you probably will have to find a copy of windows XP or 2000 to get the software working but between virtual machines, liveCDs and most people usually having something sitting in a garage somewhere that is not such a big ask.
 
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alphamule

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It says "Driver CD included" but nothing about how you'd connect it to your PC. I guess it's meant to be written from a program running off Slot 1.
 

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