Which GBA flash card do you recommend?

Discussion in 'GBA - Flashing Hardware and Software' started by Omoikane1979, Jun 13, 2007.

Jun 13, 2007
  1. Omoikane1979
    OP

    Member Omoikane1979 GBAtemp Regular

    Joined:
    Jun 13, 2007
    Messages:
    140
    Country:
    Netherlands
    Hi I'm new to this forum and to the flash card thing. I did a lot of reading and I still have some questions on which flash card is suited to my needs.
    1 - I want to use it to unlock bonuses in my DS games, like MegaMan Battle Network 5 Twin Leaders, Lunar Knights (Japanese version), etc. So I need one that supports some kind of automatic GBA game load feature on it;
    2 - 90% to 100% GBA roms support (I intend to use it for GBA games solely for DS games I will use the R4);
    3 - Is the RTC functionality a real must have? If so M3 seems to be the only one I can find that supports it with an internal battery;
    3 - Thus raising the question how long does such an RTC support battery last and is it replacable (for that particular flash card)?
    4 - For the moment I'm stuck between EZ-flash 4 and M3 at this moment unless someone knows of a brand that better fits the needs I wrote above.

    Thank you for your help. I really appreciate it. God bless you. [​IMG]
     
  2. FAST6191

    Reporter FAST6191 Techromancer

    pip
    Joined:
    Nov 21, 2005
    Messages:
    21,712
    Country:
    United Kingdom
    Normally I would point to the myriad threads that ask pretty much exactly that but what the hey.

    1. If you want to do it for real carts old style carts like the EZFA,EZ1/2 or stuff like the new EZFlash 3 in 1 are the only option. Of course you could use the onboard feature of the new carts and transfer the save. Roms that use saves (pokemon Diamond/pearl) are a bit tricky right now (only the EZ5 and the 3 in 1 work out of the box to my knowledge) although some efforts are being made: http://ezflash.sosuke.com/viewtopic.php?t=5342


    2. M3, G6 and EZ4 all do what you want. Avoid the M3 professional and the EZ4 lite compact though as they have limited support. Supercard is pretty much out as far as GBA is concerned.

    3. Not in my opinion, a few pokemon titles and boktai/solar boy Django are the only roms to use it and they have patches.

    4. No carts have it easily replaceable but if you can swing a soldering iron you should not have a problem, batteries are used regardless as part of saves and last a few weeks at most if you do not play or use the DS with it in, should you use the cart then you will likely get bored of the GBA (or have it emulated on something) by the time it matters.

    5. As far as GBA goes there is little to seperate them, at this time the same goes for DS really. EZ4 is cheaper last I looked (which was some time ago).
     
  3. Omoikane1979
    OP

    Member Omoikane1979 GBAtemp Regular

    Joined:
    Jun 13, 2007
    Messages:
    140
    Country:
    Netherlands
    First of all thank you for taking the time to answer my questions. If you feel there are threads that are useful in any way feel free to tell me about it.
    1. I checked the link and read it through. I don't own any cards yet, so the main question would be if the combination of an M3 or EZ4 with an original DS game or R4 will be able to connect and for example unlock Bass Cross in MegaMan Battle Network 5 Double Team (which is done by inserting a finished MMBT5 Team Colonel/Protoman at SLOT2 with the DS game in SLOT1 of course)? That is one of the reasons I am also buying a card solely for GBA roms.

    2. Thank you for the advice reading the reviews on most well-known cards I came to the same conclusion.

    3. So what it comes down to is that the few GBA games (like Pokemon, Boktai, MegaMan Battle Network) that do use RTC are already patched so RTC support from the card isn't necessary, am I correct?

    4. No carts have it easily replaceable but if you can swing a soldering iron you should not have a problem, batteries are used regardless as part of saves and last a few weeks at most if you do not play or use the DS with it in, should you use the cart then you will likely get bored of the GBA (or have it emulated on something) by the time it matters.
    That's quite reassuring to hear, I'm not a king with a soldering iron but I do know how to use one. My question is though how is it connected to replacing the battery?

    5. You're still correct, EZ4 is still cheaper than the M3.

    Thank you very much.
     
  4. FAST6191

    Reporter FAST6191 Techromancer

    pip
    Joined:
    Nov 21, 2005
    Messages:
    21,712
    Country:
    United Kingdom
    No worries, I would link some threads but I am not on my normal machine right now.

    1. Original game no, original games try to read directly off the cart (which is why early stuff like the EZFA or EZ1/2 with no menu work). If it is just a game needs to be present then yes, not sure about the m3/ez4 and saves though.

    2. -

    3. Not quite, the few (not counting dupes it is count on one hand time) games that need RTC you will likely have to patch yourself.

    I really should elaborate when this question gets asked as well, my bad. The patches ( http://bubbz.pocketheaven.com/?system=gba&section=patch or inbuilt to GBATA: http://www.gbadat.altervista.org/tools.htm ) mean the clock only advances when powered and in game: not so bad for pokemon where one day is about 6 hours although berries grow in realtime.

    Megaman does not use it either, it is quite literally a couple of the pokemon (RPG) titles and boktai (there are some rumblings of polarium as well but I know nothing more on this, not to mention the DS version is far better).

    4. Here is a picture or my EZ4 lite, it should be self explanatory and if necessary I can provide a picture double the resolution:
    [​IMG]
     
  5. Omoikane1979
    OP

    Member Omoikane1979 GBAtemp Regular

    Joined:
    Jun 13, 2007
    Messages:
    140
    Country:
    Netherlands
    From the looks of the photo I can see the battery is soldered or something like that. The RTC clock functionality is taken out of the EZ4 and probably the Lite version as well, so my guess would be the battery's use would be for save games if not something else.

    I'm not sure whether I can find such a battery, without showing it, in the electronics store, but I believe they should have it.

    Thanks for your prompt reply.
     
  6. Omoikane1979
    OP

    Member Omoikane1979 GBAtemp Regular

    Joined:
    Jun 13, 2007
    Messages:
    140
    Country:
    Netherlands
    So to play the few games which need RTC functionality I need to patch them if the card doesn't have it, correct?

    Seeing that unlocking features on the DS game with an GBA flash card can be quite tough I wonder if all will be as difficult with GBA games e.g. Pokemon or MMBN chip trade from original GBA advance games to flash cards, and from flash card to flash card.
     
  7. FAST6191

    Reporter FAST6191 Techromancer

    pip
    Joined:
    Nov 21, 2005
    Messages:
    21,712
    Country:
    United Kingdom
    They will probably boot and play without it but you will get errors, the patches just enable pseudo real time clock as described above.

    2) That one is up for debate (some have sucess while others do not), might I instead draw your attention to VBAlink however (one of my two favourite builds) that can emulate a cable.
    http://vbalink.wz.cz/
    if you need something to grab legit saves:
    http://chishm.drunkencoders.com/SendSave/index.html
     
  8. Omoikane1979
    OP

    Member Omoikane1979 GBAtemp Regular

    Joined:
    Jun 13, 2007
    Messages:
    140
    Country:
    Netherlands
    >> Seeing that unlocking features on the DS game with an GBA flash card can be quite tough I wonder if all will be as difficult with GBA games e.g. Pokemon or MMBN chip trade from original GBA advance games to flash cards, and from flash card to flash card.

    > That one is up for debate (some have sucess while others do not), might I instead draw your attention to VBAlink however
    > (one of my two favourite builds) that can emulate a cable.
    > http://vbalink.wz.cz/
    > if you need something to grab legit saves:
    > http://chishm.drunkencoders.com/SendSave/index.html

    A - I have been reading around the forum for flash card, but haven't encountered anything that answers my question on using a flash card instead of the real cartridge to:
    1 - Unlocking features on a DS game with a GBA game inserted e.g. MMBN 5 TL DS getting a SolCross or BassCross Fusion when having either Boktai 2 or MMBN 5 TC/TP with a Bass Icon.
    2 - Trading battle chips in MMBN GBA games.

    B - From your answers I get the feeling it's better to get the original game which is needed to unlock features on a DS game; or trade items or Pokemon from GBA to GBA. Am I correct?
    Also apart from the VBALink I have no idea how to grab the legit saves 'cause the site doesn't say or list information on where to get the necessary stuff beside the software.

    C - Anyway if there is anyone who has any experience on this I would like to hear from you.

    Thank you for being so kind to answer my questions.
     
  9. FAST6191

    Reporter FAST6191 Techromancer

    pip
    Joined:
    Nov 21, 2005
    Messages:
    21,712
    Country:
    United Kingdom
    A1- Old GBA carts work because they can appear as GBA carts, new ones have various memory banks which make this nigh on impossible to do.
    If however you use the features of various carts to emulate setup this you can do it for a rom and transfer the save back to a real cart with relative ease.
    Saves on the GBA come in three forms (not counting passwords): Flash, EEPROM and SRAM. EEPROM is by far and away the most common with SRAM and Flash taking 2 and 3 respectively (normally though SRAM and Flash are big RPGS and such), flash carts however only do SRAM (it is the main reason why you have to patch roms) so when the DS rom/cart tries to read some Flash memory it comes unstuck. Various carts/setups (such as the EZ5 with the 3 in 1) can get around this and I linked the attempts to replicate it for other carts above.

    A2- For the same reasons above the link (cable) between GBAs can fail (my EZ2: old style cart, can happily link with real carts however later carts likke the EZ3/4, m3, g6, supercard..... can come unstuck), however you can just use the saves and VBAlink instead and transferring the saves back when you are done.

    B- Yeah an original GBA game would be best if your game needs save data , if it is something simple like advance wars where you merely need the "cart" present it should not matter as long as your cart supports GBAlink type features (the big 4 carts: EZflash, m3, g6 and supercard do if I recall correctly).
    when I said legit saves I meant saves from a real GBA cart, that tool is one of the easier methods by which to do it.
     
  10. Omoikane1979
    OP

    Member Omoikane1979 GBAtemp Regular

    Joined:
    Jun 13, 2007
    Messages:
    140
    Country:
    Netherlands
    BTW
    1 - I am wondering how do I actually get the saves from my GBA and DS games?
    2 - As well as their ROMs from the original for that matter.
    3 - Do you know of any threads that go into this or any shop that has the necessary hardware (I know I'm getting a bit of the course, but I'm a total noob at all this).
    4 - The EZF 3-in-1 should give enough linkability as well as some extra bonuses, although at this moment several threads still don't quite agree on the same level of linkability with the R4 or M3 Simply compared to EZ5 for which it is made, do you know more about this?

    Thanks again for taking the trouble.
     
  11. xcalibur

    Member xcalibur Gbatemp's Chocolate Bear

    Joined:
    Jun 2, 2007
    Messages:
    3,166
    Location:
    Sacred Heart
    Country:
    United Kingdom
    might wana edit ur last post, no asking for roms here

    you dont wana get warned or banned
     
  12. FAST6191

    Reporter FAST6191 Techromancer

    pip
    Joined:
    Nov 21, 2005
    Messages:
    21,712
    Country:
    United Kingdom
    1:Saves
    GBA:
    Will require a DLDI compatible GBA slot cart with GBA mode:
    http://chishm.drunkencoders.com/SendSave/index.html
    EEPINATOR (below
    DS: I suggest rein or EEPINATOR http://nds.cmamod.com/2006/11/24/ez4-can-w...ven-faster-now/ (this is the EZ4 version)
    http://blog.davr.org/2007/03/31/eepinator/

    There are also some old tools that use the SRAM of cards to grab saves:
    Etool:
    http://nds.cmamod.com/index2.htm

    2 Dumping roms is only available on the oldest of carts really at present, there was a big thread around here recently about it, failing that the link below.
    GBA should be able to be done with the GBAldr tool made for the 3 in 1.

    3. Dumping roms: http://wiki.pocketheaven.com/DS_Piracy#Rom_Dumping
    I suggest tracking down an old GBAMP for that one, this being said FWNitro is starting up again so you may have some luck there.

    4. The EZ5 has the necessary patching built into the kernel, check the link I gave originally as it has got further since.
     
  13. Omoikane1979
    OP

    Member Omoikane1979 GBAtemp Regular

    Joined:
    Jun 13, 2007
    Messages:
    140
    Country:
    Netherlands
    xcalibur798: thank you for being attentive, but I am not asking for ROMS I want to know how I can backup those from the GBA cartridges I own.

    Fast6191: Thank you for answering my latest questions, you really are the best!
     
  14. xcalibur

    Member xcalibur Gbatemp's Chocolate Bear

    Joined:
    Jun 2, 2007
    Messages:
    3,166
    Location:
    Sacred Heart
    Country:
    United Kingdom
    i apologise
    i have a tendency to overlook small details

    very informative thread
     
  15. Omoikane1979
    OP

    Member Omoikane1979 GBAtemp Regular

    Joined:
    Jun 13, 2007
    Messages:
    140
    Country:
    Netherlands
    xcalibur798: apologies accepted, and no hard feelings after all your intentions were good.

    1 - I believe the EZ-FLASH V Expansion Pack for NDS original is the same as the one for NDS Lite considering the specs on bamboogaming.com.

    2 - Will the Flash2Advance USB Cable be of any use in backupping my GBA cartridge saves and ROMS (as the Sendsave site also mentions the need for some kind of cable)? If not, where do I get it?

    3 - Are the following: DSO (DragonMinded), rein_17a (SATA), picodriveDS (Ryan FB); the things I should get from ?

    4 - Is EZ4 version of ETool 3.13 (b) the program I should get from

    5 - There won't be any software changes to my DS or DS Lite software (I don't mean the cartridge software) which result from using the programs listed in question 3 and 4, correct.
     
  16. FAST6191

    Reporter FAST6191 Techromancer

    pip
    Joined:
    Nov 21, 2005
    Messages:
    21,712
    Country:
    United Kingdom
    1. Same cart different size.

    2. No, the app reads the game from the GBA slot to the DS. The cable is not necessary either for saves (see the app at the bottom of the page: you swap the carts over).

    3. I missed the question, I linked to that for the DS save game grabber. Sata (the one who wrote it) vanished so that is the only link I have at hand. Somewhere like dcemu or qj.net should have an archived copy of the original version if you need it.

    4. It should work on most older flashcarts as (ones that use SRAM) but if you have Rein there is little point.

    5. Not unless you want them to (i.e. you add a new firmware on there).
     

Share This Page