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Mod GameCube controller plug to power on Game Boy Advance

Discussion in 'Modding and Hacking - Consoles and Electronics' started by helakustorm, Jan 10, 2017.

  1. helakustorm

    helakustorm Rapidly Rising Member

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    Today I was thinking to adapt the GC controller plug to power on the GBA.
    I have an extra controller plug lying around which I can butcher.
    According to this picture https://cdn.instructables.com/F0B/1GMI/IKBHVRYO/F0B1GMIIKBHVRYO.MEDIUM.jpg you can take DC 3.3V from that pin and GROUND from the other two.
    The GBA takes DC 3V 0.6W (0.2A) but I read on some forums that GBA's can work with 3.3V because they have an internal voltage regulator or something.
    By the way this mod is for the Game Boy Player:
    - in port 1 I will have the GBA connected using the official link cable (DOL-011);
    - in port 2 I will have the GC controller connected (you can't navigate through GBP menu with the GBA);
    - in port 3 I will have this plug connected from GC to the GBA battery contacts to power on the GBA.
    What do you think, it will work or I can damage something?

    Thanks!
     
    Last edited: Jan 10, 2017
  2. zzattack

    zzattack Active Member

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    You might be better off sourcing from the 5V on the gamecube connector with a switching regulator. Those were used for the rumble motors and should be able to deliver a bit more current.

    And FWIW, you're unlikely to botch either controller or gamecube. They're pretty resilient to faulty hookups.
     
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  3. helakustorm

    helakustorm Rapidly Rising Member

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    The classic GBA (AGB-001) doesn't work with more voltage than 3.3V (3.3V maximum and 3V recommended).
    Providing more voltage the console will not turn on from what I've understand.
     
  4. zzattack

    zzattack Active Member

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    Hence the regulator I mentioned :)
     
  5. helakustorm

    helakustorm Rapidly Rising Member

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    I understand but I think 3.3V it's more than enough to power on the GBA.
     
  6. Collingall

    Collingall Rising Member

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    Rather than running the wire to the battery contacts you might try to find an old power adapter for the gba and splice that on then you can just plug into the power pin on the gba and don't have to worry about maintaining contact with the battery pins
     
  7. zzattack

    zzattack Active Member

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    My point is that you can source a more power from the 5V pin on the gamecube controller connector than you can from the 3.3V pin.
     
  8. Collingall

    Collingall Rising Member

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    Having voltage available is important, but in this case current matters a lot the Gameboy Advanced will draw up to 350mA at 3.3v, @zzattack is pointing out that the 3.3v line for the controller may not be able to supply that much current and could risk damaging your Gamecube. The 3.3v line is designed for logic so current may be an issue. The 5v line is designed for rumble motors and should have a much higher amount of current available. Something like this could drop the voltage for you and give plenty of power for your GBA. http://www.ebay.com/itm/5V-6V-9V-12...403524?hash=item3f6f5e7f04:g:yosAAOSw4GVYLDxG
     
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  9. helakustorm

    helakustorm Rapidly Rising Member

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    The mod was a success and both console are working for the moment.
    Measuring the voltage with my multimeter on GC controller port pins showed 3.43 - .44V instead of 3.3V how I find it on some sites.
    Another thing I did was to mute the sound on GBA because I didn't need it and I thought that the speaker will draw some voltage (I only turn the volume off).
    The pins are:
    - 3 (wire green - GND)
    - 6 (wire blue - Vcc)
    By the way I'm talking about the PAL GC DOL-001 and GBA AGB-001 (those console I've used).
    Thank you everyone for your suggestions.

    Using the formula W=A*V and the rating provided on the back of the GBA (3V and 0.6W) you can find how much amp is needed, in our case the resulted amp is 0.2A or 200mA. So, in this case the GBA draw 200mA and not 350mA. I'm not very sure if this is correct or not.

    From that specification you can clearly say that the GBA only need 3V (that is written on the back of the console) and another interesting thing is that I've found some pictures with the AC adapter for the GBA and inside it have an voltage regulator, the power supply for this adapter have 3.3V 350mA so that voltage is down to 3V. I think it's safe to say that the GC will not be damage or something if my mod is used.

    About the amp value, from my point of view an ideal and correct method is to measure the drawn amp which I will do it in the future to show you how much amp the GBA can draw.
     
    Last edited: Jan 11, 2017
  10. Collingall

    Collingall Rising Member

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    Sounds like the mod went well. I was going off the rating on the back of my gba which showed 350mA for an eternal power supply. Congrats on a successful mod, how did you end up attaching it to your gameboy?
     
  11. helakustorm

    helakustorm Rapidly Rising Member

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    I've put the cable inside the battery location and I've soldered the wires directly to the + - tabs.
    I wanted to make something beautiful (non Frankenstein) but unfortunately I didn't find what I needed in my country and to buy from other countries means time and more money consumed (because of the shipping) :(
    Overall I'm pleased that is working.
    By the way here is a high quality picture with the back of the GBA: http://www.8-bitcentral.com/images/nintendo/gameBoyAdvance/back.jpg
    And here with the inside of the power adapter for the GBA http://imgur.com/pivRQzS
    As you can see the adapter have only 2 SMD components (one voltage regulator/diode and one coil used for interference from what I've understand).

    Thanks!
     
    Last edited: Jan 11, 2017

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