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GBA SP aftermarket batteries

Posted: Mon Apr 05, 2021 4:05 pm
by marurun
Does anyone here have any experience with aftermarket batteries for the GBA SP? There are a lot of generic 3rd party options (that appear to fall into really only a couple or three actual manufacturing variants) and reviews on Amazon are mixed. There's one brand name option from Batteries Plus (Rayovac) and one DIY variant but you have to buy the cells and circuit board separately, and you ultimately don't save much cash unless you are manufacturing them to sell/give to others. I would ideally like a budget option that doesn't suck, but this is a difficult space to navigate

Does anyone have any experience in this area they could share?

(Ziggy, any interest in getting into the battery assembly business?)

Re: GBA SP aftermarket batteries

Posted: Mon Apr 05, 2021 7:48 pm
by Ziggy587
Do you have a link to the DIY parts? I see some PCBs on OSH Park. I'm definitely a soldering iron for hire if need be. :D

This one looks promising, and seems inexpensive: https://www.retromodding.com/collection ... sp-battery

Re: GBA SP aftermarket batteries

Posted: Mon Apr 05, 2021 7:56 pm
by marurun
The guy in this video made a PCB design through OSH Park and picked up some LiPo cells from AliExpress and that’s his recipe for battery success, much like the one you found. I’m trying to go even cheaper than $15 if I can, though I’m not sure I can...

https://youtu.be/VjnONhSVvpA

Re: GBA SP aftermarket batteries

Posted: Mon Apr 05, 2021 8:11 pm
by Ziggy587
Well if you want to learn to solder, this looks like a PERFECT beginner job to practice with! It's just two wires soldered to contacts on the PCB, and he sized the PCB to wedge into the SP so you don't need a 3D printed case or anything (although there is a variation that fits into a 3D printed case).

edit: The ready made one that I linked above is actually using the design from the YouTube video that you linked. Although they made a variation of the PCB (also available on OSH Park) and a 3D printed case for it, which is available on Thingiverse. But you could just as well use the original version without the 3D printed brackets.

Re: GBA SP aftermarket batteries

Posted: Mon Apr 05, 2021 8:49 pm
by marurun
The problem is that those cells aren’t as cheap any more and the PCBs have to be purchased in multiples. And it’s hard to attest to the quality of the cells. Would be better in bulk.

Re: GBA SP aftermarket batteries

Posted: Mon Apr 05, 2021 9:00 pm
by Ziggy587
Yeah, having to get multiple of the PCBs is annoying if you only need one. But not so much if you don't mind reselling them. They're only $2.70, and it looks like makho had to double up the PCB to meet OSH Park's minimum size requirement. So one order of $2.70 will get you 6 boards. Making them only 45 cents each. You could sell them on forums for $1 and I bet people would snatch them up. But I can get if you can't be bothered with that.

The battery thing, they look like they're $8 shipped from China at the cheapest on eBay right now. And I guess you're rolling the dice on the quality when you get such a battery from China. But at $8, plus the $2.70 for the PCBs, for just a few more bucks you can get the one from Retro Modding.

I would consider buying the OSH Park PCBs and some batteries to sell them ready made since it's so easy, but again it would be hard to compete with the one Retro Modding has for sale. Unless you can find a really good price on the batteries in bulk, which I'm sure they have. Also, whatever source they have for the batteries I'm sure at this point are known to be reliable for quality.

Re: GBA SP aftermarket batteries

Posted: Tue Apr 06, 2021 6:57 am
by Anapan
One I bought is okay, but not like a good kept-charged original. One was complete crap and was tossed. I got enough life from originals being rehabilitated that I can't recommend any 3rd party.
Mostly because of how old any 3rd party clones are. Probably DOA.

Re: GBA SP aftermarket batteries

Posted: Tue Apr 06, 2021 10:50 am
by marurun
Honestly, the only think that would make me pause with that Retro Modding battery is the shipping. And you're right, I don't think I could really one-up them doing it on my own. Those Amazon super-cheap ones are scary AF. I'll have to see if I continue to have battery life problems and then decide from there.

Zig trying to make me be responsible and take initiative... *grumble*

Re: GBA SP aftermarket batteries

Posted: Tue Apr 06, 2021 3:45 pm
by Ziggy587
LOL, but it really is the perfect first project! You could even do it with the Radio Shack 15 watt iron. Tin the two pads on the PCB, tin the two wires, then attach the wires to the pads. And you could literally mess up 6 PCBs before you fail LOL. But I don't think you'd even mess up one.

Re: GBA SP aftermarket batteries

Posted: Tue Apr 06, 2021 4:03 pm
by marurun
Ziggy587 wrote:LOL, but it really is the perfect first project! You could even do it with the Radio Shack 15 watt iron. Tin the two pads on the PCB, tin the two wires, then attach the wires to the pads. And you could literally mess up 6 PCBs before you fail LOL. But I don't think you'd even mess up one.


Yeah, I agree. The real problem is getting the cells and making sure I get decent ones. I don't trust any of the sellers on AliExpress and I wouldn't know where else to look. Ebay, maybe?