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retroupgrade
8-bit
 
Posts: 36
Joined: Fri Oct 30, 2015 9:17 pm

GBA SP Battery Upgrade!

by retroupgrade Sun May 15, 2016 11:46 pm

Searching Google, I found that people were putting DS and DSi batteries in GBA SPs to extend the battery life. Genius! The original GBA SP battery is 600mah and the DSi battery is 800mah to 1050mah. I already had a DS Lite battery on-hand and saw it was 2000mah, more than three times the capacity of the SP battery.

Here's the catch with the DS Lite batteries: they don't fit and the contacts are in the wrong place for the GBA SP.

Simply put, I took the casing off the battery, relocated the contacts, and removed the plastic bottom of the SP's battery compartment to fit the additional 1mm thickness. The charger should handle it fine since the only differnce is capacity.

Also, the photo of the modified battery compartment, I stole from Google.
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CRTGAMER
Next-Gen
 
Posts: 11932
Joined: Tue Jan 05, 2010 11:59 am
Location: Southern California

Re: GBA SP Battery Upgrade!

by CRTGAMER Tue May 17, 2016 10:27 am

retroupgrade wrote:Searching Google, I found that people were putting DS and DSi batteries in GBA SPs to extend the battery life. Genius! The original GBA SP battery is 600mah and the DSi battery is 800mah to 1050mah. I already had a DS Lite battery on-hand and saw it was 2000mah, more than three times the capacity of the SP battery.

Here's the catch with the DS Lite batteries: they don't fit and the contacts are in the wrong place for the GBA SP.

Simply put, I took the casing off the battery, relocated the contacts, and removed the plastic bottom of the SP's battery compartment to fit the additional 1mm thickness. The charger should handle it fine since the only difference is capacity.

Also, the photo of the modified battery compartment, I stole from Google.

Though my GBA SP lasts quite a while between charges, increasing the capacity appears to be an easy mod. I noticed on the final picture, electrical tape is used to secure the battery. A concern on the reliability of the electrical connection, do the contacts lock into the PCB solid?

Hey, there is an article right here on Racketboy! However, the links need updated. Found the Pelican 3x on Ebay, went that route. The advantages of your mod is increased capacity and not adding to the thickness to keep the GBA slim as possible to fit in the front pants pocket. Though I have gotten used to the small form factor, the Pelican Battery might add some comfort in holding the GBA.

http://www.racketboy.com/retro/gameboy-advance-gba-battery-life

Instead of 7-8 hours per charge, I’m getting 20-22 hours, no joke. This life-span is far beyond what I had expected after reading the battery’s specs, which are 3.7V at 1000mAH. My SP’s stock battery reads 3.8V at 600mAH. One would assume that the Pelican battery wouldn’t actually reach the advertised 3X mark, but somehow it does.

Regarding comfort, this is what I consider an unintentional bonus. Those who own SPs would probably agree that after an hour or so, your hands start to hurt. This is most likely due to how thin the SP’s control deck is. The Pelican battery actually adds much needed thickness to the unit. It’s amazing how much 1/5th of an inch can do. It also provides nice little ridges close to the sides for your fingers to rest on. I’ve played games on here for close to 3 hours strait and my hands feel fine now.

Never buy a used battery
Though the Pelican battery likely decades old, might still hold a charge? I am hoping since pictured as still in package, it still has many discharge and charge cycles. The DSI Mod a smarter approach in order to get an even larger and brand new battery.

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CRT vs LCD - Hardware Mods - HDAdvance - Custom Controllers - Game Storage - Wii Gamecube and other Guides:
CRTGAMER Guides in Board Guides Index: http://www.racketboy.com/forum/viewtopic.php?p=1109425#p1109425

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retroupgrade
8-bit
 
Posts: 36
Joined: Fri Oct 30, 2015 9:17 pm

Re: GBA SP Battery Upgrade!

by retroupgrade Fri May 20, 2016 12:00 pm

At first, I wanted the Pelican battery so I wouldn't need to cut any plastic on my SP, but I couldn't find any for purchase.

The DSi battery looks very loose to me, but the DS Lite battery holds tight on its own. The electrical tape is only used as an insulator to prevent shorts. Once you have the battery and terminals in place, everything is nice and snug. There's no added pressure to the battery door either.

I highly recommend this mod over buying a 3rd party external battery since this mod is very low cost which makes the batteries easily replaceable if they reach the end of their lifespan. Also, DS batteries of all types are still being manufactured (new!) in China. 3rd party options are all very old batteries.
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