Doomed Hardware and the Roads to Salvation

I am not brave enough to put these photos in the Hardware Show-off thread. So I have created this for all old, musty, or broken hardware.

Post it to shed a tear, get a prayer or maybe look for tips if it can be restored.

Here is my special transparent gunk-grey GBA.
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It does not power on with two eneloops. I found a moth in it. I think the battery bit might be broken as it's a bit rusty, but im not sure how to test that.

That poor GBA… :cry:

Happens to the best of us. Looks like the glass screen is still in good condition?? That's a plus.

What's your tech/soldering experience? This can certainly be restored to a degree if you know what to look for and how to treat the issues with the right tools. Shell can probably be saved with a deep clean and a retro brite treatment.

I love this kind of stuff. I work in games tech and have a hard time just throwing stuff away no matter how busted or grimy it is. I have a whole shelf of broken consoles that I'm holding onto in hopes that one day maybe they'll live another life somehow.

Here's the worst offender I have lying around.

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It just sits there with a sad little post it note. Dirty and rusty and corroded throughout. I finally got it to power on but still no signs of life. While I was messing with the volume wheel to see if I could at least hear anything, the volume wheel fell right off.

Can't really take parts from it since all the parts on it are crap. Don't know why I keep it around other than to feel sorry for it.

@“milo”#p82755 I haven‘t soldered anything since intermediate school (age 13), and even then it was just black + red wires to a few LEDs and a 9v battery holder. I’d like to learn more though, I have a busted og DS that is in need of saving too.

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I've taken the back off and can't see anything glaringly obvious. Could it just be the battery bits are rusty?


Honestly those battery contacts don't look that bad. As long as the surface where the battery makes contact is clean it's usually fine. One thing to try is to get a bit of rubbing alcohol inside the little power switch and push it back and forth a bit. If there's grime built up in the power switch it won't turn on and doing that helps to clean it.

Otherwise there are fuses to check, etc. which require more specialized tools. It's certainly a fun hobby to get into if you are willing to put in a little time and money!

Here's one of my favorite youtube tech/restoration channels working on a GBA much like your own:

Let's Goooo!!! This feels as good as when I removed a stripped screw the other week (a.k.a very good).

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I used, isopropyl, a tooth brush, some cotton swabs, and some very fine sand paper.

I'm pretty sure it was corrosion on the battery contact encased in the plastic.

The face buttons aren‘t responsive enough… we’ve got to go back in

All is working! Salvation!

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It's still a bit janky with the tape on the back and mass discolouration. I cleaned out a fair amount of gunk on the face buttons and speaker.

I may get a replacement case in the future, but looking on the gameboy reddit, so many of the colours are quite ugly. I don't think I have the facilities to do retro bright properly. But for now, I'm quite proud of my efforts.

Very nice!!! Always a good feeling bringing something back from the dead. :slight_smile:


#### Next Operation:

Nintendo DS: extra scuffed edition.

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This is my friend's old Nintendo DS. It has many problems which is how I ended up with it.
If my memory serves me right one of the screens does not work.

I have tested and it does not charge. When I insert the charger the orange light blinks on for a second and then off. The charger works fine with my GBA SP. I removed the battery of the DS and plugged it in. The light behaved the same way.

I had a similar problem with my 3DS which was solved with a new battery. Hopefully this step is just as simple.