Introduction: GBA SP Micro USB Charger Mod

Picture of GBA SP Micro USB Charger Mod

I acquired a while back a working GameBoy Advance SP. Unfortunately, I didn't have a charger for it at the time. So, when the battery finally died after a week of use, I started investigating to see if there were any charger mods I could copy, but the closest I could find to what I was looking for was modding the GBA SP charger cable to so that it was USB on one end, and GBA SP charger on the other. I finally had to resort to taking the metal part off of a USB cable and plugging the plastic part into the GBA SP charging port, as it sort of fit. Some time later, a friend gave me a GBA SP charger connector, and with that I made USB cable to charge the Gameboy. Later on, I found it to be quite a hassle to have to bring 2 separate chargers every time I traveled with my GBA: A micro-USB cable for basically everything I own, and the GameBoy Advance SP charger. Another problem I had with this charger was that each time I lost the charger, the GBA SP was basically useless, as I couldn't charge it. I finally decided that I had enough of the useless charger, and decided to implement the newer Micro-USB.

Step 1: Micro-USB Port

Picture of Micro-USB Port

To be able to do this whole project, you will need a Micro-USB port. You can buy one, or you can just rip it off of any electronic device that you don't need anymore. I took mine from an old Nokia C2-05, as old Nokias don't use the Micro-USB port for charging. I actually had to sacrifice another Micro-USB port, as I ruined the first one by moving it around too much. In addition to this, you will need to have some medium soldering skills, as the Micro-USB port has a minuscule pitch between contacts. If you're not too confident with soldering, take a Micro-USB extension cable, and chop off the part that you don't need.

Step 2: Wire It and Place It

Picture of Wire It and Place It

I chose to place my Micro-USB port between the two ports on the GBA SP, because I couldn't find anywhere else to put it. I wired Pin 6 from the GBA SP port to Pin 5 on the Micro-USB port, and Pin 3 to Pin 1. To make a hole for the Micro-USB port, you need to use a dremel and make a thin and tall hole on each side of the casing.

Step 3: Final Result

Picture of Final Result

Test the port before closing it up. Once closed, test it out again. This mod leaves both charging ports functional, so you can charge with either the original charger, or the Micro-USB charger, although you musn't put both chargers at once as you'll create a short circuit.


Kamen RiderT (author)2017-03-16

Can I use a USB Port instead of a Micro USB Port?

PJMOR (author)Kamen RiderT2017-03-16

If you can make it fit, yeah.

Kamen RiderT (author)PJMOR2017-03-16

Where is the positive and negative of USB Port to the Proprietary Cahrging Port of GBA

azqxwce (author)2017-03-12

What gauge wire are you using to connect the ports?

PJMOR (author)azqxwce2017-03-16

I'm not too sure. I source by small wires from old usb cables mainly, and some from video cables like vga and dvi. I've never actually checked their diameter.

Kamen RiderT (author)2017-02-18

Can I take off the link port to put thevMicro USB in it, just to sa ve some space, and get rid of that link port thing?

PJMOR (author)Kamen RiderT2017-02-19

Yup, that would work just fine.

Kamen RiderT (author)PJMOR2017-02-19

Thank you. :) Now I only just need a soldering iron, or I could just heat up a metal on our gas stove.

Pinche_Agus (author)2016-11-29

It's possible to do this with an audio jack? Like do both mods, so I can charge it with Micro USB, and plug headphones at the same time.

Pinche_Agus (author)Pinche_Agus2016-11-29

Prob I wasn't very clear, not so good at english; so, I want to have 4 ports: Normal charger, MicroUSB charger, link port(?) and an audio jack port. My gba sp battery is very old, so I need to charge it often.

I want to use MicroUSB at the same time that I plug headphones on the modded jack port. Is it possible? I heard that you can't do this because the audio and the ac-in needs one of the pins at the same time.

PJMOR (author)Pinche_Agus2016-11-30

Yes, you can. Pin 2 would be the left audio channel, pin 4 the right audio channel, and pin 5 is the audio ground (or common, same thing). You'll have to use pin 1 as a headphone detect, although some people have reported that it doesn't work with pin 1, and instead with pin 5. And yes, the charging cable does share a cable with the audio jack but that should be no problem whatsoever. The only problem that I think you may encounter is space restriction. The GBA SP is quite small on he inside.

KennyC45 (author)2016-10-08

How did you get the wires and port to fit with the battery where it is?

KennyC45 (author)KennyC452016-10-08

Im having trouble fitting the case back together

PJMOR (author)KennyC452016-10-14

I took very thin and short cables which took a minimum of space, and with the dremel I had to cut away part of the shell so that it would allow the cables to pass. I made sure the cables did not go under the battery.

techboy411 (author)2015-09-06

Would this allow the system to be charged via MicroUSB and have a audio adapter in the regular charger jack?

PJMOR (author)techboy4112015-09-08

Of course. This does not interfere with anything on the port. So, as long as you don't use both ports for charging at the same time, everything will work.

ChaslasherH (author)PJMOR2016-09-03

Can I do this to my 3ds?

PJMOR (author)ChaslasherH2016-09-05

As there are 3DS USB charging cables available on the market, I believe you can do this mod to your 3DS without any problems. I haven't personally tried this though, as I don't own a DS.

ChaslasherH (author)PJMOR2016-09-05

I just wanted to ask because it would mean that I would one type of cable for every device, simple ocd crap lol

Orkekum (author)2016-07-26

Hm. It charges with 5volt instead of 5.2. Might be a little nicer to a old battery.

dan3008 (author)2015-09-05

took me 3 attempts to see the usb port... it looks so natural there :D

PJMOR (author)dan30082015-09-08

I put it there because I couldn't find anywhere else to put it, but it seems as if that was the best spot anyways.

dan3008 (author)PJMOR2015-09-08

could have been an original fitting if i didnt know better :)

tjones74 (author)2015-09-04

Great idea I repair game systems and get a good bit of handhelds never once thought of this when I cant find a replacement port. I'll definitely have to give this a try

PJMOR (author)tjones742015-09-08

If you do decide to give this a try, don't rely on just one Micro-USB port. They have a tiny pitch between contacts, which makes it hard to solder, and the pins are very small so they tend to break if you fiddle too much with them before securing it in place definitively. You should have a few backup spare ports.

pablo de paris (author)2015-09-04

So neat that it looks like the port has always been there. Good job

About This Instructable




Bio: If it ain't broken, take it apart and fix it.
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