Make a Gameboy Advance SP USB Charger Cable: Charge your GBA from a PC or Cellphone Charger

Picture of Make a Gameboy Advance SP USB Charger Cable: Charge your GBA from a PC or Cellphone Charger
Why make this, you ask?
Well, with this USB cable, you no longer need to carry a separate charger for your Gameboy Advance SP. 
You can charge your GBA by plugging in to the USB port on your laptop/pc, or by plugging in to the USB port on a USB Charger, which is the type of charger that comes with many newer smart phones and MP3 players including iPod, Zune, Sansa, etc..
When I travel, I take my GBA for the plane.  I don't like packing more stuff than I need, so I can use this cable along with the charger for my android phone.

Why haven't you upgraded to the Nintendo DS or PSP, you ask?
Because I'm old and these new systems are too darn complicated.  I have a flash card for my GBA and I can put tons of game ROMs on it (games that I legally own of course), including an NES emulator, which gives me the opportunity to play all the best games from my childhood.  Gameplay was at it best back in the days of 8-bit computing.  The fancy new games with 10 buttons just aren't any fun.

What you will need:
  • GBA charger
  • USB cable (any kind will do, from an old MP3 player, camera, laptop cooler, etc.)
  • Heat shrink tubing or electrical tape
I take no responsibilities if you shock/hurt/kill yourself or others, nor do I make any guarantees that this won't fry your GBA, PC, or any other device.  This mod will break your GBA warranty, your PC warranty, your USB charger warranty, and may fail entirely. I make no guarantees that it will work.  I have only tested it on my personal GBA for 1 hour, so it may very well burn down your house and your neighbor's house too.  In fact, you should probably just stop reading now and move along to the next instructable on how to make a macaroni necklace.  Forget you ever saw this.  Move along, nothing to see here...
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link491 made it!18 days ago

Great little guide. Unfortunately the wires from my charger (being a chinese ripoff) were different colors. So if anybody needs to know, the White cable was power and the red was ground. Either way, after figuring that out it worked rather nicely, which is good for when I'm on long train rides and need to charge out of a laptop.

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jarrodcook3 years ago
i built one but i didn't have a gba sp charger so i used a gbasp link cable it recognizes it but does not charge can anyone help me

Link cables don't charge things.

k4d4m11 months ago

It is working! Thanks a lot!

gestabrook1 year ago

Just followed the instructions as I could only find my car charger. Took a few minutes and works perfectly. Double bonus as I have a 1st gen DS as well and they share the same charging port :D

yatto1 year ago

This resurects my poor GBA SP because the charger was broken. Now I can charge it with any USB cable or electric adapter to USB ! Thanks a lot !

WiFi Cable1 year ago
I lost my charger, could i make one with some jumper wires I have?
*facepalm* you have to have the actual connector to connect to your gameboy ya know....
Yurgi1 year ago
Awesome. Works perfect. Using Mophie juice pack. No resistors and no heat!
Used a USB cable that was for power only - so it had only two wires inside. Core wire to core wire and outside loose wire to outside loose wire. Great Instructions!!!
mvasquez l1 year ago
Please Answer This: instead of a wall charger im using a car charger and it only has two cables a Red one and a White one and the usb cable has yellow brown red and white.
which cables should i join??
Please its really important!:3
shepnstein (author)  mvasquez l1 year ago
Red to red and white to white. Ignore the rest
It works!
Thanks a lot
wfreeland3 years ago
My GBA is recognized by my computer but it is not charging help?
You used the wrong wires from your usb cable. Its supposed to be black and red you probably used red and white. Try a different usb cable
chilll20094 years ago
this is a good idea, but you may want t check the voltage the GBA SP uses. You may want to put some resistors between the wires so you don't fry your gameboy.
shepnstein (author)  chilll20094 years ago
Thanks. I forgot to mention that the GPA SP adapter output is 5.2v. USB is 5v, so we're safe. :)
are we absolutely sure about the voltage parameters?
shepnstein (author)  unicron852 years ago
it is written right there on my adapter, 5.2v
oh yeah, derp! noticed it after did it anyways and thanks i now have a charging cable that's just a little over three meters long, woohoo!
oh yeah, derp! noticed it after did it anyways and thanks i now have a charging cable that's just a little over three meters long, woohoo!
Thanks it worked, but I didn't use tubing I twisted copper wires together then wrapped with electric tape. Works great with GBA and DS
Brahmdut3 years ago
For those of you who did not get it to work, here is a video of the same thing the only difference is that it is a phone they are charging instead of a GBA sp
noobZ3 years ago
Update: I picked up an official GBA charger at goodwill today and it worked right away, no issues. There must be something different with after market cables inside the actually plug itself.
shepnstein (author) 3 years ago
sorry it didn't work for you guys. You did the same things I did, I don't know why it isn't charging :(
noobZ3 years ago
Is there any reason this wouldn't work with an after-market cable? All I had was a car charger and when I stripped the wires down there was red wire and a black wire. I then connected them to the red and black wire of multiple USB cables but none of them worked. I even found a wall charger that puts out 5.2V but when I connect the SP cable to it nothing happens. Any ideas? Thanks
SirSinclair4 years ago
Hello Shepnstein,
i'm discovering this kind of tutorials for making Usb charger, i found exactly same for the Nintendo Ds and i tried but it doesn't work...i just got 3 fast orange lights and nothing more.
I must precise my Dslite charger has a red cable and not green...maybe a problem ? but i don't think.
By any chance do you have an idea to help me ?
Thank you. Cheers.
Update ! I finaly made it and all is working fine now :)
Thanks from France !