Make a Gameboy Advance SP USB Charger Cable: Charge Your GBA From a PC or Cellphone Charger


Introduction: 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...

Step 1: Cut 'n Strip

Cut your USB cable and the cable from your GBA charger. 

You'll be using the USB end of the USB cable, and the end that plugs in to your GBA from the GBA charger, so figure out how long you want your cable to be and cut 'em both accordingly.  Use a knife, scissors, wire cutters, a sharpened bone, or a melted plastic cup sharpened to an edge against a concrete floor (for those of you reading this in prison).

Then, strip back the plastic to reveal the wires on each cable.

On the GBA charger, you will find a green wire and some bare wire.  The green wire is the positive, and the bare wire is the negative.  Strip back some of the green wire.

Depending on the USB cable you sacrifice, you may find up to 4 wires and some sheathing and insulation.  We're only interested in the black and red wires, so cut all the rest and strip back the black and red wires a bit.

Step 2: Join

Twist together the red and green wires and use small heat shrink tubing (I used the smallest tubing I could find) or electrical tape to bond them.

Then twist together the bare wires and the black wire and use a bigger diameter tubing to go over all the wires, including the ones you previous connected.  (I used 3/16" tubing and it was not quite large enough, so try 1/4"

Step 3: Charge!

Plug your finished cable into a PC or to a USB charger and start charging.

Save the GBA charger your never know when you may need to use it for another project.

3 People Made This Project!


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40 Discussions

I need help, i followed all instructions, plugged it in and the
charging light wont light up, also the bottom left of the non backlit
gba gets pretty hot, but the backlit gba only gets slightly warm

also the non backlit gba will turn on and turn off half a second later

and the backlit one just wont turn on when plugged in

4 replies

Also, this happens if you have connected a positive wire to a negative wire, and when that happen, it will not charger, neither turn on while charging, and would heat up your battery.

Try mine. Red from the GBA Charger to Black of the USB Charger, and Red from the USB Charger and Bare from the GBA Charger.

the usb and gba charging cords had only red and white

I have no suggestions to troubleshoot other than to put everything back the way it was. Sorry!

My GBA Charger doesn't work when I did this. The cables are red and bare,and the USB has red, black, white, and green(But I know that the white and green are the data transfers). Could someone help me? Is it red to red and bare to black, or red to black and bare to red?

2 replies

Mine works now. Appearantly, it was a red to black, and red to bare for me.


2 years ago

Hi here, is this safe tho . Thanks :)

Try this

*facepalm* you have to have the actual connector to connect to your gameboy ya know....

Thanks so much for this tutorial. I recently purchased a Gameboy Advance Micro but it came with a Euro plug. Instead of buying a new adapter, I used your awesome tutorial and my Gameboy Micro is charging as I type this!

This is hilarious and instructive, great job!

Worked after the second try I think the 2 wires from the gameboy might have crossed the first time. This is a cool little mod great for extending , fixing or saving space but if you have no issues with the standard gba charger think twice before doing this just in case

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

1 reply

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