USB cartridge modded to work as a programmer

The credit for this idea has to go to nitro2k01, his genius idea helped me test program my USB Gameboy Camera before i had fitted the USB part. I don’t have a programmer so this was the idea.

Basically i added a switch to my USB cart so that it would disconnect the CE pins from the MBC5 and the flash chip, then using an adapter it can be used to program carts and read/write saves etc, then flicking the switch turns it back into a cartridge. :)

I wanted the switch to be strong so i used the programming holes in the USB board, but I had to cut the traces first.


I really wanted to use black wire but I had none left, so I used purple to match the LEDs.

The case all together, another crappy hole cut by me.

This is the adapter, its just a back to back cartridge socket.

Here it is reading the save from my Gameboy Camera.

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14 Responses to USB cartridge modded to work as a programmer

  1. bazz says:

    So what are you using to do the actual flashing?

  2. NeX says:

    what do you mean? the cartridge becomes a programmer so it is doing the flashing, but the program is the same program that flashes the cart normally

  3. Jazzmarazz says:

    So is it correct to assume, that the GB camera is programmable without modification?

  4. NeX says:

    nope not at all, the chip is a ROM, and needs to be a Flash chip. but you can read the Saves from it.

  5. Jazzmarazz says:

    I see. I figured, but you had me confused a little there. :P
    I am working on replacing the ROM in a cart with an old computer cmos chip I got hold of, and someone from nonfinite said that flashing it (with proof of ROM ownership) would be done free of charge. Very cool people.
    I basically just browse your blog for projects that I can do. lol

  6. NeX says:

    interesting, i would like to know how that goes with the rom change!

  7. Jazzmarazz says:

    I was following the work of Riener Zeigler, but have since accidentally peeled a few traces from the cart I was modifying. Oops. I have plenty of other carts that I could modify, but none of them have a save function. As for the ones I own that DO have a save funtcion, I am not willing to put them at risk of my sluggish soldering. I have a 64Mb cart coming in the mail from nonfinite and have all the intention of performing this mod. I don;t really need multiple reprogrammable carts, but its more about doing the actual mod successfully than anything. :)

    Once my new cart arrives and I locate the 2 CE pins, I may have some more questions for you. I really appreciate your patience, xD!

    Right now I have successfully added a switch to one of my DMGs that changes between biverted and normal, but I have yet to fit it in the shell. I am still curious as to how you are able to cut so much from the pcb and still have it work. Are you placing the removed components elsewhere?

  8. NeX says:

    i am not totally sure that the EMS carts can have this mod because the USB part doesn’t directly pass its signals through to the cartridge pins.

    well done on getting the XOR bivert chip to work, it can be useful some times,

    when i cut down the PCB i move some of the components out of the way, some get relocated and some get removed completly, but you have to know what each component does. the gameboy is very simple and most of the components are actually to do with either the link port or the audio, and the link port only really needs 3 resistors, and the audio doesn’t REALLY need anything at all,

  9. Jazzmarazz says:

    Carts:
    Thats too bad then, I even had 2 spare cartridge slots ready to use. :/
    What carts were you using anyhow?

    Biversion:
    Can you tell me what makes the actual “bivertion” work? I have not purchased any of the specific IC’s to use, I have only pulled my own from miscellaneous electronics I have. What that means is that I have had some work and many not work. The few that did work happened to be the very small type.

  10. NeX says:

    i was using the bleep bloop carts that Nonfinite sells

    Bi vert simply inverts the data, so if the data is high, the chip makes it low and vice versa. its just a NOT gate basically. you need to use the right chips, there are many chips out there but you need either a hex inverter or an Exclusive OR gate

  11. Jazzmarazz says:

    Ok, it loks like they don’t carry BleepBoop Carts anymore. :/
    I guess Ill keep an eye out in the sale sub forum of 8bc.

  12. NeX says:

    they do, but they come from Jose and he is unreliable.

  13. Dragoon says:

    Any diagrams on this mod, i can’t really handle out which Pins…?

  14. NeX says:

    i just lifted the CE pins from the MBC5 and the Flash chip and then used a switch to enable or disable them,

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