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GBA modified with debugger harness and TV out

jrra

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Apr 12, 2020
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Hello everyone,

I recently acquired a GBA with some interesting modifications done to it. Here's some photos of my unit. Note that the pink unit is a totally standard one, for comparison.

20200516_193855.jpg20200516_195211.jpg

Two modifications are present:
1. TV-out mod. The back half of the plastic shell was replaced to afford a display connector, as seen on the left of the pictures. This connector is a simple breakout of the display connector that runs to the internal display. It's designed to connect to a converter box.
Here's a picture of the whole setup. (Not my photo, credit to this page on gameboy-advance.net and to marshallh for bringing it to my attention.)
gbatvpackage_032202.jpg

2. Debugger harness. This four-wire plug connects internally to the battery terminals, as well as to the RESET and FIQ lines on the motherboard. RESET allows the console to be reset. FIQ is sort of like a debugger button. The plug is supposed to attach to a special game cart, which in turn is connected via an umbilical to a ROM emulator box. Here's a picture of the box it connects to, and documentation. Note that the doc calls it the "6P connector"; the plug has 6 connectors but only 4 are used. (Not my photos. Credit to these Twitter posts by GerryRobotics and AndrewEarley7, and to Endrift for bringing them to my attention)
EX9O4PvWsAcksiL.jpegEYBmb3gU4AILamO.jpeg

The other hardware inside is bog-standard retail stuff-- PCB, CPU, and front half are all standard. One interesting thing is that the battery terminals have been snipped, so batteries do not work in this console.

I would be interested in learning more about units like this one.

EDIT: forgot to mention that I bought it on this very forum! Thanks to Diablodin for selling it to me.
 

EdTheNerd

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Oct 28, 2019
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I recently found a new in box one of those old video out mods. China churned these out and they could be found on sites like liksang back in the day.
It gives both composite and S-Video, and both look like trash even on my PVM, though you can mod them for RGBS fairly easy and they will output 480i which any decent RGBS upscaler can deinterlace.

Very odd that someone would put that crap onto a development item though. Maybe the devs didn't want to spring for video output on their debugger.
 

Trimesh

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May 30, 2019
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I recently found a new in box one of those old video out mods. China churned these out and they could be found on sites like liksang back in the day.
It gives both composite and S-Video, and both look like trash even on my PVM, though you can mod them for RGBS fairly easy and they will output 480i which any decent RGBS upscaler can deinterlace.

Very odd that someone would put that crap onto a development item though. Maybe the devs didn't want to spring for video output on their debugger.

There isn't any video out (even as an option) on the IS-CGB-EMULATOR. You had a choice of using the Wide Boy Advance (which also needed a N64) or the IS-AGB-CAPTURE - neither of which offered any debugging capabilities. If you wanted both debug and TV out together, adding a third-party video out was the only option.
 

HI_RICKY

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Mar 21, 2019
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at old day , I use IS-CGB-EMULATOR ,IS-AGB-EMULATOR to GameCube GB adapter do my job on BVM monitor
 
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haliway

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Apr 5, 2020
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Really fascinating. Would be very interesting to have one to have both debug and capture
 
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