Hard Core Nintendo DSI hacking

dsi (Custom)

So, you hacked your DSI did you? Let me guess, you ran a flash cart. No? You probably added some LEDs then right? No? You must be pretty hard core, did you add a NES controler? No? Well what did you do?

We still have no idea what this guy is doing. But he is doing it very meticulously. We found [Micah Dowty]‘s photo stream on flicker and we were instantly pulled in. He has done some extensive modifications to his DSI. He has spread its innards for all to see and begun hacking. It appears as though most of this is for memory dumps and direct access to the RAM in the unit, but frankly we just want to stare at these pictures.

Comments

  1. jamieriddles says:

    wow.

  2. apocas says:

    damn thats some serious soldering skills.

  3. firetech says:

    http://scanwidget.livejournal.com/

    This is his website.. it seems that he is playing with the hardware for homebrew!

  4. Cody says:

    Somebody get this guy a million bucks.

    No fucking way would well over 75% of us readers have a hand that steady. OR a needle that small that doesn’t end up corroding/melting off.

  5. BILLY MAYS says:

    GAAA! CAPITAL LETTERS, ON MY HACKADAY?

  6. abcd says:

    Seriously, it’s not that hard to solder those small wires. I often have to do such things when debugging prototypes at work. Soldering 0402 by hand is the norm for us too – and that’s all without any magnification. A good light and eyes only is all I use – I find using some form of magnifcation actually hinders seeing what’s going on.

  7. napalm says:

    Holy God in Heaven! That man is a freaking genius and there are capital letters here, which is also neat.

  8. monkeyslayer56 says:

    so wont the wires overlap when he move it? or are the wires firm enough the wont bend over?

  9. Dan says:

    @monkeyslayer

    That looks like the kind of wire used for wire-wrapping. It has some real thin insulator on it.

  10. Mic says:

    Wow they answered our prayers. Capital letters. Nice.

  11. tony says:

    I don’t know if that is magnet wire or what, but if is, you could just burn off the enamel with acid, then take the tiny little bit of exposed copper and solder it to an exposed trace with a microscope. I see it being entirely feasible. The amount of dedication and patience is impressive though.

  12. anon says:

    “Seriously, it’s not that hard to solder those small wires.”

    rawr rawr rawr king douchebag

  13. Like most of you I am thoroughly amazed at this guy’s skills. I mean wow, just ..wow. It’s hard to give to many of us electronic junkies a title like “badass”…but I have to say this guy has earned the title “definite badass”. I just hope this guy is breaking some of the DSi homebrew barriers some of us gamers/ds hackers are running into.

  14. astroboy says:

    abcd has it right; with patience and a good iron, and good light, it’s not that hard to solder this small stuff. I use a binocular microscope at work.

    And, wow, captial letters!

  15. samurai1200 says:

    for really-real, it IS “hard” to do that close of pitch soldering, but it becomes orders of magnitude easier with a bit of practice and a good solder tip. at work i routinely do lots of rework, and we use 0402 size passives and TSSOP or QFN packages exclusively, no special light or magnification. but yeah, lots of practice is all that makes it easier…

    whats worse is that it is REALLY easy to make a cold solder joint when working this small… i’d hate to have to track one down in that BGA broken-out mess…

  16. Edd says:

    “[Micah Dowty]’s photo stream on flicker” – flickr

    Not picking on anyone in particular but I’ve seen quite a few typo’s in the past few days on hackaday :) Someone needs to hack together an Arduino spellchecker that beeps loudly when there’s a mistake……

  17. charliex says:

    He’s probably doing some reverse engineering, or live trace debugging. I use that same spartan board to do the same thing ( and for the sump LA )

    Basically watching everything the bus is doing, giving you a roadmap of what it did. very useful for RE or debugging.

    Its like the hardware equivalent of that C64 visual debugger from last week.

    Lot easier with pogo pins though :) but definitely some skill involved with what he’s doing.

  18. manolis says:

    this could be interresting to

    http://hackmii.com/2009/09/dsi-ram-hax/

  19. Spork says:

    It’s not terribly difficult to solder that small. I use my station with a 0.5mm tip and it works great. He did an excellent job though. I’m impressed.

  20. Ziv says:

    Only question left is … WHY?

  21. Nice! You can now Download Free DS Games (as well as DSi Games) and transfer them to play on your DS or DSi without any special hardware or modification!

  22. William says:

    The previous post is a scam. Do not give any money to that crook.

  23. DSi Games says:

    Genius , this guy needs to build and launch his own console – at least his own games

  24. jones says:

    yea everyones using flashcards currently there are no real nintendo ds hacks

  25. ed says:

    It is quite clear what he is doing. He is picking up signals from the DSL to better understand its working. So the wires have no other practicle use than to transfer signal to a probe

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