Dingoo A320 RAM upgrade

[Stephanie] beefed up the hardware on her Dingoo A320. She enjoyed the features that the A320 handheld gaming system offered, but wanted the 64mb of RAM available in its bigger brother, the A330. A comparison of the two led her to believe a swap might be possible and after sourcing a pair of replacement chips for $12.50 she took the plunge. Once the solder had cooled it was just a matter of flashing some different firmware to take advantage of the upgrade.

[Thanks Juan via Dingoonity]

Comments

  1. anon says:

    “64mb of RAM”

    Man do I love me some millibits.

  2. mess_maker says:

    She seems to have accomplished what she wanted.

    Good for her!

  3. Caleb Kraft says:

    @IMMM and Octel,
    No, stop this now. both of you. Do not derail this thread.

  4. greycode says:

    That looks to be a tough soldering job, grats. My hands are not that steady to even entertain me doing it. Nice work.

  5. bobdole says:

    @greycode: Check out the flood and wick method.. It’s super easy, and I’ve used it to do fine pitch smd work using a $10 radio shack iron, with jittery caffine hands and no magnification.

    http://www.sparkfun.com/commerce/tutorial_info.php?tutorials_id=96

  6. jc says:

    And here I was thinking someone was hacking on an Airbus aircraft

  7. _matt says:

    Some versions of the dingoo (the crappy ones, noted by an HK in the serial) have only one 32MB ram chip with a free pad, thus making this mod a little easier hopefully.

    Mine has 2 chips, and last time I tried replacing ram, I tore up half the traces getting the old chip off.

    Amazing handheld though, replaced my lost PSP-2000 and I haven’t looked back.

    The A330 has the same hardware, so much so that flashing the A320 with it works minus the extra ram.

    64MB is really only needed for the heavier apps in linux that crash on the dingoo.

  8. Mikey says:

    I have one of these, but the screen is cracked. (It has A/V out, but at that point I’m better off using an emulator, plus it’s a square and not very egonomic to play on anyway.) — Anyone who wants to get an A320: they sell them on thinkgeek, but I wouldn’t recomend them, they’re kind of lame.

    Waiting for my Open Pandora to ship. That will be awesome! :D * crossing fingers that they come before christmas *

  9. Adam says:

    Looking on ebay, the price difference between the A320 and the A330 is only like $20 anyway… for $12 in parts that makes a $8 saving…?

    Also, ram chips like this dont need flood soldering, the pins are far enough apart that you can do it 1 pin at a time if you cant manage drag soldering.

  10. blue carbuncle says:

    Congrats to Steph on a mega tough soldering and desoldering job :) Congrats on getting it all back together working too!

    @bobdole: thanks for the link! Might save me some headaches in the future!

  11. Brennan says:

    SMD soldering is actually fairly easy to do, even though it seems scary to get into. The key is using a lot of liquid flux, especially if you’re using the “flood and wick” method. Also, make sure you are not overheating the part with the iron.

  12. fartface says:

    Ok this is cool. I never heard of this little PSP clone.

    I may need to get one for some home brew action….

    Nahhh I’ll load it with a mame and SNES emulator and a billion roms.

    I wonder if a Sega emulator will run on it. I have every single Sega rom ever made… Yes including the naughty ones from japan.

  13. james says:

    @fartface
    Picodrive works brilliantly for the sega games with most games running fullspeed at 0 or 1 frameskip
    Mame works brilliantly on older games but some relatively new ones (CPS, Neo Geo)will require overclocking and frameskips
    Snes9X handles SNES well for most games with overclocking and maybe 1 to 3 frameskip
    The video playback is absolutely wonderful and will play almost nay video using any codec

  14. Juan Pablo Kutianski says:

    I’ve a Japanese Hakko solder station, but I change this for a SylvaTherm 125W ceramic heater element. This element, solder paste, flux and a bunch of tweezers is only what I need to reworking SMD (included 0603 and BGA components).

  15. error404 says:

    I wouldn’t bother trying to save the old chip, chances are you’re going to damage the pins quite a bit getting it off, and it’s pretty easy to damage the board too without either hot air or that special low-temp solder.

    Just cut the old chip off where the leads meet the package with a sharp x-acto knife. Be careful not to cut into the PCB, but it’s pretty easy to do without damaging the board. Then just bend back and forth until the other side comes off and clean up the pads.

  16. yuppicide says:

    Freakin awesome!!! I love the Dingoo.. runs just about everything I throw at it once I put Dingux on it.

  17. jeditalian says:

    anyone who can solder this small is my hero!
    i would try but i only have the big bulky gun type iron. i have a chip from a 2 or 4gb flash drive i was wondering what i could do with it if i had mad soldering skillz too

  18. ZC says:

    @Adam

    The reason you’d do this instead of getting an A330 is because the A330 kinda sucks. It has cheaper buttons and d-pad, and some reviews have called it everything from “disappointing” to “unusable”.

    This mod lets you get the only decent benefit of the A330 without having to put up with the bad buttons.

  19. Ken Mackow says:

    Why bother! There’s nothing wrong with the A320 as it is….Well, maybe a new D-Pad. But that’s on the outside. I’ll keep mine the way it came. Too much trouble for actually no real improvement.

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