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.

25 thoughts on “Hard Core Nintendo DSI Hacking

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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!

  5. 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…

  6. “[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……

  7. 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.

  8. 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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