Bluetooth Cartridge For Nintendo DS


We’ve received tips from a few different people about a new Bluetooth module that connects as a game cartridge for the Nintendo DS. This is a homebrew solution and not an official Nintendo add-on. The cartridge houses an ATmega168 microcontroller which provides the interface between the DS and a Roving Networks RN-41 bluetooth module.

They’ve provided a schematic for the device but we didn’t see any board artwork or pictures of the internals so you’re on your own for board layout. The libraries needed to use the bluetooth connection with homebrew software are up for download. This should provide a nice way to use the DS with a Bluetooth GPS module, or perhaps as a discrete Bluetooth sniffer and spoofer.

14 thoughts on “Bluetooth Cartridge For Nintendo DS

  1. This is cool, but you need a slot-2 software solution to avoid cart swapping, as the article says.
    Personally, I would have gone the other way, utilizing the slot-2 side for the bluetooth and used the slot-1 slot for the actual cart.

    Either way, this is cool. I’m more interested in the interfacing of the ATmega168 than the bluetooth itself.

  2. The first sentence should read “Bluetooth module”, not GPS.

    It is interesting, but I would have to agree with Eric. Relying on a SLOT 2 device in 2009 seems a little archaic, especially considering the DSi doesn’t even have one anymore.

    Then again, it looks like the devices listed on the site are intended for interfacing the DS with various robotic platforms, so I guess the idea is to use the old-style DS as a cheap central processor. Overall style and quality of the LCDs are not an issue…

  3. @MS3FGX that makes no sense… I can get a far cheaper, more powerful and easier to interface central processor for robotics than a DS. doing it just to say you did it, ok, but doing it because it’s cheaper is nuts, it’s not cheaper, it’s more expensive and then harder…. It’s like buying a Toaster and modding it to make waffles. grab a router that will run OpenWRT and you have a better and more powerful robot processing platform.

    Hacking for the sake of the hack? ok. But I can get a high power easy to use robot processing platform for $25-$55 all over the place and I dont have to play tricks to get my code to run. Hell I picked up some pc104 computer boards off ebay for $15.00 each.. Less than he spent making the cart. he is not doing it as a cheap robot platform, he’s doing it for an expensive and unique complicated remote control car platform… Robots move on their own, RC cars require input from the user… Which is why I hate “battlebots” as they are not battlebots but battleRC cars.

  4. @andrew
    the ds has no cellular radio, adding the support for a sim card reader would do nothing except maybe allow modification of contacts.

    @farthead, the router idea is also a fugly hack, it does work and provide some power, but with no screen or built in battery it is still behind the ds.

    he did this for an overall hack, mostly proving it is possible, and just getting the idea forward. lets see some of you be able to design and build a similar device.

    i say great hack and design, keep em coming, i could see this working nicely to control a micro robotics platform cleanly

  5. @dsbrut guys:

    I’m curious as to why a uC was connected to the DS via SPI, to interface to a bluetooth module/chip with its own SPI port.

    Was it just to offload communication stack stuff to save cycles on the DS or some other reason?

    Could the uC be omitted to save cost/board space?

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