GBA Gets Homebrew USB-C Charging Upgrade

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Sure there are pre-made kits to add a rechargeable battery and USB-C compatibility to Nintendo’s venerable Game Boy Advance, but [HorstBaerbel] thought he could throw together something similar for a fraction of the price. Plus, he wouldn’t have to wait on shipping. The end result might not be quite as polished, but it’s certainly impressive for what’s essentially a junk bin build.

The star of the show is a USB-C variant of the popular TP4056 lithium-ion charger module, which fits nicely inside the original battery compartment while still leaving room for a 1,000 mAh pouch cell. The 4.2 V output of the fully charged battery is a bit too high for the Game Boy’s liking, so [HorstBaerbel] used the forward voltage drop of a diode to bring it down to a more acceptable 3.5 V.

Naturally this does waste a good deal of energy, especially compared to the DC-DC converters used in commercial offerings like the CleanJuice, but it still delivers a respectable seven hours of runtime. The only issue with this modification seems to be that you’ve got just five minutes to save your progress and shut down when the GBA’s low-battery light goes on; but what’s life without a little excitement?

While not nearly extreme as some of the other GBA modifications we’ve seen over the years, this project is yet another example of the seemingly unlimited hacking potential of Nintendo’s iconic Game Boy line.

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