GBcartBreakout

peripherals

some stuff that works with this thing:

  • GBdumper cartridge reader/writer to plug into the Slot header pin row

what is it

The GBcartBreakout is a board that fits with one end inside a DMG/GB, GBC, GBA or NDS (slot 2) and accepts those same cartrige formats in a slot on the other end. Between that it has a set of DIP switches to allow passing through those cartridges' signals between the board's "contact fingers" and the slot, and a 100mil male header with each signal of each side broken out nicely.

Also there's a reset button across the fingers' reset and ground line and an additional pullup (10K) resistor protecting the slot's reset line (because Nintendo usually just shorts that to VCC in their cartridges and you don't want your GameBoy or batteries to blow up when you press the button).

what does it do

sadly, it doesn't turn blue. but you can use it to:

  • debug your own cartridges or cartridge reader/writers
  • peek into a game's memory traffic
  • Man-In-The-Middle a game's memory traffic, for example to:
    • cheat
    • apply hardware ROM patches
    • etc
  • use the slot side as a cartridge reader/writer
  • use the finger side as a cartridge
  • etc

essentially it allows you to interface with either one of or both the game and the system in a way that saves you from always building custom PCBs to fit your stuff when you're still researching/tinkering around (e.g. on a breadboard).

and yes, you can fix the aforementioned thing it doesn't do by just connecting your own blue light to the handy header.

how do I get one

Build your own from those files or contact me.

how do I build one after getting a kit or bare PCB

see this page for kit soldering instructions and a list of required parts.

where can I discuss this

there's a disqus on this page for going crazy with comments, or if you prefer to reach me directly you can get to me on twitter or via email (you can see my address in the image below).

what does it look like

photograph

this is a shot of the first one ever built.

photo

KiCAD rendering

(shown without cartridge slot at the top, but you can see where it'd be)

rendering