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Modded DS Adds Hard Drive For Some Reason 134

An anonymous reader writes "The legendary Natrium42 has been hard at work on making an IDE connection for the DS. He now has a working 40GB hard drive ready for his DS to utilize, now he says perhaps he could listen to music or watch full length rips of his DVDs."
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Modded DS Adds Hard Drive For Some Reason

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  • by Sinryc ( 834433 ) on Sunday September 10, 2006 @11:30AM (#16075802)
    This is SLASHDOT! Why does someone need a reason other than "why not" to mod something? I can see plenty of uses for this(Homebrew storage, movies, music, backups of games...).
  • by antifoidulus ( 807088 ) on Sunday September 10, 2006 @11:31AM (#16075804) Homepage Journal
    =the newest innovation in porn.
  • Use flux???! (Score:2, Insightful)

    by mangu ( 126918 )
    Dont forget to use flux! It comes in different forms, but I use the paste you can see above. Flux is the magic ingridient that makes soldering easy.


    Dude, if you can't solder using just the flux that's inside the solder wire, you should do a quick Soldering-101 course before you try hacking something...

    • Besides... (Score:5, Informative)

      by mangu ( 126918 ) on Sunday September 10, 2006 @11:39AM (#16075849)
      ...in those cases when you do need extra flux, a true hacker *makes* his own flux: dissolve rosin in alcohol. But that's only needed where the parts to be soldered are corroded in some way, which is not the case in TFA, soldering recently peeled wire to gold plated pins.
      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by fabs64 ( 657132 )
        or anything galvanised.
        Though be warned, that crap stinks when the flux dissolves it
        • You think it smells bad when flux dissolves galvanised metal, try the smell when you dump a large part in a muriatic acid bath.
    • Re:Use flux???! (Score:5, Informative)

      by MyDixieWrecked ( 548719 ) on Sunday September 10, 2006 @11:50AM (#16075910) Homepage Journal
      I've got limited experience with electronics soldering (I took a class in middleschool and I also needed to do some work on my guitar, once), but iirc, not all electronics solder has flux in/on it. personally, I'd prefer the stuff with the flux on it already, since it's less messy.

      When it comes to doing soldering involving plumbing (I was a plumbers apprentice in HS), I know most solder is packed with flux, plus we always smeared flux all over the pipe-end beforehand, too, before hitting it with the torch.

      perhaps it's his preference to control the amount of flux he uses himself, rather than relying on the manufacturer of the solder to put the right amount in.
    • He's legendary.
    • by omeomi ( 675045 )
      I think it is possible to *find* flux-free solder wire, but I don't think it's typically used for electronics. I'm hardly an expert, though.
    • Re:Use flux???! (Score:5, Insightful)

      by SigILL ( 6475 ) on Sunday September 10, 2006 @12:20PM (#16076075) Homepage
      if you can't solder using just the flux that's inside the solder wire, you should do a quick Soldering-101 course before you try hacking something...

      Not that I RTFA, but try doing SMT with just the flux in your solder.. not gonna work.

      A true hacker is beyond such dogmatic attitudes; (s)he uses the tools needed to get the job done. If flux is what's needed to get a good solder connection, then (s)he'll use flux.
      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by Dan East ( 318230 )
        Who needs flux for SMT? Just use a toaster oven [seattlerobotics.org].

        Dan East
        • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

          by SigILL ( 6475 )
          Just use a toaster oven [seattlerobotics.org].

          Er...

          If you read that article you'll see that they use solder paste, which is essentially flux with a bit of solder mixed in.
        • For what it's worth, my friend makes use of a toaster oven in his soldering experiments, and it's quite easy to do it wrong - he toasted an iPaq at least once doing that.
          • For what it's worth, my friend makes use of a toaster oven in his soldering experiments, and it's quite easy to do it wrong - he toasted an iPaq at least once doing that.

            Did it at least taste good with a bit of butter and jam?
    • by Spankophile ( 78098 ) on Sunday September 10, 2006 @12:45PM (#16076191) Homepage
      hey "dude' instead of bitching about someone's choice of solder, try doing something useful. This guy made an IDE mod for DS. He's way 1337er than you. so STFU.
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by TeknoHog ( 164938 )
      Another quote from the article that just oozes unprofessionalism:
      I cut my 80-wires IDE cable to 50 wires, then I stripped both ends with my fingernails
      And all this to make a CF to IDE adapter that should be available easily.
      • by ajlitt ( 19055 )
        Except he's trying to do the opposite of what the commercially available CF to IDE adapters do.
    • I solder SMT stuff all the time.

      It's difficult to do it without flux, and even if you can do it, the results look like hell.

      If you use flux and you do it right, the results will look identical to the original reflow-soldered work.

      I'd love to see you solder some 0201s or a high-density connector without flux sometime.
    • by aug24 ( 38229 )
      Not all solder comes with flux in it. The stuff with flux is made for ease-of-use for homebrew/amateur stuff. Sometimes you need more (relative to the solder), sometimes less, depending on what you're doing, and then you use separate flux and pure solder.
    • by ajlitt ( 19055 )
      Bull. A thin brush with a flux pen (No-clean for most hobbyist work) over SMT pads before tacking a part down can make the difference between bridged or cold solder joints and a good mechanical and electrical connection. Try replacing a 200+ pin TQFP with .5mm pitch pins by hand before you tell someone to go back to soldering 101.
  • If you didn't know either, check wikipedia [wikipedia.org]
  • I wonder how this would impact the battery life of the DS.
  • Sure, ok, he did it because he could. Congrats. But really. Why not use a micro drive instead or a very high capacity flash card? It would at least be portable.
    • by kfg ( 145172 ) *
      Why not use a micro drive instead or a very high capacity flash card?

      Because he had a laptop drive?

      KFG
      • Just because I have a 5.25" 300Mb full height ESDI drive in my garage doesn't mean I want to hook it up to my Gameboy Color.

        But on the other hand...

        • by kfg ( 145172 ) *
          But on the other hand...

          . . .shits and giggles hacking is different than tool/product development. It usually stems from looking at stuff you've just got lying around and thinking "Ohhhhhh, hey!"

          For instance, I used to have a baby brother who suddenly noticed that he had an M80, four cans of ether and a roll of duct tape. . .

          KFG
          • I used to have a baby brother ...

            That cat must not have had nine lives like a good little boy with a penchant for things that go BOOM. I was fortunate that the two mishaps I had were with smaller devices and the blasts did not hit me ...directly.

  • by weg ( 196564 ) on Sunday September 10, 2006 @11:59AM (#16075964)
    Hmm, I guess since this is using the exact pin-layout of a CF flash card this implies high compatibility (i.e., will work with GBAMP NDS Firmware Hack [drunkencoders.com] and the GBAMP FAT driver [drunkencoders.com]. I was wondering which DS flash card to buy, and I was eying the M3 lite [maxconsole.net] for DS, but given all the compatibility problems [maxconsole.net], I'm leaning towards a CF solution [tobw.net], now, even though this sticks out of my Nintendo DS lite as much as a mile..
    Or can anybody recommend something else that's compatible with homebrew (M3 CF (or SD) lite, or one of the Supercards)
    • I was wondering which DS flash card to buy, and I was eying the M3 lite for DS, but given all the compatibility problems, I'm leaning towards a CF solution

      The M3 is more expensive than the similar GBA Movie Player v2, and its major advantage over the GBAMP is that the M3 also runs all Game Boy Advance homebrew. (The GBAMP runs only those programs that are designed to be sent over a link cable and run from RAM.) Are you interested only in DS homebrew or in both?

      • by weg ( 196564 )
        Are you interested only in DS homebrew or in both?

        DSLinux [dslinux.org] and Scumm VM [drunkencoders.com] are most tempting, so I guess I'm mostly interested in DS homebrew. I've read that neither works with the M3 DS lite (which would'nt stick out of my DS lite), and Scumm VM has only restricted compatibility with Scumm VM + speech output.
    • I'm using a Supercard CF now, which has pretty much replaced my GBAMP except for running ScummVM.

      Older stuff doesn't like it much, but most homebrew works fine and it even looks alright in a DSLite!
      On an original DS, the actual cart fits into the DS all the way, with the CF card fitting in the back almost all the way so it only sticks out about 1.6 cm. Thanks to that design, the CF card can be swapped without removing the cart. It even has a built in 32 MB RAM expansion, which makes DSLinux much more use

      • by weg ( 196564 )
        It even has a built in 32 MB RAM expansion, which makes DSLinux much more useful than before.

        The RAM extension isn't used by DSLinux [dslinux.org], though. You said you still use GBAMP for Scumm VM? I thought Scumm VM runs fine on a Supercard CF? Are there any problems?

        (nice firmware and a built in clock for evil warez stuff, effectively)

        Does somebody know if the battery for this RTC can be replaced? Is the M3 useless once the battery is empty?
        • by dbIII ( 701233 )
          The RAM extension isn't used by DSLinux, though
          The 8 bit write problem was solved by amadeus with a patched gcc and other bits of impressive work - so you can use that memory now for DSLinux and anything that runs on it.

          With execute in place (XIP) you can also run stuff from the filesystem without putting it into memory - however it runs at media speeds and not RAM speed, so that 40GB drive could let you run very large programs.

    • by miro f ( 944325 )
      I have a supercard Lite, and it fits nice and snugly into the GBA slot, and homebrew runs perfectly fine.

      cost a bit of money, but it's worth the extra to not have it sticking out of the bottom of the ds lite. It also features SD micro slot (those things are damn tiny, don't sneeze while you're holding one), and extra memory which some homebrew apps (DSLinux does it I think) can use.
  • I bet the NetBSD guys put him up to this.
  • The Nintendo DS community is a loud and wonderful beast. In the last few months... We've had DSDoom [devkitpro.org], DSLinux [dslinux.org] and Dev-Scene [dev-scene.com]. natrium42 is a brillant developer and this is an interesting piece of hack but.. wouldn't be have been a better idea to post the bigger picture (for some reason all my submittions keep getting denied.)
  • So this offers the ability to put dvd rips and other media on a handheld for personal viewing?

    Now where have I heard that before?

  • by raezr ( 946135 )

    I don't know why anyone would want to watch a movie on a DS. The screen is way too small and doesn't support enough colors. It would end up looking like crap and, dispite the coolness of getting to say "I can watch movies on my ds", it wouldn't be worth it.

    • by tepples ( 727027 )
      I don't know why anyone would want to watch a movie on a DS. The screen is way too small and doesn't support enough colors.

      The DS has 32,768 usable colors, which are more than enough to put your kids' DVDs on a memory card for MoonShell.

    • I watched Napoleon Dynamite on my Sprint Sanyo MM5600. I'm fairly sure the screen is less than 2" diagonal, and I left the movie letterboxed. It was engaging enough for Napoleon Dynamite's needs. The screen on a DS is fairly pleasant, on the DS Lite, even more so. I see value in this, but understand that it might not be for everyone.
  • Mirror (Score:1, Informative)

    by m0RpHeus ( 122706 )
    Here's a mirror [mirrordot.com] just in case the link gets Slashdotted.
  • by Davus ( 905996 )
    We all know where this is going [uncyclopedia.org]. I'm looking forward!
  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday September 10, 2006 @01:24PM (#16076351)
    The legendary Natrium42 has been hard at work on making an IDE connection for the DS.
    Ahh yes, it always brings a wistful smile to my lips whenever I recall the many legends of Natrium42, taught to me by my forefathers in front of our cooking-fire...
  • "For some reason"? It even says in the summary that the mod creator planned to use it for music and movies. The reasdons for adding an IDE drive are numerous and obvious, so I consider this wording to be a rather poor choice (especially for Slashdot, whose readership generally understands what disk storage is).
  • Imagine fitting 40 gbs of homebrew and roms on your DS with this hard drive, it would be awesome, but lets be fair this will never catch on unless its shrunk down to miniscule size and even then with news from the Nintendo DS Emulation [dcemu.co.uk] scene of a new flash cart the same size as a normal game cart who really needs it.
  • My initial response was to think "Wow, this guy must have a lot of free time." But then I RTFA and LATFP (looked at the fucking pictures), after which I came up with these revised sentiments:

    "Wow, this guy must have really big pockets."

  • by Tycho ( 11893 ) on Sunday September 10, 2006 @05:54PM (#16077562)
    A similar 4GB Hard Drive that sticks on the underside of a Sony PSP is available. It has a CF connector inside of it too. I'm not sure what the maximum limit for the size of a Memory Stick is. However, I'm sure many people would like to know. At any rate, there are 60GB 1.8" hard drives which when coupled with the adaptor would make for a somewhat portable PSP or Nintendo DS.

    I suppose one could, with a IDE to SATA bridge board and a few other parts, add an eSATA port to a PSP or a Nintendo DS. I suppose then, with a four drive eSATA rack, one could add up to 2TB of storage. Why 2TB? because 2TB is the largest size that FAT32 can be formatted. I'm not sure at all what one would do with a 2TB Nintendo DS, but that shouldn't stop anybody. Perhaps one could run a large database off of a Nintendo DS. Speed and stability would be a problem though.

    I wonder though, does either the Sony PSP or the Nintendo DS have a Memory Management Unit (MMU) with their processor? If they do not, it would be impossible to use a swap file. Then again, Motorola made a separate MMU, the 68851, for processors about 15 years ago. I suppose one could try to add an MMU to a PSP or NDS too, but that would be really demented.
    • Largest memory sticks available currently are 4Gb. 1.50 firmware (used for most homebrew on PSP) is limited to 4gb as far as i know (even if you try an 8gb microdrive in the cf adaptor)
  • 1. Buy a Compact Flash adapter for the GBA slot.
    (Compact Flash happens to use the same pins as regular hard drives, but in a smaller connector and with more power.)
    2. Solder little wires from the smaller CF connector to a larger Hard Disk connector.
    3. Add a 5v line for power to the laptop HDD (12v if you're using a desktop drive)
    4. Done!

  • the interesting bit in the article was ide = compact flash , roughly. with this knowledge i wonder what one could do with a juicebox other than modding them into picture frames as has been previously done, i was thinking portable divx player..........

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