Back in the nineties, Game Boy cartridges used a very unreliable combination of RAM chips with a backup battery to save game advances and player profiles.
Over time those batteries tend to run out and leak hazardous materials that may cause personal injuries, data loss and permanent damage to the cartridge.
With this upgrade you can solve all those problems by replacing the original RAM chip for a Non Volatile Memory (NVRAM) that does not require a battery to save your data, it means no more batteries, no more cartridges damaged by battery leaking, no more game records lost!
Tip: Before install this kit you may need to open the cartridge and visually inspect the circuit board, if there's no leaking around the battery you can remove and dispose it accordingly to your local regulations. Repair or discard the cartridge accorging to your local regulations if there are any chemicals leaking from the battery over the PCB.
We offer two memory sizes in NVRAM upgrade kits for GameBoy cartridges, 8K and 32K, before going any further it's a good idea to identify the RAM onboard the cartridge. This will help you to choose the proper upgrade kit according to your application.
Most battery backed up games are equipped with 8kbytes of ram, however there are a few titles equipped with 32kbytes of memory or more.
How to Identify onboard memory sizes:
* For 8 Kbyte Ram, sometimes it's labeled as “64K RAM” it may be confusing because it’s noted in Kilobits. Read the label on top of the chip, it must have a 4 digit code ignoring other characters, that only indicates manufacturer and date codes. The following are Known chips used by Nintendo.
* For 32kByte Ram, sometimes it's marked as “256K RAM”, again it’s in Kilobits.The label on top of the chip must have a 5 digit code ending with 256. Repetitive known.
* For other configurations, they are unsupported at this time.
Once we know the type of RAM onboard we can choose the proper upgrade kit, available in two sizes: 8kbyte and 32 kilobyte options.
Remove the original RAM chip, there are several methods to achieve this, so I'm going to to use a heating lamp and a couple chop sticks, take the necessary precautions for not to damage your working area using a piece of cardboard covered with aluminum foil.
Now its time to install the new chip in place, your brand new Upgrade kit includes all the necessary stuff according to your application.
Put the new chip in place and solder all connections using a sharp soldering iron, keep I mind that the chip must be right in the center to make a good electrical connection, in some cases the new chip may be slightly thinner than the original one, improper alignment and loose soldering points may cause malfunction.
After that put the control board in place, peel off the back to reveal an adhesive layer and stick the new board where the old battery used to be, it will safely remain in place by itself.
Take the included wire to make the necessary connections between the new chip and the control board according to the instructions sheet and we are almost done.
Finally assemble the cart again, test and enjoy! From now on you will be able to save your game advances without the chemical and data loss risks associated with a battery backed up system. This upgrade kit is available for 8kbyte equipped game titles like super Mario land 2, and 32 kbyte equipped ones like the Pokemon series for the game boy and it also works on a few SNES titles like following the same installation instructions.
- Continue reading installation instructions.
- You can buy parts needed for this project as a kit here.