I bricked an NDS or the tale of a color change that went bad


By the end of this article I’m going to find someway of blaming this on someone else.

A few months back I purchased an Nintendo DS lite from a local thrift store for $15. It had one game and I bought a couple more from my local retro store ‘Game Over’ (https://gameovervideogames.com/). I quickly found that I really like playing games on the thing. The games are clever, the dual screen is handy and the look and feel is pleasing. I can see why the NDS has become the second best selling handheld of all time.

But, alas, mine had a fatal flaw, it was PINK! Not just PINK but hot PINK! Ugh. I, personally, am not a big fan of PINK! I am more of a blue, green or red type of guy (Earth tones). Now, nothing personal to people who like PINK . Although socially I don’t travel in circles of those who like PINK, I have heard that likers of PINK are very nice and learned people. And if I meet one on the subway I’m sure I would find them both agreeable and civil.

Anyway, I had to resolve this dilemma of the PINK . So I went on Youtube and watched some videos on how to replace the case of an NDS with a case of the color (or cartoon character) much more to your liking. 30 minutes, that all it took (oh I was so naive) and you would have a nice new Poketto Monsuto brandished case to replace you old and rotten.

So I popped over to eBay and plopped down 10 bucks for a nice new smoke gray (earth tones) NDS case complete with that weirdo Nintendo tri-wing screwdriver that enables you to open their cases up. Eee-haw.

I should have known this project was cursed from the beginning. To start off the vendor lost my order. Claimed he shipped it but nothing showed for weeks. After a few emails back and forth we straightened it out and I finally received my smoke gray (earth tones) case kit in the mail.

So I ripped open the bag and turned on my favorite Youtube video on how, you to, can swap your NDS case in 30 minutes or less. Done by dinner time.

Or so I thought.

Six hours and much frustration later and what I got is a not too well fitting case and a bricked NDS. Sigh.

Field Mouse, aren’t you a professional? How could this happen to you, our hero? You’ve never bricked anything in your life. What happened!?

Well, this is the part where I get to blame someone else (see, I promised I would). The case was an after market case and you could just feel the difference in the build quality from the original case. The original case just felt more substantial and better fitting. It was slight, but it was enough. Thing didn’t line up exactly. Pieces just didn’t fit right. A few examples; I had to modify the ON switch channel in the new case to get the ON switch to slide right. On the new case there is a small channel that the speaker wire lies in, I had to dig this out deeper to get the wire to lie right. And one of the most frustrating was the springs for the side shoulder buttons. The springs that hold the side buttons in place had to fit into a channel. Almost every time I hooked those @&*$!&! springs into the channel they would pop out. I probably cursed ever word in the English urban dictionary (and a few in Spanish, French and Klingon) trying to get those springs to hook up right. The original case had better made spring channels.

One thing that wasn’t the case’s fault was the placement of the WiFi wire. The wire for the antenna of the WiFi ran under the cartridge slot to the top screen. No matter how hard tried I never could get that wire to slide under that cartridge slot when putting the NDS back together. I finally just gave up and taped the wire off and left the WiFi unhooked since the WiFi on the NDS in mostly useless anyway.

OK, you bitched about the case and the WiFi but how is that relating to you bricking the NDS?

Well, that part I don’t know. I kept testing the NDS all along the way while I was rebuilding the NDS and it always tested OK. But, when I finally got everything aligned and into place, the NDS would not come on. I took it apart and checked all connections, all placements and everything looked OK but, nothing. Six hours of work down the drain.

Only thing I can guess, and I plan to check this in the future, is I may have shorted the battery. At one point I hooked the battery up wrong and that may done it. So my flawless, nah spotless, reputation is set to tatters because I forgot the difference between a + and -. But I’m sure it had something to do with the case.

Anyway, so I just ordered a really nice looking NDS, complete, off eBay for $50. It’s a silver colored one (it’s not earth tones, but I think I can live with it) and I’m happy once more.

Oh well, live and learn. All in all if I never get the old NDS working I’m only out $25. In the process I did learn a lot. Mostly, putting a new case on a NDS just ain’t worth it.


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