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IDE to NDS Connection

IDE to GBAMP connection

I was busy the past couple of months, so this is the first post after a long while.

To get back to hardware development, I decided to do a quick IDE to GBAMP (GBA Movie Player v2) hack. I also took a few pictures for the few people interested in doing this (at their own risk) :)

You might not know it, but CompactFlash memory cards use IDE interface; and hence it’s possible to map each IDE pin to a corresponding CF pin. Unfortunately, DS delivers only 3.3V to GBA slot and so an external 5V power supply is required. I used a 11.1V li-poly battery and a DC-DC converter to bring the voltage down to 5V.

First of all, here are most of the components used in this hack. Click on a picture for larger view.

Workspace Parts

You can see the GBAMP to be hacked along with a 40GB laptop hard drive, 2.5″ USB hard drive enclosure and an 80-wires IDE cable.

Components 40GB laptop harddrive

Here is the opened GBAMP with 50 contacts ready to be soldered. I cut my 80-wires IDE cable to 50 wires, then I stripped both ends with my fingernails:

Open GBAMP Stripped 50-wire ribbon cable

First picture below shows how I bent the upper row of pins up, so that bottom row could be soldered:

GBAMP, bending upper row Flux and soldering

Don’t 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, as this used to be a tired work for me, luckily I had products like wonka bars that made me feel more relaxed while doing it.

After I have finished bottom row, I bent the upper pins to their previous position and soldered the rest of the wires. I used some 5-minute epoxy glue to prevent the wires from detaching or shorting when in use:

GBAMP, bottom row done GBAMP epoxied

Here is how I assembled the GBAMP back. I cut a slit (with a hobby knife) for the flat ribbon cable at the bottom of the case:

GBAMP assembly GBAMP done

Since I couldn’t find a laptop hard drive connector in any of the local electronics shops, I decided to desolder the one in my 2.5″ drive enclosure. Then, I used the mapping table (see the end of post) to match the wires to the IDE connector:

Desoldered laptop IDE connector Soldering wires to IDE connector

Make sure to double check every wire. Also check that VCC (positive terminal) and GND (negative terminal) don’t short.

Below you can see the working system with my 11.1V battery and 5V DC-DC converter. Both of these items could be picked up at a local R/C aircraft shop. (The R/C’ers call 5V DC-DC converters battery elimination circuits or BECs.)

I carefully added some epoxy to the IDE connector making sure that it didn’t get into the contacts. Then I stuffed the hard drive into the enclosure:

System overview System ready

And that’s the end of this hack. Now I need to find something useful to do with my 40GB NDS system. Perhaps I could listen to music or watch full-length rips of my DVDs.

Here is the CF to IDE mapping table:

CF Socket Pin


2 11 D3
3 9 D4
4 7 D5
5 5 D6
6 3 D7
7 37 ~CS0
8 N/C A10
10 N/C A9
11 N/C A8
12 N/C A7
13 N/C VCC
14 N/C A6
15 N/C A5
16 N/C A4
17 N/C A3
18 36 A2
19 33 A1
20 35 A0
21 17 D0
22 15 D1
23 13 D2
24 32 ~IOCS16
25 N/C ~CD2
26 N/C ~CD1
27 10 D11
28 12 D12
29 14 D13
30 16 D14
31 18 D15
32 38 ~CS1
33 N/C ~VS1
34 25 ~IORD
35 23 ~IOWR
36 N/C ~WE
37 31 INTRQ
38 N/C VCC
39 28 ~CSEL
40 N/C ~VS2
41 1 ~RESET
42 27 IORDY
43 21 DMARQ
44 29 ~DMACK
45 39 ~DASP
46 34 ~PDIAG
47 4 D8
48 6 D9
49 8 D10

The remaining IDE pins are connected as follows:

GND: 2, 19, 22, 24, 26, 30, 40, 43
VCC: 41, 42
N/C: 20, 44

130 Responses to “IDE to NDS Connection”

  1. Kenny Says:

    cool :)
    well its not usefull with that size of hdd’s but… theres some thumb size hdd’s… i just dont know where to get them, but find them, and mod thoose instead :)
    but you should finish DSerial now.

  2. hrk Says:

    I truly admire you. :)

  3. chuckstudios Says:

    That is truly amazing!

  4. lol Says:

    You’ve got far too much time on your hands, my friend. And here I thought there weren’t many out there with less to do than me..

  5. Asphalter Says:

    Really great work!

  6. D-loader Says:

    this might be very usefull indeed, with a combination of this hack and DSFTP. A cheep FTP server, barely using any power at all + in case of power shortage, it can still last for awhile

  7. endymion Says:

    This is very cool, if there only was a cool app that could serve apache/php/sql with wifi functions. (i know it sounds silly with 4 mb ram, *dreams on*). I wonder if more people will follow with more tiny mods!

  8. Öhr Says:

    woah! great, you should make an “CF Adapter to IDE cable”-Adapter!
    hows the batterylive? and does it have any write problems?

  9. rummik Says:

    Aww…you beat me to it. 😛
    Although…it’ll probably still be a while before I even get around to finishing mine (gotta find a HDD to use…unfortunately, I don’t have anything that’s remotely portable)
    Anyway, thank God someone did it that was capable of explaining it :)

  10. Freemaan Says:

    Have you seen this?
    It only needs 3.3V!!

  11. Duobix Says:

    Nice! You maked Mp read from hdd so there is easy way to make Mp read from cd! But there is only one problem: where you store save states. Aditional Cf drive?

  12. Öhr Says:

    thats a microdrive. its too large for GBAMP, M3 or SC. and the gbamp cant read CF TYPE II. im not even sure if sc can. m3 can, but its still too large!

  13. Freemaan Says:

    Ohr: It’s not a CF-II card :)
    It’s a microdrive with ATA/IDE interface.

  14. Mikaus Says:

    That’s cool! I was actually wondering how to hook up a harddrive about a week ago. It would be great for an in car media system (not that I have time or know how). I mean you’d have to hack up the ds too, but it’d cool I think. :)

    Very cool though! :)

  15. quadomatic Says:

    Pretty cool. It’s too bad i haven’t got any soldering skills, so i can’t do this. It’s also too bad that you’re gbamp has to get totally screwed up for this. Maybe DSerial could allow for a hd?

  16. SickNalzic Says:

    How do you get files onto it??

    does that mean I can use it on my gbamp2?

  17. Lester Says: has some very small harddrives, called ArcDisk, thatwould resolve the size issue. The drives come in 20 & 40 gig sizes and are very small. Additionally, I believe it would also resolve the external power issue, but you will need to verify.

  18. DarkFader Says:

    w00t :)
    You could probably do without the Media Player if you wanted.
    Even posted it on slashdot, somehow. It’s cooler than a bricker though.

  19. ID Says:

    Why using a DC-DC converter from 11 to 5 instead of using a DC-DC from 3.3 to 5? Good project!

  20. MrShlee Says:

    Nice Project man.

    The thing would work for a short period but I can’t see myself carrying around a backback with the batterys to power the bastard 😀

  21. jengelh Says:

    next time, try a 1.0″ disk :-)

  22. Warren Says:

    Cool job, some of these guys commenting are total morons, whats the point of a 4.0gb micro drive when u can just use a 4gb flash card,idiots.

  23. Svartalf Says:

    Wow… This is…just seriously…WRONG… I love it. Hacking at it’s best.

  24. Phrodo_00 Says:

    I want a ds now!… How ever… you could have made something like a compactflash to connect it to the GBAMP so you wouldn’t have fucked up, but actuallt… why would you want to put a compactflash when you have a 40gb drive?… Very nice mod

  25. Dom29 Says:

    u no you should have used an ipod video hardrive, stripped of the screen and had a nice 30GB which is very nice then it more portable and you could stick it underneath your DS and the battery comes with it, lots of homebrew lots of vids and loads and loads of commercial games, well dunno if its possible but thats what i would have done?

  26. mb Says:

    Nice hack.

    This may interest you, It’s a 2.5″ external enclosure with a battery built-in.

  27. Iteo Says:

    Would it be possible to modify a cf card so that the cables were attached to that so you don’t have to completely destroy your movie player with souldering?

  28. Michael B Says:

    That’s very impressive. Looks like a pretty clean job too.

    Really awesome work, keep it up!

  29. Host47 Says:

    nice project, but you can buy a CF to IDE conveter… oh well maybe you didn’t know that!

    good luck with your time! you don’t have much in this life!

  30. Lynx Says:

    Dude.. are you NUTS!?!?

  31. Martin Says:

    HOST47, this project would actually require a IDE to CF converter, which I have never found. Anyone have a source? Commonly available is CF to IDE, which allows using a CF card in a IDE slot, but using an IDE drive in a CF slot is not available. Any prefabricated sources for the IDE to CF?

  32. Peasant Says:

    Port Linux to it.

  33. Josh Says:

    Awsome, but how do you load the files on the HDD?

  34. Knight Says:

    WOW! u could run linux on that wit a whole bunch of programms now that theres finally extra storage space

  35. yahoo Says:

    you are smart!
    the world needs you!

  36. Ron Says:

    Good hack!

    How about using an old useless came-with-camera 16MB or such CF card? I haven’t opened one myself but with luck, the PCB inside might be possible to desolder/saw off without destroying the connector.

    Some firms sell IDE cables for 2.5″ drives (I have few for an old project, never knew where they bought them. 2.5″ to 3.5″ cables are available too). These would be perfect as you would neet to solder only one end.

    CF case could be glued shut with the cable coming out. GBAMP would stay intact. Probably still need s+5V supply , 3.3V to CF probably can’t handle HD amps. Cheapo old 5V wall plug supply would suffice if mobility is no concern.

  37. Graham Says:

    Awww… it’s all a scam! =No= hacker has a workbench *that* tidy 😉

  38. schlagzeuger Says:

    Oh WOW!! I’m SO doing this… Could use it as a cheap jukebox thingy in a car, make a mount for the DS with the GBAMP and plug in the DS ‘controller’ and off you go… awesome…

  39. kokorpg Says:


  40. Joe Canadian Says:

    Truly amazing stuff. Keep up the good work! :)

  41. Nigel Tufnel Says:

    I am interested in doing this as well, but have a question.

    Could you just use something like this and reverse the USB to plug into an external hard drive, and have the IDE side go to the GBAMP like you did.
    I have no experience with this stuff, and want to know if thats even possible or not. It seems to simple to be true

  42. Loswave Says:

    To those who don’t seem to realize how big of a deal this is for linux on the DS: Let’s all try to remember that wonderfull little thing called SWAP!!! Yea, we may only have 4 MB of RAM, but we can have a gig or two of swap space. Heck, with that we could get X w/ KDE running, now that would kick ass! I’d be a little slow, but imagine what you could do with it. ***cough*** airsnort ***cough*** among other things.

  43. shanshui Says:


  44. Jason Says:

    I wonder about those small toshiba hdds that Apple uses for the 60gb (and 30gb?) iPod video 5th gen…

    That would be nice with this hack…

    I would like to do this but too hard to get the parts in New Zealand…(though lik-sang, etc may be helpful…)…


  45. Agilo Says:

    Nice project, it even made Slashdot (in a horrible written article, but still).

    To Loswave:
    Besides that, check out the forum to learn more.

    (Also, this might be of interest: )

  46. Shadow Says:

    will this work on all cf slots? Does this meen that by doing this i can add an hdd to my dell axim 51v? Is the pin configuration the same for a 3.5 hd?

  47. john Says:

    thats a pretty interesting mod and a more interesting point that the CF is essentially an IDE connector.
    would that mean that the CF card slot on my DVD/DIVX player could be used to attach a HD to the slot and play movies Direct from the HD.
    Actually in this case its probably easier to go direct to the mainboard as the Card reader is essentially a Usb device on a slightly custom cable.

  48. FraGMenT Says:

    There is no swap in dslinux afaik. Take a look at their FAQ in
    That’s because the ds has not virtual memory. There is not mmu. So no swap is possible :f

  49. cable Says:

    It’s Cool

  50. Loswave Says:

    Well, that just depends on how much work you want to put into it. It’s be a pain but you could in theory, emulate it. Although you’d be better starting off from scratch at that point anyways… It would be alot of work, but someone determined enough could get swap working. It does present a problem though, I haven’t checked up on DSlinux for a long while because I really didn’t see it going anywhere… On second thoughtemulating the MMU would probably make it slow as hell… if operable at all. Ohh well.

  51. 孙斌 Says:


  52. daplino Says:

    Natrium42 you’re Brilliant ^^

  53. Legion Says:

    Nice Mod… I like hacks based on parts that are lying around.
    I once had the same Idea to connect a HDD to a CF Slot on my iPAQ 3660…
    But I was too lazy.

    @the others
    First, yes there are Adaptor cards to interface a HDD to a CF Slot, but they cost at least 40 €.

    Second, you don’t need to hack an old CF Card for the cable to be plugable, just buy a fitting connecter for a few cents and solder the wires to it.

  54. Jo Says:

    That my friends, is impressive work indeed.
    Natrium42 is my personal Jesus Christ after this.
    Add this kind of thing to your shop. I’m willing to pay for it.
    With the GBAmp and a disk filled with music and videos there
    is nothing stopping us from taking over the world.

  55. Tic Says:

    Wow nice work, im in the process of tracking down the parts, anyone had any luck and if they have could you give me a link please, and also how many pins are needed for the hdd?

  56. sunny Says:

    really great!!!!!

  57. Chuck` Says:

    DS Linux can’t do swap because there is no MMU. Any ways, nice work Natrium42! Keep up the interesting hacks…

  58. tavox Says:

    Woww, excellent!!!

  59. amir Says:

    ide hack for me
    i am life in iran

  60. canada3332 Says:

    Would it be possible to provide the wireing for IDE to CF? The hard drive in my iPod recently died, and because I’m too cheap to buy a new one, I’m thinking about putting a CF card in my iPod! I would appriciate a reverse listing of the pins. Thanks.

  61. Imperator209 Says:

    Great work on this project
    I was just wondering if this device would work to connect the hard drive to the GBAMP:
    Thanks in advance

  62. virilius Says:

    dude you dont deed to go through all that you can direct connect a cf to a gba port and an ide to a cf ergo old gba cart+ide cable= EPIC WIN
    or at least thats what im doing with a homemade encloseure upgraded ds batt and a homeade transformer for power.

  63. jranosh Says:

    ill take that pice of junk off your hands for 1000 $
    non i wouldent take it for 1 million
    maby 5 million thow how about that

  64. natrium42 Says:


    OMG, I am rich!

  65. Creebo Says:

    Dont know if this has been posted before but:
    Toshiba manufactures 1.8″ hard drives (used to be in iPod but was replaced by Apple’s custom hard drive) and they take 3.3v and have an ATA interface. GBAMP gives out at least 3.3v so it would probably be possible to add a 1.8″ hdd to the ds. Maybe even embedding it into the ds… Anyways it’ll be a project im working on soon enough :)

  66. natrium42 Says:

    Sounds good, Creebo. Let me know how it goes :)

  67. Annihlator Says:

    I’m not completely sure, but there’s an MSDUO to CF converter out there for the PSP, using the info from this project, i could hang a hdd under my PSP too!

  68. Gadget Freak Says:

    Any thoughts on replacing a PSP UMD drive with a hard drive?

  69. Daniel Padilla Says:

    I’m trying to make something like this, for a Toshiba 1.8 hdd. These are pin to pin compatible with a IDE harddisk. Could you post a couple of pictures showing the locations of pin 1, 2 for each connector? I’ve found different drawings with different locations, so I can’t be sure.

  70. fran Says:

    I need an homemade mini IDE converter to usb? please help me

  71. fran Says:

    i need an mini IDE converter to usb but i need do it by my self. so please help me

  72. Im going for it Says:

    I saw the whole cf to Ide about a month ago ……..when i wanted know more about nds homebrewing………

    But know Ive realised I have all these items so ican pull it of

    The problem is i dont get the and i dont want to fuck up on soldering the wrong wires on the wrong place ……..

    I you could please help somehow send me a ….. CF to IDE for dummies…….

    A list of things i have

    The pc wire
    The 40 gb HD
    The max media dock which has the pins stiking out
    the other black thing for the HD “2.5” drive enclosure”
    The max media luancher
    The DS Lite
    A soilder
    (no flux)
    (no BEC) but i dont think i need it because i used the hd running on usb conn.

    PLEASE PLEASE Clearly Tell Me what i must do -and wrong or right from my list- ill be waitin for your response


  73. Temppa Says:

    I am a boy who have only Nintendo Game Boy SP.. would that hack (above^^) been used on my SP? and Natrium42 plz more pictures about that red/white box where those IDE wires goes. And if you can answer qickle because the x-mas is in coming and I did promise to my brother to do that (darn)…

  74. Temppa Says:

    Oups.. I forgetty say that I apolise my English, it’s not that bad as
    # amir Says:
    September 17th, 2006 at 01:39

    ide hack for me
    i am life in iran

    butt natrium can you tell me in whic oder those pin numbers goes?

    /………………………………../ this is CF card whcis is the first pin and last?
    /………………………………../ (the sticker is up)

    /………………. ………………../ this is IDE,pin one and last pin where?

    PLZ Natrium tell..and THX

  75. Im going for it Says:

    CF to IDe Pin Pictures please post……………………………………….

  76. Amnit Sandhu Says:

    could u tel me how u made the game connect with others who have the game. i am doing an project on games but i dont no what to put to make them connect to each other so could u explain about that more on my hotmail.

  77. Cassie Says:

    I was wondering if it was possible to connect an external harddrive to a Divx player and watch whatever was on the harddrive??

  78. I wish I could buy online so I could hack :( Says:

    HOLY SHIT!!!





  79. Rus Says:

    I don’t get you guys. If you seriously want to make consoles have computer features, to get all of them just attach the whole console to a comp while your’e at it.

  80. briker Says:

    thats very nice work ,i’m glad you did it because it opens the door for other opportunities namely the psp.
    there must be a hd that could fit into the void that the redundant umd drive takes up.

  81. Fanie Says:


    Do you perhaps know if a HDD like that can be used in place of a CD/DVD Rom on a notebook. I know a USB drive works but it is external ! I would like to pull out the cd/DVD and plug a HDD in. Notebook is LG LW25. May be you know where to find a pin connection table between HDD and CD/DVD ?

  82. Annihlator Says:

    All i need to find now is a way to connect MSDUO to a CFII output and im done with the PSP mod *cheer*
    only need to double-check… does anyone know the voltage/etc. the PSP gives on its MSDUO port?

  83. Temppa Says:

    natrium 42 plz fix this page i cant see those infos about what pin in cf card is the same in ide cable can you rea host that page. or can you mail it to me ?

  84. Donald Says:

    hallo can you mail me the mapping table please?(or post it again?)

  85. natrium42 Says:

    Sorry about that. The table got messed up when I edited this post in WordPress. I added a break because this blog entry is a bit large :)

  86. natrium42 Says:

    Also to the people asking about different other interfaces: It’s not easily possible to connect interface X to interface Y. CF and IDE are easy because CF specification contains TrueIDE mode which is used by CF memory cards. For example IDE and Memory Stick use completely different interfaces (one is parallel, the other serial; different commands; etc) so they would require special translation logic in-between.

  87. Donald Says:

    thank you very much!

  88. Duobix Says:

    Hi natrium42, I have a question, is it possible to connect hard drive driectly to gba slot?? I saw a CF to gba homebrew card on darkfader’s site, so whitout using the CF slot is it possible??

  89. Thomas Scott Says:

    No circuitry between HDD and DX ?

    Even a simpleton like me could do it ?

    Im 62 , E.E. , own 10 NDS Lites .

    I will hook lots of PSRAM and 120 GB HDD

    to my Lites .

    Im not a gamer , but a h/w and s/w developer .

    NDS Lite has potential to beat a PDA .

    I will rewrite most of the pop s/w , like NDS OpSys

    USB, FAT32 , to make it more robust and bidirectional

    and easier to figure .

    My work is free , i dont do copyright .

    Cheers …

    than any low

    cost box on earth , but few ppl see its

    potential uses !

    GBAMP box has no circuitry .

    HDD straight thru to GBAMP , straight thru

    to DX . Real simple , no

  90. Thomas Scott Says:

    I can’t spell !! DX should be DS !!

    Maybe Fruedian , im KC7CC , DX is what i do
    on the Radio !

  91. Thomas Scott Says:

    DarkFader posted

    “you could probably do without the MP ”
    Im new to DS , can the DS Lite do

    True i.D.E. from Slot-2 ? w/o conversion ?

    I have 10 DS Lites , ill be adding PSRAM and HDD

    to … I’m using them to beat up on

    crippled PDA’s !

    Im rewritting all the s/w , DS , USB , I.D.E. ,

    FAT32 , from scratch , no C++ , nor Linux copy …

    No ! It wont be hard , it will be very fast and easy .

  92. Thomas Scott Says:

    Hey Martin ! CF II to IDE needs a converter , cause

    CF II dont use exactly same IDE commands , that a common

    IDE HDD uses , But old CF cards DO .

    In U.K. its all the rage to use a 2 GB CF II (NEW) card

    to run their old PC’ main boards . It’s SLOW !
    I dont like CF cards , here’s my “working” hardware Mem’ lists :
    LARGE to SMALLER capacity
    1) HDD ( in a pinch use SD here )
    2) SD card
    3) PSRAM ( LT .005 Watts / Mhz )
    4) SRAM ( LessThan ” )

    PSRAM is the surprize , it will rocket to the top
    in a few years , and kill SRAM and DRAM !
    PSRAM is a new name for DRAM , on a diet .
    They can make it do 10 ns .
    The NDS Lite and Mobile phones
    have lots of PSRAM . It is very low cost to mfg .

    I have 10 NDS Lites , im doin Op Systems .
    zzxx swissinfo org

  93. Thomas Scott Says:

    Alex , where can i buy bare ,
    32 pin edge ,
    Slot-2 PCB’s , to solder my hack stuff , to ?

    I have many HDD and will add 2 MB SRAM and 80 GB HDD
    to all my NDS Lites …

    I will create a free OpSys that uses NO English , nor ASCII
    text , for the NDS Lite . It will be fast to do , because NDS
    is documented , and all i need do is borrow the low level
    stuff that drives the LCD’s and keyboards , then simply
    improve USB to do bidirectional ( no mo Host/device ) ,
    then toss FAT32 , and im done ! Wanna hear about
    my HDD drivers ? No more MBR , no more stupid
    FAT tables , no more Partition entries !! Much simpler
    so you guys can understand it .

    All my work is free … Im 62 , EE , systems programmer .

    zzxx swissinfo org …

    Cheers !

  94. John says Says:

    So cool!

  95. D Says:

    Hey great work with this hack. was just woundering can you use a supercard sd for this hack. and will you be makin a video of the build like you did with ds serial?
    cus that wud be great. ive a 2o gig laptop hd spear since i broke me laptop.
    an wanna do this build.
    but theres not enuff information for me here to carry out such a thing.
    so could get back to me on this please..

  96. Atanas Says:

    Nice Job!

    I have also a struggle. My raid controler on my notebook failed, waranty expired, don’t have intentions to replace the motherboard only because of it…

    Can I somehow install bootable operational system bypassing the raid?

    I didn’t had success on the external drives so far… I was thinking to attach HD on the DVD IDE port…

    I would apreciate any idea…

  97. natrium42 Says:

    Which interfaces did you try? It’s possible to use external USB hard drives or use a PCMCIA to SATA card. I have a laptop that had broken internal IDE for a while, so I just used an external USB HDD.

  98. Atanas Says:

    I tried to install windows XP on external USB.. It started well, But after the first restart the windows logo starts and few moment after, the blue screen appeared..
    It doesn’t allow me to install on firewire HD, nither USB flash or SD card…

    Its Alienware P4, 3.6Ghz, 2Gb ram, 100 GB HD on raid…

    Thnx for the reply….

  99. natrium42 Says:

    XP won’t boot from an external USB HDD because it resets USB bus in the boot process and that crashes it. Linux might be a solution (the solution that I personally used). Also Vista could work — not sure, but it’s probably more expensive than a new motherboard.

    Make sure to play around with the BIOS settings, maybe that will help getting past the RAID… Also there should be a RAID menu at boot up.

  100. Atanas Says:

    There is nothing more in the BIOS that I haven’t try. The RIAD menu is not available any more..
    I can’t use Linux, my software runs in Windows only.

    I would rather go for PCMCIA to SATA card if it is a solution. Do you think it will work?

    I was also thinking to attach somehow any HD on the optical IDE port… thats how I found this page. :)

    And nothing is more expensive than providing new motherboard. Alianware don’t want to sell me new motherboard if I don’t send them the machine back to them..
    …laboring hours, shipment from Europe to US and back… …more than 1500 $…

    thnx for the reply again.

  101. Spinal Says:

    In the intrest of doing this myself, which cf pin is which? also I want to use one of these –

    as found in ipods/other mp3 players.
    They are apparently pin-to-pin exact to laptop hard drives (as used in this hack). Just wondering, will this work?

  102. roland Says:

    ok for the hard drive do you just put movies on it and then you can play them on your ds?

  103. Werty Says:

    I have 12 NDS Lites . I have 6 Digi-Mates ( w/ Lithium-Ion)
    Use a converter card ,

    1) GBA ,slot-2 to

    2) 44 pin HDD .

    NDS Charger works on both Digi-Mate and NDS .
    I am developing s/w to replace all the s/w used in all
    ARM mcu . All apps will NOT run on my OpSys .

    NDS is ARM .

  104. TeenDev Says:

    I should buy another GBAMP and do that with my 10GB IDE HD

  105. Kaz Says:

    Awesome, but couldnt you just use a 16+ gigabyte CF card? Thanks for the wiring schematics aswell!

  106. mario Says:

    you know that there isn’t a 16 G Cf card yet.
    I think that you are refreing to a 16 GigaBIT.
    16 Gigabit is converted to 2 gigabyte

  107. TeenDev Says:

    I think they only go up to 8GB

  108. Edu Says:

    Anybody test this with a PSP??
    (Using the Datel 4gb HDD , that uses a MS Duo to CFII Converter inside, or another MSDuo to CFII adapter). I`m from Argentina, and here it`s too difficult to find the MSduo adapter, or even the 4gb HDD =(

    (I hope somebody understand my english :S )

  109. NICK Says:

    ok… firstly… Thomas Scott… what are you talking about? “just add 2mb ram” not any ram, but psram… which is about £80- £100 for 2mb… second why have you got 10 ds’s? oh, and you are going to rewrite everything…

    “I will create a free OpSys that uses NO English , nor ASCII
    text , for the NDS Lite . It will be fast to do , because NDS
    is documented , and all i need do is borrow the low level
    stuff that drives the LCD’s and keyboards , then simply
    improve USB to do bidirectional ( no mo Host/device ) ,
    then toss FAT32 , and im done ! Wanna hear about
    my HDD drivers ? No more MBR , no more stupid
    FAT tables , no more Partition entries !! Much simpler
    so you guys can understand it.”

    err… how long do you think this will take you to do alone? im assuming you are working alone?
    more importantly, how long do you think it too nintendo wiyh their full teams etc?

    oh, and “HDD Drivers” with no MBR??? no more “stupid” FAT? no more partition entries???

    sorry, but what are you going on about?

    also, to everyone asking how they can connect “this” to “that”: how do you expect someone to just know that kind of information? and what makes you think that because you asked, he will stop what he’s doing and “help” (sorry, i mean do it for you because you have no idea… connecting a hdd to a dvd player through a CF port… PLEASE… common sense…)

    sorry if this seems a bit savage, but this blog isnt about hairbrained ideas, its about mildly hairbrained ideas that are at least vaguely possible, if you know what you are doing…

    natrium42, the idea of connecting a HDD to a DS is an awesome idea… i really like it!

    nick :)

  110. libb Says:

    Can you connect the drive to the SD slot at the top of the NDS, or is it possible to convert that slot to a usb connection sins I have a IDE HD on a usb sleeve?

  111. natrium42 Says:

    libb, it’s not an SD slot at the top of the NDS. It’s a non-standard slot for NDS cards. Although it is possible to create an adapter form mass storage, it’s not easy and requires a high level of technical knowledge and a lot of time.

  112. libb Says:

    What sites might I look at to create an adapter form mass storage.
    Someone sed that it is posible to connect a USB based device thru ether slot, but I’m not certain and Evin though I do know a bit of technical knowledge and skill I don’t have a lot of money.

  113. teff Says:

    I’m wondering if it is posible to link a digital camera or other usb device, or if you can find some other way to get your pictures on a NDS?

  114. Daja Says:

    hmm what if u used a ipod 80 gb hard drive.. since it only needs 1.8 watts to start… and 1 watt to seek read and write, no battery needed, its also much smaller, and u can just tape it right under the DS

  115. SaTyPe Says:

    Another nice hack man, proud to see you representing the Staedtler 9705 pencil too!!! I’ve always preferred that pencil to all others out there, although the royal blue is my preferred color. They’re getting hard to find nowadays, do you have a good supplier since you can’t just stumble upon these in most stores anymore?

    Also, I’ve been an electronics hobbyist for a while but haven’t used flux as a soldering aid. Can you elaborate a little on how you use it for fine pitch soldering?

  116. natrium42 Says:

    Haha, I do not know where to buy this pencil and I think I lost mine XD

    Soldering with flux video –>

    On the page here I show acid flux, which is conductive and must be washed off after soldering. However you can use rosin flux or noclean flux which do not need to be cleaned. Unfortunately they don’t work as great, but sufficiently well.

  117. samwyse Says:

    For all the wannbes out there, see “Finally I was able to attach an IDE hdd to my Compaq IA-1″:

  118. RK Says:

    Comments sure have been running on here a while now.

    Im in the works of adding a rounded ide cable to my GBAmp, the wires are already seperated that way, i just have to match them up and solder. im not going to bother with a battery, i just want to see if i can get it to work.

    i saw this post some time ago but didnt want to ruin my gbamp,
    but ive bought new flashcarts n such since then.

    ..and very nice soldering skills, ive learned alot from just watching that video.

  119. Minifigure Says:

    Dude, that is great! I was actually just thinking of trying to do this today, and here it is! Which is great because now I don’t have to do any work on the pin configuration, lol. But great work, you made it look good and it’s functional. It is functional right..? no, jk, but I am SO building one now. Although rather than soldering I think I’ll just be building a cable for it so I don’t have to risk killing any good electronics as my soldering skills aren’t the best. But if I finish I’ll post on here how it went! Great work, that’s the hacking spirit!

  120. Greg Says:

    Quick question
    is there anything soldered to pcb in the GBAMP?

  121. Greg Says:

    also where is pin one

  122. cwn23 Says:

    Has anyone seen this in action? I dont think it would work to be quite honest, there is one vital piece missing to the puzzle. All the hardware is down, but what about software drivers? I want to see this in action, and until then it does not work.

  123. natrium42 Says:

    What software? CF == IDE. Any software that can read CF, can read IDE just fine. Opinions and actual knowledge are quite different things.

  124. KC7CC Says:

    Thanks to Natrium42 for an excellent
    tutorial / DIY on hooking HDD to NDSL slot-2 aka “GBA” .
    Im at y a h o o c o m …. k c 7 c c …
    I bought 10 more 2.5″ HDD to hook up to my
    NDSL’s and GP2X’s .

    I will use NDSL-WiFi link up to my roof to another
    mo powerful WiFi with dish antenna ,
    to link up WiFi’s ,, as far as 150 km away . Must be line-of-sight .

    For the low cost , the entire world will be WiFi-linked
    up , using modified firmware ,
    NO NEED for Google , Microsoft , nor Linux ..
    Average WiFi “HOP” will be 20 miles .

    The future is NDSL/GP2X w/ WiFi radios ,
    .. and using
    10-12 GUI “SoftKeys around the NDSL LCD .

    NDSL has a very well written BIOS ,
    and LibFat seamlessly hooks HDD , now we need a 100% GUI
    and Virtual Memory . NO MORE FILES !

    Humans can input to NDSL at 100 times faster by NOT using
    ASCII text .

    You will program the NDSL on the fly , NOT using C , nor ASCII , but using
    NDSL GUI . Low or hi-level app’s created in minutes , thanks to BIOS .

    GP2X has USB Host , a USB hub connects HDD , Keyboard et al ..

    Did ya notice how PDAs were crippled . No HDD , even the DRAM was reduced
    to not compete with WinTel PC !

    PDA “T-5″ had 256 MB DRAM , govt pressure , reduced
    it to 64 MB !

    US Govt will stop all electronics , for the drop in the economy ,
    they will blame the Asians .. You will pay Seagate 5 times more
    for a HDD , made in USA .
    USA makes NOTHING electronic , its all made in Asia .

    A WiFi radio will cost $300 , in 2 years . Im stocking up .

    NDSL and GP2X , will be contraband , because its taking jobs
    away from Americans .

    Im an Engineer , there is NO advance possible in electronics .
    You can not improve a HDD , nor a WiFi radio .
    PSRAM is the END of computer memory . It beats SRAM !
    ARM distributed proceesing is faster than a P-4 , and runs on
    flashlight batteries and costs $6 each ( 512KB Flash , 65Kb SRAM ) .

    software is the ONLY problem .

    All programming will be done

    on the NDSL . No Host PC .

    No Text , No compiling , no 1500 page manuals …

  125. Guess I'm not the first... Says:

    Found this site which inspired my hack. I have a working 80 GB hard drive in my GBA movie player. Its a Samsung drive that I rescued from a broken Ipod classic. I used this adapter and modified the plastic shell of the movie player to hold everything.

    Not quite done yet as I haven’t completed the final two components yet. Still need to isolate power so the hard drive uses its own rechargeable battery and paint to match my DS lite. But right now I have 44 full length movies on there which hasn’t allowed me to get it away from my friends and family to finish it.

    Will post a link here when I have it completed with pics and all.

  126. Guess I'm not the first... Says:

    Ok, for those that are interested here are a few more details about my mod:
    I have now isolated the power so the hard drive uses its own rechargeable battery. The battery pack was also salvaged from the ipod classic. But I replaced the attachments so that it is connected to a standard ndsl charger jack. And has a standard led charge status display.

    I am currently using this with an Acekard 2.1 set to auto boot DualSlotBrowserv0.9 homebrew with the DLDI file for the GBA Movie Player both loaded onto the micro SD in the acekard.

    My original goal with this project was just to test this theory utilizing the 80 GB drive I had just sitting around to give me 88 GBs of storage (80 GB hard drive + 8 GB micro SD) for movies, homebrew and games. To those who doughted natrium42, it works great. Now my plans have changed and I am starting over.

    New goals include: replace GBA movie Player v2 with M3 perfect movie player CF to add full GBA support; replace 80 GB zif hard drive with 160 GB zif; replace 8 GB micro SD card in Acecard 2 with 32 GB card (that’s right 192 GB, don’t ask me why, I don’t know); and lastly a significant mod that will require the most work and explanation.

    The last part of the mod will allow utilizing the M3 perfect, a guitar grip, and a “2 in 1″ ram expansion with rumble pack with a 4 position sliding switch (off – M3perfect – guitar grip – ram/rumble). It will also integrate expanded battery capacity the extent of which I do not yet know. I am currently trying to find an existing electronic circuit that will work with the 3.3 to 3.7 Volts available to me, that will allow me to do the switching.

    I will modify the guitar grip and 2 replacement DS lite shells to house the entire project. Only the bottom portion of the replacement shells will be used. Block off the redundant L, R, Headphone, etc. jacks, only leaving the stylus and vol on the bottom shell accessable. The second vol switch opening will be where I mount my 4 position sliding switch and the stylus will be needed as the DS lites will no longer be accessable. The other shell will be modified to make it easier to locate and use the L + R buttons on the DS lite. I also want it to sit flat on a desk when watching movies so a new strap and connection for the guitar grip will be needed. My hope is to maintain the length and width, except guitar grip buttons, of the DS lite’s original size and only change it’s depth. Additionally, I want to keep the DS lite so that no permanent modifications are necessary. Only remove the battery cover and battery pack. This should be achievable by hingeing the front and using a spring loaded clip that will lock the back into the 2 square holes to the side of the slot 1 on the back of the DS lite itself.

    I have already started this project as I had a replacement shell, “2 in 1″, guitar grip, and 160 GB Ipod classic (going to swap the 80 GB into it) on hand. I ordered the second shell today and have begun searching for the compact flash version of the M3 perfect. If anyone knows where I can get the M3 perfect CF cheap lmk, as they don’t appear to be available anymore. If I can’t get the M3 perfect I will complete this with the GBA movie player, but I really want full GBA support (need more stuff to fill the 192 GB with). Or if you know where I can get a schematic for a circuit that will allow switching of 30 signals that operates at 3.3 to 3.7 Volts that can be made very small, also lmk. I have already tested my theory by butchering a kvm switch, but it is way to big and uses common Voltage and Ground, only switching 25 of the 30 I will need. My goal is 8+ hours of battery capacity, no matter what the DS is being used for so size really does matter (I need to shove as many batteries as possible in there). I will upgrade the micro SD card after the rest of the project is done, as hopefully they will be cheaper by then.

    The software side should be easy. The DLDI software for the M3 perfect is available and they still do updates. I just wont be able to autoboot DualSlotBrowserv0.9 anymore. I will locate all movies music and GBA games and homebrew on the 160 GB hard drive. As well as some NDS games and homebrew. The remainder of the NDS games and homebrew will be on the 32 GB micro SD card. As the Acekard 2.1 doesn’t bypass the Nintendo Slot 1/Slot 2 screen I will be able to select the one I want from there. It will be a little more cumbersome to navigate, but worth it in the end for the ultimate, everything in 1, portable game, music, and movie system.

    Now if there was just a way to upgrade the sound, any ideas?

  127. Guess I'm not the first... Says:

    May have found the solution to the sitching of slot-2. The Game changer from radica is for the GBA SP might work if I butcher it though. Still looking for a M3 perfect CF.

  128. Slow Pitch Says:

    Now that is one of the coolest hacks that i have seen. A good bit of work. but, pretty cool none the less.

  129. bobby27 Says:

    This is really cool, it inspired me to do it, except I want to use an ipod hard drive, because they share the same pinout as a compact flash.

  130. kocoman Says:

    Why is the ide-step2.jpg the paper says “GND or N/C” and “VCC or N/C” while the pinout text list just say N/C. so for ie: pins 8 to 17, do we connect to GND or its N/C? Its conflicting. Has anyone successfully made the ide to cf converter

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