Author Topic: GBA red light for low power lights ups after 3 hours of gameplay  (Read 1077 times)

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Offline gtsamour

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Hi,

I recently moded my GBA with a 2in1 IPS screen and paired it up with an X5 mini, it seems to be working fine.

What I noticed is that if I use brand new alkaline batteries (Energizer) and play (metroid at medium brightness), after about 3h 20min the red light comes on but the system can last for another 3.5 to 4 hours.

Has anyone encountered this? Is this to be expected if you use both an IPS screen and the X5 mini together or is there something wrong with my GBA's voltage detector?

Also, is around 7 hours of gameplay at medium brightness on fresh alkaline batteries (not rechargable) an expected time length for these batteries if I have IPS and X5 mini together?

« Last Edit: April 27, 2021, 07:28 PM by gtsamour »

Offline Uliner

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Re: GBA red light for low power lights ups after 3 hours of gameplay
« Reply #1 on: April 27, 2021, 08:55 PM »
Seems really odd that your red light would be turning on when you're about 50% through your playtime.  Typically , it's supposed to go on when you have about 0.5-1.0 hours left.

I would guess that it might be one of two things. 

It's likely the voltage sensor on your motherboard is reading the battery's state incorrectly (reduced battery life doesn't seem to be the problem). 

The other thing that be contributing to the issue might be the power switch.  I had an issue before with my GBA SP where if the power switch was grazed with my finger when the console was on, it would rapidly change between the red/green led states.  When I pushed the power switch into a certain sweet spot, it would stop and correctly stay on one led state.  I eventually got fed up, opened up my GBA and cleaned it up with contact cleaner in spots where it was needed.  It doesn't seem like this is your problem, but it might be contributing.

As for the playtime you're getting, 7 hours seems reasonable on fresh batteries.  I'm not sure what alkaline batteries typically have for capacity (Google says 2,500 mAh average), but you'd get longer life with bigger capacity.

Offline gtsamour

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Re: GBA red light for low power lights ups after 3 hours of gameplay
« Reply #2 on: April 27, 2021, 10:43 PM »
The power switch has been opened and cleaned with isopropyl alcohol so its not a problem. I switched the board with another one and im trying now with fresh alkaline batteries again counting the time to see if i will get the same time duration. The red light gba lasted for 6h 50 minutes. If i get significantly more with this one then it may be a short of somekind. If i get the same time and no premature red light then its the power sensor but if it is, it doesnt affect anything so no big issue there. Im planning of getting the retrosix battery soon anyways.

Does anyone know which component is responsible for sensing the battery voltage? I have a spare parts gba board, maybe i can replace it.

Edit:
The second gba board started doing the same thing around 2 and a half hours of play (light going green and red back and forth) so i guess its not the sensor and it has probably something to do with the combination of the ips, x5 mini and alkaline batteries. Its known from what i've read that recharchable ones keep a more stable voltage until they completely discharge compared to alkalines and most people use recharchables nowdays.
Ps my ips is a 2in1 kit, it has a black board, not the ribbon kit.

If someone has encountered this please let me know.


I also read in another thread that people tha use rechargables on ips moded GBA's tend to get the red light from the start, probably because the voltage of a recharchable is 1.2V instead of 1.5V that the AA battery has.
« Last Edit: April 28, 2021, 01:07 AM by gtsamour »

Offline James Cree

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Re: GBA red light for low power lights ups after 3 hours of gameplay
« Reply #3 on: April 29, 2021, 06:29 AM »
It's honestly pretty good news that your setup is working at all.
It doesn't for some people.

The problem is power consumption and corresponding voltage drop.
The everdrive draws more power than a normal cart.
The IPS screens draw more power than normal screens.
The increased power load means that the total voltage is dropping to a level that triggers the red light. It's not a fault with your GBA.

Some people have had success using 1.6v Ni-Zn batteries to offset the voltage drop.
I would suggest trying that.

Offline gtsamour

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Re: GBA red light for low power lights ups after 3 hours of gameplay
« Reply #4 on: April 30, 2021, 10:52 AM »
Yes I understand,

I rerun the same testing on both mine and a friend's GBA with the same characteristics (his GBA, his IPS 2in1 and his X5 mini, we built our GBA mods together and both are fully recapped with Panasonic high grade SMD caps) using the exact same battery brand (Panasonic Alkaline AA bateries this time). On both the power switches have been opened and cleaned thourougly.

On both the red light came up at exactly 4 hours and the GBA lasted for 6h 50 minutes (metroid zero mission demo, with brightness at 3 and volume turned all the way down).
Using  the standard "family" grade Energizer Alkalines the red light came up at 3h but the overall play time was the same (5 min more for the Energizers actually. 6h 50min)

So I guess everything seems OK. We both plan on getting Retrosix's clean juice battery as soon as they come in stock again, I'm expecting more than 10 hours using those.
« Last Edit: April 30, 2021, 11:08 AM by gtsamour »