Hidden TV Out on Nintendo DS Lite

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The DS Lite was one of Nintendo’s most popular handheld game consoles, but unbeknownst to anyone, it has a hidden feature that could have made it even more popular. By delving into hardware and firmware, the [Lost Nintendo History] The team discovered that the DS Lite’s System on a Chip (SoC) can produce a composite video signal.

The SoC can produce a 10-bit digital output running at 16.7 MHz, but it is disabled by the original firmware at the start of the boot process, so custom firmware was required. It still needs to be converted to an analog signal, so a small adapter board with a DAC (digital to analog converter) and an operational amplifier is attached to the flex cable of the top display. A set of buttons on the map allow you to select which screen to display on the TV. The adapter card is open source, and the Gerbers and schematics are available on GitHub.

The current version of the adapter card disables the top display, but the [Lost Nintendo History] The team plans to design a pass-through card to eliminate this inconvenience. The TV out mod can also be combined with the popular Macro mod, in which the top screen is removed to turn it into the Game Boy Advance. The Nintendo DS is a popular hack topic, and we’ve covered them for over a decade.


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