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[1/29/08] Nintendo DS Lite USB Battery Charger Dock (Hardware)

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#1
ken_cinder

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Hardware: Battery Charger
Platform: Nintendo DS Lite
Manufacturer: Shenzhen YuYuan Electronics Factory (This took some research of sku/PN to discern, package doesn't state)
What's included: Charging station, USB cable and screwdriver (Screwdriver BONUS, not mentioned)

Posted Image
Only picture of both I could find. Unit comes in 1 of 2 colors.

Here I find myself needing another battery for my DS Lite, as my wife and I tend to play often enough, that the 3-4 hour wait on charging is annoying and so is sitting near a wall outlet with the charge cable plugged in.

I decided to pick another one up, a 3rd party one, as Nintendo brand batteries aren't cheap (They aren't expensive either however) and I wasn't too pleased to see Nintendo charging $15 USD for a battery and $18.75 CAD for the exact same item.
Shove it Nintendo, the dollar is pretty much par and at the time of me looking, CAD was worth MORE.

Anyway, I came to the conclusion that it would be rather useless to have a second battery, with no way to charge it short of swapping and charging. Which kind of defeats the point of having this second battery in the first place don't you think? I searched and searched until I came across something I knew would do the job. A USB Dock charging station. Excellent! Just what I had in mind, I'll buy one!

If finally arrives, and I open the package. Wow, it's TINY! I mean I knew how small DS batteries are, and I even saw the pic of the dock.......but I never pictured it THAT small. It fits in the palm of my hand, and it's roughly 1/3 the size of my DS Lite. Cool!

Now lets pop my battery in and see how it works, cause I've got a battery in need of charging. So I pop it in.........nothing. Oh great, Made in China bites me in the ass again.
I decide it may be the design of this 3rd party battery, so I put my official one in, and the light flickers for a second, and no it's not charging either.
Must be something keeping it from making contact, and being me I decide I should open it up, afterall I only paid like $6 or $7 for it. So I pull it apart, taking the mere 7 screws out (4 in case, 3 in PCB) and I have a look at the contacts.
Nothing odd, cheaply constructed but I see nothing wrong. So I pop a battery in, and I see that the contacts, which are actually a long thin strip of metal, are moving AWAY from the casing causing them to lose contact with the battery. I can fix this!
I pull out my soldering iron, and proceed to push this metal strips down with it while heating them. I melt the plastic enough to recess them and I melt more plastic over them to keep them in place.
Put everything back together, pop a battery in and it works PERFECT!

Charge time is roughly the same time over USB as it is with the AC adapter, but may be slightly longer with a slight voltage difference between the 5.2 over AC and straight up 5v over USB, but I can't say I sat there and watched it charge.
The unit has a nice dual mode LED that glows orange while charging, and turns green when done.
It also comes with a little screwdriver for the battery compartment tucked neatly into the side of the charger. BONUS, as this isn't mentioned on the packaging or anywhere the item is sold from what I could see.

Overall I would have to recommend this unit if you need an external charger. Beyond the minor design flaw, which COULD be something uncommon but is easily fixed if you have a soldering iron, this is a great little unit for very little money.

Pros
Inexpensive
Small footprint (Fits in your palm)
Comes with screwdriver to remove battery
Can use AC adapter to charge or USB
Looks fairly professionally made

Cons
Cheaply constructed. Although it looks good, it is cheap and may break easy if dropped.
Design flaw in metal contacts. Easily fixed, but you simply shouldn't have to.

#2
Devia Eleven

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Good review.

I roughly enjoyed reading the part of you fixing the charger.

#3
Jitway

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Yeah nice review Cinder. If I needed one I would definitely buy one.

#4
TapeWurm

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Great writeup! Love charging with USB, especially when all I have handy is my Laptop; on planes, etc. Gotta have my DS charged for flights!

#5
Furnazz

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Can you make a video on how to do this? I have the exact same charger as you (except it's white) and it doesn't work unless you slant the battery to the left.




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