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GP32 FLU needs rewiring (and maybe more)

Discussion in 'I need help...' started by benoitb, Apr 24, 2018.

  1. benoitb

    benoitb Very Active Member

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    Hi !

    I bought a GP32 sold as BLU. I just received it and I believe it is a FLU (it has a little switch in the back that looks like a hack job and the unlit screen is somewhat usable outdoors).

    The GP32 works but the screen won't light itself when I toggle the little switch. The frond LED is plain red. I'm using batteries to power it up.

    Any advice ? Is this indeed a FLU ? Is the front light probably dead ? Or could it be worth it to open it up and check the switch ?
     
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  2. xnopasaranx

    xnopasaranx Superbad!

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    hey there, I believe that the switch was installed like that on all FLUs as a modification. According to wikipedia, they put a sticker on the packages of the units to differentiate them.

    Open it up and see if the switch works by measuring continuity. if the switch itself works, we would have to check how it is attached to the frontlight and if there is a cold solder joint there or the frontlight is indeed dead. I only have a BLU so I can't take a look for comparison, but I am sure someone here knows.
     
  3. benoitb

    benoitb Very Active Member

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    Thanks, I've been very busy this week (work surprises + baby sick), hopefully I'll get time this weekend to open it up.
    --- Double Post Merged, Apr 26, 2018, Original Post Date: Apr 26, 2018 ---
    Ok I opened it up and this is getting stranger.
    The switch is indeed a hack job (sounds like this may be normal on a FLU) but there was no cable soldered to it ! No wonder I couldn't get the screen tu light up XD

    Guess I have to keep disassembling to figure out if there is a front light at all or not...



    edit1:
    Ok I couldn't lift the board out, the direction stick is blocking me. If someone has experience to further disassemble or to determine just from that picture where I could solder the front light if there is one, I'm interested to know ;)

    edit2:
    There are points labeled T1 and T7 in the bottom center that look like something was soldered there. T7 has some wire remains it seems when I touch it with my finger.

    edit3:
    looks like I am on the right forum :D
    https://pyra-handheld.com/boards/threads/gp-flu-cabels.8442/#post-87367
    https://pyra-handheld.com/boards/threads/solder-points-for-flu.13915/

    The 1st link mentions a resistor but there is no resistor left on my switch. I'm also surprised that there are mentions of polarity if this is a simple switch.
    I'm really tempted to just bridge T1 and T7 to see if a light comes up but I'll wait for some time, hopefully someone can tell me if a resistor is needed and if so, what value.

    edit4:
    found a thread from someone who fitted a potentiometer:
    https://pyra-handheld.com/boards/threads/gp32-flu-brightness-control.9727/#post-106075
    Still I don't have one on hand so I'd love to know if I can bridge T1-T7.
     
    Last edited: Apr 26, 2018
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  4. xnopasaranx

    xnopasaranx Superbad!

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    hmm I wouldn't just bridge it. probably someone opened it before and possibly wrecked the cable connection in the process. someone on here must know what resistor belongs there. don't risk blowing some fuse/voltage regulator or whatever (is that even possible?).
     
  5. drock

    drock Member

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    so you might just have a non front lit unit now. the flus are known for burning out the front light. Someone may have taken the wires off because it was burnt out. For sure give it a test, just know it might not be your fault if doesnt work in the end. If I knew that when I bought mine I probably would have put some more money down and got a blu. Still a very impressive piece of hardware for its time. It ran circles around its competitors.
     
  6. rygD

    rygD Nihilistic Mystic

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    What were the competitors?
     
  7. levi

    levi Still fresh, damnit!

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    The GP32 was released a few months after the Gameboy Advance. While the GP32 was initially intended as a commercial platform, it got nowhere near the software library than the GBA got, but it was even easier to hack than that, and had a more powerful core CPU (although the GBA had a Z80 co pro and perhaps other ancillary chips I'm not aware of).
     
  8. benoitb

    benoitb Very Active Member

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    Also if someone knows the best way (most current) to install stuff on that device from a Windows 10 64 bit or Linux host, I'd love to know. I don't have a SMC reader but I have the USB cable for the GP32.
     
  9. alxm

    alxm Still making GP2X games!

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    Look around on the file archive, search for "usb" to find drivers and stuff. I didn't try these since the mid-2000s on an XP computer, but hopefully they still work today on modern Windows :)
    • GP32 64bit USB driver
    • PC-Link file manager application, needs the driver first (you might need to run it in XP compat mode)
    • gpDrive, put it on your card with PC-Link, then you'll be able to use the GP32 as a card reader instead of the clunky PC-Link application.
     
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  10. benoitb

    benoitb Very Active Member

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    Thank you, I will try this.

    I tried to solder my switch, and when I close it while the GP32 is running, it completely powers off, including the red LED. I guess this is why they removed the cables from the switch. I'll try to google around and see if this is a know defect of the FLU.
     
  11. TeDaDeS

    TeDaDeS Very Active Member

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    If it works, great. I think there are a lot of now working ones at the moment.
    I have a FLU myself (flimsy switch on the back) and it sometimes works (without light) and sometimes it gets dim and shuts-off.
    Never really tried to get it fix though.
     
  12. benoitb

    benoitb Very Active Member

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    As a follow-up: the 64 bit driver did not work on Windows 10. I have a Thinkpad X31 with Windows XP I use when I need access to a // port. So I used this PC with the win2K3 driver and got PC Link to work fine.

    Then I installed gpDrive as you advised and with gpDrive I can connect without issues on my Windows 10 machine :)
     
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