09-30-2009, 07:48 PM
Hey guys,

I've been thinking about selling my busted clear DS Lite for ages now, and I've decided it is time to let it go. But before that, I wanted to give it a complete makeover and basically let it go in style.

Problems with my clear DS Lite:
- clear case
- a rough patch on the bottom right corner of the back where a stripped screw meant that I had to drill it out
- top screen that flickers and shows wrong colors
- scratches all over the case
- dust all over the ports
- slightly loose hinge
- lettering on the buttons (A, B and the D Pad in particular) rubbing off
- screen protectors that are scratched a ton

So you can see it is rather busted. It probably wouldn't fetch over $60 locally and shipping it out internationally costs a lot. I kept it all this time because I could live with it, and well I love my clear DS Lite, everyone compliments it. You see I take pretty good care of my electronics, so I'm rather unhappy with the state of my DS Lite. I solely put the blame on the clear replacement housing because all of the problems can be attributed to the case in some way. The case is made of material that is easily scratchable, the lettering is not up to par with the original, the loose hinge is probably do to the plastic that is very malleable and the top screen, I am almost convinced it is pretty much because I opened the DS Lite's internals and rewound the cable. In any case, the DS Lite is actually my launch day DS Lite, so I feel a certain attachment to it, and want to send it off in style at the very least.

The repairs:
- new Black Clear case from DX
- new top screen
- new hinge
- clean out the dust
- new screen protectors

Total cost: $16.03 + $10.72 + $2.56 + $1.29 = $30.60 USD

So the idea is that I'll spend about $35 CAD and sell this bundle out for a lot of cash during Christmas in a bundle. I'll be bundling it with an M3 Real Perfect bundle with the smokey black GBA Expansion, a clear case or black pouch, a DS Lite Pro Battle Stylus and pretty much make this every kid's Christmas dream present. Since I've done these fixes several times before, it shouldn't be much of a hassle, and by the time I'm done, it'll look awesome.

Things I've considered:
LED mods
- LED mods would be absolutely fantastic, for anything BUT a clear case. Basically these mods will add LEDs to the corners or under the buttons, from the slots etc to make it glow or shine. The fact is, for an LED mod, you need to add wires in awkward places to draw out power. It is done fairly simply, and I could have done it, but with a completely see through case, it will be hard to mask the extra wires. I'd love to try this in the future with other consoles though.

Physical case mods
- I've seen some people drill out the Apple symbol on the front of their case or try and sand their DS Lite's down slimmer, things like that. I'm decent at electronics, but horrible at woodworking and shop, so I didn't particularly want to try, not that the end results ever look good in the first place.

Reverting back to the original case
- I seriously considered this. The clear case was most definitely bad in the long run, and I imagine this new black one will be the same. But since I plan to sell it I want something eye catching to attract cash.

Selling it as is
- It's not fun, it's not profitable, what the hell is the point? :P

So... I will be doing this restoration, replacing screens, changing cases sometime soon. I will be documenting my progress in the next post and will probably post it up on the blog. I will do this in pictures and written text because video just doesn't work when you have to watch every boring part out there. I suppose if more than a few of you post in this thread wanting to see a video done, then so be it, I will take a few videos.

This shouldn't really take long, but I have midterms coming up, a few reviews to write, and replacing a case may only be an hour worth of work, but I'd rather split it up over the course of several days because it is one hell of a frustrating job.

Anyways, look forward to an even cooler looking DS Lite, a great article, and some interesting tips for replacing your DS Lite case. Hell I might even work it into a review of the DealExtreme Clear Black Case. That being said, I received it today, and it LOOKS to be of higher quality than the clear case.

09-30-2009, 07:48 PM
And the quick writeup:

Tools required:
Triwing and Philip's Head screwdrivers of different sizes:

Solder and Soldering iron (only if you plan to replace the top screen):

In the cavities of the case, they have buttons and screws, etc.

Just a HUGE warning. Don't use the supplied stylus. It literally has a jagged tip, I'm not sure if you can see it in the picture, but it is literally sharp because of some excess plastic.

I had a clear case on already, makes things a little easier for writing a guide since you can see right through.

Remove the battery, stylus, game cartridges, etc. And unscrew all the screws.

First step is to remove the bottom of the DS, just lift it out because your screws are out so that things like the L and R buttons are exposed, the game cartridge slots, etc.
(You'll see that I cheated in my last install, I didn't mind using a bit of putty in places no one could see to save some time. Didn't do that for this install, but highly recommended for newbies, especially if you don't have a clear case. :)

Unplug the white wire and the black wire, then take off the plate where the buttons are.

Here's the tough part, the ribbon cable. Be very careful when you are flipping your DS around, this is where most people snap their ribbon cables. Simply flip the black flap on the white part up and pull the ribbon cable out. It is a bit tricky to free the cable, just remember to twist it around and around and slip it out. Think of it as a puzzle.

Now the motherboard is completely free, if you plan to change the touchscreen somehow, unplug the ribbon cable on the left side of the touch screen, and also the little flat cable that goes to the back beside the game cartridge slot.

Feel free to do whatever with the touchscreen, I replaced the frame, it is just a matter of lifting the white border up and then placing the black one down. Be sure to do it slowly, it isn't tricky, just something you don't want to rush.

Remember the power button, the package doesn't include the clear part, so you have to take it from the original. I should also mention that you should probably get alternate screws for screwing in the power nob. The ones provided are too long, and you'll strip the screw before you can get it working. That's where I was stuck, I had to find 2 screws that fit.

Now back to the top section. You have to unscrew the four screws in the front, then the pieces just slide out.

This part is rather easy, everything fits into slots, so you don't get things wrong. I know that the definitive guide to changing cases in a Shock case guide on flickr, I think I should definitely mention that their guide has the speakers flipped the wrong way. So place it as you see in my pictures or you'll have slightly muffled sound aimed outwards rather than towards the gamer.

I had to replace the screen, so first off I had to peel the frame and put on the new one provided on my new top screen. Again the trick is nice and slow. It is sort of sad because the new frame provided is a bit scratched, quite minor, but I don't like that.

You have to solder the speakers onto the new screen. So remember which wire goes where and it is a simple soldering job. Just remember to do it nice and quite, don't add too much solder and don't hold the iron on the cable for too long.

Put the screen, speakers, wires, etc into the new case and slide the case closed.

Once you do that, jam the hinge mechanism into the hinge and the metal ring on the other side. It is a little tough, so don't hesitate to use a hammer or a blunt object.

So connect the ribbon cable back and fit the bottom motherboard into the part of the housing that holds the buttons. Obviously put the buttons back and the silicone pads. It would be smart to clean the silicone pads, they do gather a lot of dirt over time, or even replace them if your buttons are feeling sort of soft and not as responsive.

The tricky part is closing everything up. For the most part, the white wire that goes underneath the game cartridge slot will be the bane of your existence. You'll be constantly shifting it because if you do fit them through the right notches (might be wise to take a picture of how the orientation is first so that you won't forget) the housing won't close perfectly. So what I do is sort of squeeze the motherboard and the case, and take a toothpick poking at the wire until the case closes together.

The other tricky part is the L and R buttons. If you don't keep an eye on the spring, they might, and probably will undo itself and flick off. If you close it up and you didn't realize this had happened, you'll find that your L and R button still works, but it doesn't spring back up after you click it. If you look at one of the first pictures, you'll see that I kept putty to hold the spring in place, and it really helps. Once you close your case, it won't be a problem anymore. The trick I guess is simply to hold it steady, jam your case together and close it as fast as you can, while not shifting anything. Try and hold the L and R buttons steady most important of all.

Finally, you screw everything back together and you are all done.

So what am I using on this DS? Well because a white stylus wouldn't fit with this DS Lite, and the clear black one supplied is utter crap, I paired it up with a black tipped DS Lite Pro Battle Stylus. I also decided to use the M3DS Real and the M3 Expansion Pack. Reason being, the M3 Expansion Pack comes in a smoke black color that fits with this DS perfectly and the M3DS Real is obviously the best cart to go with the expansion pack. :)

09-30-2009, 08:14 PM
Do long did not read.

Nah just kidding, so uh you're going to make your DS Lite more awesome and hopefully sell it and be able to write more informational posts about it?

09-30-2009, 08:17 PM
Yes, it'll be shop class, electronics class and commerce class rolled into one. You'll learn how to unscrew things, put things together, then you'll have a short lesson on soldering because of the speakers, and then an interesting post about how much I intend to sell this for. Who said the internet can't be educational? :cheers:

In all honesty though, now that I look at the sweeeeet looking clear black case, every passing minute is sort of making me wonder if I can bear selling it. I love this device, although it is a lot of cash...

09-30-2009, 08:47 PM
Heh can't wait too see some of the "classes" you post here ^^

10-01-2009, 12:20 PM
Wait its been taken? I wanted it D:

10-01-2009, 04:06 PM
Hmm... can you give a link to the DX case?

10-01-2009, 05:02 PM
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10-01-2009, 08:12 PM
I'm rather enjoying this project actually, I'm about half way there.

10-01-2009, 08:38 PM
Wow it takes that long?

10-01-2009, 08:43 PM
You're already half way?

10-01-2009, 09:01 PM
It should take no more than 2 hours or so of actual work, I'm just splitting it over several days since I'm not really in a rush.

10-01-2009, 09:04 PM
I wonder how you even do these kind of stuff. I just looked in to the video How to replace your Touch Screen. And now I want to kill myself.

10-01-2009, 09:09 PM
So that's why you had a topic on GBATemp...

10-01-2009, 09:11 PM
So that's why you had a topic on GBATemp...

Yeh what did you think? I don't think I would find anyone though. It was good that I found someone that could give me a screwdriver. I just need a Modder now...

10-02-2009, 02:32 PM
jakob, to be perfectly honest with you, you kinda spammed... a lot... Here i don't care as much but on the temp they really do... so you should try to be careful next time

10-02-2009, 06:18 PM
How did I spam on the temp? The only thing I did was bump my Need a Modder thread 4 times. I don't even barely post on the temp anymore. If you press the button on the Temp Todays Top 20 posters. Its never me. Its always Rockstar99 ever day, Tjcool, and some other people.

10-02-2009, 11:32 PM
but imo bumping four times on one topic in a short amount of time does seem like a err.... "mini" spam

10-03-2009, 04:54 AM
How did I spam on the temp? The only thing I did was bump my Need a Modder thread 4 times. I don't even barely post on the temp anymore. If you press the button on the Temp Todays Top 20 posters. Its never me. Its always Rockstar99 ever day, Tjcool, and some other people.
Jakob, you're not allowed to bump threads at all.

"Avoid bumping (reviving) old or new topics; they'll be replied to when they're replied to."

Don't bother trying to defend yourself, you can't. Not reading the rules is not an excuse either.

10-03-2009, 01:04 PM
You guys, break it up, and take your arguments to the PM box. jakob95 is just a user on DSDatabase - so don't talk on a thread that's about modding a DS lite.

In the meantime, in an attempt to get back on topic...

1. Can I get a link to the clear case that you used to have?
2. Is it hard to take apart the DS? I'm thinking of breaking open my lite and getting a different case, preferably a transparent blue one. Is there a guide I can follow?

10-03-2009, 09:08 PM
1. Just search DX for DS Lite Replacement Housing, I think there are enough versions to make you want to look at several of them closely before purchasing one.

2. It isn't particularly hard, but the screws really suck. I'm stuck right now because of a screw that is tight and I can't do anything with it. Last time I stripped a screw. If that happens, you're quite screwed.

10-04-2009, 05:00 AM
HA. Nice one Pharaoh. Pictures coming anytime soon?

10-04-2009, 01:08 PM
As soon as I'm done with that damn screw. :(

10-20-2009, 09:41 PM
And it is all done, I had to go out and get screws fit for the job instead of the supplied ones, but it's done. I'll post up a crapload of pictures later on.

10-22-2009, 06:54 PM
Recently ordered the transparent blue ds lite housing because I want to mix-n-match with my current white set. :D

Now, all I need is a guide. I think the gbatemp one would work or a video one.

10-22-2009, 07:11 PM
Mix and match isn't really going to work out I think, these aren't PERFECT replicas.

10-22-2009, 08:15 PM
Are the pictures coming soon, Pharaoh? I kinda wanna see what you did.

10-22-2009, 09:15 PM
Mix and match isn't really going to work out I think, these aren't PERFECT replicas.
According to GBAtemp, the parts are identical and you can switch em around.

10-22-2009, 09:59 PM
I'm not so sure about that, they are most definitely not identical. Close replicas, definitely, fitting together mix and match, you are also probably able to do that, but the results might not clasp together perfectly or the edges might be slightly off, etc.

EDIT: I slacked off near the end for pictures. I simply closed it up and that was it, so I didn't feel the need for too many pictures afterwards.

10-23-2009, 06:07 PM
Is there at least a "before and after"?

10-23-2009, 06:28 PM
I haven't peeled off the protective sticker yet. :P But rest assured, I will post up the pictures this weekend. :)

10-24-2009, 11:42 AM
Fun Fact: The only thing that's keeping my DS Lite together is...
A piece of tape.
The hinge snapped earlier - and my dad said superglue might superglue the lid permanently shut, so I slapped on some plastic tape, and boom, it worked.

Now all I need is my transparent blue case.

10-24-2009, 05:18 PM
Post updated, look at the second post and there is a quick writeup. This is only a brief sort of guide, and that's all I expected it to be. If you plan to do this yourself, be sure to look at more detailed guides!

10-24-2009, 07:08 PM
Ooh! That's quite a nice guide! I realize the GBAtemp guide would be enough, but your guide gets a different perspective on things.

This is a guide I will be following, thanks!

10-24-2009, 07:59 PM
Yea there are plenty of guides out there, and I'm not enough of an expert to write a good one, so I thought I'd just put a really general one and talk more about the problematic places rather than anything since the good guides never seem to tell you which part is hard and which is easy.

10-25-2009, 05:31 AM
That is pretty cool man! But it looks really hard to do.

10-25-2009, 07:51 PM
It's not so bad, especially after I wrote exactly what the problems are and how you can fix it.

10-26-2009, 02:30 PM
Didn't I say the smoke black was a good color choice? Looks nice.

10-26-2009, 03:07 PM
Smoke black definitely looks awesome in real life, but I don't think the pictures do it justice. The clear DS pictures look sort of cooler because you see right through. But in real life, you capture all of that, and the sort of smoke black color, definitely awesome in real life.

10-26-2009, 04:28 PM
The smoke black DOES look kinda cool. The transparent one looks kinda... cheap.