VMU on AA/AAA Batteries Tutorial

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la_eternal
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Post by la_eternal » Mon Jan 28, 2002 10:24 pm

This is the guide I wrote and posted awhile ago (and saved as a text file). If this helps, let me know.

what you will need
*a vmu/vms that needs power (vmu's run at 6v)
*four (4) "AAA" or "AA" batteries (to supply the total of 6v)
*a battery holder with red and black wires (easily found at Radio Shack; just make sure
you get the right one for the type of batteries you plan on using and that all connectors
are in place)
*some fun tak/poster adhesive or tape to keep the wires in place while testing
*a more permanent and/or secure way to attach the wires to the proper points

what to keep in mind
*"AAA", and especially "AA", batteries will add up in weight and cost as you will have
to use four at a time. Decide for yourself if this is worth it.
*the date and time information will be lost every time you disconnect your power supply from
the vmu. This means that to keep date/time info current, you have to keep the batteries
connected at all times! This most definitely cuts down on the portability of the unit.
Not only that, but if you have more than one vmu that you want to keep current, you'll need
a power supply unit (battery holder plus 4 batteries) for each unit! Costly...
*In writing this guide, I am basing the information on my own experiences with trying this.
I am not implying that I am the first to try or write about it, but hopefully, if there are
guides already (which, before writing this second version, I heard that there are), then this
will be useful in any ways that the others were not.
*This can be freely distributed as long as it is unaltered and credit is given.
*Neither I nor anyone on this site can or will be held responsible for any damage done
by performing this (simple) procedure.

what to do
1 - put your batteries (use new ones for testing) correctly in the battery holder
2 - remove the battery cover from the vmu (use a phillips or "+" head screwdriver)
3 - take the black wire from the battery holder and connect the exposed tip to the flap
at the bottom of the vmu battery holder (I suggest lightly lifting the flap and sliding
the wire underneath. Secure...)
4 - take the red wire from the battery holder and connect the exposed tip to the hook on the
side of the vmu battery holder (this is a little tricky, but persitence will prevail)
5 - if you haven't already disconnected the speaker wires, the vmu should beep when the
power supply is connected correctly (if not, be sure NOT to skip the next step)
6 - with the wires in place, use the fun tak or tape to keep the wires from moving. Now
slowly turn the vmu so the screen faces you. If done correctly, your vmu should now be asking
you "Mamma? Dadda? What am I?" (Seriously, it will be asking you to set the date and time).
7 - now that you have confirmed that this is working and given yourself a pat on the back,
decide on how you would like to keep the wires secure. This is up to you.
8 - enjoy!

*update* hooking up a 9v battery to the vmu has worked for me very well, so if that is something you'd rather do, go for it.
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Post by Sub Woofer » Tue Jan 29, 2002 2:36 am

Hey, I moved this to its own seperate topic, so I can link to it in the FAQ

Thankyou very much for taking the time to post this! its one of the most usefull hardware mods out there!
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Post by infinite-nothing » Tue Jan 29, 2002 11:22 am

hey i did the same thing but i would change something

When you connect the wires to the VMU instead of putting them under the little metal connectors loosen the screws holiding them in place loop the exposed wire around the screw and tightenthis will make for a very good hold

also make the wire a little long and use velcro to secure the VMU to the batterypack place a peice of velcro on the bottom of the controller this way when you put the vmu in the controller you dont have to disconnect the battery pack
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Post by MidnightObsidian » Tue Jan 29, 2002 10:00 pm

How many milliamps do the VMUs require...
...or how many milliamps do the two DL2032s provide, rather?
I'm not Clessoulis. Seriously.
la_eternal
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Post by la_eternal » Tue Jan 29, 2002 10:01 pm

Sub Woofer, thank you for the thank you, and infinite-nothing, thank you for the suggestions. After all, some of the greatest ideas start off small by one, and grow and develop by many (sorry if I sound a little philisophical, but I wouldn't say it unless I meant it). MidnightObsidian, as for your question, I don't know the answer, but considering that replacement power sources (AAA x 4 and AA x 4 batteries at 1.5v, and 9v batteries) have been found and tested as sucessful and safe, most people here won't care for this specific case (no offense).


To the rest of you, keep the ideas (for all projects) coming!
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Post by sixteen-bit » Wed Jan 30, 2002 4:38 am

I got some values for VMU power consumption in another topic ( http://www.dcemulation.org/phpBB/viewtopic.php?t=4404 ) if this is of any use to battery users.
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Post by MidnightObsidian » Fri Feb 01, 2002 10:03 pm

Thank you VERY much 16bm-- this is exactly what I was planning on doing, except the thought of using a headphone jack had never even come to my mind... slick.
I'm not Clessoulis. Seriously.
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Post by Rebs » Fri May 03, 2002 3:09 pm

Well, I did this to my VMU a while ago, so its cool that others thought of it too. I'd like to add my experiences:

First: The Radio shack battery packs are great, I got this really slim one for AAA, fully enclosed so no chance of them falling out. But there are two problems. One, the pack has an on off switch, I just ducttaped over it though. Second, the PVC tubing is brittle, and cracks easily, exposing the wires.

Second: Cut a couple small slits in the bottom edge of the battery door. That way the wires don't get crushed.

Third: This mod isn't worth jack unless you buy rechargable AAAs. I reccomend the Rayovac Alkalines, as I've been using them since the days of the GB pocket. They last long, and charge fast.

Fourth: People think this is a cool thing, and I've made a pretty penny doing this mod for others.

Oh, and doing this makes the guys at Software Etc./Babbages think you're really cool.
mmmm......Dreamcast........
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Post by Rebs » Fri May 03, 2002 3:10 pm

I use Duct tape to secure mine, btw.

(Yeah, I accidently hit submit twice and I'm trying to cover for it)
mmmm......Dreamcast........
revengeofLaEternal
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Post by revengeofLaEternal » Wed May 08, 2002 9:05 pm

If anyone has any questions on this, post them and I will try to answer (I did write this tutorial after all). Of course, if I don't know the answer or don't check the boards in a while, I'm sure someone else will be able to help (we have some pretty smart people here, y'know :wink: )

Just thought I should offer 8)
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Post by compacho » Wed Jul 03, 2002 10:22 pm

Have u ever tried using a 9V battery? Its sort of smaller than a 4-pack of AAs. I've tried it and it works out perfectly.
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Post by revengeofLaEternal » Thu Jul 04, 2002 12:34 am

compacho,
Yes, I have used (and still do use) a 9v battery for the VMU, but if you don't believe me, my former self confirmed this with an update at the bottom of the original post 8)

p.s. welcome to the boards!
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Post by someoneElse » Thu Jul 04, 2002 11:31 am

compacho wrote:Have u ever tried using a 9V battery? Its sort of smaller than a 4-pack of AAs. I've tried it and it works out perfectly.
Be careful, though. Don't use a 9v on any VMU you're particularly fond of.

The one I tried it with for only a couple of minutes is now experiencing...difficulties. Whenever the system turns on, the familliar no-battery beep is only half the duration it should be.

More importantly, if it is inserted into slot 2 on any controller, that controller and anything inserted into it are unrecognized. Funny enough, if I swap the positions of the VMUs in that controller so that the one that I had tried the 9v with is in slot 1, it works perfectly.

Doesn't matter to me, as that particular VMU is only going to be in the slot 1 of a second controller anyways, but just so you know that it could happen...
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Post by revengeofLaEternal » Sun Jul 07, 2002 2:48 pm

Thanks for the info. the vmu I have attached to the 9v always ends up in slot one anyway, so I never noticed the lack of recognition. My theory as to why this happens is that the extra 3 volts (remember that a vmu's minimum required voltage is 6v) conflicts with the voltages coming in to power the jump pack and that screws up the maple bus chip, thus disabling it.
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Post by someoneElse » Sun Jul 07, 2002 4:02 pm

revengeofLaEternal wrote:Thanks for the info. the vmu I have attached to the 9v always ends up in slot one anyway, so I never noticed the lack of recognition. My theory as to why this happens is that the extra 3 volts (remember that a vmu's minimum required voltage is 6v) conflicts with the voltages coming in to power the jump pack and that screws up the maple bus chip, thus disabling it.
Now if only it wasn't permanently affected by this, even after the 9v battery is removed...


The VMU I used never even touched a controller until after the battery was removed, at which point I noticed the problem.

You're right, it probably has something to do with the 2nd slot and jump pack connectivity not liking whatever effect the 9v had on it, though.


[Edit] Wait a minute.... that was my 500th post... Ahh....the psychosis has finally set in...;)
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Post by DoughBoy » Mon Jul 08, 2002 4:07 pm

this is probablyt he only mod I'll ever do, it's actually useful! Can someone please up a pic of what the finished product looks like before I start this mod?
Another great and interesting post brought to you by the DoughBoy!

P.S. I'm looking for A Turbo Express, PM me if you got one.
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AA/AAA batteries?

Post by Chane2k1 » Tue Jul 09, 2002 6:32 pm

Mind me if this sounds stupid but couldnt you just buy a 6v adapter cut off the end connector split the wires strip them and connect them to the -/+ inputs on the vmu. no worry for batteries unless your on the go.
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Re: AA/AAA batteries?

Post by someoneElse » Tue Jul 09, 2002 6:39 pm

Chane2k1 wrote:Mind me if this sounds stupid but couldnt you just buy a 6v adapter cut off the end connector split the wires strip them and connect them to the -/+ inputs on the vmu. no worry for batteries unless your on the go.
But it also means you have to disassemble the VMU to disconnect the adapter (unless you put convenient connectors in for it). People do this because it still retains portability, they want anything that will last longer and be more easily replaced than the CR2030s it's designed to use.
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Post by DoughBoy » Wed Jul 10, 2002 3:20 pm

will noone up a pic of this finished???????
Another great and interesting post brought to you by the DoughBoy!

P.S. I'm looking for A Turbo Express, PM me if you got one.
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Post by revengeofLaEternal » Wed Jul 10, 2002 6:30 pm

I have a pic of my vmu with the 9v battery attached, but I don't have a way of posting it (maybe I'll figure out something). Any ideas?
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