GBA Battery Replacement 

Well guys, it’s your man Gee! Bringing you some wisdom and know-how from almost 40 years of gaming. Old, I know, but just wait! My first experience of gaming must have been around 1984 with Colleco Vision playing Smurfs. My dad was amazed I could use it. Today we are amazed youngsters can operate smartphones and tablets with ease. Before we know they’d taken our credit card details and booked a holiday to the Bahamas. Anyways, a line of consoles and computers followed the Colleco Vision. Namely: ZX Spectrum, MSX, Amiga 500, Game Gear, SNES, PC, PS2, PSP…

With the many years and seasons of gaming I can’t help but look back with, not only nostalgia, but gratitude for these machines and their games. Could I also suggest that it is a sin to leave old consoles lying in a drawer, in a box in the loft, or even – in the bin? I think it is better to have these machines, resurrected, maintained, and given pride of place. Many do just that. It’s a noble attitude.

Several years ago I was handed a GBA SP. The friend that handed it to me and said, ‘I don’t know if it’s working, you’ll probably do some freaky stuff to get it working.’ ‘Freaky stuff’? I barely knew one end of a screwdriver from another. Momentarily I get the fear of having over-sold myself some time in the past and it was now back to haunt me. Had I told him I had a degree in electronic engineering like I had about the places I’d traveled, and A list celebrities I’d slept with?

Anyway, I threw it in the bottom drawer of chest of drawers. There it lay among ethernet cables and scart leads for several years. As we know, the fecal matter hit the fan in 2020 with ‘the thing’ I had more time on my hands. Didn’t everybody? I had fixed an iPod classic and was keen to anything and everything else in working condition.

The GBA SP was next. The first thing I needed to do was get some power into it. On to Uncle Ali’s site – for a charging lead. Fast forward a week and the lead was in my hand. Plugged it in. Did it work? No – why not? Was it the power port, was it the motherboard, was it the battery, was it the Fratellis?. The most accessible part was the battery. I looked at it. The lithium-ion battery was swollen. That is a sure sign that the battery is expired and useless.

On to Uncle Ali’s website again. I crossed checked prices with eBay this time. The latter was the same price but a UK-based seller. Meaning it doesn’t have to go across Asia on camelback via the silk road emitting half a tonne of carbon to get to me. Replacement Li-ion battery for GBA SP – £5.50. That’ll do nicely. Reasonable enough.

The battery arrived nicely packaged, and with a cute little screwdriver to open the battery cover of the SP.

Undid the screw and removed the old battery. Dead easy, just pops right out with a bit of leverage. Easy to put the new one in too. Plugged in the charging lead. Lights came on to show it was getting power and it was charging. Delight and satisfaction.
With a little help from a fingernail, out it comes.

In conclusion, I have resurrected this machine and given it a new life and new value. Both in terms of sentimental and monetary value. I’ve taken a much-loved console that has seen more hands glued to its buttons and more eyes glued to its screen than I could know. It is quite possible that I might have had a clear-out and thrown leads, cases, floppy discs, CDs, and this GBA into the box and taken it down the tip. Instead, I will be enjoying the classic games from both the 16-bit era and the original GBA titles that were published later. I would end by tempting you to dig out a console you might have stowed somewhere years ago, and give it some TLC. Now, where’s that PSP I haven’t touched in years…


One thought on “GBA Battery Replacement 

  1. Nice piece. Articles like this make me berate myself for not keeping all my old gaming gadgets and consoles. If only I could go back in time and warn myself of the gold (enjoyment currency) i was giving away. From atari all the way up I’ve pretty much had them all. Seeing a picture of an old console brings many memories flooding back.

    Liked by 1 person

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