DS Lite Shell Replacement

I always thought that the DS Lite was one of the best looking handhelds ever made. The white version looked more like something Apple would make, which was a HUGE improvement over the original fat silver DS.

However, once I discovered that you can buy different colored shells for the DS Lite, I just had to try and design my own! Besides, my white DS Lite was one of the unlucky ones that had a broken hinge. It wasn’t a big problem, but it bugged me knowing that it was there. I started shopping around and I came up with an idea for a design. I would design my DS Lite off of a popular gaming icon. See if you can figure it out¬†ūüėÄ

Here’s a link to the shell I used:

Crimson Red & Black – Nintendo DS Lite Complete Full Housing Shell Case Replacement Repair w/ Hinge Set

DS Lite Shell
Here is the shell I used. You can’t tell in this picture, but the top red bit is glossy. It’s really good quality for a replacement part.

I took these pictures over a year ago just for my reference. I had no idea they would be on a blog someday, so pardon the blurryness!

DS Lite Shell
Here’s the shell and two¬†of my tri-wing screwdrivers needed to open most Nintendo systems.

 

DS Lite Shell Replacement
Bottom of the DS Lite with the base taken off.

 

DS Lite Shell Replacement
Here the board and touchscreen have been completely removed.

 

DS Lite Shell Replacement
The top lid was the most difficult to work with. The ribbon cable is VERY fragile, and it has to be rolled up and pulled through a tiny hole in order to remove the top screen.

 

DS Lite Shell Replacement
I was constantly worried about breaking a wire. The speaker, Wi-Fi and Microphone wires were all very thin.

 

DS Lite Shell Replacement
I finally got the screen, speakers, and microphone separated from the top half!

 

DS Lite Shell Replacement
The screen is installed in the top half of the new shell. In fact, I remember putting it all back together was much easier than taking it apart.

 

DS Lite Shell Replacement
Part of my design involved keeping the original white bezels around the screen.

 

DS Lite Shell Replacement
It’s starting to come together!

 

One other thing I got for the DS Lite was a set of flash cards, since they were getting harder to find. I managed to get an acekard 2 with 16GB of storage for my (legally owned) DS, GameBoy Advance, Game Gear, and GameBoy games to be copied to. To this day, my DS Lite has my entire handheld library stored on it. No more cartridge swapping!

The ezflash V allows GameBoy Advance games to be copied to the front card, then played like a normal GBA game would on a DS. It also works as a rumble pack for some games!

DS Lite Flash Cards
All assembled! Now to put the new toys in!

 

DS Lite Shell Replacement
Here’s the DS Lite opened up. I kept the white bezels and buttons, as I thought all black would be boring.

 

DS Lite Shell Replacement
See how shiny the top is? It looks like it could have been stock plastic from Nintendo!

 

Everything seems good right? Right???

Nope! After a day of use I noticed the colors on the top screen weren’t quite right. It was like some of the colors were missing. By moving the hinge back and forth, I noticed the colors would sometimes become more vivid (like they should be) but then go back to being weird.

I was afraid it was the notorious ribbon cable, so I took it partially apart to see if I could find why the colors weren’t right.

DS Lite Shell Replacement
Testing the screen trying to find the fault.

 

I did find the smallest tear in one part of the ribbon cable that went to the top screen. It was so tiny I would have thought it insignificant, but by messing with it I could tell that the tear was the reason for the missing colors. I learned my lesson: never underestimate ribbon cables. They will turn on you the first chance they get!

The good news is, they do make replacement screens for DS, and they’re relatively cheap. So I ordered this exact model here:
HDE Replacement LCD Screen for Nintendo DS Lite – Top Screen

DS Lite Shell Replacement
I had to solder the speakers to the new screen.

I installed the screen, and then it was like new!

So here are some brand new pics of the DS Lite as it looks today!

DS Lite
Still shiny!

 

DS Lite
No broken hinges anymore! (The DS Lite tends to suffer from those)

 

DS Lite
The inside is a matte black, which is a nice contrast to the glossy red and white on the outside.

 

 

DS Lite
The new main menu. It boots straight to this, bypassing all the DS menu stuff.

 

DS Lite
It has folder for DS and GameBoy Advance games. I also have some homebrew software!

 

DS Lite
Such gloss. Much dual screen. Wow.

So, any guesses as to what popular gaming icon the shell was based off of?

And as a sidenote, I would love to do this to a 3DS. Maybe someday…

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