View Full Version : Best place to purchase an M3 Adapter while in Japan?

October 29th, 2006, 09:21

My apologies if I am a bit out of the loop on the DS homebrew/emulation scene, as I'm just beginning to get into it (yes, I know I am a bit late to the scene.) I sold my old DS because it hurt my hands too much, but now I intend to grab a DS Lite.

I'm presently living in Japan, and I can locally buy a Japanese DS Lite for a reasonable price (~16500 yen, 130 USD-ish, 74 GBP-ish), but I do not know of any local places to purchase an M3 Adapter, which appears to be the best choice for audio, video playback, image display and running homebrew/emulation/game software on the DS. My prior experiences with GBA flash cartridges led me to chinese sites like SuperUFO/Success-HK who proved reputable in the past, but they don't carry these devices.

Some googling for the units proved a bit confusing. What I would like to get is the model of M3 that takes standard-size SD cards, not MiniSD, and plugs into the GBA slot with a Passcard for the DS slot to allow the card to be seen for operation in "DS Mode". I am told the only models that allow use of regular-size SD card use are for the GBA slot. I've also been told the Passcard uses more battery power to perform the actual ARM7/ARM9 bus switching, but I imagine this use is fairly negligable.
Please correct me if I've made any mixups here or if there's a product better suited to me.

If at all possible, I'd like to order the device out of Japan to minimize shipping costs, but if it won't cost a fortune, any reputable company that'll ship to Japan from say, the US or UK is perfectly alright as well. I'd really love some recommendations since my googling for shops selling them have been baffling, like a page that mentions copying files from a PC to a CF card to run in an SD slot (??!!!?) or photos of a gigantic model that sticks out of the GBA slot by an enormous amount and then a note that says it is the 'new smaller version' with no photo of the size of that unit .. the one I was shown by a friend sat flush with the GBA slot and did not protrude.

In addition (Sorry for the length of this thread!) with the Passcard unit is flashing of my DS' firmware necessary? Or will flashing the firmware make use of the passcard unnecessary? I've heard also of slow access times causing severe lag in some games and software when reading from some SD cards, and was curious if there is one particular model to aim for-- I own a fairly generic Sandisk '1.0GB SD' card, with no other text on it-- no Ultra or II or any other indications of its variety. Is use of a firmware flash faster in any way than the Passcard, and what is needed to perform the flash? Some sort of PC connection cable (USB?) or is it done from another device?

Again sorry for the length of this message, I just want to be sure I'm not going to throw down hard-earned money on any hardware that won't get the job done. Feel free to just answer part of my questions if you like, or none at all- any help is appreicated. Thanks. :)

October 29th, 2006, 10:36

This is the company I went through. They also have a US branch, but they don't have the same package deal (with the Passkey 3) and with shipping, it cost me about the same to get it from China as to get it from the US (and I happen to live in America). O_o Really weird.

As for flashing, that won't change the access times for games, though it will drain a little less on the battery (not enough that you'd likely notice) and it's all around more convenient. I think your card should be fine, and it's listed as "working" on the M3 wiki (found here: http://www.m3wiki.com/index.php?title=Media_Card#SD_Cards).

I also was horrified by the pictures I saw of the massive thing sticking out of the GBA slot. o_O I don't know WHY they show those images, because it makes me not want an M3. If it's the one that extends vertically out of the GBA slot, that's just a programmer for the Passkey 2 (a previous model), so you won't even be using it, nor do you even use it much if you actually did have it. So.. don't worry about that.

That's about all I have off the top of my head. Divineo's a good company, I've done business with them several times. Not sure if that's the best price online, but it's pretty good.

If you have any more questions, post them here or PM me.

October 29th, 2006, 10:46
Hm, seems simple enough. And you are positive this unit takes standard SD cards-- the variety I'd put into, say, my digital camera-- not those obnoxious Miniature ones? I've seen people referring to "MiniSD" and "MicroSD" (which I've never even heard of existing) in reference to the M3 units, and even CF cards (those are gigantic, it must be hideous to plug those in.)

Am I to assume I can put my SD card into my PC's card reader, copy .nds files, Mp3s, OGGs, AVIs, etc. into the card and then just plug it into the M3 unit, put the Passkey card in along with the M3 and power on the machine, and it'll all be set to go? Or is there some other cable or other strange thing that I'll need?

Also, suppose I did want to flash my DS to eliminate need for the Passkey-- for example, I can forsee wanting to back up my DS games in case I lose them, as I frequently do, so I can copy them onto the SD card and play them that way. I assume I can't do this because removing the Passkey to insert a game card in the DS slot will kill operation of the M3 adapter. What would I need in terms of hardware/software to flash my unit? It seems that I just need to put a certain file on the M3 to do that.

But before I get ahead of myself, backup to SD is a function of the M3 unit, right? Not a catastrophe if it isn't .. but I'd really like that. :)

Thanks for all of your assistance. I appreciate it!

October 29th, 2006, 18:38
Yep, they take normal SD. ^_^ I have one in my DS right now, actually. The ones that take MiniSD or MicroSD are different versions and they should say so when you purchase them, so it shouldn't be an issue otherwise.

You're correct on how it works. Except after you put the SD card in the card-reader, you'll use a program that came with the flashcart to write *.nds or *.gba files to the SD card (just because it needs to patch some files, basically). For movies, pictures, and music, you put those on manually. As for everything else, yeah, you've done your research. ^^

If you want to rip your own games, yes, you'll need to flash the DS. It's not that hard of a process, but you will need the Passkey3 to get the process started (which means that you at least need one in the first place). In terms of hardware to flash a DS, you just need to be able to open the thing up and bridge two contacts. Some people use a paperclip, some use a flattened nail-head, I personally used a jeweler's screwdriver. Software, you just need the flashing program, which is relatively easy to get. There's a great tutorial on the process here: http://www.dspassme.com/FlashMe.shtml

With a certain program (I don't recall the name, sorry!), you can backup your DS games (on a flashed DS) to your M3, yes. ^^ At that point, you need to put them on your PC and then rewrite them to your SD card via the program I previously mentioned.

If there's anything else, let me know. I'm mildly more awake now. o_o

October 31st, 2006, 10:33
Excellent, I will be ordering this M3 unit from Divineo right away .. I hope that they can get it here quickly. Their shipping prices are very reasonable for a company in China-- Success-HK/SuperUFO wanted a good bit more than this-- it claims here $5 for global priority shipping. Nice.

I got my DS Lite last night .. I am thrilled with it. This machine is perfectly laid out, solidly built, the screens are godly in quality and vibrancy. My only complaint is that 2 of my buttons are clickier than the other 2 (not a big deal at all) and the audio through the speakers/headphones is a little softer than I expected (not as quiet nearly as the GBA Micro, but still quite soft.) I can't wait to see what it can do outside of games...

Thanks for all your help, I'll post again if I have any more questions... ;)

October 31st, 2006, 18:57
hey there epicenter i know a store that is great there customer service and price is exellent and most of there items are free delivery check the store out its called gadget-asia u can find them here


give them a try u wont regret it :)

November 3rd, 2006, 04:05
I had to order from another site because Divineo was sold out, and Gadget-Asia doesn't seem to carry ANY m3 products, just some crummy looking ones from other companies. I ordered the DS-Lite sized MicroSD version with a 1gb MicroSD card and reader from ModChipStore.. it cost more than I wanted but after seeing how much a GBA game sticks out of my DS Lite and how the M3 is clearly much bigger, I decided I couldn't stand it sticking out that much... it was $24 for the faster shipping option (1-3 days worldwide) to Japan but maybe it gets here fast .. I hope so. For that much money I'll be really upset if it doesn't. :(

While I wait, I got New SMB, the new Kirby game that just came out (sorry, I cannot read the title, but it's the one with the magician mouse you fight) and a couple GBA games incl. Klonoa G2- Dream Champ Tournament. Very fun.