Hi Everyone! A while back, I posted this topic over at the Pokemasters Forums, and it seemed to help a lot of people with reviving their Pokemon GSC games. There are more active people at Serebii.net, so I figured I could help out a lot more people by sharing my experiences with you to! Feel free to ask any questions you want, and I'll do my best to help you out.
Can your Pokemon game still hold a save?
If your Game Boy game is no longer able to hold a save, yet can still be played fine, that most likely means that the battery in the game cartridge has run out of energy.
You can easily replace this battery, restoring the cartridge's ability to store save data. This replacement can be performed for much less than the cost of buying a new game. You just need to purchase a new battery.
**Basic soldering skills required**Materials:
New 3 Volt Coin Cell Battery - CR2025 (165mAh) or CR2032 (220mAh)
Fine tipped hemostat or needle-nosed pliers
Flip over your cartridge.
Using a hemostat, needle-nosed pliers, or anything else that you can grip it with, unscrew this little screw by turning counter-clockwise.
Once the screw has been removed, turn cartridge over, slide the front cover downwards, and pull it off.
Now you can see the circuit board, and the battery that allows one of the chips to retain the game save data.
You can see that both Pokemon Red and Silver cartridges look very similar, except that the Silver circuit board has a crystal oscillator in the upper left-hand corner to control the passing of time in the game.
Removal and Replacement of the Battery
Now that you have the cartridge open before you, take a look at the battery.
You can see that the type of battery used is printed on the board above the battery. For my Pokemon Red and Silver games, the CR2025 coin cell was used. I went to a Radio Shack store to buy my replacement battery. Instead of using a CR2025 battery, I chose to install a CR2032.
The cartridge needs to use a 3 volt battery that fits in this position. The CR2025 has a storage capacity of 165 milliamps per hour (mAh). The CR2032 is also 3 volts, but is 220 mAh so it will last longer. It is 0.7 mm thicker than the CR2025, but since there is some extra room inside the cartridge it still fits.
Take note of the polarities of the battery. The wider side, which is facing the board, is positive (as specified by the + on the board). The side that is less wide, which is facing you, is negative (as specified by the - on the board). Remember this, as you will need to make sure you connect the new battery the same way.
Remove the Old Battery:
**Warning: Use caution when working with a soldering iron! If you touch any metal that is connected to or touching the tip, you will be burned. Only hold the iron by its handle. Do not touch the battery's tabs right after you unsolder them, as they may still be hot. The battery itself may also be hot if it is in contact with the soldering iron for an extended period of time.**
Basicaly, use common sense. If you aren't confident in your ability to handle a soldering iron, find someone else who is.
To remove old battery, you will need to unsolder the contacts where the battery's tabs connect to the circuit board.
**Warning: Do not allow solder to touch any parts of the circuit board other than the pad where the tab is connected. If you create a connection between any of the traces on the board, you may end up ruining your game.**
Once the soldering iron has heated up, touch it to one of the mounds of solder where the battery's tabs are connected to the board. When the solder melts, use some pliers to pull the battery up so that the tab pulls away from, and is not in contact with the board. Then repeat the process with the other tab to fully remove the battery and its tabs from the board.
Inserting the New Battery:
If you can find a new battery that has tabs already attached, it will save you a lot of trouble in attaching your own. You can buy them online (part number P223-ND at digikey.com) if you want to pay a lot for shipping.
You can also find battery holder clips that you can solder to the cartridge and then just put the battery in it. These clips are the kind of thing you may see holding the CMOS battery on a computer motherboard. You would just have to make sure it is thin enough to fit in the cartridge.
If your new battery does not have tabs in the same positions as the original battery, you will need to attach your own tabs or attach the battery a different way. I will add another post later, explaining how to attach tabs to a battery.
Take the tab connected to the battery's wider positive side, and solder it to the board's positive (+) contact in the position that the first battery was connected. The positive side of the battery should be lying face down to the board.
If the tab that is connected to the negative contact does not have a bend in it, bend it into the shape that the original battery's tab was in, so that it can connect to the circuit board. Make sure that you do not allow it to make contact with the positive side of the battery. If your new battery does not have any insulation around the edges (as you can see in the Pokemon Red picture above), you can place some tape under the bend of the tab so you don't accidentally short it to the "+" side.
Now solder the negative tab of the battery (negative side facing up) to the pad on the board so that it bends downward and enters the solder on the solder pad.
Once you have soldered the new battery in place, you can place the cover back onto the cartridge. Slide the cover back up along the grooves in the sides, so it stays closed, and screw the screw back into the hole to hold everything together.
Congratulations! If you followed these instructions correctly, and didn't solder on the wrong places, you should have a working game that can now store a save file again!