Recently I found a rather beaten and worn Nintendo DS. The poor thing looks like it's been through a war, and it may have, but the strange thing is that the hinge is still completely intact. Once I got it home I plugged it in and let it sit for a good, long charge. After it was all good to go I immediately noticed that a few things weren't quite right.
The first thing that was wrong was the touch screen; there was a deep gouge running nearly the complete height of the touch screen, which caused the touch screen to not work properly, nor could I calibrate it. Luckily the only thing affected was the touch screen, the actual display screen was in perfect condition. The top screen looked great, until I noticed 2 black lines that only appeared when the back light was on. I turned the back light off and applied light from the front and the lines simply aren't there. I'm going to assume this is repairable as I'm pretty certain this isn't a fault with the screen itself, rather something between the back light and the screen.
So what am I going to do with this poor thing? I'm going to take the best parts from it and another original DS that I bought years ago (which had a broken hinge) and make a decent, working original DS. After taking them both apart and putting the best of the best within the housing with the good hinge, I finally have a working original DS with a working hinge. By the way, the plastic on the original DS has not aged well. On both consoles I found it to be quite brittle, which is sad and makes me not want to use it out of fear of it breaking, but oh well!
Once everything was said and done I had a pile of leftover parts. What am I going to do with them? Well, years ago an article circulated the internet about someone who converted an original DS into a back lit GBA. That's it! That's what I'll do with the spare parts.
The only real issue here is fitting a resistor beside the Start and Select pads, and making sure there is enough clearance for the whole shell to close up again. The resistor is needed so that the system will allow itself to turn on without the top screen being attached. I was too excited to really take any inner photos or do a tutorial on this, but I may in the future as modding the original DS to be a GBA isn't as well documented as the DS Lite mod. I prefer the original because the GBA games fit flush, unlike the DS Lite where the games hang out slightly.
Mine currently doesn't have speakers, but headphones are just as good. I'll figure out where to mount the speakers and get them all wired up sometime, but for now having a working GBA with a decent, but not great, back lit screen is pretty neat.