Robots w/Lasers

June 29, 2007

Hardware I/O for Nintendo DS

A neat-looking device for DS homebrew development is natrium42‘s DSerial. The features include

  • 8051 microcontroller running at 24MHz
  • Reprogrammable from DS, premade firmwares available
  • Free development tools available
  • 18 GPIO lines, 2 status LEDs
  • UART with RS-232 level converter (can be disabled)
  • Full-speed USB 2.0 device (does not support USB host)
  • PWM and ADC available
  • 2D tilt sensor

I’m hoping to make some cool stuff with it…my first plan is to build a portable heart monitor, that can also tell you how stressed-out you are, based on your ‘coherence’ (essentially you take the FFT of your heart rate over time, and you want most of the energy to fall near to 0.1Hz)

Filed under: DSerial,Hardware,Nintendo DS — davr @ 12:37 pm


  1. MMMMM, sweet 😉

    That’d be useful for some 🙂

    Comment by dark — July 10, 2007 @ 1:54 am

  2. Oh my lord, a fellow Flash developer who wants to develop on the DS! I didn’t know how many of us were out there!

    Haha, anyway. I just found your blog, some exciting stuff going on there in both areas. I also wanted to as you what hardware you use for your homebrew stuff? I have been poking around for awhile, but haven’t settled down on anything yet, and I just can’t wait. I have a DS Lite. Any suggestions?

    Thanks, and maybe I’ll be showing my face around the community more once I get set up!


    Comment by drMikey — July 11, 2007 @ 6:19 pm

  3. If you want an the simplest, most compact solution, the R4 Slot-1 MicroSD is generally recommended. Cons: No extra memory, can’t play GBA homebrew

    If you want a device that does everything, get the SuperCard Lite + SuperKey — This basically has the best compatibility of all available devices, lets you run GBA files, and has an extra 32MB of RAM in it (used by a few applications like DSLinux). Cons: Costs a bit more, requires either FlashMe(hacked firmware) or a NoPass — luckily natrium is giving free SuperKey’s(a type of NoPass) with all SuperCards, so you are covered.

    In addition to the above DS-devices you’ll also need a MicroSD card, but they are pretty cheap. You can get 1GigaByte from for $15…and if you use Google Checkout as a new customer, you get $10 off!

    Comment by davr — July 20, 2007 @ 1:37 pm

  4. Awesome. Thanks very much for your advice. My research had shown that the supercard / superkey combo was probably my best option.

    And by the by, your heart rate monitor looks pretty crazy. Cool stuff.

    Thanks again!

    Comment by drMikey — July 20, 2007 @ 2:55 pm

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