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Friday, May 2, 2014

Let's quickly repair Nintendo 3DS shuts off with popping sound when fully opened, LCD Flat Flex Repair

Ok, so I recently got this heavily used Nintendo 3DS which was not turning on fully. Blue light comes on then it makes popping sound with a little backlight flash and shuts off.
I tore down it into pieces while searching for faults. Found broken touch screen flat flex cable.
Also I found flat flex (ribbon) cable with some traces been broken in the top half of the 3DS and that was the culprit of popping sound and shut off.

This flat flex (ribbon) is connecting top screen backlight, 3D control ? and speakers. Any fail in the backlight circuits of top or bottom screen and 3DS will shut off with popping sound.
So it's easy to fix, just order a replacement cable. No way :)
Checked with multimeter and found there are only 2 traces broken.
I took some hair thin enameled wires. I then scraped off flat flex (ribbon) traces to copper at the connector side and soldered wires there.

Also soldered these wires to connector on lcd side.

And it works :)

I then glued wires to the flat flex cable with tape.
Putting all that flat flex (ribbon) cables back through the hinge was huge pain though. 


  1. why did you break the 3ds and my problem is, 3ds turns on, no screens flash, and pops after some time.
    Last thing i remember before it was like that, was i was playing paper mario sticker star

  2. Same. My little bro dropped it. Now the blue (power) light goes on and the 3ds just pops the switches off. There aren't any flahes on the screen. Is there nothing I can do apart from sending it to repairs?

    1. If you have time and skills you can open it and check what's wrong :) Otherwise better send to someone with skills. If any screen flex lost it's connection it will not turn on console at all.

    2. I know this is old now, but it's probably because the wifi popped off. You need to open the back of the 3ds and reattach it.

  3. I took my 3ds to a repair shop and they said they couldn't do anyhting about it, I just had to buy another 3ds... Although maybe this trick could work...

  4. any way to get the schematics for the 3ds?

  5. Wow. I wish I could solder like that. My gear and skills are not up to the task.

  6. This is dangerous. But I'm just here to see this post because why not. My 3ds has this problem too and I don't want to risk getting hurt or messing up my Ds anymore than it already is.

  7. I replaced speaker ribbon cables. Unfortunately it powers on but have no 3d working.
    The problem is that I formatted the device and now it's impossible to go past first 3d depth configuration...
    I was wondering if is there anything I can check or I just damaged ribbon cable passing it through the hinge
    Any help appreciated

    1. If it powers on and you can get to the initial setup screen then the cable must work to some degree. Make sure that the 3d slider on the flex isn't damaged. Also make sure that the actual piece of plastic you use to slide it is actually moving the slider on the flex.

  8. Where would I be able to buy this flat flex ribbon? Is there a link you could provide me with?