3 in 1 Expansion Pack for EZ-Flash V
AKA: 3-in-1, 3 in 1, EZ Expansion Pack, EZ-Flash 3-in-1, EZ-Flash 3 in 1, Expansion Pack
Manufactured by: EZ-Flash
- 3 in 1 Expansion Pack for EZ-Flash V for DS Lite (White or Black)
- 3 in 1 Expansion Pack for EZ-Flash V for DS (AKA DS "Phat" Version or GBA Size)
The 3 in 1 Expansion Pack is a NDS Slot-2 Cart that works in conjunction with NDS Slot-1 Carts. The device attempts to integrate three distinct solutions. First, the device is capable of loading GBA games stored in slot-1 devices in a manner similar to previous slot-2 solutions created by the EZ-flash team. Secondly, the 3 in 1 is a memory expansion pack. Finally, the device is a competing rumble pak expansion for games that support official DS rumble pack.
The 3 in 1 Expansion Pack for EZ-Flash V can be officially purchased as a bundle with the EZ-Flash V or separately. The product was specifically designed for EZ-Flash V, but users of other slot-1 cards are able to utilize the Expansion Pack.
1. GBA Loader:
- 256 Mb (32 MB) of NOR Flash memory. This memory will retain the data written to it when the power is turned off, but it takes a few minutes to write a game to it. If you want to use the 3-in-1 in a GBA, this is the memory you will be using. When you start the 3-in-1 like a regular GBA game it always loads the game that's in the NOR memory.
- 128 Mb (16 MB) of PSRAM. This memory does not retain data when the power is turned off, but it can be written to much faster that the NOR. You can only load a game into PSRAM with a program that runs on the DS.
- 4 Mb (512 KB) of battery powered SRAM. A battery is connected in order to retain save information.
- GBA ROMs and save data are stored in the Slot-1 device memory
2. 128 Mb (16 MB) PSRAM Expansion:
- Extra RAM necessary for the DS Opera Web Browser loaded from Slot-1 device.
- Accessible by homebrew developers.
3. Rumble function:
- Works with all official rumble enabled NDS games and homebrew stored in Slot-1 device.
- Rumble can be set to three levels of intensity.
The EZ-Flash V software was developed in-house and is capable of seamless integration of all the hardware features of the 3 in 1 Expansion Pack. The EZ-Flash team does not ensure hardware compatibility with other slot-1 devices, but they have never discouraged access to their hardware. The source code necessary to utilize the key features of the expansion pack is readily available to developers. There have already been many successful solutions for third-party slot-1 carts.
Popular homebrew software for third-party slot-1 carts:
- GBALdr by Cory1492 - A homebrew application run from the DS that will load games directly to NOR memory, load/save .sav files, and can auto-backup the save data currently on the cart when loading a new game. Due to the fact that it only loads games into NOR memory, it can be painfully slow, taking up to 5 minutes in some cases.
- 3in1 ExpPack Tool by Rudolph - Another homebrew application that runs from the DS. This is by far one of the best loaders available. Just as with GBALdr, it can load games to the 3 in 1. What makes it different than GBALdr is the fact that it can load all ROMS under 16MB directly to the PSRAM on the 3 in 1, making copy time less than a minute in nearly all cases. Additionally, it can load games to NOR memory if they exceed 16MB. Two other features that I find to be unique to this tool is the ability to turn the Rumble Pack on and off (for supported DS games) and the ability to switch the cart over to an Expansion Pack for use with the Opera Browser.
- NDStation by chuckstudios - A very interesting approach to loading ROMs on the 3 in 1. Rather than having a homebrew running on the DS transfer the ROM to the 3 in 1, chuckstudios developed a Windows program (later ported to Linux by dg10050) that packaged the GBA ROM in an .NDS file. This packaged file, when launched from a Slot 1 card, would backup any existing save on the 3 in 1 and load the ROM onto it. The aim of the project is to give things a more integrated and unified feel with your Slot 1 cart. Additionally, you can customize the icon and test your Slot 1 will display when the ROM is selected. Some users have reported white lines in the GBA frame when the frame picture is not present as well as minor graphical glitches. The author says this is due to his caching method, and should be fixed in version 1.2, which is due to be release around the 20th of August. While the project is still in its early stages, it does show a lot of potential and is one to keep an eye on.
Furthermore, homebrew software can utilize the 3 in 1 for rumble and/or increase available RAM.
- Excerpt, regarding Expansion Pack: "The build quality is great, it feels very sturdy and the black brushed finish was a good choice. The cart is held together with a single screw on the back. It fits firmly in the GBA slot however it does seem to stick out ever so slightly, so slight it’s hardly worth mentioning. You’ll notice it if you brush your finger over it though."