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New Nintendo 2DS XL

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Nintendo 2DS XL
Motherboard Side A (Fig. 1)
Motherboard Side B (Fig. 2)
Motherboard Side B Connectors (Fig. 3)
Motherboard Side B Chips (Fig. 4)

The Nintendo 2DS XL and 3DS XL are similar in many ways. For this reason some of the troubleshooting solutions here may also be effective on the 3DS XL.

There are three LED indicators on the front of the console. The power LED will light blue when the console is operating normally, and the battery is at a good charge. It will pulse blue when the system is in sleep mode. If it is red the battery is at low charge, and if it pulses red then the battery level is very low. The recharge LED will light red if the console is plugged in and charging. Once fully charged it turns off. The wireless LED is solid yellow when connected to wi-fi. When sending or receiving data it will blink yellow.

Problem Solution

Blue power light turns on then off after a few seconds. This can be accompanied by a flash of light on one or both of the screens and/or an audible pop sound from the speakers.

  • During start up the console checks “essential” system functions. The blue light turning on and popping out indicates that one of the systems is being detected as damaged or missing. The following is not a complete list of the systems that can cause this problem. These are the ones that I have observed.
  • Five ribbons must be connected to the motherboard to get it to boot to the home menu. If any of these are not connected or are damaged in a way that the system detects as incorrect the blue light will turn off and the console will not boot. These five are the Lower LCD, Lower LCD backlight, Upper LCD, Inner Camera, and the Battery (see Fig. 3). Only these five need to be connected for the system to start. Try replacing them with known working units to determine if the problem is with the motherboard or one of the five.
  • If the motherboard works with use the known working units. Then replace each of them with the old parts until the console stops booting. The damage can be obvious, such as a broken ribbon (which might not be visible until opening the console further), or it might be invisible and internal to the bad part.
  • If the motherboard does not work then check inside the five ribbon connectors for damage such as lifted or bent pins. Use magnification for this. Even one pin out of place will cause problems. If it is not a connector then general troubleshooting on the motherboard will be necessary.
  • Check the volume slider. I have also observed this problem when the slider was shorted. On each of the short sides of the slider are two pins. One of these pins is always grounded, and the other should vary in resistance when the volume is changed. If both pins are grounded no matter where the volume is set then it is not working correctly.

Hinge problems (such as not clicking into place/won’t open fully/too loose/etc.)

  • I recommend you watch some videos of this process before attempting to avoid damage. There are two hinges. One has the upper LCD ribbon and Wi-Fi antenna going through it. That hinge is a metal cylinder and is not responsible for snapping the screen into place. It will usually only cause a problem if it is missing. In which case that side of hinge will be loose. Opposite that is the barrel hinge. If the upper screen was worked on previously this hinge must have been removed. Replacing it is not an obvious process, and so it is common for it to be installed incorrectly. First try opening the console fully until it is flat. Then using a small tool push the hinge further into its socket. This takes some force. Be careful that your tool does not slip as other parts of the console are fragile. If it does push into place try opening and closing the console to see if that fixed the issue.
  • If the issue is not fixed then the hinge may have been installed backwards. To remove the hinge open the console as flat as you can. This places the hinge in a position where is can be unlocked. Now get a tool and slip the hinge out of its position. This is difficult to do as the hinge is smooth and will still not be loose enough to slide on its own. I like to use a pry tool that has a point on the end but isn’t as sharp as a knife. I stab the point into the plastic hinge and pry out. Some force is necessary so be careful. This will put some scratches on the hinge but the hinge is mostly not visible once the console is reassembled. With the hinge in hand look for the part that sticks out on the bottom. This has to go into the back of the socket. Use a flashlight to check in the socket to confirm this. Replace the hinge and follow the steps above to make sure the hinge is fully seated.

Damaged or nonfunctional upper LCD screen

  • Replacing the upper LCD screen is a difficult process. I recommend you watch some videos of it before attempting to avoid damage. Disconnect and remove the motherboard. Now to remove the top screen assembly from the rest of the console you must pull out the hinge. See hinge problems above for instructions on removing the first hinge. The second hinge has the upper LCD ribbon and the Wi-Fi antenna going through it. Roll up the ribbon around the Wi-Fi wire and stick them into the hinge. Now remove the top assembly. The second hinge is a metal cylinder which the ribbons fit through. The cylinder with ribbons rolled up inside should come loose as you remove the top screen assembly. When you are finished replacing the screen the ribbons can be rolled and placed inside the cylinder to reassemble.
  • The shell around the upper screen has four screw that keep it together. These are under a flat plastic cover that is glued in place. The glue is very strong and the plastic cover is very thin. If you try to remove the cover by pulling it will crack in half. This piece isn’t essential to the operation of the console, but it is a big crack right on the outside top of the unit that will look bad. Use heat to loosen the glue. I like to set my heat gun for 200 C and full air flow. The glue can be heated through the plastic cover as long as you keep the heat below plastic melting temperature. Use a flat pry tool to get under the cover once the glue is warm. Work around all the edges using more tools to make sure they don’t get stuck back down. Once the edges are up then move into the middle. Try to use the pry tool to push through the glue instead of prying up on the plastic. If you get frustrated and start to wonder why it was made this way then you are probably doing it correctly. Once the cover is off take out the screws and separate the pieces of the shell. Going around the edge of the shell with a pry tool will help loosen the plastic clips that are holding it in place. Be aware the plastic edge is fragile and it is common to get cracks while prying it apart. You are now down to the screen. The Wi-Fi antenna is also in here and can be put aside if you wish. The screen is glued around its edge to the clear plastic screen shield. Apply heat through the clear plastic to loosen the glue then use a flat tool to get between the LCD and the clear plastic. Whenever I get to this step the LCD cracks while removing it, and the little pieces of glass have to be picked out of the glue before placing the new LCD. Hopefully the old LCD was broken anyway. Reassembly is must easier. Heating any glue before putting back together can help things to adhere.

Game cartridge not detected

  • A frequent cause is that some of the pins in the game slot have been bent out of place. Take a flashlight and shine it into the game slot. All of the pins should be at the same level. If any appear lower than the rest they may not be making contact with the game cartridge. These can be bent back in place. It is possible to do this without disassembling the console by using a pick with a hook on the end. The hook will allow you to get under the pin and lift it up. The pins are thin and fragile use light force only.
  • If necessary the metal shield can be removed without removing the entire game slot by unsoldering the four ground tabs around the edges of the shield. If you do this be careful as there is a spring mechanism that holds in the cartridge when inserted. This will probably fly out when removing the shield. This makes it easy to lose and hard to figure out how to put back together.

Broken ribbon cable connector

  • There are several different types of ribbons connectors on the motherboard. It is easy to mistake one type for another and break off the connector from the board. If this happens the only solution is to solder on a new connector.
  • The most common connectors to break are the Lower LCD backlight, NFC Antenna, Circle Pad, and Touch Screen (see Fig. 3). Like most of the bigger ribbon connectors on the board, the Circle Pad and Touch Screen connectors have tabs that need to be opened before removing the ribbons. But with these two the tabs are particularly easy to pop out of their hinges. Sometimes the tab can be put back in place and other times the connector hinge breaks and a new connector will have to be soldered. The Lower LCD backlight and NFC Antenna connectors do not have any tabs. If you try to lift up on the top of the connector it will break. Instead the ribbons should be pulled straight out the back of the connector. Pull on the ribbon opposite the direction that it would be plugged into the connector. Wiggling the ribbon back and forth a bit as you pull may help loosen it. The ribbons are fragile so be careful when doing this and be sure not to pull at an upward angle.

Console does not charge. (Charging light turns on when plugged in, but turns off again after a few seconds. Or charging light never turns off.)

  • In this case the console will never charge. No matter how long it is plugged voltage is not getting to the battery. There is a fuse (see Fig. 2 Fuse A) nearby the battery connector. When this issue is present I have found that this fuse is open. I have observed that shorting out this fuse allows the console to charge and operate normally. Of course this defeats whatever safety that fuse provided. I do not know the rating of the fuse so I cannot provide a link to a replace. It is marked with an H on the top.
  • Also there appears to be an identical fuse, also marked H, near the charge port (see Fig. 2 Fuse B). The trace can be followed from the charge port to Fuse B to Chip A (see Fig. 2) to Fuse A to the battery connector. For this reason I believe that Chip A is the battery charge controller.

Using camera causes console to freeze

  • I do not know of a solution to solve this problem. Placing known working cameras in the console does not solve this issue. Starting the cameras will cause the system to freeze. Holding the power button until the units shuts down and restarting will unfreeze it, but trying the camera again will cause another freeze. This appears to be a software issue. Go to settings and start the outer camera calibration. The camera does work in this menu. Either updating the operating system or reinitializing the console do not seem to have any effect on this problem. But in other ways the console will still function normally. I have heard that games which use the camera still work as well, but I have not tested this personally so be wary.

Shoulder button not working

  • It is common for the shoulder buttons to break off of their pads when pressed too hard or when the console is dropped. The pads may also be lifted from the board with the button. The large pads on the side of the button are grounded and are there for mechanical support. If these pads are ripped from the board some other support will be needed to hold the button when pressed. There are three smaller pads at the back. The outer two are both grounds, because of this only one has to be connected. The middle pad receives voltage and must be connected.
  • There are alternate connection points for all the shoulder buttons. If the button pads have been lifted jumper wires can be connected to these points. Look for a square of four dots nearby the button. Some of these dot are grounded and some have the button voltage. Use a multimeter to find the grounded pads. The others are at button voltage.

Damaged or nonfunctional lower LCD screen

  • Replacing the lower LCD is not overly difficult. Disconnect the motherboard and remove it. Underneath there five screws holding down the NFC Antenna. Remove the antenna and the LCD/touch screen are underneath it. The screen is glued around the edge so you might want to apply some heat from a heat gun if it isn’t already loose. You can push up on the touch screen from the outside to help lift the screen. The LCD and touch screen are glue together, but can be separated if only one is bad. If the LCD is still good then be very careful to not crack it while separating them. Again heat may help here. The touch screen tends to be a bit more forgiving so as long it doesn’t get severely bent or the ribbon damaged you can probably reuse it.

Shoulder buttons are reporting false inputs

Replace or reflow the shoulder buttons