A DS Card is an emulator device that can be used to play homebrew games on the Nintendo DS and Nintendo DS Lite. It comes in the size of an original DS game cartridge and is inserted into the DS via the ICONPLAY-1 of the Nintendo DS console.
There are many brands of DS card made by different manufacturers such as the R4, DSTT, EDGE DS and many others. For a DS card to work, it will need three component: The DS card itself, a micro SD / SDHC card and the DS card firmware.
The firmware is basically the software part of the system. It is a program that allows a DS card to run homebrew application on the Nintendo DS console.The DS card is basically the hardware part of the system. It contains the Integrated circuit (IC) and various other hardware component that allows the DS card the act as a physical adapter to interact with the Nintendo DS console.
The micro SD is the memory of the system where the firmware and homebrew appication are stored. It is basically the RAM and hard disk space of the system. The micro SD can come in 2GB, 4GB, 8GB, 16GB and 32GB. Micro SD for 4GB and above are known as micro SDHC (Secure Digital High Capacity).
The first step to get the DS card to work is to get the DS card firmware. This firmware may sometimes be provided in a disc but most likely nowadays to be available for download from the DS card manufacturers site or from the reseller site (like us -> NDS-Gear).
The DS card firmware is usually in a .zip or a .rar file, which need to be unzipped (or unrar) using the WinZIP or WinRAR program.The next step is to transfer the unzipped DS card firmware and homebrew applications that you would want to play on the Nintendo DS console from the computer into the micro SD.
To do this, you will need a USB-micro SD adapter. Insert the micro SD into the USB-micro SD adapter. Insert the USB-micro SD adapter into the USB port on the computer. The computer will now detect an external memory drive which is the micro SD.
Drag and drop all the DS card firmware and homebrew application into the root directory of the micro SD. The transfer of the DS card firmware is now completed. Unplugged the micro SD from the computer. The micro SD can now be inserted into the micro SD slot on the DS card, which is usually located on the top corner of the DS card.
The DS card is now a fully functioning system and can be inserted into the Nintendo DS or Nintendo DS Lite console. Turn on the power on the Nintendo console and the DS card is now working and the user can start playing homebrew appicaion that they have transfer onto the Nintendo DS console.
A DSi card is similar to the DS card except it was created to work on the new Nintendo DSi console. DS cards can only work on the Nintedo DS and Nintendo DS Lite console. DSi card can work on all three Nintendo DS consoles (DS / DS Lite / DSi).
Introduction R4 is the most popular brand name for the DS card. There a 30+ brand of DS card that calls themselve R4. On NDS-Gear, we sell 2 out of 30+ of these R4 brands, the R4v2 (R4DS) and the R4 SDHC.