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When you buy a new DS lite some kind of placeholder is sitting in slot 2 of the DS. It appears to have electrical contacts but I can not find any documentation anywhere that says what it does, if anything.Top ViewSide ViewOther side

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up vote 13 down vote accepted

It's simply there to plug the port (protect it from dust) when you don't have a GBA game in it. There's no real purpose to it, it just makes the device look more complete, rather than having a huge hole on the bottom.

The Cartridge Slot Cover is a replacement for the one included with your Nintendo DS Lite. The Cartridge Slot Cover is a removable cover that keeps the Game Boy Advance cartridge slot clear from dust and debris when it's not in use. - Nintendo Online Store

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Then why does it have electrical contacts? – Scott Chamberlain May 19 '11 at 2:30
    
I've wondered that myself. However, even Nintendo themselves state it's just a cover to protect it from dust. (see edit) – Kevin Yap May 19 '11 at 2:32
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Jeez, Nintendo uses insanely long URLs for their online store pages. – Kevin Yap May 19 '11 at 2:35
    
Perhaps the contacts are there just to give you a hint that it's meant to be connected in the slot. Looking at the board, it doesn't have any real function since they are all floating. Also, it's held in place by putting pressure on them. Perhaps that is the function. – Jeff Mercado May 19 '11 at 2:59
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@Scott: Here it is. Just note that this is a replacement cover and not the one that came with the DS. But I don't think there would be any difference any way. – Jeff Mercado May 19 '11 at 6:39

The contacts are to keep the card slot contact bus clean, burnished, and free from plastic residues.

Plastic wheels on model trains can leave a buildup on the track which functions as an insulator and is hard to remove. If the placeholder card in the DS Lite were all plastic, a similar buildup could accumulate on the DS's electrical contacts and interfere with it reading real cards.

If the slot filler card had only phenolic circuit board material, however, it would cause wear to the card slot bus, and would not mate smoothly with the copper card slot fingers. Having a card in the slot rather than leaving it empty also keeps the contacts from moisture and corrosives in the atmosphere.

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I have a suspicion this is a markov chain autogenerated post. Why do you bring up model trains? – Scott Chamberlain Dec 10 '15 at 0:51
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This actually seems like an answer... except why the trains? Just copied from a similar question? – DCShannon Dec 10 '15 at 2:37
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The answerer is applying his model train knowledge to an analogous situation (the interactions between electronic and plastic components). The answer makes perfect sense, but the analogy is introduced abruptly and the last sentence is unnecessarily and unhelpfully curt. I've submitted an edit. – Ryan Veeder Dec 10 '15 at 2:57
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Seems pretty clear to me... – Robotnik Dec 10 '15 at 3:46
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@ScottChamberlain Or maybe there's a parallel here. Model train tracks, which conduct the electricity to run the train, being coated by the plastic from the wheels, damage the ability for the rails to be electrically contacted. The answer states that, like this analogy, if the cartridge were all plastic, it would eventually build up a plastic residue on the internal cartridge contacts that would damage the ability for electrical charge to pass through them, making the slot useless until cleaned. – nukeforum Dec 10 '15 at 14:55

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