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Author Topic: Game Boy Backlight  (Read 2297 times)

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vwalbridge

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Game Boy Backlight
« on: November 30, 2015, 05:27:12 pm »
I recently found a broken DMG Gameboy on ebay for $7. Turns out it's really easy to repair vertical lines on a Game Boy with a soldering iron

While I was at it, I installed an LED backlight from HandHeldLegend

The results are fantastic. A really fun mod and a relatively easy/cheap way to practice your soldering skills. If you are bored, do it.



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vwalbridge

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Re: Game Boy Backlight
« Reply #1 on: November 30, 2015, 05:33:23 pm »
Another angle with my contrast dialed in.

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opt2not

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Re: Game Boy Backlight
« Reply #2 on: November 30, 2015, 05:48:51 pm »
 :applaud:  Nice!
I got myself a Everdrive-GB not too long ago, and was thinking about doing a mod like this too. Well, originally I was going to front-light mod a GBC since there are no back-light options, but the current front-light mods aren't all that great so I decided not to.
But a DMG mod might be the alternative! Though I'd be missing out on the Color games :-/  hmmm

vwalbridge

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Re: Game Boy Backlight
« Reply #3 on: November 30, 2015, 06:05:07 pm »
:applaud:  Nice!
I got myself a Everdrive-GB not too long ago, and was thinking about doing a mod like this too. Well, originally I was going to front-light mod a GBC since there are no back-light options, but the current front-light mods aren't all that great so I decided not to.
But a DMG mod might be the alternative! Though I'd be missing out on the Color games :-/  hmmm

Thanks opt2not! I have had all the same thoughts as you. It's a shame the GBC doesn't have good lighting options but I'm tempted to try one for fun. I just don't want to trash a perfectly good GBC if I screw it up. I've heard that everdrive is sweet.

The Game Boy was one of my first gaming devices as a kid so this mod has a lot of nostalgia for me. It's amazing they keep coming up with modern day mods for systems made decades ago.
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Howard_Casto

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Re: Game Boy Backlight
« Reply #4 on: November 30, 2015, 06:27:07 pm »
That's very nice!

You know I've been thinking with the Pi Zero the price point is finally good enough to do some "plug and play" consoles that are actually good.  The I/O pins on the board could handle most gamepads without an adaptor.....  you'd just need a front-end and a sd card to hold the roms. 

Now ps2 and gamecube emulation is obviously out, but 8 and 16 bit stuff.... yeah I think it's doable. 

thomas_surles

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Re: Game Boy Backlight
« Reply #5 on: December 01, 2015, 07:00:43 am »
now you don't have to angle the screen in the light just right to see the screen. I think the brightnes make it look pretty cool.

Locke141

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Re: Game Boy Backlight
« Reply #6 on: December 04, 2015, 09:00:03 am »
I love this.

The best part is that you saved it from a dump. Are there any plans to mod in a modern rechargeable battery?

Howard_Casto

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Re: Game Boy Backlight
« Reply #7 on: December 05, 2015, 10:49:47 pm »
I doubt it's needed.  The Gameboy got great battery life... that's why it won the war.

vwalbridge

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Re: Game Boy Backlight
« Reply #8 on: December 05, 2015, 11:08:31 pm »
Yea, I'm sure a rechargeable battery mod is possible but Howard is right. The Gameboy already had phenomenal battery life and this LED mod has negligible impact on the total battery life. A rechargeable mod would probably require cutting plastic and that's the great thing about the LED mod...no major cutting required. The Gameboy remains intact.

In addition, it's probably easier to just use rechargeable AAs if anything.
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Howard_Casto

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Re: Game Boy Backlight
« Reply #9 on: December 06, 2015, 10:13:04 pm »
Well the xbox 360 and xbox one charge and play kits are essentially two AAs.  Some of the knock-offs for the xbox one have the cable attaching directly to the battery and coming out at a 90 degree angle.  That'd probably work really well... just cut a small hole in the battery cover for the cable. 

Locke141

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Re: Game Boy Backlight
« Reply #10 on: December 07, 2015, 10:49:42 am »
Well the xbox 360 and xbox one charge and play kits are essentially two AAs.  Some of the knock-offs for the xbox one have the cable attaching directly to the battery and coming out at a 90 degree angle.  That'd probably work really well... just cut a small hole in the battery cover for the cable.

Or you could just pick up a pack of long-lasting rechargeable lithium AA

BTW, The chip from the same site you got that back light from that increases the contrast looks like a nice upgrade.
« Last Edit: December 07, 2015, 10:51:58 am by Locke141 »

Generic Eric

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Re: Game Boy Backlight
« Reply #11 on: December 07, 2015, 11:57:16 am »
how about one of those anker usb chargers?  Is it too far a leap to get the gameboy to accept USB power?

Quote from: pololu.com
A typical alkaline or NiMH battery in the standard “AA” size has about 2000 to 3000 mAh (or 2 to 3 Ah). With a cell voltage of 1.2 V to 1.5V, this corresponds to 2 to 4 Wh per cell.Nov 13, 2010
Pololu - Understanding battery capacity: Ah is not A
https://www.pololu.com/blog/2/understanding-battery-capacity-ah-is-not-a

opt2not

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Re: Game Boy Backlight
« Reply #12 on: December 07, 2015, 01:06:14 pm »
how about one of those anker usb chargers?  Is it too far a leap to get the gameboy to accept USB power?

Quote from: pololu.com
A typical alkaline or NiMH battery in the standard “AA” size has about 2000 to 3000 mAh (or 2 to 3 Ah). With a cell voltage of 1.2 V to 1.5V, this corresponds to 2 to 4 Wh per cell.Nov 13, 2010
Pololu - Understanding battery capacity: Ah is not A
https://www.pololu.com/blog/2/understanding-battery-capacity-ah-is-not-a

http://store.kitsch-bent.com/product/usb-to-gameboy-power-cables

there are quite a few advancements in hardware for Gameboys. mainly driven by chip-tune musicians and the like. They have a midi controller that interfaces with the GB as well!

Locke141

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Re: Game Boy Backlight
« Reply #13 on: December 08, 2015, 08:29:57 am »
There is also the original GB to HDTV site.

http://www.hdmyboy.com/play/

notaburger

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Re: Game Boy Backlight
« Reply #14 on: January 16, 2016, 12:51:46 am »
What color backlight did you use?

Thanks,
Dave

vwalbridge

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Re: Game Boy Backlight
« Reply #15 on: January 16, 2016, 09:18:39 am »
I used green.  But they come in multiple colors. Green and orange provide the best contrast. But white seems nice too.
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Howard_Casto

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Re: Game Boy Backlight
« Reply #16 on: January 16, 2016, 03:41:50 pm »
I would be interested to see what the white looks like.  I'm curious how much of the green on the Gameboy screen is from the light source (or lack thereof)

opt2not

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Re: Game Boy Backlight
« Reply #17 on: June 15, 2016, 08:06:48 pm »
Just wanted to follow-up and post a few pictures of my backlit and biverted Gameboy Pockets here.







Here's a picture of my clear one in a very lit room (natural light):



Extremely happy with how these function now. Also, Mole Mania is an incredible early Miyamoto game. The puzzle aspects are fun, and the presentation quality is so high for the era this was released in.

vwalbridge

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Re: Game Boy Backlight
« Reply #18 on: June 15, 2016, 09:35:54 pm »
Very nice opt2not!  Those look fantastic. I love breathing new life into old technology. And it's such a fun mod to do too.

I also love the white back light you chose.  Looks really good.  :cheers:
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Locke141

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Re: Game Boy Backlight
« Reply #19 on: June 16, 2016, 12:07:56 am »
I would be interested to see what the white looks like.  I'm curious how much of the green on the Gameboy screen is from the light source (or lack thereof)

opt2not's pics are of the GB pocket witch has a true B&W display where the original GB used a different display that gave the green look.

RedCapsMan

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Re: Game Boy Backlight
« Reply #20 on: June 21, 2016, 11:06:32 pm »
@opt2not

You said you biverted those screens.  Do you think that thats necessary, or is it ok to skip the bivert?  I have a lighting kit around here somewhere but couldn't decide if the bivert was worth it so I haven't jumped in to try it.

An everdrive and a lit screen would be all that 12 year old me could have dreamed about!

opt2not

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Re: Game Boy Backlight
« Reply #21 on: June 21, 2016, 11:35:55 pm »
@opt2not

You said you biverted those screens.  Do you think that thats necessary, or is it ok to skip the bivert?  I have a lighting kit around here somewhere but couldn't decide if the bivert was worth it so I haven't jumped in to try it.

An everdrive and a lit screen would be all that 12 year old me could have dreamed about!
It's not absolutely necessary, but it looks a hellava lot better after biverting. The bivert module with rotated polarizing film really amps up the contrast of the pixels, so the image is a lot more clear.  Without the bivert module the screen still looks ok, but you'll notice it being a bit more washed-out on the dark pixels.

Even though there is a bit more work involved, it's completely worth the trouble. These mods look absolutely great together, your 12 year old you would think so too!

kitsch-bent has another bivert module that i want to try out next, since it looks a bit easier to install. It's smaller and it installs in the area above the CPU, so you don't have to run wires down to the speaker area (the only spot with enough space to install the Handheldlegend module). 
http://store.kitsch-bent.com/product/gb-pocket-lcd-inverter



They also carry a new SEPIC board that is supposed to help manage the power usage a lot more efficiently with these kind of mods.
http://store.kitsch-bent.com/product/sepic-board

I think I'm going to give them a try next and see how it turns out.

Locke141

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Re: Game Boy Backlight
« Reply #22 on: June 22, 2016, 09:41:32 pm »
I just got a game boy pocket and this is on my list of things to do before I go back over seas.

This seems like a great mod.

  
 

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