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Nintendo Gamboy Pocket Color Back-Light Mod Project


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#26 Video OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Mar 1, 2009 4:16 PM

Id buy a kit,providing it's relatively cheap (in relation to how much I'd spend to make a similar thing or ease of doing it)

How about a Flatlight? Its not a florecent tube, but rather a thin flexable piece of plastic that lights up when electrified? Easy to cut to size, flex, and it starts out withe so it could be it's own bakcground for being in a well lit room. Only problem, if I remember right, I think it runs on something like 9 volts (however, that may be dependant on how big of piece you need, the few inches for a gameboy screen isn't much)



do you have any links to that? when I googled "flatlight", the only thing that came close was this:

http://ecmweb.com/ma...lighting_front/

that does not look like what you described, I don't think you can cut this stuff


Probably talking about this: http://www.e-lite.co...luminescent.htm

I don't remember why I was looking into this stuff in the past, but judging by the name it's probably the same stuff.


I believe that's it exactly, you could buy it in string format, rope format, sheet format, and even er..."lightsaber" format (yeah, like off starwars, don't know how well it would hold up to impact, but it's flexible, so...) and it came in different colors, red, blue, yellow.....white, or at least when I bought some.

I got some nearly a decade ago to fix a LCD monitor (back when they were still massively expensive like high hundreds and thousands) and had good success with it, but all that stuff went away, and finding the 9 or 12 volt (don't remember) was considerably easier in a monitor that plugs into 110, than it would be on a gameboy that runs on 3v.

And Mark Wolfe, the Pocket does run on 2 AAA batteries, maybe your thinking the Color? I'll dig mine out to make sure later, but I'm pretty sure it ran on AAA's

Man, that sutff's come down in price, it was a LOT more expensive when I first dabled in it, but then again, I got a $1000 monitor for under $200 and a little bit of work at the time, so...

Edited by Video, Sun Mar 1, 2009 4:23 PM.


#27 Longhorn Engineer OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Mar 1, 2009 11:08 PM

Might want to post a question over at the BenHeck Handheld section.

http://forums.benhec...wforum.php?f=22

I believe "Bibin" is working on a EL backlight GBP

#28 Mark Wolfe OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Mar 1, 2009 11:18 PM

Might want to post a question over at the BenHeck Handheld section.

http://forums.benhec...wforum.php?f=22

I believe "Bibin" is working on a EL backlight GBP



if you mean this:
http://forums.benhec...hp?f=22&t=27338

it is a gba project, not gbc do you have direct link if I've got the wrong thread?

#29 Longhorn Engineer OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Mar 1, 2009 11:19 PM

Might want to post a question over at the BenHeck Handheld section.

http://forums.benhec...wforum.php?f=22

I believe "Bibin" is working on a EL backlight GBP



if you mean this:
http://forums.benhec...hp?f=22&t=27338

it is a gba project, not gbc do you have direct link if I've got the wrong thread?


He is working on a GBP. I don't think he is done with it yet.

#30 Mark Wolfe OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Mar 2, 2009 12:02 AM

He is working on a GBP. I don't think he is done with it yet.


linky link??

#31 Longhorn Engineer OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Mar 2, 2009 12:07 AM

He is working on a GBP. I don't think he is done with it yet.


linky link??


Can't find a link. :(

#32 Longhorn Engineer OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Mar 3, 2009 3:56 PM

http://forums.benhec...hp?f=22&t=27481

Yep someone finished one.

#33 Mark Wolfe OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Mar 3, 2009 4:08 PM

http://forums.benhec...hp?f=22&t=27481

Yep someone finished one.



thanks abe for the link :) this is interesting but they do not reveal how they did it. one guy uses LEDs and it looks crappy with no light diffusion. the main guy though, bibbin I guess, did a great job, but there is no real clue as to how he did it. there is talk of a guide coming soon but nothing yet.

additionally, these guys are modding the gameboy pocket, no the gameboy pocket color so I am not sure what kind of differences there are between the two and how that will affect the outcome.

they do allude to using old parts from a ds lite. I can definitely buy replacement screens no problem, they're quite cheap but before I go buying those parts I'd need to know how it was done.

it is clear though that using LEDs will not work unless you are able to diffuse the light and reflect it evenly .

#34 nathanallan OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Mar 3, 2009 5:24 PM

I looked at the picture and yes, there is no diffusion, what could so easily have been done.

I have a GBC that I am willing to open up and work with. I'll see what I can fit in there. Just now ordering the 3mm white leds for it.

I think I can fit these plus the diffusion lens in there. I'll know in a little bit when I open the thing up.

#35 Mark Wolfe OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Mar 3, 2009 5:36 PM

I looked at the picture and yes, there is no diffusion, what could so easily have been done.

I have a GBC that I am willing to open up and work with. I'll see what I can fit in there. Just now ordering the 3mm white leds for it.

I think I can fit these plus the diffusion lens in there. I'll know in a little bit when I open the thing up.



I have mine open too, I'm about to take post some hi-rez pics with some measurements so we can figure out what would work and what won't due to size requirements

#36 nathanallan OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Mar 3, 2009 9:18 PM

I didn't take any pics, but it looks like the 3mm size will work. I just remembered I forgot to check the voltages required... I wonder what the heck I ordered.

Aside from that, with some dremelling around I think I can fit two LEDs and a diffusion lens near the power switch quite easily. I think that I'll be picking up a second unit for expermentation (and in case I screw something up there's a plan B).

#37 Mark Wolfe OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Mar 3, 2009 9:23 PM

I didn't take any pics, but it looks like the 3mm size will work. I just remembered I forgot to check the voltages required... I wonder what the heck I ordered.

Aside from that, with some dremelling around I think I can fit two LEDs and a diffusion lens near the power switch quite easily. I think that I'll be picking up a second unit for expermentation (and in case I screw something up there's a plan B).



very cool, if you can, take pics of your work at each step and list your materials and post links to where you got them, that would be very helpful.

#38 nathanallan OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Mar 3, 2009 10:15 PM

Will do. This is the fun part:) Waiting for parts to arrive, not so fun.

#39 nathanallan OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Mar 5, 2009 2:22 AM

Since parts haven't gotten here yet I wanted to post the specs for the LEDs I ordered.

* Emitted Colour : White
* Size (mm) : 3mm
* Lens Colour : Water Clear
* Peak Wave Length (nm) : N/A
* Forward Voltage (V) : 3.2 ~ 3.8
* Reverse Current (uA) : <=30
* Luminous Intensity Typ Iv (mcd) : Average in 6000
* Life Rating : 100,000 Hours
* Viewing Angle : 20 ~ 25 Degree
* Absolute Maximum Ratings (Ta=25????C)
* Max Power Dissipation : 80mw
* Max Continuous Forward Current : 30mA
* Max Peak Forward Current : 75mA
* Reverse Voltage : 5~6V
* Lead Soldering Temperature : 240????C (<5Sec) * NOTE THIS IS VERY LOW *
* Operating Temperature Range : -25????C ~ +85????C
* Preservative Temperature Range : -30????C ~ +100????C

Forward voltage is a bit high, but they don't need to be that bright, either. If I must absolutely meet the 3.2 forward voltage, however, I was thinking of getting a 6-volt lithium ion or something that fits it with a pretty high rating.

I think one of the Wii-mote rechargeables would work, and I can get one of those pretty easily and rip the cells from it and add a small circuit board to distribute the needed voltage. Maybe.

If the LEDs are happy at 3v then all will be good. With the added draw, though, I was thinking of rigging together a C cell holder on the back of it for more battery capacity.

About the LEDs being mounted in the side, it'll take some pretty precise cutting and shaping but I think I'm up to it. 3mm is not that small when you're talking about dremel bits.

Just wondering aloud in type as I wait on parts. They may be able to be mounted on the top and bottom. Also have mirrors on the opposite edges of the LEDs to reflect anything back. Tiny sliver mirrors.

#40 Mark Wolfe OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Mar 6, 2009 2:40 PM

Hey Nathan, where did you order from? I was perusing this site that has a lot of inexpensive parts and various crap, http://www.dealextreme.com

check out their electronics section, lots of LEDs. also a ton of various batteries and parts, like wii-mote and GBA batteries, et al. There are also some cheap handhelds and LCD frames with backlighting for very cheap. I'm wondering if it might be cost effective to order something with a backlight and rip it out and re-use it, especially if it only costs $12

#41 nathanallan OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Mar 6, 2009 7:43 PM

I ordered some from ebay, just found a seller randomly. I have never shopped there at dealextreme, but the gadgets section does look pretty neat. That battery for the PSP is an interesting thing to drop in the place of 2 AA's.

It occurred to me to use parts form other things, like the screen, but the chances of both screens using the same everything is pretty low. Still gonna look, though.

#42 Mark Wolfe OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Jun 19, 2009 6:56 PM

Greetings ... it has been quite some time since I posted in this thread but i wanted to make you folks aware of what has been going on behind the scenes.

My good friend & fellow AtariAger Spazmonkey has focused his modding skillz towards this project and has already gotten quite far with it.

I will not give away too many details here because I want him to describe what he is up to in his own words and so I don't get something wrong but the basic idea is that we're taking the front light component from the first edition gameboy sp and putting it into the gameboy pocket color. Spazmonkey can explain why he chose the gba sp frontlight.

We're also making some other very cool modifications but we're keeping that a secret. I say "we" because we've been going back and forth hatching the plan via e-mails for the past few weeks. He is doing the actual mod work but we're both brainstorming it. I am also providing as much hardware and financial support as I can and golden ax gave us an sp to gut.

we actually would be grateful for donations of broken SP units provided the light works and it is from the front light edition. PM for details on donating.

The overall goal here is to provide a DIY kit or to do the mods on spec or to sell final finished units, we're not sure yet. I would like it to be a DIY kit but if we can not get a steady supply for the parts it may not work that way. if anyone knows where we can order just the front light part of the gba sp, then please let us know.

on to the pics, more to follow in the days and weeks to come...

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Edited by Mark_Wolfe, Fri Jun 19, 2009 6:58 PM.


#43 Spazmonkey OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Jun 19, 2009 7:18 PM

Greetings ... it has been quite some time since I posted in this thread but i wanted to make you folks aware of what has been going on behind the scenes.

My good friend & fellow AtariAger Spazmonkey has focused his modding skillz towards this project and has already gotten quite far with it.

I will not give away too many details here because I want him to describe what he is up to in his own words and so I don't get something wrong but the basic idea is that we're taking the front light component from the first edition gameboy sp and putting it into the gameboy pocket color. Spazmonkey can explain why he chose the gba sp frontlight.

We're also making some other very cool modifications but we're keeping that a secret. I say "we" because we've been going back and forth hatching the plan via e-mails for the past few weeks. He is doing the actual mod work but we're both brainstorming it. I am also providing as much hardware and financial support as I can and golden ax gave us an sp to gut.

we actually would be grateful for donations of broken SP units provided the light works and it is from the front light edition. PM for details on donating.

The overall goal here is to provide a DIY kit or to do the mods on spec or to sell final finished units, we're not sure yet. I would like it to be a DIY kit but if we can not get a steady supply for the parts it may not work that way. if anyone knows where we can order just the front light part of the gba sp, then please let us know.

on to the pics, more to follow in the days and weeks to come...


Yeah, so here goes. I had everything working, and then the small ribbon portion got severed when I was assembling. A few things, I chose the SP screen since I know it's efficient, there's an ample, cheap supply, and it uses the same power as an LED. This is important, because we can maximize battery life, and easily hook it up. It's form factor is also small, and requires very little modification to the case. Details on other things to come, but we hope to woo-and wow you guys pretty shortly.

#44 Mark Wolfe OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Jun 19, 2009 8:58 PM

Does anyone out there happen to know where we can buy the Gameboy SP parts wholesale? If not, I'll need to be raiding ebay auctions for broken SPs

I figure somewhere in hong kong there must be a place that has that part in stock. They sell the parts for the DS all over ebay for chump change

Finding the part will make the difference between this mod being sold as a kit or on a unit by unit basis so any ideas on this would be greatly appreciated.

#45 Video OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Jun 21, 2009 3:19 PM

Well, while a different size, I think the Idea between the DS/DSL and SP/SP2 are similar, unless for some reason you just have to have SP parts,I'd say go with the DS parts.

I'm sure someone out there makes them still, Just saying....

#46 Mark Wolfe OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Jun 21, 2009 5:18 PM

Well, while a different size, I think the Idea between the DS/DSL and SP/SP2 are similar, unless for some reason you just have to have SP parts,I'd say go with the DS parts.

I'm sure someone out there makes them still, Just saying....



do you think the light element and dispersion glass are the same? we are using a glass cutter to scale down the glass and the reason for using the SP is the relative size to the GBC and the fact that it is pretty easy to adapt. if the DS screen can be gutted and cut to size, then yeah, we can use it. I have never seen the DS screen dissected so I don't know if it will work in the same way that the SP front light element does

from what i can tell, from the purely supply side of things, the SP screens are still pretty easy to find from a few online stores that have them for about 15-25 bucks each, but I think you're right in that thr DS screens are more plentiful and cheaper so we'll have to look into it.

#47 Video OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Jun 22, 2009 4:46 PM

I think the same tech is being used in both systems, the Matrix is a different size, but I think mostly it's the same otherwise.

#48 Mark Wolfe OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Jun 22, 2009 7:34 PM

I think the same tech is being used in both systems, the Matrix is a different size, but I think mostly it's the same otherwise.



I will definitely follow up on that. I'll order a DS top screen this week and take it apart to check it out.

#49 Spazmonkey OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Jun 22, 2009 9:08 PM

I think the same tech is being used in both systems, the Matrix is a different size, but I think mostly it's the same otherwise.


Thats false. The SP screens we are using are the front lit model, so we can easily take them off. The back lit one will not work, since the gameboys screen is reflective, and light will not shine through it.

#50 Mark Wolfe OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Jun 22, 2009 9:24 PM

I think the same tech is being used in both systems, the Matrix is a different size, but I think mostly it's the same otherwise.


Thats false. The SP screens we are using are the front lit model, so we can easily take them off. The back lit one will not work, since the gameboys screen is reflective, and light will not shine through it.



isn't the phat ds frontlit? that was the screen I was going to check out




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