The GB Boy Pocket is a near clone of the original Nintendo Game Boy Pocket released in the early 1990's. It features a similar reflective LCD, contrast dial, and a nostalgic cartridge slot for your classic games. The two consoles are basically the same with a different look and name. A pure clone is great news for people in the modding community who have unsuccessfully attempted to backlight their childhood Game Boy Pockets as the modding capability remains the same. Yes, this console can be backlit with a traditional Game Boy Backlight from Hand-Held Legend. The process is familiar and almost entirely the same. A brief recap follows.Open up GB Boy Pocket (2 security screws this time). Remove 3 screws securing the new PCB. Remove LCD as you would with an original console. Remove sticky polarizer (its not any easier!). Clean. Insert Backlight. Solder wires.
Almost step for step just like we see in a traditional backlight mod. While doing this familiar mod I found a few differences, mainly the width of the flex cable attaching the LCD to the PCB. You will need to turn your backlight upside down in order for it to exit the LCD well. A bit of longer wires will be required to get the extra distance down to the familiar 5V source and Ground.
Of course, like many other modders, I damaged the ribbon cable of the new LCD as I would an original. Not having performed this mod in a while in addition to my excitement yet again resulted in a cracked flex cable. I was able to get a picture of some of the contrast visible on the intact part of the screen and it rivals the bivert modification's level of contrast and visibility.
A simple adjustment of the game boy advance frontlight panel will give you a perfect installation with no hot-spots. Just remove some plastic below, readjust your reflective strip and you are good to go! Using a good razor and x-acto knife makes this mod a lot easier.
When you place the LCD on top of the loca, make sure its in the right spot at the top of the shell. You'll need to be careful here as you want don't want the LCD in the wrong spot after your loca is cured.
This is the first post in an occasional series by Colin from This Does Not Compute.
One of the things that has always interested me are devices that should be computers, but aren't really. We generally think of "computers" as multi-purpose systems, things that run an operating system and applications. But there are tons of devices out there that have processors and RAM but don't really run an operating system in the traditional sense. What is one very famous example of this that we are all familiar with? The Nintendo Game Boy series, specifically the original Game Boy, Game Boy Pocket, and Game Boy Color, sometimes referred to as the "DMG", "MGB" and "GBC" respectively.
I recently ran across the RealBoy emulator project (https://realboyemulator.wordpress.com). There are plenty of Game Boy emulators out there and this one isn't really any different... except for this excellent blog series that explains in depth how the original DMG works. It's meant as a primer in order to understand how the emulator's code works, but it's also an amazing look at the underlying hardware.
In short, the architecture of the Game Boy is pretty simple -- processor, RAM, and ROM. The first two reside in the console itself while the ROM (and some more RAM) is in the game cartridge. There's only a small amount of permanent code in the Game Boy hardware, basically just enough to get the device to perform an initial cartridge check. (The check is, in a way, a form of DRM; it makes sure that the game was licensed by Nintendo and not independently released).
The CPU is perhaps the most interesting part of the system. In the DMG, it's a Sharp LR35902. By all appearances it's a custom part, and in many ways it is, but designing an entire processor from the ground up just for a hand-held game system (or any game system at all really) isn't cost effective. So the Game Boy's CPU is actually based on the Zilog Z80, which was at that time -- and still is -- a common 8-bit processor. The Z80 itself was actually a binary-compatible version of the Intel 8080; not necessarily a clone, but capable of executing all the same instructions. There were some additions to the Z80 beyond that of the 8080, but the custom Sharp CPU wasn't just a rebadged Z80. It actually leveraged parts from both processor architectures, while omitting anything that wasn't relevant to a game console.
What to me at least, makes the Game Boy more of a device than a computer is that there was no traditional operating system layer, firmware, or anything standing in the way between the game and the hardware. After that initial check, the CPU simply ran any instructions presented to it by the game. Modern games are written using a high-level programming language like C, but older games were written in machine language telling the CPU exactly what to do and when. In some ways, the game itself was an operating system. (This is also partially why emulators aren't perfect -- you have to write high-level code that mimics how hardware works, whereas modern games, already written in a high-level language, can simply be ported to another platform)
You might be most surprised by the lineage of the Intel 8080. It was originally designed in 1974 (along with the Z80), and made its way into early PCs and even some arcade games like Space Invaders. But the 8080 also was the basis for subsequent Intel processors, like the 8086. The 8086 is where we get the common computer term "x86", as it spawned the 286, 386 and 486 CPUs. Those of course led to the Pentium series, and on to the modern processors we use in our computers today. It's crazy to think that in 1989 when it was released, the Game Boy actually shared some similarities with computers running Windows. It is in its own right, a computer... that also isn't.
We have partnered with an international shipping wholesaler to dramatically lower our prices for international shipments to ALL countries. Shipments will start at $7.99 ($6.99* for Canadian customers) and will increase by weight. Customers in the shipping zones below will have access to the eCom Packet, while customers outside of this zone will have packages designated as eCom IPA.
Globegistics is the name of the company we have partnered with. You will no longer see "First Class International" shipping options to the list of countries above. The shipment type "eCom Packet" will replace this method. The time table for international shipments can be found below. The "Avg. # days" is from the time the item arrives at the shipping warehouse which can be 2-3 days after the item is marked as "shipped". Although shipping times may be a little longer, the cost savings for customers will make our products more widely available to the international community.
Nearly $14 to ship internationally is a big turn away for many international buyers. We are currently looking into a company that can help use get out cost way way down maybe even to the $5 USD mark. So stay tuned and comment about your interest.Thanks for reading.
"Maybe your Game Boy frontlight installation with LOCA didn't go right -- let's take a look at what's involved in trying again and preventing problems to begin with".
Check out this new video from Colin at This Does Not Comp about how to fix some mistakes when applying LOCA to the Game Boy Color and Game Boy Advance Frontlights. Some tips include reducing bubbles, removing a frontlight with LOCA that has already been applied, what LOCA to use and other tips to help make your modding experience even better.
Some of our users report being able to reuse the panel after removal if you are careful not to gouge the frontlight when removing. There is no harm in reapplying if it does not work out. Other users have reported shining a bright led through the panel before curing to reveal hidden bubbles in the LOCA underneath the panel.
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Exciting new DMG 2 part buttons for the enthusiast and casual modder alike, paint the detail underneath for an even higher wow factor. Left pics are first rough draft followed by refined second draft. Production coming soon.