A Beginners Guide to Modding Game Boys Kyle Capel - February 04 2015
For those of you who are not familiar with modding vintage gaming systems, the Nintendo Game Boy DMG Original (DMG) is one of the most iconic and memorable hand held gaming consoles. There are a variety of mods that will sharpen, enhance, speed up, slow down and illuminate your game play. Here you will find a list of the basic intro mods to get yourself familiar and educated about what is available to you.
- 40W Soldering Iron
- Electric Solder
- Wire Cutters/Tin Snips
- Wire Strippers
- Tri-wing Screwdriver
- Philips #00 Screwdriver
- 28 Guage Wire
- Utility Blade
- Compressed Air
- Alcohol 70%
- Hot Glue Gun
Backlighting your Game Boy is one of the best and easiest mods you can attempt. This mod illuminates your screen from behind with an acrylic light guide panel. SMD LED's light the panel in many different colors and give you control over playing your console at night. LED's take minimal power and will not reduce your battery life much at all. The mod begins with a basic breakdown of the outer shell and circuitry to expose and free the front primary circuit board (PCB). Remove a few more screws to get to the underbelly of the LCD. Peel off the film on the back, clean, and insert the back lighting panel. A film slips in between and you are ready to close her up! Minimal soldering is required.
The biversion/bivert mod aim to invert and enhance your pixels. A hex inverter is soldered and stored in the case to achieve this. Attempting this modification will leave an unilluminated screen inverted, so make sure to pair with a backlight to get a normal orientation and the best looking gaming experience. The Hand Held Legend module helps to make this install easier.
Pro sound mods remove the in between connections between the output and the source signals from the sound. Simply solder 3 wires to the back PCB and run your 3.5mm stereo panel mount jack or R and L phono jacks to the outside of the case. This mod claims to produce clearer, louder sound.
Variable Game Play Speed/Pitch
This mod requires the use of an LTC1799 module. This module will allow the game play and therefore pitch to change with the turn of a knob. Add a 250K to 500K potentiometer to speed up or slow down your game. This mod is a little more complex and requires more soldering. Sometimes you will need to remove the speaker from the case in order to get some potentiometers to fit.
Adding colored backlights, buttons and screens are a nice way to give your newly modded game boy that wow factor. These are the basic mods to get you started. There are other mods that include illuminating your case and installing special outputs for music production and performances. You can hook up console controllers, keyboards and other video projection devices. Other Nintendo Game Boy consoles can also be modded such as the Game Boy Pocket, Game Boy Color, Game Boy Advance, and Game Boy Advance SP.