Articles

From technical modding to gorgeous aesthetics, HHL contributors are adding to our library of hand-held gaming mods.

Voltage and current - Comparing Game Boy Color backlit LCDs

Posted by Dustin Hamilton on

We've been selling a backlit Game Boy Color LCD solution for a bit now and by all accounts people are loving them... we keep getting in more, and they keep selling out... thank you for your support!

Regardless of if you want to find out before-purchase or after-purchase, it's about time we posted the electrical consumption data on the displays at this time and show a simple comparison. Keep in mind these displays are using the same LCD, but are very different with regards to the hardware and software 'driving' them... and voltage-current is just one of many ways these displays could be compared. This data is perhaps geared more towards those looking to have multiple mods on their console and want to know details of the GBC LCD solution we sell.

 

Lets back up...

...just a minute and take a look at what happened before. Our good friend - Matt Whitehead of Jellybelly Customs - did two write-ups for his site and ours that detail how much current the different backlit GBC LCD solutions draw at different voltages across the BennVenn Freckle Shack, the McWill, and the Midwest Embedded solutions. This is just one way to compare the solutions, but also a way to be more informed about what is in your console - especially when doing multiple mods to it.

 

Method

We followed-suit with what Matt had done before - taking a stock Game Boy Color (no mods) and only removing the stock display to replace it with one of the backlit solutions. In our test we also used a v5 motherboard and have the volume on full, with a bench power supply to control the voltage to the console. We watched the power supply for how many mA the console draws. This can give insights into what kind of battery life you can expect... we'll get into that later, though.

 

Results

Hand Held Legend, HHL, Game Boy Color, GBC, CGB-001, China GBC LCD, BennVenn Freckle Shack, McWill, Midwest Embedded, backlit LCD 

Conclusion

So at this point you may be asking “Yeah, Dustin, but what does this all mean?” It’s a valid question and honestly conclusion from this data is that if you’re looking purely at power consumption, in which lower consumption will translate into more play time, then the backlit Game Boy Color LCD we sell and the BennVenn Freckle Shack are the best performers, the McWill is next regarding consumption, then the Midwest Embedded solution… that said, the McWill console shuts down once the batteries hit 2.1v which is rather early relative to the other options. As a reminder, too, this is just one of multiple affinities to evaluate the solutions on - other factors include price, availability, what shell modifications are required, and more.

Read more

Voltage and current - Comparing Game Boy Color backlit LCDs

Posted by Dustin Hamilton on

We've been selling a backlit Game Boy Color LCD solution for a bit now and by all accounts people are loving them... we keep getting in more, and they keep selling out... thank you for your support!

Regardless of if you want to find out before-purchase or after-purchase, it's about time we posted the electrical consumption data on the displays at this time and show a simple comparison. Keep in mind these displays are using the same LCD, but are very different with regards to the hardware and software 'driving' them... and voltage-current is just one of many ways these displays could be compared. This data is perhaps geared more towards those looking to have multiple mods on their console and want to know details of the GBC LCD solution we sell.

 

Lets back up...

...just a minute and take a look at what happened before. Our good friend - Matt Whitehead of Jellybelly Customs - did two write-ups for his site and ours that detail how much current the different backlit GBC LCD solutions draw at different voltages across the BennVenn Freckle Shack, the McWill, and the Midwest Embedded solutions. This is just one way to compare the solutions, but also a way to be more informed about what is in your console - especially when doing multiple mods to it.

 

Method

We followed-suit with what Matt had done before - taking a stock Game Boy Color (no mods) and only removing the stock display to replace it with one of the backlit solutions. In our test we also used a v5 motherboard and have the volume on full, with a bench power supply to control the voltage to the console. We watched the power supply for how many mA the console draws. This can give insights into what kind of battery life you can expect... we'll get into that later, though.

 

Results

Hand Held Legend, HHL, Game Boy Color, GBC, CGB-001, China GBC LCD, BennVenn Freckle Shack, McWill, Midwest Embedded, backlit LCD 

Conclusion

So at this point you may be asking “Yeah, Dustin, but what does this all mean?” It’s a valid question and honestly conclusion from this data is that if you’re looking purely at power consumption, in which lower consumption will translate into more play time, then the backlit Game Boy Color LCD we sell and the BennVenn Freckle Shack are the best performers, the McWill is next regarding consumption, then the Midwest Embedded solution… that said, the McWill console shuts down once the batteries hit 2.1v which is rather early relative to the other options. As a reminder, too, this is just one of multiple affinities to evaluate the solutions on - other factors include price, availability, what shell modifications are required, and more.

Read more


Midwest Embedded GBC LCD Test by Jellybelly Customs

Posted by Dustin Hamilton on

Our friend Matt Whitehead over at Jellybelly Customs is at it again - this time taking the Midwest Embedded backlit LCD for the Game Boy Color, studying it, and plotting how it performs. This is an update to the prior write-up where he compared the BennVenn and McWill offerings, and of course Matt gets technical to explain what’s happening and why… not just testing, but also getting into the ‘why’ of things.

Lets take a look…

MW Embedded backlit GBC LCD

Another backlit Game Boy Color LCD on the market, mainly in the USA and the time of checking he doesn’t ship internationally which is a shame. However, I got my hands on one through a friend in the states

Overall it's similar to the McWill and also the BennVenn, it does require some trimming and some soldering to install it into the shell. Also, it would suit a custom glass screen lens but the LCD metal board has been coloured black from the factory so it doesn't stand out too much. A good thing about it is that with the soldering you can get brightness adjustment so the test was done at max brightness.

One thing that instantly jumps out at me about this mod is that the PCB seems to include its own power circuit for the chips and LCD. That is a good thing in as it won’t be demanding the power from the GBC just for the batteries. So the GBC can happily work as it is intended to.

So I put it under the same tests as the other but only under the powered on tests as we know now that the games just add more strain onto things so we can predict that from the previous tests.

Powered on

Volts

Milliamps

3.2

180

3.1

190

3

190

2.9

200

2.8

210

2.7

220

2.6

230

2.5

250

2.4

270

2.3

280

2.2

300

2.1

330

2

360

1.9

400

1.8

600

1.7

0

 

So what’s going on, well it’s also identical to the McWill in its consumption other than the fact the console will stay on longer all the way down to 1.9v which is good. Something is not quite right with it though. 

Towards the lower end of the voltage range strange things occur, the mod circuitry demands a huge spike, the LCD goes off but the console actually stays on. Why is this?

Hang on this might get a bit deep.

Behavior like this happens when the power circuitry inductors become over saturated with current, meaning that it can’t deal with anymore so the current just spikes fast and high. Luckily modern day IC chips just cut out when this happens and it’s also good that this power spike is only coming from the batteries, not the console itself so will not damage the console.

Overall it’s a nicely done thing and will run for around 4 hours ish and is on par with the Mcwill 5 hrs ish but BennVenns consumptions are still leaps above the rest.

Again this is still a great mod and nicely done and I’m sure it’s not the last we have seen for the GBC backlight world so when I find more I will stack them all up against each other.

 

The original posting of this article is on Jellybelly Customs’ website at: Midwest Embedded GBC LCD Test

About Jellybelly Customs and Matt Whitehead

Started by Matt Whitehead as a hobby in 2016, as a way to reconnect with the consoles of his childhood, he was frustrated at the lack of access to the parts and equipment needed. He spends his time doing custom consoles and creating many of the parts that he and others had limited access to - definitely a positive impact in the modding community.

Profile: Jellybelly Customs

Read more

Midwest Embedded GBC LCD Test by Jellybelly Customs

Posted by Dustin Hamilton on

Our friend Matt Whitehead over at Jellybelly Customs is at it again - this time taking the Midwest Embedded backlit LCD for the Game Boy Color, studying it, and plotting how it performs. This is an update to the prior write-up where he compared the BennVenn and McWill offerings, and of course Matt gets technical to explain what’s happening and why… not just testing, but also getting into the ‘why’ of things.

Lets take a look…

MW Embedded backlit GBC LCD

Another backlit Game Boy Color LCD on the market, mainly in the USA and the time of checking he doesn’t ship internationally which is a shame. However, I got my hands on one through a friend in the states

Overall it's similar to the McWill and also the BennVenn, it does require some trimming and some soldering to install it into the shell. Also, it would suit a custom glass screen lens but the LCD metal board has been coloured black from the factory so it doesn't stand out too much. A good thing about it is that with the soldering you can get brightness adjustment so the test was done at max brightness.

One thing that instantly jumps out at me about this mod is that the PCB seems to include its own power circuit for the chips and LCD. That is a good thing in as it won’t be demanding the power from the GBC just for the batteries. So the GBC can happily work as it is intended to.

So I put it under the same tests as the other but only under the powered on tests as we know now that the games just add more strain onto things so we can predict that from the previous tests.

Powered on

Volts

Milliamps

3.2

180

3.1

190

3

190

2.9

200

2.8

210

2.7

220

2.6

230

2.5

250

2.4

270

2.3

280

2.2

300

2.1

330

2

360

1.9

400

1.8

600

1.7

0

 

So what’s going on, well it’s also identical to the McWill in its consumption other than the fact the console will stay on longer all the way down to 1.9v which is good. Something is not quite right with it though. 

Towards the lower end of the voltage range strange things occur, the mod circuitry demands a huge spike, the LCD goes off but the console actually stays on. Why is this?

Hang on this might get a bit deep.

Behavior like this happens when the power circuitry inductors become over saturated with current, meaning that it can’t deal with anymore so the current just spikes fast and high. Luckily modern day IC chips just cut out when this happens and it’s also good that this power spike is only coming from the batteries, not the console itself so will not damage the console.

Overall it’s a nicely done thing and will run for around 4 hours ish and is on par with the Mcwill 5 hrs ish but BennVenns consumptions are still leaps above the rest.

Again this is still a great mod and nicely done and I’m sure it’s not the last we have seen for the GBC backlight world so when I find more I will stack them all up against each other.

 

The original posting of this article is on Jellybelly Customs’ website at: Midwest Embedded GBC LCD Test

About Jellybelly Customs and Matt Whitehead

Started by Matt Whitehead as a hobby in 2016, as a way to reconnect with the consoles of his childhood, he was frustrated at the lack of access to the parts and equipment needed. He spends his time doing custom consoles and creating many of the parts that he and others had limited access to - definitely a positive impact in the modding community.

Profile: Jellybelly Customs

Read more


Freckle Shack vs McWill by Jellybelly Customs

Posted by Dustin Hamilton on

Freckle Shack vs. McWill Game Boy Color LCD Battery Life Test

The modding community is a fairly small world in many ways, and being an active part of it we are glad to have made many friends along the way... each bringing their own skills and vantage point to the craft.

Jellybelly Customs, headed up by Matt Whitehead, is one of those friends and his latest focus has been the number of Game Boy Color backlit LCDs that have suddenly hit the market. Most notably, Matt is curious about the power consumption of the different offerings, and this is his write-up focused on BennVenn’s Freckleshack and McWill’s LCD... with the Midwest Embedded results to be posted soon.

Let’s get into it...

 

Freckleshack vs McWill by Jellybelly Customs’ Matt Whitehead

Consumption Test

It would now seem that we are in a new age of Game Boy Color modifications, with various new LCD’s out there that are far simpler to install than the AGS101 mod before it. No machining, little to no soldering. These both make it appeal to lots of people old and new to the modding world.

However, things are not always as good as they seem. The standard GBC was a workhorse, it ran off 2 AA batteries and lasted for what seems an eternity 20+ hours. The issue with modifying a console is you’re taking something that is designed as intended from Nintendo and asking it to run more than it possibly should do. The GBC nowadays is also known for having a rather poor DC converter to todays standards, suffers from old capacitors and failing sound problems.

The classic example of overpowering a console is the Game Boy Pocket as you really need to install a 5-volt buck-boost converter to power the backlight as the console simply cannot do it on its own reliably. The GBC is no different.

So what am I getting at…..

Well with these new LCD mods out there people have been quoting (or failing to quote) battery life estimates or tests results. With one product description quoting 3 hours and other quoting 20 hours under certain conditions which is right?

I wanted to find out the consumptions of the 2 LCD’s I could get my hands on, the Freckle Shack and the McWill.

So some information to begin with:

  • 2 AA batteries working range is around 3.2v to 1.8v so we will use this for the tests
  • The test will be carried out using the same motherboard revision a V5
  • The test will also be carried out with full volume

There will be 4 different conditions used:

  1. Powered on with a genuine Tetris cart in gameplay
  2. Powered on with an Everdrive X7 playing Tetris rom
  3. Powered on with an ElCheapoSD playing Tetris rom
  4. Powered on (boot up screen) no cartridge

So first up the Standard GBC console

Genuine Tetris

Everdrive X7

running tetris

ElCheapo

running tetris

Powered on

Volts

Milliamps

Volts

Milliamps

Volts

Milliamps

Volts

Milliamps

3.2

40

3.2

50

3.2

80

3.2

30

3.1

40

3.1

60

3.1

80

3.1

30

3

40

3

70

3

80

3

30

2.9

40

2.9

80

2.9

100

2.9

30

2.8

50

2.8

80

2.8

100

2.8

30

2.7

50

2.7

90

2.7

110

2.7

40

2.6

50

2.6

90

2.6

110

2.6

40

2.5

50

2.5

100

2.5

120

2.5

40

2.4

60

2.4

100

2.4

120

2.4

40

2.3

60

2.3

100

2.3

130

2.3

50

2.2

60

2.2

110

2.2

130

2.2

50

2.1

70

2.1

110

2.1

140

2.1

50

2

70

2

120

2

160

2

50

1.9

80

1.9

120

1.9

170

1.9

60

1.8

0

1.8

130

1.8

0

1.8

60

1.7

0

1.7

0

1.7

0

1.7

60

 

As you can see the standard console is an efficient thing drawing 60ma when powered and worst case using an ElCheapo at 170ma. Also uses the full range of the GBC from 3.2v to 1.8v.

Next up the McWill LCD modded console:

Genuine Tetris

Everdrive X7

running tetris

ElCheapo

running tetris

Powered on

volts

Milliamps

volts

Milliamps

volts

Milliamps

volts

Milliamps

3.2

210

3.2

210

3.2

300

3.2

190

3.1

230

3.1

230

3.1

310

3.1

200

3

240

3

240

3

320

3

210

2.9

280

2.9

250

2.9

330

2.9

220

2.8

300

2.8

260

2.8

340

2.8

230

2.7

310

2.7

270

2.7

350

2.7

240

2.6

320

2.6

280

2.6

360

2.6

250

2.5

330

2.5

300

2.5

370

2.5

270

2.4

350

2.4

320

2.4

380

2.4

280

2.3

0

2.3

360

2.3

0

2.3

300

2.2

0

2.2

380

2.2

0

2.2

330

2.1

0

2.1

0

2.1

0

2.1

0

2

0

2

0

2

0

2

0

1.9

0

1.9

0

1.9

0

1.9

0

1.8

0

1.8

0

1.8

0

1.8

0

1.7

0

1.7

0

1.7

0

1.7

0

 

As you might see in this the McWill LCD at best draws 190ma and at worst around 380ma but also because of the high current draw the console shuts off early at 2.2v - 2.4v.

Lastly the BennVenn FreckleShack

Genuine Tetris

Everdrive X7

running tetris

ElCheapo

running tetris

Powered on

Volts

Milliamps

Volts

Milliamps

Volts

Milliamps

Volts

Milliamps

3.2

100

3.2

130

3.2

160

3.2

80

3.1

100

3.1

130

3.1

160

3.1

90

3

110

3

150

3

160

3

90

2.9

110

2.9

150

2.9

170

2.9

90

2.8

110

2.8

160

2.8

170

2.8

100

2.7

120

2.7

170

2.7

180

2.7

100

2.6

120

2.6

180

2.6

190

2.6

110

2.5

130

2.5

190

2.5

200

2.5

120

2.4

140

2.4

190

2.4

210

2.4

120

2.3

140

2.3

190

2.3

220

2.3

130

2.2

150

2.2

200

2.2

230

2.2

140

2.1

160

2.1

210

2.1

250

2.1

150

2

170

2

220

2

260

2

160

1.9

180

1.9

230

1.9

270

1.9

160

1.8

190

1.8

240

1.8

0

1.8

0

1.7

0

1.7

0

1.7

0

1.7

0

 

What can we make of this then? Well the FS seems better overall and is comparable to the standard console. At best it draws 80ma and at worst 270ma using an ElCheapoSD and uses the full range of 3.2v to 1.8v

The next this is to compare the charts of all 3 of the console to see how the results compare to each other in under certain conditions:

 

Powered on tests

 

 

Genuine Tetris

 

 

Everdrive X7 tests playing Tetris

 

ElCheapoSD tests playing Tetris

 

If you’ve stuck around this long then we’re almost done.

In summary what I see from the tests is that the FS is similar to the standard console just a higher in consumptions due to the backlit LCD which is understandable, It seems to stay powered on for the full working range of the voltage tests and also doesn’t have huge spikes in milliamps over the range. With a minimum consumption of 80ma and a max of 270ma using the ElCheapoSD.

So what does this all mean, well you will use up every bit of power in the batteries you put in and get the maximum play time. If we take an average of all the FS consumption data we get 160ma usage which will mean roughly around 12hrs of play time on 2000mah batteries.

The Mcwill is a lot higher with consumption of 190ma at best and 380ma at worse on an El cheapo. From the data, we get an average consumption of 286ma which will give around 4.5hrs of play time partly cause by only being able to use around 70% of the power from the batteries.

So what’s best…!

It’s whatever you want from the mod, if you want a VGA output then your only choice is a McWill, if you don’t want to remortgage your house for batteries then a Freckle Shack is what you need.

I am very OCD (as you can tell) about things working as efficiently as possible so for me and until someone can show me a good reason I’ll be sticking to the Freckle Shack for my modded consoles as well as the AGS101 mod. To me, the McWill high amp level and early console cut out means that the GBC really cannot be too happy having to provide the extra power that the LCD mod is asking for and I don’t like it. The GBC DC converter becomes highly inefficient at the high current draw which shows in the charts, and with some GBC spec sheets out there showing it has a 500ma fuse inside the console the McWill and an Everdrive type cart is getting seriously close to this when it is reading and writing. Which is not ideal!

I also have zero interest in installing a VGA output, in all the GameGear LCD’s I’ve done over the years I’ve only once installed the VGA option so see it as a pointless thing to include. It’s a handheld console so keep it that way.

However, the Freckle Shack did have its downsides.

Early reports from customers are that there are issues with a few games like pokemon pinball, BennVenn goes into more detail over on his facebook page but a new firmware is being worked on that will rectify this. His LCD is also not quite as bright but is this related to the better consumption I don’t know. This was fix after BennVenn halted shipment to produce and new firmware so the problem is all resolved.

Both of these engineers have done an awesome job in bringing these to the market and both have their pros and cons so it’s up to you to decide what you’d like to install. This is not written to discourage you to buy either product both are good in their own way, so use this information with a pinch of salt and make your own decision! 

I also have an MD Enterprises LCD on the way so once I have this is will update everything.

QUICK DISCLAIMER...

I carried out the test as fairly as possible to compare the two produces on the market in real playing situations.

 

The original posting of this article is on Jellybelly Customs’ website at: Jellybelly Customs: Freckle Shack vs McWill 

About Jellybelly Customs and Matt Whitehead

Started by Matt Whitehead as a hobby in 2016, as a way to reconnect with the consoles of his childhood, he was frustrated at the lack of access to the parts and equipment needed. He spends his time doing custom consoles and creating many of the parts that he and others had limited access to - definitely a positive impact in the modding community.

Profile: Jellybelly Customs

 

 

Read more

Freckle Shack vs McWill by Jellybelly Customs

Posted by Dustin Hamilton on

Freckle Shack vs. McWill Game Boy Color LCD Battery Life Test

The modding community is a fairly small world in many ways, and being an active part of it we are glad to have made many friends along the way... each bringing their own skills and vantage point to the craft.

Jellybelly Customs, headed up by Matt Whitehead, is one of those friends and his latest focus has been the number of Game Boy Color backlit LCDs that have suddenly hit the market. Most notably, Matt is curious about the power consumption of the different offerings, and this is his write-up focused on BennVenn’s Freckleshack and McWill’s LCD... with the Midwest Embedded results to be posted soon.

Let’s get into it...

 

Freckleshack vs McWill by Jellybelly Customs’ Matt Whitehead

Consumption Test

It would now seem that we are in a new age of Game Boy Color modifications, with various new LCD’s out there that are far simpler to install than the AGS101 mod before it. No machining, little to no soldering. These both make it appeal to lots of people old and new to the modding world.

However, things are not always as good as they seem. The standard GBC was a workhorse, it ran off 2 AA batteries and lasted for what seems an eternity 20+ hours. The issue with modifying a console is you’re taking something that is designed as intended from Nintendo and asking it to run more than it possibly should do. The GBC nowadays is also known for having a rather poor DC converter to todays standards, suffers from old capacitors and failing sound problems.

The classic example of overpowering a console is the Game Boy Pocket as you really need to install a 5-volt buck-boost converter to power the backlight as the console simply cannot do it on its own reliably. The GBC is no different.

So what am I getting at…..

Well with these new LCD mods out there people have been quoting (or failing to quote) battery life estimates or tests results. With one product description quoting 3 hours and other quoting 20 hours under certain conditions which is right?

I wanted to find out the consumptions of the 2 LCD’s I could get my hands on, the Freckle Shack and the McWill.

So some information to begin with:

  • 2 AA batteries working range is around 3.2v to 1.8v so we will use this for the tests
  • The test will be carried out using the same motherboard revision a V5
  • The test will also be carried out with full volume

There will be 4 different conditions used:

  1. Powered on with a genuine Tetris cart in gameplay
  2. Powered on with an Everdrive X7 playing Tetris rom
  3. Powered on with an ElCheapoSD playing Tetris rom
  4. Powered on (boot up screen) no cartridge

So first up the Standard GBC console

Genuine Tetris

Everdrive X7

running tetris

ElCheapo

running tetris

Powered on

Volts

Milliamps

Volts

Milliamps

Volts

Milliamps

Volts

Milliamps

3.2

40

3.2

50

3.2

80

3.2

30

3.1

40

3.1

60

3.1

80

3.1

30

3

40

3

70

3

80

3

30

2.9

40

2.9

80

2.9

100

2.9

30

2.8

50

2.8

80

2.8

100

2.8

30

2.7

50

2.7

90

2.7

110

2.7

40

2.6

50

2.6

90

2.6

110

2.6

40

2.5

50

2.5

100

2.5

120

2.5

40

2.4

60

2.4

100

2.4

120

2.4

40

2.3

60

2.3

100

2.3

130

2.3

50

2.2

60

2.2

110

2.2

130

2.2

50

2.1

70

2.1

110

2.1

140

2.1

50

2

70

2

120

2

160

2

50

1.9

80

1.9

120

1.9

170

1.9

60

1.8

0

1.8

130

1.8

0

1.8

60

1.7

0

1.7

0

1.7

0

1.7

60

 

As you can see the standard console is an efficient thing drawing 60ma when powered and worst case using an ElCheapo at 170ma. Also uses the full range of the GBC from 3.2v to 1.8v.

Next up the McWill LCD modded console:

Genuine Tetris

Everdrive X7

running tetris

ElCheapo

running tetris

Powered on

volts

Milliamps

volts

Milliamps

volts

Milliamps

volts

Milliamps

3.2

210

3.2

210

3.2

300

3.2

190

3.1

230

3.1

230

3.1

310

3.1

200

3

240

3

240

3

320

3

210

2.9

280

2.9

250

2.9

330

2.9

220

2.8

300

2.8

260

2.8

340

2.8

230

2.7

310

2.7

270

2.7

350

2.7

240

2.6

320

2.6

280

2.6

360

2.6

250

2.5

330

2.5

300

2.5

370

2.5

270

2.4

350

2.4

320

2.4

380

2.4

280

2.3

0

2.3

360

2.3

0

2.3

300

2.2

0

2.2

380

2.2

0

2.2

330

2.1

0

2.1

0

2.1

0

2.1

0

2

0

2

0

2

0

2

0

1.9

0

1.9

0

1.9

0

1.9

0

1.8

0

1.8

0

1.8

0

1.8

0

1.7

0

1.7

0

1.7

0

1.7

0

 

As you might see in this the McWill LCD at best draws 190ma and at worst around 380ma but also because of the high current draw the console shuts off early at 2.2v - 2.4v.

Lastly the BennVenn FreckleShack

Genuine Tetris

Everdrive X7

running tetris

ElCheapo

running tetris

Powered on

Volts

Milliamps

Volts

Milliamps

Volts

Milliamps

Volts

Milliamps

3.2

100

3.2

130

3.2

160

3.2

80

3.1

100

3.1

130

3.1

160

3.1

90

3

110

3

150

3

160

3

90

2.9

110

2.9

150

2.9

170

2.9

90

2.8

110

2.8

160

2.8

170

2.8

100

2.7

120

2.7

170

2.7

180

2.7

100

2.6

120

2.6

180

2.6

190

2.6

110

2.5

130

2.5

190

2.5

200

2.5

120

2.4

140

2.4

190

2.4

210

2.4

120

2.3

140

2.3

190

2.3

220

2.3

130

2.2

150

2.2

200

2.2

230

2.2

140

2.1

160

2.1

210

2.1

250

2.1

150

2

170

2

220

2

260

2

160

1.9

180

1.9

230

1.9

270

1.9

160

1.8

190

1.8

240

1.8

0

1.8

0

1.7

0

1.7

0

1.7

0

1.7

0

 

What can we make of this then? Well the FS seems better overall and is comparable to the standard console. At best it draws 80ma and at worst 270ma using an ElCheapoSD and uses the full range of 3.2v to 1.8v

The next this is to compare the charts of all 3 of the console to see how the results compare to each other in under certain conditions:

 

Powered on tests

 

 

Genuine Tetris

 

 

Everdrive X7 tests playing Tetris

 

ElCheapoSD tests playing Tetris

 

If you’ve stuck around this long then we’re almost done.

In summary what I see from the tests is that the FS is similar to the standard console just a higher in consumptions due to the backlit LCD which is understandable, It seems to stay powered on for the full working range of the voltage tests and also doesn’t have huge spikes in milliamps over the range. With a minimum consumption of 80ma and a max of 270ma using the ElCheapoSD.

So what does this all mean, well you will use up every bit of power in the batteries you put in and get the maximum play time. If we take an average of all the FS consumption data we get 160ma usage which will mean roughly around 12hrs of play time on 2000mah batteries.

The Mcwill is a lot higher with consumption of 190ma at best and 380ma at worse on an El cheapo. From the data, we get an average consumption of 286ma which will give around 4.5hrs of play time partly cause by only being able to use around 70% of the power from the batteries.

So what’s best…!

It’s whatever you want from the mod, if you want a VGA output then your only choice is a McWill, if you don’t want to remortgage your house for batteries then a Freckle Shack is what you need.

I am very OCD (as you can tell) about things working as efficiently as possible so for me and until someone can show me a good reason I’ll be sticking to the Freckle Shack for my modded consoles as well as the AGS101 mod. To me, the McWill high amp level and early console cut out means that the GBC really cannot be too happy having to provide the extra power that the LCD mod is asking for and I don’t like it. The GBC DC converter becomes highly inefficient at the high current draw which shows in the charts, and with some GBC spec sheets out there showing it has a 500ma fuse inside the console the McWill and an Everdrive type cart is getting seriously close to this when it is reading and writing. Which is not ideal!

I also have zero interest in installing a VGA output, in all the GameGear LCD’s I’ve done over the years I’ve only once installed the VGA option so see it as a pointless thing to include. It’s a handheld console so keep it that way.

However, the Freckle Shack did have its downsides.

Early reports from customers are that there are issues with a few games like pokemon pinball, BennVenn goes into more detail over on his facebook page but a new firmware is being worked on that will rectify this. His LCD is also not quite as bright but is this related to the better consumption I don’t know. This was fix after BennVenn halted shipment to produce and new firmware so the problem is all resolved.

Both of these engineers have done an awesome job in bringing these to the market and both have their pros and cons so it’s up to you to decide what you’d like to install. This is not written to discourage you to buy either product both are good in their own way, so use this information with a pinch of salt and make your own decision! 

I also have an MD Enterprises LCD on the way so once I have this is will update everything.

QUICK DISCLAIMER...

I carried out the test as fairly as possible to compare the two produces on the market in real playing situations.

 

The original posting of this article is on Jellybelly Customs’ website at: Jellybelly Customs: Freckle Shack vs McWill 

About Jellybelly Customs and Matt Whitehead

Started by Matt Whitehead as a hobby in 2016, as a way to reconnect with the consoles of his childhood, he was frustrated at the lack of access to the parts and equipment needed. He spends his time doing custom consoles and creating many of the parts that he and others had limited access to - definitely a positive impact in the modding community.

Profile: Jellybelly Customs

 

 

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