What are “Newton Rings”?

What are “Newton Rings”? - hand-held-legend

I don’t think the name is all that commonly used, but is the term that I hear most often when referring to this phenomenon… and no, this isnt an update to fig newton bars. That’s something else.

Newton rings are most notably seen when backlighting a Game Boy DMG or a Game Boy Pocket, and when I see them they look like liquid dropped between the LCD glass and the rear polarizer, but that’s not the case at all, as you’ll see here.

Unfortunately I found them difficult to capture on film and will try again with the next build I do.

Hand Held Legend, HHL, Newton Rings, Game Boy DMG, Game Boy Pocket

The downfall of this is that they don’t always occur… and even when seen, they may not always be present… which is what makes these odd. If you’ve ever seen what looks like a liquid drop under the LCD, you know what I’m talking about already.

It’s a simple, albeit strange, fix… and in giving credit where it’s due, thanks to Shawn Maxwell (http://youtube.com/sjm4306) for this tip today.

You’re going to need two things: a makeup brush and some baby powder or talc. Yes, you read that correctly. ;)

Hand Held Legend, HHL, Newton Rings, Talk, Baby Powder, makeup brush, Game Boy DMG, Game Boy Pocket

What is causing the touching is that there isn't any physical barrier between the rear polarizer and the LCD glass on the back-side… so what’s needed is to keep those separated, and it so happens that the lightest touch of baby powder does just that. So long as you dust it on light enough, you wont be able to even notice it’s there.

Lets get started...

1) Prep

Put a bit of baby powder on a sheet of paper, or a paper towel… something just to hold it so that it doesnt make a mess anywhere. Lightly - very lightly - dip your makeup brush into the baby powder, then tap off the excess. You should have a brush that looks similar to how much this has on it:

Hand Held Legend, HHL, Newton Rings, Makeup brush, baby powder, Game Boy DMG, Game Boy Pocket

2) Apply

Take the makeup brush and lightly dust the top of the rear polarizer with it… if you see any white flecks or streaks, a bit too much was used and needs to be done again. It’s easy - just tap some more of the make up off and give it another try.

Hand Held Legend, HHL, Newton Rings, Game Boy DMG, Game Boy Pocket, baby powder, makeup brush

You might end up with some pieces of the hairs from the makeup brush itself, but not to worry, you can get rid of those by gently blowing on the polarizer or another light brushing.

3) Reassemble

I suggest putting the polarizer back in front of the backlight on your console and then turning it on in order to see if any dust particles or brush particles can be seen easily with the naked eye. If so, no big deal - just slide the polarizer back out and give it another light dusting but without adding any more baby powder to the brush.

4) Wrap it up

Once you reassemble the console and don’t see any flecks, you should also no longer see any areas where there looks to be the Newton Rings (“liquid look”) under the LCD.

What do you think? Have you seen these lines before in your or someone else’s build? Now you know what you can do about it!

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1 comment

You could also try diatomaceous earth. Talcum powder works but is sometimes more visible than this stuff.


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