Game Boy DMG (Original) Backlight Installation Instructions – Hand Held Legend, LLC

Game Boy DMG (Original) Backlight Install


This backlight allows you to illuminate your old Game Boy for retro gaming in the dark! Make sure to have all of your materials prepared and ready to go before you begin. It is always a good idea to disassemble and scrub the plastic casing and clean the front and back PCBs to avoid drying time lost to mother nature.


4-LED Backlight
Tri-Wing screw driver
Phillips jewelers screw driver
Soldering Iron and solder
Utility Blade
Lens Cloth


To begin, remove all 6 tri-wing screws from the back of your original Game Boy DMG-01. Keep these in a safe place as you will need them later when reassembling. Next, remove the ribbon cable connecting the front PCB to the back PCB in a gentle downwards motion. At this point you should have the front and the back unit’s separated. Proceed to remove the 10 Phillips head screws connecting the front PCB (with the screen) to the front shell. Again, keep these in a safe spot they are easy to lose. NOTE: These screws are easily stripped, so be careful when removing.

Now is a good time to clean the front shell with soap and water. Let dry. Next, on the front PCB, remove the two small screws that attach the screen ribbon cable to the front PCB. If you are repairing vertical lines in the LCD, please see this instruction page. Now lift the glass LCD at the top. There is a notch for a flat head screw driver. Carefully lift the screen to reveal two small pads underneath. Remove these pads with pliers. 

**Remember to turn on your soldering Iron**

To remove the polarized film on the underside of the LCD, protect the front of the screen with tape or a Post-it® note. Turn the screen front side facing down and obtain a clean, sharp utility blade. Starting with the top right corner (when lying down); insert the edge of the blade between the silver polarized adhesive film and  the glass LCD. Push your blade gently and evenly with pressure about 0.5 inches between the film and LCD. Now use your fingers or pliers to peel back the silver film. DO NOT pull without securing the LCD screen.  Make sure to hold the screen with your other hand and protect the connections from the ribbons cables to the LCD. Severing these could lead to a screen that is not repairable. Once all of the film has been removed, you may notice a small amount of adhesive in the corners. Use rubbing alcohol and a cue-tip to remove and clean the glass on the back side of the LCD.

There are a few more steps before the backlight may be installed. Locate the plastic frame holding the LCD in place. Push the 3 clips that secure the frame out from the back. Using cutting pliers or tin snips, cut the bottom rail to include a gap of at least 1 cm. This will allow the wires to exit the frame easily without compression.

You are now ready to install the backlight behind the LCD and illuminate it from behind. Clean behind your LCD screen with a can of compressed air. Any speck of dust will give you an annoying dot that is not easily removed. Prepare your LED backlight by removing the protective film on the front. Next, immediately remove the films from the polarized film provided in your kit. This is the thin grayish square. Place the protective film on top of the LED backlight to prevent dust from entering in between. Touching only the edges of the backlight and polarization film, lift them together and slide them behind the glass LCD to fit into the existing frame. The red and black wires should exit the frame and appear below the ribbon cable at the bottom of the LCD screen. The polarized film will only show the pixels if oriented properly, make sure it is facing the right way before screwing the front PCB back to the shell. 

Replace the LCD screen back to its original position over top the backlight and the polarized film. This should lay flat. Next solder the black (ground) wire to the middle right contact directly below the bottom ribbon cable and above the black  capacitor. You are soldering to the ground lead of the capacitor. You should not solder to the right most contact between the capacitor and the ribbon cable.  Now the red wire to the contact on the left between the ribbon cable and the capacitor (this is the positive lead). You may install the included 100 ohm 1/4 watt resistor to improve contrast and reduce brightness. This recommended to improve the backlight life and contrast sensitivity!

Test your backlight by connecting the ribbon cable on the back of the front PCB to the back PCB. Connect your power source (batteries or DC) and turn the game boy on. An optional switch can be installed between the positive contact and the backlight. Observe for any dust or debris that you may have missed and remove it with a cotton swab. Once you are satisfied with the appearance of your screen, reinsert the small screws you removed from the ribbon cable below the LCD earlier.

Reinsert your buttons and silicone pads on the front shell. With the front shell facing downwards to hold the buttons in place, insert the front PCB, while holding the backlight in place, into the front shell just as it was before you removed it. Make sure that you silicone pads and buttons are in place before you screw the PCB down. Reinsert the 10 small Phillips head screws and secure the PCB to the front shell. DO NOT put too much pressure on the PCB and or the backlight. Reattach the ribbon cable between the front PCB and the back PCB. Combine the two sides together and secure with the original 6 tri-wing screws.

Enjoy countless hours of illuminated retro gaming!


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