Hardware Hacking Feedback Misc Modding my first GBA, and looking to make informed choices.

Sparky076

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Hey everyone. So I've been looking around the web, and decided to take the plunge and mod my GBA. Before I go all in, I thought it would be best to reach out to the community,and see what they think, and how they feel about specific mods, especially with multiple choices for them.

First off, there's the display mod. IMO the most noticable mod you can make. As far as I'm tracking, there's 3 screens to upgrade to:

- AGS-101 if you prefer the more retro look, and want to be as close to original as can be. Also, better battery life.

- IPS for a higher resolution, warmer and more vibrant display, with faster response time (not a big factor for me). I've heard that there is some ghosting at times, but I also heard Funny Playing IPS v2 fixed some, if not all those problems. Not certain how reliable that is.

- ITA, the relatively new mod of slapping the bottom screen of a NDSi into the case. I don't know much about this, or how it compares, so I don't know in what way it would be better. Considering it's coming from the NDSi, I imagine it's similar to the AGS-101, but more updated.

Personally, I'm going with the IPS v2, but let me know what your thoughts are, and why.

Secondly, speaker mod. There's a few out there, and I don't know what's objectively better, and I hope someone out there can help me understand them. What I know of so far are the following:

- Retro Modding's Audio Amplifier v1.2 with their 1W speaker. Unsure the quality here, but I'm guessing it's not an issue.

- RetroSix's CleanAmp Pro and their 1W speaker

- Helder's GBA Flex Amp and their 2W speaker.

Personally, I chose to go with Helder's flex amp, because it a couple other things as well.

Finally, there's cleaning up the power. Since there is more power being used from the screen and speaker mods, I already know there will be more electrical noise coming from the console. The two that I know of are:

- RetroSix's Dehum & Dehiss kit

- Helder's Capacitor Kit & Power Cleaner

I also decided to go with Helder's kit here.

If there's any other options I forgot, it any other recommended mods I do, please let me know!
 

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i did this today. picture below.

all i did was get a GBA. shell with buttons from RetroSix. and a IPS v2 screen.

word of advice, this is like third time i did this now. ill start cheap for the first one's because you might make a mistake like me and learn from that.

also _dont_ do the screws too tight. in my first one i did that. big headache


20220511_140910.jpg
 
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patters

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Try to keep the original membranes and buttons and d-pad if at all possible. The repros are never quite right, and you may find that certain d-pad directions need more pressure for instance.
Also, many repro cases have small details that are wrong. The Funnyplaying AGB shell rear half for instance has two screw standoffs that are an incorrect height. I ended up retaining the OG rear shell for this reason.
I can recommend the ITA screen though. Apparently it uses less power than the IPS ones and it looks much more authentic with its pixel grid.

img_20220515_111004-jpg.310044
 

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Sparky076

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Try to keep the original membranes and buttons and d-pad if at all possible. The repros are never quite right, and you may find that certain d-pad directions need more pressure for instance.
Also, many repro cases have small details that are wrong. The Funnyplaying AGB shell rear half for instance has two screw standoffs that are an incorrect height. I ended up retaining the OG rear shell for this reason.
I can recommend the ITA screen though. Apparently it uses less power than the IPS ones and it looks much more authentic with its pixel grid.

img_20220515_111004-jpg.310044
Appreciate the insight. Apologies for replying so late. Still waiting for everything to come in. I'll post updates when I get everything in and attempt it.
 

patters

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Another tip: use nitrile gloves for the final screen assembly and don't touch your face. I ended up with a couple of small skin dust particles under the screen, which could have been avoided by doing this.
 
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Koldur

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Do not buy retrosix stuff, they take credit for other people's work and sell batteries as bombs (charging board on top of a LiPo...).
 

duwen

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Do not buy retrosix stuff, they take credit for other people's work and sell batteries as bombs (charging board on top of a LiPo...).
Some of Retrosix's stuff is pretty good... but I have to agree when it comes to their "cleanjuice" battery mod - I've had nothing but issues with mine. If I'm playing a GBC cart on my GBA I'll be lucky if it holds a charge for more than a few minutes.
 

Koldur

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Some of Retrosix's stuff is pretty good... but I have to agree when it comes to their "cleanjuice" battery mod - I've had nothing but issues with mine. If I'm playing a GBC cart on my GBA I'll be lucky if it holds a charge for more than a few minutes.
https://www.reddit.com/r/Gameboy/comments/ktbgnf I am not saying all of their products are bad quality, their business model is just unethical.
 
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