Original GBA and backlight

Discussion in 'GBA - Hardware, Devices and Utilities' started by Veho, Feb 12, 2007.

Feb 12, 2007

Original GBA and backlight by Veho at 2:11 PM (5,361 Views / 0 Likes) 11 replies

  1. Veho
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    Global Moderator Veho The man who cried "Ni".

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    Any thoughts, advice, warnings or general stuff on installing a backlight on a classic GBA by myself? Not the Afterburner or any other ready-made mod, but making my own version from scratch.

    I know adding a backlight is possible, and I would like to try. Have any of you done this, and what are your impressions? "Tricky/difficult/requires experience" isn't a problem.

    What kind of LEDs can I use, where would be the best place to position them, how many, at which angle, where can I draw power for them, how do I solder them, serial/paralel, pulldown resistors, pullup resistors, voltage dividers, anything?

    I don't need a walkthrough guide, I need tips & tricks.

    Thanks [​IMG]
     
  2. FAST6191

    Reporter FAST6191 Techromancer

    pip
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    I have never done this myself for a GBA but I have done similar things for other devices (readout tools intended for fieldwork usually), I would suggest white LEDs (they may be marginally more expensive that blue ones but the quality should be nicer (if you are coming from a DS quality is important) and try and find some strip LEDs or maybe even cable ones rather than the small bulb type, if it comes down to it though a couple of axial leaded LEDs wired in series and placed along the screens edge could work.

    I would suggest a direct (or somewhere en route) solder to the battery holder and depending on what sort of LED you get (the ones I tend to use take 2.5V forward and 5V reverse) you can install the resistor as part of the wire.

    Serial or parallel wired to the battery will depend on the LEDs position and the length of wire available,

    As for a switch you could try rigging it to the GBA switch but some people on a quick search used a jumper in the battery case which in my opinion sounds like a good idea if the actual switch fails to materialise.

    Somewhat ironically the afterburner installation and discussion threads/guides should prove a useful source of info and discussion.

    I would also invest in a decent set of rechargeables that keep the current nice and high for a decent amount of time.

    If this amounts to anything I would be interested to see pictures as well.
     
  3. Veho
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    Global Moderator Veho The man who cried "Ni".

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    I have several sets of NiMH rechargeables for my camera and PDA. They are reccomended for electronic devices.

    I'll post pics when I finally get down to doing this.


    Thank you for the advice [​IMG]
     
  4. FAST6191

    Reporter FAST6191 Techromancer

    pip
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    Side wiring is probably easiest to do and minimises the risk of you washing out the display or "blinding" yourself shifting the display. A top and bottom wiring could make for a better brightness though (less space between lights) but may be slightly harder to pull off although as you say the original GBA is fairly roomy.

    Yeah the series parallel thing is voltage dependent but some LEDs need about 1V to produce 90% or more of the max brightness. You also have the option of adding a coin cell in.
     
  5. Psyfira

    Member Psyfira Credit: 0ml. Insert tea to continue

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  6. Veho
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    Global Moderator Veho The man who cried "Ni".

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    Thank you for your replies [​IMG]

    I'll see how this turns out.

    [​IMG]
     
  7. caslaru

    Newcomer caslaru Newbie

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  8. perimbean

    Member perimbean GBAtemp Regular

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    I found a GBA while clearing out the store (about 2 months ago).

    I found some cartridges as well... I think i left the device there for a long long time...

    I was thinking of also modding (to have backlit/frontlit). Been searching high and low for GBA Afterburner (but i think the product has ceased selling in the market)...So it's back to DIY solution.

    I don't think edge lit devices will suit well for the GBA....so it's back to LED for light source.

    Any tips and tricks for a quick method to mod the GBA to display brighter?

    Cheers!
    perimbean
     
  9. IainDS

    Member IainDS GBAtemp Regular

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    Many people have added LED's to older gameboys such as the DMG-01 (THE GREY BRICK)

    So look up some tuts for them aswell.
     
  10. sepinho

    Member sepinho GBAtemp Regular

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    I've recently "rediscovered" my good-old first-generation GBA and the huge stack of yet-to-be-played games I have floating around. But the screen is way too dark to be used on early-morning train rides to work.

    So now I'm looking for ready-made backlight solutions such as the infamous Afterburner. Does anybody have a clue where to find one, preferably in Europe? Neither Amazon nor Ebay currently have anything on offer. I don't have time or skills for a DIY solution.
     
  11. FAST6191

    Reporter FAST6191 Techromancer

    pip
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    I can not say I have much idea about an afterburner but http://www.flashlinker-shop.com/index.php?...=2a&language=de
    (I have used this site a few times and my only gripe is they are a bit expensive, we are in Europe though so I do not have much recourse there).

    This being said you could probably pick up an old SP for that much (perhaps not in a shop but someones kid could have one kicking around in a draw and a bit of beer money for an unused item tends not to go amiss) if you looked hard enough (the original model DS charger will work with it if you need one).
     
  12. sepinho

    Member sepinho GBAtemp Regular

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    Gee, thanks, you even linked to the German page, how thoughtful. Seriously.
    Plus, that is the exact same light I had found at superufo in the meantime. They charge about 25 bucks to ship a 20-Dollar item to Germany. I suppose the flashlinker deal isn't all that bad in comparison.
     

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