By Heath Aldrich
|This machine kills preconceptions.|
Turns out that sold my old Game Boy in my youth to get a Game Boy Advance, so I no longer had the model that I wanted for this project. The particular model of Game Boy is called a DMG-01, this is the classic grey Game Boys, and the Play It Loud colored Game Boys. I quickly turned to my Facebook family and threw it out there "who has an old Game Boy they would like to donate for science?" With in 20 minutes of me posting that, my old friend Ryan, offered up his childhood toy. Actually, the word "toy" does not do this artifact justice. This grey piece of plastic was covered in scars from their past, this was his friend, this is a relic. You could feel all of the special moments as you ran your fingers on the surface, the hours of playtime built up in the layer of body soil, the scuffs on the corners as it had been dropped at school, or the strategically carved passcode into the side of this totem. This was no mere toy, this was special.
|This means something, this is special.|
As with any of my repairs and mods, they are for entertainment purposes only, and are not to be used as a step by step guide. Hopefully they will give you some insight on doing them yourself, but their are already tons of great step by step guides out there. Proceed at your own risk.
|One row of vertical lines, and one the almost unfixable, horizontal dead pixel lines.|
This is a fairly easy fix. Remember back a couple of repairs ago to my Virtual Boy repair, the problem is essentially the same. Flex cable comes unglued from the screen, you have to reattach the cable, only this time you are not going to put this in the oven for a couple of minutes. This time you age going to take a your hot soldering iron and rub it on the flex cable closest to the bottom of the screen. I know, it sounds crazy, but it works... Most of the time. While with most of the lines, this technique will work, but not always. I was unable to get the dead pixel rows to come back to life on Ryan's DMG, but had great luck on my second one I repaired. Watch this video to get a better grasp on the technique for the repair, and after you watch that, I will talk about the dreaded horizontal dead pixel line.
|This screen is fucked.|
Repair #2 - Intermittent Power
There are a number of reasons why your DMG wont stay on, but the easiest one, and the most common one is to clean the battery contacts. After years of abuse, and batteries being left in the system to corrode, you simply wont get a good contact, causing your DMG to do some weird things. Really you should clean your DMG from top to bottom before doing any mods or repairs, you can save yourself a lot of trouble that way. Use cotton swabs and rubbing alcohol to clean contacts, buttons, the case, pads, and then wipe them dry with a clean cloth. Anything that needs heavier cleaning like the battery terminals, can be cleaned with tougher solvents, but be careful not to get it all over the DMG, or yourself. Good DMG hygiene will prevent a lot of problems too, like load errors, or static in your headphones. Now it is on to the builds.
Mod #1 - Changing The Case
This is probably the easiest modification to do. All you need is a triwing screwdriver, a precision sized philips screwdriver, a new case (or old), and a bit of free time. I ordered this case from Kitsch-Bent, it was $13 and it came with transparent blue buttons, and a screen lens. I also ordered from Kitsch new battery terminals, because mine were pretty fried. You can also order some cases from Nonelectronics as well as other parts. I highly recommend using this time to clean you DMG since it will be totally naked for a bit. Don't loose any screws, and the mod should go fine.
Mod #2 - Adding The Prosound RCA Jacks To The DMG
|That's how she likes it.|
Mod #3 - Backlight Your DMG
|Damn, that is a great looking screen.|