Friday, 22 January 2016

PLAY IT LOUD!! BACKLIGHT + BI-VERT MOD

Hey, how’s it going? Hopefully well. :-)

A few posts ago I showed the Play it Loud! Gameboy I got locally for a real deal. Well I got round to backlighting and bi-verting my Gameboy so that I can play it in any light :-D


As an example, this is the original screen. You can see the title screen for Zelda : Links Awakening okay in this photo but you really struggle when your holding the Gameboy and its moving around in the light.

I was a little worried I must admit because I watched a few tutorials on doing the backlight mod and one of the main things everyone says is how easy it is to ruin the screen by prying the screen out too far and snapping / breaking the connections between it and the main board. I really wanted to do this mod though so I had to be brave, take my time and go for it.

I went to a really cool UK Gameboy mods site to order my backlight kit. Check them out here : http://www.gameboymods.co.uk/ Shaun who runs the site was really helpful with my questions and the backlight arrived super quick. I highly recommend getting your backlight from him!






When the backlight arrived I got started that night on the mod. I couldn’t wait haha. Here you can see front main board out and the really tricky back reflective sticker removed. I didn’t want to take any in progress photos as I did this, I just wanted to concentrate on getting it all out in one piece and not wrecking the screen. Its this process that can damage the screen. There are solder points under the glass that can easily be pried away from the solder pads if your not careful.


I didn’t end up photographing the light in place, I’m not sure know why but I connected the power and grounds up to the capacitor you see in the above photo. Its directly below the screen. Its a nice short location and keeps everything clean.

Here you can see the Gameboy back together and the light working!! Whoop whoop!! What you might notice is that the image is now inverted compared to the first non-backlit image. Once of the cool things you get with the back-light is a contrast sheet and if you turn it one way the image is normal and you rotate it and the image is inverted. Its important if your going to do the Bi-vert mod to have the sheet set to invert. When I add in the invert chip to the gameboy its going to re-invert the screen which will result in a really nicely contrasting screen image.

That was all I managed to do in the one night, and I must admit I was really happy I’d gotten that far with it as I really did take my time removing the reflective sticker.

I played the machine for about a week inverted until I got another chance to open it up and install the small 7404 Hex Inverter chip to switch the image back over.






This really was a simple mod to do and I followed the excellent guide on mmmonkey’s site : http://www.mmmonkey.co.uk/gameboy-dmg-01-screen-invert/ He always does great write ups and has really informative photos so you shouldn’t have any problems following them.


Here you can see my inverted back-lit Gameboy sitting on the tutorial I printed out. This is a reference of how it looks before for a late photo ;-)


There isn’t much to write about the process really, the guide is so good I just followed it and kept my wiring as neat as possible. The chip just wedges in the top of the case and it all closes up absolutely fine! Here you can see my wiring and the chip in place. Looks pretty neat I think!

And here it is all Bi-verted for comparison! Look at that backlit bi-verted contrasty goodness!! :D


And heres another one of the first level of MegaMan as it shows more depth in the screen image.


These two mods really have made my Gameboy way more useable in everyday life. I can see the screen in any situation now and I have it in my rucksack at all times for whenever Im having to wait for anything and I want a hit of retro gaming.

I really recommend trying this mod out if you feel brave enough or get someone to do it for you. It really does add loads of extra usable life to you Gameboy and looks top banana! I went for the green backlight just to keep the feel of the machine original. But I saw several Gameboys backlit with other colours and they all looked great! I was really Impressed with the light blue and the pink ones.

So yeah, go for it and have fun with your Gameboys!

Porl’’

Tuesday, 1 December 2015

REVIVAL WINTER WARMER 2015


Hey yup,

As I mentioned in a post last week I think it was, or maybe the week before, I went to the Revival Winter Warmer retro event in wolverhampton on sunday.

I went on my own this year as I didn't want to drag my wife along and then worry the whole time that she was bored when Im geeking out and playing on everything in site. So off on my todd I went and after a few moments of getting lost on the way I turned up safe and sound and ready to get my geek on.

Well as you walk in you could just hear people. Simple as that, so much converstation and laughter mixed in with bleeps and bloops from arcade machines, pinballs and retro computers and consoles. It was so cool to see! The place was packed and apparently sunday was the quiet day!!


From the get go I scoped out some of the stalls which had a lot of backlit and biverted game boys and loads of games! Not just gameboy games but for every system, including imports. Man you could route through the games all day long! I bought myself a copy of Dr Mario for the gameboy from one stall specialising in gameboy's. I traded in my spare Super Mario World 2 : 6 golden coins and got it for £3. BARGAIN! And as I was putting The Dr in his new home in my gameboy case the stall owner spotted my BC Kid game and asked if I fancied selling it as he'd been hunting it for ages. Well I offered a trade which he agreed to and I did a nice swap for Megaman : Dr Wileys Revenge. Very happy about that! Woop! BC Kid was a cool game but I've got a Megaman itch that needs to be scratched and it was a fair trade. It was very cool that the stall owner was up for trades etc, it made the whole experience really friendly and like-minded.


Man and the selection of machines was top notch, I finally managed to have a go on a Virtual Boy and I thought it was really really cool! It did make my eyes hurt after 5 minutes but the depth and 3D in it worked really well I thought. I don't think I'd like to own one though as I wouldn't get much use out of it because of the eye ache but the unit and the shooting game I played was really cool!


There were a good selection of arcade machines there too which I tried to have a go on each of them. I think I only missed out on a few as they were really busy, such as the two Outrun games they had. Outrun and Turbo Outrun.

I loved having a go on a Point Blank machine again, I used to put so much money in the one they had at the Super Bowl in Burton as a kid so that was a wicked hit of nostalgia.

I don't really want to just ramble and ramble but the event was great! Like minded people, randomly playing Street Fighter 3 against a guy I didn't know but made friends with was really cool. And to top it off we were playing on a great Sega Blast City candy cab! Top banana!

I highly recommend going to a Revival retro event if you've never been. They are going to be back in 2016 at the larger location, I think it will be the wolverhampton race course again. I went there 2 years ago with my mate and it was immense! I'm going to try to get to that event too! Certainly after such a good event this weekend. :D

Enough ramble. Catch you later haha

Porl'' 

Thursday, 19 November 2015

PLAY IT LOUD!!!!!

Hey everyone,

Wow another post in the same week! This is fairly uncommon for me haha. Well I wasn't planning on putting up another post so soon but I managed to spot a bit of a deal, well I think it is anyway, on gumtree this week.

I've been playing some Legend of Zelda Link to the past advance on my DS when I've had a spare half an hour in the last few weeks. But I went to play it at the start of the week and I found out my game save had corrupted or the battery had burped on the cartridge and all of my game had gone! I was so far through the game too! I was a little distraught haha.

So It got me thinking that I wanted to start playing my Gameboy Legend of Zelda Links awakening now that my DS game has now reset.

Well if you've seen my older post about getting Links Awakening with Metroid 2 you'll have seen that I've been using a Gameboy Advance SP to play my Gameboy games. Well this is actually my sisters Gameboy that she's been lending to me so I could scratch that oldschool Gameboy itch. Its been playing on my mind to give her the SP back at some point and to actively look up a cheap original Gameboy. I never had a DMG, pocket or color when I was a kid. I had a Game Gear :-P But I've always wanted to have a Gameboy so I don't feel like I've missed out haha.

I did a random search on gumtree for a Gameboy in my local area on tuesday and one showed up! £20 for a Yellow Gameboy DMG Play it Loud! in a carry case with 6 games! And it was less than 3 miles from my work. After work that day I enquired about the quality of the Gameboy and if it was still available and next night I went round and picked it up.

I think this is a deal because the DMG's are generally £15-£20 on ebay on there own and I got 6 games and a Nintendo carry case that fits the gameboy perfectly for the £20.


And here it is! :D The games that came with it are : BC Kid (bonk), Super Mario Land, Super Mario Land 2 : 6 Golden coins (which I already had but with a damaged label),  Alleyway, Ms Pacman, and Foreman for Real.

They all fit in the carry case as well as the Gameboy so I can have my games really on the go now. Its pretty much going to live in my rucksac.



The Gameboy itself is in perfect condition as well! It's a pretty common yellow Play it Loud! version which I quite like the look of to be honest. I wasn't sure when I first saw the gumtree advert but in real life its pretty cool!

There are little to no scratches on the screen which is insane for its age! The sound is spot on, with no speaker crackle and it has its battery cover which I've seen is a little unusual. Everyone seem's to either lose or break the covers so they are missing.

There is a little wear on the start button text but that's it.

The screen display itself seems really good but I must admit Im a little disappointed with how hard it is to see the screen in most lights. You really have to angle it just right so you can see the game in a way that you can make out whats going on. Its quite similar to the Neo Geo Pocket Color except the NGPC is easier to see as its newer I guess.

Im really considering getting a backlight kit from a UK gameboy mods website and having a go at making it a lot easier to play. I'll have to watch some tutorials to see if its as hard / scary as I've heard.

Seen's I've finally gotten an original Gameboy I don't want to break it, especially seen's its such a good example of one.



I love a show on Youtube called The Game Chasers and I must admit I generally get a bit jealous with how many good deals they get in their shows. And finally I feel that I've managed to get one myself. :-)

The lesson of the day, check gumtree in your local area and if your lucky you may stumble across some really nice retro items. It never normally happens to me so it shows they are out there.

And with Revival Winter Warmer coming up in 2 weeks I think I'll be looking at the stalls to see if there are any classic Gameboy games I can snag for a good price.

Happy hunting!

Porl''

Monday, 16 November 2015

REVIVAL WINTER WARMER 2015

Hey hey,

I'm getting really excited about heading out to my first retro games event of 2015. I bought myself a ticket for the sunday of the Revival Winter Warmer 2015 in wolverhampton. I went to the first Revival retro weekender 2 years ago, well I think it was 2 years ago. I managed to win me and my friend a ticket each through a competition on the retro asylum forum. Getting the high score on the Master System version of California games surfing.

We went for the whole day and it was awesome!! Tonnes of arcade machines, pretty much all the retro consoles and computers you could think of from back in the day, stalls, gaming competitions etc. It was great fun! So this year I was getting that itch to go to an event so I got a ticket for the sunday of this years event. Its going to be smaller than the first Revival but from the sounds of it its going to be just as awesome!

The weekend is November 28-29 and Im counting the days down now. I think all the tickets are gone for the Saturday now but if your wanting to hit up some arcades and your in the midlands (UK) area you should definetly check it out. :D

https://www.facebook.com/RevivalRetroEvents/

2 weeks to gooooooooo

Porl''

Friday, 2 October 2015

SEGA NEPTUNE REPLICA FINISHED


Hi Everyone,

Thanks for coming back and checking on my blog. Some of you guys might have been following / found my blog because of my EPIC Neptune project I set myself a few years ago after seeing the awesome Longhorn Engineer's tutorial on creating a Neptune using a 32x and a Genesis / MD2.

My idea was to learn soldering by making one of my spare Megadrive 2's into a working Neptune. But rather than leave it there I was going to use the skills I'd picked up making designer toys to make a replica outer shell for the mod and create an actual Neptune.

Well my project started with the hunting out on ebay of a 32x and then getting as many Neptune Prototype shell photos as I could and comparing them with my MD2. I'm pretty much 100% convinced that the Neptune prototype shell is a modified Genesis 2 shell. The bottom certainly makes me thing this as the lower square pan is exactly the same as a Gen 2 shell.

I documented the process of making my Neptune replica shell at most stages of sculpting. I thought I would make a slideshow so you guys can see what the steps are to make a Megadrive/Genesis 2 shell into a Neptune shell.

To finish it off I back painted the perspex LED 'window', glossed the buttons and applied the waterslip decals for the logos so that it looks like the prototype photo's I've seen on the web.

I've placed a few photos on the page as well as making a gallery for you guys to look through.











As you can see from the above photo I've finished the internal modular setup of the Neptune for when I eventually get a 32x. I really wanted to make sure that I would not need to destroy the 32x to make the Neptune. I will simply just have to take the 32x apart, fold it under itself and plug it in. Well I'll actually have to desolder the choke and resolder it on its side to lower the profile of the edge of the 32x so it will fit in the Replica case.

Again I made a slideshow of the progress I made with the mod and if you've followed my blog you will have seen all or most of them.



And to finish this post off which is a little shorter than I thought it would be. Its more photo heavy as I've basically posted most of my progress as I've gone along. I also made a Youtube video showing the shell and the internal mod.



Hopefully you guys like my replica Neptune shell. I'm so happy that its all finished off, and when I get a 32x I'll make it even more finished off. :-)

Catch you guys later on.

Porl''