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!