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Backlight Mod Tutorial for Original Nintendo Game Boy DMG-01

Posted by Juan 14/04/2017 0 Comment(s)

As with all of our TUTORIALS, please comment with any information that you think should be included - we don't pretend to know everything, the modding scene has evolved into what it is today due to the great community that supports it and the free sharing of information. Any suggestions later included in our tutorials will be credited at the bottom of the post - leave your Instagram account to be featured!

 

Backlight Mod Tutorial for Original Nintendo Game Boy DMG-01

 

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We assume that you have already followed our Game Boy Modding - First Steps tutorial and that you have in front of you the LCD PCB.

 

Tools that you will need:

  • Soldering iron

  • Solder

  • Craft knife or other small blade

  • Soft micro fibre cloth

  • Soft but firm surface

  • Small Phillips head screwdriver

  • Small Nose Pliers (optional)

  • Flat Edge Tweezers / Spudger

 

REMOVE THE REAR POLARISER AND REFLECTIVE LAYERS

 

Start by taking out the two small screws that secure the LCD – DON'T LOSE THEM.


Gently lift the LCD from the top using your ##spudger##, so that you do not put stress onto the brown ribbon connection at the bottom.


Using your ##flat end tweezers## remove the soft white pads on the rear of the LCD, these can be discarded.


The rear polariser is made up of two layers, these should be removed at the same time. Warming the LCD slightly will soften the glue and make it easier to remove the two layers –even just holding the LCD against the palm of your hand so that it is not cold will help.

 

From one corner of the LCD, using the edge of your blade, begin to separate the rear polariser and reflector from the LCD.


You can tell if you have both layers by looking at the LCD facing side of the reflector as you pull it up – it should appear darker than the PCB facing side.

Another indicator is that the reflector on its own will come up very easily - when you have both together there is more resistance - removing both together is still easier than one at a time as the polariser will tear on its own.


Once you have both layers up at the corner, carefully peel it away from the glass, working around the edges first, and then the middle.


To reduce the risk of damage to the horizontal ribbon cable, we use a pair of pliers.


When pulling anything that may give or slip, only ever pull in a direction AWAY from the rest of the object. That way WHEN you slip you will not damage anything.


You could also hold the screen face down on a soft cloth or workpad.


Do not use the lcd frame as leverage to remove the film – any pressure on the corners of the lcd will cause it to crack – these are irreplaceable and will make the lcd-pcb unusable.


This is the most tricky and delicate part of the modification. Be patient and take your time.


Once the rear polariser has been removed, clean off any leftover adhesive by rubbing firmly with a deep pile microfiber cloth. Friction should be enough to remove all adhesive and fingerprints.


If it is particularly sticky use a little alcohol to loosen the glue but DO NOT COVER EVERYTHING IN ALCOHOL – IT WILL DAMAGE THE LCD.

 

PREPARE THE BACKLIGHT AND LCD FRAME


If you are using a Game Boy Mods UK backlight it will already have a resistor built in and you can skip this step.


If your backlight came with a separate resistor, trim one of the resistor’s legs so that only a small amount remains.


Solder this to the negative solder pad.


Solder a wire to the other side of the resistor and remove the excess leg.


Now solder a second piece of wire to the positive solder pad.


Test fit the backlight in place – pay attention to other components and the point at which the LCD ribbon screws down to the PCB.


OPTIONAL - You may wish to remove part of the LCD frame as this will make everything fit a little easier.


If you are using a Game Boy Mods UK backlight, remove the adhesive strip from the back of the backlight panel and position so that the panel is flush against the Left Side and Bottom edges of the LCD frame. This is essential as the reflector bar at the bottom the backlight needs to sit below the bottom row of pixels. It also helps keep the bar straight.


Beneath the LCD screen is a capacitor, you will need to solder the wires from the backlight onto the connections for this capacitor.


Negative is indicated by grey dashes or a line on one side of the capacitor.


Check that the backlight is working at this point by connecting the LCD-PCB to the CPU-PCB and powering on.


BE CAREFUL to make sure the power switch is off when connecting and disconnecting the ribbons – otherwise you can permanently damage the CPU.


If everything is working, peel the front film off the backlight. Check for dust or fingerprints on the inside of the LCD.


Take your polarising film and peel off the front and back protective layers. There is a blue stripe on one side – this side needs to be “down” (facing the backlight). If you get it mixed up you will need to test it by powering on the Game Boy and seeing which way round has the better contrast.


Try to hold it by the edges as not to get any finger prints on it.


Position the polariser between the glass and the backlight. The polariser will need to go at different 90 degree angles depending on whether or not you are installing a bivert mod. (See ‘Bivert’ tutorial) If you are NOT installing a bivert the polariser will need to make the screen appear it’s ‘normal’ green when switched off but if you ARE installing a bivert turn the polariser 90 degrees so the screen is dark blue when switched off.

 

Switch on and check for dust.


Replace screws and tuck loose wires up out of the way of any screw holes.

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