Introduction: Solar Power Your Gameboy Color (updated)

Picture of Solar Power Your Gameboy Color (updated)
tired of buying batteries for your gamboy color? this should keep you from buying new batteries for a long time and all you need is a solar light from walmart or home depot, in my case i got it at my work (a grocery store). I've seen others do solar hand hels but i always thought it would be too hard or just not practical until i saw this video on how to make your own solar tv remote http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UISgLcnXsz then i instantly thought... wow that looks really easy and cheap to do.

also i have been working on this instructable for over a month having to retake many pictures since i transition from an old treo phone to a new droid g2, so please rate this for all the work i've done.

NOW FEATURED ON HACK A DAY http://hackaday.com/2011/04/04/solar-powered-gameboy-color-never-runs-out-of-juice/


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update, i just accidently ripped the solar pannel off the gameboy by mistake so in the meantime i think im going to buy a flexible panel to make it look less clunk and more durable

Step 1: WARNING PROCEED AT YOUR OWN RISK

Picture of WARNING PROCEED AT YOUR OWN RISK

I just want to make it clear that i am in no way responsible if you some how break your gameboy, burn down your house with the soldering iron or electrocute yourself

Step 2: Parts and Tools

Picture of Parts and Tools

You will need the following parts and tools

TOOLS

soldering iron with some solder i used rosin core
wire cutters
a tri wing screw driver (you can get one on ebay)
small Philips head screw driver (for you solar light or if you need to remove the circuit board from the gameboy)
power drill and drill bit  or a dremel tool (for making holes for the panel wires to come out of)
forceps really help with soldering wires
a helping hand tool if you need one
a lighter (in case you solar panel won't come out of the solar light)

PARTS
a gameboy of course, this can work with most items that run off of 2 aa batteries but thats up to you to try out
a solar light that runs off of 1 or 2 aa's, if you can buy the 2 aa version so you wont have to buy new batteries
a diode
2 rechargeable aa batteries (even if you get one in your solar light please get 2 matching batteries it matters)
some Velcro (if you want to be able to adjust the panel)
glue if you want to permanently attach the solar panel to the gameboy
spare wire in case the solar panel wires are not long enough
shrink tubing


Step 3: Dismantle the Solar Light

Picture of Dismantle the Solar Light

Skip this step if you are buying a solar panel instead of a solar light

every light will be different but with mine i just unscrewed and took it all apart byhand, unsoldered the battery connections then took about 20 minutes removing the solar pannel without breaking it. the way i removed the panel is i heated up the metal shell under the panel with a lighter melting the glue one corner at a time until it final released. just make sure you dont over heat the metal or panel and dont snap it. once you removed the panel from the casing snip the wires connected to the circuit board insuring you get the most length for your solar panel wires.

you can keep the shell, led, photo resister and any thing else you want for another project.

Step 4: Taking Apart the Gameboy

Picture of Taking Apart the Gameboy

NOTE YOU NEED A TRI WING SCREWDRIVER, THIS GOES FOR ANY MODEL GAMEBOY. the best place to get one is ebay, just search tri winger screw driver or gameboy screw driver, I got 2 for about $1 each no joke.

Now there are 6 screw 4 in plain site and 2 under the battery cover. So remove the cover and both batteries and unscrew those 2 screws. Now carefully lift the shell away from the rest of the gameboy and put both halfs to the side for the next step.

Step 5: Preping the Pannel

Picture of Preping the Pannel

strip the ends of the wires on your panel then to the red wire (positive) solder you diod to the end making sure the anode side (black end) to the solar panel so the cathode side (the end with the white) can be connected to the gameboy. once you soldered the diode to the panels positive wire slide a piece of shrink tubing over the diode making sure the end of it sticks out so you can solder to it later.

Step 6: Preping the Gameboy Shell

Picture of Preping the Gameboy Shell

depending on what kind of solar panel you are using or how you plan on routing you wires you may have to do something completely different. the only prep i did to the shell was to drill a large enough hole so the wires could nicely slide through.

now slip the 2 wires through the back of the shell and figure out how you want your panel to sit. now either glue you panel in the desired spot or use velcro like i do so it can always be moved when you reopen the gameboy or want to readjust it.. if you do use velcro like me make sure the softer fuzzy side is attached to the gameboy and the hard scruffy side to the pannel so you gameboy doesn't get stuck to random things and when your hand rub against the Velcro it doesn't hurt.

you may also need to make a small notch where the battery terminals fit so the wire on't block the shell from fitting in.



Step 7: Make Gameboy and Solar Panel , One

Picture of Make Gameboy and Solar Panel , One

ok lets try and re write this for a third time, instructables seems to like deleting entire steps at a time just to piss me off.

tin both of the wires and battery contact with solder and make sure you do not apply to much heat or you can damage the board, so if you can use heat sync clips that most soldering kits come with

once you have the panel wires fed through the back of the shell, solder the positive wire with the diode to the back or bottom of the positive terminal (the one without the spring) of the gameboy. now solder the black wire to the negative terminal (the one with the spring)






Step 8: Put It Together and Test

Picture of Put It Together and Test

now pop the shell back on carfully feeding out as much of the panels wire and making sure the 2 batter terminals fit in place.

if the shell wont fit figure out what is blocking it from closing , you may need to move the wires a little or make a notch in the shell by the batteries like i did, just make sure you dont take out to much or the batteries wont meet the contacts.

once it all fits pop 2 rechargeable batteries in and give it a test, if it still powers on, remove the batteries and then screw in all 6 tri wing screws. if it doesn't you may have crossed a wire or over heated the board.


now how i tested it to make sure it charged is i used up the power in the rechargeable batteries then l left  the gameboy in my window for about a full day and then tested it to see if the batteries charged.


Step 9: Your Done

Picture of Your Done
now that it fully works you wont have to get a new set of batteries for a few years hopefully and now you get to show off your cool creation to every on and assure security that its not a bomb...i've had to do that a few times.

Comments

rogerhughes (author)2014-03-17

if you can get rid of 6 3-score 6 its kinda offensive

Kaptain Kool (author)2011-04-02

Cool!

Kaptain Kool (author)2011-04-02

Great Idea!

ya i brought this to pax east and i was blown away by every coming up to me asking wtf was on the back of it. hell i showed it to a vender and he begain passing it around to the entire booth showing his family lol.

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