Introduction: Back Light Gameboy
Just a quick tutorial on how I made this back light gameboy.
green back light screen
translucent GID green gameboy shell
translucent purple DMG buttons
GID start/select buttons
glass replacement screen cover (will be added at a later point)
not on this mod but also shown is a Bivert Chip
For parts and gameboys check out-
I haven't used bennvenn personally. I can highly recommend retromodding for customer service and aliexpress for cheap but surprisingly good parts.
Step 1: Step 1, Open the Shell
Fairly simple. Use a tri wing screw driver to remove the 6 screws located on the back of the console, these are holding the case together. There's two screws at the top corners, two in the middle and two at the bottom in the battery compartment .
Once the Gameboy has been opened, carefully remove the white ribbon cable connecting the who halves together. This just requires some gentle pressure.
Step 2: Step 2 Remove More Screws
There are a bunch of Philips head screws holding the front board to the front of the case. Remove all of these to get to the screen. Don't worry about remembering which holes the screws go into, the screw holes all have a white circle around them to remind you.
Step 3: More Screws and Gentle Prying
There are two tiny screws below the screen on a brown connecting ribbon. Remove those two screws being very careful not to lose them as they help hold the screen in place when you put everything back together.
Using a pry tool, GENTLY put the tool between the screen and the white plastic housing it is in and pry the screen free of the sticky pads holding it in place.
BE SUPER CAREFUL! The screen is glass, its also permanently attached to the board with the bottom ribbon you just removed screws from but also a second ribbon holding the right side of the screen to the board as well!
Step 4: Side Note
If you are using an gameboy with screen lines, this video shows how to repair those.
Just run a soldering iron over the connections at the bottom of the screen taking care not to stay in one spot for too long.
(this was a practice on a different gameboy. the black marks on the screen are because the screen is broken and the LCD has leaked)
Step 5: Step 5, the Tricky Part
On the back of the screen is a metallic looking sticker. Place a razor or sharp blade between this sticker and the glass of the LCD and slowly remove. This is tricky for a couple of reasons-
its REALLY stuck on
the ribbon cables mean you have limited work space and you need to be careful not to damage them.
the metallic sticker isn't the only layer, you also need to get the green backing off. If you don't get the green with the metallic, its a much more labour intensive job so try and get both in one go. Take your time and be patient. Needle nose pliers are a big help in pulling this sucker off.
Step 6: Step 6 Cleaning
Rub off any sticky residue with acetone. Make sure you scrub methodically as any marks will show up at the end and drive you nuts. You'll also have to take everything apart to fix it so go slow and get it right first time.
Remember to clean the front of the screen as well to remove any dirt and fingerprints.
Step 7: Step 7 Is Missing Photos....sorry
Your screen back light has a small ribbon cable. Solder a wire to each of the + and - tabs on the ribbon cable. These cables then go to a large black resister located just below the screen's ribbon cable (the one with the tiny screws I mentioned before). Simply solder the + to + and - to -
You can just see the red and black wires in the photo. I hope that helps, the + and - on the capacitor is marked on the PCB.
Step 8: Step 8 - Testing
Reattach the front PCB with the untouched back half of the gameboy and chuck in some batteries. If you did everything correctly, the backlight should turn on now.
If you find the back light to be a bit too bright, you can add in a resister between the back lights ribbon cable and the black capacitor.
next step is to add the polarising film that comes with the back light, without the film the screen will remain blank. As you can see, its import to rotate the film the correct way otherwise it inverts the screen.
Once your happy that everything is correct and in the right order AND CLEAN, put everything in place. The back light fits perfectly under the screen inside the outer plastic housing.
Add back the tiny screws to the ribbon cable and this will hold the screen in place.
Step 9: Bivert Mod
If you want to do a divert mod, I would recommend doing that before the back light as it's much easier to check if it has worked on a stock screen (4th image)
Why/what is a bivert? basically its a chip that switches the pixels. Anything that was off is now on and vice versa. Apparently this gives a better contrast but I can't say I've confirmed this yet.
On your untouched back half of the gameboy, where the ribbon cable connector is, unsolder the 6th and 7th pin and bend them up. (if you can't count, its the two pins that go to the area where the bivert chip goes so just follow the connections, you'll be fine)
next solder the 3 holes in the bivert chip to the existing solder on the gameboys board. You may need to trim the excess of some other solder in that area.
Solder the 2 pins to the board
in the bottom corner of the bivert chip is the ground, this gets solders to the gameboys ground which is the 2nd solder point from the top right corner, shown in photo 3.
Then plug everything back in and see if your screen should be inverted. To then make the screen look normal, when you do the back light mod, turn the polarising film to the inverted position.
Step 10: Step 10 Put It All Back Together
This the point where I would recommend making any cosmetic changes. Buttons, Dpad, shell. Add a glass screen to the shell instead of the old scratched plastic one. Go nuts.
For reference, the blue gameboy has a bivert chip, the green does not. The green is also a glow in the dark translucent shell which is why it looks super glowy in the dark photo.
For comparison, I've added a video of a stock screen compared to a modded one. Unfortunately my phone had trouble focusing on the light and also makes the lit screen look flickery which it is not.