Introduction: Backlit Modded Neo Geo Pocket Handheld

About: Coder, Gamer, Dad.

Hello there!

This is a step-by-step tutorial for backlighting the original Neo Pocket (NOT THE COLOR). The original Neo Pockets were monochrome like the original game boy and pocket line, thus the screen types are the same and can be backlit with backlight kits from that are intended for Game Boy DMGs and Pockets. Luckily the work is almost identical.

Lets get started!

Step 1: Take Apart the Device

Remove the 5 phillips head screws and the 1 try-wing screw (you will need a tri-wing screwdriver).

Step 2: Remove the Screws

There will be 3 or 2 screws holding the board into the front shell, remove these and put them aside.

Step 3: Remove Analog Thumb Grip

The analog stick on these has a removable thumb grip that actually keeps the board secured if you don't remove it, so you'll need to gently lift the grip off the stick slowly with a small thin flat head. Don't rush it.

Step 4: Remove Screen

Gently lift the screen off of the front shell, it's secured by a strong adhesive strip. It's best to use again a small thin flathead screwdriver to lift it away from the adhesive. After you remove the screen, remove the adhesive strip it's no longer needed.

Step 5: Detach the Screen

Detach the screen from the mother board by first pushing the grip (that holds it in place) up, then gently lift it away from the board with the same flathead.

Step 6: Remove the Polarizing Foil From the Screen

Like the game boy DMGs and Pockets there is a polarizing film glued onto the screen, in the same way those are removed, you need to lift this away from the screen ever so gently, start the separation with a razor blade. (Refer to other tutorials for backlighting Game Boys for a better explanation if you need one).

Step 7: Insert the New Backlight and Polarizing Film, Prep the Wires

Now insert the backlight and polarizing film underneath the LCD. There's a normal and biverted direction for the polarizing film, you'll just have to troubleshoot to find the correct one, but there is no need to bivert these, they are already biverted with a strong contrast.

Solder the power and ground wire that comes with the packet.

Step 8: Solder Ground and Power

Ground on these is clearly labeled, Gnd, there's actually a few places you can solder the ground wire but the one closest to the top is the easiest. I'd properly prep the solder points by the way with either flux or just clean it with alcohol to make sure the solder sticks in place.

Power needs to be soldered to the Vdd point as shown in the picture.

Secure both with hot glue along with the 2 solder points on the backlight ribbon.

Step 9: Lets Give It a Try!

Put the back shell back on and insert your 2 AAA batteries, turn it on by using the power button (left side of the board). Mess with the contrast wheel until you're happy with the picture.

We have a backlit Neo Pocket!

Step 10: Secure Everything

Again, I'd recommend securing the solder points with hot glue then routing the wires so they are not blocking any screw holes or the cartridge port.

Step 11: Put It Back Together.

Put the screen back in place, do your best to center the backlight and the polarizing film (might take a few tries to get it right don't fret).

Screw in the 2 screws that held the board onto the front shell (no need to screw in all 3).

Put the back shell back on and secure the screws.

Step 12: Success!

You're done!

Enjoy you're new Backlit Neo Geo Pocket!