Game Boy Color Cartridge Ilummination (GBC)




This instructable shows how to use an LED to illuminate a GBC cartridge.


Step 1: Materials

You will need:

-special screwdriver or small pliers
-GBC cart
-small led
-duct tape


NOTE: This instructable is easier to complete on a later model GBC cart, due to there being empty space at the end of the cart.

Step 2: Open Cart

First you must open the cart. It uses a tamper-proof screw, which is very annoying. You can do this using a special screwdriver, or use a small pair of pliers like I did.

Step 3: Get an LED and Mod It.

You need a small LED, one that will fit inside the cart. If it is too big, you will not be able to close the cart.

You will also probably need to sand the LED's leads, so that they can fit into one of the holes on the now-exposed circuit board.

Step 4: Find Ground, +3v, and Insert the LED

Around the edges of most carts, there is a row of 'holes' which are all ground. The trace they are on starts from the last pin(32), which is also labeled as GND. Now you just need your 3 volts. There are many other holes, many of which are 3volts. However, most will cause the game to crash or not boot. You simply need to test them all with your LED until you find one which doesn't crash the game.

Then, simply tape down the LED. No soldering needed!

Step 5: Close It Up!

Now simply close up the cart. You can put the screw back in, but I put a standard philips screw in instead.


I have tested this on a Mario Golf and a Micro Machines 1 and 2 Twin Turbo cartridge. I cannot guarantee that this will work on other cartridges, or on your versions. I take no responsibility for any damage this causes to you, the console, the cart, or anything else.



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    7 Discussions


    7 years ago on Step 4

    using this method can you charge the coin battery in pokemon gold?


    7 years ago on Introduction

    "This instructable is easier to complete on a later model GBC cart, due to there being empty space at the end of the cart." - Just for your information, the cartridges that don't have empty space at the end aren't earlier model GBC cartridges, but instead they're original Game Boy cartridges. The difference between original Game Boy cartridges and Game Boy Color cartridges is the bump (aka extra space) at the end. Correcting this may avoid further confusion. Other then that, the tutorial was very good, I plan on doing this to my Crystal cartridge before too long.


    7 years ago on Step 4

    I'm using a Pokemon Silver circuitboard in a GBC cart shell, and I have absolutely no clue what I'm looking for. I'm using a Blue LED and I see 32 and GND on the board but there are 4 small holes within/around them along with a large one... Any way you could help me? I don't mean to be a bother and I know it's different for every game but... I don't know. Thank you. Anything you tell me will be appreciated..


    7 years ago on Step 4

    My LED has a long and a short leg? Do I tape the short in the ground 32 one?
    And then which one of the 8 holes do i put the long leg in?


    8 years ago on Introduction

    cool! but i think the led is being overpowered. its orange when it should be green still, 5*s

    1 reply

    Reply 8 years ago on Introduction

    Thanks! The reason for the orangeish (actually red) glow in the first picture is that it is a different one then the others! In that cartridge I used a red LED, the LED is not being overpowered. If, however, you use an LED that uses a lower voltage and would be overpowered by the cartridge be sure to use a resistor or it will overheat and blow out.