After viewing this Instructable, I decided to make an Instructable to LED Mod a GBA. With this mod, you can make your GBA case light up, while giving it nice lighting effects.
Step 1: Gather Materials
For this project, you will need:
Resistors that match your LEDs
Any transparent, colored Gameboy Advance
Tri-Wing Screwdriver OR small flathead screwdriver
Fine Sandpaper (400 - 500 grit)
Two LEDs (any color) (preferably low voltage)
Hot glue gun
Heat shrink tubing
Step 2: Remove Gameboy Case
First, you will need to remove the Gameboy's case. To do this, you will have to remove the seven tri-wing screws with your tri-wing or flathead screwdriver. There are four screws toward the top, and three towards the bottom. The screws locations are marked in the photo for better clarification. After the screws are removed, lift the front half of the case off, and set it aside for later. For the next step, you will need the back half of the case.
Step 3: Cut Hole for Switch
To cut the hole:
With an Xacto Knife:
Start by gently scoring the case of the Gameboy Advance in the spot you wish to place the switch. There tends to be more space on the back, to the left of the battery compartment. Keep cutting until you cut all the way through. This step may take a while, but it's worth it for a clean cut. If your switch needs to be screwed in, drill the holes for the switch after cutting the hole for the switch.
With a Dremel/Rotary tool:
Start by attaching an appropriate cutting wheel to your dremel/rotary tool. As previously mentioned, there tends to be more space on the back, to the left of the battery compartment.Slowly cut an appropriately sized hole in the plastic.
After cutting the hole, you can place the switch into position, and screw it in. You can also just glue the switch into place with epoxy.
*Cut the hole a little smaller than needed. If you need the hole to be bigger, you can remove extra plastic later.*
After cutting the hole for the switch, be sure to clean any extra plastic out of the case before proceeding.
Step 4: Diffuse LEDs
Now you need to diffuse the LEDs for them to be able to spread their light out, not just point it in one direction. I will provide you with a link for instructions on how to diffuse a LED, but you basically rub the LED against the sandpaper until the LED surface is "rough". Here is the link on how to diffuse an LED.
Step 5: Remove PCB
To remove the PCB, you will have to remove the three screws holing it down. After the screws are removed, lift both gray/brown plastic pegs toward the orange ribbon cable at the same time, then lift the cable from the connector
Step 6: Place LEDs Into Position
Place your LEDs around the screen. You may have to remove some plastic with your rotary tool to get them to fit depending on the size of LEDs that you picked out. I placed three of my LEDs around the bottom of the screen. After you have found where you want your LEDs, solder them in Parallel, according to the parallel diagram on the following site. http://www.theledlight.com/ledcircuits.html
After soldering the LEDs together, you will have to solder a black (color optional) wire to the negative (-) end of the LED closest to the battery compartment, and a red (color optional) wire to the positive (+) end of the LED closest to the battery compartment. After attaching the wires, you can screw the PCB back in, followed by attaching the ribbon cable from the screen to then PCB. To do this, insert the ribbon cable into its holder, followed by pushing in the gray/brown pegs on either side of the holder.
After placing the LEDs in their desired locations, you can hot glue them in place for added strength.
If you cannot fit the LEDs and/or their wires into the case, use a dremel/rotary tool to remove excess plastic.
Step 7: Solder Switch
For this step, you will have to solder two short lengths of wire to one end of the switch, and the other. Solder one of
the wires coming from the switch to the battery terminal marked BT+. Solder the other wire coming from the switch to the positive end of your LED circuit. You can tell the positive from the negative end on an LED, because the base of the LED is flat on the negative side, and the longer leg is usually positive.
After wiring the switch, take another wire and solder that to the negative end of your LED circuit. Solder the other end of that wire to the battery terminal marked BT-.
Before proceeding to the next step, close the case, but do not screw it together yet. Place the batteries in the battery compartment, and turn on your LEDs. If they light up, then Congratulations! If your LEDs do not light up, then check your connections and polarity.
Step 8: Reassemble the Case
After all of that hard work, you can now reassemble the case. start by inserting the R and L buttons, followed by the plastic separators. After that, you can screw the case back together.
*I am not responsible for any damage that you may have caused to your GBA*