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Removing original Gameboy buttons, mounting them into fabric - best way? Answered

Hi all

Well, after considering installing a working Gameboy into a bag, I have downgraded my plan due a sincere lack of soldering experience/ability (as in, I've never done it before).

So, to keep my theme and still make an awesome hangbag, I've decided to mount just the buttons from an original Gameboy into a console-shaped fabric applique.

However, the technical side stumps me. I've seen a how-to on getting to the PCBs, but I'm under the impression the 'click' of the buttons is because of a mechanism underneath them. Would there be a way to preserve this mechanism if mounted through fabric (maybe through an eyelet)?

I'd also love to keep the switch and have it power on an LED 'power light', but I'm not sure of that yet as it involves electronics and I've not experimented for fear of ruining the only original Gameboy I have current access to. It was only £5 inc. shipping but I'd rather not wreck it needlessly.

Additional: Slide 11 of 12 of this explains the buttons, but doesn't help me mount them:

Presumably the 'springy' feel to the buttons is caused by the silicone pad underneath them, but I wouldn't know how to mount this between two layers of fabric.

Thanks for any help, chaps and chapettes :)


I wouldn't give up so easily.  I had not had any soldering experience when I started working on my GameBoy project. 

I got a little too ambitious with mine, but I bet you could use a similar process.  If you mount it with the game slot close to an edge, you could avoid needing to extend the cartridge connector like I did.  Also you would not have to move around the buttons either.  Just cut holes in the fabric where they need to be.

Here is my instructable for reference: https://www.instructables.com/id/The-Gameboy-DS/

who cares go outside and get a tan you nerd!!!
fart out.

I don't know. Ask qtechknow. qtechknow knows all!

Do you want the game boy to be exposed? What about creating a bag with a reverse pocket with a window, use clear vinyl so the game boy can be seen and played from the outside of the bag, and the game boy can slip into a pocket inside the bag. This way you can even take it out to play. I was thinking if the game boy comes in half and had enough space you can just cut a hole in your bag and sandwich some fabric on the edge of the hole in between the two halves, but I've never opened one up to know of there is enough space and that had the risk of the game boy falling out unless you secure it further in the back side, which made me think of the pocket with the window. If you wanted just the screen to show and the buttons, using the pocket method you could just cut holes where they line up on the game boy, in the outside of the bag and secure the game to the pocket with double sided velcro so the unit doesn't shift away from the holes.

In order to move the buttons to another location you will need to find the traces for all the existing buttons and track them back to a point you can solder to. The carbon pads that are on the PCB are conductive but you can't solder to them. Run your wires out to wherever you want and solder them to a PCB with a set of Push Buttons.