How to: frontlight your GBA (no 56k)

Trying to get homebrew running on your PSP? Want to add a screen light to your Game Boy? Trying to figure out how to work your GP2X? By popular demand, discuss it in here! (This forum is for pre-built handhelds, NOT custom made portables!)

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palmertech
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Re: How to: frontlight your GBA (no 56k)

Post by palmertech » Fri Feb 06, 2009 5:26 pm

It is probably missing the antiglare film that the afterburner needs. Get some, and your problem is fixed. :D

Search for some "antiglare" or "Antireflective" screen protectors, those will do the trick.
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Bibin
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Re: How to: frontlight your GBA (no 56k)

Post by Bibin » Tue Feb 10, 2009 6:33 am

palmertech wrote:It is probably missing the antiglare film that the afterburner needs. Get some, and your problem is fixed. :D

Search for some "antiglare" or "Antireflective" screen protectors, those will do the trick.
^ That. Just like it said in my article. Read, people! :roll:
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x fox x
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Re: How to: frontlight your GBA (no 56k)

Post by x fox x » Wed Apr 08, 2009 6:22 pm

Now can someone tell me where to solder the GBA SP light to a Game boy Color?...I have the polarities and everything i understand that i could do the same mod to the game boy color, but no one has mentioned where to solder it....im using method 2 on the tutorial
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Re: How to: frontlight your GBA (no 56k)

Post by eurddrue » Wed Apr 08, 2009 6:31 pm

x fox x wrote:Now can someone tell me where to solder the GBA SP light to a Game boy Color?...I have the polarities and everything i understand that i could do the same mod to the game boy color, but no one has mentioned where to solder it....im using method 2 on the tutorial
I'm pretty sure that the first and last pins put out 5v, so you may have to use some resistors.
Banned indefinitely if you desperately need to contact me STOPPHONESPAMPLOX Please dont be a dick and call for something random like "HEY YURDRUE DOO U HAZ SPAM?"
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chainfire95 wrote:220V I believe
I think we should check to see if you can withstand 220 volts

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Bibin
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Re: How to: frontlight your GBA (no 56k)

Post by Bibin » Thu Apr 09, 2009 10:05 am

Yes, the power board is in the lower corner of the GBC. There is a row of four pins next to the heapdhone jack. The top and bottom pins are the ones you need, and you will want to resistor-it to bring it down to 4-3V.
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eddebaby
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Re: How to: frontlight your GBA (no 56k)

Post by eddebaby » Tue May 19, 2009 10:57 am

Thanks a lot for an awesome guide. I just fitted my GBA with an SP frontlight and all is good apart from a slightly washed out look. I assume that the anti-reflective film will take care of this.
Bibin wrote:BONUS POINTS: Get smart and install some Antireflective Film onto the GBA LCD for a better image. I stole the AR film from the SP, and it looks so much better than in that picture (which is still good!)
I tried to follow this tip but when I applied the ar film from the SP ( I assume I got the right stuff - it looks like its polarized) it blocks out the light completely (i.e. I can't see anything on the screen). If I use it back to front I can see a dim almost monochrome image.

It looks like there is a piece of film on the GBA LCD already - do I need to remove this first?
Any tips on where I might be going wrong?

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Re: How to: frontlight your GBA (no 56k)

Post by Bibin » Tue May 19, 2009 1:27 pm

The GBA SP doesn't seem to have removable AR film, so I'd order some elsewhre. THe layer you pulled off is a polarizer, but if you remove the one on the GBA and switch them that should be fine too.
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Re: How to: frontlight your GBA (no 56k)

Post by eddebaby » Tue May 19, 2009 1:59 pm

Bibin wrote:The GBA SP doesn't seem to have removable AR film, so I'd order some elsewhre. THe layer you pulled off is a polarizer, but if you remove the one on the GBA and switch them that should be fine too.
Did you swap the polarizer? Or did you use something else? I got the impression from your post that you took some AR film from the SP.

Also do you know what resistance I should use for a potentiometer to adjust the brightness? Preferably the dial should go from full to off/very low with as little dead space as possible. My initial findings suggest that 5K would work.

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Re: How to: frontlight your GBA (no 56k)

Post by Bibin » Wed May 20, 2009 8:21 pm

I didn't swap the polarizer, I ordered some AR film online. The article suggests that you can swap the polarizer though, and I suggest that.
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Re: How to: frontlight your GBA (no 56k)

Post by eddebaby » Thu May 21, 2009 4:34 am

Bibin wrote:The article suggests that you can swap the polarizer though, and I suggest that.
I swapped the polarizer and got very undesirable results. Just as before when I put the SP polarizer on top of the GBA Original's LCD (and polarizer still attached) very little light gets through. This might be because I messed up the SP polarizer yesterday trying to clean it after get loads of dust and stuff on it. I'll probably give it a go again once I get a new SP to take apart.

As a word of warning to others - be very careful with the polarizer film. If you get even a speck of dust or something under the adhesive side you will create an air bubble when reapplying it. This is what I did when I put the original one back on and I am stuck with a spoiled screen. It's not critical but it definitely lessens the overall quality of this frontlight mod.
Bibin wrote:I didn't swap the polarizer, I ordered some AR film online.
Do you remember where you ordered the AR film from? The sites I have found are out of stock and presumably will never have stock again (as they were selling spares for the long gone afterburner kit).

The anti reflective/glare film seems the safer way to go for me as you can order a few and have a few goes rather than the one-shot deal with the polarizer film.

Thanks again Bibin and palmertech for showing these forums that it could be done. Thanks especially to palmertech for discovering the need for the resistor- your GBA's sacrifice will never be forgotten! :)

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Re: How to: frontlight your GBA (no 56k)

Post by Bibin » Thu May 21, 2009 4:57 am

He didn't discover the resistor, I've known that for years :lol: But on eBay just look for "Antireflective film", and get one of those cell phone screen protectors that doubles as AR film.
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Re: How to: frontlight your GBA (no 56k)

Post by eddebaby » Thu May 21, 2009 6:15 am

Bibin wrote:...on eBay just look for "Antireflective film", and get one of those cell phone screen protectors that doubles as AR film.
Thanks, I'd had a quick look on ebay but didn't find anything. I searched in the description as well as the title (which I hadn't done before) and found loads! Should have though of that really. I picked up 3 NDS screen protectors (So 6 in total) for £3.60 ($5.70) including postage. Seem like a good enough deal to me.

As for the polarizing layer - can you get a generic replacement? Or is it very particular to the GBA's LCD?

EDIT - I've added a few picks to show the results. You can make out where I ruined the polarized layer on the right hand side of the screen in the fourth picture (click the thumbnail to get a closer look).

Street Fighter Alpha 3' with the light on and off.
ImageImage

The true killer app for the DMG: Info Genius' French Translator :roll: - again with the frontlight on and off.
ImageImage

I installed a small switch to enable/disable the frontlight just behind the R bumper.
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Lastly another comparison to show what I used for light/emulation needs before I installed a frontlight and got an EZ Flash IV... A Blaze worm light and the GBA Movie Player Compact Flash v1! :shock: What a hulking beast (and check out the harsh spot of light generated by the worm light). I would still say the worm light beats having no light at all but it's very difficult to see the whole screen at the same time.
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Re: How to: frontlight your GBA (no 56k)

Post by palmertech » Thu May 21, 2009 4:26 pm

And you are sure they are AR DS screen protectors?

The polarizer is generic, I am trying right now to pull one with an AR film built in from an old LCD to apply on it. If you have problems, try rotating it or flipping it. There is no standard orientation, sadly, so they may have done it with the adhesive "backwards". :(

Oh, and Bibin: You may have known of the resistor, but did you enrich the world of your knowledge, saving countless people from agony? I think not! :wink:

Any other questions I missed/help you need? I kinda skimmed. :P
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Re: How to: frontlight your GBA (no 56k)

Post by eddebaby » Fri May 22, 2009 7:01 am

palmertech wrote:And you are sure they are AR DS screen protectors?
Pretty sure, I just got them today. They are Hori HDL-01. All the documentation I can find suggests that they have an AR layer. However the back of the packet suggest only one of the two included has an AR layer ( the one for the top screen). Although it could meant its anti-reflective and something else.
palmertech wrote:Oh, and Bibin: You may have known of the resistor, but did you enrich the world of your knowledge, saving countless people from agony? I think not! :wink:
That's what I meant. Your mistake saved countless others :D
palmertech wrote:Any other questions I missed/help you need? I kinda skimmed. :P
The only other query I had was for using a potentiometer to adjust the brightness:
eddebaby wrote:Also do you know what resistance I should use for a potentiometer to adjust the brightness? Preferably the dial should go from full to off/very low with as little dead space as possible. My initial findings suggest that 5K would work.
Any ideas?

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Re: How to: frontlight your GBA (no 56k)

Post by chipdouglas » Thu Jun 18, 2009 6:37 pm

Thanks for writing up this guide. Would you mind if I posted this on my site?
My site: http://whengamescollide.com/" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

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