Possibility of modding a GBA SP+ screen with original GBA?

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!)

Moderator: Moderators

Jedah Doma
Posts: 8
Joined: Tue Jul 21, 2009 12:10 am

Possibility of modding a GBA SP+ screen with original GBA?

Post by Jedah Doma » Tue Jul 21, 2009 12:16 am

So here's my dilemma. I love me some Gameboy Advance. I own both a GBA SP, with the new backlit screen, and a GBA Micro. As much as I love both systems, the form factor and d-pad of the original is my favorite. Of course the only problem is the lack of a backlit screen.

Now I know about the Afterburner mod and a few others, but what are my options? I would like a screen almost or just as good as the new SP's. So a thought came to mind, could I cannibalize a screen from a new SP and slap it into an original GBA? If not just the screen, could I then take the guts of a GBA SP and implant them into an original GBA?

Thoughts?

UPDATE:

Well I bought an original GBA to see what my options were. I don't think I'll be able to take the guts from a GBA SP+ into a GBA as the button and d-pad placement is different. I would have to do some serious circuit board modding to separate pieces in order for me to get everything in the right spot. While that sounds like fun, it seems very difficult if even possible.

But, my first idea of switching screens may work. Here are two pictures.

ORIGINAL GBA
http://www.substance-tv.com/wp-content/ ... g_6736.jpg

GBA SP+
http://www.substance-tv.com/wp-content/ ... g_6731.jpg

Now I'm no electronics expert, but from what I can see, there are 32 connections on the original GBA and 34 connections on the GBA SP+. Both connectors look very similar. I can only imagine that the two extra connections on the GBA SP+ are for the extra power etc. needed to run the screen. I would think there would be a way to solder two extra wires from the circuit board to facilitate whatever power/connections are needed to power the GBA SP+ screen.

Pretty much, what do some of you modding/electronic gurus think of the possibility of transplanting a GBA SP+ screen into an original GBA?

User avatar
eurddrue
Senior Member
Posts: 2367
Joined: Fri Jul 18, 2008 1:26 pm
Location: I am so caught up in real life I have to be done for a while. I'll still check in but dontexpectmuch
Contact:

Re: Possibility of modding a GBA SP+ screen with original GBA?

Post by eurddrue » Tue Jul 21, 2009 9:27 am

You could do something like put the entire SP into the gba and rewire the buttons 8) I've been going to do that for a while. OR! If your SP is frontlight (AGS-001) you could take the light out of it and frontlight your GBA. As for the transplant, I do not know :oops:
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?"
wallydawg wrote:
chainfire95 wrote:220V I believe
I think we should check to see if you can withstand 220 volts

User avatar
Master Kirby
Posts: 66
Joined: Mon Aug 25, 2008 10:05 am
Contact:

Re: Possibility of modding a GBA SP+ screen with original GBA?

Post by Master Kirby » Tue Jul 21, 2009 9:58 am

That is interesting... It looks like there are different versions of the GBA. The picture of your GBA shows 32 connections, but when I look at my GBA, you can see that mine actually has 40 positions on the ribbon cable.
Image

What model GBA is yours? Did you get it in the USA or another country? I got mine in the US not long after it first came out, so I would guess that maybe they removed some unused traces from the cable and connector to save space and cost before they built the one you have?

Jedah Doma
Posts: 8
Joined: Tue Jul 21, 2009 12:10 am

Re: Possibility of modding a GBA SP+ screen with original GBA?

Post by Jedah Doma » Tue Jul 21, 2009 2:14 pm

Master Kirby wrote:That is interesting... It looks like there are different versions of the GBA. The picture of your GBA shows 32 connections, but when I look at my GBA, you can see that mine actually has 40 positions on the ribbon cable.

What model GBA is yours? Did you get it in the USA or another country? I got mine in the US not long after it first came out, so I would guess that maybe they removed some unused traces from the cable and connector to save space and cost before they built the one you have?
It's a white GBA from the USA. I'll have to check tonight to get more specific information. That's interesting how yours is different. What version is yours?

User avatar
Master Kirby
Posts: 66
Joined: Mon Aug 25, 2008 10:05 am
Contact:

Re: Possibility of modding a GBA SP+ screen with original GBA?

Post by Master Kirby » Tue Jul 21, 2009 3:19 pm

My GBA is at home, so I will need to check later tonight, but I would assume it is the standard AGB-001 model from the US. I bought it at a local (Pennsylvania) Walmart back when they first came out. It is the same one I took photos of in my GBA overclocking guide: http://forums.benheck.com/viewtopic.php?f=22&t=25718

User avatar
eurddrue
Senior Member
Posts: 2367
Joined: Fri Jul 18, 2008 1:26 pm
Location: I am so caught up in real life I have to be done for a while. I'll still check in but dontexpectmuch
Contact:

Re: Possibility of modding a GBA SP+ screen with original GBA?

Post by eurddrue » Tue Jul 21, 2009 3:24 pm

Too bad Themadhacker is camping, because he has my launch gba. I'd assume that it had a 40 pin connector also.
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?"
wallydawg wrote:
chainfire95 wrote:220V I believe
I think we should check to see if you can withstand 220 volts

User avatar
Master Kirby
Posts: 66
Joined: Mon Aug 25, 2008 10:05 am
Contact:

Re: Possibility of modding a GBA SP+ screen with original GBA?

Post by Master Kirby » Wed Jul 22, 2009 3:55 pm

I checked my GBA last night, and I was right. It is an AGB-001. I can verify that it is a US version since the label on the back says "C/AGB-USA". The copyright date is 2000.

User avatar
palmertech
Senior Member
Posts: 3225
Joined: Sat Feb 02, 2008 1:40 am
Location: California, land of the homeless and hippies
Contact:

Re: Possibility of modding a GBA SP+ screen with original GBA?

Post by palmertech » Wed Jul 22, 2009 10:28 pm

There are only two ribbon revisions, luckily. All of the useless ones are on one side, the pinout for the useful things is actually exactly the same.

I used to think differently, but it seems that hooking up the screen from the new SP is very possible. The two extra traces are an 18v backlight power and ground line, so no mystery there.

That said, I transplanted a GBA SP into a DMG case, doing an original GBA is not too hard. Would need a lot of wiring, but might be easier to working with that GBA SP ribbon. ;)
Image

Excellent

User avatar
Master Kirby
Posts: 66
Joined: Mon Aug 25, 2008 10:05 am
Contact:

Re: Possibility of modding a GBA SP+ screen with original GBA?

Post by Master Kirby » Thu Jul 23, 2009 10:08 am

So, technically, if someone wanted to create a GBA that has the feel of an original GBA in their hands, but have a lighted folding screen, they could do the following:
1. Remove the screen from an AGB-001 (original GBA).
2. Remove the folding screen from a GBA SP.
3. Cut the SP's ribbon cable to separate the traces corresponding to powering the light.
4. Insert the SP's LCD ribbon into the GBA's ribbon connector, lining up the correct contacts (or wire them together if they are in a different order).
5. Wire the SP screen's light to proper circuitry (in the GBA, or additionally added as possible).
6. Cut and reform the cases together so that instead of having the GBA screen in the middle, the SP's hinge is attached at the top, and allows the screen to fold down inside of the front face of the GBA where the original screen used to be.
7. Add a power jack to the GBA so you can play without using up batteries (or buy one of the rechargeable packs that insert into the battery compartment and have a power jack).

8. Enjoy playing your new combination GBA with the best of both worlds.

User avatar
themadhacker
Senior Member
Posts: 2670
Joined: Wed Aug 06, 2008 7:53 pm
Location: ohio

Re: Possibility of modding a GBA SP+ screen with original GBA?

Post by themadhacker » Sat Jul 25, 2009 6:39 am

eurddrue wrote:Too bad Themadhacker is camping, because he has my launch gba. I'd assume that it had a 40 pin connector also.
I'll have to find it first. It is in a box of things for me to eventually fix right now. I blew one of the fuses and I can't figure out which one it is 'till I finally get a multimeter. I'll dig it out and see what connector it has.
rest in peace, Ronnie James Dio! \m/

Jedah Doma
Posts: 8
Joined: Tue Jul 21, 2009 12:10 am

Re: Possibility of modding a GBA SP+ screen with original GBA?

Post by Jedah Doma » Mon Aug 31, 2009 9:25 pm

Master Kirby wrote:So, technically, if someone wanted to create a GBA that has the feel of an original GBA in their hands, but have a lighted folding screen, they could do the following:
1. Remove the screen from an AGB-001 (original GBA).
2. Remove the folding screen from a GBA SP.
3. Cut the SP's ribbon cable to separate the traces corresponding to powering the light.
4. Insert the SP's LCD ribbon into the GBA's ribbon connector, lining up the correct contacts (or wire them together if they are in a different order).
5. Wire the SP screen's light to proper circuitry (in the GBA, or additionally added as possible).
6. Cut and reform the cases together so that instead of having the GBA screen in the middle, the SP's hinge is attached at the top, and allows the screen to fold down inside of the front face of the GBA where the original screen used to be.
7. Add a power jack to the GBA so you can play without using up batteries (or buy one of the rechargeable packs that insert into the battery compartment and have a power jack).

8. Enjoy playing your new combination GBA with the best of both worlds.
Hmmmm sounds interesting, though I would have to do some case modding as well correct?

dimefan90
Posts: 34
Joined: Tue Oct 28, 2008 7:18 pm

Re: Possibility of modding a GBA SP+ screen with original GBA?

Post by dimefan90 » Sun Sep 13, 2009 6:50 am

how is this going

Jedah Doma
Posts: 8
Joined: Tue Jul 21, 2009 12:10 am

Re: Possibility of modding a GBA SP+ screen with original GBA?

Post by Jedah Doma » Tue Jan 19, 2010 4:41 pm

As far as an update, I've been going around to various electronics stores for solutions, mainly those who deal in aftermarket repairs and modding, but to no avail. The search continues.

User avatar
palmertech
Senior Member
Posts: 3225
Joined: Sat Feb 02, 2008 1:40 am
Location: California, land of the homeless and hippies
Contact:

Re: Possibility of modding a GBA SP+ screen with original GBA?

Post by palmertech » Tue Jan 19, 2010 4:55 pm

No matter how hard you look, you will not find what you seek. Drop in screen upgrades for the GBA simply do not exist, and the demand is very, very low.

However, there has been an interesting development in the time since this thread was started: GBA clones. Dealextreme is down right now, but I will link you to the item when it comes back up. It is a hardware clone of the GBA, but with a backlit screen, li-ion battery, and built in 2gb of memory, all in an original GBA shell.
Image

Excellent

User avatar
gamer255
Posts: 336
Joined: Mon Sep 14, 2009 7:53 pm
Location: New york

Re: Possibility of modding a GBA SP+ screen with original GBA?

Post by gamer255 » Tue Jan 19, 2010 5:08 pm

Palmer you should make an Sp in a Gba case already :P

Post Reply