How the GBA SP Frontlight works and some questions

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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hyliandeity03
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Joined: Mon Aug 20, 2012 6:42 pm

How the GBA SP Frontlight works and some questions

Post by hyliandeity03 » Mon Aug 20, 2012 7:50 pm

So I was gonna frontlight my GBC with a broken GBA SP that I had. I was gonna follow Choochoobot's guide, but when it came to removing the light, I was uncertain of how to do it and looked up a video. That video stupidly suggested that after removing the light, you should take the light's positive and negative contacts and peel the bottom part off, so I now have a very ruined GBA SP frontlight.
Here's my problem:
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After the initial disappointment, I decided I had nothing to lose and I found out how the light actually works, and, possibly found a way to fix a broken light.

The light itself is tiny:
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So that's the light itself. It lights up the screen by shining through various screens (which you also remove when you do the mod). One screen is the one you see that lights up and spreads the light evenly. This is the screen that goes over the GBA SP's LCD, and the one you put in front of your GBC when you are modding it:
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The second screen is inside the little metal sheath that is attached to the first screen. It slides right out of the sheeth if you take the light off of it:
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So the light shines down into the smaller screen within the sheath:
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and from the smaller screen it shines into the bigger screen:
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Here's a (poorly) drawn diagram showing how the frontlight works in case that was confusing:
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I wouldn't recommend doing this to a working GBA SP frontlight. You could break it, and the screens are scratched very easily, and fingerprints are hard to remove (Unless you have a microfiber cloth like I do. You can get them in 3 packs from staples)

And here's my question: My light is useless, but the screens still function fine. Is there some type of LED I can use as a replacement light? And if I do get a new LED, can I use the same 47ohm resistor I got for the original light? I don't really wanna buy a new SP

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ModderMan
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Location: Australia

Re: How the GBA SP Frontlight works and some questions

Post by ModderMan » Wed Aug 22, 2012 12:27 am

You could just buy a small white LED and put it in the other ones place, as for the resistor it depends on how much voltage the LED gets regularly, but if your unsure just use it anyway.
- ModderMan

hyliandeity03
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Joined: Mon Aug 20, 2012 6:42 pm

Re: How the GBA SP Frontlight works and some questions

Post by hyliandeity03 » Wed Aug 22, 2012 10:02 am

By tiny do you mean something like this:

http://www.solarbotics.com/product/tled/

Or could I just get a 3mm one from RadioShack? And if I got one from RadioShack should I diffuse it? Also how can you tell what type of resistor to use depending on the voltage? Is there a chart with values somewhere or something?

Sorry I'm not new to soldering and modding as I've modded guitar pedals and rewired my guitar itself, I've just never done anything like this.

hyliandeity03
Posts: 9
Joined: Mon Aug 20, 2012 6:42 pm

Re: How the GBA SP Frontlight works and some questions

Post by hyliandeity03 » Wed Aug 22, 2012 8:08 pm

Ok so a 3mm LED will fit. What specs should I look for? Obviously I want the brightest one I can find, but what about volts and other specs? What should I be looking for. And what type of resistor should I use? Also, where are the power supplies on the GBC Motherboard? I'd look with a continuity checker but I don't wanna short it out by accident...

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ModderMan
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Location: Australia

Re: How the GBA SP Frontlight works and some questions

Post by ModderMan » Thu Aug 23, 2012 12:44 am

Yeah a bright one would be good, but as for volts, most of them are 3v, as for the voltage for the LED use the points mentioned in this guide http://mikejmoffitt.com/wp/?p=70" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
Hope it helps!
- ModderMan

Weston Uchiha
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Joined: Fri Aug 17, 2012 11:14 am

Re: How the GBA SP Frontlight works and some questions

Post by Weston Uchiha » Thu Aug 23, 2012 12:50 pm

Any progress with this?
I would like to see how the screen would look with a brighter light rather than the stock one. :mrgreen:

hyliandeity03
Posts: 9
Joined: Mon Aug 20, 2012 6:42 pm

Re: How the GBA SP Frontlight works and some questions

Post by hyliandeity03 » Thu Aug 23, 2012 1:16 pm

Blah sorry about that double post...

I actually just took an exacto knife and peeled off the plastic to expose the contacts that I broke off and hooked it up from there so sorry. That's actually a pretty good method to fixing broken lights tho if you had the same problem as me. Just sorta scrape at the ribbon by the contacts until you see more silver than orange, solder your wires to the leads, and throw some electrical tape over it. The stock light is fine for me though. My only problem is a slightly scratched screen. and unfortunately I can't rotate it or the screen is darker instead of lighter. No big deal really though.

The only reason I did that instead of getting a new light is I saw another post where the same power output wouldn't power an LED and couldn't find other power sources. And I didn't want to short the Motherboard by poking around with a multimeter.

Also, I was wrong, the light isn't the little grey thing on the ribbon cable, it's he slightly bigger white thing.

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ModderMan
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Location: Australia

Re: How the GBA SP Frontlight works and some questions

Post by ModderMan » Fri Aug 24, 2012 5:13 pm

Ok cool, do you have a picture of the actual light it? doesn't matter if you don't. Also, what rubber bits do you have to remove to get the screen open because I have some small LEDs I got out of a broken phone that I wanted to wire up to use with sp screen.
- ModderMan

hyliandeity03
Posts: 9
Joined: Mon Aug 20, 2012 6:42 pm

Re: How the GBA SP Frontlight works and some questions

Post by hyliandeity03 » Mon Aug 27, 2012 7:26 pm

I don't really see you're question. If you want to see the screen coming off then look up that video guide I was talking about but don't listen to all that BS about peeling the back of the light off.

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