Author Topic: I restored a Gameboy  (Read 29 times)

Offline idolminds

  • ZOMG!
  • Administrator
  • Forum god
  • *
  • Posts: 11,824
I restored a Gameboy
« on: Saturday, July 13, 2019, 10:22:07 AM »
A few months ago was the 30th anniversary of the Gameboys release. I had a couple Gameboys laying around in some bad shape. Dusty, plastic lens scratched to hell and popped loose or missing entirely, missing vertical lines on the LCD, etc. I decided I'd give them some love and restore them to proper game playing glory.

I had 2 original models that I wanted to repair. You can see some before pictures right here as I did my initial cleaning of the cases to remove as much grime as I could. Next step was to fix the vertical lines on the screens. Thankfully that isn't too terribly difficult with a soldering iron and some patience just running it across the bottom of the screen while its disassembled. This reflows the connections in the ribbon cable and I managed to get both screens working 100% again. Hooray!

The final step was to de-yellow the shells. So using some fairly high concentration of hydrogen peroxide on a sunny day I made the shell all nice and pretty. Worked quite well and the case is nearly white now. The final piece was to replace the scratched up plastic lens. Plenty of replacements are available with different colors for custom systems. I decided to go better than standard and got a real glass lens with standard colors. It looks amazing, so much nicer than a plastic lens.

Here is a before and after showing one system


And a beauty shot


Only one system? Yeah. One of the screw posts inside the second system was so brittle it just fell apart as I took the screw out. The other 5 screws would hold the case together but it was going to bug me knowing one screw was missing. I decided instead of restoring that shell that I would use that system to do a full custom Gameboy. I will get a new color shell, backlight the screen, all that fun stuff. But going to wait till I have some spare money to do all that.

I also have 2 Gameboy Color systems but they were in good condition to start with. Shells are a little banged up but I replaced both their plastic lenses with glass ones so they are much clearer now. One has a button issue so I need to order replacement silicone button pads to swap out that will hopefully fix it. Since I have 2 of them and they are the same color I might go ahead and do a custom shell on one just for fun. Again, sometime down the line.

It was a really fun experience and not too difficult. I could have just gotten lucky because some people have harder times fixing the line on the screen. Since then I've build up a small collection of games off ebay, mostly Japanese imports that don't have a language barrier to play (Dr Mario is the same ROM worldwide, Kirby Pinball Land only the title screen is different). I even went an extra mile for those and replaced the internal save batteries for the games that use them.

Offline Pugnate

  • What? You no like?
  • Global Moderator
  • Forum god
  • *
  • Posts: 12,138
    • OW
Re: I restored a Gameboy
« Reply #1 on: Saturday, July 13, 2019, 12:46:01 PM »
That's amazing work man. Looks good as new!