Game Boy Modding and Repairs: A step-by-step guide for beginners

My new book is out on Amazon. Game Boy Modding and Repairs is something I have been working on for about five months, one of my secret projects during the Covid Lockdown.

It’s an e-book for anybody that wants to learn how to modify and repair the classic Nintendo Game Boy handheld console, with no-nonsense, illustrated detailed guides to the most common mods for improved video and sound. Also lots of solutions to the most common problems for the old DMG-01.

Check it out if you want to learn just about everything I know about modding Game Boys. All the do’s and don’ts, all the little tips and tricks I wished I knew when I started out five or so years ago.

 

Game Boy Modding & Repairs

Everything covered in my book:

Game Boy Overview
Tools & Supplies
Sourcing a Game Boy
Resources
How To Clean a Game Boy
Retrobrighting
Modding Without Soldering
How To Solder a Game Boy
The Backlight Mod
The Bivert Mod
The Decoupling Capacitor Mod
The Pro Sound Mod
The Bass Mod
Aftermarket Clear Shell Mod
Other Mods
Modding Lingo

Repairs:
Game Boy won’t start
The logo is scrambled
Game Boy starts but the screen is blank
Battery leaks and other corrosion
Screen flickers when turning the contrast wheel
Screen is weak, lacks contrast, or flickers sometimes
Vertical lines
Horizontal lines
Black spots on the screen
Small faded spots in the screen
Scratches on the screen or the screen cover
Sound crackles when adjusting the volume
Sound is distorted or weak
No sound when using headphones
The D-pad or buttons doesn’t work
D-pad and buttons are hard to press
Capacitors

Problems after installing a backlight:
Broken screen
Areas with different brightness
Graphics doesn’t look sharp
Graphics looks inverted
Screen doesn’t work or is flickering a lot
One or several air bubbles
Bivert chip problems
When nothing else works

March 16th, 2021|Blog, Gameboy, Modding, Retro|

WordPress tweaking for better performance

I  have done some more WordPress tweaking on Fogelberg.com. The loading time for the images had become somewhat unbearable, which shouldn’t really happen since I was using plugins to handle that: The W3 Total Cache to cache everything, Shortpixel Image Optimizer for optimizing images and putting them on their CDN,  and finally, the Autoptimize plugin for, among other things lazyloading images and fetching them from the Shortpixel CDN.

Especially the Photos page took forever to load. It seemed that none of the images was really cached. Using a cache plugin should speed up showing a page, images included. Now, all of the images seemed to be fetched from the CDN every time I reloaded a page. The result was a much slower website. Just loading the start page could take 14-15 seconds. That shouldn’t happen with a cache plugin installed.

I tried a lot of things to fix it. I cleared all the caches. Checked that all settings in the plugins seemed right. I changed a few plugin settings. I disabled the Image Optimizer plugin. No difference. I tried to use Shortpixel Adaptive Images, Shortpixel’s own plugin for fetching images from their CDN. No difference. As a last resort, I uninstalled all three plugins. Everything looked and worked exactly as before, i.e., badly.

Then, I had a look at the HTML code, specifically for how the images were shown, using a browser with a completely wiped history (nothing cached). The HTML code showed my pages were still cached and fetched images from the Shortpixel CDN, even though I had uninstalled all three plugins for that. They shouldn’t fetch images from the CDN, they should fetch them from my WordPress installation. WTH? I had a look inside the Cache folder in my WordPress installation. Surprisingly, it was full of stuff, cached pages that shouldn’t be there. This should all be deleted automatically when uninstalling the plugins.

I removed all the files in the Cache folder. Reloaded the website in a browser, and wow, low and behold, it was now showing the correct, uncached version. No more CDN URLs. Seems it was some sort of cache problem all along.

I don’t know if it was caused by Autoptimize or Total Cache, but I did some research and decided not to reinstall them. Instead, I now use WP Rocket. Yes, it’s not a free plugin, but finally, everything works as it should, and my site is quicker to load than before.

I’m happy again.

February 26th, 2021|Blog|

The usual moanings and the end of 2020

I just realized I hadn’t written anything in my blog since August. OK, here we go. A little update of what I have been up to for the last four months.

We all know what a horrible year 2020 was. I won’t delve any deeper into that shit show. Apart from working from home and not seeing anybody but the closest family, I’m doing fine. I got a steady income, the family is fine, no-one has been sick.

Apart from watching movies and playing games, I’ve spent most of my spare time on three major projects. Making new music for my next album, modding Game Boys, and writing a book.

The music-making has been going slower than I anticipated, I admit. So far, I got five tunes finished for the next album. I want to do five or six more before that project is done and ready for release, hopefully sometime in 2021.

Modding Game Boys has been an ongoing project for a while. The feeling I have right now when writing this is that the next five will be the last ones I do for a long time. Maybe forever. Let us see how that develops. Contact me if you are interested in obtaining one of the last.

And finally, the book I’m writing. I can’t tell you much about it yet. It’s 80% finished, and it’s not fiction. More about that later.

And that’s that. A happy New Year to you all, and let us all hope 2021 turns out better. I’m confident it will.

December 31st, 2020|Blog|

Video of me trying out my serviced and modded Roland SH-09

I recently spent a few days servicing my trusty old Roland SH-09, an analog monophonic synthesizer that has been with me since forever. Afterwards I was so astounded with how good it sounded now. The not so simple task of cleaning and re-lubing all the carbon sliders actually improved the sound A LOT. Since I also did the so called noise mod I can now blend in a selectable level of noise along with VCO saw or pulse (and sub osc). This is not possible on an un-modded SH-09. Check out my video and hear for yourself. I suggest using headphones or a good pair of speakers to enjoy the rumbling bassness.

July 20th, 2020|Analog, Blog, Synthesizer|

The Inbetween, new single is out on Spotify

My second single from my next future album is out today on Spotify and the other streaming services.

The Inbetween is another synth heavy dance tune from me, with the usual retro feels. The main synth sounds was created on real synthesizers which was then mangled with a selection of software plugins. If you like this tune, please make sure to click the Follow link in Spotify and then tell all your friends how much you like it. :)

100 followers on Spotify

Yay! Spotify has informed me that I now have 100 followers (actually it’s 101 when writing this).

This makes me happy, but I would lie if I would say it doesn’t matter how many followers I have. Of course it does. I would love to see some more zeroes there, like 1000 or 10000 followers. Not because I would make any more money on my music (I don’t and I wouldn’t), but because more people would actually listen to what I do.

As many small-time, non-touring musicians and producers like me know, getting followers and people to listen to your music is really hard and more of a chance happening, unless you want to spend more time promoting that producing. Sure I could do what many seem to do, pay some money to a clickfarm in India or China. I would get a higher number of “followers” but in the end it would all be fake. It’s just a trumped up value and not an actual representation of real people listening to and liking my music.

Anyway, if you are one of these real 101 persons following me on Spotify. THANK YOU! If you are not, here is the link. :)

 

100 followers chart
April 13th, 2020|Blog, Music, Spotify|
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