Retro

Modded Game Boy DMG-01 Purple + Silver

This is one of my own modded Game Boys. It used to have a cyan blue screen but yesterday I decided to try out a silver screen that I had recently acquired. I also tried new off-white silicon buttons. It looks great I think, though I have still not decided if I like the feeling of the new buttons.

One of the things I have found when choosing color combinations for modded Game Boys is that it usually looks better if there is a high contrast between the color of the shell and the screen. Meaning if you choose a dark shell, use a lightly colored screen and vice versa.

May 4th, 2019|Blog, Gameboy, Retro|

Game Boy DMG-01 Grey + Green, refurbished and modded

For close to one year now I have been refurbishing and modding old Game Boys. It started out as a fun project where I wanted to learn something new and test the limits of what was possible to do, without investing a lot of money or time. It has been fun but this Game Boy pictured above is likely one of the last I will do, if not the last one.

I’ve grown a bit tired on doing this and since it’s getting harder and harder to get hold of second hand Game Boys in Sweden that are in good enough shape to work on, now seems like a good time to move on to do something else on my spare time, like making more music again. Also my source for most of the spare parts are located in the UK, which as you may know are very likely to not be a part of the EU soon, meaning there will be extra costs for customs for everything ordered from there.

Anyway, so please enjoy this last or one of my last modded Game Boy DMG-01. It’s an original shell in great condition with new green plastic screen and see-through buttons. All the usual mods for greater image quality and sound. Perfect for the serious retro gamer or LSDJ / Nanoloop Chip musician. Available on Ebay as I’m writing this.

April 7th, 2019|Blog, Gameboy, Retro|

Another beautiful modded Gameboy DMG-01 Clear

Here is another modded Gameboy DMG-01. This is my second one which has a great condition original Clear case together with green screen and buttons. I really like this color combination. Of course it has all the usual internal mods as well:

  • White backlight screen, which means you can play games, produce music and perform live in complete darkness.
  • Bivert chip, for improved contrast and less ghosting.
  • Brand new green plastic lens.
  • Brand new green buttons.
  • ProSound mod to the original headphone jack, for improved sound quality, louder volume and less background noise.
  • Bass Boost mod for more sub bass. The thump / bass feel area below 50hz is more prominent now. This will make your tracks kick HARD when performing live.
  • 1000 uF decoupling capacitor on the power regulator. Reduces the hiss and hum that can occur because of the backlight screen.
  • New silicon parts

Available on Ebay right now

March 9th, 2019|Blog, Gameboy, Retro|

Repairing the 1961 transistor radio Braun T220

My blue 1961 transistor radio Braun T220 works pretty good but since I’m planning to put it on Ebay I decided it was time to do the electronics versions of an oil change: The re-cap. Changing all the capacitors.

Opening it up I could find eight metal capacitors and one biggie made out of paper. When old gear is failing, the first suspect is almost always the electrolytic capacitors. I have previously repaired a Samsung monitor and a Samsung TV where the only fault was a couple of bulging caps. Total cost to fix that was under a dollar.

 


All the old capacitors from the Braun T220

In this case where the radio is close to 60 years, there is no reason to keep any of the old caps. If they haven’t completely failed yet it’s just a matter of time and if you would measure their values they are probably all over the place. It wasn’t that much work. It took me around three hours to de-solder all of them and putting in brand new ones. I had to be extra careful not to break any of the many thin copper wires that were soldered left and right in a way you don’t see in newer tech.

 


The inside of the Braun T220, before the re-cap

Powering on the T220 again I was very happy to find that everything was working and the FM signal now was much stronger than before. Also the sound volume was louder and clearer in a way that I had not anticipated. I guess the radio now sounds like it did when it was new in 1961.

All in all the whole process was pretty fun and much easier than what I had imagined it would be. Everything turned out great, which is not always the case when you start poking around in ancient tech.

 

The inside of the Braun T220, post re-cap

March 2nd, 2019|Blog, Design, DIY, Hardware, Retro|

Five Game Boy DMG-01 ready for refurbishing and modding

The title says it all. Five working Game Boy ready for modding. Perhaps I will fix them all this weekend.

First they need to be cleaned. One or two of the shells look like border-line keep or toss though. If they still look shabby after the cleaning process that then I have a couple of other shells I could use that are in way better shape.

The clear/crystal shell looks like it’s in good shape. No yellowing and no visible dents or cracks, which right there is a great plus. I’m planning to use either red or green screen and buttons on this one.

February 23rd, 2019|Blog, Gameboy, Retro|

Yellow modded Game Boy Play it Loud

I finished another modded Nintendo Game Boy yesterday, this one a commission from a fellow musician. All the usual mods of course.

I really like working on the Play it loud models and the yellow ones in particular. There rarely are any problems with them and the shells are always in good shape. The same goes for red, black, blue and green which also was made in great plastic at the time.

Many of the original grey shells however almost always have yellowed with age to some degree. The Clear / Skeleton model may look the best but it’s the worst one to work with. It has the most brittle plastic of them all so it’s super easy to break something. You almost never find any original Clear case that doesn’t have some sort of a dent or crack in it.

February 15th, 2019|Blog, Gameboy, Retro|

Braun Kofferempfänger T220 Designed by Dieter Rams

Look what I got hold of. It’s one of the classic Braun transistor radios from the early 60s, the T220 model, blue version.

Designed by legendary industry designer Dieter Rams, this item is fully working and in great condition.

If you are a designer or interested in good design you probably have already heard about Rams and his 10 principles for good design. If not, here is a good link for that.

 

February 9th, 2019|Design, Retro|

My latest modded Gameboy is pristine

I have been modding a lot of old Nintendo Gameboys lately, but this has to be the cleanest looking so far. Actually the shell is brand new, but it’s also old. It’s a new old stock part aka NOS, something that has been stored somewhere for all these years. It’s in original Nintendo shell from the early to mid 90’s, but it has never been used, until now.

It still has the original color, meaning there is no yellowing, the logo is not worn out and there are absolutely no scratches or any other marks. Lovely.

The usual mods was of course installed:

  • White backlight screen from Deadpan Robot, which means you can play games, produce music and perform live in complete darkness.
  • Bivert chip for improved contrast and less ghosting.
  • Brand new gray glass screen.
  • ProSound mod to the original headphone jack, for improved sound quality, louder volume and less background noise.
  • Bass Boost mod for more sub bass. The thump / bass feel area below 50hz is more prominent now. This will make your tracks kick HARD when performing live.
  • 1000 uF decoupling capacitor on the power regulator. Reduces the hiss and hum that can occur because of the backlight screen.
  • New silicon parts

 

January 27th, 2019|Blog, Gameboy, Retro|

Game Boy Clear with red screen and buttons

This is my latest modded Game Boy DMG-01. It’s a Play it loud model Clear, or Skeleton as it was called in Japan when it was released in the early 90s. To get it to look like this I had to clean and then polished the inside and outside. Most of the time these old shells have become milky and yellowish with age. Fortunately it’s pretty easy to fix with ordinary plastic polish or acrylic polish as it’s sometimes called. You can probably get it in any hardware store or else on Amazon.

The red screen, buttons and the silicon parts are brand new. I also installed all the mods I usually do when refurbishing these old beauties:

Backlight for the LED-screen, Bivert chip, Prosound mod, Bass mod and 1000 uF capacitor on the power strip to minimize noise and hiss (That’s the big blue capacitor down to the left).

It’s still up for sale on E-bay but not sure for how long. These models usually go pretty quick.

 

January 15th, 2019|Blog, Gameboy, Retro|