I’m not taking any more orders for a while. Keep an eye on the site (gameboymacro.com), I’ll update it as I progress, as well as the facebook page. Orders will open again once I’ve progressed through the queue a bit.
I recently got a hold of two Wonderswans and decided I wanted to front light at least one of them. After some research I found this screen. The screen seems to be the proper dimension for front lighting the wonderswan, and it was on sale for $3! So I grabbed four of them (in retrospect I should have gotten like 20 of them).
They came yesterday and I tore the thing apart and started off on frontlighting it. This will serve as somewhat of a guide for doing this.
First we start with the donor screen.
The donor screen.
Wedge a screw driver in the opening to pry the metal away from the clips
Pull away and you’ll reveal the front light and diffuser right there.
I’ve been looking for a new, more simple project to take on and noticed a lot of these DS Lites without the top screen. The idea is basically the opposite of a Game Boy Micro, a big GBA. In addition to just being a better design ergonomically, you’d be able to throw an R4 in it and emulate GB and GBC games on the bottom screen. It seemed like a cool idea so I ordered a broken DS Lite (non working top screen) off of ebay for $10.
Super dirty DS Lite
Anyways, after tearing it open, I started working on it, and noticed it will not boot without the top screen. I found some stuff online where people had identified two solder pads on the main board, LEDA2 and LEDC2 as being the power for the top screen backlight, and those leads powering something is really all it needs to “trick” the DS into thinking the top screen is there. Many people stated that a single LED would do it, but that simply didn’t work for me. I ended up hooking the leads up to a breadboard and testing various combinations.
The moment I got it working.
I managed to get it to boot with multiple LEDs, but really, another LED just seems like the dumbest way to do this. Why would I want a second power led on this thing? I decided testing resistors, and eventually got it to work with a 330 OHM resistor. Lower OHM wouldn’t boot, and when I tried a 1k resistor the screen was just incredibly dark, 330 OHM seemed to be the sweet spot where it was normal brightness and I could run through all of the different levels as well.
Speaker points for future reference
I then broke out my multimeter and tried to find the speaker connections, it was actually really (really) easy. Literally the first points I probed were the connections. They’re just 45, 44, 43, and 42 of the top screen ribbon cable.
When taking apart the DS I was a bit too hasty, and accidentally destroyed the ribbon connector for the touchscreen, my bad. So I had to go about fixing that. It wasn’t too big of an issue, just using 30gauge wire and protecting it with some hot glue. After that, the touchscreen works as normal.
I had to slowly sand down the plastic to get to the copper.
One thing I neglected to do was to take a video of it working, so you’ll just have to take my word for it. So after all of that I decided to hardwire the resistor and test the ol thing.
The shell fits fine, and boots as it should, so it seems to be good placement. This is likely temporary, I’m going to order some surface mount resistors so I can make this much smaller.
That’s pretty much it for now. This is an overall simple mod. I’ll probably finish it before next week. All I have to do now is relocate the speakers (most likely to the rear of the unit, and cut/fill the unused portions of the case.
Minor Update (4/21/2015):
I decided I’d rather get the speaker sorted out last night. If I remove the stylus completely then there is a spot on the back which is pretty much perfect for the speaker. The DS will be mono, but that’s not a big deal, I can always use headphones. I think I can put the wifi antenna on top of it as well, and just drill a couple of holes through the antenna for the speaker to go through.
My dad decided it would be a good idea to build a 3d Printer. He’s planning on handling the hardware end (minus electronics), while I handle the software end. So far it has been an adventure. He purchased a Prusa i3 kit from Geeetech and got to work building it. There isn’t really much I could do on the building side of things, but I know it was quite the ordeal. Either way, it turned out alright.
Just a quick update. I performed the PSOne LED Mod to my screen to save battery life, and because the the backlight burned out. It went fairly smoothly, though I blew out a few leds. Most things I’ve read recommend a 20ohm resistor, which seemed insanely low. I ended up going with 100ohm, which gives me a very visible level of brightness. I used four LEDs instead of the typical two.
I also removed the backlight fuse, and cleaned up the electrical tape that was all over the other wires on the portable.
Wellp, I’m trying my hand at making some more boards, though very simple ones. I don’t have a DB15 board that is short enough for my PS4 project box, so here’s one mocked up, that maps every pin. We’ll see how it goes. Though I ordered my parts from China since the US was literally like 5x the price.