View Full Version : Turning my Game Gear into a useful memnber of portable gaming society

03-02-12, 05:45
So, last year I embarked on replacing the duff caps in my Game Gear in an attempt to make it playable again.
What I really wanted was a nicer screen, as modern handhelds have really ruined my tolerance for old lcds, and a better battery life, which would lead to it actually being genuinly usable as a portable device.

The screen is pretty much impossible to replace properly, due to the digital RGB signals and 2 different scaling resolutions for Game Gear and Master System mode games, there is circuitry to get analogue RGB and if needed a composite encoder after that, but typically Master System mode games will be full screen, and Game Gear mode displays on a postage stamp in the centre.

Then i found this method (http://tibia-mod.dreamwidth.org/486.html) for replacing the power sapping CCFL backlight with LEDs
This gave me 8-10 hours of battery life (2450mAh cells) at the expense of a slightly dimmer picture, and the odd hotspot/shadow on the screen. (similar to this) http://i291.photobucket.com/albums/ll288/tibia-pow/Gaming%20Mods/GG%20LED%20Mod/MVC-401F.jpg

This was much better, but i still wasn't happy, i tried all sorts of combinations of different types of LEDs and diffusion materials (plastic milk bottle handles worked well) but never really felt satisfied still.

During some Nomad research though a work collegue came across a post on Sega-16 involving an attempt at using a Nintendo DS backlight panel, which essentially worked, but said that a DSi screen size would be a better match.

So this week i had a replacement DSi Top screen and a DC-DC boost converter board delivered and had another crack (the boost converter is required as the original mod uses a parallel array and a resistor off a 4.9v feed to power it, the DS series backlights are a series array, and the DSi has 5 smd leds, so approx 15v is required, I had a spare DS backlight that i tried to convert to a parallel array with scalpels and conductive pens but it wasn't fun and screwed me over when i accidentally blew one of the leds)


First of all, this method is sooooooo much easier than fannying around with positioning individual LEDs and routing all the wiring from the parallel circuit, just wire up the Boost converter to the motherboard, wire it to the backlight panel, tuck the backlight behind the screen and bosh, job done

What i now have is a brighter, perfectly evenly lit screen again (it's still not crisp and motion blurs to fudge, cos hell, it's a ruddy game gear)

initial unscientific test indicate that the battery life has (understandably) been affected, It ran on my desk for 3hrs 40 solid today, but a pair of eneloops (2100mAh) that were in it were not 'fresh' so hopefully when i next get 6 good cells i should be hitting nearly 5 hours (my supaboy gets 2-2.5 and i can live with that)


What I'd be interested in knowing, is if anyone has a Majesco Game Gear, and whether that screen is of better quality than the Sega Model, if it is I'd like to hunt one down

03-02-12, 05:49
Good on you man. Game Gear mod/rehab seems like quite an undertaking.

03-02-12, 05:56
Nicely done, next mod should be upgrading to a Lipo pack, you should be able to fit 4000 to 5000mah in there.

03-02-12, 06:18
Nicely done, next mod should be upgrading to a Lipo pack, you should be able to fit 4000 to 5000mah in there.

I was actually kinda looking to see if there were areas that i could slim down the casing as there's an awful lot of empty space, but whacking a charging circuit and filling it with a buttload of lipolys could be more interesting, do you know much about where to pick up cheap cells (RC stuff i guess maybe) My initial thoughts would be cheap 3000mAh phone batteries in a combination of parrallel and serial to give the 7.2v juice desired (actually, can you do that with lipos or does it make them do the catching fire thing?) ;)

03-02-12, 06:22
Check out http://www3.towerhobbies.com/cgi-bin/wti0093p?&C=ANC there are pages and pages of options, and chargers. You don't have to get fancy on chargers.

03-02-12, 07:31
Wow that is truly awesome. Please get a cheap old camera for 50 bucks and start making vids of your wicked killer mods. I will be your first subscriber! I think that you can get a pair of Socal's sunglasses cams from deal extreme or Amazon for like 50 bucks or less. The added benefit of those sunglasses cams is that it makes you look like one of those creepy coin changer dudes from back in the arcade days!

07-02-12, 12:43
Well I freshened up the full set of 6 2400mAh AA's in there and left it on (volume set to off/min) for 8 hours straight yesterday and it was still going

With that in mind I'm not sure it's worth the expense and hassle of trying to fit lipos in it

09-02-12, 03:38
Well Random Dave your Game Gear thread inspired me to find myself my very own game gear. I went back to the same shop where I got the rare Game Boy Light and sure enough he had a boxed U.S. model Game Gear. I didn't get it for a steal like I did the Game Boy but I did get a pretty decent price when considering the import cost and the condition that it is in. I paid a pretty shocking price of 50 bucks but it has two games and the original manual and even the poster that came with it. The console itself doesn't have a single scratch on it and in fact still had the screen protector film on it. I always like peeling those off of a new device, it just feels so cool. The sound on the unit is very loud and clear so it seems that the capacitors are good.

I felt a little bad about paying so much but then I discovered that one of the games I got was Sonic Blast. Sonic Blast is the last game ever made for the Sega Game gear and sells for around 25 to 30 bucks on flea bay for just the cart. The other game was Sonic Spinball which gets a bad rap but I think it is a pretty fun title.

So far I'm loving my new Game Gear! I plan on putting up a video about it soon.

09-02-12, 03:54
Cool, don't forget to get a Master System converter so that you also have yourself a 'portable' master system

Just a shame that Phantasy Star is one of the few (3?) games that doesn't work properly, very annoyed when I found out as a mate gave a boxed copy to me and having never played it my only chance to would have been as a portable (i guess i can play on PSP as i now own it)

10-02-12, 02:57
Please get a cheap old camera for 50 bucks and start making vids of your wicked killer mods.

tempting.... ;-) (http://www.dealextreme.com/p/usb-rechargeable-1-3m-pixels-underwater-diving-mask-digital-camera-camcorder-blue-4gb-70866)

28-02-12, 05:47
reading this post I wish that I had gone "hardware" over "software". great stuff.