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Mod A Game Boy Color In 15 Easy Steps

Posted by Retro Gaming Parts on

How to modify a Game Boy Color with Funnyplaying Q5 Retro Pixel v1 screen kit and a RetroSix Q5 moulded shell.

Looking to modify your childhood Game Boy Color? It's easier than you think with this guide and the right equipment.

This is the method we have used to build over 300 GBC consoles in the last 3 years. We have also been trusted to repair and modify more than 100 Game Boy Color’s, that retro gaming enthusiasts have sent in. Most are people just like you, who want to relive childhood memories by updating their childhood console with 21st century technology.

There are lots of Pro Tips included in this guide and if you get stuck or something goes wrong, feel free to send us a message. We are happy to help.

Note: Testing of the screen must be done before starting the install. Step by step instructions can be found here.


TikTok Video

If you prefer to watch a video, here is a 2 part video on how to mod your Game Boy Color in 15 easy steps.

@retrogamingparts Part 1: 15 easy steps to build a Game Boy Color. Want a more detailed guide? Check out the blog on our AU site. Want some pro tips and tricks? Check out this video. @retrogamingparts #retrogamingparts #retrogamingontiktok #gameboymodding #gameboycolorips #gameboycolormod #retrosix #gameboycolor #GradeUpWithGrammarly ♬ Summer day - TimTaj
@retrogamingparts Part 2. How to build a GBC in 15 easy steps. Part 1 is here @retrogamingparts Want a more detailed guide? Check out the blog on our AU site. #retrogamingparts #retrogamingontiktok #gameboymodding #gameboycolorips #gameboycolormod #retrosix #gameboycolor #gameboy ♬ Summer day - TimTaj

Equipment and Tools Required

Tools recommended

Small snips/side cutters

Pointed tweezers

Kapton Tape

IPA (99%)

Small file (optional for step 4)

Compressed air or Air and dust blower

Soldering Iron, flux and solder


Step-By-Step Guide

.

Step 1: Install The Start & Select Wires.

 

After testing the board, take the 2 remaining wires and solder them to the start and select pads on the ribbon. These are the STA and the SEL tabs.

 

 

Connect the other end of the wires to the 2 small vias (circled) above the cartridge pins.

 

Pro Tip 1: This is so that you cannot see the wires through clear shells and it makes the install neater.


Step 2: Trim the cartridge pins and apply Kapton tape

 

Trim all the cartridge pins back to board with some snips and apply Kapton tape to the pins.

 

Pro Tip 2: This stops the screen shorting out on the pins.


Step 3: Snip off the small nodules around the screen window

 

Snip off the small nodules around the window on the RetroSix Game Boy Color shell as circled. Use some small snips or your fingers.

Note: If you are using an original size screen kit, these nodules need to stay.


Step 4: Optional - Snip and file a small amount off the top rail

This step is not essential. We find that the screen does not sit central by 3 or 4 pixels with the top rail in place. If you do not have the correct tools then please do not feel it necessary to perform this step.

 

Snip the 2 small nibs and a small amount off the bottom of the 3 IR Port cover upstands. Use a small file to smooth out the cuts.

Pro Tip 3: On the FunnyPlaying v1 kit there is no image movement and therefore correct placement in the shell is essential.


Step 5: Install the gasket on the shell

Note: this is for a permanent install. 

 

Pro Tip 4; this method is the best for keeping dust out from between the lens and the screen.

Peel back the outer backing from the gasket. Lightly apply to the rear of the shell.

Pro Tip 5: Light pressure means that the gasket can be manoeuvred into the correct place if required. 

Turn over the shell and check that you cant see any of the gasket through the sides of the screen window.

Turn the shell back and apply firm pressure around the edge of the gasket once you are happy with the placement.

Pop out the middle section.

Pro Tip 6; keep this middle section for step 11.


Step 6: Install the Game Boy Color screen

 

Peel off the screen protector.

Pro Tip 7: Set this aside for future use.

Install the screen in the top right corner.

Note: With the sticky gasket, this position is final and will be damaged if removed.

(Don’t worry if this happens we sell the Game Boy Color Retro Pixel screens separately if you need to remove the screen due to incorrect placement)

 

Pro Tip 8; Take the screen protector from the start of this step and stick it to the back of the screen for extra protection against shorting out.


Step 7: Install the buttons and rubbers

 

Place the buttons in the shell.

Pro Tip 8; Snip off any excess plastic left over from the factory mold around the buttons (if needed).

 

Note: Both RetroSix and Funnyplaying buttons fit in the RetroSix Game Boy Color shell.

 

Install the rubbers  

 


Step 8: Attach the screen to the ribbon

 

Connect the small screen tab to the ribbon. Make sure the tab is seated properly.

Note; The screen tab is quite delicate, do not use too much pressure. 

 

You should feel a small click when it is in place.

Don't worry if you happen to break the screen tab we sell the Game Boy Color Retro Pixel screens on their own as this happens more than you think!


Step 9: Stick down the ribbon

 

Use Kapton tape to stick down the ribbon to the back of the screen.

Pro Tip 9; This stops any movement or damage to the ribbon, avoids any screen shorts and makes for a much neater install.

 At the same time stick down the Start and Select wires.

 

 


Step 10: Screw in motherboard

 

Note; there is no lens on the shell yet so be careful with your fingers on the front of the shell.

 

Seat the motherboard and return 1 screw into the shell.

Pro Tip 10; Test the D Pad and A/B buttons before replacing all the screws, so that any issues can be fixed by removing 1 screw only. 

 

Note; Self tapping screws need to come in and out a few times to help them cut the plastic, do three turns in then one out until the screw is all the way in.

 


Step 11: Install the brightness control ribbon

 

Note; The touchpad changes frequently. The one pictured in this guide is correct as of May 2022.

 

Solder the small ribbon to the TCH pad on top of the screen ribbon.

 

Pro Tip 11; We install it upside down and bend it back on itself so that it pushes itself up against the shell.

 

Once soldered in, put a kink in the rib

 

 

Cut a small square from the middle of the gasket saved from step 5 above. This is to stick the touch pad to the shell.

 

Use your tweezers to adhere the touch pad to the top of thhe


Step 12: Install the switch and IR port cover

 

Put the switch and IR port cover in place and put the back of the shell on top of the motherboard.


Step 13: Screw the shell together

 

Screw down x6 screws.

Pro Tip 12; Install only 2 screws for testing. 

Once everything is working, install the remaining 4 screws.

Note; The R6 screws are a bit short so pinch the shells together to get a better grip with the screws. Again back and forth.

Insert some AA batteries or a RetroSix CleanJuice Air wireless rechargable battery and switch on. Test that the screen is properly connected, the touch sensor works and the buttons / rubbers move freely.

 


Step 14: Install the Q5 glass lens

 

Peel off the middle of the gasket to expose the glass.

 

Trial fit the lens to check the sizing and for any dust / blemishes on the glass.

 

Pro tip 13; Hold the lens up to the LCD when it is switched off, this shows up any dust that is on the lens or screen.

Use the compressed air can or a manual blower to remove any dust.

Peel off the gasket backing. Stick the lens down by applying pressure to the top of the window and let it drop into place.

Pro Tip 14; turn on the screen before sticking down to check the correct placement.

Pro Tip 15; Only apply light pressure to the lens so that it can be moved if it's in the wrong place. 

Once you are happy with the placement, apply firm pressure around the edges.


Step 15: Test the console

 

Insert a game and test the screen, brightness control touch pad, screen buttons, D Pad response, A/B buttons and start / select.

And thats it!

You have a working modded Game Boy Color.

If you have any issues, feel free to send us a message and we will help you out.

 

 

Don't forget to check out our short 2 part video guide on our TikTok account.

Part 1

Part 2

Also watch out for our YouTube channel which will be up and running soon.

Do you do anything different in your Game Boy Color mods? Let us know in the comments below.

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