Let’s Refurb: Fixing an Ebay Junk Original DMG Nintendo Gameboy, Retr0brite, Capacitors, LCD Fix


hello and welcome to my first episode on youtube. In this video I want to have a look at a used,
defunct gameboy from ebay, that I’m going to repair and refurb. The seller claimed the gameboy was not working
at all, he didnt mention it was that filthy and sticky however. I also got a completely new shell and buttons
from aliexpress, but the plastics on that… I think it feels cheaper compared to the original
gameboy shell, so we will just use that kit for parts if we really have to. Taking a closer look we can see that the batteries
have leaked which is in most cases the main defect of these broken ebay gameboys. As you can see, the terminals do have a substatial
ammount of corrosion on them. We will have to clean them up later Before taking the gameboy appart, I want to
show you that the main problem we have are only the terminals. So we will load 4 fresh batteries into the
gameboy and give it a try. As expected, it doesn’t work. I normally rotate the batteries and the friction
will temporarily make contact between the batteries and the terminals, and the gameboy
might work for a short time, but this is not a permanent fix. Ok, so now here we defenetely see that the
lcd has issues and prior to recording I noticed that some of the buttons dont work well. The LCD doesnt flicker like that normally,
I think thats caused by the LED ambient light and the camera. Now it is about time to remove the batteries
and fix start fixing this unit. It looks like the previous owner already opened
this before since the two screws at the bottom are not the usual tri-wing screws you would expect
to find on a gameboy. I just hope we wont find any bad surprises
inside. After removing all six screws from the back
and turning it back over I carefully undo the LCD flex cable from the socket on the
logic board… Since I’m going to try to retro-brite the
plastic parts, we have to remove all PCBs , which means more screws. After removing the logic board, power supply
and headphone PCB, I also dismount the metal shielding behind the PCB, and the battery
terminals. Luckily only the connecting terminals are
corroded, and the two soldered to the logic board are ok – so we dont need to unsolder
them to give them a cleanup. The LCD PCB has a lot of screws that need
to be removed. After removing the screws, carefully lift
up the PCB. The LCD is glued to the front, so you might
have to heat it up, but I got away without that step this time. Now that it has been taken appart, it is time
to remove the old, scratched LCD glass, and give the parts a severe washdown in soap water. If you want to have a nice even retro-briting
result, you really have to clean this carefully. Any dirt, grease or fingerprints can give
you stains during the bleaching. When it comes to sticky dirt on plastics,
the magic sponge is my first choice for cleaning up… An old toothbrush is used to clean out all
the grooves and slots on the shell, however later on you will see me using the electrical
toothbrush since I could not get rid of some dirt using the normal toothbrush… After everything looks clean, I do everything
again, using alcohol, to get rid of grease and fingerprints. Beeing soaked in soap and alcohol, the adhesive
sticker that used to seal off the LCD can be easily pulled off. The alcohol also helps to remove the left
over glue on the front, where the LCD glass was. Now that the plastic parts are prepared, I
quickly clean up the corroded terminals. I use concentrated vinegar and you can see
how much it bubbles when it reacts with the nasty battery stuff. now comes my favourite cosmetical job. For the retro-briting I use developer solution
for bleaching hair. It contains a lot of hydrogren peroxide, and
is very cheap to buy. I evenly cover the whole part with the stuff
and then secure everything with kitchen wrap Then I expose the part for several hours to
UV light. Since its too big for one nail dryer, I have
to use two at the same time. Time to compare the retro-bitened half vs
the lower half of the shell. This side currently shown was probably exposed
to sunlight more than the rest of the gameboy. Here you can see how much of a difference
that bleaching really does, even though the video is slightly overexposed. Now lets do the rest of the gameboy. BTW I forgot to mention… The gameboy came without the battery cover
and serial port cover… I was hoping I could use the replacement part
from china. But… the colour didnt match at all, so I
got another broken gameboy from ebay and took the parts from that… As you can see, after retro-briting, they
look almost identical, even though they are from different production batches. Time to put back the metal parts and then
continue with the PCBs… At first, the cartridge slot has some dirt
inside that I have to remove before cleaning the contacts. The regulators and switch only need minor
cleaning, and I will also replace the caps. None of them looks faulty, but the device
is 30 years old and since this will be a birthday present for a friend, I dont want the new
looking gameboy to break down due to electrical failure. Cleaning the cartridge slot with a cotton
swab and rubbing alcohol is essential. After this procedure there should be no issues
with games any more. When changing old caps, I usually dont remove
the old solder. Instead I add some new solder which also contains
fresh flux. Then I keep heating both terminals, until
the part can be removed easily. After that, the PCB is cleaned using solder
wick. If you experience problems removing exess
solder, the easiest way is to add more solder again and retry. Then I can mount the new part, taking care
about the polarity… If the PCb looks dirty from soldering, the
burnt flux can be removed using alcohol and a cotton bud, without harming the pcb.. The DCDC converter, that I’m changing the
capacitor on at the moment turned out to be faulty later, I didnt record replacing it
however. The potentiometers are still in good shape. I will give them and the power switch a small
cleanup, using some alcohol and friction, anyway. Now its time to adress the broken rows on
the LCD. Its worth trying to fix them by pulling up
the rubber at the bottom and carefully heating the defective area on the flex cable, trying
to reconnect it. Unfortunately, not all capacitors on the LCD
board can be replaced easily, since their soldering side is under the LCD and the LCD
flex cable. So I’ll start off replacing the ones that
are accessible… I will add a 470nF smd capacitor to each of
the five caps that I dont want to replace. This will reduce the ESR of the old capacitors,
and should keep the LCD driver they are connected to happy. A quick test, before final assembly After assembly, I noticed that the D-Pad felt
weird. I used the fresh one from the chinese shell
kit. When you compare it with the older gameboy,
you can see that it is flush with the shell when pushing it down. This doesnt feel right when playing a game. Since the yellow gameboys D-PAD is still OK,
I ended up sacrificing it for that part. It’s obvious that the part on the left is slighly
smaller that the original gameboy part. I glue back the serial number sticker that
I had removed before retro-briting the shell. A thin layer of liquid glue was used, however
I waited some time until it started to go off before putting the label back on. Then as last step, I carefully reinstall the
new LCD glass. I hoped you liked watching the video as much
as I had fun making it. If you did, please leave a like, a comment
or consider subscribing to my channel.

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