Have you ever wondered if there was a better way to play your favorite GameBoy Color games? The GameBoy Color is not an excellent example of handheld ergonomics, but its predecessor, the GameBoy Pocket is, and is widely considered to be the best form factor in all of handheld gaming. However, The GameBoy Pocket does not display in Color, and doesn’t have the hardware required to play GBC games. Few modders have attempted to try the original version of the PocketColor modification, as it required cutting two consoles in half, and extensive wiring, but now there is a new, less destructive option, thanks to a engineer based out of Germany named Lukas.
The concept is quite simple: desolder all the components from a GameBoy Color, and reattach them to the custom designed PCB. However, due to having over 200 components, it was a very time-consuming project.
I did however, run into a few problems while assembling, mainly concerning the screen ZIF connector. When connecting the original screen, I was getting a severe interference, which was inverting the colors of the screen, which is something that had never been seen before in the communities I consulted about the problem. While troubleshooting, I discovered that there was leftover flux in the connector that was creating a bridge between pads on the screen’s ribbon cable, and on the pins inside the connector. I was able to clean out the remaining flux by soaking the board into a 99% isopropyl alcohol bath for about two hours. After connecting the new IPS screen, it displayed perfectly.
I also faced a minor problem concerning the SRAM chip on the board, which is what allows games to exchange old save data with in-progress data when saving the game. This chip can overheat and burn out at very low temperatures compared to standard soldering temperature, so to create less direct heat, I used a large soldering iron, and held the board on the iron while the solder heated up, to just about 900° F, making it hotter then necessary, to give me enough time to grab the chip, and just drop it on the board during the natural cooldown.