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Game Boy Advance IPS Backlight V2 Installation

Game Boy Advance IPS LCD

The Game Boy Advance (GBA) IPS LCD V2 is the most modern display upgrade for your Nintendo console, brining a rich color backlight display to one of the most beloved handheld consoles of all time. The complexity of this mod is rated at a 4 out of 10. Most users who have some soldering experiences and can use an x-acto knife will have no problems installing this LCD.Some case modification is required. If you'd rather not take a chance with a sharp blade, there are pre-cut GBA shells available.

Pre-test all of your electrical components before installing. The LCD is quite fragile and can break if too much pressure is applied. Be gentle when handling old electronics and never force anything to fit.

All parts and components are available at www.handheldlegend.com

Materials

All of the above parts, included a foam insert, is included with your kit from Hand Held Legend. You will also need a tri-wing screwdriver and a phillips head ~3mm screwdriver to remove and reinstall the screws holding the case and PCB in place.

Preparation

Magnetizing your screwdriver can really help here!

If you are using an OEM Game Boy Advance console, remove the 7 screws holding the case together and lift up the back shell. Remove the battery cover to find the 7th screw. This is often a phillips head screw rather than and OEM "Y" type screw.

Your screwdriver is for more than just screws. Use it here to help remove the cable

The original LCD will need to be separated from the PCB. Note the black clips holding the cable in place. Lift up on the black clips to release the cable.

The shell is obviously not behind this PCB, although you can image it.

Three more screws need to be removed to separate the PCB from the front of the shell. You'll be needing that phillips head screwdriver.

Cleaning

Now is a great time to clean the internals of your Game Boy Advance. Check out this refurbishment video for some pointers on how to clean your console properly.

Case Modification

You will not be clipping the plastic between the blades in the above photo. This photo is simply for informative purposes.

Case modification is required to complete this mod if you are not using a pre-cut shell. This is the most difficult step to this modification. Prepare your tools and evaluate your shell before starting to cut. Please be careful!

Blue areas that need to be trimmed. Align your GBA Glass LCD over the top so you know that you get enough.

The sections outlined in blue will need to be trimmed in order to create an appropriate viewing window for your new IPS LCD. A special glass screen is provided in order to create a proper new masking area.

Take you time here. Remove the plastic with a new razor blade and be careful. Did I say be careful?

Double sided adhesive foam

Double sided foam will help secure your IPS LCD to the front shell, sealing out any dust that may invade. Remove the plastic film covering the adhesive and apply to the shell as above.

Cable Preparation

Note the connection of the IPS LCD to the PCB cable

It may be best to do a dry fit of your cable and LCD in order to test their function before you start soldering any wires. You will also get a good idea of where best to place the cable when soldering. We find that soldering the wires with the cable placed above an inserted into an unclipped socket can help route the wires properly without them getting tangled or getting tugged when inserting the cable. You will also know which of the two connections (32 or 40 pin) that is compatible with your GBA motherboard.

Test your cable and LCD with the proper side of the cable before adhering your LCD to the adhesive foam

When positioning you cable you will want the metallic portion of the cable to be facing forward. The 40 pin orientation (left) will fold over without much effort. The 32 pin orientation (right) will require you to fold in reverse.

Use good electrical solder 60/40 and tin your wires

Soldering will be required in order to control the brightness of your LCD. The SEL solder pad on the cable will be soldered to the TP2 pad on the front of your GBA PCB. Use one of the three wires included with your kit.

The R and L pads on the cable will be soldered to their respective R and L bumper pins

FYI: The spacers have protective film over the sides

The LCD should be placed with the orange cable connecting the LCD to the flexible PCB in the rightmost bottom corner. Ashere your insulating film to the back of the LCD to protect your internals. Some LCDs will come with the insulating film already applied.

Remove the plastic on the other side of the foam and position your LCD as above. Push the LCD to the top of the frame for proper positioning. Add you spacers to the left and bottom most portion between the LCD and frame.

After your wires have been soldered, insert your 32 or 40 pin cable portion into the PCB and align the shell and LCD as above. You will gently press the LCD tab into the PCB cable to connect. You've already tested your LCD right?

Next add your buttons and silicone membranes, bumpers, power switch, power LED, speaker and R & L triggers. Pay attention to the start/select silicone pads as you do not want your cable to rest over the top.

This photo is 180 view of the above image. You don't see the insulating film in this photo
Route your wires with double sided tape to keep them out of the screw holes.

Foam is placed between the cable and the GBA motherboard when reinstalling. You will want to route your wires towards the middle of the console rather than over the top.

Add your glass screen to the front of your shell. This may be a great time for a Game Boy Advance ClearJuice Li-Ion Rechargeable battery mod.

Finished!

Close up your shell and you've completed this mod! Thanks for reading!

For more hand-held and console related mods, check out handheldlegend.com

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Game Boy DMG IPS V2 LCD
Game Boy Pocket TFT LCD
Game Boy Backlight V3

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Created By
Kyle C
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