Gameboy Color DIY frontlight

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Re: Gameboy Color DIY frontlight

Postby thor17 » January 5th, 2014, 7:19 am

Happy new year!

Wondering about something, that you don't understand is NEVER dumb! It's good to think about things and thinking about solutions for a problem :)

It's been a while, since I took a look at this thread and working on that project.
What I know now, all the available frontlights are acrylic sheets. BUT, they are something special, because of the ridges they have on the side that is directed to the LCD.
The problem is, that these ridges(the GBA SP FL has these ridges too) are very accurate. For the best efficiency, the ridges must deflect the light that comes from the edge directly to the display. The best angle would be 90°
The finer the ridges, the best you can see through the sheet. Here you can see, how Amazon explain the frontlight of the kindle paper white.
Of course, a DIY solution will NEVER be as good as the solution for Amazon's ebook reader^^
But at the moment, I'm waiting for the sand paper I've ordered. It's very fine, so maybe it will work if I sand the acrylic sheet. I've ordered different kinds of sand paper. Maybe I can finally work out a solution, that is better than the commercial one that is available at aliexpress.
I've also ordered a sample of PlexiGlas Endlighten T. Here you can find two pictures. The first one is normal acrylic sheet and on the second picture you can see the Endlighten T. Here you can see two pictures with white paper under the acryl.

What I've tried already:

Using more than one acrylic sheet, put two sheets(thickness=0.75mm) together
RESULT: It helped just slightly.

Using an anti reflective film(available for cell phone displays)
RESULT: Helped a lot to spread the light, but I couldn't see anything clear trough the sheet.

Using a normal protective film
RESULT: It helped more than using two layers of acrylic sheet, but even with brighter LEDs, well, it spreads the light, but I guess due to the fact, that the film is spreading it in various angles, the displays background doesn't reflect enough light to see trough the sheet.

Using sand paper to satin the acrylic sheet:
RESULT: Failed, due to the rough sand paper I used(I've ordered finer-grained for more tests)



Well, I'm still working on it...
But I guess the other Gameboy project I'm working on, will be finished sooner^^
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Re: Gameboy Color DIY frontlight

Postby bitjacker » January 6th, 2014, 2:11 pm

You need to find someone with a laser engraver.
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Re: Gameboy Color DIY frontlight

Postby thor17 » January 8th, 2014, 6:53 am

bitjacker wrote:You need to find someone with a laser engraver.


Probably. But maybe I can find another solution that works also.
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Re: Gameboy Color DIY frontlight

Postby thor17 » January 9th, 2014, 4:24 am

Using sand paper to satin the acrylic sheet (2000 grit):
RESULT: Failed. When the light is switched on, no chance to see something through the acryl.

I'm waiting still for the Plexiglas Endlighten T I've ordered. Maybe this is working.



EDIT:

The Endlighten T arrived and it looks amazing! If you want more informations about the Endlighten T, take a look at this pdf.
The main problem now is the thickness of the Endlighten sheet. The sample I got from the Plexiglas shop is 6mm thick. I already asked, if they will produce also thinner sheets and waiting for an answer.
Due to the thickness, the contrast of the display is poor. I try to grind it to 2 or 1.5mm and then polishing it. Hope it will look much better then!
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Re: Gameboy Color DIY frontlight

Postby Leo » January 26th, 2014, 7:00 pm

Hi guys,

I did not notice the reply.

I found some interesting things out from light tests i have done, if you use "Rounded shaped" LEDs the light seems to not hit the lcd screen, which flat rectangular ones distribute light better IMO. So right now i am doing a test with small tiny ultra bight smd leds with pexi glass, i don't know if it will be turn out to be good or bad, but its interesting to try.

Also this might sound strange, but hear me out first, a while back i bought a bunch of Nintendo DSi Top screens that was faulty i was intending to use them as back lights for game boy original and pocket, different DS models of the screens are designed differently. But
Before anyone says its a back-light it can't be used as a front light, even that the concept is true, but the Nintendo DSi Top screen has a LED panel, similar to GBA SP inside it, if you take the screen apart very carefully and take out the led strip and the plexi glass/sheet, just those two parts only and you can use it as front light, its clear and not rainbow colored (unlike ds lite), the plastic sheet, of the led panel of the DSI top screen, and the LEDs are bright too.

But more over i am really just interested in making a front-light from scratch, i am doing tests myself.
Last edited by Leo on May 29th, 2014, 8:40 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Gameboy Color DIY frontlight

Postby Leo » January 26th, 2014, 7:59 pm

I got my plexi glass off ebay, a while ago, the seller was selling it sold its tickness from; 1mm, 2mm etc, per A4 size sheet.
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Re: Gameboy Color DIY frontlight

Postby Leo » November 26th, 2014, 6:27 pm

:mrgreen: Good news guys had some success with the front light mod without the need for the unethical and wasteful way of destroying a SP for a Front light.

Unfortunately, i can't get a picture taken right now, my arrogant brother would not take a picture for me on his phone as his phone has a good camera.

Well i will see if my digital camera can take the picture in the dark, later.

What i used for the mod?

x1 Nintendo DSi Top screen taken apart (Panel only needed the; "Plexi glass") -You could use the LEDS with the plexi glass in side the screen, but mine were faulty (i bought loads broken screens for parts cheap two years ago), so i use other leds;
x1 (used only one for a test) Rectangular Super/Ultra bright LED(s)

In some screens (not all) you can use back light parts as front light parts kind of like a reverse engineer take a part and re-use differently type thing.

And i got a game playable picture, i mean i need to improve it a bit still, but its a big improvement, and almost done with it.
Taken years to do this, and the picture is better than than those Game boy external light accessory's they made back in the day.



But anyway i am pretty sure i am the first for my method anyway, but then i could be wrong.

Would love to used this an a Neo-Geo too, when i get one at some point in time.

There is probably more than a few ways to mod to front light a game boy or similar gaming device anyway.

Will keep you posted,

Leo
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Re: Gameboy Color DIY frontlight

Postby Leo » March 8th, 2015, 11:30 am

Hi Guys,

Yet another year lol. :roll:

I thought i would write about another well done experiment last night.

I used; A piece of ''blank plexi glass'' from a A4 size sheet i bought a while back its 2mm thick, i cut a square out of it and i ended up sanding by hand a one side of the plexi glass with fine sand paper, after its been sanded it needs to be cleaned other wise, the ''dust particles'' from sanding end up making the display picture not clear, you can do the cleaning with; Anti-static fluid, etc or just water, then dry, and leave to dry. *Make one side sanded the ''top'' and the other side underneath the ''bottom'' not sanded*.

I ended up placing the sanded side of the plexi glass on top of the Gameboy LCD, and used a ''flat top led'' (rectangular and flat top LEDs or smds are best imo).

Anyway, with just one LED, the front light was very clear, even from the side. I just really need to neaten/tidy it up a bit more, but it works, the experiment.

I used ''fine sand paper'' instead of ''coarse'', due to coarse sand paper may cause, noticeable nasty scratches, i used fine sand paper due to i felt it makes the display look more smoother. You may need to sand it a few times. It may be best to sand in the same direction each time, i have not tried sanding in different directions each time, but always remember the plexi glass that you cut, needs to be cleaned after sanding, due to dust particles which effect the display by not showing any kind of picture.

I will try and post some pictures, but like a said before in a prior post i don't have a good enough camera for taking pictures in the dark, but i will see what i can do later on. :mrgreen:

All the best.

Leo
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Re: Gameboy Color DIY frontlight

Postby thor17 » January 15th, 2016, 6:40 am

Seems with these liquid optically clear adhesives it is possible to make a frontlight, which is pretty good looking.
Take a look at this Thread.
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