The Future of Backlit GBC Mods...

Posted by Benjamin Grimmett on


Can you believe it has been over 2 and a half years since my first proto GBC101 adapter?

Since then, I've made over 12 ribbon updates, releasing about 5 of them to the public once the bugs were ironed out. It was a bumpy ride and a big thank you goes out to the early adopters of V1 ribbons and everyone that pushed me to do this and made it possible.

China has recently cloned my cable, at first a 1:1 copy with all the bugs that came with my early iterations and later a more refined PCB version equally buggy (My order just arrived, it doesn't seem to be compatible with CPU A,B or C and touching it will distort the image...)

I really like what they've done with the PCB design, it cuts manufacturing costs by almost half, defect rates would be noticeably lower (approx 30% of my ribbons arrive with defects) which overall makes for a lower price product. This is clearly where Chinese engineering shines, not so much the innovation.

So what is the next step for BennVenn's Backlit GBC solution? I have 4 options:

  • Put my V3.3 Black border ribbon into production
  • Put my PCB variant of the adapter into production
  • Put my Nintendo DSL Screen mod for GBC into production
  • Put my IPS LCD screen mod for GBC into production

The first two rely on the GBA101 LCD which upon last looking is upwards of AUD$70 per screen. This makes for an overall expensive mod though it is proven, reliable and looks great!

Option 3 uses the NDSL LCD. If you've ever used one you'll know the viewing angle is narrower than the GBA LCD, it's size is larger so it would require equal amounts of shell modding to the 101 solution though the LCD's are only $8 on Ebay. The connector of this LCD isn't in an ideal location for a GBC mod.

Option 4, and this is what I'm leaning towards. The LCD is smaller, only requiring minimal shell modification. The image is 4x linearly scaled so aspect ratio is correct. The image size is 2.2" which is the same size as the current GBC101 mod. The LCD price ea is USD$24 and with the complexity of the driving electronics will result in a RRP around $50-60. Including the screen. Bulk quantities will see this drop to $40-50, all inclusive.

I think the way forward is option 2 and option 4, and these are what i'll be focusing on the coming weeks until a working prototype is on display and shipped to a few YouTube reviewers for assessment. 

So there are my thoughts with the direction of the backlit GBC. What are yours? Leave your comments below!


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