Modding my MGB-001 (Gameboy Pocket)

The gameboy pocket was a great product of its time and a nice upgrade from the original gameboy, and even today it is still lots of fun, but there are several aspects where it could get even better, these aspects can be upgraded using mods, I will put here the recommended mods in a nutshell.


A quick note before the mods - The gameboy pocket is much smaller than it's parent the original gameboy thus it leaves minimal places for the mods, so I will have to pick only those mods which give me the most benefit with the minimal "cost" in shell space and complicated wirings.


Switch to newer capacitors

The MGB uses four electrolytic capacitors, these can easily be changed to newer ones renewing an important aspect of the MGB which tends to be problematic after several years


I found several sellers which sell a gameboy pocket capacitor pack with these 4 needed caps - this may make your life easier, or you can just buy (aliexpress?) the following 4 capacitors and install them instead of the existing ones (search for electrolytic capacitors with these specifics)

1 x 33uf 25V (Motherboard location C29)

1 x 330uf 6.3V (or 6V) (Motherboard location C30)

1 x 100uf 6.3V (or 6V) (Motherboard location C31)

1 x 100uf 6.3V (or 6V) (Motherboard location C32)



Screen Bivertion (Bivert/Hex)

The original bivert board (used for the DMG) can be used here, but it is highly unrecommended as it needs some very needed space and uses several wires which run over the whole board.

Thus I recommend the specific mini bivert board printed for the gameboy pocket it is very small and needs no wire at all










5V step-up Power Regulator for the Screen

As the screen with it's lighting will need more power now, this mod might come in handy, in this one I install an additional 3.7 to 5v step up voltage regulator from which the new screen lighting should take it's power.









Simple (yet affective) IPS Lighting

Buy this very cheap kit (or one of the many others on aliexpress) which consists of a led backlighted screen and install it as instructed in the video from the link above. If you installed a 3.7v to 5v power regulator - then just solder the wires to it instead of the soldering points in the video.

More expensive mods for the screen cost a lot more but obviously will give you better results.


Sound Amplification

This mod will increase the speaker volume significantly, this mod has a cheap alternative which I really don't recommend as it consists of 8 wires! running all over the PCB.
If you want this mod, you should buy the expensive one which will also get you better results with less wires


Rechargeable (USB-C) Battery

Buy the smallest 3.7v 2000mah (actually the 2000mah will be too big, you might want to consider a battery which is smaller (1000-800 mah) battery you can find
Buy a TP4056 charging board

For this mod you will probably have to trim (flush cutters/dremmel) your gameboy pocket case as there is no space for the battery and the charging board in the current case.

The actual soldering is very simple, just 4 wires - two from the charging board to the battery and two from the soldering board to the power soldering points on the gameboy PCB



Final thoughts

Modding your gameboy pocket really upgrades the fun of using it, the main obstacle is the size of the shell which doesn't leave you much space, so choose your mods carefully and buy very slim wires.

When I have to pick the mods, I will pick the following: 
  • Changing of the capacitors as it is very easy and doesn't take additional space
  • Mini bivert (no wires!)
  • Simple screen lighting (so beneficial)
  • Rechargeable battery - this is a must for me even although it takes the most space

I would leave out these (take too much space and wires)
  • Power decoupler mod 470uF 10V decoupler
  • 3.7v to 5v step up power regulator (will use it only if I see power problems)
  • CleanAmp (4-5 wires, and not cheap)

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