Build guide step #4

The back Gameboy PCB will be vertically oriented to allow cartridge removal from the top.  To facilitate this we made a bracket out of .060 aluminum sheet.  We needed the exact height that would allow easy install and removal of the cartridge.  These 6/32 stand offs are exactly the height we need to clear the cartridge.  We were able to remove the metal assist plate from the back half of the original Gameboy ABS case and install it with only minor modification to the outside holes.  We needed to enlarge the holes to accommodate the 6/32 standoff’s.

We drilled the holes first, then cut out the brackets using the CNC router.  The single fluted aluminum bit from Amana Tool made quick work of this!

Next we need to ‘brake’ or bend the aluminum using a sheet metal brake.  This makes precision bends quickly and easily.

Here we attached the bracket with the locking washers and tested clearances.  We added the Arduino PCB stand offs as well.

Next we need to move the power regulator board to the bottom of the bracket.  We did this using a thin piece of Lexan and a little bit of hot glue.

Next post we work on the Arduino PCB.  Here is a sneak peak.


Build guide step #3

Two cuts have to be performed on the front screen pcb in order to have it fit comfortably.  What do I mean by ‘comfortably’?  I want at least a sixteenth of an inch total combined clearance between the top and the bottom.  I will also insulate the board from making contact with the aluminum front bracket with vinyl tape.

Here is a closeup of the first cut.  You will notice that I have used thin gauge Kynar insulated wire and made two jumpers that are needed to reconnect the two points that are severed making the first cut.  To make these jumpers ‘stick’ as far as soldering, I needed to very carefully scratch off the protective board screenprint , leaving the exposed copper trace.  Then I used liquid rosin flux and coated the exposed copper and let dry.  Once this was done, I pre-tinned my wire jumper end and then with a solid 2 second count I attached it directly to the board with the iron set at 800 degrees.  Once cooled I tugged on the jumper to make sure the connection was solid and not loose.

Here is a closeup of the top cut. There are two jumper wires here as well, but really only one is needed.  You can’t see them in this closeup pic as they are on the other side. One feeds power to the led, which we don’t use and will remove. We are able to jump in at the top for the power for the backlit panels.

How do I make these precise cuts?  PATIENCE and a scroll saw.  Expect the two cuts to take about 6 to 10 minutes!  I’m not exaggerating!  Support the pcb with light weight Styrofoam.   This gives you something to handle and allows you to put pressure on the board without harming it.  Make sure to cover your screen glass with some sort of tape. Keep the speed pretty high!  You might be tempted to keep the speed low, but that will only clog the blade and it will want to grab the board and jerk it up and down.  With it set at high speed, you can go very slow and steady and easily make the precise cut.  I can tell you I am very comfortable now making these cuts and I have not lost a board yet:)

What’s on tap for the next post?  Bracketville.  It’s a little late for a college basketball joke, but I couldn’t resist.  Here is a sneak peak.