Having seen others solder wires directly to the front PCB of the Gameboy and having done so myself, I decided there must be an easier way. Using the proposed method you can get all of the functionality of the Gameboy by only using 6 wires. Here is a comparison of the original schematic and our altered one.
Knowing the Dpad would not get used as much in these rack mount units, at least in comparison to gaming, I figured we could get away with a smaller joystick type switch. Sparkfun then seemed to release their breakout board at the same time as we were looking for it. We soldered the diodes for the joystick under the joystick breakout board. The mode switch and mode LED’s are also on this board leaving no room.
This entire package had to be very small. These four were built on perf board as I will probably be tweaking this design for some time. Then when I feel comfortable I will make a dedicated PCB for it. We tapped into the connecting cable to allow ease of use. Disconnecting it from the top PCB is a breeze using a chopped up connector from another bottom PCB and cutting into the ribbon and scraping off the plastic to create another slide on connector makes this easy to accomplish and we have all of the parts! Sand down one of the original A or B buttons, press the square peg into the center and now you will have a functioning joystick with some original look.
This is the test station to test these as we complete them. Since this is on perf board and the size is so small, the soldering has been challenging! For the person who counted 7 wires and was like “wait a minute”, please realize I always give myself an extra wire when building test stations. Because you never know.
More wiring to come as well as more testing!