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Gameboy DMG-01 Hardware Issue
https://forums.nesdev.com/viewtopic.php?f=20&t=16828
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Author:  PotatoFi [ Wed Dec 13, 2017 3:41 pm ]
Post subject:  Gameboy DMG-01 Hardware Issue

Hey nesdev, you helped me revive a dead NES last week, and I'm hoping you can help me again. I was given a dead Gameboy DMG-01 a couple of years ago, and I'd really like to revive it. I just can't stand to throw it in the trash and buy another one. I also have a new housing, bivert, and backlight mod lined up for it.

When I power on this DMG-01 (with a known-good game cartridge installed), the power LED comes on, it shows 2 to 4 horizontal (not vertical) lines towards the center of the screen, and that's it. There's a slight "pop" from the speaker as well. Obviously, I get no Nintendo logo, no garbled Nintendo logo, or any other activity.

I originally thought that it could be a bad capacitor, so I replaced all of the caps except for a couple that are hard to reach under the screen. I've also scrubbed the entire board down with isopropyl alcohol, swabbed out the cartridge edge connector, and used fresh alkaline batteries. This is a tough one to Google because all results point to the easily-solved vertical line issue, which isn't what this is.

I do have a multimeter and a soldering iron, and while my skills are passible with both, I'm not sure how to proceed with troubleshooting. Any help (or direction to another forum) would be much appreciated.

Author:  lidnariq [ Wed Dec 13, 2017 3:48 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Gameboy DMG-01 Hardware Issue

Unfortunately, the DMG is a sufficiently integrated device (CPU, joypad, PPU, sound, link port, bootstrap ROM) that repair is a long shot.

Try without a cart. Even without one there should be a scrolling black rectangle when it's turned on.

Your description says to me that the power supply correctly generates -19V, and the LCD driver gets a few clocks, and then nothing else.

Author:  PotatoFi [ Wed Dec 13, 2017 4:35 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Gameboy DMG-01 Hardware Issue

lidnariq wrote:
Try without a cart. Even without one there should be a scrolling black rectangle when it's turned on.


Sadly, no change. It's also probably worth mentioning that the contrast wheel does nothing.

End of the line for this DMG-01?

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Author:  lidnariq [ Wed Dec 13, 2017 4:38 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Gameboy DMG-01 Hardware Issue

Unfortunately, seems likely. The LCD is good, though, so it might (maybe) be worth holding onto in case you can find one with a broken screen but otherwise works. (I understand that's not infrequent)

Author:  Shonumi [ Wed Dec 13, 2017 5:58 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Gameboy DMG-01 Hardware Issue

Not really trying to promote them or anything, but definitely try asking this question on the Game Boy subreddit. You probably won't find a larger collection of hardware modders, and some of the people there are wizards.

Author:  lidnariq [ Wed Dec 13, 2017 6:00 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Gameboy DMG-01 Hardware Issue

(he did)

Author:  PotatoFi [ Wed Dec 13, 2017 6:05 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Gameboy DMG-01 Hardware Issue

Shonumi wrote:
...definitely try asking this question on the Game Boy subreddit. You probably won't find a larger collection of hardware modders, and some of the people there are wizards.


lidnariq wrote:


Great minds think alike? I kinda feel bad for spamming my problems around like that... but whatever. Thanks for the suggestion Shonumi!

Author:  lidnariq [ Wed Dec 13, 2017 8:22 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Gameboy DMG-01 Hardware Issue

... Another idea is something that uXe did a couple years ago (hopefully with another DMG in equally bad shape)—he hooked up an arduino and had it drive the LCD instead.

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