Saturday, May 2, 2015

Gameboy Color Fuse Repair

Of all the Gameboy Colors that I own only one of them gives me any real trouble. The problem child happens to be a green one that I bought from a Salvation Army about 4 years ago. I only paid 59 cents for the damn thing, so even if it never worked at all it was well worth the price I paid if only for use as parts.


Straight away I noticed the GBC would only come to life under battery power, so I quickly went to the internet for a little research. I found that the GBC has two fuses, one for battery power and another for the adapter plug. After bridging the fuse for the adapter port with tweezers the console came to life. All I had to do now was find a fuse. How hard could that be? Well, that happens to be almost impossible.

F1 and F2 (the last being the adapter) fuses marked.
This is how it should look.

Fast forward to when I acquired the GBC board from the outlet store. By this time the original guts from the green unit had been moved to an aftermarket yellow shell and the green shell was about to house the new GBC board. After some testing the board that I bought from the outlet store worked perfectly fine, it just needed a new power switch, which I later "repaired". As time went on the speaker in the yellow GBC stopped working completely! Now not only did this GBC only work off batteries, I could only hear it through headphones!

In an attempt to see why this thing was slowly decaying I swapped the speaker over into the green GBC, where it worked perfectly fine, so I'm assuming it needs the capacitor changed. I quickly became fed up with having two broken units and decided to just make one work completely. I figured it's best to have one completely working and I could figure out the problems with the green one later, or worst case use it for parts only.

After all was said and done the yellow one worked perfectly, yet the poor green one still has the old DMG-esque power switch, no sound and won't work off the DC adapter. What a sad, sad situation this little GBC has become. While I'm not too worried about the state of the switch, I do need this thing to at least make sound, and I surely would prefer it to work off both power options! With hope quickly slipping away I decided to take this thing apart one more time and see if there was any engineering I could do for it.

I had previous removed the blown fuse and decided I would just move the good fuse over so that I could use the adapter and bridge the connection to use batteries, as I feel using batteries would have a much lower likelihood to blow up the GBC without a fuse than a power adapter. After doing so I noticed the GBC wouldn't work at all. I checked the continuity and everything seemed to be fine, but for some reason the system still refuses to work off a power adapter. I knew it would work, like it did with the tweezers, so I was completely stumped and returned the fuse back to it's battery space and made sure it worked there, which it did.

After a bit of thinking I just decided I would err on the side of caution and not bridge the gap for the power adapter, instead I would piggyback off the battery fuse by soldering wires from the correct spots where the adapter fuse was and onto the sides of the battery fuse. After painstakingly, and half-heartedly, setting up the wires I plugged in the power adapter, hit the switch and hoped for the best. The GBC came to life! It was alive through the power adapter once more!

Not the most beautiful, but it works!

Now I know this isn't an ideal repair, but it does work. Ideally I would love to find a perfect replacement fuse to solder in and be perfectly safe, but if the power adapter has any issue now at least there is some form of fuse to stop it from killing the system. I do know, through a few other sets of GBC boards, that the fuse is a 1 amp, other than that I have no clue what else to search for, so I have no clue how to acquire another fuse like it needs.

Again, it's not an ideal repair, but it works. In the end this Gameboy Color has been repaired in so many different ways, but it keeps on ticking. I would love to get it fully repaired, but the fuse, and especially an OEM switch, just aren't anywhere on the market, that I can find. Worst case I'll use it until it pops, but until that day I'll keep patching it together like an old, forlorn teddy bear.

2 comments:

  1. This is an extremely good idea! Going to try this with my GBC, I too really don't want to bridge the fuse, worrying that it'll completely kill the motherboard if I do.

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  2. Thanks and good luck! If I ever figure out what fuses are exact replacements I'll let you know so they're completely safe again.

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