Following fourteen decades of craning our necks and clipping on light attachments, we got our initial light-up Sport Boy in 2003 when Nintendo introduced the Sport Boy Progress SP. This clamshell gadget packed a front-lit display at initial, and in later revisions labeled AGS-one hundred and one, the Sport Boy’s initial backlit Liquid crystal display. It was a revelation.

So, of course, Nintendo modders got occupied figuring out a way to get that backlit screen into more mature versions. This was the initial transformational mod in the console’s background, since it modernized the more mature Sport Boys in a way that designed them extra playable and, in essence, brought the aged tech again to everyday living.

While the screen within the AGS-one hundred and one had shallow viewing angles and a lot less-than-vivid shades, it was the greatest solution for the modders to use offered the odd form of the hole for the display in the Sport Boy’s plastic entire body, there have been only a restricted amount of aftermarket screens that could be slotted into the device. And making use of adhesive movies or optical glue to include a light to non-illuminated screens had confirmed to be hit-or-overlook a single early business that marketed such a kit referred to as Afterburner netted either stunning effects or ugly outcomes, based on the skill of the installer.

“I signify, it was pleasant for a although when [the AGS-one hundred and one] screens have been pleasant and cheap … like thirty bucks or so,” suggests modder Makho, who goes by Admiral_Butter_Crust on Reddit. As an fanatic, he’s examined and catalogued most commercially available Sport Boy display kits on his YouTube channel, keeping a notated and usually up-to-date doc on Reddit. “I guess there was like a warehouse entire of [AGS-one hundred and one screens] … Sport Boy nerds bought them all. And stock ran out.”

So, it was the end of the street for the AGS-one hundred and one Liquid crystal display. But wherever there’s a supply chain, there’s a way, and the Sport Boy modding neighborhood got cracking on likely alternatives. Noticing the screens they had been making use of have been substandard and highly-priced, the modders have been eager to experiment. “Let’s attempt placing some more recent, greater screens in there and see what occurs,” suggests Makho.

In the Sport Boy’s heyday, there have been no program updates to down load, online games started up at at the time, and a refreshing set of AAs was all you required to continue to keep playing all day.

Enter Ben Grimmett, who runs a boutique components store referred to as BennVenn that serves the Sport Boy hacking neighborhood. Grimmett’s store relied on the AGS-one hundred and one screen for a single of its products and solutions, a ribbon cable that tailored the screen for use in the more mature Sport Boy Colour. “[The Sport Boy Colour set up] was intricate and needed a reasonable diploma of dexterity to modify the shells to acknowledge an Liquid crystal display almost as large as the console itself,” Grimmett suggests. Modders required to hack absent at the plastic within the Sport Boy to healthy the more recent display within, and even then, it was a tight healthy that needed shaving every achievable millimeter from the handheld’s circuit board.

“A couple months into releasing the [Sport Boy Colour] mod we seen the price ranges of reproduction AGS-one hundred and one LCDs commencing to climb and initial AGS-one hundred and one consoles remaining destroyed for the Liquid crystal display.” By way of his suppliers in China, Grimmett found a coloration Liquid crystal display display that was the fantastic form for the more mature Sport Boys with sq. screens. In order to make it perform, Grimmett had to whip up an adapter cable to let the new screen converse to the previous ‘Boys, and he had to include a customized-programmed chip that got the new display flawlessly in sync with the console’s circuit board.

Following great-tuning the style and design, Ben sent an early kit of the mod, dubbed Freckle Shack, to YouTuber KyleAwsm to debut on his channel.

“This Liquid crystal display is out of … a Palm Centro 690 or something like that. So, like, a 2009 smartphone,” suggests Makho. These small TFT screens sell in bulk for a portion of the value of the types sourced from the AGS-one hundred and one consoles.

For the Sport Boy, Sport Boy Pocket, and Sport Boy Colour, makers like BennVenn, Midwest Embedded, McWill, and a bunch of no-model on the net sellers all came up with equivalent adapters and cables. The new wave of conversion kits all feel to feature the correct similar surplus Palm Centro screen. Some of the kits even can be fitted into a Sport Boy devoid of any chopping or gluing, producing the course of action extra available to avid gamers a lot less inclined to get a Dremel tool to their beloved handheld.