GameBoy Advance Mini Arcade

With a lot of hard work and helpful answers from vcoleiro1, I finally completed this project.

 

Materials Required

Solder and Flux
Thin Model Wood
Wood Spray Paint
Glue Sticks for Glue Gun
Thin Small Coated Electric Wires (as small as you can get) (something like this)
A GameBoy Advance SP (try and get a backlit one)
Wire Cutters/Strippers (I used 2 plyers to pull off the ends)
A thin blade to cut excess hot glue (you ABSOLUTELY need this)
A Hot Glue Gun
A Soldering Iron
Model Wood Cutting Hand Saw
Sandpaper
Tri-Wing Screwdriver
Japanese eBay buttons that look like arcade buttons (white) (red)
Special tiny joystick
Drill
Wood Filler
Magnets (to hold back cover on)

 

How To Build

Step #1 – Get the appropriate sizes and dimensions. Put the sizes and dimensions onto paper and use it to etch the wood to get ready to cut. After cutting the wood, sand the rough edges and hot glue them together to create the arcade cabinet. You can use wood glue, but hot glue should hold is sufficiently. Drill holes for the buttons and use wood filler to fix the wood cracks from drilling. Paint after you get everything complete for the arcade cabinet.

Step #2 – Wiring. You will need to get your solder iron and solder wire out and ready. Open the GameBoy and take out the battery and any game. Use your tri-wing screwdriver to open the shell. Remove the buttons and unclip the monitor cable and remove the motherboard. Use vcoleiro1’s video to guide you through the wiring process.

Step #3 – Place the buttons through the holes you drilled for the buttons and wire, solder, and hot glue the wires to the buttons and joystick to hold. Hot glue the screen on. You can watch my video to kinda show how I fit the insides in the cabinet.

NOTE: I took lots of pictures but I got a new phone and DIDN’T BACK UP THE PHOTOS!!! My fault…

 

8 comments

  1. Hey with soldering I can solder the speaker on no problem but when it comes to soldering the on and off switch and the A and B buttons for some reason the gameboy will no longer turn on. Am I doing something wrong?

    1. newage
      newage Avatar
      Contributor

      The GBA has some built in fail safes. It might be too hot from the soldering. There’s a video online that someone shows a work around for it. You actually solder something off. Right now I don’t know the video. If I find it, I will post it.

  2. connor
    connor Avatar
    Lurker

    Hey there this is pretty sick! Im lookong to build one but can not find the joystick or buttons! Could you send ne links to them please.

    1. newage
      newage Avatar
      Contributor

      The links are in the post. Click on the materials: joystick and buttons links.

  3. Nico
    Nico Avatar
    Lurker

    My brother and I are going to make one of these and were wondering if you could give us any tips on doing this project especially with the soldering. Also about how long did this project take you

    1. newage
      newage Avatar
      Contributor

      Because I was counting on another friend to help me, and my friend was busy 90% of the time it took us 3 months. If you and your brother have all the materials and you’re dedicated enough, you could finish it in 1 day. Morning to night if the paint can dry fast enough, lol. 1 big piece of advice I can give you is, do NOT solder ANYTHING off. I removed the speaker to add another type of speaker and the soldering points got too weak and now the speaker is pretty much damaged beyond repair. Same with the volume switch, adjust it to a sound level you would be happy with and make it somewhat accessible. It’s on the side and you need to hot glue the thing to the sides.

      When soldering use a clean tip as you will be using some pretty small wires, so the more accurate the better. Also, use some type of flux. I didn’t use any and this was the main reason I damaged the soldering points.

      1. Nico
        Nico Avatar
        Lurker

        Thank you so much I am going to order the joystick and buy the supplies tomorrow then once the parts come we are going to start the project. I was also wondering if the buttons are needed or if I can use the buttons on the gameboy.

        1. newage
          newage Avatar
          Contributor

          The buttons from ebay are little switches that connect the negative and positive terminals. The gameboy buttons are just pieces of plastic that push down a bubble that connects the terminals, but the bubble itself is on the board, so you can’t use them. When you open the gameboy you will see what I’m talking about.

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