Replacing The Save Battery – Game Boy Color

Done

I never realized how much we take flash memory for granted. A little over 20 years ago the go to choice to save your game using a Nintendo Game boy color was a lithium battery. This was an excellent cost effective choice at the time since the batteries had a 7 to 10 year life span. Nintendo never counted on how resilient their games would be, or even how nostalgic their customers are.

Fast forward to present day and the lithium batteries have all gone dead making it impossible to save your game for later use. Luckily with a couple dabs from the soldering iron and a $2.00 battery your cartridge can be back up and saving games in no time!

TOOLS YOU CAN USE

You will need a good soldering station. Soldering stations come in all shapes and sizes and price points

Something like the one to the left sells for about $50 on Amazon.  If you’re like me I would spend a little more for variable heat control and some extra tips.

 

 

Replacment batteries are very inexpensive. This set sells for $15 on Amazon and even includes the security bits you will need to open the cartridge cover.

 

 

NICE TO HAVE TOOLS

A quality silicone mat to use as your work surface can protect your work bench and also help keep the screws and parts organized while you work. For $18 its worth every penny! (Amazon)

 

I also recently picked up this 140 piece tool kit form Amazon as well. It was $20 and has every security bit you may need to open electronics.

 

Replacing the battery in a Game Boy Color cartridge

 

Battery replacment
Rear Cover

The first step is to remove the security bit from the back of the cartridge. Simply unscrew with the Nintendo security driver and it should come out with ease. (If you purchased the replacement batteries on Amazon they usually come with the bit) Once the bit is removed the front cover slides down and then off. DO NOT TRY TO PRY THE COVER OFF – IT WILL BREAK!

 

Battery Replacment
Remove Old Battery

Next, remove the circuit board from the cartridge and place on the side (you wouldn’t want to damage it by accident) Locate the battery in the top right and begin heating the old solder joints. Gently pry up the battery using a plastic pry tool or case opener tool

 

Battery replacment
Battery Removed

One the battery has been removed, clean up the old solder pads. Here you can use some solder wick to remove some excess solder or simply heat the pad to flatten the old solder.

 

Take one of the new batteries and check the polarity of the battery in conjunction to the circuit board. In other words line of the positive (+) with the positive on the board and the negative (-) as well. Putting the batter in backwards will damage the cartridge!    Lay down some fresh solder to secure the battery and you’re DONE!

Done
DONE!

Give it a test run in your Game Boy and you will be once again able to save games.

Tips –

  • Work slowly
  • Make the soldering iron hot, but not TOO hot. I like 700~750deg
  • Use solder wick to remove some of the old solder
  • Don’t get solder on anything else. It could short circuit the game.

Thank you for reading my blog,
Joe

Visit my online store www.geekgearstore.com

 

 

 

Microsoft Surface 3 – Repurpose, Reuse, Recycle

Microsoft Surface 3

In our consume it and toss it world we tend to discard our old electronics for the faster, better newer items. I know we are pretty good at recycling our old electronics, but wouldn’t it be even better to repurpose our old gear, maybe give it a new life as something else? I had an old Microsoft Surface 3 sitting on my desk collecting dust for a while. The specifications were pretty weak. 4GB of RAM, 64GB disk, and a really slow mobile processor. Compared to today’s standards its barely enough to run Windows 10, at least the disk was SSD.

What I did with my Microsoft Surface 3

Looking at the Surface I saw a great opportunity to make a wall clock weather station! With just a few prep steps and a neat low cost trick to mount the surface to the wall I had this project done in under an hour.

Continue reading “Microsoft Surface 3 – Repurpose, Reuse, Recycle”

Building A Budget Gaming Computer During Quarantine

Who would have thought sitting home daily with my two kids during the Covid-19 crisis would lead to the kids each wanting a gaming computer. After pricing out what a “pre” made gaming computer would cost it was decided to build our own on a budget. The goal : How powerful a computer could be built for under $1000.

Gaming computer parts

The debate was on, which parts to spend money on and what parts could we save some cash.

Processor – AMD Ryzen 5 3600 (3rd Generation) $155.00

Ryzen 5 3600
Ryzen 5 3600

It was decided the 3rd generation Ryzen 5 3600 processor would be used. The Ryzen would give great performance at a budget price. At the time of this post the Ryzen was down to $155 on Amazon (I paid $175)

 

MOTHERBOARD – MSI B450 gaming Plus Max $110

Finding a gaming computer motherboard proved to be a challenge. I would guess due to the shutdowns in China, and higher demand (I’m not the only one building a gaming computer) many motherboards were out of stock.

MSI Motherboard
MSI Motherboard

You are going to want to look for a mother that supports the AMD Ryzen 3000 series. I original purchased an MSI Gaming Plus Max and it was broken out of the box. Then I went with an ASRock motherboard, only because it was in stock and it too was broken.  Finally  I found an MSI B450 Gaming Plus Max in stock and it was $110. Since I purchased the board the price has increased to $215 on Amazon. Keep searching and you will eventually find a good board in the $125 range. Continue reading “Building A Budget Gaming Computer During Quarantine”

Vintage 1973 Sencore FE160 Field Effect Meter

Another old meter to add to my collection. This Sencore FE160 meter was manufactured in 1973 and has aged quite well. I connected the meter to a wall outlet and it fired up and is working great! The only reconditioning was to give the exterior and interior a through cleaning.

When cleaning equipment I like to use as mild a cleaner as possible and work my way up to something stronger if necessary.  I find automotive products to be very mild and since I’m always cleaning and polishing my cars I have many different types of cleaners at my disposal.

Great Cleaning Products to use:

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1940’s Zenith Radio Restomod

Old radio enthusiast please don’t send me hate mail after reading this blog. I know many of you will frown on what I have done to this 80+ year old radio. I promise you this Zenith will get tons more use in its current condition rather than in original form.

The project consisted of gutting the original electronics from the radio and replacing them with newer more modern tech. Resulting in a working radio that still has the spirit of the original.

Parts List – Hardware

MS Surface

An older Microsoft Surface Pro 3 – I don’t recommend you go out and purchase a surface for this project. Re-purposing and old laptop, or tablet is ideal to keep the cost down. I’m sure you could even use a Raspberry Pi with an external display. I just happened to have an old Surface that needed a new job. Continue reading “1940’s Zenith Radio Restomod”

The Superior Instruments Dynarometer 1260 Vintage Electronics Restoration

I am still trying to figure out the back story on this restoration project. What I do know is this is a Dynarometer Model 1260, under the bezel of the meter movement is says Superior Instruments Co, New York NY made in USA. I am not sure if these were sold as a kit or even the exact model year. If I was to guess I would say 1950’s give or take a few years.

A friend was tossing this out so I adopted it and decided to keep it from the landfill. It was dirty and quite rusty. After a through examination to make it operational again would be virtually impossible, however restoration as a piece of art would be the second best thing.

TOOLS YOU CAN USE

Continue reading “The Superior Instruments Dynarometer 1260 Vintage Electronics Restoration”

Dell Latitude E5550 Battery Replacement

In the office we tend to buy Dell Desktops and Laptops. In my opinion they are no better or worse than any other brand and are priced competitively. Normally we have a 3-4 year cycle moving old equipment out and new equipment in. This one E5550 has been hanging around for whatever reason and was feeling slow. I originally popped the back cover to upgrade to a SSD and noticed the battery was in bad shape and needed to be replaced.

E5550 Battery Replacement

From the looks of it, two of the cells out gassed and have a belly. This is very bad since the battery capacity is obviously reduced. It is also dangerous to the hardware since the added pressure from the battery could damage the system board or cause the case to crack.

E5550 BatteryE5550 Battery

Where to purchase a suitable replacement?

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Father’s Day Round Up! Great Gift Ideas For Dad

Father’s Day is approaching again and if you’re like me I always wonder what would be a good gift for Dad. There have been years where a bottle of wine was the gift of choice, or maybe a couple of dress shirts. How boring! Hopefully your Dad is as great as mine and not only deserves a fun cool gift, but would also appreciate your thoughtfulness.

Father’s Day Gift Ideas!

Is your Dad into computers? Maybe a fun USB drive would be the perfect gift? Low cost, yet thoughtful!

16GB Mercedes-Benz USB Flash Drive in the style of a Car Key!
$12.99 GeekGearStore.com

This is a very cool gift for Dad, especially if he drives a Benz and enjoys electronic gadgets. On sale at GeekGearStore.com $12.99 Continue reading “Father’s Day Round Up! Great Gift Ideas For Dad”

A Blast From The Past – Panasonic Panapet Radio

I love when I find vintage electronics in the basement or back of my closet. During some recent spring cleaning I came across this 1970’s something Panasonic Panapet radio. In itself its not very remarkable, but when you think about how much technology has changed in the last 45 years its quite amazing. Also kind of funny that they named it “PANA”sonic “PET”

History Of The Panapet

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WTF – Is Amazon Selling Nazi Magnets?

Like most of the world I use Amazon to buy everything from electronics to dog food. I needed some magnets to complete a project and stumbled across this image. The $10 – 200pcs magnet set. Which normally would be innocent enough, except when the magnets are placed to reference a swastika.

What is going on here? Amazon Nazi Magnet Set?

Seems inappropriate if you ask me. Click here to see for yourself

Unless they took it down already, then click here to see a local copy

Nazi Magnets?

I wonder how much more inappropriate stuff is floating around on Amazon. If you find something let me know.

Thanks for reading my blog,
Joe