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”

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”

Keystone Moviegraph D752 Projector Art Project

We all accumulate stuff in our homes over time. In fact George Carlin has a great comedy skit about stuff. While going through my stuff  I came across this antique projector. A Moviegraph D752 made by Keystone in Boston Mass. The wiring was dry rotted and belts were broken, and I was going to toss it in the trash. The only question was does it have any value? After a quick check on eBay similar projectors in better condition than mine were selling for $50 to $100. Not worth my trouble to sell, but old enough to keep as art work!

Moviegraph Before

Moviegraph
Before

Tools You Can Use

Continue reading “Keystone Moviegraph D752 Projector Art Project”

2014 Dodge Charger Dead 12V Auxiliary Power Outlet

We all rely on the 12 volt auxiliary power outlet (formerly know as the cigarette lighter) in our cars. They charge our phones, power our GPS, run our kids video games. When the power goes out it can really be frustrating. Most of the time these auxiliary power outlets are easy to fix and get back into service quickly and easily.

Sometimes its as simple as a fuse

The car auxiliary power outlet was designed  in the early 1900’s for  lighting cigarettes in automobiles and though we have a profound new view on smoking the outlet itself has not changed much since then. The shape of tFusehe outlet opens itself up to issues simply because small metal objects can become lodged in the socket causing short circuits.  In all honesty, there have been quite a few times I  had a penny fall into the auxiliary power outlet and caused a blown fuse.

In the case of my 2014 Dodge Charger I’m not exactly what caused the fuse to blow, but its a simple fix none the less.

Parts you will need

Continue reading “2014 Dodge Charger Dead 12V Auxiliary Power Outlet”

Working from home? Put that extra monitor to good use!

If you have been mandated by the government to work from home due to the Covid-19 outbreak and would like to be a bit more productive, it may be time to look in the basement or attic for that old monitor you just couldn’t throw away. I personally find it way more productive to work on two or more displays at a time and hopefully you will too.

The portable usb monitor

The simplest way to add an additional screen to your laptop or desktop computer is to plug in a USB portable display. This type of display is easy to install, easy to move from computer to computer, easy to travel with and reasonably priced.

My personal favorite is the ASUS MB169B+ 15.6″ display. 
ASUS Portable Monitor

This display is simple to install, powered by the USB port so there is no power brick to worry about and is super light weight and is about as thick as a pencil. Best part its under $200 at Amazon

The only problem is at the time I wrote this post they were in and out of stock and difficult to find, and if you could find one in stock shipping lead times were over 10 business days.

Recycle the monitor you have

If you don’t want to go out and purchase a second display for you laptop or computer you may be able to simply recycle what you have on hand. The tricky part is making sure you have the correct cables and adapters to connect the monitor to your laptop or workstation. Continue reading “Working from home? Put that extra monitor to good use!”

Choosing A Battery Tender For Your Classic Car

If you have read my blog in the past you would know that I picked up my first classic car about six months ago. A 1985 Chevrolet Monte Carlo SS! So far it has been a blast to drive and I have been enjoying it every chance I get. However through the month of November I was away for a couple weekends and the weather was poor for the rest so my SS went unused for about 6 weeks. Finally in mid December I had an opportunity to  take the car out only to find the battery was drained and not enough juice left to turn her over. After talking to a few friends that also own classics they recommended I keep the battery topped off with a Battery Tender!

What is a battery tender and why do I need one?

There are a number of devices that can assist you with tending to your battery and starting your car. Continue reading “Choosing A Battery Tender For Your Classic Car”

82 – 87 Monte Carlo Blower Motor Speed Control Repair – Part 2 Blower Motor Relay.

Blower Relay

In my previous post I went though the procedure to change out my Monte Carlo SS blower motor resistor Unfortunately that did not fix the issue and I moved on to the next component in the circuit. The blower motor relay. Again this is an inexpensive part and is worth the investment to repair my classic car.

PARTS

I have to say that I now believe that Amazon carries everything or at least put you in contact with a vendor that has what you need.

Blower Relay
1985 Monte Carlo Blower Relay

Here is a link to the RY20 relay from Standard Motor Products that is an exact replacement to the existing relay. Under $14.00 at Amazon!

Continue reading “82 – 87 Monte Carlo Blower Motor Speed Control Repair – Part 2 Blower Motor Relay.”