Yellow Gameboy Pocket

One of my hobbies is Retro Gaming. Growing up it was not an uncommon site for my Dad to come home with $30-40 worth of old Nintendo Entertainent System, Sega Genesis or Gameboy games. (Nintendo 64 and Playstation were kings of the day so we were behind the times) Growing up poor these second hand, Flea Market finds were amazing to little AJ and over the years is something that has stuck with me.Though I have a number of devices dedicated to the quesitonably legal task of emulation I occassionally find worthwhile artifacts from my youth, and recently came upon a Gameboy Pocket and Gameboy Adavance combo for sale on Facebook Marketplace that I decided to purchase. The seller wasn’t sure what state the GBPocket was in, but both of the GBA worked so for the cost it was worth the investment to find out. I had a silver GB Pocket, and the opportunity to ressurrect one seemed worthwhile. Ok, It’s a pickle!

The first thing to do once I setup my work area was to remove the back screws. There are several screws along the backside of the GBPocket, including two inside of the battery well itself, and these are all Tri-Wing screws. Coincidentally I used the same tools from my Switch repair kit so props to Nintendo for not changing those parts in 30+ years. Once I had the backplate removed I inspected the board and battery connectors.

For reference a highly acidic and corrsoive enviornment creates the blue, green and white gunk But man that is a lot of corrosion. Leaving batteries in for extended periods of time are not a great idea, and it looks like these batteries have been in the GBPocket since the dawn of time. There are a number of options that one can use to fix problems like this, but I have always preferred Baking Soda, Water and a Q-Tip.

After some vigorous tipping I was able to clean most of the corrossion of, but there seemed to be a fair amount of rust still present on the connectors. Giving it a once over I decided to go ahead and remove the entire board to check for any abnormalities on the front facing side. There are a few screws on the board, with a pesky middle screw, but they are golden so should be easy to spot against the white and green of the board. The first thing I noticed on the other side was the speaker. I later confirmed this, but at the time was almost 100% sure it would not function. Luckily the volume slider and all other sound functions are functional, it would just take about tree fiddy. Upon resetting the board the speaker was a little troublesome to return to the case. It pops into place, and the board fits rather snug atop so don’t be afraid to push a little on it.

After putting it all back together it was time for the moment of truth. I typically like to do a minimal-screw-test, where I return the minimum amount of screws to the device for it to function, and in this case I returned all three internal screws and three external screws in the battery casing and opposite corners of the case. As I suspected upon turning it on the familiar Gameboy ding did not sound, but everything else was in perfect working order.

Well that was an enjoyable few hours, and now I have a full team of Pokemon on the road to Viridian City. Perhaps in the future I’ll replace the speaker but for now some cheap-o 3.5mm are working fine.