A Brick-sized Game Boy Advance SP


For a few years now, [Michael] has wanted to put the guts of a Game Boy Advance – the small clamshell version with a backlit LCD – into the classic and comfortable DMG-01 ‘brick’ Game Boy. He’s finally finished with his project, and we’ve got to say it’s looking pretty good.

The build began by excising the backlit LCD from an old clamshell Game Boy Advance and hot gluing it to the screen bezel of an old DMG-01. The cartridge slot from the original ‘brick’ Game Boy remained, but this design decision did require a fair bit of soldering and a length of ribbon cable.

Since [Michael] is using the original cartridge slot found in the original Game Boy, he can’t play any games in the smaller Game Boy Advance cartridge format. Still, it should be possible to build an adapter to fit those smaller cartridges inside the larger Game Boy, and he can always play Tetris and Little Sound DJ, so nothing of value is lost.

9 thoughts on “A Brick-sized Game Boy Advance SP

  1. since i got my advance SP a long time ago, i had a plastic handle that attached to the back and made it as comfortable as Playstation controller.

    too bad all i used it for was to play GBC games… and the screen was not much better.

  2. Doesn’t work as a normal GBA (missing L/R buttons, cart slot permanently in GB mode, no screen widening) but it’s a FANTASTIC backlit GBC!
    …which is all he wanted anyway :P

    This looks really good. I kinda want to grab a used DMG01 and SP at my local shop and try this myself.

  3. Why don’t people use finer pitched ribbon cable like the last IDE cables? Because the are more prone to break off (since they are single stranded)?

    Or doesn’t ist simply occur to them?

    If he fixes everything with hot glue this wouldn’t be an issue…

    1. I have tried it before, parallel (IDE) cable does not seem to stay on the board when soldering it using normal methods. I have got it to stay in the past but its luck of the draw really(some cables work others don’t). Some IDE cables are made out of copper coated cheap metals that do not keep solder. Also yes there is the point that they are quite frail. They just simply are not made for the jumper wire application. Not to say that you cannot do it, but it is a task not worth the frustration.

      I have found wires in the past similar to IDE that do work but are thicker single strand wire that you can get in small spools online.


      that is not the exact cable i have used but it is an example of what i have used in the past for applications like this!

      i soon will be tackling this task of shoving a GBASP into a GB but adding some mods with it!!!

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