The Nintendo Game Boy Color Is An Aircon Remote

Those of you who are familiar with 1990s handheld consoles may recall that Nintendo’s Game Boy Color had an infra-red receiver and transmitter. The thought of a handheld computer with infra-red capabilities interested [jg], who immediately set about converting it into a remote control for an air conditioner.

The Game Boy doesn’t have dedicated infra-red remote control hardware, instead the IR diodes appear to be connected to I/O lines. Thus the bitstream bas to be bit-banged, and takes the processor’s entire attention when transmitting. The software is neatly placed on a reprogrammed bootleg cartridge.

It’s an interesting read in terms of the approach to reverse engineering, for example finding the parameters of 37 kHz infra-red remote control by trial and error rather than by a quick read up on the subject, or searching for information on National air conditioners and finding nothing, but not searching the National brand itself to find that a search on Panasonic air conditioners would likely give all the information needed. But the end result operates the appliance, so it’s good to record a success.

This isn’t the first time we’ve seen a Game Boy control something, though we can’t recall seeing another using the IR. Need a brilliant overview of the Game Boy?Β  We’ve got you covered.

Thanks [Roel] for the tip.

Header image: Evan-Amos / Public domain.

5 thoughts on “The Nintendo Game Boy Color Is An Aircon Remote

  1. Wow that’s so cool!

    There was a ROM I downloaded that I used on my Gameboy color that was an IR TV remote that I used to control a Philips TV.

    Pretty fun messing with my parents (:

  2. Excellent writeup [jg]! Very clear to follow, good use of images and gifs to explain what you did. I wish more projects were described this way, instead of the current trend for videos – great job.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.