An amber on black interface on a green reproduction Game Boy screen. It has the FM station 88.9 in large letters in the middle of the display and "Ice Cream (Pay Phone) by Black Pumas" displayed in a box below. A volume indicator is on the left side of the tuner numbers and various status icons are along the top of the screen. A paper cutout of an orange is next to the Game Boy on a piece of paper with the words "Orange FM Prototype" written underneath.

Orange FM Brings Radio To The GameBoy

We’ve all been there. You left your Walkman at home and only have your trusty Game Boy. You want to take a break and just listen to some tunes. What to do? [orangeglo] has the answer now with the Orange FM cartridge.

This prototype cart features an onboard antenna or can also use the 3.5 mm headphone/antenna port on the cartridge to boost reception with either a dedicated antenna or a set of headphones. Frequencies supported are 64 – 108 Mhz, and spacing can be set for 100 or 200 kHz to accomodate most FM broadcasts setups around the world.

Older Game Boys can support audio through the device itself, but Advances will need to use the audio port on the cartridge. The Super Game Boy can pipe audio to your TV though, which seems like a delightfully Rube Goldberg-ian way to listen to the radio. Did we mention it also supports RDS, so you’ll know what that catchy tune is? Try that FM Walkman!

Can’t decide between this and your other carts? Try this revolving multi-cart solution. Have a Game Boy that needs some restoration? If it’s due to electrolyte damage, maybe start here?

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This Tiny Game Boy Lets The Real Thing Play Online

Back in 2021, [stacksmashing] found that it took little more than a Raspberry Pi Pico and some level-shifters to create a USB connection with the Game Boy’s link port. Add in the proper software, and suddenly you’ve got online multiplayer for the classic handheld. The hardware was cheap, the software open source, and a good time was had by all.

Inspired by both the original project and some of the hardware variations that have popped up over the years, [weiman] recently set out to create a new version of the USB link adapter that fits inside a miniature 3D printed Game Boy.

The big change from the original design is that this is using the far smaller, but equally capable, RP2040-Zero development board. This is mated with a SparkFun logic level converter board (or a clone of one from AliExpress) by way of a custom PCB that also includes the necessary edge connectors to connect directly to a Game Boy Link Cable.

Once the PCB is assembled, it’s dropped into the 3D printed Game Boy shell. [weiman] really worked some nice details into the case, such as aligning the d-pad and buttons in such a way that pressing them engages either the RESET or BOOTSEL buttons on RP2040-Zero. The screen of the printed handheld also lines up with the RGB LED on the top of the dev board, which can produce some cool lighting effects.

The original project from [stacksmashing] was an excellent example of the capabilities of the Pi Pico, and we’re glad to see it’s still being worked on and remixed by others. Even though the state of Game Boy emulation is nearly perfect these days, there’s still something to be said for working with the original hardware like this.

Reflecting On The State Of Game Boy Emulation In 2024

Considering the decades that have passed since Nintendo’s Game Boy was considered the state-of-the-art in mobile gaming, you’d imagine that the community would have pretty much perfected the emulation of the legendary family of handhelds — and on the whole, you’d be right. Today, you can get open source emulators for your computer or even smartphone that can play the vast majority of games that were released between the introduction of the original DMG-1 “brick” Game Boy in 1989 through to the final games published for the Game Boy Advance in the early 2000s.

But not all of them. While all the big name games are handled at this point, there’s still a number of obscure titles (not all of which are games) that require specialized hardware accessories to properly function. To bring the community up to speed on where work is still required, [Shonumi] recently provided a rundown on the emulation status of every commercial Game Boy accessory.

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Frog Boy Color Reimagines The Game Boy Color Hardware From The Ground Up

Sales figures suggest Nintendo did pretty well with the Game Boy Color during its original run, even if the hardware and visuals feel a tad archaic and limited today. [Chris Hackmann] has taken the Game Boy Color design and reworked it from the ground up as the Frog Boy Color, kitting it out with modern upgrades in a GBA-like form factor while retaining the original hardware underneath.

[Chris] went to the wide-style GBA layout for comfort, which he considers superior to the original rectangular Game Boy format. He iterated through over 50 3D-printed enclosure designs to get the design to work, ensuring that the final housing could be CNC machined. He then set out to trim down the original Game Boy Color circuit layout to cut out hardware he considered unnecessary. The original LCD driver could go, since the Q5 replacement LCD he intended to use didn’t need it, and he also considered the IR port to be surplus to requirements. He also set out to replace the original audio amp with his own stereo design.

The result is a wide-format Game Boy Color with a gorgeous modern LCD, USB-C charging, and excellent compatibility with original games and accessories. Files are on Github if you want to build one yourself. Of course, he’s not the only person working on building the best Game Boy ever, but we always love seeing new work in this space. Video after the break.

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Wooden Game Boy Is A Challenging Intro CNC Project

[Sebastian] describes himself as “a total noob” when it comes to CNC, so in an attempt to get to know his new CNC router, he chose about the most complex possible project — replicating an original Game Boy case in wood. And spoiler alert: he nailed it.

Of course, he did have a few things going for him. At least from a straight woodworking perspective, it’s hard to go wrong by choosing walnut as your material. Then again, it can be unforgiving at times, and picky about tooling, which is probably why [Sebastian] used nine different tools to get the job done. But where he upped the difficulty level was in reproducing so many of the details of the original injection-molded plastic case. There are top and bottom shells, each of which has to be milled from both sides. This makes registration tricky when the parts are flipped. Specific indexing holes were used for that, along with the old “blue tape and CA glue” fixturing trick, which seemed to work quite well. For our money, though, the best bit is the lettering on the front face, which was milled out with an engraving bit and then filled with a spritz of white spray paint. A surfacing bit then came along to knock the overspray down, leaving labels that contrast beautifully with the dark wood. Gorgeous!

It wasn’t all easy sailing, though. There are just some things plastic can do that wood can’t, like holding screw threads in small studs without splitting. So, the case had to be glued shut once the mix of salvaged and new components went in. Still, it looks fabulous, and [Sebastian] says what we see in the video below is the one and only piece. Pretty sweet for the first try. Surprisingly, it doesn’t seem as if we’ve seen a wooden Game Boy before — a wooden NES, sure, but not a Game Boy.

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Why Game Boy IPS Screens Flicker

The Nintendo Game Boy was a very popular handheld in its time, but its display technology has not aged gracefully. Ripping out the original screen and dropping in a modern IPS LCD is a popular mod, but that often comes with a weird flicker now and then. [makho] is here to explain why.

The problem was that the Game Boy didn’t have any way to do transparency in the original hardware. Instead, sprites that were supposed to be a little bit transparent were instead flickered on and off rapidly. The original LCD was so slow that this flicker would be largely hidden, with the sprites in question looking suitably transparent. However, switch to a modern IPS LCD with its faster refresh rate, and the flickering will be readily visible. So it’s not a bug — it’s something that was intentionally done by developers that were designing for the screen technology of the 1980s, not the 2020s.

IPS screens have become the must-have upgrade for modern Game Boy users. Most would tell you the improved image quality and rich color is worth a little flicker here and there.

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A Tiny Board For Driving LEDs In…Whatever

Whether you’re into chiptune or just playing Tetris on original hardware, you might like rocking a heavily-customized Game Boy. Lovely flashing LEDs can only improve the aesthetic, so if that’s what you’re after, you might consider the ARCCore board from [NatalieTheNerd].

The board is a compact and easy way to drive some addressable LEDs, with a form factor designed to take up a small amount of space when stuffed into a Game Boy or other game console. It rocks an RP2040 microcontroller set up to drive a strip of WS2812B LEDs. Three buttons are used to configure the color and brightness settings. The board is designed to run on 3.3 to 5 V, thanks to an onboard buck converter. It’s capable of delivering enough juice to run up to 10 RGB LEDs, though you could potentially use more if you ran them from external power.

You can use just about any microcontroller on the market today to run addressable LEDs if you so desire. If you want a compact drop-in solution that takes up less space, though, you might find the ARCCore useful. If you’ve got your own nifty kit for running addressable LEDs, don’t hesitate to share it with the broader hacker massive — hit the tipsline!