I have had many people asking about how to do this mod using the kitsch-bent, CGB front-lighting panel and have yet to produce a proper tutorial.
However, they are back in stock again (as of this writing) and so I feel obligated to share this knowledge with the rest of you, at least in a simple form, in case you are not already aware.

Setting the panel into the shell and soldering are pretty simple and covered in the product tutorial, so for now, I'll just cover the light panel / lcd bonding, which is the hardest part.

[I am using a stripped down light panel that I had from my older experiments so it is missing the led strip with wires.
Same steps apply. ---> On your new one, the led strip with wires will stay in place.]

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Items used:
- 1x cgb lcd screen
- 1x kitsch-bent frontlight kit
- 1x tube of loca (liquid optical clear adhesive)(Right now I swear by "Osaka" brand. I have tried 4 kinds of loca and Osaka is bar none, the best overall. Well worth every cent.)
- UV curing lamp (or equivalent, large UV curing bulb, etc)(I'm using a UV nail curing lamp (china, ebay) direct sunlight also works)

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Basic steps to properly bonding the light panel to the lcd screen.

1.) Remove the foam layer off the back of the lcd (to relieve pressure to the screen when reassembling cgb).
(the front protective layer of the light panel can be used to cover the front of the lcd screen to protect from finger-prints while removing the foam)

2.) Remove the clear, protective layers from both sides and the reflective strip of tape from the back (smooth) side of the light panel to have a nice, flush bond with the lcd screen. (the front of the light panel has the bumps on it. that side goes facing out from the lcd screen to face the user as the game boy is being played)
           The front, clear protective layer can stay on 'til the end as long as you don't get any loca on it (it can get under and on the front of the light panel if you're not careful) or it can be removed at your discretion.

3.) Apply the loca to the back side (again, the smooth side) while laying the panel face down. This may take a little practice. I have screwed it up a handful of times, better to not be enough than too much since the light panel can be pulled off and reset with more loca.
Apply similarly to the photos, in that general amount (maybe just a tiny pinch less).

Ensure the lcd is nice and clean.
(Perhaps a micro-fiber cloth or some compressed air will do the trick.)

Place the lcd screen onto the loca'd light panel, slowly and gently, then apply a little pressure to spread it a little.

Lift the entire thing together so you can see all the little details like all those wonderful little air bubbles (you will get them every time).
Not a problem my friend! As the kitsch-bent light panel is very resilient in it's ability to be cleaned again and again of fingerprints or dirt and debris.
Just don't get any loca on it, especially if you don't have any loca remover. (If you do happen to get some loca on the panel, I find rubbing alcohol and a micro-fiber cloth work well in removing it prior to curing (for very small amounts).

Now that you can see every single air bubble, simply apply some pressure to them directly to force them off and out the edge.
Do this while spreading the loca as evenly as possible, covering all the hard to reach spots like the corners.
                 Take your time and start in the middle, working your way to the edges.
They are generally compliant but sometimes you'll get a toughy or two, try working those a little more.

The idea is to get the bubbles out with minimal loca getting squeezed out.
(If you squeeze out too much or press too hard you will get dark spots.)
                 Use a rag you don't care about or q-tips to clean up any small leakage you may have (if any, maybe you're pretty slick). Again, avoid getting loca on the light panel itself as it will leave darker spots on the panel when it lights up.

Now that the bubbles are taken care of, set the light panel to align properly with the lcd screen for a proper seating into the shell case.
May be hard to see in the pics but basically, the top of the light panel should be aligned with (or as close as you can get it to) the darker edge of the lcd screen. The dark boarder that surrounds the main area of the screen.

Clean up the light panel face with some screen cleaner or rubbing alcohol and a micro-fiber cloth to ensure there are no traces of loca.

4.) Find a way to keep the ribbon cable flat so when you place the lcd screen on a flat surface to cure so the cable won't push the lcd screen up at an angle, making the light panel slide around (don't be a wise guy and bend the cable back, I screwed that up too. use something like a pair of pliers to lay on the ribbon cable when curing so the whole thing stays flat, your call)

5.) Cure (bond) the loca to the lcd using a proper UV curing method (like I said above, direct sunlight or a decent UV curing lamp work the best (no heat lamps! they just make the loca all runny and messy)
Be sure to check and make sure the light panel is still set where you placed it and hasn't skewed off.
The internet info I found said 3 minutes would do to cure the Osaka loca and it was correct. (time may vary depending on the type of loca used. do your research if not sure)

Take that strip of reflective tape you took off the back and place it across the front on the bottom to kill the light bleed of the leds through the front shell case.

That's basically it.
After that, it's smooth sailing.
Just cut your slots in the lcd housing for the wires, place your lcd, solder the wires, reassemble and fire her up!


Hope that helps save some GBA-SPs from getting poached for their light panels.
Now go get some kitsch-bent light panels before they sell out again you crazy kids! 3-).
They're going fast! 

Benefits in comparison to the old, GBA-SP front-light method:
- improved brightness (hence the "101")
- better light distribution
- no more wavy lines / bad glare
- eliminates dust / debris contamination between lcd and light panel
- better durability (the one SP led light is VERY delicate and prone to failure from age / heavy use or hard bangs / bumps)
- easier shell case interchangeability
- MUCH easier to handle / clean the light panel
(mishandling an SP light panel is a sure way to ruin it along with your day)
- no additional resistor required
- minimal light bleeding through shell case (on opaque shell cases)
- minimal modification to inner shell case

Original inspiration and ideas for the loca application:
http://chipmusic.org/forums/topic/13236 … bc/page/3/

The link to my portfolio (for more examples of this mod):
http://s1284.photobucket.com/user/Koji_ … amp;page=1

Last edited by Koji-Kendo (Yesterday 4:16 am)

DANG, do want

ahhhhhh, you used loca!  this is so great

would you allow me to link to this tutorial on the product page?  (if not, its totally cool, but this would be a great aid to a lot of people who may not visit this site)

thanks for posting this!

This is amazing.

kitsch wrote:

ahhhhhh, you used loca!  this is so great

would you allow me to link to this tutorial on the product page?  (if not, its totally cool, but this would be a great aid to a lot of people who may not visit this site)

thanks for posting this!

Of course my friend, it is your product after all. :-)
You are very welcome!
And thank YOU for this wonderful cgb light panel!

Last edited by Koji-Kendo (June 20, 2014 4:19 pm)

added wink  http://store.kitsch-bent.com/product/frontlight-kits

again, thanks so much for being willing to test these things out, for science!  very cool, i'm going to finally try this smile

Where are you located Koji?

katsumbhong wrote:

Where are you located Koji?

Ah-ha-ha! Everywhere, yet nowhere at all... 3-)

Right now I am located in the States, in San Antonio. Why, you gonna put a hit on me so you can monopolize Game Boy Color modding...? Just kidding... tee-ha!

Last edited by Koji-Kendo (June 20, 2014 5:58 pm)

kitsch wrote:

added wink  http://store.kitsch-bent.com/product/frontlight-kits

again, thanks so much for being willing to test these things out, for science!  very cool, i'm going to finally try this smile

Hey, thanks man!
Nothing like finagling with new ways to finagle with stuff, er, modding. :-)

I wanted to commission you to do one for me in the future if that is okay. Moving to Taiwan!

katsumbhong wrote:

I wanted to commission you to do one for me in the future if that is okay. Moving to Taiwan!

Wow, from Cali to Taiwan. That's quite a change of scene! :-)
Sure, just pm me the details of the specifics you have in mind and I'll see if I can get it together.

Noice! Definitely looks sharper than my GBAsp-recovered lighting job.

Koji-Kendo wrote:
katsumbhong wrote:

I wanted to commission you to do one for me in the future if that is okay. Moving to Taiwan!

Wow, from Cali to Taiwan. That's quite a change of scene! :-)
Sure, just pm me the details of the specifics you have in mind and I'll see if I can get it together.

Will do! Can you PM me an email address to best get in contact with you?

It looks good on pictures but I wonder how clear is the image compared to a horizontal GBA SP frontlight mod: http://www.mylkstuff.com/page87.htm

thedimitry wrote:

It looks good on pictures but I wonder how clear is the image compared to a horizontal GBA SP frontlight mod: http://www.mylkstuff.com/page87.htm

The corrected orientation SP method is cleaner and slightly clearer while removing that horrid glare, but as much trouble as it is, not sure it justifies going through all that trouble unless to resell for a good profit.
An easier method I have done that was worth the trouble is a correct orientation, loca'd sp front-light, lit with a 4 led light panel strip from a dmg/mgb back-light kit.

Save for the faint pillars of light (which can be minimized by wrappinf the led strip with some of that white, milky back-light sheet (forget what it's called)), it is easier to do, less muss, less fuss, maybe a little more expensive, but, clearer without the fear of that dreaded, singular led which seem to be going out more and more as time wears them out. (or accidentally if you happen to be more rough with it than a newborn)
(great time to snag that now about useless sp (with the light that went out, (see ebay)) for that light panel which is still a delicacy among modders and ebay resellers!)
(lots of those guys suck at modding though and it shows...haha)

Good question though!

Last edited by Koji-Kendo (June 20, 2014 8:00 pm)

^ diffusion film wink

if you'd like to experiment with some of the kitsch-bent type (which is a little different, its not typical diffusion film) i'd be more than happy to send you some for testing.  just PM or email at matt(aatt)kitsch-bent(ddoott)com