***edit***

I have frontlit GBCs in the past with SP frontlights.

Just installed one of the frontlight kits. Will be posting photos here momentarily and update with my first impressions.

The Fronlit screen

Macro Photos:

GBC with SP Frontlight

When I had the gameboy color open, I adjusted the knob for the contrast all the way counterclockwise for the most contrast and it really didn't help much.

During my first attempt to install the fronlight one of the wires came off of the solder point of the frontlight unit itself. No tugging or hard pulling, but a gentle pull and the wire came right off. Might have just been a first batch sort of error in quality

The wires used look fairly identical to the wires used with the backlight kits also available through kitsch.


First Impressions:

It's fairly washed out. It reduces the clarity of the screen and legibility fairly considerably.

The original LSDj color scheme for the color is barely legible. The best setting I found was the "Grey" color scheme for LSDj. It wasn't perfect, but it wasn't getting any better than that.

The dimples that are built-into the surface of the frontlight panel material is what helps refract the light onto the screen... but it also makes the screen hard to see.

It does the job. It is not for everyone though.

The only other options available on the market to my understanding would be the lighting/magnifier attachments for the gbc, cannibalize a AGS-001 SP, hold an LED flashlight in your mouth or have really decent lighting.


How could the product be improved

If there was any other material that could be used for the frontlight panel. Something with maybe half as many dimples to help with the clarity. I'm certain that half as many dimples would still refract enough usable light. The panel used didn't seem like it was made for the purpose of front lighting a GBC specifically. The second batch would definitely benefit from a different frontlight panel material selection.


What am I going to do now?

I'm going to mess around with it for a week or so. As of right now I am not all that happy with the product. The clear and crisp definition of the GBC screen is what I really enjoy about it, and this frontlight unit pretty much kills that. It does what it advertises it would do, but I don't know if it's a trade off I'm willing to work with personally.

At the end of the week, if I am still not happy with it, I most likely will just uninstall and use a LED head strap lamp and call it a day.

Modification of the product

You can add resistors to the kit to lower the brightness of the frontlight.

Last edited by katsumbhong (January 21, 2014 2:35 am)

should this be moved to the reviews?

Thanks for taking the time to do this.

(moved to reviews, thanks for the write-up!)

also, play around with adding a resistor to lower the light output if you're up for it.  imo, it helps with the clarity a bit.  its pretty bright the way it comes stock

Last edited by kitsch (January 21, 2014 12:04 am)

Yep,the dimmer the panel is, the more visible the LCD will be. I believe Kitsch set it to it's maximum brightness so that people could mess with it from there.

If you are looking for a true honest review I think you need a side by side comparison with a GBC with a front light from a SP.  That is the standard IMHO.

DSC wrote:

If you are looking for a true honest review I think you need a side by side comparison with a GBC with a front light from a SP.  That is the standard IMHO.

/nods

DSC wrote:

If you are looking for a true honest review I think you need a side by side comparison with a GBC with a front light from a SP.  That is the standard IMHO.

I've frontlit GBCs with an SP light front lights in the past.

DSC wrote:

If you are looking for a true honest review I think you need a side by side comparison with a GBC with a front light from a SP.  That is the standard IMHO.

Doing this tomorrow when my stuff should be here. Stay tuned!

In addition to the SP light comparison it would also help to have side by side pics of a stock GBC, possibly in different environmental lighting levels(does that make sense?).

I would be interested in seeing pictures with resistors.

This would be nice, but I know that is a lot of work.  First I would like to say I'm glad Kitsch is working on this.  I know it will be an evolution of materials in order to find the right combination.  Having made this mod and researching various fresnel films I would say the traditional back lit approach is going to be hard to get to work.  The thin fresnel film is very precise in letting just the right amount of light be reflected back to the lcd surface.  This sounds simple, but I too tried various materials and ideas and the result just did not look as good as the frontlight from the SP.  Please keep up the search and if someone finds a thin fresnel film, please alert us in this thread.  Great effort!

Last edited by DSC (January 21, 2014 5:34 am)

rygD wrote:

In addition to the SP light comparison it would also help to have side by side pics of a stock GBC, possibly in different environmental lighting levels(does that make sense?).

I would be interested in seeing pictures with resistors.

Oh lord.

As a simple review I think it's good. Katsumbhong has used the sp for a frontlight and is knowledgeable about the mods. Reviews that require all of the standard or similar actually next to them will make it impossible, "I like my volca, but I can't do a review since I don't have a roland mc." Now if he has the sp gbc then it'd be appreciated.

The next thing I want to say is consider the price point. $10 is cheap and you don't have to cannibalize anything.

In truth I am going to use mine still, already bought it. I appreciate Kitsch's work on this a lot.

And last part and I swear I'll shut up. Instead of a resistor would you recommend a pot, and if so what value?

^ a pot would work if you'd like to dim the frontlight (they are just variable resistors anyways).  you'll have to play with the value a little bit though, i'm not sure off the top of my head.

kitsch wrote:

^ a pot would work if you'd like to dim the frontlight (they are just variable resistors anyways).  you'll have to play with the value a little bit though, i'm not sure off the top of my head.

I'm looking into picking up either a 100Ohm slider or trim potentiometers to keep the footprint small. Will update when I get around to it.

i think a 1k with maybe a 47 ohm resistor added (just to be safe) should be plenty.
kitsch: how many LED's and what are the rated mA? if you dont mind tongue

there are 5, i'll need to double check their ratings but assume them to be 20mA, and the on board resistors should tolerate 5V fine.  when i can grab a moment i'll take a scratched one and see where it will burn out, and see roughly what the whole thing pulls @ 5V