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Difficulty Level: Novice

Very easy: 20% - 1 votes

Game Boy DMG-001 No-sound Repair

Game Boy DMG-001 No-sound Repair

I saw this defective original Game Boy listed on eBay that nobody seemed to be interested in. The description was that the seller apparently found it in a box while cleaning his house and didn't test it. It was shipping from Canada (lower shipping for me) and was selling for so cheap that I just had to bid on it eventough I really didn't need it. I ended up getting it for about 15$ shipping included. I already have my old Game Boy from when I was young but I figured that I would be able to mod the extra one (I don't really like modding my old console from when I was a kid). When it arrived, I was suprised to find that it was in a pretty decent condition. I was expecting to have corroded contacts and battery acid everywhere like most broken portable console I usualy from eBay but it was not the case this time. After my usual innitial cleaning and desinfection, I digged some of my old Game Boy carts from when I was a kid, popped 4 AA battery in it and fired up good ol' Tetris to try and assess what kind of issues it had. As it turn out, not much was wrong with it. First I got a corrupted Nintendo boot screen but that is not really surprising considering the cart slot must have been dirty. After re-inserting the cart once or twice I got the game to boot. It is surprising because from my experience, when an eBay seller says that they couldn't or don't have the time to test something, it usually mean that they did and that it is broken. But I was lucky this time and every thing seemed to be working except for the speaker. Sound was working through the headphone jack though. I opened it to investigate the speaker situation. I had forgot that the Game Boy used proprietary Tri-Wing screw but fortunatly, I had a tri-wing screwdriver somwhere in my junk. I remember buying a bunch of things from a chinese wholeseller and picking it up just because it was 2$ just to have one on hand and forgot about it for years. That it how it look like. I only ever saw those screws on Nintendo portable console until the 3DS. As you can see, the condition is not that bad, nothing that a quick clean up with alcohol won't fix. Beside being dirty, it look like the speaker was blown. I am not sure how you can even blow up a Game Boy speaker but I tested the coil with my multimeter and it was showing that it was open loop.  The speaker is an 8 Ohm speaker and it's diameter is about 29 cm.I didn't really have any similar speaker on hand so I ordered some new one from eBay.  Once the new speaker had arrived, I proceeded to replace the old blown-up one. To my surprise, it did not fix the sound issue. I checked the two PCBs for any corroded traces, repaired any solder joint that were looking like cold joints and checked diodes but everything seemed to be in ok. I noticed that I forgot to solder back the C7 capacitor when I recapped th system so I tought it might be that but even after I soldered the missing cap I still had no sound coming from the built-in speaker. After being puzzled for a while, I remember that the built-in speaker get disabled when headphone are inserted so I tought something might make the Game Boy think that there was always headphone connected even when there was none.   Upon closer inspection, you can see that there's a contact that open up when headphone are connected and close up when they are removed. A quick check with my multimeter confirmed what I was now suspecting. Even when the headphone was not inserted in the 3.5mm jack, the two contacts would not  connect. This was due in part because the contacts were dirty and also because the metal contact probably got bent a bit from year of repeated insertion. I cleaned the contact as best as I could and scratched them a bit using a tin blade and also tried to bend it back a bit so that it would touch the other contact properly when the headphone are not connected. Once I confirmed that the 2 contacts would show continuity on my multimeter, I re-assembled most of the Game Boy and proceeded to do a quick test. Low and behold, the speaker was now working and I could hear the glorious theme song of Tetris playing once again trough the built in speaker. Twitter (function(d, s, id) { var js, fjs = d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0]; if (d.getElementById(id)) {return;} js = d.createElement(s); js.id = id; js.src = "//connect.facebook.net/en_GB/all.js#xfbml=1"; fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js, fjs); }(document, 'script', 'facebook-jssdk'));{lang: 'en-GB'}
I saw this defective original Game Boy listed on eBay that nobody seemed to be interested in. The description was that the seller apparently found it in a box while cleaning his house and didn't test it. It was shipping from Canada (lower shipping for me) and was selling for so cheap that I just had to bid on it eventough I really didn't need it. I ended up getting it for about 15$ shipping included. I already have my old Game Boy from when I was young but I figured that I would be able to mod the extra one (I don't really like modding my old console from when I was a kid). When it arrived, I was suprised to find that it was in a pretty decent condition. I was expecting to have corroded contacts and battery acid everywhere like most broken portable console I usualy from eBay but it was not the case this time. After my usual innitial cleaning and desinfection, I digged some of my old Game Boy carts from when I was a kid, popped 4 AA battery in it and fired up good ol' Tetris to try and assess what kind of issues it had. As it turn out, not much was wrong with it. First I got a corrupted Nintendo boot screen but that is not really surprising considering the cart slot must have been dirty. After re-inserting the cart once or twice I got the game to boot. It is surprising because from my experience, when an eBay seller says that they couldn't or don't have the time to test something, it usually mean that they did and that it is broken. But I was lucky this time and every thing seemed to be working except for the speaker. Sound was working through the headphone jack though. I opened it to investigate the speaker situation. I had forgot that the Game Boy used proprietary Tri-Wing screw but fortunatly, I had a tri-wing screwdriver somwhere in my junk. I remember buying a bunch of things from a chinese wholeseller and picking it up just because it was 2$ just to have one on hand and forgot about it for years. That it how it look like. I only ever saw those screws on Nintendo portable console until the 3DS. As you can see, the condition is not that bad, nothing that a quick clean up with alcohol won't fix. Beside being dirty, it look like the speaker was blown. I am not sure how you can even blow up a Game Boy speaker but I tested the coil with my multimeter and it was showing that it was open loop.  The speaker is an 8 Ohm speaker and it's diameter is about 29 cm.I didn't really have any similar speaker on hand so I ordered some new one from eBay.  Once the new speaker had arrived, I proceeded to replace the old blown-up one. To my surprise, it did not fix the sound issue. I checked the two PCBs for any corroded traces, repaired any solder joint that were looking like cold joints and checked diodes but everything seemed to be in ok. I noticed that I forgot to solder back the C7 capacitor when I recapped th system so I tought it might be that but even after I soldered the missing cap I still had no sound coming from the built-in speaker. After being puzzled for a while, I remember that the built-in speaker get disabled when headphone are inserted so I tought something might make the Game Boy think that there was always headphone connected even when there was none.   Upon closer inspection, you can see that there's a contact that open up when headphone are connected and close up when they are removed. A quick check with my multimeter confirmed what I was now suspecting. Even when the headphone was not inserted in the 3.5mm jack, the two contacts would not  connect. This was due in part because the contacts were dirty and also because the metal contact probably got bent a bit from year of repeated insertion. I cleaned the contact as best as I could and scratched them a bit using a tin blade and also tried to bend it back a bit so that it would touch the other contact properly when the headphone are not connected. Once I confirmed that the 2 contacts would show continuity on my multimeter, I re-assembled most of the Game Boy and proceeded to do a quick test. Low and behold, the speaker was now working and I could hear the glorious theme song of Tetris playing once again trough the built in speaker. Twitter (function(d, s, id) { var js, fjs = d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0]; if (d.getElementById(id)) {return;} js = d.createElement(s); js.id = id; js.src = "//connect.facebook.net/en_GB/all.js#xfbml=1"; fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js, fjs); }(document, 'script', 'facebook-jssdk'));{lang: 'en-GB'}
20 out of 100 with 1 ratings

I saw this defective original Game Boy listed on eBay that nobody seemed to be interested in. The description was that the seller apparently found it in a box while cleaning his house and didn't test it. It was shipping from Canada (lower shipping for me) and was selling for so cheap that I just had to bid on it eventough I really didn't need it. I ended up getting it for about 15$ shipping included. I already have my old Game Boy from when I was young but I figured that I would be able to mod the extra one (I don't really like modding my old console from when I was a kid). When it arrived, I was suprised to find that it was in a pretty decent condition. I was expecting to have corroded contacts and battery acid everywhere like most broken portable console I usualy from eBay but it was not the case this time.

GB FrontGB Back4GB Batt

After my usual innitial cleaning and desinfection, I digged some of my old Game Boy carts from when I was a kid, popped 4 AA battery in it and fired up good ol' Tetris to try and assess what kind of issues it had. As it turn out, not much was wrong with it. First I got a corrupted Nintendo boot screen but that is not really surprising considering the cart slot must have been dirty. After re-inserting the cart once or twice I got the game to boot. It is surprising because from my experience, when an eBay seller says that they couldn't or don't have the time to test something, it usually mean that they did and that it is broken. But I was lucky this time and every thing seemed to be working except for the speaker. Sound was working through the headphone jack though.

I opened it to investigate the speaker situation. I had forgot that the Game Boy used proprietary Tri-Wing screw but fortunatly, I had a tri-wing screwdriver somwhere in my junk. I remember buying a bunch of things from a chinese wholeseller and picking it up just because it was 2$ just to have one on hand and forgot about it for years.

triwing

That it how it look like. I only ever saw those screws on Nintendo portable console until the 3DS.

GB OpenGB Open front

GB speakerGB Speaker dirt

As you can see, the condition is not that bad, nothing that a quick clean up with alcohol won't fix. Beside being dirty, it look like the speaker was blown. I am not sure how you can even blow up a Game Boy speaker but I tested the coil with my multimeter and it was showing that it was open loop. 

GB SPK OL

The speaker is an 8 Ohm speaker and it's diameter is about 29 cm.I didn't really have any similar speaker on hand so I ordered some new one from eBay. 

Once the new speaker had arrived, I proceeded to replace the old blown-up one.

GB new speaker

To my surprise, it did not fix the sound issue. I checked the two PCBs for any corroded traces, repaired any solder joint that were looking like cold joints and checked diodes but everything seemed to be in ok. I noticed that I forgot to solder back the C7 capacitor when I recapped th system so I tought it might be that but even after I soldered the missing cap I still had no sound coming from the built-in speaker. After being puzzled for a while, I remember that the built-in speaker get disabled when headphone are inserted so I tought something might make the Game Boy think that there was always headphone connected even when there was none.

GB HP Jack

 

Upon closer inspection, you can see that there's a contact that open up when headphone are connected and close up when they are removed. A quick check with my multimeter confirmed what I was now suspecting. Even when the headphone was not inserted in the 3.5mm jack, the two contacts would not  connect. This was due in part because the contacts were dirty and also because the metal contact probably got bent a bit from year of repeated insertion. I cleaned the contact as best as I could and scratched them a bit using a tin blade and also tried to bend it back a bit so that it would touch the other contact properly when the headphone are not connected. Once I confirmed that the 2 contacts would show continuity on my multimeter, I re-assembled most of the Game Boy and proceeded to do a quick test. Low and behold, the speaker was now working and I could hear the glorious theme song of Tetris playing once again trough the built in speaker.

Comments  
#11 Wes 2016-11-20 20:29
I am having this problem but I can't seem to figure out what needs to be done to correct the issue. Can anyone shed some details? Pics welcomed.
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#10 Amigajunglism 2016-08-21 08:49
This info is excellent. I've now cleaned the headphone jack and et voila the speaker now works. Thank you
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#9 fabian 2016-07-06 17:32
thanks That solved my issue. regards from spain
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#8 dbwbp 2016-02-15 15:03
Quoting GreenDMG:
Hello, my GameBoy has the same problem (no sound from speaker, but sound on headphones)... But Im new to electronics and I have some questions:

1: On how to test a speaker, you need to measure the resistance accros the terminal. Here's a guide explaining it in more details: http://www.wikihow.com/Measure-Speaker-Impedance
2: The two contacts are located on the left of the connector, you can see them having the white rounded white plastic part. I will be editing the picture to better reflect this in the future.
3:To test it, you could put your probe straight on them without looking for the pin under the connector.
4: It should register continuity (contact closed) when no headphone are inserted in the connector. Otherwise it should register as open.
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#7 GreenDMG 2016-02-14 00:42
Hello, my GameBoy has the same problem (no sound from speaker, but sound on headphones)... But Im new to electronics and I have some questions:
1. How exactly can I check with the multimeter if the speaker is okay? I tried to measure resistance on the speaker's coil by putting a multimeter's probe on each extreme of the coil, and it only shows a "1". Even putting the two probes on the same thin copper wire quite close together shows the same. Why? :oops:
2. Which ones are the "two contacts" in the headphone jack? In the picture, are they the rusty rectangular metal piece on the black plastic and the other metal piece that is next to it?
3. To test said contacts with the multimeter, should I test for continuity by putting a probe in one contact and another probe in the other contact?
4. What does it mean if there's continuity between the two contacts all the time, with and without headphones connected?
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#6 dbwbp 2016-02-02 14:20
Quoting Guy Berthiaume:
Really wanted to just say thanks for the help you have provided, much appreciated!


Thanks for taking the time to comment and let me know it helped you. I love when I can share information and help out people and knowing that there are actual people reading my articles is very motivating.
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#5 Guy Berthiaume 2016-01-29 04:04
Had speaker issues with a Game Boy I received as a Xmas gift from my wife as I love retro systems. I noticed the earphones worked and thought the speaker was shot just as most people do. But when you conducted a resistance test (which I did not think of doing) I tried the same and realized that the speaker was fine. Kept reading and saw the part about the switch in the headphone jack being oxidized. Well 1 minute later with the help on a #11 Exacto blade sure did the trick and ironically was also to the tune of Tetris. Really wanted to just say thanks for the help you have provided, much appreciated!
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#4 SkinnyV 2015-02-01 17:24
Quoting Jody:
Thanks a lot. This was my problem. I almost bought a new speaker. It's people like you that make the internet an awesome place, for people that like to tinker with these old gems.



Thanks for the kind word, I am glad we were able to save another Gameboy from the thrash bin!
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#3 Jody 2015-02-01 15:49
Thanks a lot. This was my problem. I almost bought a new speaker. It's people like you that make the internet an awesome place, for people that like to tinker with these old gems.
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#2 SkinnyV 2014-07-02 16:06
Quoting rob:
thank's looked long and hard and this was my problem too!

Thanks for taking the time to let me know, I am extremely happy to hear that my little website helped you fix your game boy. It was a very stupid problem but couldn't find anything online about it and this is the kind of issue that take a while to figure out because it is so simple that you'll be wasting time trying to find bigger reasons as to why the sound is not working. Those original game boy still have a lot of life in them, they were built like little tanks!
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