Triton Labs Afterburner Manual

Game Boy

Triton Labs Afterburner Kit

Does everybody remember the Afterburner? That was the frontlight mod for the Game Boy Advance that was produced by Triton Labs in response to the GBA’s noted lack of screen lighting. The Afterburner kits are no longer being manufactured, but just in case you happen to find one behind your couch or at a garage sale, I decided to post the installation manual. Even if it’s no longer useful it’s still a fun trip down memory lane.

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Hidden Peace Symbols on DS Lite Board

Game Boy

It’s not quite a hidden Mickey, but it’s still a fun example of engineers hiding fun things in their designs. I bought a cobalt/black Nintendo DS Lite the other day and took it apart (in the name of science of course). The first thing I noticed was that the contacts for the D-Pad now looked like peace symbols instead of their usual split-circle design.

Peace to gamers!

 

The new board has “C/USG-CPU-10″ screened on it, where the old one had “C/USG-CPU-01″.

DS Lite old and new boards

 

I’m sure there’s some very sound technical reason for the change (more separate contact areas or something) but it’s still good to see the folks at the big “N” having fun with their stuff. Now I guess I need to look at the new board even closer to see if there are any more fun surprises.

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Sync GlitchDS with MIDI Sequencer

Game Boy

This quick demo shows how you can synchronize GlitchDS with a MIDI sequencer using “strum mode” and a Midify board.

In strum mode, pressing “left” on the DS takes you to the beginning of the GlitchDS sequence and pressing “right” steps you through it. The sequencer is sending note-on commands to the Midify board, which converts them to button presses on the DS. The sequence presses “left” at the beginning of the loop so that even if you started playing in the middle it would sync back up the next time around. Then it presses “right” on every remaining 1/8th note.

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Midify Prototype Demo Video

Game Boy

Midify is a tiny little board I’ve been working on that lets you add a MIDI port to a Game Boy or just about anything.

I started designing it when I got my PixelH8 Music Tech cartridge. I loved the cartridge, but I found it really hard to play music on the buttons of my Game Boy SP (I can’t play very well anyway but that’s beside the point). I wanted to get authentic Nintendo sounds and be able to play them live, but using a real keyboard. Then I started thinking about all the people doing chiptune/8-bit type music with random pieces of electronic gear who might want to do the same thing and Midify was born.

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Game Boy Synthesizer Cartridge

Game Boy

Pixelh8 has been developing a Game Boy based synthesizer cartridge called Game Boy Music Tech. It’s a fairly simple, straight-forward synth with some fun features like pitch sweep up/down, wave duty, volume envelope and octave. You can also have the sound of 2 game boys with unison, 1/5th and octave modes. It also has a few drums and sound effects.

The cartridge is on sale now and will be limited to a run of 100 units. It is scheduled to be released on October 14, 2007.

Check out Pixelh8′s web site for more information and a Java-based demo of the synth.

Game Boy MUSIC Tech Cartridge

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Overclock your Nintendo DS Lite

Game Boy

UPDATE: There is now a GBAccelerator DS forum over at the Division 6 site.

This article shows how you can overclock or underclock Nintendo’s latest handheld console, the DS Lite. The mod allows you to switch between four different speeds, ranging from .66x to 1.8x, right in the middle of your game. The wireless even works no matter what speed you are running. You can use a combination of the DS’ own buttons to control the speed so there’s no need to mount any external controls and mess up the look of your DS. The power LED will blink to tell you which mode you are in.

 

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Overclock your Nintendo DS

Game Boy

“Overclocking old Game Boy Advances is great, but what about what I’m playing right now? Can you overclock a Nintendo DS?” After some research, it turns out the answer is “yes”.

 

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Overclock Your Game Boy Micro

Game Boy

A few people have written me asking if it is possible to overclock a Game Boy Micro. After all, that is the only GBA variant left to mod. The short answer is “yes!”. It’s not ideal, however. The first problem is that the power LEDs on the Micro don’t stay on all the time, so you can’t use them to indicate which mode the GBAccelerator chip is in unless you add extra parts to invert the LED output or rewire them completely. The biggest problem is that the Micro is so small that the GBAccelerator chip barely fits inside. It does fit on top of the CPU, but that puts some pressure on the back of the LCD and makes me a little bit nervous about damaging it.

If you are one of those people that can’t stand not modding something, then I say go for it.

 

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Overclock Your Game Boy Advance SP

Game Boy

Here’s part 2 in our Game Boy Advance overclocking series. Do you want overclocked gaming action, but the screen on the original GBA is too dark because you never got your Afterburner kit? Why not overclock a GBA-SP?

 

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Overclock Your Game Boy Advance

Game Boy

Overclocking your GBA (and underclocking it) will allow you to skip boring parts of games, make them more challenging, slow down parts that are too difficult, or squeeze out some extra clock cycles for your homebrew apps. You also get to show off your modded GBA in front of your “L33T” friends. It’s not as hard as you might think, and you can switch between speeds on the fly.

 

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