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Dr. Corndog
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GBA SP Screen Suddenly Died

by Dr. Corndog Sat May 30, 2015 9:01 pm

Hey folks,

My GBA SP AGS 101 recently developed an issue where the screen would not come on when open. If I kept the screen about halfway open it would come on, but extending it further caused it to wink out. For a while I would play with it, opening it a fraction of an inch at a time, and if I was careful enough I could get it all the way open without the screen going out.

This issue led me to believe that there was a bad connection, so I opened my GBA to check it out. I wasn't able to find anything obviously wrong with it, so decided to play around with it while disassembled to try to pinpoint the problem. With the case and buttons removed, I reinserted the screen's ribbon cable into the mainboard and turned on the power, and got nothing. Not even when I changed the angle of cable would anything happen.

So, now I'm wondering if there's anything I can do, or if I should just buy a new screen or even a new system. I did notice some possible problems, though.

1. There are three creases in the ribbon cable. Could one of these have broken the connections?

2. There was some residue inside the system, apparently from a liquid that got inside. I cleaned it out, but could that have affected the screen? (It seems unlikely, since I've had the system for about three years.)

3. I haven't disassembled the screen itself so as to remove the ribbon cable from that end. Could the problem lie in there?

Any help would be appreciated.
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Exhuminator
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Re: GBA SP Screen Suddenly Died

by Exhuminator Sat May 30, 2015 10:13 pm

If this was my GBA SP this is what I would do:

Find a GBA SP service manual PDF on the internet, or the closest possible thing to that.

Use the service manual to identify how the GBA SP detects when the lid is closed, it's probably a sensor. I'd buy and replace that sensor.

If the screen still didn't work, I'd buy and replace the video ribbon cable.

If that still didn't work, I'd light the GBA SP on fire as a pyre to its legacy.
PLAY KING'S FIELD.
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nightrnr
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Re: GBA SP Screen Suddenly Died

by nightrnr Sun May 31, 2015 4:17 am

Exhuminator wrote:Use the service manual to identify how the GBA SP detects when the lid is closed, it's probably a sensor. I'd buy and replace that sensor.

If the screen still didn't work, I'd buy and replace the video ribbon cable.

The GBA SP does not go to sleep when you close the lid. That was a feature added to the DS systems.

Also, the ribbon cable isn't exactly replaceable as it's permanently connected to the LCD.

My fear is that we will see more screens failing as some succumb to the wear of simply opening and closing it so much. Those small ribbon cables are just not designed to handle a lot of movement.
...just another lost soul...
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ninjainspandex
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Re: GBA SP Screen Suddenly Died

by ninjainspandex Sun May 31, 2015 8:42 am

More reason to put all the gba sp101 screens into the launch gbas haha
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Dr. Corndog
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Re: GBA SP Screen Suddenly Died

by Dr. Corndog Sun May 31, 2015 9:39 am

nightrnr wrote:Also, the ribbon cable isn't exactly replaceable as it's permanently connected to the LCD.


You sure about that? I believe I read that it could be removed with a soldering iron.

There are replacement ribbon cables being sold on eBay, so I'm leaning towards buying one of those and replacing it in my system.
Tanooki
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Re: GBA SP Screen Suddenly Died

by Tanooki Sun May 31, 2015 1:57 pm

Those ribbon cables are you sure about that? The ones I've seen are extra cable adapters so you can transplant a screen from one style GBA to another, such as stuffing a 101 in an original GBA. I've been watching lately trying to get a free/dirt cheap broken 101 with a working screen so I can mod my original white GBA.
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nightrnr
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Re: GBA SP Screen Suddenly Died

by nightrnr Sun May 31, 2015 2:09 pm

Dr. Corndog wrote:
nightrnr wrote:Also, the ribbon cable isn't exactly replaceable as it's permanently connected to the LCD.


You sure about that? I believe I read that it could be removed with a soldering iron.

There are replacement ribbon cables being sold on eBay, so I'm leaning towards buying one of those and replacing it in my system.

I just checked a broken screen I had laying around (don't ask me why I even keep it). The actual ribbon cable has close to 100 tiny contact points on the LCD end. There is no way a mere mortal could solder on a new cable on (and a highly skilled modder would tell you it wouldn't be worth it, even if it is possible).

I agree with Tanooki, the ribbon cables you see on ebay are most likely the adapter cables for use of an SP screen in a standard GBA.
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Exhuminator
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Re: GBA SP Screen Suddenly Died

by Exhuminator Sun May 31, 2015 9:41 pm

nightrnr wrote:The GBA SP does not go to sleep when you close the lid.

Does the screen not turn itself off when you close the SP? If it always stays on, then it's likely the video ribbon cable.
Also, the ribbon cable isn't exactly replaceable as it's permanently connected to the LCD.

I would think it is because of auctions like this:

http://www.ebay.com/itm/F-Repair-Ribbon ... 35e6e1c077

Unless that's for something else?

Even if the ribbon isn't replaceable, you could just buy a new LCD screen for it:

http://www.ebay.com/itm/Gameboy-Advance ... 3aa57afd56
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