VMU backlight!

Discuss modifications you have done or plan to do to your Dreamcast or any other hardware, or discuss devices you want to build. If your console does not work or is acting up, ask about fixing it in here.
Yfrid
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VMU backlight!

Post by Yfrid » Tue Jul 27, 2010 4:14 pm

hi everybody! i've opened this topic to show you a cool mod i did some months ago, everything started just as a random experiment, but the result was better than expected! :grin:

i was having fun recovering smd-leds and reflecting layers from the broken lcd of my big brother's mp4 (cowon i9, smashed after 2 weeks), then i had an idea, slap them in a vmu and see whats happens.

this was the first test:
Image

to do that, i've carefully removed the silver layer in the back of the lcd wich is needed to reflect ambient light on the vmu's screen, so you can see in it. i had to remove it because it denies the light go through itstelf. Without it, the vmu screen is totally transparent like glass (just slightly bueish)!

so, i've cutted the reflecting layers to fit perfectly behind the vmu's screen, and added smd-leds:
Image
in this early attempt, leds were wired again to the original source in the mp4 player, that's how it looked in the first photo i linked, it was really promising!

then, when i had figured out the correct voltage and current, i've soldered leds in parallel inside the vmu, and soldered them to pin 14 (3,5V) and pin 8(gnd) i've added a 180ohm resistor to lower voltage to 3V.
Image

then, the first attempt where power was supplied by the controller itself:
Image
accidentally the led in the middle was soldered bad, and it didn't light up, but it's fine now.

here an other shot while the controller was disassembled
Image

before the mod, i tought it would looked greysh and faded, but it's a lovable solid blue! 8-)

this is the original discussion on sega-16
http://www.sega-16.com/forum/showthread.php?t=11105
on pag.2 i've made a little tutorial too!

i'm sorry for my "engrish" i'm italian, my english is lacking :wink:
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Re: VMU backlight!

Post by cube_b3 » Wed Jul 28, 2010 9:15 pm

WoW THUMBS UP!

Seriously a job well done.
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Re: VMU backlight!

Post by BB Hood » Sun Aug 01, 2010 10:39 am

Looks really great. Wish I had a printer to scrap.
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Re: VMU backlight!

Post by Nico0020 » Thu Aug 05, 2010 12:08 am

i am very tempted to do this.
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Re: VMU backlight!

Post by Yfrid » Thu Aug 05, 2010 10:23 am

i'm glad you liked it! 8-)
i've modded an other one for a friend, i've made some others photo and a short video, so i can make a step-by-step guide :p
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Re: VMU backlight!

Post by Ayla » Thu Aug 05, 2010 12:15 pm

I need more VMUs :grin:

I have a old fat NDS that does not work anymore, I'll try to take the backlight from it...

Awesome hack, good work :mrgreen:
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Re: VMU backlight!

Post by miggi03 » Fri Aug 06, 2010 5:07 pm

This is the best mod I have seen for a long time. Well done.
240 MHZ Dreamcast mod done. Paint jobs here http://t3rminator.deviantart.com/
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Re: VMU backlight!

Post by cube_b3 » Fri Aug 06, 2010 5:19 pm

Yfrid wrote:i'm glad you liked it! 8-)
i've modded an other one for a friend, i've made some others photo and a short video, so i can make a step-by-step guide :p
You do that and I will post it up on DevCast.
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Re: VMU backlight!

Post by Treamcaster » Sun Sep 12, 2010 12:57 am

miggi03 wrote:This is the best mod I have seen for a long time. Well done.
QFT! I guess I'll even buy more VMUs just to try this out.
You're a genius Yfrid!
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Re: VMU backlight!

Post by |darc| » Sun Sep 12, 2010 12:45 pm

This is really cool.
It's thinking...
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Re: VMU backlight!

Post by Jeeba Jabba » Sun Sep 12, 2010 2:05 pm

|darc| wrote:This is really cool.
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Re: VMU backlight!

Post by mankrip » Sun Sep 12, 2010 2:22 pm

Sega should have designed it like this right from the start. It's a pain to use the VMU as a status display for games like RE CODE Veronica due to the lack of a backlight in it.

I just remembered that I've got a broken MP3 player around. Its display is around 1/3 of the height of the VMU's display, so, would it work?

But honestly, what I'd really like to do is to remove the LCD display from the VMU entirely and place it directly into the DC's controller, while keeping both VMU slots available; this way there would be no loss of LCD functionality in DC games when using VMUs that have no LCD display.
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Re: VMU backlight!

Post by |darc| » Sun Sep 12, 2010 9:04 pm

One problem, though, is that the VMU only lasts about 10 minutes on a battery, and if Sega had put in a backlight, it'd probably have only lasted 5 minutes.
It's thinking...
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Re: VMU backlight!

Post by cube_b3 » Sun Sep 12, 2010 9:40 pm

Then we just would've placed 3 or 4 battries instead of 2?
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Re: VMU backlight!

Post by |darc| » Sun Sep 12, 2010 9:49 pm

That would have made it thicker and batteries more expensive.
It's thinking...
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Re: VMU backlight!

Post by cube_b3 » Mon Sep 13, 2010 12:55 am

Fine, I can handle this!

The Backlight would be optional on battery and for the console the backlight option would be toggled on or off from the Dreamcast System Settings. Also you've generally underestimated the battery life, I've used it and I left it on for days and it lasted pretty well, frankly we all enjoy the beep to much to change the battries.

How about now :P

p.s. most people forget that around this time the GBA didn't even have a backlight and VMU came out in the days of GBC.
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Re: VMU backlight!

Post by Treamcaster » Mon Sep 13, 2010 12:38 pm

cube_b3 wrote: p.s. most people forget that around this time the GBA didn't even have a backlight and VMU came out in the days of GBC.
Image

They were just lazy for not releasing it outside JP I suppose...
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Re: VMU backlight!

Post by cube_b3 » Sat Sep 18, 2010 11:51 am

The question is why didn't the GBA have a backlight to begin with?

I sold my GBA a few weeks after buying it cause it was impossible to play it, It holds the fastest discard record of all my inventory I tend to save stuff but the GBA just pissed me off.
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Re: VMU backlight!

Post by Treamcaster » Thu Sep 23, 2010 2:08 pm

I want someone to mod this for me. Any offers?
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Re: VMU backlight!

Post by spinksy » Tue Oct 12, 2010 10:14 am

i'm going to make myself one of these soon :grin:
Dreamcast, it's still thinking.

Over-clocked : Dreamcast currently running at 240Mhz (switchable)

Internal VGA, extra cooling fans, disc activity LED, SD card reader done :-)

Dreamcast HD wanted
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