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Reviewed: Afterburner
Author: Michael Ahlf       Date: June 13th, 2002
Page: 2

And yea, it began.

I took an ordinary Gameboy Advance. Mine.

Isn't it just beautiful? Then, I popped the back off using a tri-wing screwdriver and proceeded to remove the three screws holding the board to the front panel. That's them, circled in red. 

You can now see where the LCD is housed...

And now, with the LCD off, the back of the GBA's screen and some foam padding.

This is where things got interesting -- making the cuts so the Afterburner's light guide would fit into place. It took about 15 minutes with an exacto knife. I suggest a dremel if you can borrow one. I did, however, prove it's possible without one.

The front of the board, with the resistor soldered into place... by this time the AR film is on. I didn't snap photos of that because it's a time-sensitive process. Which I screwed up the first time, by the way.

And this is where I mounted the dimmer switch, as I promised. It's not too bad; my drill was a 1.2mm jewelry screwdriver, which went through the GBA's soft plastic like butter, making perfect holes for this to land. A little solder on the other side and it's not going anywhere.

Wires. At this point I caution people to be careful, as they're a bit long (though that's a good thing, as it makes some steps easier). They can get in the way of the cartridge slot or D-pad if you're not careful when putting them back, however.

It's finally together... wait... ARGH! A bubble in the AR film! (Circled in red).  Time to order a new piece of film...

Much better... running perfectly. 

 

And now for the observations:

Penny Arcade had it right; this is NOT to be attempted by someone who is a first-timer. Or unsure of their fingers. I've taken more things apart than I care to count over the years, and I still screwed up the AR film the first time. Order an extra -- truthfully, even if the kit was $2 more to account for it, Triton Labs would do well to include a second AR film for the "just in case" scenario.

Other than that, it's gorgeous. I tried both my webcam and a high-grade Sony digital camera, but they couldn't get the light; I'm guessing nighttime camera film will do fine with it. Take my word for it, it's fantastic, and 30 seconds of fiddling with the dimmer switch will remove any "glare" questions. 

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Added:  Thursday, June 13, 2002
Reviewer:  Michael Ahlf
Score:
Page: 2/3

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