I got this launch edition 1989 Nintendo Gameboy at a yard sale for $1 and decided to restore it and clean it up. First, I needed to re-solder the battery connectors to the PCB so it would start up. Then, I cleaned out the cartridge slot so it would actually load games. The yellowing on the case was pretty gnarly, so I took it fully apart and used the hydrogen peroxide + UV light method to reverse the ageing. It worked great!
The basic chemistry of it, as detailed in the retr0bright project page, is that there was bromine added to the ABS plastic to act as a fire retardant. Over time and exposure to UV light, the bromine finds its way to the surface, lending the yellow cast. Hydrogen Peroxide, and activator, and more UV light finish the job and allow the bromine to fly free, leaving the surface of the ABS entirely.
Here you can see the front of the case after ageing for 29 years next to the back of the case after the hydrogen peroxide + sunlight for six hours treatment.
You can search for the exact method and different recipes online, but you essentially need a high-ish concentration hydrogen peroxide — here I’ve got 20 volume which is 6% concentration — and an activator such as Oxy and something to thicken it. People call this Retr0brite. It turns out that salon-grade hair “bleach” has all of the necessary ingredients rolled into one bottle.
Paint it on (after cleaning the case with water and rubbing alcohol and more water), seal it up in cling wrap, and put it in the sun for six hours.
What a difference!
Here, I’ve gotten the top half going. I didn’t leave it in the sun for as long and may give it another shot to further remove the yellowing.
Here’s a handy playlist of my Adafruit project video series:
I’m building an Overwatch prop gun — Lucio’s blaster — from scratch. Here are my videos for the first two parts of four(?) that I’m planning.
Painter of light, Thomas Kinkade, step aside! This is a long exposure photography light paintbrush I made using Circuit Playground. You can check out the video and guide if you please!
I built this conductive ink DJ controller made from a pizza box. You can build one too! Here’s the guide in the Adafruit Learning System. It’s a real DJ that you control by touch. It even blinks its colorful lights in time to the music!
Build your own DJ controller using a cardboard pizza box, conductive paint, and a Circuit Playground! The PZ-1 pizza box DJ controller uses a Circuit Playground, which senses your capacitive touch and speaks MIDI directly to your software, such as Traktor, Mixxx, and others. With a stencil and conductive paint you’ll create a delicious, functional controller layout. Inspired by a limited edition pizza box turntable from a famous pizza brand, now you can make your own!
Yay! I love World Maker Faire, it’s such a great site — the Corona Park / Hall of Science site in Queens is amazing. And the creative energy and enthusiasm there are palpable. Palpable, I say!
Besides walking around the Faire soaking up all the great exhibits and meeting makers, I’ll be giving a couple of talks — the first one is about building the Adafruit Happy Chewbacca Mask project on Saturday, 10/1 at 12:30pm on the Maker to Market Stage:
Join maker John Park as he demonstrates how you can hack the famous Happy Chewbacca Mask to make any sounds you like. John will perform a live mask teardown, demonstrate how to trigger audio files with switches, and talk about the joys of toy hacking.
Maker John Park will show how he made his popular Adafruit Circuit Playground projects: the Class Scheduler, Password Vault, and Pizza Box DJ Controller. You’ll learn about Circuit Playground, a microcontroller platform with built-in LEDs and sensor designed to teach physical computing and coding.
I may even attempt, against my better judgment, some live DJ-ing with the pizza box controller. Please dance.
If you’re headed to Maker Faire please stop by and say hello.