Change a larger LCD screen on GS

Can you link to the PCB adapter to go from 54 to 40 pin? The link you sent doesn’t work for me. Thanks!!

Those links were for sourcing the manufacture of custom circuit boards to acquire ribbon cables. They weren’t for the adapter board. I would also like to see at least a schematic for the adapter board.

Ohhh…I’m wondering where he got his from…iv searched high and low to no avail

You can use the PCB file in my google drive link(, and find a factory who can make the pcb board.

1 Like

Very nice!

Could you share the gerber files, and schematic of your adapter board?

1 Like

Hi all.

This is my first post, I’m new in town. English is not my mother language and my device is on its way… from Japan. First of all I want to thank you all guys: I decided to get my Clockwork because of this community and also because I found answers to most of my questions just reading stuff you wrote.

Now, about the screen. I’m pretty much puzzled. I’ve read that

Then I found no info about that “KD027-LCD pinout”. By what I’ve seen here it seems the original screen uses a 40 pin connector and @hob286 is using that flex cable and an intermediate PCB to connect a 54 pin screen. I might have misunderstood, what I understood was this mod was 40 pin (motherboard) > 45 pin (PCB) > 54 pin (new screen). If so, why aren’t we using existing 40 pin screens? For example, would any of these work without the need of the extra PCB?

I guess there must be a reason, because those are way cheaper (not to mention shipping fees). Please, help me understand this stuff. I want to learn and I could really use bigger screens… preferrably with aligned pixels. By that I mean:

I’d love a 480x320 screen, I could use a 640x480, but then I’d have to be able to switch back to the original screen mostly to test my games work and look as intended. I can 3D print faceplates and keep screens attached to them, but I’m in if it’s a reversible mod. I wouldn’t really love purchasing extra screen modules just to strip them and mod them. Would that be the only way? It’s not, right? Right?

Thanks in advance!


there is a nice outer casing for the battery. If you want one, please tell me

1 Like

Looks really nice. 3D printed? I could use the STL :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:
Also, could you please share a link for the battery? Did it come with the proper connector?

My battery is much bigger than that case…i literally had to trim the frames that keep the original battery module in place for it to fit

I was thinking the same and nearly bought a 40 pin. But from what I see of the guy that shared his files for the PCB converter board and successfully installed a larger screen the original screens converter board is still used minus the screen… I’m much more a noob than you and I’m still trying get a PCB board with the connectors installed.

1 Like

We shouldn’t compete to see who the bigger, better noob is. Could be embarrassing :upside_down_face:

I’m glad I’m not the only one who thought of it, thank you! Maybe now someone will notice and provide an explanation, I’m dying to understand this stuff. Thanks in advance to anyone who does so!

I had a “retro handheld”, an RG300, running RetroFW. It had a nice 480x320 IPS screen… with unaligned pixels, some of which were dead. Truly dead, really annoying. Also annoying was the fuzzy look of GBA games scaled up: no clean pixels, due to their arrangement (like those in the original GameShell screen).
Me and my TOC, that’s nightmare fuel. Hence, it got returned and refunded.

But I just got a decent deal on a new RG300 and a new (cheap!) screen on its way; I don’t know yet how its pixels will be aligned, I’m not an optimist(*). I’ve seen others use this screen with both the RG300 and the LDK, running the LDK firmware (drivers, drivers…). But it’s not like one can fiddle with RetroFW’s source and compile it, nope. Maybe that’s related to using the original GameShell screen PCB with an adapter: I noticed nobody talking about drivers over here, did I miss it?
If that’s the case, we might be able to use other (hopefully cheaper) screens…

But then again, I check the pictures and I see a 23 pin cable in a connector with 22 soldered pins; makes sense if it’s 22+23 (two cables = 45 pins), but I can’t see the other cable in these photos. I haven’t had a chance to check the PCB files and (obviously) my GameShell hasn’t arrived yet. If there’s only this 22 pin cable to run a 54 pin screen, couldn’t it run a 40 pin screen?

I’m also checking with vendors, searching for 3.2 - 3.5" screens with aligned pixels, 320x240 and 480x320; it’s not related to my yet-to-be-delivered GameShell, but I could kill two birds with one stone. Maybe a flock if there’s more people interested!

Is anyone else interested in bigger screens for their beloved GameShells?
Can anyone “in the know” please share some knowledge about this?
Pleeeaseee? :pleading_face:

(*) I’m not an optimist. Also, I’m not a merry man. And I don’t trust men who smile too much.
Above all, I want absolutely nothing to do with the Kelvin timeline. Cheers!

I mean the outer casing, which can put your battery into it. Your battery is much bigger so that it can’t put in any casing

I’ve just received a packet from Japan!!! (Dat Wicked :crazy_face: )
I’m happy. I’m busy. I hope I’ll be able to unbox it tomorrow. If I can’t, God will kill a puppy or something.

What I haven’t received yet are the totally unrelated screens. Or any insightful replies about this stuff, for that matters. No offense intended to @Yormek (you made my day, made me feel “not alone”) or @lqbilbo (I could still use that STL) :sweat_smile:

I mean I’d really love some information on how to use other screens with the GameShell. Maybe @hob286 will drop by and share his wisdom.

I hob-hob-hope so!

Out of interest, what are you planning to primarily use the Gameshell for. I personally do a lot of CRT era emulation, so find the off set pixels somewhat reminiscent of this era; albeit being on the horizontal vs vertical plane. I’m yet to find a shader that mimics this without being a huge drain on resources.

Therein lies another point. With an increased resolution comes an overhead penalty. How have people who have used higher resolutions seen a hit to performance?

I haven’t done any work regarding this, but am making an assumption that the pin discrepancy would be something like the different DVI standards, so if need be, just finding the corresponding signals, finding the connectors and acid dipping a board shouldn’t be too difficult, if you have the facilities to do so.


I have a feeling the fuzzy look was more to do with a bilinear filter, and not the pixel arrangement. Unless you have an exact multiple of the source resolution of your screen, or play in a letterboxed post stamp 1:1 scale, you will either have uneven jagged edges, or have to use a filter. That is probably the source of the blurriness.

From what I’ve experienced with modding GBAs with IPS screens, there was also a diagonal refresh that scanned across the screen every now and then when doing large screen transitions. Supposedly it’s to do with the frame buffer. The gameshell stock screen does something similar unfortunately.

Just thought I’d offer at least some insight, despite not having done this mod. It was my decision to not to try mod, since in my opinion the staggered pixel arrangement of the stock screen, at the limited 320x240 resolution was an optimal compromise between performance and accuracy relative to a CRT.

Re: battery links, I think there are a few threads covering this. I’ll find them after work!

Just for the sake of community however, I might attempt to do this, tricking out my spare gameshell. The screen is on its way out anyway. (I use it A LOT and leave it on overnight/heating up way too much! My fault completely)

On a complete side, depending on which LCD you get, you will need to make a kernel that contains the relevant drivers for it. Find whatever data sheets you can for the ones you’ve ordered so you can put together something before your package of screens arrives. Hopefully by the time you get your head around kernel making, you will be ready to assemble the new screen!

Also I usually smile way too much. I have refrained in this post! You have no idea how much it’s hurts me to do so! Trust what I say with a grain of salt :slight_smile:

1 Like

-Unrelated to screens-

I guess I’d better get this out of the way ASAP…

Dear @javelinface, that was precisely my grain of salt. Mine were quotes from two Klingon characters; I’ve been told I am quite straight-forward and most often too persistent, which are both Klingon traits (not depicted by the re-imagined crap they call the Kelvin timeline in Star Trek). I am tall, physical, noisy (not obnoxious, hopefully!) and fire-blooded. Also, I was raised to do as I say, to “put my money where my mouth is” (strange idiom, I know), so you can count on my word. That was not an excuse, but a light-hearted explanation for my persistence: I’ll keep hammering a problem until it’s either fixed or broken. If broken, I’ll hammer it together and keep at it until fixed. I don’t believe in lost causes. A cause is only lost if you give up.
So hear this deep, husky voice: Don’t you dare giving up smiling!
I got you to smile there, didn’t I? Now, back to our screen issue…

Thanks for your reply. I am delighted to address it :grin:

I’ve read elsewhere that the GameShell screen was “chosen” because of the CRT look. I believe an “aligned” screen module should be an option available either when purchasing the device or from the official store. For the price, it might as well include both screens. Yes, back in the day we used screen limitations to our advantage; we would blow some sprites to create an after-image in games intended to run in CRTs, then the DMG would deserve an entire book on tricks and such… but it’s not the 80s any more. Even then, we used square grids to design sprites, not staggered grids. I understand your point, but staggered pixels give me the creeps.

That leads me nicely to my primary use: making games for it. Think more “Thomas Was Alone” than “Gears Of War”, if you get me. I intend to use Godot or any other engine/framework (PC ~> GS), not talking machine code (I’m used to saying I’m retired from that). Secondary use, if possible (would need an aligned 480x320 screen): 2x square/pixel-perfect GBA emulation, that would be awesome. I’ll be trying other handhelds for that, swapping screens and all. Tertiary use: Pico-8; for this, a bigger screen with aligned pixels for zooming the 128x128 Pico-8 screen would be… what’s more awesome than awesome?

For these, a 480x320 screen would be great: 2x pixel-perfect zoom for the Pico-8 with black borders, perfect fit for GBA games. But I’d still make 320x240 games for you guys :wink:
Beyond that, I’d love to emulate the MSX. Mine is not working now and I’d love to run on a handheld some of the games I made back in the day. I’m actually working on recovering some pre-master tapes I 've got lying around…

You’ve reminded me of the Mad King when he said: “Great minds think alike!” :joy: I also thought of DVI standards when counting the pins in @hob286’s photos and tried to figure out how those numbers matched. That made me think of using the HDMI output with a Raspberry HDMI screen, but I soon found 480x320 means over 50€. Ouch. Not to mention the lack of elegance of those HDMI cables and adapters, when compared to hob’s clean solution. And then there’s the issue of powering up such screen, which I’d have to sort out. This is the first Raspberry-like device I own, mind you.

THIS. I had an RG300, IPS 480x320, staggered arrangement. 2x the original GBA resolution. Point, no filter: fuzzy-fuzzy-fuzzy. FUGLY. It took me a while noticing the staggered alignment (dumb me), I thought it was my fault and tried everything I could think of… and it physically can’t provide “bigger pixels”, because they are not aligned. I even messed with the bilinear filter, to undo it then apply it; it turned out like the point/no filter and that’s when I noticed a drop of water on my screen (yes, it was water, I drink a lot of water, I swear), looked at it and yelled “THEY ARE NOT ALIIIGNEEED!!!
If it hadn’t been an integer scale, I’d also had reached the “bilinear’s fault” conclusion…

True. Frame buffer and screen sync. Funny thing, using thicker cables (like IDE cables) instead of flex ones can get rid of the “diagonal tearing” with some screens. I’ve already played the Screen Lottery before… Heh, it seems I’m about to play it again…

Anyway, I can live with that. I even made transitions similar to that effect on purpose for other systems :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye: (S60 and OG n-gage come to mind…)

I strongly appreciate your reply. This and your work on the DEOT image… man, you’ve earned Heaven tenfold. Still, I wish you could have a look at the RG300’s IPS screen. Heck, I wish you could use it with the GameShell. 480x320, staggered arrangemet: you may not need the CRT shaders. Maybe a “dim every other row” shader or even a simple fullscreen semi-transparent overlay would give you that CRT feel you like, with a crisper image and not much performance hit. See? I’m not into this just for myself! :crazy_face:

I was never a “hardware guy”. Yes, I got to design robots and such, but never got to design PCBs or anything like that, so I never got to learn about that. I am about to. Still, I’d like to know what to connect where. Like, can I connect one of these screens to the GS motherboard (drivers apart) or do I need to plug it to the GS display PCB (and then I’d need an adapter PCB like hob did)? Because if I can connect the screen straight to the motherboard, then I can hammer those drivers in. And if I can’t then I’ll have to learn some stuff I don’t know and I could use some tips on where to start. I say this quite often: I’ll do what I can, I’ll learn what I don’t know and I’ll ask when in doubt. I might ask a lot.

Also, don’t rush for those battery links. Thanks again, don’t worry. I have some BL-5Cs and several old Nokia phones I’m using for charging them. If we could get more people into screens and less into batteries this thread would rock. Well, not like it does not rock right now, or like batteries are not important… but…
Could we possibly focus on getting bigger, better screens for our GameShells, please?

Trying not to hurt people’s feelings and not being misunderstood… in writing… is exhausting.
Doh, another long post. You’ll either love it or want to kick my teeth. Sorry. Thank you.

1 Like

Holy moly, you remind me of me, ie VERY verbose, and basically speak a conscious thought stream 24/7. Yes indeed, you made me smile! This is a good thing! (at least for us) Well, besides me being short, albeit also very physical and VERY noisy - I play the trombone for a living :stuck_out_tongue: (see DP ;))
Persistence is a good thing! The squeaky wheel gets the oil - And I’m hoping that we can get VERY oily. (That’s kinda what I was hoping to do re: the DEOT themes; lure in more people to do more development on more things, and reinvigorate the devs to fall in love with the console again - It’s what I think happened with the DEOT v1+ image I made last year, and resulted in a graphics driver that actually works, much to the community’s credit!)

Not going in any order, because my brain doesn’t work that way, I thought I’d bring your attention to this fantastic little tidbit of information. I think it will please you greatly!

Well. That is, if you like old information. That post was made in August of last year. @Veronica, did you have any more news on this?
If there was some high profile official IPS screen coming, that would make having to make our own adaptor boards, writing our own drivers/building kernels, and relying on the LCD Lottery a moot point. But alas. I’m not holding my breath.

YES YES YES!! THANK GOODNESS YOU ARE SOMEONE WHO DESIRES THE SCREEN FOR ALL THE RIGHT REASONS! You have no idea how happy this makes me, re: whole number integer multiples for screen resolutions!

After work today, I actually did just go to my local brick and mortar electronics store. They didn’t stock any Li-Ion/LiPo batteries. Grr. But sounds like you know what the form factor of the battery is, which means you no doubt found the threads with people linking where they got their batteries from - And the strange reversed polarity issue! They also didn’t have any small 3.5" screens that weren’t physically mind melded to a Raspberry Pi HAT. I’m not willing to fork out that much money for something, just to tear it apart, and hope that it works. I’m but a poor starving musician.

I LOVE the concept of having a water droplet magnifier! I’m surprised that even with the integer scale being, well, an integer, it still had a bad time! I suppose, that could also be to do with the alignment also being offset 90 degrees to what a CRT would be, although that shouldn’t make any difference for GBA, considering it’s well, aligned pixels. For the sake of this, I am in agreeable with having a 480x320 screen. Just not any bigger. Boy does the interface lag like crazy using 640x480. And trying to play games on those high resolution is also shocking! This is even using a 1400MHz overclocked machine.

Are you … referring to Symbian S60? Oh boy… That was a time. And N-Gage. I was almost tempted to find a way to get N-Gage games running. The fact that you wrote things for that era shows your calibre. :slight_smile:

My PCB designing only went as far as designing pre-amps, and other musical hardware for work purposes. Nothing extreme. I just remember going into the university a lot and using their labs! I probably could have done it myself, acid bathing it with coca-cola, but that’s how you get ants ;).

I like the way you talk. Just the way you think, I’m assuming? It’s for this reason I too write a lot. I actually wasn’t sure if you were serious re: not trusting people who smile a lot! I know a lot of people IRL are like, “Wait, this guy is… suspiciously nice… I don’t trust him!! SHUNN!”, so I think i get where you’re coming from. I loved your post! Good to see there are few of us with some real fervent energy! (And whoops, there I go as well with a giant wall of text. Better than the radio silence I suppose! :slight_smile:)

1 Like

Correct… it’s 5000 mah from what I remember

Ok, once again I must publicly thank @javelinface. You’ll grow tired of that :crazy_face:

We’re like-minded individuals. We wish for the same things for the same (right) reasons, now we just need to make them happen. I’m so glad this made you happy, you made me happy as well, we can compete to make each other happier until our heads blow up. Or maybe not. You choose.
I know my sense of humor is… not for everyone.

It had a bad time because of the staggered pixels. I’ve crafted this cute image to illustrate the concept as clearly as I can:

Think each pixel (which in this example is 6x, integer scaling FTW!) is actually a real 1:1 screen pixel.
First image: aligned pixels, the good stuff.
Second image: staggered pixels. But wait, there’s more!
Third image: staggered pixels approximated (by hand) to the real-life result. There’s contamination from surrounding pixels (think “light leakage”); I only retouched the black pixels to illustrate it but it happens everywhere, lighter pixels contaminate darker ones. It results in pixels looking round-ish, dirty, fuzzy. If this happens at 1x, imagine a 2x zoom. FUGLY. THIS is what gives me the creeps. If on top of a 2x staggered zoom you put a bilinear filter you could as well put a drill through my brain, that would be less painful (remember the brain cells by themselves cannot feel pain, it’s the rest of your body that hurts and your brain tells you what hurts. Doh, enough biology).

Coke-etching sounds extreme, not the first time I hear of it. You got more PCB designing experience than me. One would think I was more into biology… not really.

I like the way you write, it seems we both write the way we talk. But I don’t think you write a lot. You know there’s people who get paid for writing… we might be missing a chance to “become rich fast” (sic) here and now. Hey, these forums are for us to write, right? No-one should complain when we dooo… :crazy_face:
Ever heard “defeats the purpose”? :rofl:

YOU are suspiciously nice. I don’t like you because you’re nice: I like you because you’re suspicious.
Now, it was a quote from Kor. When the Organians were invaded and occupied by the Klingons, they sat and smiled, and did nothing. Uh-uh. Not to be trusted. I don’t think you’d fit there…

We got a community of passionate people talking about stuff we love. I don’t think “radio silence” would be an option.

Oh, I almost forgot I came here to tell you guys one of the two packets I was to receive, with screens and such, has been sent back to China. So about half the screens I was expecting are not going to be delivered; I’ll have to find another supplier, negotiate, pay, wait… The pain…

Now you gave me an idea. Waveshare makes screens, sells the one for the GameHat… 3.5", 480x320, I’ve already seen that… I’ll look into it!

1 Like

Sorry for late reply.
I use the Gameshell display PCB,just want to use the original backlight driver.
I am a beginner at this:)

1 Like

You’re the only person that’s successfully done this… I’ve gotten so far as getting the PCB made but they won’t install the components (lcd ribbon connectors) so I haven’t given the go ahead because I don’t even know where to find them or solder them even if I do.

1 Like