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Guides

How To Install Our Game Boy Zero Brackets

This guide will walk you through how to install one of our Game Boy Zero brackets in a DMG shell. There are four main components to our brackets: Mounting Brace (comes with all of our Screen bracket variations), Screen (with or without center Joy-Con), Speaker, and Left Joy-Con. These can all be purchased separately or as a discounted full set.

Disclaimer: This guide was written for informational purposes only. I assume no liability or responsibility for damaged equipment or for any injury you may incur attempting to replicate this guide.


Table Of Contents

  1. What You Will Need
  2. DMG Shell Modifications
  3. Screen Bracket
  4. Speaker Bracket
  5. Joy-Cons and Joy-Con Bracket

1. What you will need

General

  • Glue (Gorilla, Super, etc)
  • Kapton tape
  • DMG Shell and all the buttons / silicone pads associated with a Game Boy Zero build
  • 12mm step drill bit

For Brackets with Joy-Con Analog Sticks

  • Joy-Con Analog Stick(s)
  • BitBuilt Joy-Con breakout boards for the Joy-Con sticks
  • M1.4 x 4mm screws (x4 per bracket)
  • 000 Philips screwdriver
  • 15mm step drill bit

For the Speaker bracket

  • A typical 28mm speaker. Speakers with a larger magnet will not work for this bracket.
  • M2 x 4mm screws (x2)
  • 01 Philips screwdriver

2. DMG Shell Modifications

Front Shell Screw Posts

This guide assumes you’ve already modified the DMG shell to accommodate a new 3.5″ screen, so this won’t be covered. Just make sure the screen bevel is nice and flat. The only modifications that are specific to these brackets are not to remove two middle shell posts (highlighted in blue) that hold the two halves together and the center most post (highlighted in red) which will nee to be removed for the center Joy-Con bracket.

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3. Installing the Screen Bracket

Installing the Mounting Brace

In order to keep the screen bracket “glueless” we actually need to glue down the screen bracket mounting brace. The idea is, you want to permanently glue this brace into place so the screen bracket can “hook” underneath it and be held down.

  • Start by test fitting the brace in the shell to make sure everything fits smoothly. The brace is uni-directional and the beveled edge goes towards the DMG shell.
  • Once you’ve test fitted the brace, apply a small amount of glue to the beveled side and hold it against the DMG shell.
  • Allow the glue to set. Note: depending on the glue you use could impact how long it takes for the glue to set.


Inserting the Screen Bracket

  • With the mounting brace glued down, place the screen bracket into the brace at an angle.
  • Lower the bracket down so it’s flush to the front shell.
  • The bracket should easily lay over the two middle shell posts.
  • Make sure it’s sitting nice and flush before moving to the next step.

Pilot Hole for Buttons and Joy-Con

Now with the Screen bracket flush against the front shell, it’s time to drill those pilot holes.

  • Each button and Joy-Con bracket will have a cut-away drill guide.
  • Using these drill guides, drill a pilot hole for the X and Y buttons as well as the center Joy-Con.
  • Remove the screen and button bracket from the shell.
  • You can now cut the drill guides out using an X-Acto blade or other similar knife. Note: some sanding may be required if you can cleanly cut the cut-away guides.
  • Put the screen bracket aside for now.


Drill the Button and Joy-Con Holes

With your pilot holes drilled, grab your step drill bit. The best solution here would be to use a drill press but not everyone has one of those. It’s my suggestion to use your step bit by hand or with a hand tool. This will minimize the chance of going over the 11mm target diameter for the buttons.

  • Using your step bit, carefully drill out the X and Y button holes to the 11mm target diameter.
  • Optionally, you can do a single soft turn to the 12mm mark to give the button hole a bevel.
  • This is also optional but a good fine grit sandpaper will smooth out any rough edges of your newly drilled button holes.
  • If you purchased the bracket with center Joy-Con it’s the same concept as the X and Y buttons. You’ll need a 15 mm step bit in order for the Joy-Con to fit.

Installing the Screen Bracket

  • Now is a good time to Install the screen into the bracket. The screen is meant to mount in the upside down orientation.
  • Apply some non-conductive tape to the back of the screen and the bracket. I like to use Kapton tape because it’s very thin and the adhesive is strong. This will ensure the screen doesn’t move around.
  • If your screen has a screen protector on it, leave that on until you’re ready to put your entire build together.
  • Note: the image shows the cut-away guides still intact but at this stage those should be cut off.
  • For center Joy-Con installation, see the Joy-Con install section further in this guide.

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4. Installing The Speaker Bracket

Shell Modifications

  • You will need to modify the speaker area of the shell slightly to accommodate the speaker bracket.
  • Cut two notches out of the shell where the picture shows.
  • This doesn’t need to be super precise, we’re just cutting away some of the plastic to make room for the screw posts of the bracket.

Glue Down The Screw Posts

Before moving forward with this step, make sure the speaker you are using works with this bracket. Do a dry fit first.

  • Using two M2 x 4mm screws, attach the bracket to the screw posts. This will ensure the screws line up properly. It might help to lay everything into the sell.
  • The orientation of the posts and bracket should look like the image. Screw posts are highlighted in red.
  • With the bracket now screwed down to the screw posts, apply some glue to the bottoms of the posts.
  • Lay the bracket and posts back into the shell and firmly hold them in place until the glue sets. Depending on what kind of glue you are using, this may take several minutes.

Gameboy Zero Speaker Bracket Installed

Install The Speaker

  • Once you are sure the glue has set, remove the bracket by unscrewing the two M2 screws.
  • Before installing the speaker, make sure you’ve attached the positive and negative wires.
  • Install the speaker into the speaker well and orient it so the wires are in the same direction as the photo. There’s a “window” cut out of the bracket to accommodate the wires and solder pads of the speaker.
  • Screw down the bracket using your M2 x 4mm screws.

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5. Installing Left Joy-Con Bracket and Joy-Cons

Gameboy Zero Bottom Joy-Con Bracket

Joy-Con Bracket Pilot Hole

  • Place the Joy-Con bracket in the shell as shown in the image.
  • Similar to the Screen Bracket, use the pilot hole guide to drill a pilot hole and remove the bracket.
  • Using your larger step bit and the information from the Screen Bracket section, drill a 15mm diameter hold to accommodate the Joy-Con’s analog stick.
  • Test fit the Joy-Con to ensure it fits through the hole you just drilled.
  • Cut out the drill guide from the bracket.

Installing The Bracket

  • With the bracket removed from the shell, insert the Joy-Con into the bracket.
  • It should easy slide into the bracket and the the top of the Joy-Con base should be flush with the bottom of the bracket. If it isn’t flush or you’re having issues inserting the Joy-Con into the bracket, cut the wedges on the Joy-Con highlighted in red in the photo.
  • If the Joy-Con comfortably fits into the bracket, remove the Joy-Con then apply glue to the back of the bracket.
  • Lay the bracket into the front shell and firmly hold it into place allowing the glue to set.


Installing the Joy-Con and Breakout Board

A note on the BitBuilt Joy-Con breakout boards. Unfortunately, these boards don’t have both sides labeled and to save space, they are mounted upside down in our brackets. Please take note of what pin is what before installing it or better yet have your wires already installed.

  • With the bracket glued into place, grab your BitBuilt breakout board.
  • Attach the Joy-Con’s flex cable to the breakout board. With the Joy-Con facing down, the proper orientation for the break board is for it to be facing up. Joy-Con down, breakout board up.
  • With the breakout board attached to the Joy-Con, Insert the Joy-Con into the bracket and use two M1.4 x 4mm screws to attach the Joy-Con to the bracket.
  • Now take two more M1.4mm screws and mount the breakout board upside down into the bracket while being careful not to damage the fragile FPC ribbon.
  • Finally, add some Kapton tape to the back of the Joy-Con.

Installing the Center Joy-Con

In order to mount the center Joy-Con’s breakout board as intended, you will need to also purchase the speaker bracket.

  • Follow the same process of attaching the breakout board to the Joy-Con and screwing down the Joy-Con to the center bracket location.
  • If the speaker bracket isn’t installed yet, please see the speaker bracket install section higher up in this guide.
  • With the speaker bracket installed, screw down the Joy-Con breakout board using two M1.4 x 4mm screws.
  • Add some Kapton tape to the back of the Joy-Con.

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