Gameboy Color TEARDOWN!

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The Gameboy Color in Teal!

The only tool and technique you will need to open this is a small flathead screwdriver and, well… screw driving skills.  There is some finagling with the external screws, but you can get it!  It’s pretty simple and compact in there!

On that note:  Two interesting things!  One, It’s super compact with lots of hard soldering on the inside.  I point this out because I think it’s a huge factor in what makes it feel like a simple object on the outside, molded to closely contain everything inside.  The other is what you will later see int he buttons.  They’re just silicone rubber and molded plastic!  I was hoping to find some button I could appropriate, but instead, just little nubbins!  But I suppose this was done to save on damageable parts and space, making the contact points directly in the fiberglass board.  Anyway, read on!  It’s kinda neat how simple it appears on a large scale, but how complicated it is on the board.

My guess is the casing you see is injection molded.  Flip it over and look at the back.

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You’ll have to remove these ridiculous tri-wing screws with a tiny flathead if you can’t get a tri-wing driver in a timely manner.  That’s what I did.  You have to jimmy them around until they slowly turn with the weak torque you can provide.  (P.S.  My gameboy was missing it’s battery case.  I used aluminum tape for years…  AA batteries.)

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Pop the case off!

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Then this plate from the back side that holds the game steady in the access point with four phillips head screws.  Plate appears to be stainless.  All the screws look like galvanized steel.  Three on the interior may be brass.  But it is unclear

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Now look at the fiberglass circuit board.

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It’s held into place by three phillips screws.  These are the ones that may be brass.  Pull those out and you can pull out the board and flip it!  Note: At the top of the board is the connection point for the game cartridge.

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Before you remove the board, detach the LCD screen. There are little black switches to pop out on either side of that red tape. Then just pull out the tab.

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Board removed:

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This reveals the active side of the speaker that plays MIDI tones in the bottom right hand of the board, and the underside of the buttons on the face of the gameboy. FullSizeRender 10

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Also removable is the cover of the power button and the infrared sensor cover.

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Power Switch

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Infrared on right, power indicator in red LED at top.

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Power switch and LED covers both present on the side of the object (left to right).

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The black dots on the back of the buttons appear to be magnets or something conductive to make contact with these components in the white portion of the board.

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Here too is the volume knob.

You can remove the LCD screen with a black foam padding on the back by prying it lightly with anything flat and sturdy with rounded edges (so as not to damage the thin steel casing).  I used a really old flathead screwdriver that wasn’t sharp at all.

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The LCD Screen.  That’s the last part to remove!

Other parts on the board include a lot of hard soldered stuff.

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This includes an optical inverter (right), the CPU (center), regulated power supply module (top left), SHARP chip of some identifiable kind based on number (center left), and an integrated circuit (bottom right).

And here it is all exploded and knolled!

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Thanks for looking!


LeapFrog Explorer Globe Teardown

For my first teardown I explored the inner workings of LeapFrog’s Explorer Smart Globe. This educational toy functions by touching the pen to a spot on the globe and manipulating the rotational knob and buttons. Users can choose to either learn more about the different areas or test their knowledge in the challenge modes.

Teardown Photos Screenshot_NormalAppImage(1) Screenshot_NormalAppImage(2)


The initial teardown was pretty simple and mainly comprised of just loosening screws. Upon further inspection, I realized that the globe itself needed to be dismantled, which revealed secondary circuitry dealing with the interaction of tapping the pen on the globe’s surface.

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There are many components in this assembly but, as a summary, the parts are made of hard and soft plastics, metal and rubber for many of the electrical components, paper in the interior of the globe and on the speaker, magnet on the speaker, the copper and substrate of the PCB, and a printed circuit/conductive material on the paper of the globe interior. The plastics are likely injection molded and the PCBs, after they are manufactured, are hand soldered. The hemispherical paper circuit, interestingly enough, has no seams and therefore must have been vacuum formed or molded somehow.

20150923_132043   Parts spread out

What interested me most about this design is the paper circuit on the interior of the globe. It makes complete sense, knowing what the function of the product is but it was something I had never seen before and wasn’t really expecting. In a society that is so used to touch screen, this concept of tapping something and receiving a response is very obvious or “natural” and not given a second thought. This design however uses a different system than your phone’s touchscreen and it was exciting to see the sheer mass of touchpoints individually printed onto the paper. The other point of this design that interested and puzzled me is the two LEDs that were in the white plastic piece attached to the blue shaft and the corresponding one on the bottom side of the globe interaction circuit. Due to their position and the fact that we don’t see light from these, it makes me think that it’s some sort of IR sensor. However I also can’t figure out why there would be an IR sensor in this location either! Hmmm…




Teardown—LG Cosmos VN250—Julia

I took apart an old cell phone with a QWERTY keyboard. It was surprisingly simple—only held together by a 14 little screws and glue. Here’s the process:

I used only these three tools (and my fingernails):

  • Phillips head screwdriver
  • Flat head screwdriver
  • Prying device


The back of the phone came off easily, and each subsequent layer just had a couple of screws and some adhesive to get through. As far as I could tell, everything in this phone was metal or plastic.

  1. Take off the back of the phone.
  2. Remove battery.
  3. Unscrew screws in the back.
  4. Remove the plastic covers for charging connection, micro-usb, headphones on the sides and bottom.
  5. Pry off the plate which holds this plastic to the QWERTY keyboard and reveal the logic board.
  6. Take off the buttons on the sides (volume, power).
  7. The metal piece covering the middle of the logic board can be removed to reveal the Qualcom QSC6055 processor. More on the logic board below…
  8. Unscrew two more screws to reveal the QWERTY keypad and plastic piece underneath.
  9. The LCD/Numeric Keypad Cable threads through a hole in the black plastic beneath the logic board. Unscrew two more screws and pry off this black plastic.
  10. Underneath that black plastic are the data connections to the screen and the front keypad. Carefully peel off the tape that holds the connections down and unplug them. The screen will lift out. The keypad is behind the data board.





Now, more on the logic board:


Here’s what I learned about all that a circuit board contains:

The circuit board holding microchips and processors inside a cell phone serves as the brains of the outfit. A digital signal processor, or DSP, converts an analog signal — your voice — to digital for transmission through the provider’s network. The DSP also converts a received digital signal to analog and moves the analog to the phone’s speaker and your ear. Radio frequency transmitters and receivers handle the signal as it moves to and from the phone. A microprocessor on the circuit board controls the phone’s various other functions, such as the keyboard and display. The phone’s operating system works from a memory chip, and the power management system keeps the device operating under battery power. A baseband chip serves as the phone’s antenna, grabbing and emitting digital signals when the phone is in use.

Here are all the parts I could identify:

  • Qualcomm CPU QSC6055
  • Micro SD slot
  • 1.2 Megapixel camera
  • Speaker
  • Audio jack
  • 3.7V Lithium-Ion Polymer Battery
  • LCD screen
  • QWERTY and regular keypad
  • ZIF connectors
  • Glued down cable ribbons

I couldn’t identify all the parts, but I did marvel at how simple the complex circuitry appeared.

I think the ribbon cable connectors are so elegant. It keeps everything very organized and clean (and flat), but the connections are very strong. I like the contradiction of these paper thin connectors and the power that is supplied through them. I’m always surprised by how sturdy and functional the connections are, especially on ZIF connectors.

Back of the screen with plastic covered connector tape

I am also intrigued by the pressure sensors that are beneath all of the buttons. They are so sturdy, and the keyboard itself can withstand a lot of damage before the sensors beneath are affected.

The layers of the QWERTY keyboard: slider, cover, letters, sensors

Andrea – Tearin it Down (a.k.a. Teardown) – Cell Phone

This is the same model of the cell phone I used in middle school.  I wish I could say I had fond memories, but this was the one cell phone I completely destroyed, even before this project.  That being said, prying it apart was way more difficult than I anticipated…


Lookin’ Good.


Nothing too drastic.


Pretty standard.

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The cool little silver bubbles [right photo] are actually the buttons(?!)


The back looks really complicated.  I have no idea what’s going on.


This is where the struggle got real.  So real.


Popped out the screen.

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Front flip display (left), main display (right).  They’re a single entity.


The end!

Alexa: Automatic Stapler Teardown

Who doesn’t love an automatic stapler? These powerful machines will run a staple through up to 25 sheets of paper at a time, using nothing but an optical sensor and a good solid “thwack” from within.


I started by prying apart the carapace, and found a treasure trove of goodies.

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Springs, wires, and interlocking gears comprised the main mechanical component, and I also scored an engine, an optical sensor, and a really neat circuit board.


I’m not sure what this thing does? Maybe the crowd will know.

Continue reading “Alexa: Automatic Stapler Teardown”

Arjun Kalyanpur – Teardown – Samsung Sliding Mobile Phone

Hi all,

Here are my photos from the teardown of a slide-open Samsung mobile phone. Enjoy my overly detailed record!

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I removed the backing battery cover as well as the battery, which revealed six miniature Philips head screws. After removing these screws, I was able to remove the plastic panel covering the circuitry as well as the buttons.

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I then removed what I believe to be the speaker as well as some button controls, seen below:IMG_9115IMG_9127 copy

Next, I noticed a single screw holding a smaller microprocessor board near the top of the phone. I removed this next, and believe it to be the headphone jack.

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I moved on the top half of the phone — the screen. Two screws were removed, allowing the screen to come apart and reveal the digitizer — the component which converts our analog actions (press, swipe, etc.) into digital signals. Also seen in the photos (and labeled) are the camera, camera flash, vibration motor and headphone jack.

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Phone screen (left) and digitizer — Front View
Phone front (left) and digitizer with other elements -- Back View
Phone front (left) and digitizer — Back View

Next, I peeled off the “keyboard”, which turned out to be a sticker placed above capacitors. Also visible is a spring clip which gives the phone it’s quality snap back and forth open/close feel.


Spring clip labeled
Spring clip labeled

Lastly, I removed the main circuitboard for disassembly. I could not find data sheets on all the components as the phone is a bit outdated, so I did my best to guess what they were. Also, I believe this plastic phone was almost entirely constructed using injection molding techniques. The exceptions are of course the electronics as well as the screen.

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Here is the final teardown photo. I had a blast!


Tear Down – Motorola Droid Phone

This is my post for the teardown assignment.  My teardown object of choice was a Motorola Droid cellphone.


Taking apart the phone was relatively simple.

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The tiny screws gave me some trouble, but it was the tiny tiny screws that were the most difficult.  I could not find a small enough screw driver, so I tried drilling it with a dremel.


I wanted to remove the LCD screen.  After failing to remove the screws, I tried prying it off and that is when I cracked the screen.  This is when I began to consider my safety and called the tear down complete.

A list of the removed parts (with pictures):

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Hard drive with ram?


This is the part that housed the MicoSD card and Sim card


Micro SD card


Sim card


Some other misc. parts

This was a fun project.  I enjoyed taking an object that was once precious to me and just tearing it apart and destroying it (for educational purposes).



Hello my name is Oscar.

This is my Teardown. Please watch my video. Password / teardown






Touch screen digitizer


LCD Screen Display


Li-ion Polymer Battery 3.7V. The NAND flash memory is a Micron MLC chip: MT29F64G08TAAWP



Sync Port and logic board. Apple-branded Samsung-manufactured ARM with SDRAM



Antenna and circuitry. Broadcom BCM4325 Wi- Fi and Bluetooth chip


Volume Button


Headphone jack








Sync port rubber seal


Very tiny small miniature screws

Tools used

  • Small screwdriver for very tiny small miniature screws
  • Heat gun
  • Pick?