Addendum: Thoughts on Lynx power and screen (and Sega game gear too)

I just posted an article from my friend Mark who went and got him a Atari Lynx. Fantastic system. Well, I was so impressed I decided to look into a Sega Game Gear which is very similar (I liked the Sega Saturn and this handheld has a lot of the same games).

Now, my biggest problem with the Game Gear and the Lynx is the lousy battery life. If you get four or five hours on your 6 AA batteries you was considered blessed. I really don’t want to be shelling out for 6 AA batteries every other time I play with the console. And having to plug it in or carry around a bulky battery extender defeats the purpose of it being a portable.

Now, if you want to shell out $100 – $300 you can get the McGill upgrade for the systems which replaces the screen with a new clearer screen and doubles the battery life. This upgrade is hard to find and very hard to install. The McGill upgrade does have a fabulous screen but what if you just wanted increase battery life. New tech screens wouldn’t account for doubling the battery life so gives? So I did some research and found the answer.


This is from a Sega Game Gear but the Lynx is the same. Both systems use a Fluorescent bulb as the back light. This was the state of the technology at the time as high intensity white LEDs were in their infancy.

Fluorescent bulbs are very power hungry devices (they take a very high voltage to start). So, what if you replaced the  fluorescent bulb with some bright white LEDs? Would it double the battery life? The answer is YES and some smart people have already figured out how to do that for about $10 – $50.

So, I have put down a bid on a Sega Game Gear that needs some work and when I get it and IF I can get it to work (a lot Game Gear of the era had capacitor issues, which should be easy to fix) I am going to get an LED upgrade and see whats what.

This won’t address the washed out screen of the systems but is a lot cheaper than the hundreds for the McGill upgrade and I could live with a slightly washed out screen.

Note: coming up is a refurbish of an Atari 7800 and the installation of a composite mod, building a $20 shelf that holds about 90+ cartridges and back to the Parsec 2600 homebrew game.

Later dudes, Field Mouse