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The RetroSix CleanScreen for Sega Game Gear

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CleanScreen Installed

RetroSix cleanscreen for Sega Game Gear

The CleanScreen is another one of the few Sega Game Gear screens available for upgrading the old, outdated and often damaged consoles.  

Taken from RetroSix website:

‘We decided to improve that by making an easy to install, ultra low power, modern screen driver board, that allows you to use the TFT screen (sold separately).’

What makes the RetroSix Screen different

Like other screens on the market this uses TFT LCD’s.

What makes this stand out from the previous models of boards is the minimal removal of parts and the ease of install.  This was the first to market with easy install flex cables (RetroKai uses a PCB).  RetroSix also allow you to purchase parts separately allowing you more freedom to source parts from them or from other suppliers.

Like the much more expensive McWill, this has the ability to create a VGA out from the board.  I have used this myself and it works well enough.

Wire free kit
Sega Game Gear screen comparison
This is to compare what you get when compared to other manufacturers. *Parts Removed Include the Screen and Light Tube

Installing the new CleanScreen Display

Installing the LCD is similar to those before it, aside from the fact that this can be installed with easy install flex cables.  The install instructions are both sent out with the boards as well as held on the RetroSix Wiki pages.  These instructions are both easy to read and also seem very professional in there production.  Within the instructions are both the wireless and the flex install instructions.

I have used both the easy install and the wired instructions. I found the easy install kit, surprisingly easy to install, however my experience of using this kit is that when something is not working it’s difficult to troubleshoot what is wrong with the install. I much prefer installs using wires, as I generally start installing in a certain order to ensure it works as I go.

SYF Sega Game Gear LCD install points

One thing that supprised me when installing the board was the different use of terminology when comparing to the boards I had installed previously from other brands.  

All of the other manufacturers use the same solder points for D0, D1, D2 and D3, RetroSix are different.  This happens again with the 2 points marked as VSYNC and HSYNC (CL2, RES and DWO).  the table here (compiled by Mathijs of SYF) best shows the different naming convention and is also a great table to use as a reference.

Equipment needed to install the screen:

  • Soldering Iron
  • Solder
  • Flux
  • Wire – I use 28AWG solid core wire (or the wire free kit – Sold separately)
  • Nippers for cutting 
Removing components from Sega Game Gear
Removing unneeded components helps with overall weight of the console as well as giving more room for wires
Wired install of CleanScreen

CleanScreen compatability

Currently the Screen is compatible with 2 versions of the Sega Game Gear, the VA0 and the VA1, also known as the 2 ASIC and the 1 ASIC boards.  You can find the model by looking at the board. The board in this post is a two ASIC, you can tell by the 2 chips on the right side of the board.

RetroSix are constantly developing new products and I have seen Luke in the Discords discussing progress as well as a YouTube video showing some of his progress.

 

CleanScreen Sonic

Instructions and guides for installing CleanScreen Kit

Link to the official install instructions here

This, a video from Macho Nacho Productions from YouTube who has installed the screen.  He also gives a review of his experience on the screen.  This is also one of my favourite videos due to the awesome shell used in the build 🙂

How do I use the Screen?

Cleanscreen Features

Where can I Buy a RetroSix CleanScreen?

RetroSix are a UK based store who also distribute to many places worldwide.

As well as the official RetroSix Website, here are a list of their distributers around the world:

USA https://handheldlegend.com

Japan https://jabberretro.theshop.jp

Australia https://retrogamingparts.com.au

Germany https://retroreiz.de/ 

Ireland https://www.theretrogamecorner.com/

What else does RetroSix Have for the Sega Game Gear?

RetroSix have a whole host of products for the Game Gear, in fact that’s where I get the shells I use in my Custom Shells.  I would recommend having a look, they have a whole host of accessories and as mentioned before, they have a discord where they talk about up and coming projects.

My Thoughts

The RetroSix CleanScreen
Overall
3.8
  • Features
  • Ease of install
  • Build Quality
  • Availability

Summary

The RetroSix CleanScreen is a great addition to the Game Gear upgrade catalogue. I have had a few issues with the easy install, however this has usually been due to the Game Gear board needing fixing.  Before this release I was using the Chinese clones of McWill.  This is definitely a step up from that.  It feels premium and has a good price point.

I would definitely recommend this to people wanting to install a new screen.  For me, I stay away from the wire free kit. This is because you need to know what version of the Game Gear you will need which is great for people who are upgrading one screen and know what they need. If you mod a few and hold some stock, having a bulk load of the kits doesn’t seem productive.

Although the screen brackets are not included, they are cheap and RetroSix have also uploaded these to the Web for you to download and 3D print should you have the tools.

Pros

  • Works on both VA0 and VA1 Models
  • Vibrant colours
  • Product support through Discord channel
  • Easy install can be purchased separately
  • VGA compatibility

Cons

  • No IPS support yet
  • The Data lines are named/numbered different (only an issues if you are use to installing other brands)

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