If there’s one thing we really like about modern portable hardware, it’s the fact that we no longer have to dig out AA or AAA batteries to run them. While the Game Boy had more modest power demands than many of its rivals, it still required a steady stock of batteries if you were a serious gamer; sure, rechargeable AAs have come down in price over the decades, you can’t help but pine for a more ‘modern’ solution – and that’s where RetroSix comes in.
We’ve covered this UK-based firm in the past – they do an amazing line in modded consoles, including pimped-out Game Boy Advance and Sega Game Gear systems – but we recently took stock of another of their products, the CleanJuice battery mod for the good old DMG-001.
Available in two capacities, the CleanJuice mod for Game Boy comprises of the CleanJuice board – which does all of the clever stuff – and the battery itself. Installing the mod does require you to open up the Game Boy and unclip some of the contact springs inside the battery compartment (the official guide recommends you remove three, but we got away with just taking out the bottom two), but it’s less scary than you might imagine and took us a few minutes to fit. The XL edition is a little more complicated as you have to cut away some of the plastic inside the battery compartment to get it installed – it’s sporting a thicker battery, as you might expect.
Once installed, the CleanJuice is capable of powering a stock Game Boy for over 24 hours of use (almost 30 if you opt for the XL version), and charges using a USB-C connector on the back. You can even use the CleanJuice battery to charge your smartphone, or other USB-C devices, which is neat. Another plus is that you can play and charge at the same time, something which isn’t possible when using rechargeable AA batteries – and the entire console feels lighter, too.
Compared to the very latest AA rechargeables – some of which offer 2500mAh capacity – the CleanJuice’s stamina isn’t all that impressive, but for most people, it’s going to be a lot more convenient. It means no more hunting around for AAs, and, if you’ve previously used rechargeable AAs, you can finally ditch the bulky and slow wall charger (these often take several hours to charge AA batteries, unless you buy a fancy expensive one).
RetroSix creates CleanJuice units for the GBA too, and is even working on a wireless means of charging these batteries – the fact that we will soon be able to top-up our beloved beige brick using a wireless charger fills us with all kinds of joy, we’re not going to lie.
Thanks to RetroSix for supplying the CleanJuice and CleanJuice XL batteries used in this piece.