Orange

What is Orange FM?

Orange FM is a modern cartridge for the Game Boy family of handhelds. It is currently under development, and it not yet released to the public. In the future, I hope to have it available for purchase as an assembled unit, or as a DIY project for advanced hobbyists.

Features

Compatibility

Mono Audio Output Through Console SpeakerStereo Audio Through On-Cart Headphone Amp
Original Game Boy (DMG)Yes*Yes
Game Boy Pocket (MGB)Yes*Yes
Game Boy Light (MGL)Yes*Yes
Game Boy Color (CGB)Yes**Yes
Game Boy Advance (AGB)NoYes
Game Boy Advance SP (AGS)NoYes
Super Game BoyYes (Through TV)Yes
Game Boy PlayerNoYes
Analogue PocketNo***Yes
FunnyPlaying GBCNoYes


* Quiet volume
** Loud volume
*** A future firmware update from Analogue may add speaker output

FAQ

How much would an assembled Orange FM cartridge cost?

I'm not able to answer exactly at this time - a lot will come down to cost of production. These are dense, complicated circuit boards compared to your average Game Boy flash cartridge.

How hard would assembling my own cart be?

Building your own Orange FM cart from scratch will require experience with fine-pitch SMD soldering. Additionally, there is one QFN package chip you'll need to solder with hot air, hot plate, etc. So this is not a soldering project for beginners!

It is possible I will be able to make a partially-assembled version available that has the more difficult soldering already complete.

What is the situation with the antenna / reception?

Orange FM supports both a built-in antenna (which requires nothing to be attached to the cart), as well as an external antenna connected to the cart's 3.5mm antenna/headphone jack.

The built-in antenna offers fairly weak, but often usable reception. The station strength may be a bit positional, and you're likely to only receive the strongest local stations. This is great if you just want to casually blast some tunes from the Game Boy speaker, as you don't need to attach anything extra to the cart.

To improve the reception, you can attach an external antenna to the cart through the 3.5mm antenna/headphone jack. This can be a pair of headphones, a telescopic antenna, a 3.5mm aux cord, or a purpose-made antenna cord. It's easy to make your own antennas, so you can experiment if you like! The external antenna interface will offer stronger, more reliable reception, depending on the length of your antenna. The best performing antenna is typically a 1 meter long cable, about the same length as the average headphone cord.

Will Orange FM work in my country?

Probably. Orange FM supports 87.5 - 108 MHz for most of the world, and 76 - 95 MHz for Japan. There is also a full range mode that will give you 64 - 108 Mhz. You can choose between 200 kHz (e.g. 88.5, 88.7, 88.9, etc) and 100 kHz (e.g. 88.5, 88.6, 88.7, etc) spacing options.

Italy may use 50 kHz spacing (e.g. 88.75) for some stations - unfortunately Orange FM can't tune to these stations at present.

Can you support AM / DAB / HD Radio / Weather?

Not happening for Orange FM, as I've already committed to the current radio chip I'm using.

Could you make a GBA-sized version?

In a standard GBA-cart shell - no. Similar to Boktai or other "larger" GBA games - maybe. But don't expect one!

Manuals

ROM Manual (Version 0.4)
ROM Manual (Version 0.3)