Gameboy Pi (Rethought the concept)
So I had to rethink my approach.... Originally I wanted to use a GBA SP but I become very aware the case space was a huge issue....
So back to the drawing board!
Either using a original Gameboy Advance
Or the other option is a Gameboy Pocket.
I'd much rather the Gameboy Advance.
Now I'm sure most of you are aware of the the Pi GRRL Zero from Adafruit.
I like the look of this little kit. gives me pretty much everything I needs.
But theres the kicker. I'm not gonna be using that screen as its too small and instead will be using there 2.8inch version.
Which also has those tasty little tactile buttons on the side there. Which could be fun.
So. The biggest issue I might find is getting all these parts to work together. Are Adafruit components known to have any issues with them running with Retropie?
I'm fairly confident with this build and I've found a beautiful little GBA shell from www.rosecoloredgaming.com. I'll be ordering parts tomorrow. Like he Pi Zero the, the GBA shell and such but otherwise I'll be waiting :)
Check out the boards at sudomod. Quite a few people are now fitting a Zero in a GBA, including some using custom PCBs. I love the form factor of a GBA, I just wish it had ABXY. After I get done with my Super Famicom build I want to look at a GBA one next. Keep us posted!
Thanks for the heads up! I'm looking now at what they've got and most of it awesome! makes me a tad sad that they don't do as much Gameboy Advance stuff but some of it seems to be translatable.
PCB boards are the biggest issue but the ones from Adafruit seem the best option for me mainly because they make life a bit easier. They are also tiny boards so I shouldn't have 2 much of an issue fitting them into the casing
I thought you were brave going for the advance sp! They are a bit on the snug side! I was going to pop a zero into a GBA case, but life has gotten in the way right now.
I was messing with the ili9341 screens. The 2.8 ones are a tiny bit taller than the standard gba screen, and just a tiny bit narrower, the only problem was with the PCB actually being much bigger than the screen itself. I did design a little PCB that basically just connected the screen to the pi with as little as possible, but have yet to test it.
My plan was to use some Perspex sheet the same thickness as the standard GBA PCB, and then cut it the same shape and size as the PCB. I would then be able to add the silicone topped PCB mount buttons into the plastic, and then would be able to stick the various parts to the Perspex. And run the cables between bits as normal.
Yeah haha it was a bit of a pipe dream really but alas. Maybe one day.
I'm aware the screens are slightly off size but they are actually slight larger by about 10mm x 8mm larger, but I'm just going to mess around with display sizes to center it ever so slightly to fit.
The PCB boards might be going out the window for me, considering using some Proto PCB boards I've got lying around to cut to size as I also want to add 2 extra buttons at the back under the triggers for X and Y button. Mainly because I want to keep that Gameboy Advance look on the front.
@monstermadeofman most people just chop up the old PCB and wire it all that way. I didn't really want to kill a functional thing, so I transplanted a working GBA into a $5 case from China and actual made a profit!
The buttons are an issue, you could just carefully drill the front and add some extra buttons. I did ponder the hardcore case mod route and looked at transplanting the buttons from a nds into the GBA case, but I don't fancy having all the filler and paint to fail or rub off
I did consider getting an old GBA and chopping the PCB but I ended buying a shell casing without the guts. Cheaper and quicker to get
If you want buttons look here.
the ones i got are the OMTEN D3, they are rubber topped and the height is pretty much the same as the rubber domes on the stock GBA. This will allow you to make your own PCB or substitute, and still get the retro feel of a standard GBA
Thanks man I've already got my tactile switches :)
To anyone interested Kitsch Bent do some pretty awesome little button PCB boards that I'm gonna be using they're really good! and so small so pretty good for smaller projects.
They are perfect!
SO IT BEGINS!
@monstermadeofman good luck! I might be able to make some headway on mine soon!
LSolrac2 last edited by
Amazing concept OuO I can't wait to see how you do! Best of Luck!
diegzumillo last edited by
My only recommendation is to avoid using pi 3 if possible. Seeing how you want to emulate 16 bit and lower, the pi zero is definitely the way to go. It's cheaper, smaller, easier to power... it's more convenient in every aspect. I say this because I ran into a huge problem with my handheld using pi 3, because it has complicating power demands that the popular powerboost from adafruit cannot handle. And I'm not even able to play anything the zero couldn't handle, because it would require overclocking it the thing.
Other than that, I don't see any difficulties in your project. The PiGrll seems like a solid starting point. I used those buttons on mine and they are awesome!
Everything looks promising! Good luck with everything.
I did put up the sop dude that I'm using a Pi Zero. Wouldn't even manage to get a Pi3 into a GBA case, no where near it with battery, and other boards that I require. Christ I'd need to convert an old GBA carry hard case to do that. (I've seen something similar done with a Gamecube hand held).
I've already used a Pi3 for console build. And I found it pretty decent for N64 emulation, admittiedly I'm only playing mario 64 and DK 64 but they are all I pretty much want.
I was aware that the Pi3 would struggle with the battery demands, found that out by looking into the Pi GRRL from Adafruit as they specify that you can not do it with a Pi3.
The main things I've bin running into uncharted waters is trying to keep the exterior case pretty much original, you know cosmetically the same. But looking at some DMG Gameboy Zero builds has given me some ideas.
I've gone through 2 different screens at this point. but I've finally settled on one that fits the casing and size constraints with the driver board.
I've got some nice little electrostatic button pads coming that will work with the original GBA buttons. and I'll be using some little momentary switches hidden on the back for the X and Y.
I mean all in all this is quite a big project, I'm really coming to grips with the hardware side of things thanks to a combination of other peoples projects on here, the Sudo Mod forum and people that are kind enough to put walk throughs on Youtube of their DMG build.
How's your build going? I just bought a broken Gameboy Advance from eBay for $12 shipped that I'm going to be taking apart to see if/how things might fit.
Ended up dropping it for a bit if I'm honest. I found someone online who is making a custom PCB for a Pi Zero in a GBA. But they aren't on sale yet.
obsidianspider last edited by obsidianspider
@monstermadeofman Already bookmarked! I want to add X and Y buttons to it, but first my GBA needs to show up from Hawaii. I'm not averse to the custom PCB idea, but I really don't want to spend $80. What "other" custom PCB have you seen floating around? The only other one that I've come across is this one that I came across while browsing Reddit but I don't have any info on the maker.