The GamePi - Raspberry Pi Game Boy case mod

21 posts
by FalconXY » Fri Aug 24, 2012 10:17 pm
In my secret laboratory I have worked hard for the last couple of weeks to finish my newest creation -> the GAME PI :o


And today I can show you some pictures and video of the wolf in sheep's clothing.

ALIVE! -- IT'S ALIVE!! Muhahaha :twisted:


As my little helper I want to give a big "Thank you" to my assistent Dr.Emel who was always a work maniac when it was his turn to work on the project. :mrgreen:
And another huge "Thank you" goes to Retroman for the great idea for that conversion!

Here are some pictures of the work in progress. All the mounting tabs and most of the plastic parts inside the GameBoy had to be removed to fit in the 3.5" display and all the boards.


The major problem was the controller PCB of the display. I had to desolder some of the capacitors and a coil and move them to other places or the backside. I had to cut down the three menu control push-buttons.


My plans were to use the original front buttons of the GameBoy but they wasted to much space inside with the original PCB. I had to ask Dr.Emel to do some destructive work and after that the buttons were glued in to give the authentic look from the outside.


I wanted to have a portable battery powered GamePi. I use a 2S LiPo 1300maH (7.4V).
I was glad that the 3.5" TFT is still working at 7 volts (at about 200mAh).

When I am at a stationary place I can use a 230V to USB power adapter. For mobile short use the internal 2S Lipo will be fine (maybe 1.5 hours). For long time use I am thinking of a LiPo Power Bank with 16000mAh (about 60 Euro) which will give me several hours run-time.

I have used a small 4 port USB hub that is soldered onto the onboard USB port of the Raspberry Pi but without the red +5V wire.
On the second picture below you can see the big opening for the HDMI to VGA adapter.


So inside the Pi, the USB hub and TFT display are powered by the LiPo. The TFT has got it's own power switch (where the contrast wheel was) to save battery. Left next to it is the head phone jack.


I use the original power switch to turn the Pi and display power on/off.

The SD card and the battery will be accessable through the original battery deck ot the GameBoy. I need to find a good way to keep the battery cover in place.


Latest UPDATE 25.08.12:

My GamePi is finished now. Here are some last pictures from the inside and the running GamePi.
Build in +5V 2A voltage regulator (78S05) to run the Pi and the USB hub.

I have build a small heat sink out of two postage clamps. That regulator is getting hot.


I have made a showoff and demonstration video for you.


My display config.txt

sdtv_aspect=1 4:3

My GamePi: Game Boy case mod
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by pygmy_giant » Fri Aug 24, 2012 11:18 pm
That is way cool :D
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by adafruit » Fri Aug 24, 2012 11:21 pm
great project!
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by hmartin » Sat Aug 25, 2012 2:49 am
This is amazing!!
How did you connect the display to video and power?
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by recantha » Sat Aug 25, 2012 6:32 am
I'm desperate to know how you got that display working! I've got a 7" TFT display just begging to be used, but it's got a ribbon cable about 1.5cm and I haven't a clue what to do with it!
Any pics and descriptions you can give would be much appreciated!
My Raspberry Pi blog with all my latest projects and links to articles +++ Current project: PiPodTricorder - lots of sensors, lots of mini-displays, breadboarding, bit of programming.
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by SuperObComMan » Sat Aug 25, 2012 10:36 am
I found out about this via the Adafruit link to the YouTube video and completely missed that there was a link to the forum... D'Oh! :oops:
So I posted my dumb questions in YouTube and have now had at least two of them answered after reading this thread :lol:
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by FalconXY » Mon Aug 27, 2012 5:09 pm
Thank you for the nice comments. :D

hmartin wrote:How did you connect the display to video and power?

I have cut off the yellow CVBS (composite) connector and soldered the signal and ground wire directly to the LCD board.
Reason for cutting: the yellow connector was too high and I could not close the Gameboy housing.
You can see the power connection on the pictures above the sentence (The major problem was the controller PCB of the display) .

Is your 7" composite too or just a LCD without controller board ?
I have used a 3,5" LCD rearview camera monitor from ebay (18 Euros).
My GamePi: Game Boy case mod
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by recantha » Mon Aug 27, 2012 5:34 pm
I have a 3.5" composite screen, which is fine.
The one I'm trying to get working is a 7" TFT screen from a portable DVD player. Pics and details on this other thread: viewtopic.php?f=44&t=15569&p=158222
In short: I have all the components from the player, I just need to convert it to composite... I;m sure it must be possible!
My Raspberry Pi blog with all my latest projects and links to articles +++ Current project: PiPodTricorder - lots of sensors, lots of mini-displays, breadboarding, bit of programming.
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by tbgconnor » Wed Oct 17, 2012 4:28 am
Do you think that it would somehow be possible to use the GPIO to hook up an emulator to a real Game Boy thru a game link cable?

That's basically my dream!

Let me know if you think it would be possible, and if so, how!
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by dasimpson » Mon Nov 12, 2012 11:13 pm
you could cut back on the extra voltage regulator by using the one that is built into the lcd screen i have li-ion in series for 7.4 volt into the lcd i connected the rpi to the 5 volt out on the lcd
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by Hpiguy » Sat Dec 29, 2012 6:53 pm
hey thats awesome! How did you get the battery pack hooked up to the lcd
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by dasimpson » Mon Feb 04, 2013 12:48 pm
just cut the wires back and connected the power jack to the battery instead
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by CerdoBlanco » Sat Mar 02, 2013 5:29 pm
Hey, cool that you made it. Could you please post more details on it?

What display did you use?
How did you connect it?
What additional boards did you install?
How did you manage the power management?

Some others in the community and I would maybe like to build one too.
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by HDMI » Sun Mar 03, 2013 10:51 pm
I LOVE your air hockey table!
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by toxibunny » Mon Mar 04, 2013 12:16 am
I'd like to say I love it, but the screen's too big. It would have been better with a slightly smaller screen with a grey surround and an LED, like the original gameboy. As it is, 7/10. It's a good score though, right?
note: I may or may not know what I'm talking about...
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by nexusrex » Tue Jul 23, 2013 10:49 pm
how do you make a switch
please help me
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by Warren » Mon Jul 29, 2013 1:06 pm
I assume you've gotten this question before, but could edit into the op a parts list, tools list, and step by step instructions please.
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by wiinick » Sat Aug 24, 2013 11:56 pm
You say you use the 78S05, isnt the dropout voltage 2.5 volts. If the battery is 7.4 volts, wouldn't that just barely be enough to power the pi. I mean the battery is 7.4 volts fully charged, then lowers under load which would not be enough to satisfy the regulator dropout voltage. Please can you educate me on this and what I got wrong.
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by dasimpson » Sun Aug 25, 2013 11:51 am
you are right it dosent run for long that's why I went the way of a dc boost circuit or a ubec
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by VolBog » Mon Aug 26, 2013 4:47 pm
ItThis is the original display of the Gameboy? Have bought to order?
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by Hitechcomputergeek » Wed Nov 27, 2013 4:36 am
Awesome! What USB hub did you use, and is it powered from the battery?
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