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crookedmouth
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Retro Portable/Handheld for Gaming and Computer Emulation

Tue Sep 18, 2012 4:04 am

Hi all, just wanted to share what I have been doing with my Pi. There is a lot of work to do on the software side. Being new to Linux, I have had some very frustrating moments and I am sure I will be bugging everyone with questions as I hope to begin to get some emulation working.

Anyway, I began wanting to build either a portable or a semi portable keyboard with a Pi inside. I loved what Ben Heck did but after seeing the portable "workstation" with 3.5inch LCD I figured I could make something cool and stand-alone.

I decided, without knowing if it would all work, to not get a touchpad keyboard and instead incorporate a cheap USB gamepad into the device, in hopes that I could compile Qjoypad to use in xwindows and maybe joy2key or js2mouse for non-xwindows. (Qjoypad works well except that it takes like 95% of the CPU.)

I went on Amazon and grabbed a...

4.3 inch TFT LCD 480x272 res (Praying it could be modified to 5v) $23
A Mini Bluetooth Keyboard (Praying that it wouldn't be crap) $5
A generic Bluetooth dongle (Crap, the Pi is not liking those) $1
A super cheap SNES-like controller $3
A PowerGen Mobile Juice Pack with 8400mAh $56 (Ouch)

I wanted to incorporate a switch and power-jack for when I was near a power source I could save on battery, especially when compiling.

I fought to make it as small as possible but didn't like the idea of wires an the SD card sticking out and getting hit a lot. I wish that the handheld part was just a bit thinner. I can use it as a real handheld but people with smallish hands would have to place it on a surface, defeating the handheld idea.

Build Quality is mediocre but with a little sanding a few more screws and some varnish, it should be solid. I really started to get frustrated and was worrying that I would give up, so I rushed it at the end.

In the end I wanted to try for a Pandora-like handheld and missed the mark really. Maybe a bigger clumsy, slower cousin of the Pandora that can't do as much?

I think it looks like it came right out of the Fallout universe or maybe it is a homage to the original Apple.

Sorry for the poor quality images but here it is.

ImageImageImage

ImageImageImage

ImageImageImage

Thumbnail
Image

dan3008
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Re: Retro Portable/Handheld for Gaming and Computer Emulatio

Tue Sep 18, 2012 12:46 pm

You sir, are a legend :D

I dont suppose you could post a "how to" for making this?

I'm working on a retro arcade unit for use at my students union, but ive been given a tight budget. So I want to use the Pi

Thanks

Daniel
dan3008 wrote:Pays your money, takes your choice

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DexOS
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Re: Retro Portable/Handheld for Gaming and Computer Emulatio

Tue Sep 18, 2012 5:44 pm

Great job, i want to make one of these: http://www.skpang.co.uk/blog/archives/152
Batteries not included, Some assembly required.

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malakai
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Re: Retro Portable/Handheld for Gaming and Computer Emulatio

Tue Sep 18, 2012 6:03 pm

Might want to check out these posts contact the members for progress

http://www.raspberrypi.org/phpBB3/viewt ... 5&p=175908

http://blog.sheasilverman.com/
http://www.raspians.com - always looking for content feel free to ask to have it posted. Or sign up and message me to become a contributor to the site. Raspians is not affiliated with the Raspberry Pi Foundation. (RPi's + You = Raspians)

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LetHopeItsSnowing
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Re: Retro Portable/Handheld for Gaming and Computer Emulatio

Tue Sep 18, 2012 7:13 pm

That is absolutely chuffing marvellous...
"am I getting slower, or is stuff more complicated; either way I now have to write it down - stuffaboutcode.com"

dan3008
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Re: Retro Portable/Handheld for Gaming and Computer Emulatio

Tue Sep 18, 2012 7:23 pm

DexOS wrote:Great job, i want to make one of these: http://www.skpang.co.uk/blog/archives/152
Might we worth you looking at http://amigakit.leamancomputing.com/cat ... cts_id=978

to wither build a pi into it, or dismantle it and use it in a custom case.
dan3008 wrote:Pays your money, takes your choice

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crookedmouth
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Re: Retro Portable/Handheld for Gaming and Computer Emulatio

Wed Sep 19, 2012 5:23 am

Thanks, :D

Unfortunately I didn't take pictures through the steps. It was really made up as I went along.

I could measure the wooden pieces and write up a list, if anyone would like. I would have to sort of describe the toughest parts, which was the gamepad and getting the monitor and speakers to fit within 3 pieces of luan plywood. I have one picture of the back of the LCD at that point.

Another thing is the converting this LCD to 5v by jumping off the 5v resistor was perhaps a little to hard and scary. The positive "leg" of the resistor, if you can even call it that, was a small piece of solder just visible under the resistor. This project was my first real soldering experience and needless to say it was nerve wracking. I am still amazed I pulled it off. My eyes aren't what they used to be.

The really weak point is the keyboard. I looked for any other mini keyboard without a trackpad. I just couldn't find one that was a reasonable price. It is a really flimsy. I'm getting better at typing with it but the right function key is not mapped to "Fn" which means I only have the left one which is annoying. Honestly, I think it is the only one small enough for this project.

I should also mention that battery life is pretty good with the 8400mAh. I will time it at some point but I am guessing around 4 hours.

dan3008
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Re: Retro Portable/Handheld for Gaming and Computer Emulatio

Wed Sep 19, 2012 12:48 pm

Ok, never mind then

I'll work it out as i go along too lol.
I'm wanting to add a joystick instead of a keyboard (maybe have a keyboard hidden inside for debug) , an I might even use a tethered RingMouse to get it working :)

Thanks for the epic design inspiration :D
dan3008 wrote:Pays your money, takes your choice

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TonyD
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Re: Retro Portable/Handheld for Gaming and Computer Emulatio

Thu Sep 20, 2012 7:37 pm

brilliant :-)
Tony

toxibunny
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Re: Retro Portable/Handheld for Gaming and Computer Emulatio

Thu Sep 20, 2012 8:09 pm

Yeah, it looks really nice. Also, I know it's a bit cliched now, but it's just begging for a bit of steampunk decoration...
note: I may or may not know what I'm talking about...

dan3008
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Re: Retro Portable/Handheld for Gaming and Computer Emulatio

Thu Sep 20, 2012 9:18 pm

toxibunny wrote:Yeah, it looks really nice. Also, I know it's a bit cliched now, but it's just begging for a bit of steampunk decoration...
My thoughts exactly.
dan3008 wrote:Pays your money, takes your choice

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crookedmouth
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Re: Retro Portable/Handheld for Gaming and Computer Emulatio

Fri Sep 28, 2012 7:28 am

I was thinking of making it look a bit more antique, is that what you mean by steampunk? I must admit I am a bit of a minimalist.

I wanted to add brass corner pieces but wish I could find old cheap ones.

Originally I had both the speaker wires and monitor wire coming through the same holes and was going to cover it with some sort of old looking wire cover. Right now the rear of the case just looks messy.

I just added a heatsink to the CPU/Memory/GPU that I cut down from a computer I got at the dump. The compound alone is enough to hold it in place during handheld sessions.

So far I am happy with overall functionality. The generic Bluetooth dongle needs to be unplugged and plugged back in every once in awhile.

I have run into one real problem, which I knew would come back to haunt me. The keyboard has no F1-F12 keys. This is screwing with my emulator usage.

I've read a little about re-mapping the keyboard but this is only in X, I understand. Is there a way to do it without X. I have been looking into joy2key but must admit that program is a hassle.

Any ideas? Probably a new keyboard but wow, it would be hard to retro fit.

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crookedmouth
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Re: Retro Portable/Handheld for Gaming and Computer Emulatio

Sat Oct 20, 2012 3:04 am

Sorry to double post but I have an update.

I now have rev3 of my handheld/laptop/netbox.

Here is a couple new pictures
ImageImage

I ended up going with a new keyboard, it is the OrientEX Rii Touch N7 mini wireless keyboard.
Image

I am very happy I did, text entry is now very smooth with tactile clicks to say that a key has been pressed. The keyboard has a backlight and touchpad and most importantly F1-F12 keys. The keyboard layout, with keys on either side of the touchpad, allows for much better handheld use. Ditching qjoypad and the gamepad as a mouse was a godsend. The 2.4ghz dongle uses very little power. So little, that I am now able to plug it and my WiFi dongle in and have true handheld wireless Internet.

Furthermore, the touchpad uses less cpu in xwindows then my regular mouse and much less then qjoypad, which soused my cpu when in use.

I am very proud this device with the new keyboard. Anyone planning something like this could not go wrong with the Rii.

Here is the link to the one I purchased
http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0050F ... 00_s00_i00


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crookedmouth
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Re: Retro Portable/Handheld for Gaming and Computer Emulatio

Sat Oct 20, 2012 5:15 am

Thanks! I am very tickled. I want to talk about my device and show it off but when I talk to my friends they just don't understand. Heh.

I should mention that I believe a 2A power source is required for the use of WiFi without a powered hub. My 1A supply causes the USB ports to go dead. I can't test 1.5A because I don't own one. The WiFi dongle is a generic Ralink one.

anmeldungscrack
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Re: Retro Portable/Handheld for Gaming and Computer Emulatio

Sun Nov 25, 2012 9:58 am

This IS Awesome. Could you please make a video :D ? I want to do a similar project ;) I didn't find any videos on youtube about this topic :(

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crookedmouth
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Re: Retro Portable/Handheld for Gaming and Computer Emulatio

Sun Dec 02, 2012 2:06 pm

anmeldungscrack wrote:This IS Awesome. Could you please make a video :D ? I want to do a similar project ;) I didn't find any videos on youtube about this topic :(
Thanks, I have been wanting to do a little video showing the functionality of my little device. I will try harder. :)

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crookedmouth
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Re: Retro Portable/Handheld for Gaming and Computer Emulatio

Sat Dec 08, 2012 6:02 am

Here is a real crappy video I made. Sorry, it was harder to do then I thought plus my camera stinks.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LTx6iVJc ... e=youtu.be

anmeldungscrack
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Re: Retro Portable/Handheld for Gaming and Computer Emulatio

Sat Dec 08, 2012 10:33 pm

Thanks for posting the video, this little device is genious. I hope even more people could get a look on it. :roll: :lol:

CPOKashue
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Re: Retro Portable/Handheld for Gaming and Computer Emulatio

Thu Dec 13, 2012 4:57 pm

This is too cool. I like the little knob, like it's a lady's oldschool jewelry case. Does it latch?

An alternative to brass corner brackets might be to leather (vinyl?) wrap the corners. This might make it easier to hold too.

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neobusy
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Re: Retro Portable/Handheld for Gaming and Computer Emulatio

Thu Dec 13, 2012 7:44 pm

crookedmouth wrote:I am very proud this device with the new keyboard. Anyone planning something like this could not go wrong with the Rii.
Here is the link to the one I purchased
http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0050F ... 00_s00_i00
I'm looking for exactly a keyboard like this, but one thing I noticed - are there no arrow keys? How do you navigate up/down for example in midnight commander with this?

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crookedmouth
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Re: Retro Portable/Handheld for Gaming and Computer Emulatio

Thu Dec 13, 2012 11:03 pm

CPOKashue wrote:This is too cool. I like the little knob, like it's a lady's oldschool jewelry case. Does it latch?

An alternative to brass corner brackets might be to leather (vinyl?) wrap the corners. This might make it easier to hold too.
I thought about a latch before I found the knob on an old desk. The hinge is self closing and keeps it closed firmly. The only downside is you need to close it carefully. I really like the idea of the leather corners. I added the brass corners to stiffen the top but leather would look cooler and maybe help with the jewelry case look. :)

neobusy wrote: I'm looking for exactly a keyboard like this, but one thing I noticed - are there no arrow keys? How do you navigate up/down for example in midnight commander with this?
The silver square around the "e" next to the mouse buttons is the d-pad. It's a bit small but works well. If you've ever handled an older Kindle, it is a bit like that.

I really do recommend it. I bet the other Rii keyboards with the pad on the right side would work well also but 2 thumb entry on the keyboard really becomes pretty natural. Perhaps my only gripe is, I wish they could have put a shift key on each side of the keyboard. As a remote for your media pc/pi, you can turn it on it's side and switch the orientation. Just make sure it is not bluetooth.

renderos24
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Re: Retro Portable/Handheld for Gaming and Computer Emulatio

Wed Jun 05, 2013 4:52 am

hello, I would love that I could send its planes to make that case for raspberry pi, this brilliant and I would like one like me, or at least could tell me the dimensions of the case to know what size and thus build the mine :)

thank you very much have a nice day :D

nexusrex
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Re: Retro Portable/Handheld for Gaming and Computer Emulatio

Sun Aug 04, 2013 7:01 pm

how do you modify your screen

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