After finding a much unloved Nintendo DSi in a storage crate almost exactly after reading about the Pi Zero's release, I've decided I would like to build a Zero into the case and retain as much of the original DSi aesthetics as possible. So I'm going to use this forum to document my components and progress and of course take any suggestions or hints the community can offer I'll update this post with my findings as I go.
The obvious use for this is to play little retro games, likely through EmulationStation with a RetroPie setup. I'm not concerned with a lack of mouse and keyboard, nor networking or mass storage.There will be an exposed USB input and HDMI output so you can still use the device as a full fledged Pi, and it would be nice to keep the MicroSD card tray exposed enough to allow the user to eject and replace it.
- Top and Bottom Screens
- All Buttons For Input
- Volume Buttons For Volume Control
- Touch Input For At Least One Screen
- HDMI Output
- USB Input
- Rechargeable Battery Power
- Close The DSi To "Sleep" The Pi
I would like to salvage as many components from the original DSi as possible to keep costs down and visual fidelity up, however I am not sure what components I can realistically reuse. The biggest key here is the DSi screens, these 3.25" screens would be great to reuse but so far I cannot find a way to plug even one into a Raspberry Pi, let alone two. The same applies for the two cameras. However, these are the components I know (with my skill level) that I can recycle.
- Two Speakers
- 13 Buttons (including power)
- Headphone Jack
- 4.6V Charger and Plug
- 840mAh Battery
- Indicator LEDs
As I live in Australia in a smaller town, we have the one electronics store and it only has the basics (resistors, wires, maybe a multimeter on a good day ) so I expect I'll be ordering a lot of components from Adafruit and other online stores. Now I don't have a set budget, but I would like to keep costs down where I can for my wallet's sake, and also so that others could do this project too without breaking the bank.
After reading this iFixit Teardown I've come to the conclusion that I could reuse the battery, charger and power delivery hardware, however I would have to step up the voltage to at least 5V (if there isn't a magic 5V line in there somewhere waiting for me), which could make the already small 840mAh battery even smaller. This buy list will assume that I can't use the screens or power system from the DSi.
- Tear down the DSi and sort
- Determine reusable components
- Layout components and see what can and can't fit
- Purchase extra components
- Assemble and test outside of case
- Assemble and polish
- Software optimization