Hand-held Emulation Machine

7 posts
by TheShryke » Tue Apr 03, 2012 11:29 pm
When I saw the R-Pi, I knew what I wanted to do with it, I want to build one into a small case with a screen and battery and have it run classic emulators. So far I have settled on these main parts:


3.5" Screen (NEW 3.5" TFT LCD Color Screen Car Rearview Monitor DVD VCR | eBay)

Battery (YSD-998 5V/9V/12V USB Super Capacity Rechargeable Li-ion Battery (Black) - Batteries & Chargers - AirAccent.com)

I'm thinking of doing the controls by Hacking apart something like this (Speedlink Strike PC Gamepad - Red: Amazon.co.uk: PC & Video Games) I'll solder new buttons over the contacts on its PCB. fairly straight forward.

Ill probably also include a USB hub with a large (64GB or 32GB) pen drive, a wireless adaptor and this (3.5" inch LCD Touch Screen panel for 3.5 TFT LCD Module for LQ035NC111 | eBay eBay - New & used electronics, cars, apparel, collectibles, sporting goods & more at low prices) touch screen and control board.

I'm including the pen drive to allow it to store a few movies and songs as well as games and emulators.

So far the only custom soldering I will need to do is for the controller, (simple enough) Making a little splitter board for audio so the feed can go to speakers or to headphones, a power splitter board because the battery provides the 12v I need for the screen but that is also the charging port so I will need to be able to direct the power to an external socket and a simple board to plug the wireless adaptor into, so I can turn it off easily.

For the Audio switching board, I'm thinking of making use of a socket that has switching contacts, which makes it easy to direct the signal.

for the power, the only thing I could come up with was a DPDT switch, to chose where to connect the +12v and 0v. the disadvantage of this is that I wont be able to charge and play, If anyone can think of a better circuit, please share!

For the Wireless switch, I am planning to simply solder a usb plug on one end of a board and a socket on the other, and wire a switch on the +5v rail. That should work as far as I can tell.

Any comments/suggestions?
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by bushrat » Mon Apr 30, 2012 3:13 pm
This looks like a really good plan! If you do build it please make a video and/or pictures so others can follow in your footsteps.

P.S what emulators were you thinking of? I"ve been looking at NES,SNES, Gameboy Advance and Dos. Mainly because they all worked on my 2nd gen iPod touch, wich is massively underpowered in comparison and is also based upon an ARM processor.
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by SN » Mon Apr 30, 2012 3:59 pm
I share your enthusiasm but I rather thank a 7" Android Tablet would do the job a little better :-(
Steve N – binatone mk4->intellivision->zx81->spectrum->cbm64->cpc6128->520stfm->pc->raspi ?
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by bushrat » Mon Apr 30, 2012 11:01 pm
SN said:

I share your enthusiasm but I rather thank a 7" Android Tablet would do the job a little better :-(

how about this:


Its a 7" reverse camera screen for $23 US ($20 in Australia + postage)

i was thinking of using this 4" screen until i found this 7" one because its bigger and the same price (wtf?)

But its not touch screen, HOWEVER i also found this:


its a touch screen overlay that fits the 7" screen for $77 AU.

Taking the total cost for a 7" touchscreen that IS capable of being plugged into a Pi to $100. Not to bad, considering it will work with finger + stylus like a DSi.
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by TheShryke » Fri May 04, 2012 3:34 pm
Thanks for the replies guys.

Hmm not sure about the 7", Seems a bit too large for what I want, I want this to feel as close to the original handhelds as possible, so 3"-4" is what I am aiming at, all though I would prefer the better quality offered by the 7", tough choice.

As for list of emulators, it would be NES, SNES, GB, GBC, GBA for deffinite and N64 if it will run, if I can find away around the dual screen problem, I will do NDS as well, infact, pretty much any console the will run on the R-pi.
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by DigiFruitDrew » Sat Feb 09, 2013 9:28 am
Have you considered using the Arduino wifi system? I've not had any experience with it, but I'd be interested to know if it would work with something like the R-Pi.

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by TheShryke » Sat Feb 09, 2013 1:15 pm
I could do but I already have a tiny USB Wi-Fi adaptor that works fine for streaming HD movies. I am interested in using the arduino and pi together in future projects though so I will certainly keep my eye on that, it looks very interesting.
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