New GBZ Build, New to Electronics

General GBZ-related chat goes here. Share ideas, tips and tricks, or ask questions that don't fit into the hardware/software help forums.
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Mayday10
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New GBZ Build, New to Electronics

Post by Mayday10 » Wed Mar 21, 2018 11:27 am

After researching for awhile, watching videos, and acquiring materials, I have embarked on creating my own Game Boy Zero. I figured I would make a thread to update my progress as well as serve as the place I ask questions (so other new threads won't be started)

I have limited to know soldering and electronics component experience, which is just wonderful. The good news is, I plan on taking a very long time, progressing very slowly.

The plan is, to hopefully create a fairly tight and operational unit, as well as gain experience and interest toward building more sophisticated handhelds and features, and who knows, maybe innovate and create something original some-day.

I have looked into purchasing a unit, and have done so... but still really like the idea of taking on this project on my own.

I had 3 Game Boys in my basement, and one did not have a front screen attached. I decided to use that one for a bit of authenticity

Image

Image

My first question is about wire. I have no wire on-hand for the project what would the best and most cost effective option be to support both regular wiring, as well as power-wiring. I see a few different suggestions around, and I could buy 2000x more wire than I can ever use in both 22 AWG and 28 AWG wire and be out anywhere from $30 - $60. Is there a better and cheaper option to acquire wire that meets requirements?

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Mayday10
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Re: New GBZ Build, New to Electronics

Post by Mayday10 » Wed Mar 21, 2018 11:45 am

Some other parts and equipment I have gathered so-far

All in one PCB designed by Helder
https://www.retrogamingnow.com/pro-shop ... -pcb-board

Wen Rotary Tool/Dremel
https://www.walmart.com/ip/WEN-Rotary-T ... 3=&veh=sem

Gear Best Screen
https://www.gearbest.com/development-bo ... 29447.html

Tactiles
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B008D ... UTF8&psc=1

USB Port
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00H5 ... UTF8&psc=1

Screen Border from Retropie Handhelds "Dot Matrix with Stereo Sound"
https://retropiehandhelds.com/product/d ... order-gray

Pi Zero
Lithium Ion Battery
Powerboost 1000 Charger
Battery Extension Cable
Mini Metal Speaker with Wires
All from Adufruit

32GB Sandisk SD Card
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B010Q ... UTF8&psc=1

Screen Bracket and Button Wells from Sudomod

Some Game Boy Buttons and Pads from ebay

Exacto-Knife and Blades

Step Drill Bit from Hand Held Legend

Soldering Kit and Wire

Need to buy a stand/clamp for soldering

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rodocop
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Re: New GBZ Build, New to Electronics

Post by rodocop » Wed Mar 21, 2018 9:24 pm

I've been using this wire. 28awg for everything. Silicone wire is easy to work with, very easy to strip (i just use fingernails) and pretty flexible and heat resistant.

Striveday Flexible Silicone 28AWG 300V Copper Hook Up Electric Wire https://www.amazon.ca/dp/B01KQ2LHFI/ref ... SAb0M5TG3E

One other thing to mention. I see you have the screw posts marked on the battery bay. Can I assume you plan to cut out the battery tray? If so, just so you know. You can usually leave it intact, and It makes things looks a little cleaner!

Depending on the battery you choose though you may need to cut it out. Or part of it.

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Mayday10
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Re: New GBZ Build, New to Electronics

Post by Mayday10 » Thu Mar 22, 2018 7:39 am

Ah, yes thanks. I did read that 28awg wire was easy to use, but also see that some people recommend 24 or 22 awg for power-related components.

And thanks for the battery tray advice... Unfortunately, the other day I already hacked away part of it. I am following the "Wermy" video for the most part. I am using the Adufruit 3.7 2500mAh battery. I'm taking my time with the case as I wait for my PCB unit, so I can use the X and Y button holes/markers. I plan on doing a few of these and perhaps the next one I will leave the compartment in-place.

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Mayday10
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Re: New GBZ Build, New to Electronics

Post by Mayday10 » Fri Mar 23, 2018 11:50 am

I saw in Wermy's instructional video, he mentions using the innards of a USB cable for your wiring.

I had an extra micro usb cable laying around. Would this work (if I take out the wires)?

Image

Also, I dont see it mentioned anywhere as I am learning and going to practice some soldering. Do I twist the end of the wire together before bonding to the joint? TIA.

Also, I am using the Gearbest screen. A couple questions. First, is there any wiring diagram to the Zero W unit? Also, has anyone figured out a way to adjust the brightness or contrast... or divise a way similar to Wermy's modification of the Adufruit screen?

Mario.Semiglia
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Re: New GBZ Build, New to Electronics

Post by Mario.Semiglia » Fri Mar 23, 2018 5:10 pm

you cannot adjust brightnes or contrast on Gearbest screen, but you dont need to
second... search for a 4000 mah battery, there is somewere a thread about bateries on this forum, then you wont have to modify the case in the back, unless you wanna reach your mini hdmi port from outside the case, if you dont mind about that then no mod needed.
third: twist your wires and dont be lazy :P

good luck
by the way get the pi zero W and not the normal one (wifi included) and if you get the power boost that wermy indicated for the mintypi it will charge faster your batery

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Re: New GBZ Build, New to Electronics

Post by MegaLoop » Fri Mar 23, 2018 5:11 pm

I confirm the need of 24 awg or better for power. I suspect that USB cable has 26 or 28 but could be wrong. My first project with a Pi Zero worked perfectly with 28 awg. A couple of weeks later the Pi Zero Wireless came out so I dropped that in place of the original. Had problems with screen blanking on HDMI and took me a while to figure out it was the wire for power.

Personally I twist the wire before soldering. Use good ventilation, solder can be nasty.

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Re: New GBZ Build, New to Electronics

Post by Mayday10 » Sat Mar 24, 2018 6:48 am

Mario.Semiglia wrote:
Fri Mar 23, 2018 5:10 pm
you cannot adjust brightnes or contrast on Gearbest screen, but you dont need to
second... search for a 4000 mah battery, there is somewere a thread about bateries on this forum, then you wont have to modify the case in the back, unless you wanna reach your mini hdmi port from outside the case, if you dont mind about that then no mod needed.
third: twist your wires and dont be lazy :P

good luck
by the way get the pi zero W and not the normal one (wifi included) and if you get the power boost that wermy indicated for the mintypi it will charge faster your batery
thank you for the pointers. i will look into the 400 mah battery. already have the pi zero w, so thats good. ill also look into that power boost

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Mayday10
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Re: New GBZ Build, New to Electronics

Post by Mayday10 » Sat Mar 24, 2018 6:54 am

MegaLoop wrote:
Fri Mar 23, 2018 5:11 pm
I confirm the need of 24 awg or better for power. I suspect that USB cable has 26 or 28 but could be wrong. My first project with a Pi Zero worked perfectly with 28 awg. A couple of weeks later the Pi Zero Wireless came out so I dropped that in place of the original. Had problems with screen blanking on HDMI and took me a while to figure out it was the wire for power.

Personally I twist the wire before soldering. Use good ventilation, solder can be nasty.

thank you. perhaps ill use dissected usb cables for components and buy some 24 awg for use for power. would 24 awg wire do the trick for all wire on this project?

i will twist the wire. it seems like common sense says it would be the way to go... i have watched several instructional videos and read a few guides, and none mention that

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Re: New GBZ Build, New to Electronics

Post by rodocop » Sat Mar 24, 2018 10:45 am

Yep. Twist the wire first. And then tin it too (add a little solder).

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