Modular VMU [In Progress]

Show off your completed VMµ, or post your build logs here!
smoki86
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Modular VMU [In Progress]

Post by smoki86 » Tue Apr 03, 2018 3:00 pm

Heyo,

after messing with satri360's board for a while I now want to start my own build.
I really like it, it works just fine and I fitted a 800mAh battery inside, as well as magnets to keep the lid closed.
Picture of VMU with Satri360's boardShow
vmudone1.jpg
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But I have some issues with charging batteries - it only does so while its on and it has issues charging the large battery - I can only get ~15 minutes of use charging it over night through the vmu and about 4 hours charging it externally.

Thats why I build my first module today:
Picture of charging moduleShow
charger4.jpg
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Now I can play through usb and charge at the same time at full speed as well as charging while it is off. The module can be removed of course and the VMU works just fine without it. It even comes with a built in flashlight as well as USB out to use it as an emergency battery bank!

I ordered a few button PCB's (thanks again to satri360) and some nice 240x240 screens for my own build.
I want to add a small header at the top that exposes: Pi5V in, Pi3.3V out, BAT, GND, PWM Audio, 2 GPIOS for L/R

Using the modules I can save a lot of space inside the VMU and it will work just fine with hopefully an even bigger battery.

As for modules:
- Charger Module (lipo + boost + switch), attach to recharge the battery and play from usb power
- Audio Module (amp + good speaker), attach to have better audio than the tiny internal speaker
- Small L/R Module (just 2 buttons), attach to play snes/gba games
MockupsShow
addon1.png
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addon2.png
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addon3.png
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addon4.png
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What do you think, any other ideas for modules?
Last edited by smoki86 on Wed Apr 18, 2018 5:10 am, edited 1 time in total.

smoki86
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Re: Modular VMU

Post by smoki86 » Fri Apr 13, 2018 1:36 pm

Progress :)

- Screens arrived (240x240!)
- They actually fit with just a bit of case modifications
- 2 Pi's stripped in anticipation
- Still waiting for lipo chargers/boosts and the button PCB's
- Have to figure out the driver for the board on the weekend
- I want to get the display about 0.5mm lower, then it would be a perfect fit

Once all parts are there it shouldn't take long to complete. I decided to use JST connectors on wires that can be hidden in the cap instead of a header, not enough room.
ScreenShow
fit.jpg
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smoki86
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Re: Modular VMU

Post by smoki86 » Sun Apr 15, 2018 7:52 am

Thanks to a lot of help from moosepr I got the display working nicely.
It looks soo sharp in comparison.

Update:
- got the chargers for the charging modules, it doesn't even need the boosters, the PI runs just fine from the modules output (which is = battery voltage) but I will add them anyway
- before I can do the last case modifications to move the display lower I will need the button PCB's to see how much room I have for that, they should arrive next week
- I already started designing a nice tiny bracket for the screen and the PI so I don't have to glue anything in
- ordered a bit thicker magnetwire for the power lines
- ATiny's arrived, waiting for the programmer to do the lipo battery indicator
ScreenShow
displayworks1.jpg
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comparison.jpg
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smoki86
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Re: Modular VMU

Post by smoki86 » Mon Apr 16, 2018 12:23 pm

While I wait I printed a new charger for satri's board.
On my build I will have 2 x 2Pin JST for bat out and 5v in (to charge and play from the charge module or to directly connect to play from battery only) as well as a 10Pin JST to expose interesting pins from the PI (like GPIOS, analog video, usb or pwm audio).

This one only has the charger and no boost (it connects to the bat on satris board), the switch from his board works just fine with it. The one for my build will have an additional switch and maybe even the safe shutdown logic.
PictureShow
finalcharger.jpg
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smoki86
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Re: Modular VMU

Post by smoki86 » Tue Apr 17, 2018 11:02 pm

More progress :)

- boards are here!
- build a 'mvp' with no sound, small battery, external charging as a first step
- screen is perfect, faster and so much sharper than the old one
- just 2 very tiny bars left and right because the screen is not just as wide as the vmu screen
Pics!Show
wiring.jpg
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comparison2.png
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missingpieces.jpg
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nilly
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Re: Modular VMU

Post by nilly » Tue May 22, 2018 4:36 am

Hi, just got a vmu in the mail and is about to gather other parts for a build. Where did you find that display? Looks really good, do you have a link?

Thanks

smoki86 wrote:
Fri Apr 13, 2018 1:36 pm
Progress :)

- Screens arrived (240x240!)
- They actually fit with just a bit of case modifications
- 2 Pi's stripped in anticipation
- Still waiting for lipo chargers/boosts and the button PCB's
- Have to figure out the driver for the board on the weekend
- I want to get the display about 0.5mm lower, then it would be a perfect fit

Once all parts are there it shouldn't take long to complete. I decided to use JST connectors on wires that can be hidden in the cap instead of a header, not enough room.
ScreenShow
fit.jpg

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Strider
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Re: Modular VMU

Post by Strider » Tue May 22, 2018 7:26 am

nilly wrote:
Tue May 22, 2018 4:36 am
Hi, just got a vmu in the mail and is about to gather other parts for a build. Where did you find that display? Looks really good, do you have a link?

Thanks
It's different from Smoki's, but I got my screen from Adafruit. It fits very well if you aren't afraid of removing bits from the case. Hopefully I'll be finishing my build soon, I'll post pics and a write up after I do.

nilly
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Re: Modular VMU

Post by nilly » Tue May 22, 2018 10:16 am

I've looked at that screen. But thought the card reader would add thickness. What do you think? Does it seem doable, what kind of battery are you going with?

/nilly

Strider wrote:
Tue May 22, 2018 7:26 am

It's different from Smoki's, but I got my screen from Adafruit. It fits very well if you aren't afraid of removing bits from the case. Hopefully I'll be finishing my build soon, I'll post pics and a write up after I do.

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Strider
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Re: Modular VMU

Post by Strider » Tue May 22, 2018 10:26 am

nilly wrote:
Tue May 22, 2018 10:16 am
I've looked at that screen. But thought the card reader would add thickness. What do you think? Does it seem doable, what kind of battery are you going with?

/nilly
Good point. It sits lower than the button PCB so I'm hoping it'll be okay. We'll find out this weekend when I have time to wire it all up.

I nabbed some 500mah drone batteries at a nearby salvage shop but they're way too thick so I've ordered the 350mah battery that Adafruit has. I haven't stripped down my Pi so that's not helping my battery plight.

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ThompsonTinkers
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Re: Modular VMU [In Progress]

Post by ThompsonTinkers » Tue May 22, 2018 11:08 am

This is a cool little project. It's almost a baby tricorder!

Module ideas off the top of my head:
  • Camera. IR Camera?
  • A universal remote control with an IR emitter and receiver.
  • Multimeter, or low frequency oscilloscope.
  • AVR or pic programmer. Clip it on to the target circuit, and burn with a stored program or via wifi.
  • Audio recorder? Live streaming microphone?
It's probably a little too power intensive to do a data logger.

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