My Game Boy Color Shenanigans (work in progress)

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My Game Boy Color Shenanigans (work in progress)

Post by NimbleJoshua » Sun Apr 08, 2018 7:26 pm

UPDATE: Nov. 17, 2019 Coming back from a very long hiatus. Very long. Too long. Alright, back to work then!

Basically, I'm trying to build: a dual joystick, 14 button Retropie system with a full sized Pi 3B...all "Tetrised" inside a Game Boy Color shell. Here is the front:

FrontHalfExterior.jpg (5.22 MiB) Viewed 1958 times

The inspiration for this project comes from my first completed build which is pictured below. It's basically what Wermy did in his 2016 GBZ guide but with a GBC shell.
IMG_20180408_193406856.jpg (4.1 MiB) Viewed 2830 times
Parts used in the picture:

Pi Zero W + 13mm heatsink

Adafruit 2.5" composite screen

Camble's Safe Shutdown v1.2

Adafruit Powerboost 1000c

Adafruit 1200mah LiPo battery

Black Kitsch-Bent D-pad/ABXY buttons/power switch

Bottom half of GBC motherboard for button input + copper tape for X and Y

Two 6x6x7mm clicky switches for LR

Helder's 5v power strip

Helder's surface mount PWM buffer

1" Adafruit speaker

PAM8302 mono 2.5w class D amp

10k potentiometer

30 AWG for data and 24 AWG for power


So yeah. As it stands now, everything is moving along nicely! Basically all of the hardware does fit inside comfortably after some modification, and I even managed to fit a 3000mah (605085) battery in there.
There are a couple problems that still need to be solved such as the rear button placement and some wiring, but it's only a matter of time before this thing is completed.

Last edited by NimbleJoshua on Sun Nov 17, 2019 3:18 am, edited 17 times in total.

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Re: Kiwi GBC Zero, ABXY+LR (work in progress)

Post by slicknick654 » Mon Apr 16, 2018 12:39 pm

hey! I've been looking to make this exact build for some time. Can you share how you used the old GBC motherboard wired up to everything else or a guide you used for this part? I've been looking for a GBC compatible/custom button panel forever but cant find one, so this may be the only option.

Thanks and beautiful build!


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Re: Kiwi GBC Zero, ABXY+LR (work in progress)

Post by Cooper270987 » Mon Apr 16, 2018 8:08 pm

Nice build very impressive you don’t see to many GBC’s on here. If your thinking of a bigger screen you could get a custom protector from Bluishsquirrel he does ones for GBC too.

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Post by NimbleJoshua » Sat Jun 23, 2018 9:25 pm

So I decided to put aside the Powerboost 1000c and use a popular alternative. I guess the Powerboost can struggle to provide adequate power to the Pi 3...which is a shame. :(

But yeah. Since I'm stupidly inexperienced when it comes to anything power/voltage etc, I have a couple questions:

Why does this generic board seem to work better than the Powerboost 1000c when both are rated @5v 1a output?

Where can I get a small SPDT/DPDT slide switch that is able to handle this wiring? I'm having a little trouble understanding switch ratings.

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Re: My Game Boy Color Shenanigans (work in progress)

Post by Helder » Sun Jun 24, 2018 7:50 am

If you use a HDMI screen it has a good amount of draw and also with the composite lcd as well now throw in the draw of the Pi 3 it's well over 1A especially if you ovecrlock it.

If you plan to use an SPI lcd which has much much less draw then the PowerBoost or generic PSU should work as long as you don't overclock or speed up the emulation.

I have my own custom PSU and I can drive an HDMI LCD and Pi3 no issues as long as I don't speed up emulation or overclock (waiting on a beefier inductor to handle the overclock).

As for the switch any of these regular switches you see people use should be able to handle the power.
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