The GigaBox, Take 1 (My first GBZ)

Show off your completed Game Boy Zero, or post your build logs here!
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GigaCat
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Re: The GigaBox, Take 1 (My first GBZ)

Post by GigaCat » Wed Aug 14, 2019 2:42 pm

Thanks a million for your creations! I plan to do another one using the Ultra line and much better planning. I'm likely going to order it all Friday and make a super clean, completely new unit. Will keep an eye out for new products.

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Re: The GigaBox, Take 1 (My first GBZ)

Post by infinitLoop » Thu Aug 15, 2019 6:46 am

Dividion wrote:
Wed Aug 14, 2019 9:47 am

As for the SPI screens, I still recommend those for a Zero W build. They're crisp and low power. With fbcp-ili9341 they're really smooth, but it does cut down on the performance you get with GBA and SNES, which are definitely demanding on that processor. You can try a bit of overclocking, but I usually don't bother. Regular fbcp works well enough, but you can spot the drop in framerates if you compare it to fbcp-ili9341 or another screen type like hdmi or composite. Those of course come with their own power-hungry controller boards.
careful when messing with the overclocking though, as the gpu/core_freq settings affects the SPI clock that the various frame-buffer drivers use. tweak it too much, or with the wrong numbers, and your screen image will get pretty weird, or just stop working. i think what helps more on those systems seems to picking the right emulator, but i'm still (always) tweaking and finding the best settings for that. so far though, i've found going back to retropie 4.3 and using the juj drivers gives the best performance all-around, but the fbcp-ili9341 is pretty nice too.

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Re: The GigaBox, Take 1 (My first GBZ)

Post by GigaCat » Mon Sep 23, 2019 10:01 am

I think I'm gonna order all new everything next build. I turned my existing parts into a working GBZ Frankenstein thing for the sake of experimentation. Through days of trial and error, I have a much better idea of how to insert things and in what order.

Pictures coming later today.

- Bought a new Pi Zero W with the intent of using it nude, without a GPIO Assist board this time. Made the rookiest of rookie mistakes and swapped 5V with GND. Now it's a shiny little conversation piece.

- Managed to pry my original Zero W from the jaws of my original GPIO Assist... at the expense of the D- USB pad under the board. Remedied this by removing the microUSB port and oh-so-carefully soldering 30AWG wire directly to the D- and D+ contacts on the board.

- Got Helder's RetroPSU. Complete overkill for a Pi Zero W, but it also saves SO much wire and time. Analog stick works A-OK in that I could successfully map it in ES, but RetroArch still doesn't know what to do with it. This is in Gamepad Mode (with the analog stick enabled), so I'll have to test it as a regular keyboard. Consistent with other user reports, the battery/wifi/bluetooth/ icons with OneforAll are super duper tiny on a composite display. I can make out just enough of the battery icon for it to be serviceable, but I hope there's an update to this.

Also I kinda burned off two pads: One of the 5V pads and BAT+. I just followed the traces and soldered elsewhere on the trail. Thankfully, they still work. For all this effort I will say that RetroPSU + Megabat are a fantastic pair.

- To get more power draw for my buck, I fit a fan (specifically, the iUniker fan that came with my Retroflag SUPERPi package months ago) inside. Unfortunately, even at 3.3V it's loud as hell, so I scrapped that plan for now. All that remain are terribly aligned ventilation holes.

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Re: The GigaBox, Take 1 (My first GBZ)

Post by GigaCat » Mon Oct 07, 2019 7:24 am

Pure freakin' rage.

I took a different approach with my Game Boy Not-Zero. Got a white shell and black buttons, drilled only X and Y holes in the front (moved L and R to the rear), and decided not to use an analog stick at all in this build Everything was working 200% fine, but the X and Y buttons were a little sunken in and required a little extra pressure to function, so I put two layers of electrical tape between the silicone and the button cap. Now these buttons work, and *nothing else* works like it did. I had never gotten the buttons to respond so effortlessly (I flowed a whole new layer of solder on each of the contacts and scraped/cleaned them), and now they all need a ton of pressure.

Pocket Adventures button boards are the bane of my existence.

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Re: The GigaBox, Take 1 (My first GBZ)

Post by infinitLoop » Mon Oct 07, 2019 10:35 am

i haven't tried the "flow solder on the pads" approach yet, but have had similar issues, and they can be maddening. a dab of hot glue in the bottom of the x/y buttons helped too, i thought, for when they were too sunken-in.

i blamed the boards for a while, but actually i think what solved it for me more often than not was good, stiff silicon pads. the special, colored ones you can get tend to be more squishy, and i've gotten just plan bad ones from random chinese vendors. good ones make a huge difference.

if you did want to try a different board, glitch'd gaming's standard one has always worked well for me. but i've also used a bunch of the PA ones and (assuming you have good pads, etc), and usually don't have issues

i am smitten for the design of the pocket adventure ones tho

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Re: The GigaBox, Take 1 (My first GBZ)

Post by GigaCat » Mon Oct 07, 2019 11:54 am

I may have indeed gone overboard with the solder reflow. I happen to have another, unmodified PA button board available so I'll try that once I get hope and clean off all the epoxy from my last attempt.

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