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October 10, 2014 AT 1:00 pm

Upgrade An Old Gameboy With Raspberry Pi #piday #raspberrypi @Raspberry_Pi

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Gut your old Gamboy and upgrade it with a Raspberry Pi. via instructables

Picture of Gameboy LCD+Raspi Upgrade
Hi all! After being a long-time browser of this site I decided it was time to publish my first Instructable. I’m very much into all things retro-gaming. I’ve built a full-size virtual pinball running Hyperspin which may well be my next Instructable. I’m also in the process of upgrading an early 90’s Final Lap driving cabinet to be a multi-game machine.

Here I will show how I gutted an old non-working Nintendo Gameboy original, and fitted these parts instead:

– 3.5″ 320×240 LCD with driver PCB

– Raspberry Pi (Model A)

– custom built button PCB

– 1x 18650 Li-Ion cell

– USB Li-Ion charger board

– 3.7V to 5V DC-DC converter board

– stereo audio amp board

– stereo speakers

I’ve seen other Instructables doing a similar thing, but I set myself a few challenges and desired features of my build which include:

– Fitting the Pi with little or (ideally) no modification

– Have the Pi’s USB port and HDMI port remain accessible

– Have the SD card hidden away but also easily accessible

– Retain analogue control of volume

– Retain normal functions of all front buttons, also make it easy to add buttons if the need arises

– Upgrade sound with internal stereo speakers

– Have major components unpluggable (ie. not have all things hard-wired to each other)

– Retain some kind of visible power LED and charge status LEDs

– Have the Gameboy case fit back together cleanly but very securely

– Achieve a good run-time per charge, around 2hrs+

In the end I think I achieved all these goals. Initially I wanted to fit 2x Li-Ion cells but there just wasn’t enough room for that 2nd cell.

I had enough experience with Raspian/Raspbmc to know how to get the Pi up and running with RetroPie. I was new to EmulationStation though. I also had not previously dealt with the GPIO pins on a Pi. But I soon discovered how useful these pins are and that it would be possible to control not only the games but also navigate EmulationStation menus as well. Each button grounds a certain GPIO pin, then software makes that action produce a keystroke, as defined in a config file.

Anyway, on with the mod!

Full tutorial

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