In the earliest of the 90s, before Sega and Nintendo were best buddies, they went head to head in the handheld console market. Sega released their Game Gear, which had a ton of very interesting features, and was “technologically superior” to it’s rival, Nintendo’s Game Boy. However, user experience won out, and Nintendo’s Game Boy was crowned the victor of this battle. The Game Gear faded into obscurity, forever in our hearts marked as ‘pretty cool.’
So, why the handheld gaming history lesson? Well, today we’re going to be giving the Game Gear a second life as a Raspberry Pi-based handheld!
We’re gonna be modifying the Game Gear’s case to fit the screen, and the new internal components. The button PCBs will be reused from the original motherboard, and we’ll be adding a couple of capacitive pad buttons for extra inputs! There’s quite a bit of soldering involved, lots of heatshrinking, and cutting of plastics & PCBs. Make sure you have your safety goggles and facemask ready!!
- Soldering Iron & Solder
- Flush Cutters
- Wire Strippers
- Power Drill (With Various Bits)
- Philips Screwdriver
- Hot Glue Gun
- Electrical Tape
- Rotary Tool (With Cutting Bits)
- Large Cutters (Capable of cutting PCB)
- Helping Third Hand (Little Chompies!)
- Donor Game Gear
- Adafruit 3.5 Inch Composite Display
- Adafruit MAX98306 Amplifier Board
- Adafruit PowerBoost 1000
- Adafruit Mini-USB B Breakout
- Adafruit Standalone Momentary Capacitive Breakout Board (3x)
- Adafruit Li-Poly Backpack
- Adafruit LiPo Battery (2500mAh is the absolute minimum, larger reccomended!)
- Raspberry Pi (Any of the many models will work with slight changes, the instructions use a #1 Model B.)
- Adafruit Perma-Proto Half-sized Breadboard (Single) (A Quarter-Sized Breadboard will also work!!)
- PJRC Teensy 2.0
- SPDT Switch
- 0.1″ Female and Male Breakaway Headers
- Heatshrink Tubing
- Mini-USB Cable (or Adafruit Mini-USB B DIY Connector Shell)
- Perfboard (No Copper Clads)
- Metric Hardware Kit (OR see table below!)
- Ribbon Cable (Colored helps a ton, but any smaller gauge one will do!)
- 3.5mm Stereo Plug Cable (For the audio test cable, OR an old pair of headphones will do!)
- 8GB (or 4GB Absolute Minimum) Micro-SD Card
- Shortening Card Adapter for Raspberry Pi (If using the #1 Model B or A.)
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