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Minty pi green.jpg

Parts List

(Note: some of these are Amazon affiliate links. They don't cost you anything extra but they do help the site pay for things like hosting)

  • Altoids tin (I don't think size varies between countries, but the ones I've been using are from the US). You can also use the blank tin that Adafruit sells, as it's an exact match in size and shape:
  • Raspberry Pi Zero W (the older non-W version will work fine, but wifi is very nice to have for transferring roms and SSHing into it to tweak settings, since the USB port is taken up by the sound card):
  • MicroSD Card Pretty much any card will do. Nicer ones may boot a little faster. The minimum size for the pre-made RetroPie image will be 4GB, so anything that size or above should work fine. You can fit a lot more retro games on a 16GB card than you'd think, so don't feel like you need to go crazy and buy a 128GB card.
  • 3D-printed parts to hold everything in place: (STL files are linked to further down this page)
  • Screen: either the 2.4" screen with custom PCB that Helder will have available soon (, or a 2.2" ILI9341-based SPI TFT screen like this one (It should look identical to this one on the back. You may be able to find cheaper sellers. There is a thread for discussing screen options here:
  • USB sound card This one specifically because of its size and the fact that it puts out enough juice to not need a separate amp to drive a tiny speaker -- again you may be able to find a cheaper seller.
  • Speaker: 20mm diameter 0.5W 8Ohm (this is the one I used, but any 20mm speaker that is 3.5mm or less in thickness should work: )
  • Battery charger: Either this one or Adafruit's microLipo
  • Battery: 1200mAh lipo from Adafruit:
  • DS Lite buttons and conductive pads (DSi, 3DS and n3DS will NOT work with the 3d-printed parts or the button PCB). Black and white buttons available here:
  • Power switch: (I used this one since it's available locally for really cheap, but any tiny switch should do:
  • Tactile switches: 2 for start and select - these 2 will be pre-attached to Helder's board - (2.5mm tall including the actual button, 2mm tall without, 6.2mm x 6.2mm base), and 2 for L/R (5mm tall including the actual button, 3.2mm tall without, 6.2 x 6.2mm base)
  • Screws: 3 sizes of m2 screws: 4x3mm, 4x8mm, and 6x4mm -- you can buy just the screws you need here or a big box of a ton of screws (including the sizes needed) here
  • Some strong double-sided tape to attach the screen to the tin. VHB tape from 3M works very well, but be careful, it's so strong that you will likely damage your tin or 3d-printed parts if you try to remove it.
  • Wire: Silicone-coated wire works great because it is incredibly flexible and heat-resistant (nice for soldering). I use 30AWG wire for things like the sound card, L/R buttons, etc. and 26AWG wire for power/ground.
  • If you want to do it all by hand in stead of using a button PCB, then some copper tape like this:


The pre-made RetroPie image can be downloaded here:

It is a fresh install of RetroPie 4.2, with the screen, controls, and sound already set up for you. It also has a few other tweaks, like the Carbon theme tweaked with a larger font size, some services disabled for faster startup (notably Samba), button shortcuts set up for adjusting volume (Select + L/R), as well as RetroPie menu options for enabling/disabling Wifi/Bluetooth. It even has a nice splash screen animation preconfigured from AJRedfern on the forums.

The software that comes installed on it (aside from RetroPie) is:

Setup Script

The setup script used to create the pre-made image above can be downloaded here:

To use it, extract the zip file into your /boot folder. You should then have a /boot/mintyPi folder, as well as a /boot/wpa_supplicant.conf file.

To run the script, first setup your wifi by entering your SSID and network password into the wpa_supplicant.conf file from a desktop computer, then insert the SD card into your pi and boot it up. If you already have your wifi set up on your pi, you can skip this.

Then, on the Pi itself, navigate to /boot/mintyPi folder in the terminal, and run 'sudo ./'. That's it! It should set everything up for you, and reboot when it's done. Again, make sure you have network access when you run it.


Does it have L/R buttons?

 Yes πŸ‘ it πŸ‘ has πŸ‘ L πŸ‘ and πŸ‘ R πŸ‘ buttons.

Where are the STL files?

 Right here:

Can I use Barkleys Mints in stead of Altoids?

 Yes, in fact someone on the forums did just that:

Can I use a 2.4" screen on a red board from ebay, like the 2.2" version?

 No, the board is too wide, even if you were to chop off the corners.  That's why Helder's custom board is nice - it lets us fit a 2.4" screen in there easily.

Can you get to the SD card?

 Not easily, no; you'd have to remove a few screws and lift out the bottom portion of the tin.

How will you put ROMs on it without access to the SD card?

 This is why the Pi Zero W is so nice - it has built-in wifi, so you can transfer files and update settings that way.

How much does this cost?

 Depends where you buy your parts.  You can use the links in the parts list as a starting point and may be able to save a few bucks by looking around for better prices.

Can a 2000mAh battery fit in there?

 Not the Adafruit one, no.  If you increase the height of the bottom area of the tin very much at all then your buttons will be pressing against the screen, and that's not good.

Can I just buy a pre-made one?

 I (wermy) will likely have a few for sale, but not many.  I'm sure there will be others selling a few pre-made ones here and there as well, just like the Game Boy Zero.

Is there room for analog sticks?

 Probably not, and would require finding something other than Retrogame for the input (it just spits out keyboard keys given some GPIO pin input, which of course wouldn't work well with analog sticks).

Is there room for a headphone jack?

 You'd need one that could switch the speaker off when you plug it in, like with the GBZ.  I doubt there is enough room for one like that.

How do you control the volume?

 You can control the volume while inside a game by pressing select + L/R.

Misc Links