I just finished building my first Retropie handheld using the Waveshare Game Hat and a Raspberry Pi 3B.
For anyone looking to make an easy Retropie handheld build this is the one. For around $40 for the Waveshare Game Hat it's pretty affordable. It has a 3.5" screen, stereo speakers, headphone jack and SNES style button layout. All you need to get it going is a Raspberry Pi (& Micro SD card) and one 18650 battery. The great thing about this handheld project is that no soldering is needed.
Waveshare has a Retropie image you can download onto your Micro SD card with their drivers already installed and ready to go. Or you can manually add the drivers yourself. I downloaded their image since it was easier for me.
Here is a link to the Waveshare Game Hat:
I purchased my Game Hat off of AliExpress of about $38 with tax and shipping. But since it came from China it took over 2 weeks to get to me. Some sellers are hit or miss so take your chances if you decide to purchase from there. If not Amazon will usually have it but for a bit more money.
Size comparison to the Nintendo Switch
Here it is with the buttons all removed for repainting.
Back of the Game Hat.
With the Raspberry Pi 3B and 18650 battery all installed.
The case the Waveshare Game Hat comes with is just a cheap top and bottom acrylic plate that digs into your hands after about 10+ minutes of play time. Plus there's no real protection of the internal parts on the sides so I decided to get a 3D printed case for it.
Here is the link to the 3D printer files that I used to print my case off of Thingiverse created by zuendy:
Then since I don't have 3D Printer yet I used 3DHubs.com to print out the parts. It cost around $42 to print everything out including shipping.
Here is the case all sanded and down and then sprayed with Filler Primer Spray Paint to help fill in the voids and smooth it out. And I decided to go with a Super Famicom colors on the buttons as well so I painted the buttons. I was going to stick with the gray color but ended up going with black. Then I sprayed it with a clear coat finish to help protect the paint and stickers/decals from scraches.
Here is the finished product. I ordered some stickers/decals and created some button labels and got them printed from Redbubble. I wanted to spice up the case a little instead of just leaving it bland looking.
Here is the back of the case with some more stickers/decals from Redbubble.
The only negatives I hear people say about the Waveshare Game Hat is that having a thumbstick/joystick instead of a D-Pad is a let down. And also the other negative is the buttons are really clicky (kinda loud). And I guess you can include the cheap acrylic plate case as a negative. But overall these little negatives don't bother me at all after playing on this for over a week now the joystick and clicky buttons don't bother me. Eventually I might switch out the button switches but for now they don't bother me, so maybe not. The only other mod I might want to try to do is the on screen battery monitor.
But I'm really happy on how this came out and the quality of this handheld for the price. It may not be as nice compared to all the other projects on here but to me I'm happy with my first completed handheld device project.
Want to show off your own project? Want to keep a build log of it? Post it here!
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