Aluminum Game Boy Zero Housings

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boxypixel
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Aluminum Game Boy Zero Housings

Post by boxypixel » Sun Nov 25, 2018 7:15 am

I have started working on the design for a billet machined aluminum housing for the Game boy zero components. I hope to get input from the community to help drive the design. Currently, I have a housing made for the game boy color with the AGS-101 screen. There was an extensive amount of modification necessary to that mod happen, and making a custom housing made the build simple for it.

-Currently, I am planning to design around Kite's board, with 4 buttons on the front, and two on the rear.
-I likely will not have a game cartridge slot, but instead make it look like a cart. is installed so that space will be integrated the rear housing.
-It will fasten together with SS machine screws, and not require any cutting or modifications to housings
- Since a lithium battery will be used with micro USB charge, I do not plan to have a rear access panel. This eliminates an additional part and complexity to help keep costs reasonable.
- Would there be interest in making the overall thickness of the DMZ thinner? Or, I can keep the stock size and keep room for batteries, etc.
-The sky's the limit, and the devil is in the details. Ordering machined parts is expensive, so I have to get this right!

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Re: Aluminum Game Boy Zero Housings

Post by YaYa » Sun Nov 25, 2018 8:23 am

Awesome project ! Please keep the size the same ! You can find here a very accurate model to start from

https://sudomod.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=43&t=3729
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Re: Aluminum Game Boy Zero Housings

Post by Hellweaver666 » Mon Nov 26, 2018 1:18 am

Was it your work on the pocket I saw recently on the Retro Future channel on YouTube? That thing was awesome!

I agree, keep the size the same. If you made it any thinner it'll likely cost us on the battery size etc.

Speaking of which, I think the battery bay is important to get right... many of us use LiPo batteries and have to spend a lot of time to carve out the bay to fit things like the MegaBat and also need holes to pass through the cable etc. I do actually find myself having to unplug the battery from time to time as Retropie isn't the most stable software on the planet and often crashes on the Pi Zero (to the point where I'm seriously considering soldering a hard power button inline on the battery in addition to the soft power).

So I recently finished my GBZ and I'm seriously regretting not putting 6 buttons up front and 4 on the back (for playing more complex ports like Duke Nukem and Doom which are designed for keyboard controls). I wonder if there is a way you could make it super easy for us to "pop out" additional holes by making the case super thin in those places for those of us that want more flexibility (I realise you can't make everyone happy but it's something to consider).

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Re: Aluminum Game Boy Zero Housings

Post by boxypixel » Mon Nov 26, 2018 9:48 am

Hellweaver666 wrote:
Mon Nov 26, 2018 1:18 am
Was it your work on the pocket I saw recently on the Retro Future channel on YouTube? That thing was awesome!

I agree, keep the size the same. If you made it any thinner it'll likely cost us on the battery size etc.

Speaking of which, I think the battery bay is important to get right... many of us use LiPo batteries and have to spend a lot of time to carve out the bay to fit things like the MegaBat and also need holes to pass through the cable etc. I do actually find myself having to unplug the battery from time to time as Retropie isn't the most stable software on the planet and often crashes on the Pi Zero (to the point where I'm seriously considering soldering a hard power button inline on the battery in addition to the soft power).

So I recently finished my GBZ and I'm seriously regretting not putting 6 buttons up front and 4 on the back (for playing more complex ports like Duke Nukem and Doom which are designed for keyboard controls). I wonder if there is a way you could make it super easy for us to "pop out" additional holes by making the case super thin in those places for those of us that want more flexibility (I realise you can't make everyone happy but it's something to consider).
Yes, that was my housing on youtube. I have more images at boxypixel.com
You have a good point about battery capacity. I think it's probably wise to keep as much room as possible. I also didn't consider having to disconnect the battery. I'll have to think about how I'll accomplish this.
As for additional buttons, I could make it thinner for additional buttons. However, I don't see a way to make it easily removed. The best I could do is, create a small pilot hole on the inside to help guide a drill bit. Thanks so much for the input, it is exactly what I'm looking for. I appreciate it!

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Re: Aluminum Game Boy Zero Housings

Post by Hellweaver666 » Mon Nov 26, 2018 12:25 pm

well, as far as the holes go, most of us are using stepped drill bits to make the holes in our plastic cases. They're usually designed primarily for drilling into metal, so they should be able to make light work of a couple of mm of aluminium if needed.

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Re: Aluminum Game Boy Zero Housings

Post by ThompsonTinkers » Tue Nov 27, 2018 7:34 am

If there's a divot in the back of the case for each button, one could drill a pilot hole from the back, then turn it around and use the step drill from the front.

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Re: Aluminum Game Boy Zero Housings

Post by boxypixel » Wed Nov 28, 2018 6:59 am

Hellweaver666 wrote:
Mon Nov 26, 2018 12:25 pm
well, as far as the holes go, most of us are using stepped drill bits to make the holes in our plastic cases. They're usually designed primarily for drilling into metal, so they should be able to make light work of a couple of mm of aluminium if needed.
Shouldn't be a problem to do something along these lines.

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Re: Aluminum Game Boy Zero Housings

Post by DieselDummy » Wed Nov 28, 2018 8:02 am

This is a great idea. The entire case could be used as a common ground for all components as well depending on the conductivity of the aluminum

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Re: Aluminum Game Boy Zero Housings

Post by ZahcStarKiller » Sat Mar 09, 2019 2:21 am

I found your site just now after reading a Reddit thread. Very very cool stuff. I was going to post here with a link to your site for people to check out, but I see you’ve posted here already!

I’m very excited to hear that you’re working on a CM3 DMG case for the kite CS, and a CM3 advance. I’ll definitely be in for one of each. I just built a crazy CM3 with Kites board and it’s pretty epic.

I also think space for the battery, like the 5,000mah one I got from Dex is key. I’ve got an IMMENSE amount of battery life with that battery. It’s crazy.

As for the hard power switch option, just a thought, if you made a 3D printed bracket to hold the battery and a small switch, and indexed a small cutout on the back of the DMG to line up with the switch pole, that would work great I think. I haven’t had any issues at all with my CM3 build needing a hard power off though.

Also, joystick support would be sweet, perhaps even a pilot divot on the inside like discussed for the extra buttons, or even a machined spot for the joystick to drop into. Just another thought.

And one more. Sorry. Lol.

If you’re thinking about machining it to look like there’s a cart in the slot in the back without it being removable, I’d recommend some air holes in the cart. I, like a lot of CM3 guys, am running a fan. It’s housed in a 3D printed bracket and cart setup from Hooly and works like a charm.

Anyways, I’m super stoked to see what is coming down the line from you, and have signed up for the newsletter! Cheers!!

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Re: Aluminum Game Boy Zero Housings

Post by McGyver » Sat Mar 09, 2019 4:42 am

Nice idea, I would assume to use one of this cases during a future build. Just some thoughts about:
-Wifi and Bluetooth will be a problem inside a metal housing!
-common ground by the case could been used but difficult to handle: each connection to the metal groud must be well sanded or grinded in order to archive a good conductivity. Aluminum can not been soldered with standard solder to attach harness. Each ground connection needs to been done by screwed tags. All over more work than just solder all wires to an power distribution strip which could be any cupper board.
-case closure screws. Keep in mind that alluminum is quite soft: screws should been tighted very carefully!

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