alien0matics build or a newbie learning soldering

Show off your completed Game Boy Zero, or post your build logs here!
User avatar
alien0matic
Posts: 102
Joined: Wed Jun 08, 2016 7:20 am
Has thanked: 15 times
Been thanked: 23 times

alien0matics build or a newbie learning soldering

Post by alien0matic » Wed Jul 06, 2016 8:55 am

After seeing wermys first show off video I decided that I had to have one of those, too.

I happend to have an old soldering station I got gifted by a company that replaced them with newer ones. I never really put it to use, other then soldering power to LED strips. I also had all the other tools needed to get going, even though everything was old and used I was all set up. I thought...

The list of parts I ended up having in my Game Boy Zero:
  • Broken Game Boy from ebay
  • Cheapest game on ebay for the cartridge
  • Helders Button PCB
  • Teensy LC
  • Adafruit PowerBoost 1000C
  • Adafruit LiPo 2000mAh
  • Adafruit micro USB breakout
  • Speaker
  • Raspberry Pi Zero
  • 640x480 screen that cannakin found
  • Octopus USB hub
  • 1k Ohm stereo potentiometer
  • CSL USB soundcard
  • SNES Gamepad (for the buttons)
  • Tactile switches
  • Cartridge sticker from dominator
  • Screen glas with sticker from dominator

I've read everything on here, the wiki and the tutorials wermy made, but just realized I have to use a triwing screw driver before the broken Game Boy arrived. When both were there I was so thrilled to take everything apart that I did it without thinking about or taking a before pic, so you have to look at the disassembled Game Boy.
[spoiler="Disassembled"]
IMG_20160616_183823.jpg
IMG_20160616_183823.jpg (278.82 KiB) Viewed 4292 times
[/spoiler]
The screen glass fell out as if there has never been glue.
[spoiler="without glass"]
IMG_20160617_203158.jpg
IMG_20160617_203158.jpg (212.61 KiB) Viewed 4292 times
[/spoiler]

So I grabbed my trusty soldering iron and startet to learn how to solder on PCBs. I was pleased that you could see a progress in the first few connections.
[spoiler="soldered PCB"]
IMG_20160617_220918.jpg
IMG_20160617_220918.jpg (156.06 KiB) Viewed 4292 times
[/spoiler]

"Look, the teensy is already working, I'm nearly done!"
[spoiler="Programming the Teensy"]
IMG_20160618_002046.jpg
IMG_20160618_002046.jpg (252.21 KiB) Viewed 4292 times
[/spoiler]
I was confident, the project went along, the parts kept coming and everything worked fine. Then the screen came in the mail... it has a huge board (yes, RazorX I know I can dremel it), but worse then that, it looks horrible.
[spoiler="wrong screen"]
IMG_20160618_142422.jpg
IMG_20160618_142422.jpg (199.22 KiB) Viewed 4292 times
[/spoiler]
So I ordered myself the VGA screen. It's expensive but I couldn't live with how bad the other screen looked like and didn't want to gamble with another 18€ to hopefully get one that looks good.
I visited my parents to use my fathers stood drill to make perfect holes. I also used the Dremel to make room for a bigger screen.
[spoiler="DMG case modding"]
IMG_20160620_192933.jpg
IMG_20160620_192933.jpg (163.85 KiB) Viewed 4292 times
IMG_20160620_211954.jpg
IMG_20160620_211954.jpg (126.2 KiB) Viewed 4292 times
IMG_20160620_212807.jpg
IMG_20160620_212807.jpg (105.81 KiB) Viewed 4292 times
[/spoiler]

Got my cartridge and made the SD mod right away. I carefully took everything apart, soldered it, carved it so you can access the micro SD... measured everything twice, connected the cartridge reader. Then covered everything in hotglue and as I was lying in bed that evening it hit me... I forgot the capacitor. All this hotglue has to be removed...
[spoiler="Cartridge modding"]
IMG_20160625_144045.jpg
IMG_20160625_144045.jpg (107.36 KiB) Viewed 4292 times
IMG_20160626_180839.jpg
IMG_20160626_180839.jpg (187.97 KiB) Viewed 4292 times
[/spoiler]

...seems like I hit the maximum amount of attachments. To be continued

User avatar
alien0matic
Posts: 102
Joined: Wed Jun 08, 2016 7:20 am
Has thanked: 15 times
Been thanked: 23 times

Re: alien0matics build or a newbie learning soldering

Post by alien0matic » Wed Jul 06, 2016 8:55 am

[spoiler="More pics of the cartridge mod"]
IMG_20160626_184722.jpg
IMG_20160626_184722.jpg (156.49 KiB) Viewed 4287 times
IMG_20160626_214708.jpg
IMG_20160626_214708.jpg (193.41 KiB) Viewed 4287 times
IMG_20160626_215359.jpg
IMG_20160626_215359.jpg (159.29 KiB) Viewed 4287 times
[/spoiler]

Just adding all those pics to show all the work that went into it and it just doesn't work. The Pi recognizes the SD sometimes but refuses to boot from it. At the end I got mad and removed the cartridgereader completely from the case to have more space.
I testfitted the LCD into the case and saw what I already knew. The controller board is way to big to use wermys method with the screw bracket. I figured I could glue the screwposts to the shell above the screen and add new holes to the backshell. I added a small prototyping board to sink the screwheads far enough to not block the cartridge from sliding in and out.
[spoiler="my screwing"]
IMG_20160630_212835.jpg
IMG_20160630_212835.jpg (173.76 KiB) Viewed 4287 times
IMG_20160630_222224.jpg
IMG_20160630_222224.jpg (132.39 KiB) Viewed 4287 times
IMG_20160630_231617.jpg
IMG_20160630_231617.jpg (152.93 KiB) Viewed 4287 times
IMG_20160630_210636.jpg
IMG_20160630_210636.jpg (112.55 KiB) Viewed 4287 times
[/spoiler]

Adding piece after piece and forgetting to take pictures, but IT'S ALIVE (in the shell)
[spoiler="Testing"]
IMG_20160703_144709.jpg
IMG_20160703_144709.jpg (164.99 KiB) Viewed 4287 times
[/spoiler]

Here it is, the Cthulhu of all Game Boys, right before I screw it together.
[spoiler="Lying spaghettimonster"]
IMG_20160705_195642.jpg
IMG_20160705_195642.jpg (204.92 KiB) Viewed 4287 times
[/spoiler]

Finally! Everything in the case and screwed together for the first time!
[spoiler="finally"]
IMG_20160705_200450.jpg
IMG_20160705_200450.jpg (133.68 KiB) Viewed 4287 times
[/spoiler]

Hit the maximum of attachments again...
Last edited by alien0matic on Wed Jul 06, 2016 9:11 am, edited 1 time in total.

User avatar
alien0matic
Posts: 102
Joined: Wed Jun 08, 2016 7:20 am
Has thanked: 15 times
Been thanked: 23 times

Re: alien0matics build or a newbie learning soldering

Post by alien0matic » Wed Jul 06, 2016 8:56 am

Now I just added dominators screen cover. It was a tight fit and stayed in, so I thought that there is no need to glue it on. But now I know, if you press the upper left of the case, the screen cover will fall out. I ordered some 2mm double-sided tape to hold it in place. So long I tell everyone to be careful ;)
This cover is awesome, everything on the front now says "This was always meant to be this way"
[spoiler="Dominators screen cover"]
IMG_20160705_200626.jpg
IMG_20160705_200626.jpg (127.21 KiB) Viewed 4284 times
[/spoiler]

I drilled holes in the top to see the charging and power LEDs, but I drilled too early, so the LEDs and the wholes doesn't line up anymore. I tried adding fiberoptics, which worked for the power LED, but not for charging. The stupid Pattex hotglue is too transparent to glow when put on the LED. I'm stuck for now with this visibility.
[spoiler="charing"]
IMG_20160705_211914.jpg
IMG_20160705_211914.jpg (169.35 KiB) Viewed 4284 times
[/spoiler]
Another feature I added was, that the controlcross really uses up, down, left, right on a keyboard, "Select" maps to the tabulator, "Start" to enter and a 3rd tactile switch to ESC. This way I can control most of the commandline menus that pop up when you press the wrong Emulationstation Icon somewhere. Which happend to me a lot.
If someone is interested in the code I can upload it, but it is pretty easy and if you solder the pins different you had to edit the mappings.

I have the feeling that I should tighten the screws to get rid of the feeling of this case bursting open...
[spoiler="case"]
IMG_20160705_215040.jpg
IMG_20160705_215040.jpg (97.39 KiB) Viewed 4284 times
IMG_20160705_215114.jpg
IMG_20160705_215114.jpg (127 KiB) Viewed 4284 times
IMG_20160705_215129.jpg
IMG_20160705_215129.jpg (78.72 KiB) Viewed 4284 times
IMG_20160705_215201.jpg
IMG_20160705_215201.jpg (98.96 KiB) Viewed 4284 times
[/spoiler]

But in the end, it works and you can play with it. And with "you" I mean my wife, that took the GBZ and started to play before I even had the chance to charge it properly :D
[spoiler="not my wife"]
IMG_20160705_215253.jpg
IMG_20160705_215253.jpg (90.41 KiB) Viewed 4284 times
[/spoiler]

Thank you [mention]wermy[/mention] for the idea, [mention]Cannikin[/mention] for finding the screen and making the wiring diagram, [mention]RazorX[/mention] for discord support, [mention]Fleder[/mention] for the german store links... and a lot of other people I forgot.

User avatar
Tamasco
Posts: 67
Joined: Tue Jun 21, 2016 2:37 pm
Location: Spain
Has thanked: 34 times
Been thanked: 10 times

Re: alien0matics build or a newbie learning soldering

Post by Tamasco » Wed Jul 06, 2016 11:19 am

A really nice build! You had the same screen board as me (the cheap one), the only difference is that I break it trying to convert it to 5v :lol:
Waiting now for the second one...

User avatar
alien0matic
Posts: 102
Joined: Wed Jun 08, 2016 7:20 am
Has thanked: 15 times
Been thanked: 23 times

Re: alien0matics build or a newbie learning soldering

Post by alien0matic » Wed Jul 06, 2016 2:15 pm

It runs absolutely fine with 5V without modifying anything. All you have to do is cutting down the board. The overall screen quality is bad, so I opted for a better looking one.

User avatar
Tamasco
Posts: 67
Joined: Tue Jun 21, 2016 2:37 pm
Location: Spain
Has thanked: 34 times
Been thanked: 10 times

Re: alien0matics build or a newbie learning soldering

Post by Tamasco » Wed Jul 06, 2016 3:34 pm

alien0matic wrote:It runs absolutely fine with 5V without modifying anything. All you have to do is cutting down the board. The overall screen quality is bad, so I opted for a better looking one.
Could you please tell me how did you setup it to pi0? I could try to see if stills works, not to much confident any way.

User avatar
chiz
Posts: 228
Joined: Thu May 05, 2016 12:05 am
Has thanked: 29 times
Been thanked: 118 times

Re: alien0matics build or a newbie learning soldering

Post by chiz » Wed Jul 06, 2016 8:48 pm

Nice build, @alien0matics!

How long did this take you to complete? It appears you complete it in just one day! :shock: (all progress posted on Jul 6)

User avatar
alien0matic
Posts: 102
Joined: Wed Jun 08, 2016 7:20 am
Has thanked: 15 times
Been thanked: 23 times

Re: alien0matics build or a newbie learning soldering

Post by alien0matic » Thu Jul 07, 2016 12:14 am

chiz wrote:Nice build, @alien0matics!

How long did this take you to complete? It appears you complete it in just one day! :shock: (all progress posted on Jul 6)
Sure, this is so easy I did it in one afternoon :lol:
The first pic with the disassembled Game Boy was shot on the 16th of June. The finished pic was taken on 5th of July, so it took about 3 weeks. Not everything is ready, I don't have an amp to power the speaker for example.
I wasn't really confident that I really make everything right and make it to the finishline. So I post everything afterwards, than it's save I won't fail ;)
Tomasco wrote:Could you please tell me how did you setup it to pi0? I could try to see if stills works, not to much confident any way.
Power to the red and black cables, connect the "TV" pin from the rpi0 to the yellow wire. This way my current screen powers on, but with the bad one I had to run the GND pin (right next to the TV pin) to GND of the screen. I don't have any pics on how I did it.

User avatar
chiz
Posts: 228
Joined: Thu May 05, 2016 12:05 am
Has thanked: 29 times
Been thanked: 118 times

Re: alien0matics build or a newbie learning soldering

Post by chiz » Thu Jul 07, 2016 12:33 am

alien0matic wrote:
chiz wrote:Nice build, @alien0matics!

How long did this take you to complete? It appears you complete it in just one day! :shock: (all progress posted on Jul 6)
Sure, this is so easy I did it in one afternoon :lol:
The first pic with the disassembled Game Boy was shot on the 16th of June. The finished pic was taken on 5th of July, so it took about 3 weeks. Not everything is ready, I don't have an amp to power the speaker for example.
I wasn't really confident that I really make everything right and make it to the finishline. So I post everything afterwards, than it's save I won't fail ;)
Haha I figured ;)

User avatar
Tamasco
Posts: 67
Joined: Tue Jun 21, 2016 2:37 pm
Location: Spain
Has thanked: 34 times
Been thanked: 10 times

Re: alien0matics build or a newbie learning soldering

Post by Tamasco » Thu Jul 07, 2016 12:38 am

alien0matic wrote:
Tamasco wrote:Could you please tell me how did you setup it to pi0? I could try to see if stills works, not to much confident any way.
Power to the red and black cables, connect the "TV" pin from the rpi0 to the yellow wire. This way my current screen powers on, but with the bad one I had to run the GND pin (right next to the TV pin) to GND of the screen. I don't have any pics on how I did it.
Like this? It what @Fleder advised me:

Image

Image

Post Reply

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest