djbriane's Circuit Gem misadventures

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djbriane
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djbriane's Circuit Gem misadventures

Post by djbriane » Sun Mar 24, 2019 1:09 pm

So this turned out to be a doozy of a project for me. First, the final results:
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Started out by stripping down the Raspberry Pi, hoping to fit a larger 850 mAh battery in and got everything soldered together:
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Came to find out I made some kind of mistake when stripping down the Pi and I couldn't get the Gem to turn on (all my connections checked out but there was a bridge between GND and VBATT that I couldn't resolve). So I wound up removing the Pi from the Gem using a hotair rework station and was pretty bummed when I wound up with this:
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Nearly gave up after this but upon closer examination I only had one pad that needed to be rewired (rest were redundant GND pads)! So I carried on and got the Pi to boot! My next speedbump was no sound due to a blown speaker (I checked the resistance before assembly but somehow it got blown during testing / assembly). My solution was to fish out an old iPad speaker I had laying around and replace it with that:
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I wouldn't necessarily recommend this approach since it is a bit taller than the included speaker and presses against the LCD more than I'd like. However, the sound is nice and clear so I'm going to leave it.

Finally buttoned everything up and have been pleasantly surprised how enjoyable it is to play so far!

Front View:
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Back View:
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Action Shot:
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There are a couple things I may do down the road to improve the Gem:

1. Add L/R buttons so Save States and GBA games are available
2. Place an external power switch so I don't need to remove the cap
3. Re-case into a non-translucent case if I can find one with a cap (or paint the one I have to a solid color).

Thanks to Kite for the kit - fun little project and I look forward to more in the future!

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Robochris
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Re: djbriane's Circuit Gem misadventures

Post by Robochris » Tue Mar 26, 2019 4:51 am

Nice redemption with those solder pads! Or just luck haha. Did you end up using the 850 battery?

I wish there were more case options or someone could make an stl for us to print. But for now, most of us have transparent blue. Just some have L/R and some don’t lol.

Anyways. Nice work.

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djbriane
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Re: djbriane's Circuit Gem misadventures

Post by djbriane » Tue Mar 26, 2019 1:47 pm

Thanks! I decided to go with the 450 battery in the end since I felt like I didn't want to push my luck a second time.

I agree about the case - the biggest problem is finding one with a lid/cap.

I did find an STL for the lid but it's not the greatest quality: https://www.thingiverse.com/thing:2391948 (it fits fine but it's a bit of an eyesore compared to the original case).

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Re: djbriane's Circuit Gem misadventures

Post by rodocop » Wed Mar 27, 2019 3:17 pm

Nice build, a few things, I had a similar issue, where the speaker arrived dead. The only other speaker I had on hand was a little round one, same as the minty pi speaker. i actually placed the speaker in the rear, since it was too big for the front. It fit nicely behind the original speaker grill, you could maybe move yours there if it's an issue under the screen.

Also, FYI, you can map any button to save and load. I just edited the retroarch.cfg to make left and right on the D-pad load and save. Although, adding L and R would be handy as well. I may add those to my gem too.

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