Monday, May 15, 2017

Presenting the GameSquare!





Design Considerations:

I wanted to design my own Raspberry Pi handheld gaming system.  I logged most of my gaming hours in the early '90s.  So I have a soft spot for games from that era, and I particularly like the Wii Classic controller for its SNES-like layout.  

I knew from a previous project that Wii controllers can communicate over an I2C bus such as the one available on a Raspberry Pi.  I chose a 5" LCD screen based on being a similar width as a Wii Classic Controller.

When designing the case I realized the dimensions were roughly square.  So I decided to make it square and the name came naturally as an homage to the GameCube.  

The case is 160 mm x 160 mm x 37 mm.  The face has D-pad, select (-), home, start (+), A, B, X, and Y.  The back has the L and R buttons.  The bottom has a headphone jack and micro B USB jack for charging.  The right side has access to two of the Raspberry Pi USB ports which is good for connecting a keyboard.  The top has heat vents, a power switch for the external amp/speaker, a volume knob, a halt button, a power switch, and an LED that indicates battery high or low.  In initial tests I am getting about two hours of play time running on only the battery while using the external amp/speaker and with the Wi-Fi turned on. 

Parts List:

Purchase the Inkscape design file for the laser cut case here.  My case was laser cut by Ponoko using a P2 sheet of Amber Bamboo.

See the hardware assembly notes here.   

See the software notes here.