Game C.H.I.P. (early preview)


This project is not dead! Just my money tree…


true that.


I’m curious, what is the current status of your project? And the buttons you sent a link to don’t look like they have enough travel distance to be similar to GBA buttons… However, I’ve found a replacement shell that has the buttons included (both rubber and plastic parts) so I only need a PCB for it now. These buttons are basically a round conductive rubber pad that is pressed against a PCB and shorts everything that’s under it. So just leave some open contacts there and they should be shorted… But for that you need custom PCB, so it would make sense to buy an old game controller instead.


The project is still in hiatus, but I got a temporary job, so funds will be coming in to help the project very soon. I found a circuit board that will do the trick, albeit not with the clicky feel of the GBA SP.


I don’t know how much different the SP is from regular GBA, but it might well be that the PCB does not influence the feeling of the buttons. If they’re like qhat I described (like in regular GBA), then you should be able to buy some replacement buttons and put them on that PCB :slight_smile:


All right all right all right! I expected to have the funds 2 or 3 months ago, but I ended up buying my first car and other adult stuff instead. But now, O have the funds! I just ordered all the parts, expecting to get done by Christmas!


So apparently, desoldering braid will not be sufficient for removing large plastic headers. I need an alternate solution that will work better, but right now I’m done huffing solder fumes so yeah… that will give me some time to think it through, but if anyone has a good idea tell me now.


If you’re not intending to use it again, the best way to remove it is cut it in pieces using a dremel or a saw and then remove it piece by piece. Or, if you have access to a well-equipped hackerspace, use a hot air soldering tool.


I’m just afraid of busting something, as that already happened without the help of a dremel.


I took an old pair of wirecutters to the headers personally. I kept on eye on the board flex, as the moving around of the plastic put some pressure on the areas where i had cut, so I did it in chunks of about 2 or 3 pin rows at a time. Once the plastic popped a bit loose, I could just pull it off the forks that are inside. After all the plastic was removed, I heated the solder on each of the forks while pulling on them with a pair of pliers.

It’d definitely be easy to crack a board doing it. But then again, on my first go, everything went swimmingly. Obviously, your mileage may vary.


Oh thank you, I hadn’t thought of that! I guess that’s why I posted… Anyway, I have a pair of pliers with compound leverage so it should be quite easy to simply crush the plastic. I’ll give it a go tomorrow.


i’ve done the same thing … worked out easier then expected



I ended up pulling the plastic off like you recommended. A good pair of needle nose pliers used vertically on the board with moderate twisting to snap the headers into sections which I could then roll off the board horizontally. Now I just have to remove the individual prongs. I may postpone that for a week as I just inhaled what I think is my monthly quota for solder fines and I still have a headache.

I will add that I’m impressed with the sturdiness of this amazing little board. After partially breaking a voltage regulator component, I finished removing the headers and my smart head decided to plug the board in to check it was still ok. The pins were shorted from being bent around, took me awhile to notice. It’s still working though after all that!


Here’s what I did the other day to make everything fit properly

I know it might seem a little bulky, but I actually like this. It’s going to run cooler this way with the increased ventilation, and it would’ve been really much more trouble to fit it internally. Plus, it’s 20% more comfortable in the hand with the extra little bit on the bottom. You just need to be careful to keep enough of the mounting for the shoulder button pins or they will be broke with no fix.
Of course, this isn’t mounted all the way yet, thats why it fits so awful.


Welp… just found out two things. First off, the display I bought was broken during shipment. Second, it wouldn’t matter anyway, because the screen is slightly wider than the casing. So basically, I’m screwed. Now this wouldn’t be an issue, just switch to a smaller size, right? Well no. The smaller size I was looking at, 3.2 inch, is all 320240 unless you buy a sketchy Chinese one that most likely is marked wrong for 480320. Now here’s the thing. I can see plenty of software being designed for Pocket CHIP resolution, but lower than that? Sketchy support I’m sure. So, what do you guys think I should do?

A) Chop what you need to and make it fit slightly exposed and incorrect.

B) So just go with the smaller resolution and make it work, Jo-Jo.

C) Use a different housing style, a DS housing or some crap, maybe GBC.

D) I have a better solution than your crappy brain could come up with.

Let me know below.


I’d vote for an adapter from chip to the original display. You won’t find a better fit and the display seams to be a parallel one, right ?



Here’s the issues with that. Firstly, there’s very little information about the display originally used. None that I can find, anyway. If I could use it, I probably would, except for… The second issue: resolution. The original was 240160. That might be a problem for the majority of modern emulators. Actually, for Mednafen that would be fine, but for the Pocket Home, an issue. If I could get a Mednafen GUI running with a low resolution that might be acceptable for me, but any external software (games outside emulators) would likely refuse to run.
So, I will probably do one of two things. Thing 1, compromise with a 320
240 3.2 inch display, lower resolution but still probably enough. Thing 2, compromise with a DS Lite housing, for a bigger display.


Also, does anyone know where I can buy a display itself without a freaking driver board soldered to it?


I think you’ll need Tzatziffy and one of displays from this topic. You can search through, some small displays was too. A touchscreen + display / SD / Audio DIP (Tzatziffy DIP)


Thanks for the tips @Qaza but I already have a solution for a screen driver… It’s like the tzatziffy but it requires more setup. As for a screen, I’ve scoured the internet but can’t find a compatible display under 4.3 inches. So, that means I’m going to have to resize my project to accommodate my display requirements. So that means, no more GBA SP. Now it will be a DSI XL housing.