The Raspberry Pi has seen its fair share of uses and cases. Mike Barretta has really pulled off a perfect implementation of the cheap little computer. Called the PortaBerry Pi, this neat little handheld can emulate up to 15 different systems allowing you to play a multitude of your favorite games.
Here is the printer used to create the case.
The CAD model of the entire assembly.
Fits comfortably in your hand.
A view of the battery cover, held in place by two screws.
Fired up and ready to go!
The core of the system is a 512 MB Raspberry Pi Model B. Attached to that is a Teensy 2.0, handling all the buttons and joysticks. There is a 4.5 inch LCD as well as 2 tiny speakers. The entire thing runs for roughly 2 to 3 hours on a 9.6 volt NiMh battery pack. This is all encased in a custom designed 3D printed enclosure, which Mike has shared if you’d like to print your own. Mike says that all together he spent about 20 hours printing out the various pieces.
Constructing this gaming system was a fairly lengthy and complex process, but luckily, pictures were taken and notes written down along the way. Here is a gallery of more than 120 images of the thing being built.
Wiring status LED to DC input.
Installing DC input and status LED in battery well.
Switch wired testing status LED.
Installing main power switch.
Wired battery well interior view.
Bottom case and battery well for assembly.
Assembled bottom case outside view.
Assembled bottom case interior view.
Mounting Teensy with double sided tape.
LM 386 based audio amp prototype.
Rewiring amp into smaller package.
Preparing top and bottom case for final assembly.
Installing Raspberry Pi mounting screws and amp double sided tape.
Installing UBEC with double sided tape.
UBEC wired to micro USB connector for Raspberry Pi.
Power connected to Raspberry Pi.
090 - Front and back cases coming together
091 - Wiring grounds together
092 - Wiring display and speaker power switches
093 - Wiring power lines together
094 - Rear case wiring coming along
095 - Testing the display before final integration
096 - Overview of case wiring up to this point
097 - Rewiring mini USB to a right angle USB connector
098 - Rewiring mini USB to a right angle USB connector
099 - Detail of leftright button wiring
100 - Final test of integrated controls
101 - Detail of wiring between top and bottom case
102 - Wiring audio cables
103 - Wiring finished ready to close up
104 - Detail shot of bottom interior
105 - Detail shot of top interior
106 - Full shot of interior
107 - Another full shot of the interior
108 - Another angle of the interior
110 - Closing up the case
111 - Interior detail of battery well
112 - Interior detail of battery well
113 - View of the battery well with status LED
114 - Printed battery well cover Roughly 15 hrs printing
115 - Back view of the finished product
116 - Detail of battery cover screws
117 - Detail of battery cover tabs
118 - Finished front view
119 - A glory shot of the finished product
120 - Good view of the PortaBerry Pi039s scale
121 - The finished product running Donkey Kong Country
122 - The finished product running Super Mario World
123 - The finished product running Earthbound
124 - The machine that made it all possible Thanks for viewing
When asked about the major hurdles that he experienced making this, he explained that the print size really pushed the limits of his printer. Not only that, but having so many interconnecting pieces meant that little calibration errors on his printer caused more delays than he had expected.
On the topic of future improvements, Mike had several thoughts:
- Remove the split control layout so that all controls can fit on a single PCB
- Solder all connections directly to the Raspberry Pi and remove the now unnecessary connectors. This would allow him to reduce the size of the whole unit.
- Use Lithium Ion batteries instead of the heavy NiMh that he is using now.
- Make all connections with much lighter gauge wire to avoid such a space consuming mess.
Frankly, I can’t wait to see what Mike comes up with next. I know I’ll be keeping an eye on him!