Raspberry Pi-GRRL


Back At It Again!

We are back at it again for the month of July for being the "Un-Official" Raspberry Pi month that started back in July 2016 and now we are continuing the trend and dedicated this entire post to the Raspberry Pi-GRRL. This pretty sweet and awesome "GameBoy" and Raspberry Pi mash-up called the Pi-GRRL is a great DIY weekend build for the any level of enthusiast wanting to get their hands on a custom retro gaming tech.

Raspberry Pi-GRRL 1

We are bringing you a system that all of us 90's kids grew up playing and still love playing to this day, the Nintendo GameBoy or the Nintendo GameBoy Color. Growing up in the 90's having a GameBoy or a GameBoy Color, you had it all, compared to what kids have right now. Nowadays there's so many different gaming platforms to choose from and it's kinda hard just playing one. Sometimes its better to bring it back to where it all started and to remember the good ol' days.


With this weekend Raspberry Pi DIY project the components aren't to extreme to find with the most hardest thing to find is that old Super Nintendo Controller and a couple of items from the Adafruit website and also can't forget to have that 3D printer on standby for when you need those 3D printed parts. For this build we are using a 2200mAh lithium cylindrical battery with a power circuit that is bound to bring you hours of classic gaming fun while also charging your Pi-GRRL. Let us not forget that the PiTFT 2.8in touchscreen gives you that perfect Pi-GRRL screen resolution at 320x240 16-bit color pixels for this build. With a little bit of soldering and a little bit of elbow grease this DIY project can be completed in no time and well on your way to installing CupCade or Emulation Station for the Raspberry Pi 1 and those classic emulators.

Note the one bad thing about this one build was that you had to sacrifice a Super Nintendo Controller and hack it to make all the buttons work within the 3D printed enclosure. To us, sacrificing a Super Nintendo controller is something that could never do in our wildest dreams and if you feel the same way you can always go for the updated version of this DIY and checkout the Pi-GRRL 2 and its smaller sleeker version with the Raspberry Pi Zero with neither of the two don't involve sacrificing any old Nintendo Controllers.

Raspberry Pi-GRRL 2

This project takes the original concept of the Pi-GRRL and makes it more powerful, using a Raspberry Pi 2 or Raspberry Pi 3. It's about the same size but features more buttons (D-Pad, A,B,X,Y, L, R, pause and start.) and four extra buttons on the PiTFT. It's sporting a small audio amplifier and speaker, so you can enjoy the crispy sounds of 8-bit goodness. Thanks to Adafruit and not wanting to hack anymore Super Nintendo controllers they decided to make a custom gamepad PCB. So all you have to do is just solder in the buttons and an IDC box header to the gamepad PCB and you're already half way there to finishing the Pi-GRRL 2.


With that in mind all you have to do is a little bit more soldering especially for those L and R shoulder buttons to let you play those Super Nintendo emulators to their fun extent. There are a few extra features that are changed from the original concept besides adding the left and right shoulder buttons like how this one sports a brand new PAM8302 2.5W audio amp and a speaker to really give you clear sounds when playing. Not to mention the new battery pack for longer hours of playing while still being able to charge the device at the same time. The Raspberry Pi-GRRL really does take the original concept and makes it more powerful and better in just about every way now think that this is only the second iteration of the concept just wait till it gets revamped.

Raspberry Pi-GRRL 0 (Zero)

We are starting it off at 0 with the Raspberry Pi Zero at the beginning and revamping the original concept well before there was the household name of Nintendo GameBoy. Nintendo had a smaller tinier version of the GameBoy with the Game and Watch devices and back in 2005 Nintendo tried to showcase off its ingenuity and quite possible a newer version of an old classic but it didn't quite stick. We are talking about the GameBoy Micro but this DIY version of that classic handheld device is a pretty fast DIY to create with 3D printing the parts and assembling it all within the same day and by the end of the night you can be well on your way to rescuing Princess Peach from the evil Bowser. With only $5 for the Raspberry Pi Zero to get you started you are already on your way to creating a revamped classic DIY GameBoy. Reusing the same components from the Raspberry Pi-GRRL 2 and following the same soldering routine it'll be no time at all before the classic DIY Raspberry Pi-GRRL 0 is up and running.

If you want to check out all the tutorials on how the different versions of the Raspberry Pi-GRRL was created you can always check out Adafruit's website for the tutorials for the Raspberry Pi-GRRL 1, the 2, and the 0 (Zero) with all the content and components needed for starting any one of these Raspberry Pi DIY projects for the weekend.