Pirakeet - Raspberry Pi Zero Handheld Retro Game Console

by Ampersands, published

Pirakeet - Raspberry Pi Zero Handheld Retro Game Console by Ampersands Apr 16, 2016


Liked By

View All

Give a Shout Out

If you print this Thing and display it in public proudly give attribution by printing and displaying this tag.

Print Thing Tag


Thing Statistics

19937Views 2096Downloads Found in Video Games


Here’s ANOTHER handheld Raspberry Pi game console!

Update: I remixed this design to use nicer buttons here http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:1595698

It was designed to use the Pi Zero and fit smaller printers (80x104mm) whilst still being simple to put together. The front and back are completely separate until you close the case, so you can work on one half at a time and keep everything neat.

This build pretty much follows the Adafruit PiGRRL Pocket one, but the image doesn’t work on the Pi Zero (for me anyway) so you’ll have to manually set up the screen and buttons after installing a Retropie image for the Pi Zero. This build does not have any audio.

Parts List:
o Pi male header
o Breadboard-friendly SPDT Slide Switch https://www.adafruit.com/products/805
o Tactile Button switch (6mm) x 20 pack https://www.adafruit.com/products/367
o Tactile Switch Buttons (6mm slim) x 20 pack https://www.adafruit.com/products/1489
o PowerBoost 1000 Charger - Rechargeable 5V Lipo USB Boost @ 1A - 1000C https://www.adafruit.com/products/2465
o Adafruit PiTFT 2.4" HAT Mini Kit - 320x240 TFT Touchscreen https://www.adafruit.com/products/2455
o JST 2-pin cable https://www.adafruit.com/products/261
o GPIO Ribbon Cable for Raspberry Pi Model A and B - 26 pin https://www.adafruit.com/products/862
o Adafruit Perma-Proto Half-sized Breadboard PCB – Single https://www.adafruit.com/products/1609
o Lithium Ion Polymer Battery - 3.7v 2500mAh https://www.adafruit.com/products/328 (Adafruit were out of stock so I got this one instead http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/262064902439?_trksid=p2057872.m2749.l2649&ssPageName=STRK%3AMEBIDX%3AIT) the dimensions of the battery I used are 58x49mm.
o M3x8mm countersunk machine screws x 13
o USB micro plug (cannibalise a charge lead from something)

There are pdf guides with photos included to help you build yours.
Also includes an stl for a blank rear half so you can add your name or whatever to it instead of the logo, and a basic clip on screen cover.

More from Video Games

view more

All Apps

Auto-magically prepare your 3D models for 3D printing. A cloud based 3D models Preparing and Healing solution for 3D Printing, MakePrintable provides features for model repairing, wall thickness...

App Info Launch App

Kiri:Moto is an integrated cloud-based slicer and tool-path generator for 3D Printing, CAM / CNC and Laser cutting. *** 3D printing mode provides model slicing and GCode output using built-in...

App Info Launch App
KiriMoto Thing App

With 3D Slash, you can edit 3d models like a stonecutter. A unique interface: as fun as a building game! The perfect tool for non-designers and children to create in 3D.

App Info Launch App

Quickly Scale, Mirror or Cut your 3D Models

App Info Launch App

Mine turned out horrible.. 11 hours of wasted time for me.. I got all the parts then was excited to print and made sure I was printing the best quality my printer handles well. .2mm. With 100% fill and support. the tft hat is recessed way too far and isn't aligned right I can see the display buttons on the tft hat through that 1/16 inch recess gap and 1/16 gap to right of display.. not sure why the picture of yours looks great maybe they changed the tft hat? The screw holes align right and yhs zero too. Anyway the cleanup of the support was a pain and I ended up cracking the front face in the process. Not a fun Saturday for me.. gla. I may try and salvage it by cutting off the support pegs for the display...

I rotated mine to print face down, you shouldn't need to use any support at all this way. I think mine took about 5 hours to print.
There's a small gap between the screen and the plastic front to accommodate the buttons on the HAT; too close and you can't fit everything in. The plastic button bits are even recessed into the front of the case to get it a bit closer.

thanks! ill try that...

You can have mine.

No, sorry; I don't plan to make another one.
You can use an online service for printing the parts if you don't have a printer?

Comments deleted.

I'm running into the same issues when I open the Start Button. It is massively oversize.

Comments deleted.

Hey Ampersands,

Any thoughts about using this for your PCB?


I'm sourcing parts and though this may be a good idea.

Thanks Neil.

It's too wide for my case, the Pi Zero is smaller than the Pi 2 that that one is intended for

Awesome thanks for the heads up.

Hi Ampersands, I've received most of my parts and wanted to get started. Have you given any thought to sharing your design files or maybe helping out with some edits?

I've added the solidworks files for the front and back halves to this one and V2. You can make extruded cuts into the sides for holes or suppress different parts (right click them in the list on the left, it's 2 boxes and a down arrow) until you find the bit you want to edit.

Ever thought of using those teeny tiny cell phone speakers?
http://www.ebay.com/itm/like/161373565863 <- ~1/2" diameter, could this fit between the pads under the display in the center?
with a 1 watt speaker, might not even need an amp...(you can use the IO pins and a simple circuit to drive the speaker)
This little module might work too

I like your design...If you can give me the measurements of the protoboard for location of the push buttons, I might be able to whip up a OSHPark board the same as the PiGRRL (with the audio circuit built in for tying it into the IO pins)

Very cool build!

I was keeping it simple and small, I didn't want to squeeze a speaker in there for my build. You could probably fit one of those speakers on the front, in the lower center between the buttons.
Did you want sizes for V1 or V2? inches or millimeters?

Posted a pic with dimensions for V2 on the Pirakeet V2 page

After looking at all the portable gaming devices out there, I like this one the most. Thank you for designing and sharing it. You did an excellent job. I've already ordered all the parts and will be building V2 with the nicer buttons. I may make a few changes though and I'd like to share my plans/thoughts:

1) I want to add a full size USB coming out to the right side just above (North of) the PowerBoost Charger (they did something similar for the Adafruit PiGRRL Zero). I'm new at 3D Printing so I'll need to figure out how to mod the case.

2) I'd like to add a headphone jack so I can have sound without having to use one of those "bulky" (to me) USB --> Headphone/Mic plugs. To attempt to do that I will be using this Amplifier: https://www.adafruit.com/products/3006. I'm gonna try to fit it in there somehow. If I can't, that's fine but at least I want to try. I'm thinking maybe removing the bottom center screw setup that holds the top and bottom halves together and modding the case so it snaps together instead (if I can pull that off too). This may(?) give me some room to squeeze it under (or over) the proto. OR, maybe I can put the USB down there and the Amplifier north of the PowerBoost?

3) I'd like to try to make the bottom half screws hold the Pi and Powerboost boards from the inside (like you did with the top side), so the screw heads are hidden from the outside. Did you not do it this way due to preference? Or because they wouldn't fit otherwise? Just curious. BTW, I apologize if it was already mentioned and I missed it but, how are you holding those boards down? Did you put nuts on there? I can't make them out from the picture if they are there.

4) Nice to have: Would be awesome to find a way to bring the HDMI out to the side to occasionally connect to a TV.

I definitely want to do the first mod. The next two mods I'll try to do but it'll be OK if I can't pull them off because I really don't want to change the dimensions of the case. This will barely fit on my M3D Micro printer as it is and I don't want to break up the case into pieces. Case size is a higher priority for me. Mod #4 I'm not even going to try to do.

I do want to reiterate that I think you did an excellent job with this design. My ideas are not any kind of critique to the awesome package you came up with. I'd be happy to read your thoughts.

My thoughts/2 cents on these upgrades :D

I think most of these upgrades would require a battery half the size to help not change the dimensions of the case.

1). I would just wire it up the same way Adafruit did for the PiGRRL Zero. Battery would be in the way, so smaller battery needed, unless you want to solider directly onto the Pi. USB could go out the right side(left if you don't do HDMI).

2). Didn't even know this product existed. Thanks lol. Anyways, you might need to soldier wires directly to the Pi to get access to the 3 pins this amplifier requires(I2S). Due to space, I would put this between the LCD + Raspberry Pi to get it out of the way, just make sure you protect it, don't want things touching. I would use a "3.5mm Stereo Panel Mount Jack", it's small, won't take up much space, just need to find a place to mount it.

3). If you cap off the outsize of the case where the screw holes are. There really is no reason why you couldn't screw down the Pi & Powerboost from the inside. Just get shorter screws, but still the same size.

4). Finding a small 90deg adapter would probably be easiest. Sure some place in China makes an adapter small enough. HDMI could go out the LEFT side of the case.

Get ready to do some reading:

1) If you connected the Pi cable to the Powerboost, using wires #2 and #6, you wouldn’t need to hack up a micro USB. This will mean that you have to run wires from the front to the back half, not a problem, but wires take up space. As far as I remember, the USB socket that’s conveniently included with the Powerboost will fit in the gap.
To add holes/mounts to the case you’ll need to edit the 3D models. What software were you planning to use? I can probably upload a specific file type if you let me know what you need. Or if I’m feeling generous I can make some edits for you :P
I suggested a way to connect USB in a comment below.

2) If you took out that screw and its post, you could probably fit that amp in between the buttons and against the front half, it would be tight, you’d have to insulate it, and make sure it’s not in the way of the buttons when they move, but it might be worth a try. Or go with lordtron’s suggestion. As for the 3.5mm jack socket, you could use a smaller battery like this one https://www.adafruit.com/product/2011 (it’s never in stock!), which would create a gap in the middle for a socket to go where the aforementioned screw currently is. Lordtron’s panel mount jack is a good idea.
If you needed to connect it to the Pi using GPIO 18, as pictured on the Adafruit page, you would need to find another GPIO for the UP button, because I use GPIO 18 for that. I think you can still connect it to the Pi cable as long as you keep track of which wire is which, that way you wouldn’t use the same pin for 2 different things.
@lordtron, it was only released a couple of weeks ago.

3) I wanted the whole build to only need one type and size of screw to make it easier. There’s no need for nuts, the M3 screws are the right size for cutting a thread into the holes on the Pi and other boards, just try not to completely screw and unscrew them too much. If you want the screws to sit inside, there might be a problem in the corner with the Powerboost, I’m not sure there’s enough room. If you want to use shorter screws, there will be shorter threads and a weaker hold, this could be a problem when opening the case back up as the headers between the Pi and screen have a fairly strong grip and might snap the 3D printed screw mounts (this isn’t a problem for the front because they needed to be slightly longer to accommodate the buttons). You could always make the case a bit thicker (not a problem for the M3D) to allow for longer screw holes if you needed to.

4) Exactly what lordtron said, you could have it go to the side or maybe out the back, but there isn’t much room in there because of the battery.

I think that covered everything. I don’t take it as critique at all, it’s great that people are so interested!

Wow! Thank you so much for taking the time to type this all up. Same goes to you lordtron. BTW, congrats on being the first one to post an "I Made One".

To answer your question, I was playing with Fusion 360 for the first time last night, but I also have access to SolidWorks at work. I apologize for assuming the design files were available, I should have politely ask if you would share your design files first. Your offer to potentially make the edits for me is generous indeed. Whether you decide to make edits or share the files, I will be very grateful. But I suspect there may be more than one iteration and wouldn't want to bug you to make edits more than once.

For the headphone jack I had already ordered this: https://www.adafruit.com/products/1699
And for the USB Out this: https://www.adafruit.com/products/1388
(will obviously just use the metal part as in the Adafruit PiGRRL Zero)

Was just thinking, the headphone jack definitely needs to go at the bottom. Otherwise, the headphone connector would be in the way when trying to play. BUT, I don't know if it will fit with the same battery (I already ordered the same one you did). No biggie if I have to get a smaller one but I like that it's 2500mAh. One of the many things you got right in your design.

The USB would also be nice at the bottom and send the on/off switch on the side (if one has to), since it would never be in the way during game play. Once I get all the parts I'll measure everything and see. Do you know if the battery would fit partially under the Pi? Or rotate the battery 90 degrees and also rotate the PowerBoost?

I'm not against your idea of making the case a tiny bit thicker if needed to help some of this fit, but I probably wouldn't do it just for the screws now that you've explained your reasoning.

Again, thanks for being of so much help!

How big is the Start Button suppose to be? When I open it, it comes out to be 50 x 110 x 185mm.

Open it in multiple applications and they all come out the same size.

I'm not able to check right now (I'll look later), is it the same for "Start Button - flush"?

Yep. Get the same results on both files.

Does this help? http://i.imgur.com/ZBLFFJj.png
Cura, Repetier and Solidworks all show the correct dimensions for me. Is there a file format you'd prefer?

That works great. Will try it out tonight.
STL format works just fine. Have everything printed out and working. Just had an issue with the start button for some reason.

Thanks for the replies and the awesome project.

No problem, let me know if there's anything else. Show me how it turned out too!

Hey, got home most of the things I need to build (waiting for the battery) today. Thought begin to fix it together during the weekend / next week. Have a question about how to run the cables, the numbers you enter pin numbers or GPIO number? For example, {4} KEY_LEFT is it GPIO 4 (i.e pin 7)?

Best regard

For the retrogame.c part? Yes, those numbers are the GPIO numbers. So it's GPIO 4 for the left key, which would be the 7th pin and therefore the 7th wire on the Pi cable (where the white wire is pin #1), and you'll connect that to the button you want to be left.
I recommend backing up your image each time you get something working, pain to redo it if it goes wrong.
Here's what I used to get that bit working https://learn.adafruit.com/super-game-pi/initial-setup#map-buttons-to-pi-gpio
Don't forget to cut the "#18 Lite" trace on the screen.

This looks great, have ordered stuff to make one myself. Have a small question:

which layer thickness do you use? Does it work with 0.3?

(front and back)

I printed it using a 0.2mm layer height, I can't see why 0.3 wouldn't be ok too. I can try tweaking the file if you have a problem. Since posting this, I've redesigned the buttons to use soft touch ones (here: http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/151723036469?_trksid=p2060353.m2749.l2649&ssPageName=STRK%3AMEBIDX%3AIT) I didn't get around to uploading a remix yet though, (it's nicer to use, but the buttons took about a month to arrive).

Thanks for your reply. Ok, I'ĺl give it a try with 0.3, if it dosent work then i will try with 0.2.

Soft touch buttons seems nice (ordered some now).

Here are the files and guide for the soft touch button version:http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:1595698
I've also realised I left a Pi header off the parts list so make sure you've got one of those too.
I'd love to see yours when it's done.

Pirakeet V2 - Raspberry Pi Zero Handheld Retro Game Console

It's too wide for my case, I wanted to keep everything as small as possible and that meant it could only be so wide.
It's not too difficult to wire the Pi cable to the right buttons (I included a diagram in the build pdfs) and I cut the size of the Perma-proto down using a stanley knife with a metal ruler taped to the board as a guide (I don't have anything like a dremel).

Is there a stl for the other side of the board holder? Thanks

You should be able to flip the model in your printing software before printing it, but I'll upload a mirrored "board holder" later to make it easier. Need anything else?

Just replaced the original file with A and B versions, that should be everything you need now

Comments deleted.

Any plans for a version with audio?

There isn't any room left inside to add a speaker. But if you were to wire the Pi cable to the Powerboost for powering the Pi (like they do for the PiGrrl), instead of using the micro USB plug like I did, you could fit a full USB socket in there and solder 4 wires between that and the bottom of the Pi (for power and data http://hackers.gallery/841/misc/raspberry-pi-zero-pad-probing). Then you could use something like this https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/G/01/electronics/detail-page/B005QUQP6W_usb_adapter.jpg to attach headphones. If this is something you really want I can make a new version for you with a hole for the USB, but I haven't tested that any of this works.

how much does it cost?

Here's my receipt from Adafruit:

1 x Adafruit Perma-Proto Half-sized Breadboard PCB - Single[ID:1609] = $4.50
1 x JST 2-pin cable[ID:261] = $0.75
1 x GPIO Ribbon Cable for Raspberry Pi Model A and B - 26 pin[ID:862] = $2.95
1 x Adafruit PiTFT 2.4" HAT Mini Kit - 320x240 TFT Touchscreen[ID:2455] = $34.95
1 x PowerBoost 1000 Charger - Rechargeable 5V Lipo USB Boost @ 1A (1000C)[ID:2465] = $19.95
1 x Tactile Button switch (6mm) x 20 pack[ID:367] = $2.50
1 x Tactile Switch Buttons (6mm slim) x 20 pack[ID:1489] = $4.95
1 x Breadboard-friendly SPDT Slide Switch[ID:805] = $0.95

Sub-Total: $71.50
United Parcel Service (1 pkg x 0.66 lbs total) (UPS WORLDWIDE EXPEDITED):
Sales Tax: $0.00
Total: $100.19

I had to pay about $30 in import tax (to France)
The battery was $10 from eBay
The Pi Zero can be picked up for $5

A parts list wouldn't hurt.

A parts list is included in the start guide pdf. I've added it in the description now too, hope this helps.

Looks good, maybe I missed it in the guide but if you are using gpio 18 you will want to scratch off the jumper on the screen for backlight so it doesn't blink out when you use it.

Ah, forgot to mention it, thanks. I'll update the doc.

no problem, ive built a few and forgot that step a few times.