GPA v2.1 Available For Limited Purchase

We just opened presales for a limited batch of “v2.1” DIY kits. They are available at http://www.flashmasta.com/product/preorder-game-pie-advance-gpa-diy-kit_v2-1/.

By the way, if you haven’t seen it, I recently uploaded a video showing a full build of a yellow Game Pie Advance. I don’t show the soldering in the video, because I wasn’t near the iron, but there is pretty minimal soldering involved. I also took some extra time to explain things, because I was on camera. I guess that might even out, so a full build could take about 1 hour 15 minutes.

For this v2.1, we are doing a small revision to the previous (v2.0) kit, but you (as a builder) probably won’t even notice the differences. They are mainly small changes to the positioning of parts and improving some of circuit board layout to make them easier to assemble. In fact, we just today sent off the new design to the circuit board manufacturer. If all goes well, I expect that we would ship out the v2.1 preorders in mid-March.

For anyone that doesn’t feel the desire to build their own GPA, I believe that RetroModding.com will be selling pre-built units. If you’re interested in that, please hit them up on their website or Twitter @retromoddingcom and ask them if you can get a pre-built unit.

Finally, if you are one of the people that got in on one of our previous limited runs of the Game Pie Advance, please share your build photos/videos/blogs with us. You can do that here in the comments, on the forum at http://forum.freeplaytech.com/forum-24.html, or via email/Twitter (@FreeplayTech).

16 thoughts on “GPA v2.1 Available For Limited Purchase”

  1. As someone who is very interested and has been following this project in recent months, there are things that still confuse me. For example, why is this considered a new post if you are just allowing for pre-orders. If I recall correctly, pre-orders have been available for weeks now. Is this any different? Were they closed at some point? Second, are you increasing the version number with each release are are you increasing them multiple times in the same release? In other words, if I have a preorder for v2.1, by the time the March release rolls around, might it be 2.2 or 2.3?

    Lastly, I tried watching your video and it was over 30 minutes before any part of the board/kit actually was put in the case. Is it really that much tweaking of the case to get things working? 1:15 hours to install it, with the majority of the time drilling holes and sanding and cutting plastic?

    1. I understand the confusion. I’ll try to explain it.
      v1 was our first crack at it. We designed it and sold a small batch to people that wanted to jump on board right away. It was lacking battery charging and X/Y. I think we shipped about 20 of these (maybe 4 were pre-built units we used to test the process).

      Because people kept asking if we’d consider taking preorders, we obliged for v2. It was meant to solve the issues (or lack of features) that v1 had. When we got to a certain number of orders, we made a purchase of parts to cover about 2X the orders we had to that point, and then we capped the preorders to match that.

      While we were completing the orders of v2 units, we were not selling any more. We also found that there was a manufacturing flaw in about 1/3 or 1/2 of the PCBs we received. We decided that it would be better for production (soldering and such) if we made a new version. During this time, people were again asking if they could prepay to reserve a spot in the next batch. These things combined to become the v2.1 presale.

      What we are working toward is a version that we feel can be produced without these gaps of sell, build more, sell more, repeat. I hope v2.1 solves that, but we will keep making revisions if need be.

      In short, yes sales were closed at points. Also, if you pre-order v2.1, you will receive v2.1 (unless we decide v2.1 is broken in some way that we can’t rightfully ship). If we decide that we need to make another revision, we will probably do another small batch. Ultimately, we’d like to settle on something that we can make a large batch of and just make them available to makers.

      There is a fair bit of tweaking the case, yes. Think of it like building a model car or airplane, or maybe an R.C. car. This is a DIY kit for a reason. I think there’s a fair bit of tinkering that can be done with both the shell and Linux. Right now, this project is aimed at people that desire that level of tinkering. I just got an email from a guy that said he thought he may have put 8 hours into the project already, and he was pleased with that. I think he enjoys the build and that he’s making something by hand. You can see by the video that it can be done much quicker, too.

      Finally, I hope that we can (maybe slowly) work toward something that requires less DIY. I’d love to have a version that’s very DIY and another option for people that just want to play (with no building involved). We’ll see where that takes us.

  2. I want to give a shout out to how responsive Ed has been and how helpful he’s been in this whole process. Thanks! Since I think I have my first two units assembled for my kids, I’m about to flash and test the retropie image tonight!

    1. I’ll make a proper forum post at some point, but even with the whole battery compartment removed, I can’t close the battery door with two 1200mAh batteries from Amazon installed/stacked. Nothing between screen and batteries, removed excess tape from exterior of batteries.

      1. We got one 2x1200mAh stack to fit, but it’s quite tight. I could see that differences in batteries might be enough to not fit.

        There was also a GPA builder that said he was creating a 3D printable battery cover to “bulge” a bit and give just a bit more room.

        1. Oh, and also, be careful with the tight fit. While our 2×1200 stack fit, Andrew later dropped it and cracked the LCD. I guess the extra pressure was putting stress on the LCD.

          1. Great advice, thanks! I ended up using just the one battery for now. I’ll keep looking for something in the 1800-2100 mAh range that fits. It sounds like I want to keep a small piece of foam or the back of the battery bay if possible, to protect the screen.

  3. Hello,

    i am also very interested i a GPA v2.1
    Did you ship the Kit to Germany?

    when expected new copies in stock?

    Thank you very much!!!!

    Stivi

    1. Germany? YES!

      We will begin shipping out this week. I hope to get all of them shipped within a week or two.

      After that, we can evaluate whether we need to get more parts or if we can just build more.

  4. I ordered a game pie advance v2.1 and I was just wondering if they have been shipped yet, or when they will be shipped.

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