Thanks to each of you that have preordered v2 of the Game Pie Advance kit, we have been able to order new circuit boards and parts to build up the kits.
For any of you that haven’t pre-ordered, the place to do so is here: http://www.flashmasta.com/product/game-pie-advance-diy-kit-v2/
Some cool new features were added (as compared to v1 of the PCB). As you can see in the renderings, we have added the X/Y button option as a small sub-PCB. I mentioned earlier that these buttons will not look and feel the same as the A/B buttons, but I know that including them was a big deal for many of you. When we receive these circuit boards from the fabricator, they will come with X/Y board attached. If everything goes as planned, adding X/Y buttons will be fairly straightforward. The sub-PCB will connect with 4 solder points that will also keep it in place. We have also designed a “jig” board that (we hope) will serve as a guide for drilling holes on the face of the GBA shell. This will remain untested until we receive the boards (hopefully in 2 weeks), but I have very high hopes that this X/Y solution will work well.
As for the battery mod, we have some nice options in store there, too. We built in a charging circuit that should work with most 3.7v lithium cells. We’ve been testing this (wired up by hand), and I have had the GPA running for nearly 3h 44m with 2 600mah cells in parallel. A single 500mah Adafruit cell (https://www.adafruit.com/products/1578) lasted 1h 05m, but you could easily fit 2 of them in the AA compartment. We have (just today) ordered a few other batteries to test with, but I feel confident that 3+ hours (maybe even 4+) is well within grasp.
As mentioned, v2 now runs off of 3.7v cells. The previous model used 2 14500 batteries in series (which would be around 7.4-8v). To accommodate this, we have also changed the battery configuration to allow you to run (and charge) 14500 cells in parallel. To do this, a builder will need to run an additional wire, but it should give good results and allow you to easily swap batteries on the go (if you carried a couple extra 14500 batteries with you).
We’re excited about getting all these new features ready so quickly, but we’re also cautious about over-promising. If all goes as planned, we should have blank boards in 2 weeks from now. Then we need to test to be sure they work as planned (while the rest of the parts arrive), and we will also celebrate Christmas with loved ones while we’re waiting for parts to arrive.
I think that this could be 4 weeks on the optimistic side and 8+ weeks if things don’t go well. During this time, we will still take some pre-orders if you want to get in on that. I have recently set the “stock” of the Game Pie Advance v2 to limit the number of pre-orders that we will accept from here on out.