The Circuit Boards Have Arrived

The new circuit boards for the GPA version 2 have arrived. As a quick side-note, if you don’t know what a Game Pie Advance (GPA) is, think of a PiGRRL or PiBoy that fits inside of a Game Boy Advance (GBA) housing. Basically, the GPA lets you put a Raspberry Pi Zero inside your retro handheld.

Back to the news!

We have received the shipment of GPA PCBs, and are currently soldering some up for testing. I just wanted to give you a quick report that the few we’ve tested seem to be working well.

As you may be able to see in the first photo, one circuit board has some extra pieces attached. These pieces have been detached from one of the 2 PCBs shown. One of the pieces is the sub-PCB for the X/Y buttons and another is a guide for drilling holes for your X/Y buttons. The resulting holes (with X/Y buttons fitted) are shown to the left. We’ll discuss this a bit more once we’ve done a bit more building/testing.

For now, the plan is to run a few of these boards through some charge/discharge cycles. We will also build up a couple full working GPA units (shell and all). I expect the next post to have some photos (and maybe video) of those builds.

We’ve also discovered that a bunch of the speakers we purchased are basically worthless. Even in a single shipment, we received 2 different kinds of speakers, and one style is acceptable and the other sounds horrible. I’ve ordered some new speakers, and I hope they arrive quickly. I hope that’s the only real issue, as it’s an easy one to fix (in theory).

This Christmas and New Years break stuff has thrown off the schedule a bit, but we’ll try hard to start getting some of these shipped next week if possible.

29 thoughts on “The Circuit Boards Have Arrived”

  1. The boards look great! Love the dark color for them as well. Is that a charging circuit I see above the gpio connections?

      1. Nice! I am still trying to gather the money to actually preorder the next one! But for now I have order the stuff needed to do my mod. Real fast I just sent you an email!

  2. Love the new Black design(at least it looks black)! I have always loved the way black PCB’s look aesthetically speaking. Super excited since I didn’t expect you to get them in so soon! Hope you had a good new year’s and we’re not working on this too much during family gatherings haha.

  3. Will there be an option for PCB only for those with a v1 kit? I’ve been running mine with some 900mah LiFePO4 and they seem to be working well.

  4. They look great, just wondering if there is any plan on making one that has the L2/R2 and joystick, and be able to fit it with say a pi3 (if there is enough room). That way we could run ps1 and n46 games as well?

  5. Just placed my preorder. Super stoked! Do you guys recommend a particular vendor for after market shells with buttons?

    1. No. I’ve bought from a couple eBay sellers. I think they’re basically the same. Just be sure that they come with the silicone button pads.

      Also I recommend opaque shells, because they hide all the cutting that you need to do.

        1. I haven’t tried shells from HandheldLegend, but I would love to hear someone’s experience with them. I don’t see why they would have any problem, but you never know until you try.

          All GBA shells SHOULD be built around the GBA circuit board, and therefore SHOULD work properly with our circuit board.

          1. I ordered a pair of shells from them and the silicone buttons, I’ll let you know how it works out. What did you end up doing about telling us where to put the holes for the extra buttons?

        2. There is a little guide that comes with your kit that should show you where to drill the holes. Just be sure not to flip it backwards.

          1. Built my first one today. No issues with the shell from Legend.
            The only issue I had came from putting the unit together. I’m using flat cells, so I soldered the extra battery connector on to the board. When I put the unit together and connected the batteries I found that the battery connector leads on the “front” side of the GPA board were too long and touched the back side of the LCD, which it turns out is conductive… I think caught it in time so I don’t think the batteries are messed up, but yeah. fun times.
            Even after doing that, the Pi started up with the image. Only issue I have is I somehow forgot to order a Mini USB to USB cable, so I’m stuck till that comes in later this week/next week.

        3. Hey Arrta! Thanks for the info about the battery connector leads. I will add that as suggestion in the manual. The leads are obviously easy to snip off, but it should be something the builders are aware of. Thanks!

          I’m glad the rest of it went well!

    1. Yes. We shipped about 10 units, and then I had to go out of town for about 10 days. Yesterday we shipped 8 units. I hope to ship a few more today and then get back to work soldering/testing more. It’s a pretty tedious process, really.

      1. Curious how total were ordered? I ordered 2 when there were 9 left, so I’m down at the end of the list. Just wondering how far.

        1. I don’t know the exact count offhand, but it was near 60. Once we got enough to make an order, we ordered some extra parts and then capped it. We may have enough to make a bit more, but we also may come across bad parts or whatever, so we’ll leave it like this until we ship all the preorders.

  6. Just wondering, but is there a way we can track our package? How many have you shipped so far? I’m really looking forward to this project and my excitement is burning me up.

    Thanks again.

    1. I have tried to send an email to the user whenever we ship out their order. If you haven’t received an email, that should mean that your order hasn’t shipped (or that the email went to SPAM).

  7. The final batch of the preorder GPA kits is shipping today. If you ordered a kit and haven’t received an email with tracking/shipping info, please contact me.

    We will be making more, so stay tuned in.

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