[Green Gaming] End-of-Times PiBoy mini?

Discussion in 'Modding and Hacking - Consoles and Electronics' started by emuler, Feb 10, 2019.

  1. emuler

    emuler Rapidly Rising Member

    May 23, 2014
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    Arduino/raspi pure gameboy clone with monochrome lcd display (as gb brick & pocket).
    Also mono audio output with mini-jack port or even no audio at all. USB or miniSD slots for file transfer. No out-off-the-top features (lack of touchscreen, back-light, stereo sound, wifi, etc) and obviously focused in monochrome 8bit handhelds emulation.

    Powered by solar juice or auto-powered by lever/crank.

    Small enough to fit in pockets but big enough to push buttons with fingers, not pencil points (no keyring micro lcd handheld, which are cute but unpractical) Similar size to solar/lever modern flashlights.

    Feasibility? worthy?

    Any tip will be appreciated because I'm not experienced in electronics. No holding hands, just asking for few directions.
    Any chance to get the invention a little upgraded to 8bit color handheld? (yup, Game Gear mainly)
  2. MottZilla

    MottZilla Champion of the Forum

    Feb 1, 2006
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    What are you really trying to achieve? The Raspberry Pi is already a low power device. And LED LCD displays are also relatively low power. So if you're using solar power that certainly will get the job done. However if you're powering it by some sort of hand crank/mechanical force you're going to have far less energy available.

    Here is a company with a couple human mechanical powered generators.

    In an emergency I guess that's not so bad but you're going to be putting in a lot of effort for very little usable electricity. In that case being absolutely as efficient as possible with your energy would be important. You're probably going to need a battery to store energy in to make anything usable. So at that point I think you're better off with a solar panel if you're getting decent sun. You could get a simple 100 watt solar panel for around $100. Then you'll need a charge controller, battery, and inverter if you plan to use AC power devices.

    I tested a small LED LCD TV with a device similar to a Raspberry Pi (in power usage) and it consumed around 27 watts I believe. And most of that was the display. You don't have to spend a ton on a decent capacity lead acid battery to store enough power from a solar panel or another source to be able to run those for a long time. But that is a key component is being able to store the power or have sufficient uninterrupted power generation that you can actually get use out of it. If you have to constantly crank a mechanical generator to keep playing a game it's not going to be a great experience. Maybe if you could store enough power in a relatively small time frame by pedal power to then play for an hour it might not be so bad.

    I don't think there is any point in a monochrome LCD display. The power usage is going to be in lighting more than anything else. So a smaller screen would be the way to go for low power. I don't think you're going to make any compact device that fits in a pocket that also has the power system attached. You're better off with an actual power generation strategy instead of one built into some device.

    Going back to what I looked into for some power outage entertainment it could apply to off-grid/green gaming. I just looked for what I needed on Amazon to run it but not for powering it off grid. So as I mentioned the setup draws an average of 27 watts or so. I would choose a 12v 35ah deep cycle lead acid battery which I saw for around $64. That would have the power capacity of 420 watt hours, also to prolong battery life span you should only use maybe half. So lets just call it 200 watt hours. So if you take 27 watts and bump that up for losses and say it's 30 watts we can divide 200 by 30 to get over 6.5 hours of run time. This is not exact numbers for the power figures and time but reasonably close.

    So the battery that would power an approximate 30 watt gaming setup for 6.5 hours is $64. Then you need a power inverter to convert the 12V Direct Current into 110V AC to power the normal household devices being used. I saw a 180 watt pure sine wave inverter for $64 also which would do the job needed here. The pure sine wave type inverters are more expensive than "modified sine wave" but those cheaper modified sine wave inverters could damage certain electrical devices so I'd stay away from them.

    Once you have a battery and an inverter you just need your source of charging the battery. For just power outage use I'd get a battery charger/maintainer to keep your battery topped off. But for green gaming or "end of times" you'll need a solar panel or mechanical generator and means of powering it. You could do all sorts of things. Build or buy a steam engine and you can convert wood into electrical energy by burning it if you want.

    In general I'd encourage you to look into solar power and other off grid power subjects.
    emuler likes this.
  3. emuler

    emuler Rapidly Rising Member

    May 23, 2014
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    Thank you for your multiple tips.
    I'm trying to achieve* (at the moment it's just an idea draft) a solar powered handheld about the size of a GBA of PSP (maybe just a little lesser). The crank thing was actually a joke but I forgot to to label it as joke properly, sorry for any confusion created.
    I'm not saying a mechanical force powered gaming device wouldn't blow my sheet, but for practical purposes like fitting in pockets or energy avaliability, let's stick to the sun system.
    Nice to hear the raspi being lowpowered enough to do the trick, I was thinking in Zero/1B model as I see using model 3 too power consuming (?). Rpi3 is the one I'm using for correct 32bit (accuracy/perfomance OK) and 64/128 bit (little chompy).
    After some demanding playing, no too long, it starts to get hot indeed.

    Very neat you're clarifying that point. The idea was being realist, and I supposed all the unnecessary eye-candy would require a bigger powering device. And yes, the intention was to get the thing attached to the handheld (like small solar panel/s attached).


    And definetely, 6.5h of gameplay before needing new charge it's more than enough for me.

    Thanks again, proposing off grid devices was the post meant and also maybe collecting used parts to get at least one piece of technotrash out of garbage.

    To finish, I'll like to say: I'm not very good at electronics. When my father made me in the S.P.E.C.I.A.L. character editor, he didn't spent much points on it. Then, when I grew a little, I also failed the G.O.A.T. and couldn't get any electronics perk.
    But your reply shares lot of light (solar) to the issue, combined with other tutorials, will work as perfect starting point.

    Regards, mate.

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