Hardware (gbaHD) The $50 USD Open Source GBA Consolizer Project!

codemasterv

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PSA: Installing this project on a GBA SP is easier. The test pads are bigger and it has a smaller footprint.

Here is a photo on how to install this project on a SP: https://imgur.com/gallery/YES6Nlj

more photos in the google drive link at the bottom
______________________________________________________________________

What is gbaHD?

Its a GBA to DVI converter.

To create a stable HDMI signal without buffering whole frames, but rather go line-by-line, the quartz crystal of the GBA is removed. Instead, the FPGA generates the clock signal for the GBA.

_________________________________________________________________
Update 1:

zwenergy has released a firmware update for gbaHD that fixes the color issues.

I will always have the compiled latest version availible on my linked Google Drive at the bottom.

Here is a video of the color fix
__________________________________________________________________________
##SOFTWARE:

You will need to install on your windows pc:

Arduino IDE:

https://www.arduino.cc/en/Main.Software

Vivado Web Edition from Xilinx (You may need to make an account):

https://www18.zippyshare.com/v/IZrkFiOp/file.html

or use my gdrive link at the bottom to get the .bit file.

Zwenergy’s git repository:

https://github.com/zwenergy/gbaHD
___________________________________________________________________________
##HARDWARE

An original GBA aka agb-001

Storage:

MicroSD Card (Any Size)

Controller Interpreter:

A Seeduino Nano; AKA Arduino Uno. You can order from Here:

https://www.seeedstudio.com/Seeeduino-Nano-p-4111.html

FPGA:

Spartan Edge Accelerator Board - Arduino FPGA Shield with ESP32:

https://www.seeedstudio.com/Spartan-Edge-Accelerator-Board-p-4261.html
__________________________________________________________________________________
##PROGRAMMING:


First let’s start with the easy one, the Nano/Uno.

Open controller.ino with ArduinoIDE

Select Tools>Board>Arduino/ Genuine Uno

Select Tools>Programmer >USBasp

Select Port>”Your COM device”

Click the Check Mark in the top left to verify

Click the -> arrow to upload

That’s it now solder it up.

TP are here:

https://drive.google.com/file/d/1PyYKaE1JHFlH0gSuT3w1-opkUd5M9oJG/view?usp=sharing
______________________________________________________________________________________
##Programming ESP 32 and Spartan:

[Video of how to program the Spartan:]

you need to add the library

Sketch>Include Library>add zip

and add this zip

https://drive.google.com/file/d/1r0pKkC2piuYXaQMudEuKW3354AatcVGG/view?usp=sharing

Noteworthy:

Flip the switch above the usb-c port and select USB-C on the Spartan.
Next, There are a series of little switches on the Spartan under some clear brown tape. Look at the orientation board and insure its right side up and flip the far right switch to ON. (You will turn this off when programming is over) and make sure your power jumper is set to off.

Install the current upstream Arduino IDE at the 1.8 level or later. The current version is at the Arduino website.

Start Arduino and open Preferences window.

Enter

https://dl.espressif.com/dl/package_esp32_index.json

into Additional Board Manager URLs field. You can add multiple URLs, separating them with commas.

Stable release link:

https://dl.espressif.com/dl/package_esp32_index.json

Development release link:

https://dl.espressif.com/dl/package_esp32_dev_index.json

Open Boards Manager from Tools > Board menu and install esp32 platform (and don't forget to select your ESP32 board from Tools > Board menu after installation).
________________________________________________________________________________
##synthesize the HDL code:

Watch my video on synthesizing .vhd files into a .bit file.


Per the creator: /u/Zwenergy
“You first have to synthesize the HDL code. Use Xilinx Vivado (the WebPack edition is free) for this. This generates a bitstream file. In case of the Spartan Edge Accelerator board you can place this file onto a MicroSD card. In order to load to the bitstream from the card and program the FPGA, you have to program the ESP32 processor on the board once via USB and the Arduino IDE.”

Further info at:

https://wiki.seeedstudio.com/Spartan-Edge-Accelerator-Board/

Make a folder named “overlay” on the root of your fat32 4096k formatted SD Card

Copy “default.bit” into “overlay”

insert sd into the spartan.
_________________________________________________________
##Program ESP and Spartan:

Open 01LoadDefaultBitstream.ino with Arduino IDE

Select tool -> board-> DOIT ESP32 DEVKIT

Connect the Spartan Board with USB -C to the PC.

>NOTE: (install USB232 driver (chip CP2102) for your computer's operating system if it shows up as unknown device in the device manager).

Turn the power switch (near the USB Type-C slot) to USB side to power on the board.

Check serial port and board (DOIT ESP32 DEVKIT) as you would do when programming any other Arduino IDE-supported board.

Open the Arduino IDE's serial console (using the top right button), and ensure that it is set to 115200

Verify and upload the code using the 'Upload' button, and watch the result on the serial port.

It will say "run" over and over if successful.

>Note: When it starts uploading you will need to press BOOT button on the ESP32 portion of the FPGA for longer than 1 second to upload.

Now on to soldering,

Please refer to my photos and Zwenergy github at:

https://github.com/zwenergy/gbaHD

If you don’t have a 3D printer you can get the .STL printed from:

https://www.shapeways.com/

Video sig points:

https://drive.google.com/file/d/1NjH-A9CD9fRdE_gBbub3kq7Nk1ejclKT/view?usp=sharing

TP points for Seeduino:

https://drive.google.com/file/d/1PyYKaE1JHFlH0gSuT3w1-opkUd5M9oJG/view?usp=sharing

Power and Ground Locations:

https://drive.google.com/file/d/1ZW09uDcCA9EpZCWTCS5QQy_Fa1iXpFHV/view?usp=sharing

More Photos, My Files and info.

https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/1Jvu2CEMZRhmcFOKjo7Q3kQaTsbca5phK?usp=sharing
 

Liriel

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My Gbahd modell
c4dc2713d5131ce204e5fce7264f649a.jpg


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Liriel

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I always wondered why this wasn't done with an SP to begin with, it's just all-around easier to work with.
Ähm the Gbahd is for gba and gba sp.
The German comunity has work to make a Shield that Cover the gba 32pin, gba 40pin and the Sp.

And there a a case for gba and one for gba sp Version.

The German thread of the working of zwenergy and all that work on it
https://circuit-board.de/forum/index.php/Thread/31478-gbaHD-Open-Source-GBA-Consolizer/?pageNo=1

I use a gba because I had 1 over.

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Liriel

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What makes the Game Boy Advance SP easier to work with? That machine is smaller and more compact than the AGB, shouldn't that make it more difficult?
It's not really harder.
With the Shield we take the picture over the ribbon cable.
There are only soldering Sound, Buttons and Battery.
These are not harder to soldering as on a gba.

The only harder way on the Sp is the Power because the sp is a Diva when it comes to the power.

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Jayro

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The only harder way on the Sp is the Power because the sp is a Diva when it comes to the power.
That could be solved with a DC to DC convertor board, dialed in at 3.8v to give some overhead for the extra components this mod adds to the power draw. As long as the entire setup draws under 3 amps of power, you should be good.
 

Liriel

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That could be solved with a DC to DC convertor board, dialed in at 3.8v to give some overhead for the extra components this mod adds to the power draw. As long as the entire setup draws under 3 amps of power, you should be good.
When you look I have a Shield and not seperate parts.
And the guys behind the Shield have a way but the sp is a Diva.
And only Push 3.8v doesnt help

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Liriel

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So the shield board helps with the power problems?
It has a power setting for the gba and a for gba sp. With that no seperate dc-dc or arduino is needed.
And les soldering with cables

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Liriel

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That's cool. Is there a kit that comes with everything we need, minus the GBA SP and controller?
Not really a kit because no one sell it to you.
It's open source that everyone can build it


The fpga is to get on seeed webshop.

The Shield can get on oshpark but without elements that you can buy everywhere and soldering on the Shield.

Then 2 ribbon cables and a snes controller port that can be buy everywhere.

The case Is on thingiverse and can print.

Buttons and sd card can get everywhere too.


This is not a only 1 company sell like wozzles gba consolizer

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Neophoriac

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Hey all!

So I built a gbaHD with an agb-001 (agb-cpu-03) and I get picture and sound. But the thing is, it only works when the gba LCD is attached to the gba, if it's not attached I also noticed that the gba LED is very dim.

I'm using jotheripper's case for the mod and also ManClouds board without any components on for the sole purpose of supporting the 7-pin in the case, the 7-pin is soldered on the shield. The shield is attached to the SEA board and I'm using the pins on the shield to connect to all the video pins, arduino, etc.

Could it be that the shield without components creates a ground fault or a short circuit? As I've said, with the LCD attached on the gba it works as expected on TV.

P.S. I'm waiting for the shield components to arrive and build a second gbaHD.
 
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Eoncats75

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I know I'm pretty late, but is this still the most up-to-date guide on "consolizing" an SP? I've got one with a broken screen that I'd like to give a new lease on life, but I can't really find a definitive guide that is compatible with it.
 

Liriel

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Mmh with the gba consolizer I think the Gbahd and gba consolizer are the best ways because it doesnt emulate anything.
The next would be GB Player with gbi.


Then All these emulation device comes from my side.

Building a gba consolizer out of a gba sp is only with the gbahd possible.
The Shield is All the best way because All is on one board
 
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    KenniesNewName @ KenniesNewName: I guess it's not a huge bad thing to have a game on different platforms just in case of hacks :tpi: