Introduction: Arduino MINTIA - Game Console in a Candy Box
This Instructables show you how to use a tiny candy box to create an Arduino color game console.
Step 1: Introduction to MINTIA
MINTIA is a multi favor tablet produced by Asahi Group Food, Ltd. in Japan. The candy box design make it very easy to take one and only one tablet out when put off the cover, you can see the video demo how it works. It even have many 3rd parties tailor-made leather case for MINTIA. This candy box is very thin and the tablet outlet is very fit for the micro USB plug.
MINTIA has just over 20 years old, micro USB plug not yet born at that time! What a coincident!
I would like to squeeze all electronic components in it to find out how much it can be.
Asahi MINTIA page:
MINTIA official Facebook page:
Step 2: Preparation
An empty MINTIA Candy Box, you require consume all 50 tablets first :P
This game console have no room to place a step up voltage regulator, so remember to use 3.3 V version of Arduino board. Below link is Sparkfun Pro Micro 3.3 V 8Mhz
0.96" 96 x 64 SSD1331 OLED display board, this is the most small and thin color display board I can found.
It come from an old cell phone
At the beginning, I would like to use the Lipo battery come from the old cell phone, because it only 23 mm thick. But I found it miss protection board and the terminal is hard to solder, so I ordered another one. 343450 is a little bit too big, finally I use 303040. It claimed it have 300 mAh capacity, I think it is good enough.
Lipo Battery Charge Board
This tiny charge board use TP4057 charge chip, LED is red when charging and turn to green when charge finished.
For changing Battery Mode between "charge from USB" and "use battery power".
8 SMD buttons, 4 for left hand side navigation buttons and 4 for right hand side operation buttons.
Thin Multi Purpose PC Board
For holding all SMD buttons.
Coated Copper Wire
For connecting all the circuits.
Step 3: Program Arduino
You can re-program the Arduino board at any time, but it is more convenient for testing the speaker, OLED and the buttons if the board already have a runable program in there.
Download and install Arduino if not yet: https://www.arduino.cc/en/Main/Software
Arduino Pro Micro support
By default Arduino does not support Pro Micro board, please follow the steps to make Arduino support Pro Micro board:
I have modified João Vilaça's Tetris game to support Ucglib and Pro Micro board. Since the screen is squeezed from 320x240 to 96x64, the brick is a little bit too small, 1 block only 3x3 pixels, but it is playable.
Here is my modified source code:
Original source ref.:
Step 4: Design Layout
The main design is place the OLED (visible area) in the middle vertically and horizontally. And the buttons in two sides have same arrangement, this aim to support the 2 players games, such as pong, can play in this console.
Step 5: Patch the Candy Box
In order to hide the game console in the candy box, I keep the front face and the border no change. I just remove the back sticker and put all component in there.
This candy box does not use any glue, so it is very easy to split the cover with some force :P
After split the cover, align the Pro Micro board USB plug to the tablet outlet. There are some plastic need to cut out to fit the board.
Step 6: Button Panel
Place the thin multi purpose PC board to the back cover, cut the board to fit for the box and the OLED board.
Stick the SMD buttons to the PC board with double sided adhesive tape, mark the buttons center points at the back cover.
Drill the hole for the buttons. I start from 1.5 mm hole, then 2.5 mm, 3.5 mm, 5 mm and eventually around 7 mm after smoothen the surface.
Step 7: Desgin Circult
Lipo battery -> charge board -> switch -> Pro Micro board
OLED board -> Pro Micro board
Button panel -> Pro Micro board
Connection detail show at the following steps.
Step 8: Fix Board, Battery and Charge Component
Use double sided adhesive tape to fix the Pro Micro board and Lipo battery.
- Charge board battery +ve -> Lipo +ve and switch right pin
- Charge board battery -ve -> Lipo -ve
- Charge board source +ve -> switch left pin
- Charge board source -ve - > Pro Micro board GND pin
- Pro Micro board RAW pin -> switch middle pin
- Speaker +ve -> Pro Micro board A3 pin
- Speaker -ve -> Pro Micro board GND pin
After soldering, plug the USB power, the charge board LED goes on.
If you have programmed the Pro Micro board at previous step, the speaker should playing Tetris melody.
Step 9: Connect OLED
Remember remove the coating at the end of coated copper wire before soldering.
OLED CS -> Pro Micro GPIO 10
OLED Data -> Pro Micro GPIO 16 MOSI
OLED CLK -> Pro Micro GPIO 15 SCLK
OLED RST -> Pro Micro GPIO 18
OLED DC -> Pro Micro GPIO 19
OLED Vcc -> Pro Micro RAW pin
OLED GND -> Pro Micro GND pin
After soldering turn on the power, the OLED should show Tetris splash screen.
Step 10: Patch OLED Frame
Measure and stick the masking tape according to the design. Drill the hole, cut the middle part out and shape the border with cutter.
Double check the hole can fit for the OLED glass part.
Step 11: Patch Battery Switch and Speaker Hole
Mark the switch and speaker position at the back cover and then drill and cut the holes.
Step 12: Button Panel
Button soldering detail:
Pro Micro GND pin (beside GPIO 2) connect to one side of all 8 buttons
GPIO 2 -> up button
GPIO 3 -> down button
GPIO 4 -> left button
GPIO 5 -> right button
GPIO 6 -> A button
GPIO 7 -> B button
GPIO 8 -> C button
GPIO 9 -> D button
- Solder all buttons with coated copper wire
- Align and solder all the wire at the PC board left most column
- Cut all the wire with same length (around 1 cm)
- Put all 9 wires end to the Pro micro board (from GND pin to GPIO 9
- Solder the wire one by one
- Fold the button panel align on top of the OLED board
- Turn on the game console to check all the buttons work
Step 13: Pu on the Back Cover
Pu On The back Cover Carefully, use a little force to combine the front and back cover. You can listen some click sound when it combine success.
Step 14: Design Cover
You may think the cut hole is a little bit ugly, don't worry, we can print a beautiful cover to hide it.
- Print the PDF file with white sticker
- Cut the OLED, switch and speaker hole
- Stick it on the game console carefully
Step 15: Happy Gaming!
Show the front face to your friend and then flip it, show them what you have done!
- The left bottom part just below the Pro Micro board still have some room, it could squeeze a motion sensor.
- More game? There are still some game for Arduino, but require some code modification for specific hardware.
- Pro Micro board still have many limitation, try more powerful board? Such as SparkFun SAMD21 Mini Breakout, this board much powerful but same as Pro Micro form factor.
- Develop your own game!
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Please be positive and constructive.