I'd designed and built a circuit for a handheld gaming unit some time ago. In this project I've converted it into a portable gamebox of steampunk style. As the circuit has a real time clock and can display room temperature as well, the unit can be used as a practical table or wall clock in addition to be a display piece.
The circuit inside features a 8 bit microcontroller PIC 18F4620, several control buttons, two piezo speakers, an expansion port for extra memory or a position sensor. It also features a real time clock, so I planned the steampunk unit to be a decorative timepiece, demonstrating a game along with time. I wanted it to be also playable. It can be played in multiplayer or single player(against the microcontroller).
The games are the top of the line retro classics from the zx spectrum era. All of them are scratch written for the project; Snake 1-2 player, Tetris, Pacman. Even an etch a sketch drawing board program is also written.
I'll give circuit schematics and the hex codes of all games I've written for the gaming unit. But the project can also be done by using arduino, pi computer or any other gaming circuit you build.
Step 1: Cutting Plywood for the Box
I've used the circuit board as template for measuring the plywood parts. Used 3mm thick plywood I've found among scrap. It had an old lacquer layer on top that looks antic and nice.
Step 2: Assembling the Box
The measured and cut pieces are assembled and connected to each other by using the corner protectors and scews. If you want a stronger box, you can go for epoxy gluing and fiberglassing.
Step 3: Adding the Hinges
I've used small hinges I bought from the local market. Brass ones could have been better though. I guess these are also brass under the silver coating. Maybe i sand them a bit to reveal that brass for more authentic looks.
Step 4: Preparing Holes for the Control Buttons.
The outer buttons which will be made in suitable steampunk style will press the microswitches on the board. So there must be holes on top of each button. I've signed the places of every button on a semi transparent paper to use it for drilling template.
Step 5: Edge Protector Installation
These are edge protectors I've bought from ebay.
Step 6: Lock
Again a box lock from ebay. the link I've bought it from is:
wanted to use two first, then changed to one in the middle.
Step 7: More Decoration.
Here I've tried to search for other decoration options by using gears and edge decorations I've bought from ebay.
Step 8: Internal Details for Assembling the Circuitry.
I've glued 4 wood pieces to the inside corners for screwing the circuitry on them.
Step 9: Frame for the Screen
I've used some scrap brass wiring to make a frame for the lcd screen. I've bent the wires into the shape of the screen and added a bit of eposxy glue under and around them to fix them in place.
Step 10: Buttons and Their Frames.
I've used some circuit board distance parts and some metal beads for the buttons.
I've found several small gears with larger holes for the buttons to pass thru and used them as frames for every button hole. They looked quite nice.
Also testing push pins and small screws for the tops of the buttons.
Step 11: Gear for the Power Socket Frame
I've found a larger gear suitable for the power socket and emptied the middle of it to use it as a frame for the socket and it seems to work ok.
Step 12: Some More External Details
Thought of adding a pair of leather black crosses to the box and a round steampunk necklace part I've bought from ebay. Experimented on their shapes a bit. The result enrichted the authentic steampunk looks of the box.
Step 13: Making a Handle From a Brass Chain
Added a chain I vandalized from a ceiling light as a handle to the box.
Step 14: Connecting the Power and the First Run.
Well the circuit was tested and running already so it ran without problems.
the circuit schematic is included in this step.
if you want the hex files for production, please message me.
The available games are
Snake 1-2 players
etch a sketch application.
Step 15: Some Detail Views.
Also thinking of what else should I put on this thing next.
Step 16: Freshnel Lens for the Screen.
Step 17: Steampunk Speakers
I've printed these horns for an other project recently but didn't use them. I've cut out the excess part of them and glued them on top of this pox. The circuit inside has 2 piezo speakers already and it was a perfect match and greatly improved the looks of the final product.
Step 18: Time to Play Some Games
Well it is complete, hope you liked it.