Introduction: GameBoy in a Lunchbox

About: I am a person who loves to create inventions and share them with the world!

Have you ever wanted to play some classic games when eating? Maybe not, but if you did, this is the project for you! The GameBoy emulator uses RetroPie on a Raspberry Pi Zero W. There is a battery pack with 2500mAh, which could squeeze out around 20 hours of battery life! There is a 4.3-inch screen for displaying the games, not the biggest, but screens can get expensive! Not only that, there are 2 SNES controllers for multiplayer gameplay! And, most importantly, you can run any retro game your heart desires(not included in tutorial, the retropie documentation tells you how to do it just fine... )!!! Most of the parts are from Adafruit, including the lunchbox. The project is designed around that lunchbox, but I will provide the Tinkercad link if you would like to edit my design to accommodate for your design. I spent a good amount of time on this project, so I hope you enjoy it!

Step 1: Parts and Supplies


Raspberry Pi Zero W Pack


Micro USB splitter

Battery Pack

SNES Controller

Extension Cable

USB bank

A switch

Soldering Iron



You will need a 3D printer, or use shapeways to have it printed for you.

Step 2: Micro SD Card

Go to and click on Raspberry pi 0/1. Then download balenaEtcher for Mac or windows. Insert the micro SD card into your computer (Sorry to all of the USB-C computers, you'll have to buy an adapter) and open balenaEtcher. Select the SD card and the image you just downloaded and click "Flash" to begin flashing. Thats all for the micro SD card!

Step 3: Assembly (1/6)

Let's begin! The first picture shows all of the parts needed for the assembly process. We will start out very simple. All you have to do is insert the SD card into the Raspberry Pi.

Step 4: Assembly (2/6)

Credits to Adafruit Industries for the code.
Connect the raspberry pi to a monitor with the included mini-hdmi to HDMI cable. Once loaded, it will ask you for a controller to be connected. Connect the SNES controller with the micro-usb to usb cable included in the pack and continue the prompts. Exit out of emulation station, then type:

sudo apt-get install rpi-update

and then

sudo rpi-update

After that, type:

sudo apt-get install raspi-gpio

Then you can run it with

sudo raspi-gpio get

Next, type:


sudo cp dt-blob.bin /boot/

Finally, type:

sudo nano /boot/config.txt

And type these lines at the bottom:














hdmi_timings=480 0 40 48 88 272 0 13 3 32 0 0 0 60 0 32000000 3

Exit and Save then type : sudo reboot.

After rebooting, unplug the pi and the monitor and take the blue item, the Kippah, and put it like the second picture, one in front of the other. Flip the Kippah so it is upside down and carefully press it onto the 20 pins on the Raspberry Pi, called GPIO pins.

Step 5: Assembly (3/6)

Halfway done! Take the ribbon cable, screen, and the connector board like the picture says. In the close up shot, notice the 2 states of the black flaps: up and down. The right one is up while the left is down. Insert the Ribbon cable with the flap up. Delicately close the flap and make sure the ribbon cable is secure. Do the same for the screen, resulting in the final photo.

Step 6: Assembly (4/6)

Take the Kippah and the Raspberry Pi and PULL the black flap, not lift like the previous step. Make sure the blue side is facing DOWN. This is crucial for the functionality of the project. Gently push the black flap back in, making sure the Kippah is secure.

Step 7: Assembly (5/6)

Take the splitter cable and strip one side to its wires. Cut one of them and solder on a switch for controlling the power. Put some hot glue or heatshrink to protect the exposed wires. Then, take the battery and the splitter. Plug the battery into the splitter and the splitter into the port on the Pi as shown above. You can use your micro usb to usb to plug in the controllers.

Step 8: Assembly (6/6)

3D print the parts needed for this step. Take the bottom half and the battery pack. Hot glue it into the corresponding hole towards the bottom of the print. Glue the raspberry pi below that and the USB hub beside it. (I stripped it of its plastic). Thread the USB controllers though the holes and plug them into the hub. Glue the switch where the ribbon cable is and make sure the ribbon cable can access the hole. Shove the controller cables as best as possible into the remaining space. Take the top half and CAREFULLY hot glue the screen in. I recommend glue on the sides and removing excess glue on the front. Place the green extender beneath it and glue the top so it has space to close. It might take a few attempts to get it just right. And that's it! You have completed the project! You can add ribbon as a stopper to get a specific angle as well.

Step 9: ROMS

In order to run games, you will need to get ROMS. I provided a link from the official documentation on how to do so in the introduction. Here is a website that has thousands of ROMS. Put the ".nes" file or whatever file you downloaded in the corresponding folder (ex: nes).

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