Introduction: How to Make an Attiny85 Console - ArduPlay

About: My name is Wojtek and I am 21 years old student of electronic high school. I am passionate about electronics as well as recording and editing movies. I follow the rule: "Do not delay, do it today".

It was like this: I was browsing YouTube videos aimlessly to relax over a cup of tea. Maybe a football game highlights or a compilation of funny videos? Suddenly I got a notification on my phone - a new video on the Electronoobs channel. Unfortunately, this evening time will not slip through my fingers. He made an interesting project of the attiny game, but I didn't like the way of installing the new game, because if you want to change the game, you have to pull out the microcontroller of the connector and plug in a new one, which may negatively affect on the attiny legs. I felt obligated to improve the way of changing the game. Let's get started!

Step 1: Inserting the Game

I started by looking for connectors that would be suitable for this project. I found one that has a spring inside, so I can insert the game board and then press it down. Perfectly. Using the diagram of the previously mentioned internet creator, I created my own diagram, adding connectors and a battery that I can charge via a micro USB connector. Then I designed PCBs for the console and game cards and ordered them from NEXTPCB.

Step 2: PCB Preparing

It's time for soldering. I started by applying solder paste to all pads from the SMD components, and then I put these elements in their places. I set the hot-air station to 300 degrees, the airflow to the smallest and started the soldering process - resistors, capacitors, switches, sockets, display. Lastly, I soldered the golden connectors. After inserting display into the goldpin socket, it turned out that it protrudes too much, so I desoldered the socket and soldered the display itself. Finally, I cleaned the PCB with isopropyl alcohol and a toothbrush.

Step 3: Projecting

I took pictures of both boards and uploaded them to Fusion 360. I entered the dimensions of the board, marked the places that the housing should not cover, set the thickness of this element to 2mm and printed it to make sure the holes were in the right places. Then I created the bottom of the case and connected them together. The entire housing consists of 6 elements. When I finished designing it, I uploaded it into Creality Slicer and saved it on the SD card in two files. I will use plain red PLA to print the elements from the first file and wooden PLA for those from the second file. This filament consists of 40% groundwood which, when printed, creates a unique fragrance. These filaments were provided to me by 3DJAKE - I encourage you to check their offer. The only thing left was to put all the elements together.

Step 4: Attiny Programming

The attiny85 microcontroller, which I will desolder from the digispark module, will be responsible for the working of the electronic part. Before I do this, however, I have to program it. I installed the drivers for this module, then I added a library supporting this module to the Arduino IDE. I downloaded the game files and uploaded them to a few boards so I can change the game at any time. I desoldered attiny from the digispark module and soldered it to my PCB.

Step 5: This Is All!

This is how arduPlay looks like - a mini-game console based on attiny85. Put the game board in the right place and close the casing, thus pressing the board to the connectors. Now you can enjoy retro-style gameplay on your hand-built mini console.

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Order your own PCB: NEXTPCB

Shop with accessories for 3d printing: 3DJAKE