One of the most interesting capabilities of the Rhomb.io Exynos 4412 core module is the built-in 3D graphics accelerator. With its GPU, this Rhomb Class 1 board is capable of managing complex 3D graphics, for games and emulators, while maintaining high performance and perfect frame rates. With this in mind, we wanted to show you this modules capability and create a functioning DIY game emulator and explain how you can make it at home. This device will be capable of running emulators or 3D games from the Android Google Play Store.
You will need:
- 1x Piece of acrylic material
- 6x Controller buttons (you can get these from dissasembled gamepads, or by buying cheap alternatives from Aliexpress)
- 1x Joystick module (you can use an Arduino compatible one, like this one from Aliexpress)
- 2x Speakers (Here are two options. Option 1 or option 2 )
- 1x 7 inch LCD HDMI screen
- 1x HDMI “U-type” connector
- 1x Hyperion Rhomb.io board
- 1x Rhomb.io Exynos 4412 Core module
- 1x Rhomb.io Audio codec module (coming soon at our shop)
- 1x 5V powered amplifier circuit (very cheap! you can get this from Banggood, Alibaba or similar online stores)
- 1x Rhomb.io Phobos V3
- 1x Rhomb.io Duino Leonardo
- 1x micro USB cable
- 1x USB port power supply
- Some M4 nuts and bolts
- Some pieces of cable
First of all, keep your piece of acrylic material and cut it to the size and shape you want to serve for your handheld console. Keep in mind that the size of the piece needs to house the display screen, PCB’s, joystick and buttons.
Arrange the materials on the acrylic board. You can place the different parts where you like or use the image below as a reference. You need to drill holes with a Dremel or similar tool. For holding the joystick, screen and PCB’s you can use M4 nuts and bolts. For the best audio performance, we recommend making a little resonance box for the speakers. This will improve your volume and bass quality. Game cases and resonance boxes can also be created with a 3D printer.
Connect the Flash the Android Operating System to the Emmc module. You can find the steps to get Google Play Store here.
Insert the Duino Leonardo rhomb.io module to the Phobos board. Attach the board to the PC via micro USB cable. Flash the software with the Arduino IDE. You can develop your own sketch to drive the HID conversion from the buttons to the HID standard, or contact us for our sketck.
You may also find this article from Instructables interesting as it explains how to use a Duino Leonardo gamepad and joystick.
Insert the rhomb.io Exynos 4412 Core module, Emmc module and audio codec module to the rhomb.io Hyperion board.
Solder the cables from the output of the audio module (L, R and GND) to the input of the amplifier circuit. Solder both speakers to the GND signal, and to their respective L or R channel on the output of the amplifier circuit.
Then connect and solder cables from the power to the amplifier circuit, screen backlight and to the Phobos rhomb.io board. You can power through the USB port located at the bottom of the board. Please, check the schematics of Hyperion board at our Rhomb.io wiki, to find the best ways for you to get 5V power from the Hyperion to the other modules.
Solder the buttons and joystick pins to the digital inputs of the Phobos board. Keep in mind that the digital inputs used by your Duino Leonardo previously flashed sketch.
Connect the HDMI “U-type” connector from the screen to the Hyperion rhomb.io board. Then connect a keyboard/mouse via the USB port to take control of the Android OS. Boot the board.
When the image size does not fit the resolution of your screen, you can use “UI Tuner” app available at Google Play store to fix this.
Also, If the colour space of your screen is not “RGB” and you see strange color behaviour, you can use “Color Blind” app from Google Play store to fix this.
Install your desired games or emulators from Google Play store. You will need apps that permit the mapping of the software buttons to the physical buttons of your console. Game button mapping options will be located in game, in configuration settings. This will vary from game to game. Once buttons have been mapped, you can disconnect the mouse/keyboard from your board’s USB port. You will not need them for playing as you will now be able to use the console built-in controls you mapped.
To autostart the emulator or game app with the boot of an Android OS, you can use a free app called “autoboot”. When you power on your DIY game emulator, the game should be automatically launched.
If you have any doubts or want to share your projects, please contact us and feel free to leave any comment or share on social media. And don’t forget the most important part of this project… have fun!! 😀