mintyPi Build Guide

hey guys welcome back I know this has been a really long time coming but things have finally come together so I can show you guys how to put together a minty pie these are all the parts that we're going to use for this and believe it or not it's all going to fit inside this Altoids tin first you're going to need of course an Altoids tin raspberry pi 0w the 0w is really nice for a project like this because you get Wi-Fi and bluetooth without having have any extra hardware I've got a set of Helders custom parts for this which includes a button PCB that already has the start and select tactile switches attached to it for you and something new since the last version of this board that I showed off now we've got test pads on the back so once you have everything attached you'll be able to really easily test and make sure that you have a good solid connection between each of these pins and the pin holes on the Raspberry Pi a 2.4 inch screen ribbon cables and then this board for the screen screen connects to this ribbon connector and then the ribbon cable goes from this to the button PCB so yeah great job by Helder these custom parts came out fantastic we've also got a set of the 3d printed parts that I designed I have these for sale but if you do have access to a 3d printer then be sure and check out the written guide that goes along with this video because I'll have links to the STL file so you'll be able to download those and print these out yourself if you want got a USB sound card I chose this particular one because it actually puts out enough juice to drive the tiny speaker pretty well without a separate amplifier in fact I did some tests and found that this was actually louder than a Game Boy microbe which is good enough in my book the speaker that goes along with it is 0.5 watts 8 ohms and is 20 millimeters in diameter but the more important measurement is the thickness needs to be three point five millimeters or less so that it can sit between the 3d printed part and the button PCB battery charger for this I'm using the micro lipo from Adafruit it's a lot cheaper than the power boost and since this doesn't step it up to 5 volts like the power boost does you'll actually get a little bit better battery life using this option instead of the power booster but if you did go out and get a power boost for this project don't worry you'll still be able to use it for this if you want to 1200 milliamp hour lithium polymer battery this one is from Adafruit as well I like their batteries I trust them but you can find batteries from other manufacturer on eBay and Amazon stuff like that a power switch to tactile switches for the L&R button and then we've got a set of DS Lite buttons with the rubber membranes that go along with them and some screws to hold everything together there are a couple other odds and ends that you'll need like some wire I get asked about what kind of wire I use pretty frequently just a few months ago I started using this this is silicone coated wire it's incredibly flexible without breaking super easy to strip and since its silicone that is coated in it's not going to melt or shrink while you're soldering with it really nice to work with and then this is something that held our turn me on to this is VHB tape from 3m and essentially it's just some incredibly strong double-sided tape so I'll be using this to attach the 3d printed screen enclosure to the lid of the tent and that's it for the parts that we'll be using so if you're ready to see how all this fits together then let's get started we're going to be drilling some pilot holes for our micro USB charging port power switch and the L&R buttons on the back and fair warning it'll probably take one or two or five tries to get this just right but the nice thing is if you mess up the ten it's only a couple dollars wasted and you still get to eat the mints so for the L in our buttons you're going to want to drill your pilot holes 19 millimeters in from either side and 4 millimeters from the bottom and then on the other side the charging port is going to be 20 millimeters in from the side and about 4.3 millimeters up that's going to be the center of this for the power switch that's going to be 26 millimeters in from the side and about 2.8 millimeters up from the bottom getting everything in just the right spot and just the right shape can be kind of tricky and the reason it's important to get everything in the right spot is for example to LNR buttons they have these braces behind them to kind of hold them in place when you're pressing then the power switch has these two little walls on either side of this so that will hold the switch in place as you move it the power switch by the way if you don't use the exact one that I did you can take some pliers to these and snap them off pretty easily so if you have one that's not exactly the same size that's the one that I use you'll still be able to glue it in place so to make this process a little bit easier I came up with this and whether this works you snap it to the bottom of the cinge you probably want to tape it in place so it doesn't wiggle around and then you can just use a marker to mark the exact location and shape of each of the holes that you're going to be making it's especially helpful for the micro you before to the hope to get it's just the right shape then on the back for the LNR button you can mark right between these two peaks and that's where you need to drill your pilot hole it's a good idea to put some masking tape across this so you don't wind up scratching it up and then on the inside I'd recommend putting some tapes along the lip here so it kind of seals it off and keeps any metal shavings from getting caught up in there because even though they're really tiny it's possible they could come loose and short something out on your raspberry pi or on the battery charger so it's good idea to try and keep all that out of it [Applause] [Applause] [Applause] [Applause] alright so starting with the L&R button they need to be about three point six millimeters in diameter but if you use a drill bit that big on them right off the bat you're going to wind up just tearing up your tin so what I found works best is to start out with a small two drill bit as you have and they just slowly step your way up until you get them big enough and the trick is to hardly put any pressure on it as you're drilling so it just kind of shaves away a bit and before you even drill your pilot hole take something like a nail and just gently push in on the exact spot that you need your pilot hole so you create a small indentation or even a tiny hole so that it holds your drill bit in place you've got several options for expanding these into their final shapes if you have a dremel and some tiny bits for that that'll save you a lot of work but the best thing that I found for getting really nice clean edges in exactly the shape that you want is to use some files like these ones and if you're using the whole guide you can keep snapping it on periodically to make sure that you're getting the right shape all right so hopefully at this point after a bit of patience you've got some nice clean holes on the front for your power switch your micro USB charging port and some nice round holes on the back for your L&R button if you want to make sure that everything lines up you can take this plate that goes in the bottom part of the tin and place your components in there to make sure that they line up all right so that's it for the 10 go ahead and clean it out make sure you get any metal shavings or metal dust out of there so this part goes behind the screen it sits in the lid like this and this is the part that I attached with the tape that I mentioned earlier the most important part is to make sure that it's completely centered both vertically and horizontally and fair warning this stuff is incredibly strong so once you have it attached it's not going to budge whether you want it to or not in fact if you try and remove it there's a good chance that you're either going to bend up your tin or even break this 3d printed part trying to get it out so that concerns you you might want to opt for something like some hot glue or I've even found that this quote unquote permanent double-sided tape works pretty well it'll keep it in there for quite a while you just might need to reapply it if it comes too loose so again if you don't want to risk it I'd probably opt for something else but regardless of what you use to attach it to the lid the best way that I found to line it up is to take it and set it on the bottom part should be just enough of the lip so that it'll stay there and then once you have it lined up and you have whatever you're going to use to attach it applied to the back of it it's very carefully close the lid and and it should stick it right in the middle and there we go if you do it right it should be perfectly centered and now we're going to get the base put in the bottom of the tent but we can't attach it to the bottom just yet because if we do that we're not going to have room to get our tactile switches in there so we'll go ahead and get our switches ready and get them in place before we attach that to the bottom okay so this wire here in the middle is going to be a shared ground connection this is going to be our R button and then this is going to be our L button so the L button is going to be the one that actually has the ground connection so you can kind of position them in the tin like that and then slide the bottom piece into place before you glue it down just kind of press it against the back there just a little bit so that your buttons stick out and you can actually click on them as for actually gluing it down in the tin you can just put a few blobs of glue in each corner kind of around the screw poke and it works really well I didn't use the double-sided tape for this part because I want to do to the estin as possible so I didn't want any extra thickness below this but the glue seems to work really well I haven't had any issues with it okay so we'll put the tin aside for the time being and turn our attention to this guy what we're going to do is attach our Raspberry Pi to the board like this we'll be putting some solder down into each of the GPIO pin holes to basically attach the two boards together and when they're lined up and attached correctly it should pretty much flush with the camera connector here and it should be pretty close to the microSD card slot before you go any further though I would recommend burning a fresh copy of retropie to an SD card putting it in your Raspberry Pi and booting it up just to make sure that it works alright but if you do run into problems you know that you didn't have a dead Raspberry Pi right out of the box to line these up easiest thing to do is to put them inside the 3d printed faceplate there are three different sizes of screws that are included with it the smallest ones are in two by three millimeter screws and that's what we used to attach the board to the 3d printed part the next screw size up is m2 by four millimeters now while you're kind of fusing the two boards together you want to make sure that the Raspberry Pi is pressed firmly against the button PCB that's way that I've found to do that is to take a couple of small clamps like this put one on each side just make sure the clamps aren't so strong that you're going to crack something what we're going to do is we're going to go down each hole and place a little bit of solder in there and then stick the tip of our soldering iron down in the pinhole so that it melts and makes contact with the pad below it and then you can see these labels here above the GPIO pins those correspond to these test pads up here that you can use your multimeter to check continuity with to make sure you've got a good connection so for example this second column here has Y on the top and X on the bottom we know that we can test that with these pads to make sure we have a good connection and this can be a little bit frustrating to do you might think that you have a good connection but then you checked and you don't so you need to go back put the tip of your soldering iron back in there to remelt it and hopefully make a good connection with the pad underneath it if you are paying really close attention might have seen that I connected a queue on the other side that I didn't actually need to I just like to do that to make sure that's a nice solid connection it's not going to break if it's plexus something else that you should watch out for is to make sure that you don't have too much solder sticking up like I've got a couple here that are probably sticking out a little bit too far so you can either go back with your soldering iron and try and take a little bit of that off or if you have some wire cutters that will cut flush with the surface of this you can use that to kind of snip it off as well and you also want to make sure you don't have any sharp pieces of solder sticking up out of it because you don't want those to come in contact and potentially hook the battery that's going to be sitting below it the goal is to make it as smooth as possible and two quick things to note about the button PCB when you're testing with your multimeter for the 3.3 volt 10 you're going to want to test with this vtt pin right here then the other thing is I've seen a few people asking about this on the forums already to get the SD card in and out of the Raspberry Pi at this point it's easiest to slide it in from underneath to take it out you just might have to flex this part up just a tiny bit and speaking of the SD card now would be a really good time to go ahead and set that up put it in your Raspberry Pi attach the screen and make sure that everything is working check out the written guide for instructions on how to set up your SD card as well as how to get your Wi-Fi configured before you even put the SD card in the Raspberry Pi so that way you should be able to set it up without even needing to plug in a keyboard but for testing it out before we actually put everything in the tin or modify the sound card like we'll be doing here in a second I would recommend getting a USB on-the-go cable like this so that you can go ahead and connect it to your Raspberry Pi and test it out with some headphones just again to make sure that everything works to get the screen ready to use we're going to need to do a couple things real quick first it's just a little bit too wide to fit inside the ribbon connector this is actually meant to be soldered directly to the surface of a circuit board but to make that a lot easier for people Helder used a ribbon connector so all you need to do is very carefully with the razor trim off a tiny bit from either side of the ribbon cable making sure not to actually cut any of the metal fingers on it then the other thing that we need to do is thicken just a little bit so that it stays inside the ribbon connector securely all right so so far so good test out your sound cards you can plug in some headphones and then just by navigating the menus within retropie you should be able to hear some clicks as we move the menu items up and down it's actually navigate it you can just take the rubber membranes from your button and navigate that way now we'll get the sound card ready to go it's pretty small to begin with but we're going to make it even smaller by removing the USB jack removing the headphone jack and then we'll also be moving the crystal off of the board we'll do that by removing it and then attaching a couple of wires to the pinholes where it was and attach the other end of those wires to the pins on the crystal so that we can move it beside it so the easiest way that I found to remove the USB and the headphone jack especially if you don't have a hot air rework station is to take the mark Clippers and very carefully snip the metal legs on the other side of the USB port and then same thing for the legs on the headphone jack be careful as you do that because these pads here do list pretty easily if you wind up pulling on them so the goal is to not put any pressure on the actual plug while you snip the metal legs on both sides and then we'll use the tip of our soldering iron to just heat up those pads all at once and it should slide right off so here I'm connecting some wires to where the USB plug used to be connected if you have different colors wire that will help a lot in keeping track of which wire goes where from this angle the top wire is ground then we have data positives and data negatives and then the bottom one will go to power so as I said I'll be using data fruits micro lipo for this build it's pretty small as it is but the jst connector is pretty tall so we're actually going to remove that and we'll wind up snipping off the jst connector from the battery and connecting it directly to these pins to make it quite a bit smaller and the easiest way that I found is to take some wire Clippers and Smit to these two metal parts on either side and then this black plastic piece will just kind of slide off then we'll be able to heat up these two pins and they should come right off just be really careful not to actually pull on them as you're doing that or you might lift the pads underneath them then the other thing we're going to do you see these pads here by default this will charge a battery at 100 milliamps but if your battery is high enough capacity and can handle it which hours can there's actually supports charging at 500 milliamps all we have to do is put a little blob of solder to bridge these two pads here and then after we do that we'll be using these two pins right here there's ground and battery these two pins will be connected to the button PCB which will give power to the Raspberry Pi and everything else I get asked pretty frequently what size wires to use for things like this for things like buttons it's okay to use some really really tiny wire I usually use 30 gauge wire for things like that for things like this that are going to be carrying power though I use something a little bit thicker we're using 26 gauge wire here and again this is that silicone coated wire that I mentioned earlier very nice to work with these two wires are going to be going to power the Raspberry Pi they'll be connected to the button PC mate but you'll notice there's no enable tune on here like there is on the power bridge so we're going to do is take our power switch and put that in line with the ground wire and this which is pretty simple when it's pushed to either side the middle pin is connected to depend on the side that you have the switch push to so we'll be connecting this ground wire to the middle pin and then we'll have another ground wire coming out of the rightmost pin on here and that's what we'll go to the actual pen on the button PCB I'm going to trim the pins down we only need a couple millimeters sticking up and then I'm going to bend them upwards so there's no risk of the battery pushing up against any of those sharp edges okay so the last thing that we need to do with our charging components is to connect our battery to the charger and since we don't have a jst connector on here anymore we're going to snip these wires and connect them directly to those pins right there now as I've said lots of times before batteries can be dangerous they like to catch on fire and even explode if you don't treat them right so if you're not very experienced with this kind of thing you may want to find someone who is to help you out in other words proceed at your own risk if you're making this now you want to make sure that the wires do not come in contact with each other so what I recommend doing is doing one wire at a time can take the ground wire first snip it strip the end connect it to one of these pins and then only after thats done go ahead and snip the other wire and do the same thing you don't need very much wire than inches more than enough and we'll be connecting those two wires to these two pins that we exposed earlier positives on the left side that's where the red wire is going to go and the black wire will connect to the right side and there we go again be careful doing this guy's all right we can go ahead and put our power leading components inside the 10 now I would recommend putting a small piece of electrical tape over the end of one of these wires until we're ready to actually connect it to the button PCB just so that we don't accidentally short them together on the tin or anything else metal now I originally designed this part to be used with the power boost so that's why this raised brace is a lot further back than the actual size of the charging board and the reason that I left it set up this way is because a lot of people ran out and bought parts a couple months ago in anticipation of making this so I wanted it to still work with the power of these for future batches of this part though I'll go ahead and slide that forward so it's just the right distance for this charging board in the meantime I'll be attaching that to the bottom of this using some other CDH tape and the easiest way to make sure that you line this up correctly is to take a micro USB cable to get inside the tin like so plug it in and then kind of pull outwards with the cable as you press it down that should get it nice and flush and lined up and again that tape is incredibly strong and should hold it well enough but if you want you can reinforce it on the corners with a little bit of glue now for the battery I would not recommend using something as strong as this but we do want to hold it in place so we can use a couple of small pieces of this tape that I showed earlier now the 3d printed part there's a pretty good job of folding it in place and universe which but we are going to put a couple of small dabs of glue on other side to hold it down okay so that's it for our power related component once we actually connect everything we'll hook up these two wires to the button key TV which will power the Raspberry Pi and our screen all right so the 3d printed faceplate is almost good to go as is there may be a couple of things that you need to tweak the first is the size of the buttonhole when I was sourcing the upslide buttons I try to see from different manufacturers and there is a pretty annoying amount of variation between the diameters of the buttons the buttons that I want up sourcing and I've been selling along with these parts were on the smaller side so I've made sure that all the parts that I've been sending out fit with rows but if you got your buttons elsewhere or if you took them out of a broken DF light or something like that they may be a little bit too big for these holes it's not a big deal to fix it only takes a minute and just need a drill bit like this one and then by hand and very gently you don't have to put much pressure on it at all you just press it in there and give it a few turns by hem make sure you don't go too far and you can slowly expand it like that and keep checking with your button to think you've expanded enough and we're not talking about very much here it was only like half a millimeter of variation between smallest ones that I found in largest one but it was enough that if I had sized these to fit the biggest one then the smallest ones would look funny and they'd kind of rattle around in there so just keep that in mind if you find that your buttons are too tight the other thing the way that most 3d printers including mine work is they deposit material layer by layer and so it creates this sort of ridged effect kind of scratchy there's normally not a big deal until you have something like buttons that are potentially rubbing up against it so this part in the middle which keeps the buttons and twisting around so it keeps the letters with right what we're going to do is we're going to go around here and very carefully with the razor trim off any blobs that are kind of protruding from it and then we're going to go in with a file to make it as smooth as we can and then we're going to do the same for these corners here so it should only take a minute but it's definitely worth going the trouble to do that the founders if I didn't do that then occasionally the buttons would kind of catch on the animals pretty normal now don't go too crazy filing just do a little by little and then stop every now and then place your buttons in there as well as the rubber membrane press it up against something flat and test it out yeah so fill a couple of those catching so I probably need to follow it down just a little bit more but it's really up to you how much effort you put into that personally I prefer to take the time to really get it nice and smooth so the button to the loins the other thing that you're going to want to check to make sure that your buttons feel and nice as they possibly can is the edges of them some of them have little bits of plastic sticking out from them so you might need to send those down a little bit and it should help quite a bit as well and once you're done with that and you're happy with how your buttons feel and go ahead and put the speaker in there and get that wired up to our sound card now you don't be much glue at all hold it in place because we're going to have the button PCB pressed up against it anyway this is really just to hold it in place with it it doesn't rattle around you don't need very much water going to the speakers maybe an inch and a half and we're going to go ahead and connect that to our sound card we're going to connect one of the speaker wires to this pad right here which is ground and then we're going to connect the other wire to this pad right here but we're also going to bridge this pad with this one these are the left and right channels now normally you'd probably want to put a couple of resistors between these two channels that you're joining together but since this is so small and it's going to such a small speaker you're probably not going to notice much of a difference now with the speaker as small as this one it really doesn't matter which one is positive and which one is ground and at this point we can go ahead and put our buttons in and attach our button CCD to the 3d printed page play now depending on how thick your screw heads are you may have to leave off this screw so that it doesn't bump into the microUSB port it's not a big deal though everything's held in there really securely with the other screws okay let's go ahead and get this inside the tent our sound card is going to sit right here the edge is going to sit on this raised area so just a blob of glue right there and we can stick it out I'm also going to secure the crystal that we moved right here beside it now we can connect our Ellen R button wires they only need to reach these pads right here so we can trim them down a little bit okay so that should be the last bit of soldering that we have to do and we can attach our screen and we're using four more in two by four millimeter screws to test the better now I would recommend covering pretty much everything metal on the board in something just to protect it from being shorted with the metal 10 electrical tape should work some of that might be a little bit too thick I've found that Kapton tape works very well because it's nice and thin and it's pretty tough as well sorry that was kind of out of focus while I was doing it there but you get the idea now after you close it up it'll be kind of hard to take it apart so you probably want to turn it on at this point and make sure that everything works so we've got our controls working our screen works and I can hear it clicking as I'm selecting things so I know the sounds working – all right so you remember earlier when I was setting up the power switch and I added that big note that said just kidding put the power switch on the red wire instead of the black wire here's why with the way that I have it set up now we're basically connecting and disconnecting the ground here with the ground up here on our controller board the problem with that is these metal outer parts of the USB ports and the HDMI port are also connected to this ground so when these come in contact with the tent they wind up turning the system on because the microUSB port is also pressed up against the 10 which is connected to ground here so I can fix that here by putting some tape over this but you wouldn't even have to worry about that if you would put the power switch on the red wire instead for my other builds I had been using the power boost so the switch was hooked up to the enable cannot match so it didn't matter in that case so anyway that's why I need to put the power switch on the red wire instead of the black now we need to put the hinge on before we actually close it all up it comes in two parts and if you print it correctly it should just kind of snap together and move pretty freely the top couple layers on this smaller part are a little bit wider than the rest of them so it should be on there pretty securely you shouldn't have to pull it pretty hard to get it off and I know it looks pretty fragile but depending on what material you printed out of which this is a polycarbonate blend from push plastic it's actually pretty tough so the hinge snaps on right here and the arm inserts into there so then as it opens and closes it moves up and down along this slot here so to close it up first try and guide the wires out of the way of anything that's too tall for it to close if the wires are on top of it and you can use some tape or something if you need to to kind of get the wires out of the way the battery and all that but anyway to actually close it up you can just kind of angle it in there and it should just kind of pop down there and it should sit flatly in there it shouldn't rock back and forth or anything so you'll be able to feel if you have any wires in the way of anything and then once you've got everything situated so that it sits flatly in there then we're going to use some m2 by eight millimeter screws to hold everything down and if you did everything right then it should close completely there we go guys from start to finish how to put together a minty by using Helders custom parts now a couple notes about the way that I have retropie configured this is the start button this is the select button and if you hold down the select button and press the L and R keys it'll turn the volume up and down while you're in the game pushing certain flick together takes you back to the menu just like any other retro pie setup and then the other thing that I've added if you go to the retro pie menu and you scroll down you'll see a couple of options for turning Wi-Fi and Bluetooth on and off so if you turn those off you should get about half an hour or so of extra battery life takes a second but then you'll see a message saying the Wi-Fi and Bluetooth have been disabled I think that's about it guys now I'll have another video pretty soon that will show you how to put together one of these using the 2.2 inch screen that you can get on ebay for pretty cheap as well as using some copper tape to make your own button PCB sort of like I did for the X and y buttons in the original Gameboy 0 guide that I did so if for whatever reason you aren't able to get a hold of Helders parts that'll be an option for you soon as well be sure and check out the written guide where I'll go into more detail about things like setting up your SD card setting up your Wi-Fi all that good stuff and also be sure to stop by the forums where other people will be sharing their build progress sharing ideas and helping each other out thanks for watching guys and I'll see you next time

37 thoughts on “mintyPi Build Guide

  1. mintyPi v3 is out! This video is a couple years old at this point so if you want to see the latest version along with all the improvements we added, check it out here:

  2. I got everything perfect and Soldered correctly. But that stupid sound card I lifted one of the pads and replaced it And then as soon as I got the replacement I lifted it again!!!!

  3. Saw this as recommended for all the DS and Gameboy related video’s I’m watching and…I am not disappointed. This is some interesting stuff.

  4. My God! This guy is fast at cutting these holes… imagine him with a controller against you on a game…


  5. So you are able to print out parts but decide to try cramming everything in that tiny tin? Why not print out your own custom case that will hold the parts in a way that is easier to assemble? That and you can go with a bigger screen.

  6. Your screw posts ideally should be strengthened to keep them upright. This is one weakness I have seen.

  7. Is there any way I can buy one fully made? If so where can I find it because I have never ever seen this and I want one so bad

  8. Is there a way to have it be able to play later consoles like ps1 or n64? I’m just curious even if I can’t do something like this

  9. YouTube recommendations:

    2015: yeet
    2016: yeet
    2017: yeet
    2018: yeet
    2019: make altoid compuuuuuuuuttttttrrrrrrrrrr

  10. wermy
    That is so cool since I seen the GameBoy Logo on it does it even have Pokemon on there
    Just wondering

  11. Before the video: I want that! That's cool
    After the video: what? It needs to drill and so many hard things? I tought it's going to be super easy

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