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ESPlay Micro

ESPlay Micro is an ESP32 Based emulator device for playing retro games, able to play classic games NES, GB, GBC, SMS, Game Gear and more.

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Everyone loves ESP32 chip, it's wonderfull chip from espressif with great functionality and really mature in software development side. This project most inspired by Odroid Go and Pocketsprite, so why making new one despite buy one of them? Well, i know those devices are great and have well community support, but some of them had some issue that i don't really like. Odroid Go had shared it's spi for both display and sdcard, and they need patched esp-idf version for it and sdcard not work very well in spi mode, at least for my experience. Then pocketsprite only have esp32 wroom module without psram and also without sdcard support so limited portability for save my collection of games.

Then i decided to design my own hardware based on both of them so i could port it's software to my own designed hardware then here i presented to you ESPlay Micro.

The board are designed for the following feature :

  • ESP32 WROVER, Dual core processor with Integrated 4MB Flash + 4MB PSRAM
  • Integrated WIFI and Bluetooth 4 BLE
  • 2,4" ILI9341 TFT Panel
  • More button (expanded via PCF8574 I2C GPIO)
  • Micro SD slot connected to SDMMC Host in 1 Line Mode for save GPIO pin
  • Integrated I2S DAC via UDA1334A
  • Integrated USB to Serial for programming and debugging using CH340C
  • Built-in TP4056 Li-Po charger
  • I2C port for expandable function
  • 3,5mm Headphone jack
  • Smaller Size, PCB only 100 x 50 mm.

And planned ability to run LVGL UI both of C and Micropython ( lv_micropython)

Standard Tesselated Geometry - 163.75 kB - 11/28/2019 at 06:12

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x-zip-compressed - 2.95 MB - 11/28/2019 at 03:35

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Standard Tesselated Geometry - 97.15 kB - 11/28/2019 at 03:35

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Standard Tesselated Geometry - 86.41 kB - 11/28/2019 at 03:35

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Standard Tesselated Geometry - 7.46 MB - 11/25/2019 at 05:27

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  • Arduino available

    Makerfabs09/09/2021 at 10:34 0 comments

    As all know, we can play the ESP32 with Arduino because ESP32 is Arduino compatible, and the ESPlay Micro is no exception. ESPlay Micro is not only a game emulator to provide entertainment, but also a learning tool that is an Arduino programming development platform.

    In order to develop or play the ESPlay Micro easier for more people, I'm going to show you some examples of programming ESPlay Micro using Arduino.

    All the demo codes are available from Github.

    Before using Arduino to develop the ESPlay Micro, it is required to install some Arduino libraries to support it. You can check Github for the library details.

    Clock and audio player

    CO2 monitor

    Have you noticed that the ESPlay Micro provides some IO interface onboard? They are the extensible I2C interfaces, which you can connect some sensors and obtain the measuring through Arduino programming. I connected an SGP30 sensor to it and programmed the ESPlay Micro to be a CO2 monitor.

  • New firmware availible

    Makerfabs12/22/2020 at 07:57 0 comments

    2020/12/22:  The new firmware with some new feature

    • New built-in audio player on launcher, to make it work place the audio files on the audio folder at the root of sdcard.
    • The audio player supports playing MP3, AAC, and FLAC file.
    • Emulator performance enhanced and bugs fixed.
    • New Algorithm for scaling function, you can choose at the setting launcher menu.
      Makerfabs ESPlay micro shipped after 2020/12/22 will be programmed with this new version of firmware.. enjoys..

  • Now available at Makerfabs

    Makerfabs12/19/2020 at 02:02 0 comments

      Makerfabs has produced Esplay Micro at: https://www.makerfabs.com/esplay-micro-v2.html

      compares to the previous batch, some new features:

    • Acrylic case added
    • Upgrade button and caps, to make the pressing feels much better
    • Lipo battery added in the package
    • Upgraded Lipo Charger IC TP4054, for faster battery charging
    • On-board mini speaker
    • 2.54” I2C breakout

  • Case Design Update!

    Fuji Pebri11/28/2019 at 03:40 0 comments

    I have updated the files for 3D Printing case. This time you only need to print 4 stl files.

    • btn_assy_1.stl
    • btn_assy_2.stl
    • top_body.stl
    • bottom_body.stl

    All files can be download on files section.

  • Case Design Experiment!

    Fuji Pebri11/25/2019 at 05:24 0 comments

    After releasing the project on the Makerfabs, some people looking for the case and then i decided to make an experiment how this case should be design.

    After some iteration and made a bunch of failed 3D printed case ( I designed it with OpenSCAD), I decided to use FreeCAD which will be easier. when using OpenSCAD i need to measure the board precisely, but since i have an png and 3d model of the board, using FreeCAD should be precisely without measuring the real board.

    Here some prototype of the case, this won't be the final version but i will update the stl file, so someone should not try the old stl files which will be trashed cause it's useless agains the latest board revision


    If you want to try print yourself, print the following files
    - bottom.stl
    - bottom_layer_stl
    - button_assy_1.stl
    - button_assy_2.stl
    - top_body.stl

    All files including the source FreeCAD files can be found on files section. Please give me feedback if you modify those file so i could update the file.

  • ESPlay Micro MP3

    Makerfabs11/21/2019 at 10:43 0 comments

  • ESPlay Micro Loves LittleVGL and Micropython

    Fuji Pebri10/28/2019 at 06:50 0 comments

    Hi Hackaday,

    Today i introduces you some ability what esplay micro can do. I port micropython with lvgl module built-in from littlevgl repository here. Picture will explain everything.

    the code for screenshot above

    import lvgl as lv
    lv.init()
    
    import lvesp32
    import ILI9341 as ili
    d = ili.display()
    d.init()
    disp_buf1 = lv.disp_buf_t()
    buf1_1 = bytes(320*10)
    lv.disp_buf_init(disp_buf1,buf1_1, None, len(buf1_1)//4)
    disp_drv = lv.disp_drv_t()
    lv.disp_drv_init(disp_drv)
    disp_drv.buffer = disp_buf1
    disp_drv.flush_cb = d.flush
    disp_drv.hor_res = 320
    disp_drv.ver_res = 240
    lv.disp_drv_register(disp_drv)
    
    # Animation helper class
    
    class Anim(lv.anim_t):
        def __init__(self, obj, val, size, exec_cb, path_cb, time=500, playback = False, ready_cb=None):
            super().__init__()
            lv.anim_init(self)
            lv.anim_set_time(self, time, 0)
            lv.anim_set_values(self, val, val+size)
            if callable(exec_cb):
                lv.anim_set_custom_exec_cb(self, exec_cb)
            else:
                lv.anim_set_exec_cb(self, obj, exec_cb)
            lv.anim_set_path_cb(self, path_cb )
            if playback: lv.anim_set_playback(self, 0)
            if ready_cb: lv.anim_set_ready_cb(self, ready_cb)
            lv.anim_create(self)
    
    # An animated chart
    
    class AnimatedChart(lv.chart):
        def __init__(self, parent, val, size):
            super().__init__(parent)
            self.val = val
            self.size = size
            self.max = 2000
            self.min = 500
            self.factor = 100
            self.anim_phase1()
    
        def anim_phase1(self):
            Anim(
                self,
                self.val,
                self.size,
                lambda a, val: self.set_range(0, val),
                lv.anim_path_ease_in,
                ready_cb=lambda a:self.anim_phase2(),
                time=(self.max * self.factor) // 100)
    
        def anim_phase2(self):
            Anim(
                self,
                self.val+self.size,
                -self.size,
                lambda a, val: self.set_range(0, val),
                lv.anim_path_ease_out,
                ready_cb=lambda a:self.anim_phase1(),
                time=(self.min * self.factor) // 100)
    
    # Create the chart
    
    scr = lv.obj()
    chart = AnimatedChart(scr, 100, 1000)
    chart.set_width(scr.get_width() - 100)
    chart.align(scr, lv.ALIGN.CENTER, 0, 0)
    series1 = chart.add_series(lv.color_hex(0xFF0000))
    chart.set_type(chart.TYPE.POINT | chart.TYPE.LINE)
    chart.set_series_width(3)
    chart.set_range(0,100)
    chart.init_points(series1, 10)
    chart.set_points(series1, [76,40,40,40,50,40,50,90,95,90])
    chart.set_x_tick_texts('a\nb\nc\nd\ne', 2, lv.chart.AXIS.DRAW_LAST_TICK)
    chart.set_x_tick_length(10, 5)
    chart.set_y_tick_texts('1\n2\n3\n4\n5', 2, lv.chart.AXIS.DRAW_LAST_TICK)
    chart.set_y_tick_length(10, 5)
    chart.set_div_line_count(3, 3)
    chart.set_margin(30)
    
    # Create a slider that controls the chart animation speed
    
    def on_slider_changed(self, obj=None, event=-1):
        chart.factor = slider.get_value()
    
    slider = lv.slider(scr)
    slider.align(chart, lv.ALIGN.OUT_RIGHT_TOP, 10, 0)
    slider.set_width(30)
    slider.set_height(chart.get_height())
    slider.set_range(10, 200)
    slider.set_value(chart.factor, 0)
    slider.set_event_cb(on_slider_changed)
    
    # Load the screen
    
    lv.scr_load(scr)

  • Trial Producton

    Makerfabs10/17/2019 at 01:59 0 comments

    A small trial production started, and preorder at:https://www.makerfabs.com/esplay-micro.html

    the first batch shipping time woudl be estimated 28th, Oct. 

    We prepared a SD card with some simple game installed, so buyer can start playing with the USB cable connected for power.

  • Start to Play

    Makerfabs10/11/2019 at 06:59 0 comments

    with the new firmware, it works much better.

  • Rev2.0 Test Firmware and Sound!

    Fuji Pebri10/01/2019 at 15:27 0 comments

    @Makerfabs sent me 2 PCBA Sample last week, so i could work for the firmware this weekend. After upload the fw i just surprise the sound and button didn't works, i spent two hours to see what happened. I didn't make any changes on button, then after reads the datasheet there's different i2c address scheme between PCF8574AT and PCF8574T. Earlier prototype PCF8574AT was used ( salvaged from 1602 lcd i2c backpack ) and the address 0x38 was used, with this sample PCF8574T the address is 0x20, one problem solved.

    The Sound is different case, after 3 hours struggled with the programming the problem is not the software but really bad typos on schematics, the resistor for R-C filter was wrongly typed from 1 Ohm to 1 KOhm, swap the resistor with the right one and VOILA the sound works. The Sound output are really clean on the headphone and very low noise output from the speaker, really satisfied with the result. 

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Discussions

Dylan Turner wrote 08/05/2021 at 14:28 point

Despite the additions of a speaker, a decent sized lcd, a LiPo (and presumably a charging circuit), and something powerful enough to run emulators, you've kept this under $35. That's really impressive! Good job

  Are you sure? yes | no

Steven Stanley wrote 04/16/2021 at 11:14 point

Is it possible there will be an Atari 8bit computer (Atari 800) emulator for this device at some point?

  Are you sure? yes | no

marazm wrote 01/19/2021 at 21:12 point

how long this device work?

  Are you sure? yes | no

Ernesto Mejia wrote 11/01/2020 at 12:47 point

Hi! I really love the Esplay Micro but I’m wondering if there is a simple way to swap the A and B buttons? I play mostly NES games and I find the current buttons layout a bit tricky. Don’t know much about programming but maybe anyone has a simple solution for this

  Are you sure? yes | no

Fuji Pebri wrote 11/03/2020 at 04:54 point

Hi @Ernesto Mejia the only way to swap button is to modify in the firmware side but currently i don't have much time to update the firmware, checkout the github and compile by yourself, the instruction is quite clear. thanks

  Are you sure? yes | no

zhang wrote 10/27/2020 at 11:18 point

The game in the NES emulator cannot be saved. What is the problem?

  Are you sure? yes | no

Fuji Pebri wrote 11/03/2020 at 04:55 point

hi @zhang, check the latest release v2.3 on github. It should fixed the problem.

  Are you sure? yes | no

ronan.gaillard wrote 10/07/2020 at 12:29 point

Where can I find the BOM for this project ?

I just made some PCBs but I can't find components to buy !

  Are you sure? yes | no

Fuji Pebri wrote 12/19/2020 at 10:30 point

check the github repo, the bom is lay there in the docs folder. 

  Are you sure? yes | no

knopserl wrote 03/15/2020 at 14:04 point

The 3D case model is perfect (I printed it on my Prusa Mini), however  I did not find any screew to tighten the the top case part. I used 2,5mm screews with 20mm length which fit throu the wholes but they dont hold down the top case as the scree holes are to lage. But 3mm screews dont fit in the lower part and the PCB. So I wonder which screews the author is using and where to get them.

  Are you sure? yes | no

Fuji Pebri wrote 12/19/2020 at 10:32 point

i use 3mm screw so it can hold tight to front printed part. 

  Are you sure? yes | no

fabian wrote 08/27/2019 at 18:43 point

Add sound music player, many people loves radio wifi

  Are you sure? yes | no

Fuji Pebri wrote 08/28/2019 at 00:41 point

Hi, actually it's already on planned list, that's why i added i2s DAC for high quality sound. And the good news is it work in progress, we need a new pcb revision cause the current pcb has bugs with sound design.

  Are you sure? yes | no

Eugene Andruszczenko wrote 08/23/2019 at 18:19 point

@Fuji Pebri has been amazing in his help with rewritting a better launcher with a nicer UI. check out our joint effort on this https://github.com/retro-esp32/RetroESP32

Releases are here https://github.com/retro-esp32/RetroESP32/releases

It includes 11, YES eleven emulators.

 Nintendo Entertainment System
 Nintendo Game Boy
 Nintendo Game Boy Color
 Sega Master System
 Sega Game Gear
 Colecovision
 Sinclair Zx Spectrum 48k
 Atari 2600
 Atari 7800
 Atari Lynx
 PC Engine

  Are you sure? yes | no

Fuji Pebri wrote 08/24/2019 at 04:47 point

Thanks @Eugene Andruszczenko for sending me your Retro ESP32 board, the board are awesome, still wait my GBP case arrive. Btw your retro esp32 has clean sound while esplay micro a lot of noise on low volume on speaker. i2s output has great sound although, i was design audio part carelessly, i will take yours as reference for next revision.

  Are you sure? yes | no

knopserl wrote 03/15/2020 at 14:01 point

does this RetroESP32 fit to the ESPlay HW (buttons, DAC etc.)?

  Are you sure? yes | no

Calebe94 wrote 08/23/2019 at 12:06 point

Good work man.
When I finish my bachelor's degree I will update my project again, and I will definitely use your project as a reference.

  Are you sure? yes | no

Fuji Pebri wrote 08/24/2019 at 14:09 point

Thanks bro, you must update your projects, it was the most inspiration of this projects.

  Are you sure? yes | no

Jonatas wrote 08/06/2019 at 16:01 point

amazing project! could provide a circuit diagram in PDF

  Are you sure? yes | no

Fuji Pebri wrote 08/06/2019 at 16:35 point

Currently the circuit diagram is available in eagle format in my github repository. I'll add pdf format in next commit. Thanks.

  Are you sure? yes | no

Le Roux Bodenstein wrote 08/03/2019 at 17:04 point

Where did you buy the LCD screen? And how do you attach the flex cable to the pcb?

  Are you sure? yes | no

Fuji Pebri wrote 08/05/2019 at 05:40 point

I bought from aliexpress.com, search for 2.4" tft screen ili9341. Normally you need flex cable connector, but for this one i designed just soldered directly to the PCB.

  Are you sure? yes | no

deʃhipu wrote 08/01/2019 at 10:31 point

I don't know why I only saw it now. Very nice project! I can see why you printed a case with button caps — those metal buttons are the worst.

  Are you sure? yes | no

Fuji Pebri wrote 08/01/2019 at 14:36 point

Thanks, yes the buttons are hard to press, later i'll change it with the silicon type. Earlier prototype using the same button with your uGame, those button are really good, but it's easily broken. My son could break it in just 2 months.

  Are you sure? yes | no

Brendan Robert wrote 07/31/2019 at 17:08 point

Cool project!  FWIW, I have a major bug-fixed version of the Nofrendo port which might help; it has SRAM save support (Hello, Zelda!) and SD support also.  It's dangerous to go alone, take this: https://github.com/badvision/esp32_nesemu 

  Are you sure? yes | no

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