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The Duke Portable

A battery powered raspberry pi gaming system

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A original xbox with a broken cable is a easy fix, but why not instead create a portable gaming system that can plug in to any TV and runs on battery power. This project aims to utilize the space inside the huge duke controller to cram as much functionality as possible into the case.

This is a mini project that uses some old hardware lying around at home to create a fun device that can play retro games or do some gamestreaming on the go only requiring a HDMI cable with or without USB charger.

The requirements for the device:

  • Look as original as possible

The functionality that will be built in:

  • On/Off button that boots and shuts down the raspberry pi
  • Full input from the original controller with the OTG port
  • IR blaster for controlling TVs
  • 3000mAh battery with a Adafruit powerboost 1000c for charging
  • (Coming soon) HDMI output

The images I have taken of the project so far:


The battery used for the project is a LG G3 (BL-53YH) that I carefully soldered wires directly to the tabs:

The On/Off functionality and IR circuit (aka a transistor and a resistor) was put on a pertinax board. This power up and down circuit was borrowed from the lipopi project and works really well:

Also soldered wires to the raspberry pi to save some space instead of using headers:

Tested out how the components would fit inside the case. The battery is a tight fit but with some case modification (using dremel and cutters) it then sits snugly under the original xbox pcb. Both rumble motors sadly had to be removed to make the powerboost 1000c and On/Off circuit fit but would probably have drained the battery too quick if used anyways:

Soldered a micro USB connector directly to the xbox pcb where the cable otherwise would be connected (for those who does not know, the original xbox ports are basically USB), this extremely "home made" contact then connects to the raspberry pi:

Tested a mockup of how the raspberry would fit inside the case. The duke controller has a lot of room inside but with all components and wires........it is a tight fit to say the least:

Hot glue, the fantastic material for when not having access to 3D printers. The left slider switch will be implemented as a toggle between gamepad mode and IR remote mode, the USB port for charging the battery (directly connected to the powerboost 1000c) and the button for booting and shutting down. The IR diode can be seen at the bottom where the cord normally would be connected to the case:

The following was the first assembly with all components ready, this design was however changed further on due to some space issues with the original pcb:

I also tested some assembly of the raspberry pi in the case:

The revised design where I removed the USB port from the powerboost and made some other slight changes:

Hot glue deluxe, wouldn't want rattling inside the case:

Also enforced the ports with more hot glue to handle plugging in and out the USB connector without breaking. How the raspberry pi fits when the case is together can also be seen here where the free space under the pi will be used to house the HDMI out later:

To clean up the look a bit I glued a plastic faceplate onto the hot glue to hide the monstrosity, turned out quite well:

The controller is now almost ready, still waiting for the arrival of the HDMI ribbon extender that will be used for output:

  • 1 × Original Xbox Controller (The Duke)
  • 1 × Raspberry Pi Zero W
  • 1 × Adafruit Powerboost 1000c
  • 1 × LG G3 BL-53YH battery

  • Project is 99% done

    Fredrik J04/08/2018 at 19:23 0 comments

    Received the hdmi ribbon cable and assembled the case. The end result is a raspberry pi nicely sandwiched with the hdmi port and a supporting plastic piece. Used hot glue as well as strong adhesive to secure the hdmi port and this will later be covered by a black plastic faceplate:

    Assembling the case was a huge task in itself but the end result became very nice and looks almost completely stock. The controller weighs in at 356 grams:

    The back also looks completely stock:

    Installed raspbian lite with retropie and emulationstation as frontend where the controller works well with the xboxdrv package. Also tested moonlight gamestreaming which works well in 720p over the pi zero w built in wifi. Connected with a hdmi cable and works well running only on the battery power:

  • Waiting for more parts

    Fredrik J03/18/2018 at 13:35 0 comments

    Waiting for a HDMI ribbon cable to arrive in the coming two weeks

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