Fully portable recurBOY

Hey y’all,

This is my first post here, so I apologize if I missed any rules for posting - please let me know if I did :slight_smile:

I was wondering if anyone has given any thought about making a fully portable recurBOY - with an output display and a battery pack. I have one of those car backup camera LCDs which needs 12V and a power draw of 3W. I have no idea what I am doing but I believe I calculated that 3000mAh battery would probably get me an hour or so of battery life.



I was thinking about putting the recurBOY in an actual GameBoy shell… was thinking about making a battery powered option too…

It would be so incredible to show up with a Game Boy at a party plug into a TV and start making visuals.

Just finished some projects, I think I’ll put some work into reformatting the current PCB design to fit the GameBoy shell this weekend.

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A gameboy shell would be pretty sweet! Would be pretty rad to show up to a set with all gameboys - some with LSDJ for tunes and some with recurBOY for visuals :slight_smile:

One of the main objectives of my fully portable setup is to be able to effectively battery power the recurBOY, its 1.8" control LCD, and a 3-4" composite output display.

It looks like this could be achieved with a 3.7V LiIon battery, TP4056 for charging, and an MT3608 to boost voltage. The MT3608 can boost up to 28V and thus should be sufficient to power my cheap 12vdc car backup display. Here’s why I think the adafruit PAL/NTSC display is what I need to use:

  • If MT3608 is boosted to 12vdc to power the car backup display, the raw 3.7vdc from the battery would directly power the rpi and 1.8" control display. I don’t think this will work as most documentation says you need at least 5vdc to power the control display.
  • I could use two MT3608, one at 12vdc to the output display, one at 6vdc to the control display, and then run raw 3.7vdc from battery to the rpi. I haven’t been able to find reported success running these boost converters in parallel, though.
  • If I use two of the low-voltage displays designed for rpi, I can power both of them off MT3608 running 6vdc and then 3.7vdc from battery to the rpi. Only issue here is that the display requires a driver board for NTSC output that is hard to come by.

The more I research this, the more I wonder if it would be possible to output the display output over the GPIO pins. If so, it would make more sense imo to have the controls overlay the display output (the way a typical TV menu overlays the TV picture). I am out of my depth here though, so I understand this is a complete deviation from the original vision for the recurBOY, and also that this may not be feasible at all given HW/SW constraints of the rpi.


interesting idea!

if you take a look into the recur project there is a feature where you can mirror the output from the pi onto the tft display - see this part of the video demo:


its pretty laggy, and not possible to add an overlay to it, but similar idea - you could try building a recue if you would like to go this route…

i dont think it would be possible to do this same thing with recurboy since the pi0 is already in a bit over its depth…

my understanding is that the pi’s need 5v to run… but i could be wrong about that…

why not use two LiIon batteries in series to get ~7v, then can boost up for your display and regulate down to 5v for the pi stuff ?


also in a similar vein to this discussion i recently bought one of these to experiment with:


it runs linux so theres no reason why (with a bit of work) it couldnt run these kinds of video-art making apps…

not sure yet if the built-in display can be controlled independent to the hdmi output display (often they can only mirror which is a little less useful for interface design)


Firing up KiCad right now.

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That’s good to know about the recur! I watched that demo video but totally forgot about the mirror functionality. I’m definitely planning on building one of those soon.

The two batteries in series is probably the way to go

And I’m stoked to see what you figure out for the rg353v, may have to add it to the list to look into myself as well :slight_smile:

This is the SBC in the rg353v (keep messing up the spelling on this and have to edit lol), I think it supports simultaneous serial and HDMI output? Kinda unclear to me