You probably know about the Raspberry Pi Zero. You can create amazing hacks due to its low prize and its tiny form factor, around half the size of a credit card!
One of the coolest projects you can achieve with a Raspberry Pi is creating an emulation set-top-box for your TV.
There is a Linux distribution for the Raspberry Pi called RetroPie. With RetroPie you can convert your Raspberry into a multi emulator solution that can be fully controlled with a USB gamepad.
You just have to simply copy your favorite ROMs into place, hook your Raspberry to the TV and start playing. Neat!
But these are a lot of things hanging around. What if you could just fit the tiny computer inside your gamepad, so you could just make a portable Raspberry+Gamepad all-in-one? With the Raspberry Pi Zero you can!
I started with a cheap eBay USB generic gamepad like this.
Then I ordered a 3 meters long regular USB cable and a 3 meters long Mini HDMI to HDMI cable. eBay is your friend.
Fitting the Zero inside the gamepad wasn’t much of a trouble, I only had to cut off one of those vertical plastic posts and, in order to expose both the USB and the HDMI cables out of the pad, I had to make the output hole a little bit bigger to fit both cables.
Wiring all together is super easy.
Cut and discard the original USB coord from the game pad and prepare its wires to be connected directly to the Zero.
Plug the mini HDMI to the Zero. I had to remove the cover for gaining a little bit of space.
In the back of the Zero there are some pads we can solder on. Here you have what these pads are.
|PP1||USB +5V Input|
Cut off one of the ends of the new 3 meters long USB cable and discard the data wires. We will be using this USB cable just for the power so wire up the power wires (GND and +5) to PP1 and PP6.
Wire up the gamepad USB power cables also to PP1 and PP6. We now have power in the gamepad.
Wire the data (D- and D+) cables of the game pad to PP22 and PP23, this way we are effectively connecting the pad to the Zero and that’s it!
Put back all together, close the case and you should have now the pad and two cables, USB and HDMI, hanging out of it. Wire the HDMI and USB to your TV and play!