I recently decided that it would be loads of fun to build Adafruit’s totally awesome Raspberry Pi GRRL 2 kit. Ultimately this will be a gift for a family member but I’ll not say anything further on that matter 🙂
This is the story of my build!
I ordered the kit which arrived in no-time.
The kit itself omits a few things:
- Wire. You’re expected to bring your own. I recommend stranded wire after having use solid core which brakes when bent too much, just make sure you tin your leads!
- A battery. Adafruit sells 2000 mAh and 2500 mAh lithium polymer batteries that work well. I recommend using theirs because of the safety concerns with LiPos. Why take a chance when it could cause a fire?
- A Raspberry Pi 2. This needs needs the 2 specifically. The 3 will not work as the wiring is a bit different and the power requirements are greater!
- For my build, I decided to use the new soft tactile buttons from Adafruit. These provide a more satisfying video-gamey touch than the regular hard push-buttons that have a firm “click” to them. They are only a couple of bucks.
I began soldering with giddy haste…
First working on the game pad
… then branching out into the other components. I used heat wrap to keep my wires protected and nicely organized:
After a little bit of time I got all of the major components connected:
My cat, Leela, came over to offer her assistance:
First boot! It works! Hurray!!
With my Pi GRRL 2 now working it was time to focus on finishing the project.
As I do not own a 3D printer, getting a case was a concern. I found someone on Etsy who does a great job of printing these cases, however! They even sell the screws you need to complete the kit! The case is printed using a PLA plastic as recommended with the buttons being made of a softer, TPU material. The cases looks and feels decent but required a little bit of sanding which is standard with any 3D-printed item.
I selected the blue colored case from the above link, with the red buttons.
Here I am mounting the components into the case:
Some after thoughts: It is tough to fit the 2500 mAh battery in there. I am presently using the 2000 mAh battery from Adafruit until I can try to reposition things. I have a few weeks before my Pi GRRL needs to fly to its new home.
I recommend thoroughly sanding the buttons prior to mounting. I had to mount & remove a couple of times in order to get it just right. Without the sanding, the D-pad, in particular, tends to stick. Sand around the edges of the buttons!
Do yourself a favor and create a shutdown button per the instructions provided. It saves a lot of time.
This is great kit and was a lot of fun to build. It’s even more fun to play. I highly recommend building your own!