[worklog] GalaxyBoy - My GameBoyZero Build

Apr 29, 2016
After lurking around in a lot of pi projects forums, I found out about the GBZ, I didnt like it that much at first, But then I fell in love with it. The reason? I dunno, i just did. I decided to make my own build, but not an exact copy. So this will be my first experience with anything related to portabilizing. (Ill get to the Wii when the time comes, relax). I already have some parts so I can one hundred percent confirm this WILL get finished.

Simple, The gameboy will recieve a galaxy style paintjob. Im hoping it will look sexy af. One other idea I have in mind is, since the gbz uses a cartridge as the micro sd card reader, paint the cartridge as a planet or the sun. Buttons will be white for stars, orange because Its my fav color so why not?, OR just stick to the snes style (not likely)

At this moment I already have the Pi zero with retropie installed. I also have a micro usb to 2 usb cable (no need for a usb hub), and I have the controller I will use. Im using a usb snes controller by LoveRpi (I think thats the brand, I dont really care though). Its good quality, the buttons feel clicky, but soft at the same time, somewhat like a gamecube controller (best controller). And since im using a broken gameboy, I have the speaker, but i MIGHT get a replacement just in case. MIGHT. And I also have the 3.5mm headphone jack.

I still need to buy some things, such as the screen (More on that on a bit), the battery (3.7v 2500mh from adafruit), Power Boost 1000C battery charger/5v boost from Adafruit, MicroB USB breakout board, Power Strip PCB from Helder (making things a bit easier), better power switch (optional), and a Micro sd cart board cartridge adapter from prerunnerseth (If I made one myself filtering would be a pain in the ass). OH also, a goddamned soldering Iron and a dremel for the love of god. (Any reccomendations?)

About the screen, I need a little bit of help here. The most common screen to use for a gbz is this one, but there is a problem, it has many different board variations and some of them just dont run from 5v, even with modifications. Some other ones support 5v out of the box, and the rest need modifications to work with 5v, but it does not seem hard to do at all. Now, I have a limited budget, And I do NOT want to have to buy the same product twice or more. Is there a way to make sure I get a certain board? I searched but most listings on amazon and ebay just use stock images.

Nothing lol. Well I have the Pi almost ready, its working as a home console right now, so I can use it while I buy and wait for parts. BTW, did you notice that "almost"? Well, gba emulation is a bitch. The best emulator is gpsp, but I need bios. The other emulator does not need bios, but is really slow and laggy. The thing is I dont have a usb keyboard and I cant connect my pi to the internet. Is there a way to get the gba bios to the right folder without keyboard or connecting to it through wifi? I could add them through usb stick, but they dont work since they are not in the right folder, and to move them from the pi, guess what I need? a keyboard. F$#king hell.

Thats all for now folks. Stay tuned for more! (Bday this sunday, Im praying to sakurai to get some money for parts)
Last edited:


no wario
Dec 16, 2016
The Oregon Wildlands
OH also, a goddamned soldering Iron and a dremel for the love of god. (Any reccomendations?)
For the soldering iron, I've seen several people recommend this one. Don't cheap out on one. You will end up buying a better one anyways after ruining something. As for the Dremel, I use a Dremel brand Dremel and it works like a charm. I've heard other have negative feedback on other rotary tool companies, but someone else might have one they use that works just as well.

I also didn't know that the zero was capable of good GBA emulation. That's good to know.

Ill get to the Wii when the time comes, relax)
There's nothing wrong with starting with a simple project! I wish I'd done a PiP to start out with, because some parts of my Wii project would have gone a lot smoother if I'd had the experience of a simpler portable.

Looking forward to seeing more!


the tallest memer in town
Staff member
Mar 2, 2016
Good iron, I agree with the Dremel band rotary tool... I've used others and the bits explode. You'll probably also want some other basic tools (screwdrivers of assorted sizes, different cutting tools, assorted pliers).

Also, it's actually a good idea to start on something simple, such as a Pi or Arduino project since you get experience without much investment or danger if you aren't perfect in your work. As you get more experience you can move up to things like Wii portables.

Can't wait to see more!