This DIY Flash Cartridge Lets You Swap Arduboy Games on the Go

If you like gaming on the go and enjoy playing classic retro-style games, the Arduboy is a fantastic option. It’s a simple, low-power handheld console designed for playing games reminiscent of those found on the original Nintendo Game Boy. Arduboy is open source and Arduino-compatible, so the community has made more than a hundred games for the handheld — many of which are clones of the classics. But storage space is limited, so you can only load one game at a time. Fortunately, you can change that with this DIY flash cartridge.

This flash cartridge was designed by the Arduboy community, and development started way back in May of 2018 with a proposal from Mr.Blinky. That proposed design, which was ultimately made real, called for a flash storage chip that connects to the Arduboy through SPI. The only other circuitry on the flash cart is a voltage level shifter. Flash chips are available in many sizes, but even a small 64Mbit chip is enough to store approximately 256 video games. By using a custom Arduboy bootloader, those games can be pulled from the flash storage and loaded onto the system to play.

Members of the Arduboy community went through many iterations of the physical flash cart design, but ultimately ended up with one based on a custom PCB with female header pins that connect to male header pins on the Arduboy. That design keeps the cartridge, and the overall package, as small as possible. This does require a custom backplate for the Arduboy’s enclosure, but both that and the cartridge enclosure are 3D-printable. If you want to expand your Arduboy’s game storage, this is a great way to do it. Everything is open source, so you can simply download the files and build your own flash cart.

This DIY Flash Cartridge Lets You Swap Arduboy Games on the Go was originally published in Hackster Blog on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.

Original article: This DIY Flash Cartridge Lets You Swap Arduboy Games on the Go
Author: Cameron Coward