I bought a ClockworkPi Gameshell back in October 2019. I’ve been playing with it a bit lately (in anticipation of the ClockworkPi DevTerm shipping!) and I realised I haven’t yet posted anything about it on here.
Here’s some of the hardware mods I’ve made to my Gameshell.
External reset button
Adding an external reset switch is quite straight-forward, and can be done with very minimal alterations to the back of the Gameshell. In this case, I’ve modified the non-LEGO back, but it would work just as effectively on that back too.
- Drill + 6mm drill bit
- Soldering iron (and solder)
- two 80mm lengths of wire
- one momentary switch with a 6x6x8mm cap
- flush snips
- Drill a hole in the top/right corner of the back case – you want to position it so that it’s roughly vertically centered, and has enough space for the switch to fit squarely against the inside edge of the case
- With the flush snips, trim away some of the top edge of the top/right inner retaining plastic (the top right corner that holds the mainboard module in place) – you just need to remove enough to fit the switch in place, so don’t cut it all the way out
- Dismantle the mainboard module, solder 2 wires to the exposed solder pads of the SW2 switch on the back side of the mainboard. You should solder the other end of the wires to the 2 legs on one side of the switch, and fold or remove the remaining two legs.
- Assemble the case, fit the new switch in to the space you drilled/cut earlier
External access to microSD slot
This is one of my biggest complaints about the Gameshell – the fact that you have to basically fully disassemble everything to get to the microSD card. I bought a small flat ribbon cable microSD extender to move the microSD to a more accessible location and positioned the microSD extension using some nifty folds…
Big Fat Battery mod
I found the Gameshell’s 1200mAh battery to be insufficient… so I upgraded the battery!
I had a 4000mAh 3.7v LiPo kicking around in my parts bin – I’m not sure what this came from, but the dimensions are:
- Width: 65mm
- Height: 55mm
- Thickness: 9mm
That’s pretty close to the size of the entire battery module that comes in the Gameshell.
To install it, I had to jam it in to the case, shim it to the right thickness with some pieces of cardboard, and then hook up the 5v/GND wires from the battery to the Gameshell battery cable. I couldn’t find the polarity of this documented anywhere, so I had to determine this (and mark the white cable for future reference) based on looking at the JST connector on the battery module.