How To Install Our Gameboy Zero Z2 Rear Button Housing
Posted on January 18, 2021
Updated 2/25/2021 – Housing v2 added
In this guide, I will show you how to install our “Gameboy Z2” rear button housing in a Nintendo Gameboy DMG case. Before you get started please be careful with the housings. They are printed in resin to give them sharp details over an FDM 3D printer but they can shatter if dropped or if you apply too much force to them.
I’ve updated this build to include special instructions for Kite’s Circuit Sword builds, so please pay attention to those instructions if you’re using Kite’s Circuit Sword.
Disclaimer: This post was written for informational purposes only. I assume no liability or responsibility for damaged equipment or for any injury you may incur attempting to replicate this project.
2M x 6mm screws (x2) (non-kite builds) if not included in your order
Gameboy DMG Shell
Dremel or other cutting tool
Sandpaper (100 – 1000) or hand file
30mm x 30mm x 4mm 5v Fan (Optional)
Kite Circuit Sword Specific Builds:
2M x 6mm and 2m x 10mm screws
3D printed spacer (two types)
Modifying the Gameboy DMG Shell
How the back of the DMG shell should look
Before you start cutting, it’s a good idea to look at a finished example first. Here you can see how the back should look once you finished modifying the Gameboy DMG shell.
Cut the back of the DMG shell
Using your tool of choice, carefully cut out the back panel where outlined in the picture. CAUTION! Every DMG shell is slightly different depending on who made it. There is potential for a space between the battery door and the rear button housing if you cut too much!
You want the back panel cut flush with the Gameboy game slot.
Sand or file down any rough plastic where you cut. You really want this edges smooth or you could have trouble fitting the bracket and panel.
If you plan on using the battery compartment try not to cut the top of the compartment.
How the inside of the DMG shell should look
Like the back of the DMG shell, before you start cutting anything make sure to reference this image.
Modifying the inside of DMG shell
With a pair of flush cutters, carefully snip the indicated a posts and plastic from the inside of the DMG shell.
It’s very important that you cut the bottom most screw post flush with the DMG cartridge wall in order for the bracket to seat properly.We will be reusing this screw post!
Sand down the inner DMG cartridge wall where indicated in the image.
Do this on both sides.
Installing the optional 5v fan
This section is optional but recommended for Raspberry Pi 3, 4 and even the compute Modules. The DMG Shell was never designed to house a single board computer so it is recommended.
Using a 30mm x 30mm x 4mm 5v blower fan, find side that has the narrow opening. This is the blower side of the fan. Some fans, like the ones I use, have both a normal exhaust side and a blower end. Block the exhaust side and air travels out the blower.
With the label facing down and the blower side face the housing vents, push the 5v fan into the designated area. I designed this area to be tight, so friction should hold the fan in place. If it doesn’t add a few dabs of glue.
Installing the Gameboy Zero Z2 Back Button Bracket and Panel
Installing the bracket
Before starting, make sure you’ve installed your power and ground wires on the USB portas well as installed the 5v fan if applicable.
With the DMG back shell facing down, insert the Gameboy Z2 bracket at an angle through the newly cut hole.
Carefully slide the bracket into place aligning the screw holes with the screw hole mounts on the bracket.
Non-Circuit Sword: Screw down the bracket
For Kite’s Circuit Sword kits, skip to the next steps.
Using M2 x 6mm screws, the original DMG shielding screws, and a #1 Philips screw driver, screw down the bracket where indicated in the image to the DMG shell.
Don’t over tighten or you risk breaking the bracket or DMG shell.
Circuit Sword Brackets
There are two spacer options which I will refer to as Type A and Type B. Please refer to the images.
Type A is just a ring that should be used for people who have the included spacer from Kite’s kit.
Type B is an “L” bracket with two holes and is for users who didn’t use the PCB spacers included in kite’s kit.
Do a test fit before screwing anything down. Sanding of either the DMG shell or spacers may be needed due to the variability of after market DMG shells.
Screw down the bracket and Circuit Sword daughter board
Following the images, screw down the M2 x 6mm screws, the original DMG shielding screws first leaving the bottom right screw out for now.
Place the correct spacer for your build on the bottom right housing’s screw post and then place the Circuit Sword daughter board on top.
Now screw these pieces down using the M2x10mm screw. Note: DMG shells can be slightly different so a different length screw may be needed.
Don’t over tighten or you risk breaking the bracket or DMG shell.
Wiring the USB and Buttons
Warning: Resin does not like heat, especially from a soldering iron. Be careful while following the rest of the guide because you could ruin the housing!
Wiring the USB ports (Optional)
Using the image as reference, grab some wire and solder a 5v wire to the “VCC” and ground to “GND”.
Space is going to be slightly tight since this housing sits snug against the DMG’s cartridge slot, like a real cart. How I do wire these is by feeding the wire through the bottom of the USB port, solder the top, then use a pair of flush cutters to get as close to the board as possible. This way, everything clears the cartridge wall.
Wiring the Buttons (Version 2)
If you’re using version 2 of the rear button housing, wiring up the buttons is as simple as connecting each button wire to the corresponding pad on the rear button housing PCB.
Wiring the Buttons (Version 1)
Hopefully you already have an understanding of how 4 leg tactile switches work. If not, read up here for further info.
You only really need one A and one B leg for each button.
Take note of the L1/R1 vs L2/R2 button orientation as they’re turned 90° of each other.
All grounds can be connected together and finally connect to your builds common ground.
Finally, connect each positive leg to the corresponding AIO board, GPIO, teensy, etc.
The finished product
You’ve finished the install! If this is the last portion of you GBZ build congratulations! Otherwise, keep on working!
I would love to see your installs so please @doomydoomer me on Instagram!
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