Christian Montoya

How to build your own Weeboy

Let's say you want to build your own programmable, hand-held video game system, much like I did in my ECE 476 final lab project. Assuming you can understand all the stuff in my project report, here are the instructions you would need to build the physical hardware. Read on if you are a hardware nerd.

What you will need:

  • Atmel Mega32 MCU plus some means of programming it
  • Solder board for MCU with 5V voltage regulator, power switch, and LED
  • Nokia 128×128 ripoff LCD & Carrier Board
  • 2 large S.P.S.T.N.O. pushbuttons
  • 9V Battery (or external power source)
  • Small piezoelectric speaker
  • MMA6261Q accelerometer from Freescale
  • 2 3V regulators
  • An enclosure, 5.5in x 2.5in x 1.5in (we used a wooden craft box with a glass lid)
  • A drill (a Dremel tool works just fine)
  • Hot glue, soldering iron, wires, and other hardware nerd equipment

Now you can probably figure out all the steps yourself by following the schematic for my project and the pictures in the Weeboy gallery, but if you need some pointers, read on.

The code to be programmed is here: Weeboy code. It was written in Codevision. When compiling, one should use the option "compile for speed" rather than space.

With the solder board, you need to build this Mega32 prototype board by Bruce Land (my professor for the course). You need everything on it except for the Max233 and the RS232 connector socket. I suggest using sockets for the MCU rather than mounting it on the board.

The LCD is snapped onto the carrier board and the board is wired using the simple header as described on the Sparkfun electronics site. A 100 microF capacitor is used to eliminate noise between Vdsp and GND as per the supplier's suggestion.

A small hole is drilled in the front of the box to let the sound from the speaker out.

The battery board, which is unavailable as a product, sits in the bottom left corner of the box. We measured it so that the battery would slide in snugly and make contact.

Two large holes are drilled into the back "shoulders" of the box (called the front in our project report) for the buttons to go through. In our wooden box, the wall was too thick to close the bolt end with the provided nuts, so we just hot glued the things in place:

Shoulder buttons

The accelerometer is bolted via one corner-hole onto a very long nut, which happens to be bolted to the bottom of the box. The nut is off-center so the accelerometer sits in the exact center of the box. You can see the long nut here:

The enclosure

The LCD isn't actually secured to anything… we just bent the wires and the capacitor so it would sit on top of everything else and show through the hole in the lid:

Atmel Mega32 MCU

I wish I could give more detailed instructions, but since everyone will probably end up with a different enclosure it would take some creativity to build these. If anyone does actually attempt to do so, let me know!

Thank you for reading • Published on May 7th, 2007 • Please take a moment to share this with your friends