Arduboy 2 My Ultimate Hardware Wishlist

2 againced 1 we win ne na ne na boo boo

Should we do another kickstarter or just build them?

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Build is my vote. :v:

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It one thread that i watch since a while (long time lurker before getting 2 arduboys and make an account here 2 months ago).
Could we get a sum-up of what would be the Arduboy v2 ? @bateske

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Whilst I’m generally all for more features and upgrades I find the limitations of the existing hardware are part of the charm and it’s what originally perked my interest in the device. I hope that the next generation Arduboy retains this charm continuing to offer challenges akin to those faced during the good old retro days of the 70’s and 80’s.
I think MLXXXp has nailed it by giving a bit more headroom and some storage in the attic. If there’s space then you could chuck in an accelerometer and RTC if not some form of sheild to be able to expand could be cool.

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The ATSAMD21G18 processor, that I’ve proposed using for an Arduino Zero based Arduboy, has a built in “32-bit Real Time Counter (RTC) with clock/calendar function”.

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So you wouldn’t want more memory or a 4-colour screen?

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@bateske dealers choice. I am ok with either kickstarter or direct build…

The only complaint i have with the current Arduboy system is the limit of one game per device. The hardware limitations have inspired creativity. I would have no complaint at gaining any new features like a color screen, larger file storage, multi system connectivity, more RAM, RTC, or accelerometer to name a few.

My key feature request is an SD card slot so the game can be changed on the fly and to keep the small size and form factor…

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A bit more memory would be a bonus.

Not really sure how to word it but a few shades of grey are enough for anyone :joy:
If a screen upgrade lead to shorter battery life or a much chunkier unit then I’ll probably pass it by.

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Can always get one of these. I wouldn’t mind the size being increased, I find the current size awkward to handle and my hands are almost as small as Trump’s, I can’t imagine what it must be like for large-handed people.

The working concept right now is a SAMD21 (arduino zero) device, adding an SD card and keeping pretty much everything else the same. Infrared communication is probably on-board as well but needs to be developed first to know if that’s worth doing.

Other things I would like to add, which are a possibility…

One or two more buttons. Don’t get too excited they wouldn’t be designed for gameplay, but instead start/pause type function. There isn’t much room for any more traditional buttons, but somewhere else in the forum we discussed just having the post of a surface mount button be accessible through the case. The button may only be around 3mm in diameter, so… I’ll probably try it and see how it goes. I know a lot of other people want this which is why I’m going for it, but personally I’m not very hopeful for specifically tactile reasons… It’s gonna feel yucky compared to all the other buttons. The power switch already suffers from this but that’s a tough technical solution anyways. So anyways, maybe more buttons.

Because the SAMD21 has a DAC on it, it would be nice to build a very small amplifier and put a real speaker in as well. I don’t want to get anyone too excited again, but I may half also found a headphone jack that might even work potentially. But headphone jack + SD card + micro-usb is kind of a lot of ports for a credit card to have so, we will see… (probably no headphone jack, volume knob might come first actually… it would kind of have to)

Still high on the wishlist for me would be to allow for pinouts to be exposed externally to the board. So you can plug standard jumper wires into the side or top of the device to run other arduino projects or potentially allow for other expansions.

So that’s about it, I know that’s not a conducive list but I hope to offer some kind of a developer kit or something before the end of the year depending on how things are going.

But for other people who get excited hearing about the headphone port, I have another new product idea that would be credit card sized and have both a TRRS input and output port, and a lot more buttons. I might have to start an entirely new forum for that one… :wink: shh

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haha looking back I realized a lot of my suggestions came from my lack of experience in this field, and limitations in understanding. :slight_smile:

This caused me to take another look at the the SAMD21 based Ardduino’s again. My first thought was that compatible with this might be an interesting goal, but the low resolution of the display indicates otherwise.

However, seeing that there are at least four “official” Arduino’s with the SAMD21 (Zero, M0, M0 Pro, and Zero Pro) with different availability, I have to wonder how many of those might be useful for development.

The M0 doesn’t have the embedded debug support the other three do, so probably not a good choice for a dev board.

The Zero Pro is identical to the M0 Pro, and no longer available.

The Zero has two fewer PWM capable pins than the M0 Pro, swaps D2 & D4, and has the ATN pin (GPIO on PA13, intended for use by shields).

Bottom line, it seems like it shouldn’t be hard to design a system that works on both - are all 3, or even 4 if you don’t need the EDBG hardware. Of course, given the small size routing may dictate otherwise, but that seems like a worthwhile goal.

While making suggestions for other people :slight_smile:, this also caused me to look at (and order) a micro:bit. Having an external connector is a major win, but not really compatible with a small size target. The micro:bit edge connector seems to use as little board real estate as possible - especially if you drop the through hole part of the connector. Having that would allow use of micro.bit breakout boards and :bit expansion boards (sensor, motor control, buttons, etc.)

I think about 4 shades of murky green or grey would do for me

4 colours is certainly the sweet-spot, but the problem is finding a suitable screen to do that (and how to handle the memory increase required).

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I think the general consensus is that there will be a main processor change so with that more ram

This is what an Arduboy 2 could have been?
Odroid-go
Very similar concept, Arduino compatible (uses ESP32). The only difference is a color display.

Meh … the Odroid-Go looks great but it also looks like a Pokitto, Gamebuino or a Gameshell. You can keep increasing the CPU / RAM / Colour-Depth but why stop half way? Go the whole hog and buy an X-Box or a PS/4…

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I’ve seen this before.

That’s a bit of an understatement.

An ESP32 is a 32-bit processor that runs at between 160 and 240 MHz with 520 KiB of RAM.

Compare that to the Arduboy’s ATmega32u4 which runs at about 16 MHz and has 2.5 KiB of RAM.

The ESP32 is orders of magnitude more powerful.
It’s not the next step up or the one after that, it’s a massive step up in power.

For me, that amount of power crosses the line at which you’d be better off developing for PC.

If I bought one I would use it as a handheld emulator, not as a platform to write games for.

The Gamebuino and Pokitto are both much less powerful than the Odroid Go so that’s not really a fair comparison.
The Gameshell is more of a fair comparison because that’s based on a Pi (in fact it pretty much is just a Pi with a fancy modular case).

It was actually brought up on the Pokitto forums and most people agreed that was a step too far in the direction of power.

That said, all of these consoles end up trying to look like the original Gameboy in one way or another.
The Gamebuino managed to make itself more like a Gameboy Advance or a Gameboy Micro at least.


Also, Odroid are practically begging to be sued.
Their logo looks like the Android logo, they’re advertising an emulator and their main image is of Tetris being played.

This. People forget this big truth too often. Let’s not upgrade too much.

Waterproof would be nice though :slight_smile: Might as well go for fire proof just in case.

Personally my biggest wish would be to have a little bigger program memory. At this moment my impression is people are kind of forced to go invest a lot of energy into cutting great content to bare minimum and having to implement advanced compression algorithms for the rest. This is a nice exercise to many hackers, but a burden to a lot of “normal” game programmers.

I am seeing this with my Arduventure mod right now – it’s so stuffed that adding a single function call makes it not fit, so I have to go throwing out graphics to be able to fix small bugs.

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