Arduboy Multiple Models

This is my first post on the forum FYI :smiley:… It’s good to join this community. I recently got my first Arduboy and am loving it so far. When I ordered mine I ordered one for my close friend. We took it to show friends an. family and since then they have been asking for one of their one. It really is a marvellous piece of hardware :wink:

The Arduboy is certainly quite an expensive little toy at about $50 USD and so I had an idea for 3 models to be made:

  • The “Arduboy Advanced” has a 4bit colour screen, an SD card, OTG USB port for playing multiplayer and other wanted new features. Priced at $70 USD, this Arduboy would likely not be credit card sized and more of a portable retro console sized like an original GameBoy.

  • The “Arduboy” is the current Arduboy. At $50 USD, this would be a premium credit card sized gaming console as it is currently.

  • The “Arduboy Lite” is a modified original dev kit with a coin cell battery and no casing/button covers to save money. Priced at $30 USD, this Arduboy would be the entry-level and get more people into developing code and games for the Arduboy ecosystem, driving sales of more units.

I understand that this would be a very, very expensive move for Arduboy Inc due to factory costs of expanding to multiple models, however, I believe it is viable and would make many more people buy an Arduboy. Purchases turn into community members making games or learning about Arduino which drives more purchases. Arduboy Inc. can make their margin on all of this and split it with Seeed Studio. I was just wondering what @bateske would think of this.

PS. We need a special Arduboy emoji!


Yo! Working on adding some features to the current Arduboy news on that in a month or two. :slight_smile:

No real interest in doing “Advanced” right now, lots of other options from other consoles.

The “Lite” version, for sure, working on ways of making Arduboy more accessible. For now that has been adding the emulator as an embedded function in the forum. Soon I’ll update the front page hopefully making it even easier for beginners, or anyone really, to get started with Arduboy.

Thanks for the feedback!

We did have an Arduboy emoji at one point, it must have got lost in one of the backup / updates.


Are you about to go and upgrade the Arduboy after I just bought one? :wink: Are you adding @Mr.Blinky’s flash cartridge? If so, please make a kit so we can modify/upgrade our current Arduboy. What is the official plural of Arduboy? :yum:

People have been asking for this for years now.
Annoyingly it’s ridiculously hard to find one that’s suitable.
4-bit screens are rare enough, but when someone does find one there’s usually something not suitable, like the screen size or the price.

There are a handful of more powerful consoles that sell for cheaper than that,
so I’m not sure you’d get many people buying into it.

I’m fairly certain that would significantly cut the time that the battery lasts for.

I don’t really know what the battery life of an Arduboy is though,
90% of the time my Arduboy is plugged in because I spend more time uploading code than playing games.

I’m not trying to shoot down your ideas,
it’s just that these sorts of things have been considered before,
and they all have various problems that would need to be overcome.

‘Arduboys’, just like ‘Game Boys’.
It’s countable, not uncountable.

Speaking on uncountable, ‘code’ (when refering to program code) is uncountable.
Please remember that and correct people if you seem them saying ‘a code’ or ‘codes’ in the context of programming, because frankly it drives me nuts. :P

The Arduboy has a 180mAh battery. I believe the original Arduboy prototype (even before the DevKit) used a rechargeable LR2032 lithium coin cell, which is rated about 80mAh for a good one.

From this, a LR2032 would power an Arduboy for less than half as long. However, that rating is for a 17mA load, which is lower than what an Arduboy nominally draws, so the capacity would have to be derated.

I’m guessing a LR2032 would run an Arduboy for about 2 to 3 hours, depending on the average number of pixels lit on the display (more pixels, less time).

EDIT: More research shows the more common name is LIR2032 and the average capacity is more like 35mAh. So it might be closer to 1 to 2 hours.

A LR2016 runs for about 30 to 45 minutes so 1 to 2 hours is probably about right.

I decided to do some current measurements on an Arduboy. I wrote a simple sketch to simulate a typical game.

60 FPS with 50% pixels lit: 40mA
100% pixels lit: 45mA
Display blank (no pixels lit) 14mA

So with a typical game that averaged half the pixels on, a 35mAh LIR2032 would run for less than an hour. This doesn’t consider using sound or the RGB LED.

It all happens different in the real world but another thing to keep in mind, you’ll never exhaust the full capacity of the battery either. Once you get below a certain remaining capacity, usually somewhere around 20%ish (not-science) the load will cause the batteries internal resistance to rise to the point where you can’t actually draw power from it. (Without getting inductors involved ala joule thief)

So that doesn’t sound very viable :sweat_smile: I wonder where else you could save money on a Lite edition if the coin battery has to be replaced every hour or so…

Thanks for outing all the problems! Its good to have constructive feedback… :wink:

I only just got my Arduboy this week and have had it plugged in as well while uploading games and trying to make my own games. I have heard though that it is 6hours or so. :battery:

Maybe when Arduboy Inc. gets a little bigger they can custom manufacture their own. It’s always fun to imagine… :blush:

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Based on the battery specifications (not real world testing):
The Arduboy has a 180mAh battery. I measured the current for an average game to be 40mA. Therefore, a fully charged Arduboy should run for 180/40=4.5 hours.

But that’s just a ballpark for a game that averages 50% pixels lit. Games with a lower average lit pixel count will run longer and more pixels mean less time. Using the RGB or other LEDs, and/or sound, will also reduce battery life.