Upgrades for Arduboy

I’ve put a rechargable battery on the Developer kit and works nicely. 90mah@3.7v the battery can be increased I assume to even 2500mah @ 3.7v. https://www.adafruit.com/products/328 the OLED can be in Color with OLED Breakout Board - 16-bit Color 1.5" w/microSD holder https://www.adafruit.com/products/1431 the speaker can be swapped out though i’d keep the peizo since its thin.

Game is running at 120 FPS it can go furthur.

SD card needs to be implemented to hold more games don’t you think.
could you add some setting to Arduboy to change the contrast or to change brightness.
Can you connect it to the internet.

There have been several threads about this same topic. (1, 2, 3) But, I don’t think there has been any using that specific screen. Can you post some pictures of your upgrade? Did you only upgrade the battery or the screen, too?

SD card support is one thing that I know @bateske really wants in the next hardware iteration.

I just swapped out the battery that I had laying around 90mah @ 3.7v.

I know this screen, that’s the one we will likely use. It’s very expensive. Arduboy color would likely have to be around 60 or 70 bucks. But it would also have bluetooth and wifi at that point too.


I think the main requirement from an adruboy2 should be a way to load games from SD. Either by using an interpenetrated language for coding, or by flashing the hardware. Although BT and wifi would be nice.

The main goal I think personally should be colour and sd cards.

Personally, I’d like a modern 32-bit CPU. Something like an STM32F103RBT6 would be a huge upgrade. Haven’t checked the Arduino compatibility, but there is support for some of the Cortex CPUs. And some of them may have on-chip SD support

The mentioned screen is 128x128 pixels, which is the same resolution as Pico-8. Which makes me think.

1 Like

What may look better then the 128 x 128 is going to be if you increase the size of the OLED to maybe 1.5" @ 128 x 64 or 96 with color and a SD. Keeping it widescreen. https://www.adafruit.com/products/1673 1.27" @ 128 x 96 in color.

By the way can you turn arduboy sideways so that I can wear it on my wrist?
maybe a watch to keep time? I think it be very interesting wearing Arduboy on my wrist.

You know that is not a bad idea at all with Bluetooth you could transfer files wirelessly to the SD card. (hint)

Still not clear how we’re going to get USB, SD Card, and Bluetooth stacks all in the 32K of memory.

So – at a minimum, there needs to be a way to load new components off the SD card into main storage while something is already running, so that individual apps can take advantage of the space, and not just have lots of tiny apps.

Of course, if you up the screen, and the processor, and the battery, and the interconnects, you are likely no longer gonig to have credit card sized, and you likely have a more significant price. Given that you can get an Android phone that likely has an SD card, and Bluetooth, and a color screen, for under a hundred bucks, there is a hard upper limit on where you can go with the upgrades. Development tools for the Android platform are widely available. And a NIntendo 2DS - specs the Arduboy can only dream of - clocks in at only $80 with a major game included.

I’m feeling like a heretic on this, but I actually think the more spartan specs of the current Arduboy encourage more experimentation. If developers have more memory and big color screens (well … relatively) then they take the easy way out. With minimal resources, you don’t just get an easy road to what you want to do … you have to work out what is actually possible to achieve cleanly. Like those who did and some who still inhabit the demo scene on the C64 - it’s not so much about wishing for something better, but figuring out how to the impossible with what you already have.

Maybe this is not a widely shared view, but I never saw the Arduboy as a competitor in either specs or price to any commercial system. It fits a different niche for people who are closer to the indie/developer/experimental model. The hard limitations in the system force you to exceed your personal limitations when working with it.

Yep. I’m a heretic.


I know it’s not possible with the current hardware, but the current hardware with an SD/microSD card slot along with a way to read data from the SD card on the fly would be ideal in my opinion.

1 Like

The very least processor upgrade would be the SAMD21 which is ARM M-0 with 256k flash and 32k ram. This should be quite sufficient to do most things we want. Even color I think, not full 16 bit, but something nice.

I’m also looking at basing it off the NRF52 or the ESP32.

Probably the ESP32, because wifi is k-rad.

But actually the boggle is getting these with just the chip only as they are primarily sold as modules, the module really wont fit. Also power consumption may well demand a larger battery.

It’s basically guaranteed the thickness will go up some to account for this, but I can make the back curved instead of flat to give more space and seem just as thin. Apple does this on their macbook air to great effect.

If you use just the chip instead of a module, you’ll probably have to get your own FCC certification. This isn’t something you’ll likely want to deal with.

That’s why I like the STM chips. They are readily available as SMD chips.

And while I like the idea of Wifi, BT or an SD card for loading games, they all have power & space issues, as well as possible certification issues for the wireless option.

The more powerful CPUs have USB host support. Even the “very least processor upgrade” of the SAMD21 has that. It’s not clear to me if that’s sufficient to support OTG, but it is sufficient to have game loading from a USB storage device in the bootloader.

Bigger screen? No. More resolution - including more colors - would be nice, but those aren’t must-have’s to me.

Ok, I’m biased. I do more work with 32-bit Cortex chips than the 8-bit atmel chips.

I first learned to program on the Timex 1000. I built it into a 64K powerhouse. I never needed color. I don’t now. A credit card sized game toy that I PROGRAMMED falking rocks. It is tortuous to learn programming for it, but, so falking what! Think of all the fun and learning that I am getting for my Kickstarter money. I am retired but I can see status points for pulling out the Arduboy with an animated business card on it. I am a little closer to writing my 16k opus SEADOG. When it works, I will submit it.

For me WiFi and BlueTooth are at the bottom of my wishlist, and $60-70 is getting into the sort of price where I would rather just buy an old DS Lite or 3DS and a flashcard and make games for that.

1 Like

I still think having a standard-sized SD card would be great. You could expand it to have Wi-Fi or BLE that way, too.

Also, standard size SD looks more like a game cart than a microsd does.

1 Like

Micro SD is the only thing that will fit, and those wifi expansion cards would require some custom library to interface with them. I would worry that too much is done in software to fit on the 32u4.