PSP + Raspberry Pi Zero

Discussion in 'Everything else' started by BeMoreViking, Mar 23, 2018.

  1. BeMoreViking

    BeMoreViking Member

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    So I recently purchased a PSPi kit from OtherMod.com, which lets you replace the guts of a broken PSP-1000/1001 with a custom motherboard and a raspberry pi zero. It runs RetroPie and EmulationStation out of the box. It took me about 4 hours to do a complete build, but it could definitely be done in half that (or less). I think the hardest part for me was removing the PSP's UMD door - that's definitely challenging. Anyways, I just thought I'd post it here since folks here tend to be into these kinds of projects. It's a pretty nice piece of hardware.

    Assembly guide with lots of fun pictures: https://othermod.com/pspi-version-4-assembly-guide/
     
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  2. Wally

    Wally I am a banana! Staff Member

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    Whoa now, this looks pretty damn decent!
     
  3. sm0kew0n

    sm0kew0n Very Active Member

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    Dang it! @Caine was just saying it's going to be an expensive year. People, stop making cool stuff!
     
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  4. ThinkPad

    ThinkPad Very Active Member

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    And what is the point?
    The PSP with custom rom is far more capable platform then the Raspberi Pi Zero.
     
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  5. Elw3

    Elw3 ƐʍlƎ

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    Its not even keeping the orginal screen nor the batterie.
    Its totally pointless.
    Just an awfully uncomfortable pi case.
     
  6. sm0kew0n

    sm0kew0n Very Active Member

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    A raspberry pi is more powerful than a broken PSP. The point for me would be to do it because you can, who gives a shit? They all end up at the bottom of drawer at some point anyway, if your'e entertained for a couple of hours putting it together all the better.
     
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  7. Jumpman

    Jumpman Advanced Member

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    Exactly, one man's trash, is another man's treasure.

    Chris
     
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  8. Wally

    Wally I am a banana! Staff Member

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    The problems here:

    PSP Screen is 480 * 272 pixels, it's not exactly modern day

    Batteries.. Good luck finding a decent replacement battery, nobody sells them anymore, the originals are dying.
     
  9. Caine

    Caine Hardcore Member

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    Hey, I don't mind. More is better in this case :)
     
  10. levi

    levi Still fresh, damnit!

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    He's not using a PSP battery. PSP batteries are weird, having processors running system code on them (probably to stop third parties making batteries, but that's resulted in this lack of working batteries these days, and led to the pandora battery crack I think). He's using an off the shelf chinese made Li-poly battery that fits in the compartment, but just comes with ground and voltage in/out pins. No idea what the capacity is, but it look about the size of old phone batteries which I think were about 900mAh at 3.7V. My SBC says it requires a 2A 5V USB power supply, but I've never seen it taking more than about an amp personally, so that'd power this thing for about an hour based on those very rough estimations. That's less than ideal if true, but modern batteries are probably more power dense than the old Li-ion batteries I'm thinking of, and it may be bigger than I think, and the Pi Zero is probably more efficient than my SBC. Think of the hour runtime as a kind of estimated minimum.

    The PSP with stock hardware and battery was tested to last 3.5 hours when running a taxing game back when the thing was new. That might be a bit of a stretch to match for this setup, but we'll see.
     
  11. Citizen_Lurker

    Citizen_Lurker Member

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    This looks so cool!
     
  12. BeMoreViking

    BeMoreViking Member

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    It's always interesting to see the variety of reactions/opinions that folks have on these things.

    I do think that switching away from the PSP battery was probably the better decision. The battery I have is a 2000mAh one, while the original PSP battery is only 1200mAh. And I know that OtherMod is working on a variant that uses an extended battery, which he reported gives something upwards of 20+ hours of gameplay. And, like someone mentioned, the original PSP had some kind of special chip in the battery, which is why you needed a special battery to jailbreak it, if I remember correctly.

    The CPU and memory on the Pi Zero is also much better than what was available on the original PSP -- 1Ghz/512Mb (Pi) vs 333Mhz/32Mb (PSP).

    The replacement screen is the same resolution as the original screen. Yeah, it would have been nice to be able to reuse the original screen, but that wasn't a deal-breaker for me. Honestly, for about $110 US, I thought this was a rather affordable option for getting a handheld device that I can run Linux on and write my own games for. And it's a much better option than me trying to string together a bunch of random parts from Adafruit or something.

    My biggest complaint with the device actually isn't the hardware itself... it's RetroPie/EmulationStation. It seems you always need to be switching between the main UI and some NCurses-based interface to configure some setting. I'd say that detracts a bit from the overall experience, compared to the original PSP firmware. Though I'm sure that situation will improve with time. Someone will write an alternate launcher, port one of the other ones, or improve ES.

    Overall, I'm definitely enjoying the device. And as someone mentioned, even the experience of building the thing was definitely fun/worthwhile. Having done that, I now have much more appreciation for how much work went into designing a custom motherboard like that and making everything line up correctly. It's pretty cool.
    --- Double Post Merged, Mar 24, 2018, Original Post Date: Mar 24, 2018 ---
    Oh, and one more thing I forgot to mention. I also own the GCW Zero. Which is pretty comparable to the PSPi in terms of CPU and Memory (1Ghz/512Mb), but the screen on that is only 320x240. I think the big mistake with the GCW Zero was choosing such a low screen resolution. It's really not useable for anything but the oldest games, and the community around it seems to have died (at least if updates to their website / development toolchain / games are any indication). If the GCW Zero had a screen comparable to the PSP or even the Pandora, I think it probably would have had a longer life. So that was partly my motivation for buying both the PSPi and funding the Pyra -- I'm still in search of the perfect device...
     
  13. second exodous

    second exodous Advanced Member

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    My PSP still works but if it ever dies I would do this. With PSP emulation getting better I'm not so worried about my PSP dying. I remember people saying the PSP would never be emulated well which is silly.
    --- Double Post Merged, Mar 24, 2018, Original Post Date: Mar 24, 2018 ---
    Was going to comment on this but double post. I think this Mod is for hackers and dead PSPs. There are so many working PSPs still in the wild repairing them VS this isn't really worth it.
     

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