Portable gets a proper home in an arcade controller

[Luke] wanted an arcade-style controller that he could use for some gaming at home. He decided to use a portable game emulator as a base and then added his own joystick and buttons along with a custom case.

The donor hardware is a Dingo A320. It’s a nice little handheld with a 2.8″ screen, and plenty of potential to emulate games like Donkey Kong seen above, or to play homebrew. It’s even been the target of some RAM upgrades we looked in on in the past. The best part for [Luke's] project is that it includes a video out port.

In the clip after the break you can see that [Luke] now has a compact controller with a huge arcade joystick, four buttons on the top surface, and the rest of the controls all around the edges of the enclosure. The video out option is selected in the menu system, so he preserved the original LCD for use during configuration.

Comments

  1. that_guy says:

    Seems pretty cludgy…

  2. zacdee16 says:

    It’s nice to see that the Dingoo hasn’t been forgotten. Nice re-purpose.

  3. t&p says:

    @Volkemon
    lol

    for the dingoo… it looks nice. A nice idea, but
    it’s Chinese crap with a strange cpu.
    Yeah, I know loads of stuff is from china, but it’s all shit (just had a $120 RCA stereo literally blowup on me). Cheap hardware built by slaves. I try to avoid all china made anything. Avoid apple hardware and walmart.

    • Olivier says:

      Well, avoid everything.

    • third says:

      You do realize that that means you’ll have to avoid pretty much ALL electronics?

      China isn’t really that much worse, it just has a different production philosophy. While most western manufacturers aim for a 0.1% defect rate, many chinese manufacturers are OK with a 10% defect rate, they simply produce a lot more for the same price.

      Many western companies let china manufacture their products, but then employ their own quality assurance. This reduces costs while keeping high quality standards.

      These are of course very broad generalisations. China is a very large country with many businesses. China is rapidly acquiring knowledge and technology, partly through original research, partly through foreign exchanges, and a are becoming more and more capable of developing their own high quality products.

      Conversely, there are plenty of western companies producing pure crap.

    • third says:

      On the project itself:

      Nice looking build. Seems to work pretty good as an arcade stick. Having a screen on the back of it seems a bit weird though. ;)

      • t&p says:

        agreed that my comment wasn’t much about the hack itself and I was a bit strong on my opinion, but I feel this hack shouldn’t be and strongly feel people need to stop buying from china until they can make workers’ wages higher to justify the work they put in without killing themselves.

        For the hack itself… well not too impressive because of better alternatives out there.
        For most of the mod hacks here I think the same with one exception.
        That one where dude cut up a bunch of n64 parts glued them together and made something that looked factory made. That was just damned impressive!

    • svofski says:

      Just for the reference, Dingoo A320 is what most big name pocket consoles fail to be. You can buy DS or PSP to hack them and experience resistance, you’d need to buy funny devices to enable your homebrew. Or you can get a Dingoo which is a pretty solid piece of hardware, which is also fully open and thus perfect for homebrew from the start. What exactly constitutes crap in this? Please elaborate.

  4. JamieWho says:

    I like it. It’s another option for a home arcade I have in mind. Portable is something I hadn’t thought about, but something like this might work well. If he had made it a little larger, then he could have gotten the screen on the top, and the start/select buttons on top as well. That might have made it a little more usable as a stand alone unit, and give you more room to use the large arcade stick and buttons.
    I just looked in to the Dingoo and will probably buy the A330 model that looks very similar to a PSP.

    One question though. Did I miss where he put the L and R shoulder buttons? SNES games are kinda hard without those buttons.

    • Luke says:

      Originally, I put the left and right triggers at the top, where you would think they would be, and the start and select buttons on the side.

      However, this caused problems because it became easy to pause the game by accident, in the middle of the game.

      So I ended up switching the L&R triggers with start&select, just because I could, and because it was a present for my dad’s birthday, and his main interest is the MAME emulator, not SNES.

    • Luke says:

      And the screen is on the front, not the back. I know, it’s weird, but I had not choice but to include the screen, because the a/v out option is within the system menu.

      • JamieWho says:

        Yes, I did notice that the screen is actually on the front. I like it overall, and it is definitely an inspiration for me to get moving on my own arcade stuff.
        Makes sense if you don’t want to play the SNES games, then you don’t need those as much.

        Where did you source your arcade parts from?

      • Hitek146 says:

        @JamieWho:

        Check Happ Controls for good inexpensive arcade parts.

        ^^And, boo to orphaned posts because of over moderation…

  5. Looks nice, good job! Well done, and congrats on getting onto this site!

  6. PocketBrain says:

    I was thinking of doing something similar with my GP2X Wiz. Capable hardware that was javelined through the heart by a poor AMOLED display. It got the screen rot. I just need the TV out cable; I already have the sticks and buttons. :-)

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