This Keyboard Doesn’t Work Without Game Boy Cartridges

Just when we though we’d seen it all when it comes to custom keyboards (or most of it, anyway), along comes [Stu] with the TypeBoy and TypePak. Like the title implies, TypeBoy and TypePak are inseparable.

Let’s talk about TypePak first. Somehow, some way, [Stu] managed to fit the following into an aftermarket Game Boy Advance cartridge: a XIAO BLE microcontroller, a Sharp Memory Display, a shift register, and a LiPo battery. It’s all there in [Stu]’s incredibly detailed blog post linked above.

Amazing, no? And although [Stu] claims that the TypePak is mostly for aesthetics (boy howdy), it will make swapping microcontrollers much easier in the future.

If this looks sort of familiar, you may remember a likely render of [mujimaniac]’s board called the GIGA40 that also employed a cartridge system. Allegedly there is now a working prototype of the GIGA40.

Would you like to give the TypeBoy and TypePak a go? Files are available on GitHub, but this doesn’t seem like a project for the faint of heart.

Speaking of stuffing things in to Game Boy cartridges, check out this SNES cartridge turned hard drive enclosure.


9 thoughts on “This Keyboard Doesn’t Work Without Game Boy Cartridges

  1. Peeling an onion: So this a wireless-split Zephyr Mechanical Keyboard (ZMK) [1] which is similar in concept to a Quantum Mechanical Keyboard (QMK).[2][3] ZMK uses the Zephyr RTOS.[4] The Zephyr RTOS is written in C released under an Apache 2.0 license.[5] Hat-tip to [Stu].

    * References:

    1. Hello from ZMK Firmware

    2. QMK Firmware

    3. QMK – Wikipedia

    4. Zephyr (operating system) – Wikipedia

    5. The Zephyr Project

  2. “Like the title implies, TypeBoy and TypePak are inseparable.

    Let’s talk about TypePak first.”

    The article then goes on to talk about TypePak, and completely forgets to mention TypeBoy. It’s not exactly clear why one relies on the other to function.

    1. Or what this function actually is? Do they talk to each other, or something else?
      I presume that the intent is at least for it all to be a keyboard, but the title is the only clear indicator of this.

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