In the long tradition of “I Made A Thing” around here, I have repurposed one of my old GameStick controllers with a removable mount for my smartphone!
Some backstory, for the uninitiated…
A few years back, some upstarts had a grand idea to try and wedge portable gaming (we are talking about phones, not actual consoles like GameBoys, DS’, PSPs, Vitas, GameGears, etc…) into a small lake of gigantic sharks known as the 7th generation consoles. At this point in time a couple of companies were formed to take the Android OS and make them less touchscreen-y and more HDMI-y. One of the more “successful” startups was the Ouya, but we’ll leave that for another time… The other company was a little outfit out of the UK under the name of Playjam. Their offering was the GameStick. Running off of Android 4.2 Jelly Bean, software wise, this was the only thing that was up-to-date on it. The company’s take on being minimalist hurt the final execution of the product since it was severely undergunned, even compared to the “Microconsole” front runner: Ouya.
But this isn’t a stroll down memory lane or a system comparison article…
I had an old speaker box from a different project just laying around so I decided it’s a good time to chop that up. The thickness of the board was thick enough to slide into the Gamestick slot inside the controller.
Some sawing and sanding down with the mototool to fit , and we got a basic shape to fit the width of the slot.
On the inside of the controller, there is a nub that acts as a stopper for the HDMI plug on the GameStick, itself. This ensures no damage to the GameStick dongle but since we aren’t using the microconsole, this ensures that there is only 1 way to slot in the new mount.
To get the $1 smartphone mount attached to the new bracket, a 1/4″ hole needed to be brought through at the same 45 degree angle on the outside edge. Note: MDF is not a happy material when it gets too thin. I ended up with a bit of blowout along the thinner side of the edge. 🙁
There is still a bit of the hole left on the outer side so I decided to keep on going and cut in a lip for the head of the bolt to grab onto.
Bringing together my 3 materials (Smartphone mount with 1/4″ receiver, hand cut bracket made out of scrap MDF, 1/4″ bolt to merge and form VOLTRON) I am now able to slide it in and play me some portable games!
Not bad for a quick build done 45 minutes of my lunch break! Just a prototype. Slightly broken, due to tolerances of MDF when it’s stressed on thinner parts of piece but still VERY functional! Next up, making out of plastic (or 3D print it) and tightening up the tolerances so it fits better!
Check out the imgur gallery for all my build pics so far!