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Started this project this past Christmas though these are my first portables so its taken me a while to get up to speed in terms of what goes into making a portable system. Regardless of whether or not it makes sense to build an OUYA portable it has definitely made for a fun series of builds.


This post is basically an archive of my previous discussion posts but I plan on making a few more of these (I think I've caught the portable bug) and plan on blogging those builds as well.


OUYA handheld build log V1

Thought I'd share the build log and progress on my own OUYA handheld build. I was hoping to finish this before Ben set his sights on the OUYA but this is my first real build so its taken me much longer than anticipated.


One of the ground rules I set up for myself on this build was that the OUYA itself not be modified and that the grips from the controller be reused so that the unit was as comfortable to hold as possible. Size wise there's nothing this one is more of a "handheld" than a "portable." The plan is to build a portable one later on. I've been at this one for a while, a little over a month.


Larger pics available at:, search for specializationisoverrated

Some of the other stuff I've made is on my instagram (specializationisoverrated) and facebook (


Splitting the controller housing:




Removing analog and bumper switches from right side of board:





Breaking off the trigger and right analog onto some perf board:





Quickly printed a new pcb for the right side buttons:



I'm using the ubiquitous 2 cell 7.4v tenergy battery to power this thing since i'm keeping the grips from the controller I thought it would be a good idea to house the new battery in roughly the same position as the in the original controller. The tenergy cells are bigger though so I had to dremel out part of the grips to make them fit.






I then got to work on the touch pad, worked out the pinout and attached leads to it.




Went back to working on the grips; I added some extra material around where I had previously made the holes to hold the battery and smoothed the whole thing so it looked like it was part of the original grip:





Onto the screen: Its a 5" 800x480 unit purchased on ebay. Worked out an armature to carry the screen and its controller. I don't have ready access to a 3D printer so I'm working in chipboard and styrene. I did a quick test of the screen just in case the OUYA wouldn't output to such a low resolution.






With the screen in place. I've got a piece of plexi in front of the screen to protect it.



Like I said at the beginning of the post, something that was important for me on this build was the that OUYA itself not be modified. Therefore I had to create a block of ports for the OUYA to plug into and plug out of. My particular screen only came with a VGA input so i'm using an HDMI-VGA adapter to convert the signal and break out the audio from the HDMI.



The screen came with a button board which I want to keep in the build though it's a little too big. So I made a quick slimmed down version:


What a mess :



But it lives!


Working out center button placement:



Getting started on the front faceplate and the final location of the touchpad:






Charging the batteries in the same way Ben charges his in the Raspberry Pi portable vid. In my case I'm running wires to each of the controller halves. The battery pack is made up of (2) 3.7v 18650 type batteries connected in series with a circuit in-between (pics attached). Actually many battery packs are made up of 18650's. For reference they're a little taller and a little thicker than AA's.


You can desolder them (carefully!) from the circuit board and then reconnect them to it via wire leads.  This is my first foray into working with power, my only real experience is working on photoshoots (running a few laptops and monitors without an outlet handy) but for those you use prebuilt battery packs. If you watch Ben's Pi vid, the way he wires up the batteries is such that it can't play and charge at the same time. There are threads on the Ben Heck forums that describe how to work play and charge but since this is my first one I thought I'd go with what I understand. I'm going to try and get play and charge working on V2.







Got some body work in over the last few evenings.


Alternating building it up and sanding/grinding it back down.


Just starting on the back....


Getting started on the front bezel, you can see the back is further along at this point...




Close up on front...






I've had to take a few days off...all the sanding was starting to wreak havoc on my sinuses. Managed to do a power on test this past Sunday just to make sure everything still worked.





Got a couple of PM requests for a status update on the model 01 build. Still have some more painting to do, being my first time doing this I kind of made a hash of the paintjob.







Calling this one done. There's still a ton of stuff I'd like to do on it and its sibling but I think I'll just fold some of those into the next build. I left the plastic on the screen since I plan on using it for a few different builds.






OUYA handheld build log V2 - GamebOUYA

Yeah, I know i'm not done with V1 yet but i've already started working on the second one. The main difference is that for this one I i'm going to allow myself to make changes to the OUYA board itself. I'm not going to try and keep it unplug-able like the V1.


I'm aiming to make this a monochrome build and thus decided to model new O,U,Y,A and center buttons with the text embossed onto them. Like the first one I'm keeping a good portion of the controller grips for comfort. I'll eventually get to a V3 where keeping it small will be the most important factor.


Initial napkin (everything starts with a napkin sketch) sketch; someone on another forum called this the GamebOUYA and I really like it.




I've already modeled and printed (via Shapeways) new covers to test with and to use as a cutting fence for the controller grips:







Revised and reordered from Shapeways:





Had to take a break on the first build for a few days due to all the sanding making my sinues hurt. Haven't been sitting on my hands and have directed my energy to this build.







Had to make some DIY chipboard captive thumbscrews





Got the wiring worked out today on this. Power on test:





As I said in the other thread, I'm calling this one done as well even though I could probably keep on working on it indefinitely. There's got to be a pencil's down moment, though I plan on getting the next one started real soon.



Family Portrait: