- Music from Game Boys –
- For the original Game Boys are best, see Game Boy Sound System, and for more details Gameboy sound hardware.
- Instructables – The ultimate guide to creating chiptues on the game boy, an excellent guide, which also features a DIY repair guide for GameBoys
- GameBoy Advance, or Nintendo DS are not so useful
- C64 SID, MOS Technology 6582, see SID. Also 8580R5 and 6581, Video chip 6567 (VIC20)
- General Instruments AY-3-8910
- YM2149F, a derivative of the AY-3-8910
- Texas Instruments SN76489
- The original writer for the Arduino, Linus Akesson, The hardware chiptune project
- A customarily bad guide from Instructables – Arduino Chiptunes
- Game boy and ArduinoBoy
- (=Arduino Uno + MIDI shield (not SparkFun MIDI Shield – DEV-12898 – SparkFun Electronics), $16/17/21/22 from CatSkullElectronics),
- Github: catskull/Arduinoboy (Code and Eagle files.zip)
- PDF, arduinoboy-assembly
- See Use your Gameboy as a MIDI instrument
- Shipping worldwide is $15 (US $5)
- The ArduinoBoy is no longer fully supported and the TeensyBoy is sold instead $33/47
- TeensyBoyPro, $45/60
- ArduinoBoy variants –
- Arduinoboy, using an internal Mini, MiniPro
- Github: trash80/Arduinoboy
- Instructables: Build an ArduinoBoy
- ShieldBoy, see video: YouTube – ShieldBoy Demo
- [Dual head] modified Game-Link Cable to Gameboy (see below), and Midi cable to keyboard/MIDI device
Building your own shield with Veroboard
You don’t need to pay loads for a kit, and a pretty looking Arduino Uno shield. See x-post from Gameboy – Arduinoboy perfboard and shield schematics + mGB guide for making chiptunes with Gameboy and Midi!.
Single board ArduinoBoy using an ATmega8 IC
After thinking about this for a while, and considering the simplicity of the ArduinoBoy, I thought that it would be simple enough to dispense with the Arduino Uno, and just use an ATmega328 and build the whole thing on one board. A subsequent search showed that I was obviously not the first person to think about this.
From Instructables – Build an ArduinoBoy, a simple guide, using a BareBones Arduino kit.
Useful tip for the Vref, see building an arduinoboy from scratch on PC (without arduino board), from Analogue to digital conversion on an ATmega168, use an inductor and capacitor to stabilise the analogue reference voltage:
Barebones Arduino, using the internal clock, not an external crystal:
- ATMEGA8 BREADBOARD CIRCUIT – PART 1 OF 3 – POWER SUPPLY
- ATMEGA8 BREADBOARD CIRCUIT – PART 2 OF 3 – THE MICROCONTROLLER
- ATMEGA8 BREADBOARD CIRCUIT – PART 3 OF 3 – THE FIRMWARE
See Barebones Arduino for more information on the Arduino side of the board.
As a comment points out on SparkFun MIDI Shield – DEV-12898 – SparkFun Electronics
Last, the MIDI ports themselves are a cheap, bendy plastic. Mine haven’t died on me yet, but I’m just counting the days. Sparkfun would do well to provide better quality parts for this kit.
The best DIN sockets I have found are 61NC5F.
Their horizontal (flat) placement means that there is no stresses placed on the solder joints, as there are on the more common vertical placement sockets, such as these, 57PC5F:
They are more pricey though, at $4.86 versus $2.89
Game Link cable
Only four of the wires in the Game Link cable are required:
- Serial in,
- Serial out,
- Clock and
For the ArduinoBoy, as it has a Game-Link connector port, a standard cable ca be used. The ShieldBoy does not have this connector and therefore a hacked cable is required, i.e. a standard cable with one end having the plug removed ad wires exposed.
Plug Position Board Function ShieldBoy GB Header Bottom-Left Top-Left NC Bottom-Middle Top-Middle Serial IN (SIN) 1 Bottom-Right Top-Right Clock (SCLK) 0 Top-Left Bottom-Left Serial OUT (SOUT) 2 Top-Middle Bottom-Middle NC Top-Right Bottom-Right Ground (GND) GND
- 1M Link Cable Cord Apater For Nintendo GameBoy Pocket GBC GBP Black 2 players
- High quality 2 player Game Kumite Connect Online Link Cable for Nintendo for Gameboy color For GBC, £1.38
Game Link Connectors
Note that the Original GB had a different connector than the Pocket (GBP) and Color (GBC), and the advance was different again. From Wikipedia – Game Link Cable:
- DMG-04 (Original)
- MGB-004 (adapter to Pocket/Color)
- MGB-008 (Pocket/Color)
- DMG-14 (adapter to Original)
- CGB-003 (Pocket/Color)
- DMG-14 (adapter to Original)
- MGB-010 (Dual)
- AGB-005 (Advance)
There are a lot of GameBoys available from Japan, in Japanese. There may be restrictions on playing US games on them, but then again a lot of games will still work. This should not apply to mGB or LSDj though.
Yamaha PSR300 – MIDI keyboard comes in useful.