The Alchemy Stone
What is the Alchemy Stone?
The Alchemy Stone is hardware designed to fit into a Gameboy Pocket shell and turn a Raspberry Pi 3 into a retro gaming device.
It’s a kit containing two circuit boards designed to fit into the small form factor of the Gameboy Pocket.
The kit was designed to be an easy and fun project that gives you a powerful gaming device once finished. It was also designed to be upgradeable due to the back board.
All you’ll need extra to the kit is a Gameboy Pocket shell, which are available on aliexpress and eBay, and a Raspberry Pi (Compute Module 3 Lite). There are tons of shell and button colours to choose from so you can really customise your handheld.
The Alchemy stone kit contains two boards, the main board that has everything from the LCD to audio, called the Alchemy Stone, and a second board that clips on to the Stone and allows you to connect a CM3.
The system will be running Retropie which has been customised specifically for the hardware.
Where can I buy it?
What Games can it play?
The Alchemy stone can play any game supported by Retropie, Lakka, Batocera Linux or any other emulation software designed to run on a Raspberry Pi. See the list of systems below for a comprehensive list.
|System||Raspberry Pi CM3+ Lite|
|Famicom Disk System||✓|
|Final Burn Alpha||✓|
|Game Boy Advance||✓|
|Game & Watch||✓|
|Game Boy Color||✓|
|MSX 1, MSX 2, MSX 2+||✓|
|Neo Geo CD||✓|
|Neo Geo Pocket B&W||✓|
|Neo Geo Pocket Color||✓|
|PC Engine CD||✓|
|Sega 32 X||✓*|
|Sega SG 1000||✓|
* Will run but only some games, and even then, possibly not at full speed
FeaturesHere are the features of the Alchemy Stone Circuit Board:
- HD 640x480 60Hz LCD.
- USB Controls for low latency response
- USB Audio for high fidelity audio.
- Controllable screen brightness.
- Stereo headphone audio and mono speaker audio.
- Up to 2A charging for quicker charging. Charges 2000mah battery in 1 hour.
- 2300mah battery included.
- Safe shutdown circuit which gracefully shuts down the Pi before cutting power. This can stop corruption of the SD card.
- Emergency hard power cut tucked away in the battery bay in case the Raspberry Pi freezes.
- Raspberry Pi Zero or CM3 added via seperate click on board. If you make a soldering error on the Pi Zero, you won’t damage the expensive board, just the cheaper one which can be purchased for cost.
- Potential for future upgrades, via new back boards.
- Minimal soldering required for Pi Zero (Just the Pi itself). 100% no soldering required for the CM3 (exception is the joystick if wanted, this requires you solder it on).
- Haptic engine to accent key presses and give indications of low battery. Fully accessable via the Pi so can be easily customised with a bit of programming skill.
- DPAD, A, B, X and Y buttons on the front, along with L1, R1, L2 and R2 on the back.
What does the Kit contain?
- 1 x Alchemy Stone board
- 1 x Back Board for a CM3+ Lite
- 1 X LCD Screen
- 1 X LCD Screen Lens
- 1 X 2300mAh battery
What is required to build this kit?
- Compute Module 3 Lite. You can use either the CM3 Lite or CM3+ Lite (tighter fit in the shell). Can be found here
- Gameboy Pocket Shell, which can be found on eBay or AliExpress.
- Additional buttons for any you add. If you’re looking to add X,Y, L1, L2, R1, R2 buttons, you will need 6 additional buttons. I typically buy them from Aliexpress, they take longer to arrive but are much cheaper to buy. You will need 3 sets to get the 6 buttons. Example link here
- Hobby knife to trim the shell. Something like this.
- Flush cutter. This can really help trim plastic in hard to reach areas. Can be found here
The shell can be cut via a hobby knife, care and patience. A Dremmel will greatly speed up cutting the shell however it’s not required.
View the build guide here