From 36C3 Wiki

Let's build a game console!

What is a MAKERbuino? Basically, it's an Arduino with a screen + clicky buttons + a speaker + a battery in a nice acrylic casing that you can play games with. It's the DIY version of the original Gamebuino.

Check out the specs: 84x48 pixels (backlit black and white), 16 MHz, 32k flash, 2k RAM, 1k EEPROM.


What's in the kit?

MAKERbuino kit from the outside.jpgMAKERbuino kit from the inside.jpgMAKERbuino extra parts.jpg

The kit comes with a SD card pre-loaded with lots of games.

I'll bring some additional parts to the building sessions:

  • printed build guides
  • softer buttons (130 gf) you can use instead of the default buttons (260 gf)
  • lots of colorful button caps
  • lots of colorful straps (yes, the MAKERbuino has a hand strap)
  • spare parts

I'll bring 20 kits to 36C3. Contact me at micha.specht [AT] to pre-order a kit for one of the building sessions on Dec 28 and Dec 29. You may also contact me if you want to buy a kit but don't want to / cannot join one of the workshops, in which case I'll be happy to put you on a waiting list for any MAKERbuino kits which might be left in case the workshops don't end up with full attendance. Please note that although the building workshops will take place in the HardwareHackingArea, the kit will not be sold at the HHA's kit sales tables and workshop signup is also via e-mail only and cannot be done at HHA. Please note that HHA kindly allows me to use their soldering stations for the workshops but I'm not directly a part of HHA so any questions regarding the kit or the workshops should not go to HHA but to micha.specht [AT] or DECT 2426 (CHAM).

The kit price is 55 €. There will be two building sessions and a programming session on days 2, 3 and 4.

Kids from age 11 should be able to do it in 4.5 hours, however we only have 3 hours. But don't rush it, after 3 hours you'll have finished the hardest parts and you'll be able to do the rest on your own.

Day 2: Building session 1 @ Junghackertag

This is a building session for kids (11+) participating in the Junghackertag. We'll have 10 seats available at the Hardware Hacking Area / Hamsterspace and the workshop starts at 11 am.

Please note that this is not a kit for absolute beginners and that you should have at least some basic experience in soldering.

Day 3: Building session 2 @ Hardware Hacking Area

This is a building session for everybody else at 36C3. I know that kids are usually not interested in as many talks as grown-ups, so there's a potentially high demand for fun stuff to do for kids at 36C3. For this reason, the MAKERbuino kits are intended to be built by 1. kids and 2. non-kids (everybody else).

If you're a grown-up, you're most welcome to join the session! Build your own kit if there are any kits left and/or consider helping a kid if you already have some basic soldering experience.

We'll have 10 seats available at Hardware Hacking Area / Hamsterspace and the session starts at 10 am.

Here are some additional hints:

  • If you're a kid, bring a parent if you can!
  • If you've never soldered before, build a small kit before building a MAKERbuino. There's plenty of opportunity at 36C3 to gain basic soldering experience during the days before the session, for example:
  • The build guide is written in English, but don't let that stop you from signing up your kids even if they're not fluent in English. It's not that hard, there are lots of photos in the build guide and we're there to help!

Day 4: Programming session @ C-Base xHain

Once you've built your MAKERbuino and played a couple of games from the pretty large game library, you might want to take it one step further and try programming a game yourself.

Bring your laptop and we'll hack up a Pong clone! We'll have 10 seats available at C-Base xHain and the session starts at 10 am.

MAKERbuino UART bridge.jpg

To copy your program to the MAKERbuino, you need a UART bridge which is already contained in the kit. However, the connector is a USB Mini-B socket which was popular once but got replaced in 2007 by USB micro and more recently, USB C. Therefore, I'll bring 10 USB Mini-B cables to 36C3.

Here's a programming guide and the API reference.

In case you're the kind of person who likes to take things up to eleven, consider the following options:

  • Hack it! For this, you need a GPIO expander board that connects to the MAKERbuino's I2C bus. Here's a guide. (the GPIO expander board is not part of the kit but it can be obtained for cheap, google for PCF8574)
  • Connect multiple MAKERbuinos to play multiplayer games



Please note that the Junghackertag workshop is full. There's still one spot left on Dec 29.

# JHT 28.12. HHA 29.12. Pre-orders for remaining kits
1. Felix Leonard Fejao
2. Tim Anton M. ayuu
3. Emma Lilja M. Kirill
4. Mathilda Anton K.
5. Jonah Mark
6. Noah Julius
7. Tamino Noah
8. Mika Elija
9. Sarah Felicitas
10. Nick Anna & Joshua