PSPi 1000 Version 4

1/3/18 – The kits are now shipping. They aren’t moving quickly yet, but I’ll gradually ship faster as the building and testing process speeds up. I see that many of you added messages to your orders, and I’ll respond to them as your order comes up for shipment. I’m also going to contact everyone that ordered the cell phone batteries with the kit and offer to switch to the new Hobby King Turnigy batteries if you want easier attachment.  This page will now get converted to showcase all the new features. The Version 4 assembly guide is here.

Backorders are available for V4, and can be placed on the V4 Product Page. These will be backordered for at least the next few weeks. If you prefer to wait until positive stock is available, you can sign up on the product page to be notified.

Use of the PSP’s original battery was discussed in the past. I added solder pads to the Version 4 board for a PSP battery connector, and if you want a connector included with your shipment please add a note to your order that you want it included. I’m not charging extra for the connector, but I will not be soldering these in place for you. Please understand that the original PSP battery was rated for 3.6v and my charging circuits are for the newer 3.7v battery chemistry. Some of the newer PSP aftermarket batteries are rated for 3.7v. Please do not use a 3.6v PSP battery on this board, it can lead to damage or injury if the battery becomes overcharged.

Discord channel for Version 4 is up for anyone interested in getting involved or giving input
Files are up on GitHub for buttons, joystick, etc.

Hardware Changes in Version 4

LCD Driven Using GPIO

All LCD control is integrated into the all-in-one, meaning no external controller is needed. The new LCD connects directly to the FPC-40 connector on the board.

The backlight can be dimmed using the Display button on the PSP. Backlight dimming allows for substantial reduction in power consumption and increased play time. Currently there are only two settings (one for dim and one for bright), but more settings will be possible as the software improves.

The GPIO-driven display gives a much clearer and brighter image than the composite LCD in previous builds.

The LCD Runs at the same 480 x 272 resolution as the original PSP

Improved Battery Attachment and Management 

A JST-PH connector is now included and soldered to the board, and makes connecting the battery much simpler and safer. The board has clear labels for battery polarity, since Chinese batteries sometimes have reversed pins on the JST connector. DO NOT attach a battery backwards!

Play while you charge. The power consumption of the system is typically under half an amp (as low as 1/4 amp when the LCD is dimmed), and the charging rate is 1 amp, so you’re able to play while the PSPi is plugged in and charging.

The charging circuit works with 3.7v lithium/lipo batteries only.

Improved Battery Monitoring and Indicator

Battery voltage is monitored using a 12-bit analog-digital converter. This voltage is constantly averaged and reported using an indicator at the top-right of the LCD. This indicator is persistent and remains on the LCD at all times. The indicator also shows the charging status when the battery is charging.

Improved joystick

The joystick no longer needs to be soldered. Gold-plated pads make use of the attachment method of the original PSP. The pads are thicker than the ones on the original PSP’s motherboard, making the connection more reliable and drift less likely to occur.

True analog input. The joystick input is the same 12-bit analog-digital converter that monitors the battery, and gives the full range of motion in games that support it.

Can also be used as a mouse. I won’t be supplying the code for this (at least initially), but the capability is there.

Simpler Attachment of the Raspberry Pi Zero

The board has a pre-installed header for easy soldering of the Pi Zero. It also has gold-plated pogo pins for the SD card and USB port, removing the need to solder those features.

The CSI connector is used for communication with the onboard ICs, and a cable is included with each kit.

Speaker connectors

Speaker wires will attach using 1.0mm JST connectors. The wires will have to be soldered to the speakers initially, but connection and disconnection will be easy once the new wires are soldered.

Increased efficiency

Integrating more features allows for lower power consumption and more control over what features are enabled and disabled

The removal of the external LCD controller removes much of the power consumption and heat generation.

LCD can be dimmed to lower power consumption

The audio can be switched off using the switch to lower power consumption. This will lower the power usage and give a little extra play time.

My tests (with the cell phone batteries from v3) put the play time over 6 hours and command line time at 18 hours. This relies heavily on the quality and capacity of the batteries.

Boost converter is no longer part of the board, and this improves efficiency by 10-20%. The microUSB port at the top is powered directly from battery.

Better emergency shutdown circuits

Will kill power once battery is depleted (about 3.5v). This is a hard-wired feature that won’t require software to function. It serves as a backup in case the software features aren’t working for some reason. If the PSPi is powered on with depleted batteries, it will power off almost immediately.

Redrawn outline

More accurate hole positioning, which is needed for proper joystick alignment

Better USB port positioning

Additional indication LEDs

LED indication on the left side for SD card activity (or any other use for those that know how to code)

Better audio using a buffer-filter-amplifier setup

Improved audio filtering to get rid of more PWM noise. Very similar to the audio circuit in the Pi 2.

Speakers can be switched off using the switch on the left side (which will lower power consumption and give a little more play time)

Pressing the Home button will exit games in the same manner as pressing Start+Select

Misc Features

I2C pads to attach devices.

All of the PSP’s buttons will work.

Volume buttons will be able to adjust volume up and down.


Other Features of Version 4

The board will only have RetroPie compatibility at release, but Lakka is built on the same software and can be made compatible.

MicroSD port has been relocated to the bottom of the V4 board.

A connector has been added to the bottom of the board, and will help to add a headphone jack at a later time.

Ability to add a connector and use the original PSP’s battery. This is not a recommended addition since the PSP’s battery has a different operating voltage, but it is available for those that want it. I’ll include the connector and the end user can solder it into position, just let me know you want it included by adding a note to your order.

Solder pads on the bottom to add additional I2C modules. This allows you guys to add RTC modules, or even add additional inputs.

Software Progress 

Check it out (and help improve it) on GitHub

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77 thoughts on “PSPi 1000 Version 4

  • May 7, 2017 at 9:42 pm

    First, thank you for creating this site and for offering your amazing kits. I’m relatively new to all of this but I am now inspired to begin building my own PSPi. Quick question regarding Pi3 compatibility – in theory, what would have to be done aside from de-soldering the USB and Ethernet ports? Thanks!

    • othermod
      May 9, 2017 at 2:53 am

      Probably much more than that. The Pi 3 just won’t fit, so there would be some serious plastic modification needed.

      As far as function, it is pin-compatible with the Pi Zero, so electrically it would work on the PSPi Version 3. Version 4 is different entirely though, and I doubt it will be compatible with the Pi 3

      • June 23, 2017 at 8:47 am

        I’m using gpio to driver LCD,use DPI.
        But it do not work.Can you help me?
        here is my config.txt
        # Disable spi and i2c, we need these pins.

        # Set screen size and any overscan required

        # enable the DPI display

        # set up the size to 480×272

        # uncomment for 480×272 display (Adafruit 4.3″)
        hdmi_timings=480 0 40 48 88 272 0 13 3 32 0 0 0 60 0 32000000 3


          • June 23, 2017 at 1:24 pm

            it is working now
            The config.txt is all right.
            the led pin disp must connect to vdd

          • othermod
            June 23, 2017 at 5:16 pm

            Glad you got it working. Was just about to paste a copy of my config.txt (it’s nearly identical).

      • June 24, 2017 at 7:49 am

        what about the psp 4.3 screen?
        There is some problem,it can work,but it can not full screen.It displays in right part of screen.
        I used the same config.txt.
        Can you fix it?

        • June 24, 2017 at 11:35 am

          Finally I found the LQ043T1DG03 datasheet.And it works now!Perfect !

          • othermod
            June 24, 2017 at 12:46 pm

            Looks like you had to adjust the front/back porch

  • May 9, 2017 at 1:55 am

    As for CM3, I definitely agree with you that this is something worth undertaking, even as a version 4.1 or 5. This makes it much easier to upgrade in the future to a CM4 for a power boost without the need rebuild everything from the ground up.
    I personally think it’s worth remaining with the raspberry pi architecture vs trying something else. I personally tried the latest ASUS Tinker Board that is trying to compete with RPi. It does give a performance boost, but support for retropie is really bad. Even RPi started up as a fairly simple SBC and it really only picked up after a vast community was built around it. Just my two cents… 🙂

  • May 9, 2017 at 2:04 am

    Think it would be great to see v4 use the original battery.

    • othermod
      May 12, 2017 at 2:16 pm

      Hoping to be able to xfer the work over to a 2000 or 3000 version. There are some pretty substantial barriers keeping me from building those right now though.

    • othermod
      May 21, 2017 at 8:39 pm

      Not positive exactly what the height is on that one, but so far all the ones I’ve found have a little too much height (mostly 2.0mm and I need 1.7mm).

  • May 23, 2017 at 8:02 pm

    Nice news!
    About the new LCD drive method, how many GPIOs are needed to control de LCD?
    And the GPIOs remainig are enought for the complete keypad (Dpad, A, B, X, Y, L, R, Select, Start)
    How solve this?

    Thank you!

    • othermod
      May 23, 2017 at 10:58 pm

      The LCD takes nearly all of them, leaving only a couple for buttons. I’ve had to get very creative using additional modules to add more GPIO pins.

      • May 24, 2017 at 7:15 am

        This is where a design that includes the CM3 module in it makes a huge difference! With the CM3 module you get access to all the RPi GPIO connections and not just 40 of them as with other ones.
        Obviously this is a day 2 solution for now as you mentioned.

        One request though as for updates, if you could; hard to see what was updated vs previous update.


  • May 25, 2017 at 3:22 pm

    Still am floored by how rapid these iterations are and how big your scope is. Can’t wait to give version 4 to my electrical engineer to solder up!!

  • June 6, 2017 at 1:22 pm

    Loving the improvements! Backlight control is essential for squeezing out extra battery life.

    Regarding the driver, you can write a continuous polling script in python (probably the easiest if the driver itself is in python). You will just have to make it into a service, which you can then enable when the system starts.

    As an example, I had written a python script which controls the backlight of a TFT which is attached to GPIO 18.

    • othermod
      June 6, 2017 at 3:32 pm

      I love it. It looks like the button does exactly what the PSP’s brightness button does. Something like this would definitely be easy to add to my existing python script that already runs to look for the shutdown button.

  • June 6, 2017 at 2:27 pm

    Quick thought to throw out there…
    It seems like if you extend the bottom left side of your PCB you could actually have at least the MicroSD card in place for the side loading of it. If that’s true it will make it a lot easier instead of soldering and gluing the SD card.
    Also, while at it, though there is a height difference, could there also be a way to have the audio jack directly soldered to the PCB, or potentially to a smaller PCB as part of the kit that attaches to the main PCB with an FFC flat cable?

    All this would make for a very easy rip and replace kit!

    • othermod
      June 6, 2017 at 3:12 pm

      I’ve been tinkering with different methods of doing exactly that. The 6 square vias on the left side are for the microSD. I’ve got a couple different sd slots I’m trying out, but alignment will be a problem. I’ll probably have to stack a smaller PCB on the underside of the main board so that the microSD slot is lines up with the plastics. As for the audio jack, I think I’m going to make an optional additional board that just pops into place or that is easy to solder. I wanted to be able to make this board hold the microSD slot too, but I doubt the height will be right unless I can find a upside-down microSD slot.

  • June 15, 2017 at 7:43 pm

    in the spots where there are no traces, you could take off material, making the board slightly lighter. this will also allow us to hide cables (if there are any) underneath the board

  • June 15, 2017 at 7:49 pm

    can you also try to make this compatible with the pi 3 model b. I’m fine with desoldering the thing, i just want a powerful board in my custom psp.

  • June 18, 2017 at 5:04 pm

    another idea i had was making the controller work over usb, this will (most likely) drastically save gpio headers, which can simplify the board. this can also make the software config far easier, as the controls will already be translated into something that lakka and retropie can understand. although the board will have to be programmed by either us, or the pcb manufacturer.

    • othermod
      June 18, 2017 at 8:42 pm

      Most people do it this way, but I’m not a fan. That means adding a USB hub and ATMega, and then having to program each board manually. Too many things that can go wrong for the end user. I prefer special-purpose components because of the increased reliability. It’s causing the design portion to take longer, but I think it’s worth it.

      Also, my plan with this board is to have zero wires. Some soldering of pins might or might not be needed, but there won’t be any wires.
      Currently it isn’t compatible with a Pi 3, but it’s possible that something could change. There’s still lots of work ahead.

  • July 7, 2017 at 5:05 pm

    Would it be better to use a compute module since it is about the same size as the zero but much more powerful?

    • othermod
      July 7, 2017 at 5:48 pm

      Gotta save something for V5.
      The compute module would be better in many ways, but that means adding everything from this + WiFi and Bluetooth. Too much for one guy that does this in his off time. It’s possible it will happen, but it would be further down the road. I expect something with quad core that’s comparable to the Pi Zero will get released eventually, and when that happens I’ll be making a board for it.

    • othermod
      July 19, 2017 at 3:53 pm

      I wanted to originally with V3, just couldn’t find one that worked in the available space. I don’t want to use it on this version because I’m trying to make it so that no glue is needed.

  • July 22, 2017 at 12:36 pm

    mate i have been following the project and it fantastic only comment i have it i have seen a orange pi zero 2 plus which is 4 core and may fit in a future project !

    • othermod
      July 22, 2017 at 12:48 pm

      I saw it a few weeks ago and it looks very promising. I haven’t done any research to see how much community support it has and how good gaming performance is. I might be buying a couple for tests.

    • othermod
      August 7, 2017 at 1:44 pm

      As soon as I am confident with the features I’ll be including. I’ve got at least one more prototype to build before I’m ready to make that call.

  • August 7, 2017 at 9:04 pm

    Definetly go for the 4.2v and better capasity choice.. it is logic.
    And batteries are cheap and easy to get a hold of.

  • August 9, 2017 at 8:18 am

    Hope I’m not treading on your trade secrets here, but how are you doing the on-board/GPIO LCD control? Is there any chance you will type up an instruction for it, or maybe share your own sources?

    BTW, I would always prefer the 3.7V batteries for the additional capacity.


    • othermod
      August 9, 2017 at 11:57 am

      It uses publicly available (and very difficult to decipher) info from

      I 100% plan to make a tutorial, and maybe even design a small LCD board that sits on top of the Pi Zero. This is one of the best features the Pi has to offer and it’s not available to most people because of the difficulty setting it up. As most of you know though I’m in way over my head and won’t have time for a while.

      • August 9, 2017 at 9:49 pm

        Very glad to hear that! Screens is a main concern for me in my projects, at least when I cant fit an HDMI controller board.

  • August 9, 2017 at 2:44 pm

    Very nice work on the prototype 1 ! The screen quality looks great ! Thanks for the video 😉

  • August 10, 2017 at 12:16 am

    have you managed to find away of using the original screen? i wanting to make one with the clear resolution of the original screen.

    • othermod
      August 10, 2017 at 1:10 pm

      I got it working a while back, but there is a flicker in the screen I cannot get rid of. Tried everything I knew to try, but I think its due to the Pi having a fixed 9.6Mhz clock and the PSP’s LCD needing 9.0Mhz. It’s on the back burner for now.

      I’m not missing it though. The LCD I’m using in place of it is glorious.

      • August 10, 2017 at 4:54 pm

        is the one you are using the one you sell on your website?

        • August 10, 2017 at 4:56 pm

          im wanting to learn how to design my own pcb any tips ?

        • othermod
          August 10, 2017 at 5:58 pm

          Not exactly. The one I sell is meant to attach to the Pi’s composite pin, and is used for v3. The panel itself will probably be compatible with the v4, but it’s not the panel I’ll be using.

          As far as tips for PCB design, I recommend starting with other people’s schematics and board designs to see what they have done. Pick something small, like one of the boards Adafruit sells. They give out the design files for free. You can view and edit them with Eagle, or just import them into an online editor like EasyEDA. Just do lots of research, read tons of datasheets, and watch YouTube videos. I don’t really have any specific links, but YouTube is full of good stuff.

          Feel free to ask any questions here or on Discord

          • August 11, 2017 at 4:11 am

            does the monitor you sell work with pi3?

    • othermod
      August 10, 2017 at 1:07 pm

      It’ll be pretty close to the last one, but I don’t have an exact number yet. They will cost me more to build, but the LCDs will be cheaper.

  • September 27, 2017 at 2:55 pm

    I check this post weekly with bated breath. I CAN NOT wait!

  • October 9, 2017 at 7:09 pm

    Will there ever be a tutorial for this version with the kit and everything you need?

  • October 17, 2017 at 4:17 pm

    Hi, love the work your doing. have you thought about using the pi3 compute module? It provides far more processing power than the pi zero but in the same form factor. kite over at sudomods has just done one but for a gameboy shell. thought you could possibly do the same but your own version (obviously 🙂 )

    • October 17, 2017 at 4:22 pm

      Woops! should of read more closely, it has already been suggested.

      • othermod
        October 18, 2017 at 12:42 am

        It has, but more people asking might cause me to focus a little more on it. Thank you for the suggestion.

        • January 8, 2018 at 6:20 pm

          Having already ordered the v4, unless the Zero W 2 is equal to the 3 or better, I’d be interested in buy a pi3 compute module edition board.

          • othermod
            January 9, 2018 at 5:29 pm

            Thanks for letting me know. Many others have expressed the same interest.

  • January 8, 2018 at 8:50 pm

    Already have the version 3 and the version 4 is on order.
    Looking forward to having a crisp display.

  • January 15, 2018 at 11:18 pm

    As mentioned before, the lack of compute module support is a little bit of a deal breaker for me due to low performance of RPI zero. I would really love to see that feature.

  • February 2, 2018 at 6:55 am

    I did just buy v4… Well back ordered it. But I would also likely buy a pi3 compute version if it ever gets made.

    • othermod
      February 3, 2018 at 3:48 pm

      It’ll be a bit of a wait, but I do intend to get back to PCB design once v4 orders settle down. Something quad- or octo-core would be great for the more demanding games.

  • February 11, 2018 at 1:20 pm

    Does it makes use of all GPIO pins?
    If not, can you write me the free ones?
    Thank you

    • othermod
      February 11, 2018 at 5:29 pm

      It uses every single one. Two of them are used for LED indicators, and they could be stolen for other uses.

      • February 14, 2018 at 1:06 pm

        What is the function of each led? I guess that one of them shows the activity, and the other one?

        • othermod
          February 14, 2018 at 4:18 pm

          The bottom LED is GPIO10 and shows SD card activity (there’s an entry in config.txt making it do this). The other (which is on GPIO20 and was added on PCB 1.2) doesn’t do anything, it’s there in case someone wants to use it.

          • February 14, 2018 at 5:20 pm

            Ok. Thank you.
            I asked it because I have the v1.2, but haven’t tested yet. Next weekend… ^^

  • February 20, 2018 at 11:27 am

    If I were to get 2 of the turnigy batteries and solder the wires together would I need something like a BMS to make sure the batteries stay at the same charge or would it not work at all?

    • othermod
      February 20, 2018 at 1:04 pm

      You can wire them in parallel. You just need to make sure both batteries are at the same charge level before connecting them together.

      You’re gonna have a hard time fitting two of those into the case.

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