Pi 3


Slimming down the board

The first task is to remove the unneeded components from the board, namely those that will cause the board to be too thick and therefore take up too much space.

DON’T BE AN IDIOT LIKE ME, make sure you that have set up and at least configured the on-board WiFi so you can get in via SSH or by some other means, as we’re going to remove the USB ports and Ethernet. Luckily I had a spare Pi 2, that wasn’t mutilated, so I stuck the micro SD card in that one and set up the WiFi.

I am least proud of this part of the project. My soldering skills aren’t bad, but not good enough to simply desolder the components, so I fudged it a bit and used some wire cutters.


Now just to clarify, I had no intention of saving these components for future use hence why I destroyed them. As long as you’re delicate and make care not to knock any other components off the board you should be okay to use brute force. Once complete I ended up with a board that looks like this:


I plan to come back and make a cleaner job of the left over solder points, I’ll be fitting a single USB port at the same time.

The display/composite out

Unlike the Pi Zero, the Pi 3 already has an RCA port that carries composite video & stereo audio. I purchased one of these cables from ModMyPi http://goo.gl/RqmxmK.

I spliced the cable and attached the video out (red) cable to the video in of the LCD PCB. Once the cable is plugged in this is all I had to do!


The benefit of using the Pi 3 over the Pi Zero at this point is that this port of the Pi 3 also carries audio, where as the Pi Zero is much more complicated to source stereo audio, you’ll more than likely need to buy a separate USB sound card and a USB OTG cable.

Heres a pic of my new cable working!


I’m just waiting for more parts to show up, so sorry for the slow updates.

Running total update

+ £1.99 RCA cable

Total: £61.23

2 thoughts on “Pi 3

  1. JON

    Hello! Im making a similar project, and am faced with whether to use the Pi zero or Pi3, my question/concern with the Pi3 is getting more than 1A with the voltage step ups commonly used in these sort of projects, what is your plan for running on batteries?

    • motomod

      Hi Jon,

      Sorry for the really late reply. The extent to which the power usage of the Pi 3 has been talked up is not totally true, there are a few people out there (on online forums) that have successfully powered a Pi 3 off an Adafruit Powerboost 1000c, so this is going to be my first effort. Failing this, I have a couple of step downs and some 7.4v battery packs that together can offer a maximum of 3A. The only downfall of doing this is that the RC battery packs have a different circuit for charging and it means that I couldn’t use the device whilst it was charging. I’ll update the blog with my findings.

      I’ve also seen some footage of people playing some PS1 games with the Pi Zero, so I could end up switching back (unlikely).


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