Is leaving the GameShell always on OK?

Hi guys!

What thoughts or info do we have about leaving the GameShell always on?

I sometimes leave it all day connected to a power source and to the wifi network, that way it’s available if I want to do something on it throughout the day.

I’m also thinking of using it in other ways, but I’m wondering if it’s also designed for this usage like the Raspberry Pi.


I can’t imagine anything wrong happening with it unless you leave the display on non-stop. That’s gonna wear it down quick.

Any battery has a limited number of cycles. It will be doing micro discharges/charges that eventually add up to multiple cycles.
Heat also plays a role in diminishing battery life.
Probably a long term thing, but heat can also play a role in degrading the rubber of the keyboard.

Simply put, I wouldn’t. But if you play it frequently enough throughout the day, that the 30 seconds it takes to boot up is an inconvenience, arguably, the initial boot up of the device would cause more strain than having it constantly on. I’m talking like, turning it on and off 30 times a day for a year.

Re: batteries, I can’t remember what kind of battery the game shell uses, but as a general rule, for any old phones, laptops or anything with a rechargeable lithium ion/polymer battery, if not using it for an extended time, store it with 50% charge.

For the record, I have a rPi unit and a small 7” display connected 24/7 just running arcades in the background. It’s a throwback to my life as a kid, waiting in hospitals a lot, staring at arcade machines doing their demo loop, wishing I could play them. :slight_smile:

Thanks for the info, it reaffirms my non-scientific ideas about battery and display :slight_smile:

Also… love the idea about the arcade games running on the background. How did you do it? Is it exactly the demos that were usual on arcade machines? Or does it apply to other games, like Genesis and SNES?

I mainly do mame emualation to mimic the appeal of an arcade machine. It would just be the Roms running. But a lot of home console games have a simple idle animation “demo” per se. Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 2 has some pretty nice idle animations. Likewise, the Neon Genesis Evangelion N64 game looks pretty fancy and nice on a demo loop.

The SNES mini has an excellent implementation where it takes your state saves and video data to show footage of the owner’s actual playing.

On another note, generally you should let your battery cool down before charging it. If it’s always plugged in am running, this will never happen. That’s why I wouldn’t recommend it. Or really recommend having a USB charging brick piggy backed to your device, constantly charging it. As far as I know, it doesn’t have any pass through power, so will just be topping the battery up and down like a yo yo.

You can look up the specifics on lithium batteries and heat, just doing a google search. I was going to paste one here, but there are just so many out there!

1 Like

I have something to add to that. Leaving things on can potentially extend their life, in physics any force is met with an oposing force, so in electronic circuits turning them off and on have the components meet those oposing forces straining them but there is not only that. There is also heat so heat can also strain the components.

Haha exactly what I was referring to here @Petrakis

You forgot the why :stuck_out_tongue:

1 Like

Touché! And ahh there’s so much information, especially physics wise that people take for granted; especially comp sci/engineering minded people. Actually saying what is seemingly the obvious is an amazing way to circulate information.

At the end of the day, everything is a consumable. If you don’t use it, it’s no better than being savoured and maintained. Even if something gets worn out faster, if it gives you more joy, then it’s worth it. Use things how you like, and how you can afford.

As Tyrell from Blade Runner once said;

“The light that burns twice as bright burns half as long - and you have burned so very, very brightly, Roy.”