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Raspberry Pi 2 as a Retro Arcade

I recently commissioned a bunch of Raspberry Pi 2 units to take over from odd jobs at home that was previously serviced by a number of virtual machines. At the end of that process I had a Pi 2 remaining and decided to build a retro arcade for the the kids. This is my build log and most of it was done on the fly so apologies for the lack of any detailed plans.

First item on my shopping list was timber. As I was building a small desktop arcade, I grabbed some 12mm MDF from my local bunnings. I went late one night so was able to get most of it cut to size as they weren’t overly busy.

12mm MDF from Bunnings

12mm MDF from Bunnings

With timber in hand, I decided to work out the controller pad first. I think I am fairly happy with how it will eventually turn out. The buttons that I am using are happ style push buttons around 30mm in diameter. The 28mm hole drill bit was perfect for this job. The joystick is some cheap 8-way eBay import from China.

Controller pad ready for components

Controller pad ready for components

What the control pad will look like

What the control pad will look like

Under the control pad

Under the control pad

Now that the controller pad was sorted, it was time to work out how the rest of the enclosure was going to look. There was a fair bit of trial and error in this process. The original plan was to use a plan of the internet and engage a CNC operator and get all the bits cut and ready for assembly. I got sick of trying to work out how to use a CAD program so went old school with a Jigsaw and Dremel 😎

Trying to work out potential designs

Trying to work out potential designs

Progress so far (front)

Progress so far (front)

Progress so far (side)

Progress so far (side)

Putting the woodwork aside for a moment, it was time to get the audio amplifier sorted. I ordered the Stereo 3.7W Class D Audio Amplifier (MAX98306) from Core Electronics. Probably should have paid more attention to what I was doing as I wrongly assumed it all came assembled. That said, I think that I did an okay job with the soldering.

Stereo 3.7W Class D Audio Amplifier (MAX98306)

Stereo 3.7W Class D Audio Amplifier (MAX98306)

Amplifier headers soldered on

Amplifier headers soldered on

Not perfect but should do the job

Not perfect but should do the job

Time to test out my cheap eBay LCD. Was a fun task as it came with no instructions but it all worked as expected.

Testing the LCD

Testing the LCD

Some additional work on the case.

Ready for the undercoat

Ready for the undercoat

Ready to be painted

Ready to be painted

Final coat of paint applied. Looks like a purple minion.

All Painted

All Painted

Next up was getting all the wiring completed and screen installed.

Time to get crimping

Time to get crimping

Cable prewire done

Cable prewire done

Everything installed and ready for power on

Everything installed and ready for power on

And we have lift off 😎

Retro Arcade is alive

Retro Arcade is alive

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