Instructables

NaCade - The Naked Raspberry Pi Arcade Machine

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Who doesn't like gaming? Having grown up playing arcade machines, as a kid you could only dream of owning one. Now with advances in technology, gaming is available to everybody. Sure, there is plenty consoles and handheld units even smartphones to choose from but what I wanted was the nostalgic feel of a standup arcade without the need for a large room to put it in. Oh yes and portability is pretty handy too.


 
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Step 1: The Main Components

Picture of The Main Components
pimame_small.png

The brains of this setup is the Raspberry Pi computer. It's not overly powerful by today's standards but it can run early style games and systems pretty well. It's small size and low power consumption makes it ideal for many different uses. Best of all it's cheap to buy. The software comes courtesy of Shea Silverman's PiMAME http://pimame.org It has a bunch of great gaming emulators built in.

The display is an ordinary 7" LCD (car reversing monitor) which is sufficient enough for these low resolution games although the menus can be a bit too small to read. I had to use a larger monitor when I set it up initially. Working with scripts on this screen was impossible though a 9" screen would be a better option if I had to do it over.

The AV input on the screen is connected into the yellow RCA port on the Raspberry Pi.

I used an arcade quality joystick and illuminated buttons which are wired directly into the Pi. Power is supplied through an 9 amp hour AGM battery which is charged by an inbuilt 15amp solar controller. The solar controller regulates voltage from an external source which in this case is a solar panel. Yes, its powered by the sun!

Sound comes from a portable USB speaker that has its own internal battery.

The box itself is made from 3mm clear acrylic and as it was my first attempt working with plastics, I spent a lot of time researching how to cut and bend acrylic sheets with the helpful guides available here on Instructables.






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TK17567220 days ago

12V and -12V makes 24v lol (read about ATX power supplies for negitive voltage) should be marked 0V

shellalbert4 months ago

a good game box!

but it's not easy for general people to make it.

Is there an instructions on how to connect the battery to the components?

amulder15 months ago

Wow...cool....another one for on the wish to do list!

just thinking can u attach the buttons to a GPIO extension cord? i am a noob when it comes to GPIO. i am planning to make a controller using arcade buttons and joystick to use with the pi. and then u can connect the pi to to a tv. thanks in advance
krimmy (author)  pandaindahouse7 months ago
It is easy enough to lengthen the wires between the buttons and the GPIO. If you are making a controller unit (similar to a tankstick) the Pi can be neatly fitted into it. Check out http://m.instructables.com/id/MAMEFrame-The-battery-powered-MAME-system/
The Pi has HDMI out which is the best way to connect to your TV otherwise the AV and speaker out jacks would also work too. Hope this helps.
wliu38 months ago
Is that a car battery? It is a bad idea to power computers directly from car batteries.
onions578 months ago
could you provide maybe a video or complete tutorial on wiring the buttons and programming them for functionality?
tomzbeast9 months ago
mate can you build me one of these, I will pay cash and postage + your time
albpara10 months ago
How did you drill the holes fot the joystick and the buttons? I'm working on something similar and I'm worried about that

Thanks!!!
krimmy (author)  albpara10 months ago
I used a standard holesaw in a cordless drill and didn't apply pressure while it cut. The weight of the drill did the job. The trick is to not let the holesaw get hot and melt the acrylic.
albpara krimmy10 months ago
Do you think that is better a hole saw than a forstner bit to drill the hole?
krimmy (author)  albpara10 months ago
I'm no expert but the holesaw worked for me.
the batman10 months ago
Looks really cool but it would cost to much for me to make
purpulhaze10 months ago
This is really cool. I'd like to make one but don't have a scroll saw and won't be in my budget for a while because of other projects I'm working on. If I had some of the dimensions I could out source laser cutting of the acrylic pieces.
Ayce11 months ago
I've been unable to get this answered by anyone. Can you tell me what version of mame piMAME is based off of?
krimmy (author)  Ayce11 months ago
I found that piMAME runs a version of 0.106
krimmy (author)  krimmy11 months ago
Mame4all uses 0.37b5 roms and advancemame uses 0.106 roms but some are not compatible so you have to try each rom to see if it will work.
Ayce krimmy11 months ago
Ah, thank you for clarifying that.
SilverJimny11 months ago
Wow, excellent stuff!

Can we have links to the components please?

:)
krimmy (author)  SilverJimny11 months ago
added
SilverJimny krimmy11 months ago
Thanks!
myshoesonfire11 months ago
You should make a video of you playing it!
Edgar11 months ago
Incredibly well thought of, and all made using a scroll saw, and heat bending! Your work is an asset to FabLabers to inspire upon! :)
Blogged, of course:
http://faz-voce-mesmo.blogspot.pt/2013/08/prata-e-cera-em-3d-um-arduino-para.html
unklegwar11 months ago
"There is plenty more information that I could put in here."

Please do. I think the point of these posts is to instruct, not just to show off what you made. Links to source the parts, or at least part numbers (not just descriptions), would be very helpful.

More details are needed to make this truly something others could follow.

It's a wonderful project, please make it a wonderful instructable.
AJMansfield11 months ago
How do you use a bandsaw to cut interior shapes? That does not work. A bandsaw blade is one continuous loop. The device you showed use of is actually a scroll saw (or table jigsaw).
krimmy (author)  AJMansfield11 months ago
Yes my mistake (amended)
dcms411 months ago
This project should be called "building an acrylic case for a Pi Arcade machine" as you didn't really go into where you got your parts, the software setup at all, how you got games on it, how you interfaced the controls. It was a cool instructable, on how to build a case.
krimmy (author)  dcms411 months ago
Thanks
CRASH MA5TER11 months ago
Hey can you post a video on how to install the components and buttons and joystick
krimmy (author)  CRASH MA5TER11 months ago
Sorry I don't have a video of how its done but you could try here for reference http://www.slagcoin.com/joystick/mounting_layering.html
Jakearoosta11 months ago
sweet project!
AJMansfield11 months ago
A "coin" button? Real coins are way cooler. (And they give you a way of keeping tabs on the amount of time you spend playing...)
phillipnolan11 months ago
very nice
blvdminss11 months ago
Great job!!!
iLash11 months ago
Well done. Great use of an old theme with new technology. Your concept could be well adapted for use as a training tool. You'd make any mum proud! karna.
CRASH MA5TER11 months ago
Is there any additional information I need to know because I am wanting to build one and does it require roms
krimmy (author)  CRASH MA5TER11 months ago
Yes you will need roms check out http://mamedev.org/roms/ they have some free public domain roms for non-commercial use
kshowell11 months ago
Awesome job !
Zaqq11 months ago
This is some cool stuff. Keep up the good work.
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