Picture of NaCade - The Naked Raspberry Pi Arcade Machine
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.

Step 1: The Main Components

Picture of The Main Components

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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Im new to the computer world lol but how do i get mame on the pi 2
SamN26 months ago

could I just use jumpers (female with one end striped) to hook directly to the pi's gpio pins for the controls

(search breadboard jumper wires)

SamN26 months ago

I may try to make a scaled up version that doesn't need a battery (120 volt power bar and transformers or a modified atx supply)

with a full sized cabinet with a fullsized screen

im copying the old galaga machine my dad owns for dimensions

SamN26 months ago

could I use standard header hookups from a pc front (they fit in) or jumper leads

instead of the cobbeler

also im thinking of making my own amp to drive larger speakers (high-power darlington)

SamN26 months ago

could this potently be scaled up to a full sized cabinet. (software wise)

also are the sticks hooked up to the gpio or are they hooked up to a usb headder

im researching this for construction class and it would be a cool project that could stay in the room

ValentinY8 months ago

is it possiable to create a Arcade Machine with Raspberry Pi running RetroPie, and with a two player setup? will it need a power supply or should i consider another option.

66legion11 months ago
I've only been on instructables a day n checked out a couple of hundred so far of all kinds, this is definitely the coolest thing I've seen so far, something I'd have a crack at when I've got the time n tools. respect ?
TK1756721 year ago

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

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?

amulder11 year 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)  pandaindahouse1 year 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.
wliu31 year ago
Is that a car battery? It is a bad idea to power computers directly from car batteries.
onions571 year ago
could you provide maybe a video or complete tutorial on wiring the buttons and programming them for functionality?
tomzbeast1 year ago
mate can you build me one of these, I will pay cash and postage + your time
albpara1 year 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

krimmy (author)  albpara1 year 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 krimmy1 year ago
Do you think that is better a hole saw than a forstner bit to drill the hole?
krimmy (author)  albpara1 year ago
I'm no expert but the holesaw worked for me.
the batman1 year ago
Looks really cool but it would cost to much for me to make
purpulhaze1 year 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.
Ayce2 years 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)  Ayce2 years ago
I found that piMAME runs a version of 0.106
krimmy (author)  krimmy2 years 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 krimmy1 year ago
Ah, thank you for clarifying that.
SilverJimny2 years ago
Wow, excellent stuff!

Can we have links to the components please?

krimmy (author)  SilverJimny2 years ago
You should make a video of you playing it!
Edgar2 years 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:
unklegwar2 years 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.
AJMansfield2 years 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)  AJMansfield2 years ago
Yes my mistake (amended)
dcms42 years 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)  dcms42 years ago
Hey can you post a video on how to install the components and buttons and joystick
krimmy (author)  CRASH MA5TER2 years 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
Jakearoosta2 years ago
sweet project!
AJMansfield2 years 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...)
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