Introduction: Pi SNES

Picture of Pi SNES

I purchased an old non functional SNES and decided to put a Raspberry Pi inside to transform it into a retro-gaming emulator. The project is simple: graft a new heart to an "out-of-order" SNES. In order to modernize the controllers to play with other consoles and minimize the SNES destruction, I 3D-printed a new front panel. This making didn't require many electronic or computer skills. It 's more like a lego building.

Step 1: Parts List

I used :

  • 1x Raspberry Pi B
  • 1x HDMI extension cable
  • 1x network extension cable
  • 1x microUSB extension cable
  • 2x USB extension cables (like this)
  • 2x USB male connectors
  • 1x mausberry chip (details here)
  • 1x 5V sector adaptor (compatible SNES)
  • 2x XBOX360 controllers

Step 2: The New Front Panel

Picture of The New Front Panel

The first step is to take the SNES apart and to cut all the unnecessary stuff inside in order to make some space.

Then I reproduced a more simple front panel on Sketchup and placed two USB connectors instead of the normal ones. I printed the piece on a friend's 3D-printer, removed the plastic needed to print correctly and fixed the USB connectors.

Finally, I tested the piece in place.

Step 3: Connect Everything

Picture of Connect Everything

Now that I have the front panel done, I need to work on the back panel and the buttons.

I cut a hole for the Ethernet connector, the HDMI fits well into the old image connector. I kept the power jack and connected a micro USB connector at the other side. I "hot glued" everything in place.

The start button is easy to manage. I unplugged it from the motherboard and reconnected it on the mausberry chip.

To keep the reset button up without the motherboard, I removed the button and placed it on a piece of board at the right place.

To show the life inside, I got the LED back from the controller board and put it back inside with hot glue. With this LED, you can check that the functional mess is working :).

Finally I connected everything, before creating the SD.

Step 4: Software Part

Picture of Software Part

I decided to use Lakka as RetroPi distribution. It is a "nothing to do" distribution based on Openelec and the USB controllers are directly recognized. There is a clear tutorial on their website.

To use the mausberry circuit, you need to add some daemon code on the Pi. No problem: a tutorial is available here.

Load some games and have fun ! :)

I hope that you enjoyed reading this instructable and that you will create your own Pi SNES. Sorry if the English was not clear but I’m not a native English speaker.

You can find more DIY projects on our French blog.


T0BY (author)2015-06-14

Very nice project! You have obviously taken some time over this and have done an excellent job!

sacha88 (author)T0BY2015-06-15

Thanks a lot ! Indeed it takes me some time but it worths it :)

dekkai (author)2015-06-06

What about a female USB port where the cartridge would be placed? so you could use that to read a USB stick hidden into a SNES cartridge (either modified or 3D printed). It's kinda pointless, but would still be pretty. Nevertheless, this is great work, and I shall make one for myself once I get my hands on a Pi.

sacha88 (author)dekkai2015-06-06

Thanks dekkai ! It's a cool idea even if it's pointless ! :) Originally I had planned to put a USB hub in the cartridge hole to offer more USB plugs to connect more players. I used a Pi rev B and not B+ so I had only two USB ports used for the connector on the Pi.

tomatoskins (author)2015-06-04

This is awesome! I'd love to see a video of it starting up and running!

sacha88 (author)tomatoskins2015-06-05

thank you :) I didn't plan to make a video because it's like all the other "retropie" raspberry pi.

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