My son and I decided to update the Cigar Box Game Controller we had made using some fancy boxes from harbor freight.
I thought one for me and one for him but......
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Step 1: Time to Get Started
First thing was the artwork. Not my job… Probably why it came out so nice…
Once the artwork is done time to drill it out. I laid a sheet of plexi that had been cut to match the size of the lid over the artwork. I marked the center of every hole. Then I drilled out hte rivets in the corners of the case and used these holes to mount the plexi to the lid temporarily. I used a 1/8 bit to predrill every hole. then separated the plexi from the lid
The trick with the plexi is to use the 1/8 hole to center the big bit and only drill halfway through. Then flip it over and complete the hole. That way you don’t chip the plexi when you break through. One all teh holes for swithces were done time to fit the joystick.
Step 2: Mini Mame Joystick
I had these lighted joysticks lying around. only problem is they need 12V power for the led's. I will just add a small boost converter to keep it USB powered.
I temporarily removed the mounting plate to use as a drilling template. Not too bad.
Step 3: Wiring It Up
Now for the guts.
In the cigar box controller I used an AtMega8 but this time I’m using PIC 18F2550 Microchip. I used a usb feedthrough so I can use them as standard USB controllers with other consoles if I want.
the boost converter for the led's got a little 3D printed sled to protect the wiring side.
Step 4: Retro Pi
Unlike the Cigar Box Controllers we made before these would have a Raspberry Pi inside running RetroPi
I printed up a bunch of mounting hardware and bezels. I re did the bezel with a collar to hide the edge of the cut. I made the cuts by hand with a Dremel.
Now to extend the HDMI and power… turns out the threads on the power plug were long enough to make it through the box and felt padding so I didn’t use the square plate I made. I did print a nice washer for the inside instead…. The washer is just visible here. Its cone shaped to get it through the felt easily.
I still might add a headphone jack on the right side. At the retro gamer nights we sometimes use a guitar amp…..
I added a fuse and 6.8V Zener to protect the Pi in case someone plugs in a laptop power brick by mistake…
Step 5: Finishing Things Up
I did add a separator to make a compartment to carry all the cables. I might make a lid for that when I get a chance.
I also added a WiFi / Bluetooth hat and some silica gel packets…..
Everything on the back sits well below the hinges and feet so you can still stand them up on their edge without crushing anything.
Best part is you can connect both controllers to one Pi and play 2 player games…
Add some Xbox or PS2 controllers for even more players…
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