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

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

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

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.



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    6 Discussions


    4 years ago on Introduction

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

    1 reply

    Reply 4 years ago on Introduction

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


    4 years ago on Step 4

    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.

    1 reply

    Reply 4 years ago on Introduction

    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.


    Reply 4 years ago on Introduction

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