Super Nintendo (SNES) Arcade Machine




The Super Nintendo. A source for some great titles and classics such as Donkey Kong Country, Super Mario World, Super Metroid, and anything else "Super". A great way to have all of these classics relived and put to new use is making an arcade machine based on the famous SNES. To bring a new environment and design to this old system, that has been accomplished as seen here.

The arcade works just as you think it would. Real arcade controls take the place of the first player SNES controller and you can play through any Super Nintendo title you want.Also a second controller can be added for multiplayer titles.

Case - The enclosure, or case, of the system was created using a sheet of poly-carbonate plastic and making cutouts from a self designed template to create the structure. Right angle brackets, to give the case structural integrity, and glue were used to assemble the full enclosure from each individual plastic template cutout. A door was created on the back of the system using a panel hinge, this is for maintenance on the arcade if needed or for adding a second controller as mentioned earlier. Also a vinyl decal was added to the case to finish the design and the final look of the case.

Screen - The screen that was used is an ordinary tft 7" composite lcd monitor display. This can simply be wired to the video composite output from the Super Nintendo.

Audio - The stereo audio was achieved by utilizing a cheap amplifier circuit, you can even make the circuit yourself with an acquired schematic. The amplifier is simply wired to the L/R audio channels outputted from the SNES which goes through the amplifier to 2 speakers. It would be best to have an amplifier with a potentiometer to control the volume of the speakers.

Controls - When you play a SNES or really any game console with a controller where you push a button it makes a contact to complete a circuit which is rendered and controls an action in the game. So you can just rewire that contact's 2 terminals  to an arcade button's included switch with the normally open and ground terminals of the switch, essentially your using the original controller just modified for arcade contacts. Arcade buttons and supplies can usually be obtained through local or online arcade hobbyist retailers.

Power - The SNES is mainstream with a 10v ac adapter. However in this arcade I used a 9v power supply which worked fine.
You might even be ok with a lower voltage so you can always test and see with alligator leads. I constructed my own 9v power supply for this system which you can also by obtaining a schematic, however any power supply found that outputs 10 or 9 volts at a decent current max. should be fine. This power supply can be connected to the DC input on the SNES board (power and ground).

And that's basically all the arcade machine is composed of!

This is relatively not that  difficult of a build so get out a notebook and start designing and planning. At the finish of the project you will have your very own Super Nintendo arcade system designed and built by you and start playing some great classic titles!

All steps and descriptions are detailed in the pictures and diagrams above.



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    7 Discussions


    4 years ago on Introduction

    Would you be willing to make me one and sell me it? I would love one


    4 years ago on Introduction

    I'm planning something similar myself, and everything seems quite straightforward (thanks for the excellent images and documentation!)

    Since I have 0 electronics experience, I wondered what to do with the ground and normally open pins on the controls?


    4 years ago on Introduction

    Hi ! I'm build one of these myself and i have to ask, HOW DO YOU SOLDER THE WIRE TO THE CONTROLLER BOARD !? I've been having an EXTREMELY difficult time trying to wire the circuit board of the SNES controller onto the wire but the damn solder just wont stay, I already ruined that controller and will have to replace it, since you've obviously succeeded and have it made would you show me how you went by this ? It would help alot, thanks !

    1 reply
    Nzen ModsSanchees3

    Reply 4 years ago on Introduction

    Hi, I would recommend to use the continuity setting on a multi-meter and see if the contacts beep out to other points that would be easy to solder to. The controller that was used in this project was not an original snes controller and had separate contacts that were easier to solder to, i'm not sure if the original controller has such separate contacts so I would try to find out.