RPi Arcade Project Update: 11/24/13

I was back on the control panel again today. I decided to paint the panel white. Before I was able to paint I had to drill two holes and test the trackball mounting. I might have to order special carriage bolts but I’m going with what I was able to find at Home Depot. They seem to work.

I planned to use the original plexiglass cover despite having some carvings in it. After painting the panel white using the original panel was not going to work. Scratches really stand out. I am going to have to get a plexiglass cover professionally cut. Not sure what that is going to cost me.

Here is the sexy new look to the control panel.







RPi Arcade Build Update: 11/23/13

I tackled the control panel today. I have 8 hours easy into cutting, stripping, cleaning, and cutting the panel some more. I am wore out to be honest.

I was able to use the original metal panel. This is a nice plus since the panel has the bolts for the joysticks already. I had planned to only use wood but I managed to cut the trackball hole without too much trouble into the metal control panel. A 3” hole saw did the work and it was a clean cut. It was a little cold outside but with my son’s help and we made steady progress. After cutting the trackball hole I used my Dremel to clean up the tough edges.


Next I planned to strip off the original sticker on the control panel. I bet it took me 2 hours to get the sticker off and the surface cleaned up. The sticker came off using a razor blade easily enough but the sticker left behind the sticky part. I scrapped, and scrapped, and scrapped some more. Then I sanded it and scrapped even more. Finally it was free of the tacky mess.



I ran into my first issue when I realized I cut the trackball hole too far down on the control panel. This mistake prevented the control panel from fully closing. I ended up having to trim out the particle board to get the control panel to fully close. Again the Dremel to the rescue.


Now it was time to cut some holes. I have added a total of 13 holes to the control panel. I bought what is called a step drill bit and it worked out great.

I added 8 button holes across the top. 1 and 2 player buttons will be centered with 3 buttons on each side. These were super hard to cut since I had to go through metal and wood.





The last button I added was for a spinner. This hole is placed right above the trackball. Since Tempest was one of my favorite games as a child I had to have the spinner.

Tomorrow I plan to paint the control panel white and try to cut some new plexiglass to cover it. I also need to find the right sized carriage bolts to mount the trackball.

RPi Arcade Build Update: 11/20/13

I have some new equipment added to the arcade cabinet tonight. To get the sound working (louder) I installed a LP-2020A+ Lepai Tripath Class-T hi-Fi Audio Mini Amplifier. This meant I needed a USB sound card as well. I went with a 7.1 Channel USB External Sound Card Adapter. Finally a 7 port USB hub was added. Total price for this was about $40.

After getting the sound card configured and working with the Raspberry Pi it is loud. Really loud. I am using the cabinet speaker from the original Tekken 2 cabinet and it sounds incredible!



The rest of my efforts tonight surrounded figuring out how I’m going to work the control panel. I think I have a sold plan now so keep your fingers crossed it all works out.

Wonder Woman’s RPi Case

If Wonder Woman needed a case for her Raspberry Pi she would want this case. It would match her invisible plane. This is the same paper case I designed but I cut it from an over head projector plastic sheet.

The entire time I was folding it I kept say it was not going to work. When I finished it was better than I could have imagined. Check out the photos.






Here is the paper version next to the invisible Wonder Woman version.


RPi Arcade Build Update: 11/18/13

Lots of work tonight on the cabinet. Clean, clean, clean. I removed the coin doors and scrubbed them. They are fully in tacked. I removed all the wires from the Tekken 2 games that I won’t be using.

Coin door before Coin door removed Cleaned up now Cool control All back together

I stripped the control panel down but couldn’t get the plastic cover off it since it has security screws in it. Really?

Control panel guts Stripped down Security screw, ugh

Here is a photo of my old control panel and the Tekken panel. I hope to get most the buttons, the spinner, and the trackball on the new one. Space might be an issue so we will see.


The bezel on the cabinet can be switched from portrait to landscape. I have been running portrait for a few days but I just switched it back to landscape. The viewing angle was terrible in portrait.

Portrait mode Landscape is better Ms. Pac-Man anyone?

Last, a power supply came with the cabinet so I managed to hook up the light. Happy that it works! Now I’m wondering if I can power the RPi off the power supply?

Lights off the power supply Power supply details

I do have PiMAME up and running as well. Without the control panel working it it just not much fun. I’ll plan out the panel tomorrow. That’s all for now.

Raspberry Pi Paper Case: v3

My last update to my Raspberry Pi template seems to have fixed the last few remaining issues. I extended the folding flap side a few millimeters. I trimmed off one of the fold flaps that was bumping up against the audio port. I adjusted the power hole again. Everything seems to be working out nicely when it comes time to fold the case from the cutout.

I am thinking of putting a cut mark on one of the folds that you have to measure to get it right. All other fold you can reference other areas of the case to make sure you are making the correct fold. But for now I am really happy with it.

Unique parts of this case is the fold over section that is under the area where the Raspberry Pi logo is cut. The under flap has a cut out rounded corner area to show the motherboard through the RPi logo. The flap has a connection tap to keep it nice and snug. Have a look at this photo to see what I mean.

Fold over flap view adds support.
Fold over flap view adds support.

A part of the case that has additional support is the doubled up side by the HDMI port. This is also where the insert tab is located that holds everything together. I had to extend the tab a bit to get the right fit and hold. No tape or glue is needed to keep the case together. This tab worked out better than I thought.

Fold over flap hold it together.

Last nice feature I like about my design is the cut out logo that also acts as a heat vert. I am going to create a few more examples with a few different logos. Maybe a Heisenberg cut out from Breaking Bad? How about a Walking Dead logo? If you have a good idea let me know.

See through RPi Logo.
See through RPi Logo.

Here are a few more photos. Now that this version seems pretty sold I am going to attempt to cut one out of an overhead clear plastic sheet. Until then enjoy the photos.

HDMI side Power/SD side TV/Audio side TV/Audio side USB/Network view With the RPi inside Fold over flap view adds support. See through RPi Logo. Fold over flap hold it secure

RPi Arcade Build Project

It is time to start my Raspberry PI MAME project. I am not new to MAME and have had a few cabinets over the years but I am new to setting things up with a Raspberry. I have been looking on Craigslist for a couple of weeks. I tracked down a Tekken cabinet pretty much gutted. They wanted $80 but I got the seller down to $40.

The one catch is that the cabinet was too big to get into my basement. I had to take to doors off the hinges just to get the cabinet in the house. The control panel was removable but that was all. After letting the cabinet sit in our foyer for a day I decided to see if I could get the cabinet apart. Sure enough, with a chisel and a hammer I managed to get the top part off the cabinet base. Now I could get it moved to the basement. Wife was happy.

$40 was a great deal considering the control panel has two joysticks and numerous buttons. There is a power supply inside the cabinet. Full coin doors as well. It has real glass for the entire front, a light, and speakers. Easy over $40 value new. I also have a monitor bezel that is not pictured. Maybe close to $100 if I parted the cabinet out.

After moving the cabinet and cleaning it up that is about where I am in the project. Check out the photos below. Lots of work to do still so check back soon.

Cabinet is huge! Coin doors are in great shape. 10 buttons and two joysticks. MAME cabinet speakers

Raspberry PI Paper Case: v2

Version two is shaping up nicely. If you missed the post of version 1 look at this post. Here are photos of version 1 issues to compare against version 2 below.

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Here are the updates to fix the above issues. They are not perfect yet so more adjustments in v3 coming soon.

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The RPi logo looks really nice with the mother board showing through.



Raspberry PI Paper Case: v1

Today I decided to create a custom paper case for the RPi. Having access to a Silhouette SD I can make precise cuts. If you are not familiar with a Silhouette SD it is a printer that uses a blade instead of ink. I the started this adventure by creating my own design in silhouette Designer. To get the holes to match up perfectly I used an existing paper template I downloaded to use a template. I traced where the cutouts should be and figured out how I wanted the case to fold together. Everything went as planned and this is the alpha version.

The design needs a little more work but it’s very close. HDMI port is off and I don’t like how the corners come together. I also need to make an opening for the logo for heat to escape. For now enjoy the photos. More to come as I prefect the design.

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