RPi Arcade Project Update: 12/2/13

A long weekend gave me time to work on the Raspberry Pi powered arcade system. For starters I used an old marquee that I had from my last arcade. It is not a perfect fit since it is smaller by about 2 inches all the way around. I’d really like to use the full marquee area with a custom marquee. This one one I downloaded from the web and added a bit to it. I have a very talented comic book artist friend so I might commission his to create me something custom.

Temporary arcade marguee in place Side shot of the marquee

My game pads arrived. I have read decent review of these retro style version on Amazon so I decided to pick them up. These are USB so they should be plug and plan. When I add these two additional USB slots will being filled and I am starting to wonder if I am going to be using all 7 USB ports on my powered USB hub in the very near future. My goal is to use the game pads for any Nintendo emulated games. I prefer the traditional arcade joysticks and arcade buttons for NeoGeo and MAME games but would like to have these as an additional option.

Classic game pads arrived.

Below you can see the cabinet in use. The control panel still doesn’t have a protective plexiglass cover on it yet. But, the panel is metal and not wood. I kind of like it without  the plexiglass at the moments. I sprayed about 4 coats of the white so I am hoping that is enough to protect it without the normal plexiglass on top of the metal control panel.  I would also like to add some vinyl graphics to it. I will reevaluate the plexiglass when I start to work on adding the vinyl. You can also see the game pads in the photos below.  The only thing I am missing is beverage holders on the sides of the control panel. I did notice this weekend that I have put place my adult beverage on the pool table that is with in an arms stretch behind the cabinet.

System in action Donkey Kong FTW

Here is a close up of the control panel in action. Now that I have NeoGeo games working I am thinking of adding 4 more buttons to each players already 6 button layout. I currently have the traditional 4 NeoGeo button mapped to each player more like a game pad with two buttons on top and two on the bottom. So that means buttons A and B are mapped to buttons 1 and 2. Then I have buttons C and D mapped to buttons 4 and 5. If I add the extra buttons I will have to drill into the metal again and maybe put another coat of white on it. More work so I am not rushing to make this update. I also need to make sure that I have the room for the extra buttons with the track ball in place.

Lots of room for more buttons.

Speaking of trackball I don’t have this working yet for any games. I also need to power a light below the trackball so that it lights up. The trackball works on operating system GUI so I’m not sure what I need to do to enable this yet fro games. My spinner is also USB so as soon as I figure out the trackball I should have the spinner working as well. There are a handful of classic game I really like to use a track ball for like Centipede, Missile Command, and World Class Bowling. For the spinner Tempest is must. I am pretty sure that the Raspberry Pi has no chance of planing any of the Golden Tee Golf games but those also use a trackball.

I hope my next post covers the trials and tribulations of getting the front end working to the different emulators. This is where I spent most of my time this last weekend. It has been a struggle to get that part of the project working.

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