If you’ve been around my site for a while, this may look familiar. That’s because I’ve written blog posts, here and here, about this exact build. If you look at those, you’ll get a MUCH more in depth look at the process that I went through to make the original version of this Pi arcade.
I’m not one to repost content, but since I’m starting to move toward building the full size arcade cabinet, I thought it’d be good to make a video of this portion of the project, so that my newer audience members have the context.
While making this video, I actually found that the software that I use, RetroPie, has been updated and SIGNIFICANTLY improved! It’s fantastic !! Kudos to those guys for making a really stellar package that is free for anyone to use!!! Since I made my original version, the controller board, IPAC2, has also been updated. The newer version has some new options, and looks pretty great, although I have no real reason to replace mine.
Obviously, this one isn’t much to look at. It’s just a prototype to explain how the controls go together and will be put into a much better package (and wired in a nicer way) in the final arcade cabinet.
Here’s what you’ll need:
(purchasing via these affiliate links supports ILTMS)
You’ll need a control board like this IPAC-2.
Also, a Raspberry Pi and a small SD card.
Using free software, add the disk image to the SD card, in one simple step.
Plug in the SD card, HDMI cable, USB keyboard and power to the Raspberry Pi.
It will boot right up and be ready to play with the keyboard.
Add your own games by putting them on a thumb drive and plugging it in.
The system will automatically add them.
I made button designs in Adobe Illustrator.
Then cut them out, in vinyl, on a craft cutting machine (Silhouette Portrait).
Cut and apply a piece of transfer paper over the vinyl.
Roughly cut out each individual sticker.
Take apart a button by twisting the switch.
Peel the back, apply the sticker to the button, and peel the front off.
It will leave behind the cut out shape.
Make a wiring daisy chain with one female plug per button.
Make three daisy chains in red, black, and green.
Make a single wire, with female plug, for each button.
Layout your control board (this was a very rough prototype).
Drill holes for each button and joystick.
Add a simple frame to lift it off the table.
Screw in the joysticks from the back side.
Drop in buttons from the front.
Screw on rings from the back to hold buttons in place.
Attach wires as shown on each button.
Also add wires to the joysticks (no LED = no red & black daisy chain)
Wire the joysticks and all buttons to relevant terminal on IPAC.
Attach the end of the green daisy chain to the ground terminal.
Daisy chain the right sides of each button (red) and the left sides (black).
Wire the ends of the daisy chains to a 12v power supply.
Plug it in for light up buttons!
Plug in IPAC to the Raspberry Pi (via USB).
PLAY AWESOME GAMES FOR HOURS!!!