Make An Arcade Cabinet With Raspberry Pi

Make An Arcade Cabinet With Raspberry Pi

Make An Arcade Cabinet With Raspberry Pi – My name is Cory Rylan, Google Developer Expert, Speaker, Developer. Building Design Systems and Web Components.

Building a home arcade table has never been easier. With great open source projects like Retro Pie and low-cost computers like the Raspberry Pi, we can build custom wall machines in many ways. I recently built my own Arcade table and wanted to share the process and steps I took.

Make An Arcade Cabinet With Raspberry Pi

First, I wanted to build something smaller and more compact than a full-sized cabinet. Fortunately there is a large community in the maker space around to browse Ikea furniture in all kinds of uses. The Ikea Lack Table is one of the most popular options being cheap and easy to work with. With the Ikea Lack table, I got the look and convenience I was hoping for.

Retro Pie Arcade Machine 2 Player Modular Cabinet 24

Note, some links are affiliate links but to materials/products I personally used on this project and recommend.

What we will want to do before we put the table together is to set up our Raspberry Pi and Retro Pie computer. Raspberry Pi is a low-cost computer that is great for education and hacking fun projects. For better performance and the ability to emulate most consoles N64 and below, you’ll want to upgrade to the Pi 4. I got the 4g model, but 2g would work too.

Make sure you get yourself a Pi starter kit that includes a power supply, a case, a micro HDMI cable and a micro SD card. I would recommend a case that has a built in fan for active cooling. With the Pi on the table, a fan will help keep things nice and cool. This is the Raspberry Pi kit that I have been using for my projects as it provides everything to get started.

Retro Pie will be the software we use to run the arcade software. Retro Pie is an open source project that offers a series of emulators. Emulators are programs that mimic the original hardware that the game was designed to run on. This allows games to run on almost any computer today without a native console/margin device. Emulators use ROM (Only Memory) files, which contain a copy of the game that the emulator will run. ROMs should only be used for games that you have a legally purchased copy of. There are also many free homebrew ROMs available online built by the growing retro gaming community.

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Arcade 101 1p Diy Arcade Machine Kit

Your kit may have Raspberry Pi OS pre-installed on your SD Card. Raspberry Pi OS is similar to Operating System like Windows and macOS, offering an easy to use interface. You can install Retro Pie on top of this, or I would recommend a fresh clean install of Retro Pie. This will ensure RetroPie runs at default settings without issue.

To install RetroPie or your choice of OS, use the Raspberry Pie Imager. This tool will allow you to install RetroPie on a micro SD card.

Once installed, I recommend going through Retro Pie’s beginner setup to make sure you have everything up and running. Once you’ve completed this step, you can now play any ROMs you own directly on your Pi and TV. However, if you want to build an arcade table, read on!

Most of the table can be made with just a few common tools. First, we will need to have an Ikea Lack table and a suitable monitor to attach to our table.

Hi All, This Is My Own Build For My Raspberry Pi Arcade. Made From Acrylic With Illuminated Marquee And 10 Inch Lcd. Been Building These Mini Cabs For Around 11 Months Now

I built two tables in this project; one used a widescreen monitor, while the other used a 3:4 aspect ratio monitor. While the wide screen was impressive, it made the table more difficult to put together as there was less space left for electronics. So I would recommend a 3:4 aspect ratio monitor around 17in. I found an old Dell monitor at a resale shop in good condition for only $7.

The Ikea vanity table is about 22 inches on both sides, so make sure your monitor will leave enough room. Once you have the monitor, you’ll want to remove it from the plastic case to the LCD itself. This will save space but also provide a precise outline that you will need to cut.

Before you build your table, you’ll want to test all the electronics. Along with the monitor and Raspberry Pi, there are a few more parts for the arcade electronics. First are arcade buttons and joysticks. You can find any number of USB arcade devices on Amazon. I found this Arcade button kit that came with two sets of buttons and joysticks. You can get single player equipment as well. Be sure to get a kit that provides a USB controller board, as this will save a lot of time from doing custom wiring.

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There are many styles with arcade buttons. I decided to use buttons with labels and a layout that more closely mimics the feel of the Super Nintendo. There are other settings to consider, such as combat theater. Once you have your package, use cardboard and any number of templates online to determine which button layout works best for you. Think about comfort and the types of games you will play.

Arcade Bartop Raspberry Pi Retropie Mame 2018 Diy Tutorial Guide

Once you’ve decided on your layout, you can plug it into your Raspberry Pi and set up the controller as a new player.

One of the best things about working with the Ikea Lack table is that it’s not only cheap but it’s easy to cut. Using a regular razor blade, you can cut an opening for the track. First, mark the tracer with a pencil and close the edges. This will help protect the finish of the table if the knife slips off the intended path. You’ll want this to be straight, so the monitor doesn’t change on the table.

With a straight edge razor or ruler, slide over the line, cutting slowly across the table. Take your time with this one, as you don’t want to scratch the surface.

Once cut, you should penetrate the top, and inside, you will find a honeycomb-like structure. You can cut this but only what is needed for the monitor. Keep extra and cut the table if needed later. Do not place the monitor on the table yet, as it will be difficult to remove!

Picade Is A Diy Desktop Arcade Cabinet For Raspberry Pi

Once the trace opening is complete, we can move on to our bindings. Using the template, mark where the fasteners should be drilled into the table. Make sure the placement is in the right place when you leave the room so that your palms can rest on the table. Also, make sure not to place them too far apart so that the table remains structurally sound between the monitor and the buttons.

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To drill holes, use a special drywall / hole drill. This will quickly create a hollow hole with a conventional power drill.

I added a top to the table to make it stable and protect the monitor. There are several options for an open tablet. You can use Acrylic (Plexiglass) or Polycarbonate (Lexan). Acrylic is usually cheaper and more scratch resistant but more prone to cracking. Polycarbonate is more flexible and stronger but more prone to scratching.

For this project, I chose Lexan (Polycarbonate) as it is easy to drill holes. You can find any type at most local hardware stores. Most hardware stores will also pre-cut the plastic for you. To drill the holes, place the Lexan on the table, mark your positions and use the paper template to line them up. To drill holes, you’ll want to use a drill bit. This bit will allow you to drill the hole without slowly cracking the plastic.

Build An Arcade Cabinet

When placing the dill in the plastic, go slowly to prevent it from cracking or melting. Do not remove the protective plastic until you are ready to place on the table.

Try the buttons for a good fit on the plastic top and the table but don’t attach them yet.

Because I chose Lexan, it resists scratching, I also added a protective layer of clear vinyl on top.

This is a plastic that is used to protect the tables. It is dense and provides a good grip structure. You can find the vinyl roll here. When using vinyl, you’ll want to try to be in a dust-free area. Any dust found under the vinyl will cause bubbles and is a lot of work to get out.

Retro Arcade Cabinet Build

Set the plastic top aside in a safe place for now as we will attach it last.

Once the tracking and fasteners are cut, carefully turn the table over. Now we will open a window towards the front of the table so that we can easily access it under the buttons. This is where we will be able to connect the buttons and connect our Raspberry Pi.

For my tables, I added player select and start buttons on the front edge. I also added two additional ports. One port added two USB ports that connect

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