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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.

You’ll need a control board like this IPAC-2.

05.00-PM

Also, a Raspberry Pi and a small SD card.

05.00-PM

Using free software, add the disk image to the SD card, in one simple step.

05.17-PM

Plug in the SD card, HDMI cable, USB keyboard and power  to the Raspberry Pi.

06.00-PM

It will boot right up and be ready to play with the keyboard.

06.22-PM

Add your own games by putting them on a thumb drive and plugging it in.

06.48-PM

The system will automatically add them.

07.10-PM

I made button designs in Adobe Illustrator.

07.21-PM

Then cut them out, in vinyl, on a craft cutting machine (Silhouette Portrait).

07.30-PM

Cut and apply a piece of transfer paper over the vinyl.

07.46-PM

Roughly cut out each individual sticker.

08.13-PM

Take apart a button by twisting the switch.

08.45-PM

Peel the back, apply the sticker to the button, and peel the front off.

09.12-PM

It will leave behind the cut out shape.

09.30-PM


Make a wiring daisy chain with one female plug per button.

09.46-PM

Make three daisy chains in red, black, and green.

09.56-PM

Make a single wire, with female plug, for each button.

10.10-PM

Layout your control board (this was a very rough prototype).

10.25-PM

Drill holes for each button and joystick.

10.52-PM

Add a simple frame to lift it off the table.

11.10-PM

Screw in the joysticks from the back side.

11.28-PM

Drop in buttons from the front.

11.49-PM

Screw on rings from the back to hold buttons in place.

12.03-PM

Attach wires as shown on each button.

12.34-PM

Also add wires to the joysticks (no LED = no red & black daisy chain)

12.44-PM

Wire the joysticks and all buttons to relevant terminal on IPAC.

13.05-PM

 Attach the end of the green daisy chain to the ground terminal.

13.49-PM

Daisy chain the right sides of each button (red) and the left sides (black).

14.23-PM

Wire the ends of the daisy chains to a 12v power supply.

14.34-PM

Plug it in for light up buttons!

14.37-PM

Plug in IPAC to the Raspberry Pi (via USB).

14.42-PM

PLAY AWESOME GAMES FOR HOURS!!!

14.53-PM