I started with a PiRetrocade kit and kept adding until I had a major appliance on my hands: my very own full-size arcade cabinet!
A few weeks ago, we introduced the SparkFun PiRetrocade kit. I’ve long (like, for 10 years or more) had a desire to make a full-size arcade cabinet where I can play all of the long-lost titles of my youth. So I jumped on the chance and built one.
I apologize for the crude appearance. I haven’t had time to arrange a vinyl wrap for it yet.
Now, I know what you’re thinking: how did he add all those buttons? The PiRetrocade kit only supports five! Well, I cheated a bit and used a FreeSoC2 to make a keyboard device that had enough inputs to support all the buttons I wanted.
If you’re interested in making your own arcade controller, I’ve posted the project files on GitHub so you can leverage the work I did. It’s also a good example project for making a keyboard device with a FreeSoC2 in general.
Where did I get the AWESOME plans for that cabinet? I’m glad you asked, because I did a bunch of research so you don’t have to. I did a Google search for “four player arcade cabinet plans” and found many, many options. But in the end, I selected the first link returned by the search. It had the obvious advantage of being free, and of showing how to lay out the components on three 4'x8' sheets of plywood, which made cutting the parts easy.
The TV was a scrounge from a friend, and there I ran into a problem: it’s an old TV, and only has RCA jacks for composite video. A little searching came up with the answer: an HDMI to RCA converter.
All in all, with a little help from my friends on the internet and Mary’s work on the PiRetrocade, it wasn’t that tough of a project. Total cost came in at around $200.
If you make your own advanced version of the PiRetrocade, let us know! Post a link to your project page in the comments below, or in the comments on the PiRetrocade kit product page.