I've been meaning to build a MAME cabinet for a while. The electronics is, for me at least, very simple. Its the actual cabinet that I'm having trouble with it. Partly, I'm really not a woodworker, and partly I couldn't settle on a style of cabinet that I liked.
Then it occured to me to just make a frame with extrusion, at least until I make up my mind. But the more I think about it, the more I think this will be it. I can move things around as I decide on the specifics of the ergonomics. I can add things later as I decide how/if to make things like a yoke for StarWars, or a trackball for centipede, or a spinner for tempest.
Also, form follows function, and this is about as functional as possible.
(I'll add more photos as I go, I promise)
September 22, 2017
It took me a little while to decide how to manage power. I found a power bar that had a 4 port USB charger built in. The manual *claims* it will do 2A per port, and so far, it seems to be true...
I pried open its case and drilled two holes. I then cut up two pieces of 2020, each about a centimetre. They're bolted to the power bar case, on the back, and then I tapped their centre holes mounted it on the frame. I generally like the result, but I'm worried the power button might be in a bad spot. No big deal, I can move it. The last photo of this bunch shows the Pi and monitor powered. Not having a wallwart to hide made my day.
April 30, 2018
So... It's been quite a while since I updated this project. I dragged my heels on various things for quite a while, but I'm almost done now. I added legs at the base, and it stands, but it was wobbly, so I built more frame. Then I used a piece of cardboard as a counter-top. I assume I'll change my mind about positioning of joysticks and buttons, and I didn't want to ruin anything expensive. When I'm happy, I'll lasercut some acrylic.
The joysticks and buttons are connected to some pimoroni picade PCB boards. These boards are basically Arduino Leonardos with a pre-loaded sketch to emulate a keyboard. every switch emulates a keypress. I needed 2 joysticks plus buttons for 2-player games, so I was using 2 picades, but the defaults are the same on both boards, retropie couldn't tell the difference between left and right joysticks. You're supposed to be able to remap keys by connecting to the device over USB with a terminal, and issuing some simple commands, but neither board was responding to that. I dug around and found the github archive for pimoroni's code, and newer versions would emulate a gamepad. Awesome! So I tried to reload it with the arduino IDE, and it didn't seem to be responding. As far as I could tell, it had no bootloader. How to fix? On IRC, it was suggested I use an ISP to reload it. Turns out, if you own a working arduino, you can use it as a ISP to load bootloaders onto other arduinos (and atmel processors). Ok, so I tried that, but I couldn't get the bootloader loader onto the adafruit metro mini (basically a miniaturized Uno)... More time with google, and I found Gammon Forum : Electronics : Microprocessors : Atmega bootloader programmer . This is a sketch that is loaded as normal onto an arduino. Once installed, you connect the target arduino and connect with a terminal to this code. Basically, it finds the device, makes an educated guess at what it is, asks you to confirm, and then loads the bootloader in a few seconds! Gorgeous!
So I got the bootloader onto the picade, then I loaded the newest code rev onto the pimoroni, which can emulate a joystick, not just a keyboard. Load it, connect by serial, and type "gs", and done!
Since I was all set up, I reloaded all the problem arduinos I had...
Anyhow, now I just need to do 3 things:
1) re-attach all the buttons
2) actually load some roms onto retropie
V-Slot MAME cabinet
A minimalist MAME "cabinet" made from extrusion.
- Build License:
- CC - Attribution Share Alike - CC BY SA