Large Bartop Arcade

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This topic contains 11 replies, has 6 voices, and was last updated by Profile photo of catrinisin catrinisin 1 year, 2 months ago.

Viewing 12 posts - 1 through 12 (of 12 total)
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  • #113808
    Profile photo of catrinisin
    catrinisin
    Participant

    Hi all,

    Just wanted to share my latest project based on the awesomeness that is Retropie.
    I built this for my kids (myself mostly, don’t tell my wife) for Christmas this year. I was somehow able to do this in about 4 weeks total thanks to the plethora of info available on this forum and the rest of the internet.

    This was built from one 4′ x 8′ sheet of 1/2″ birch plywood. 1″ x 2″ braces are glued and screwed from the inside on all joints. You can see in one pic where I placed all the pieces using scotch tape temporarily. I then drew lines on the inside where the 1×2 braces were placed.

    This is running a Raspberry Pi 2 with Retropie 3.3.

    The screen is a 19″ TV which I mounted in such a way to use the built in speakers on the bottom and project them forward to the holes you see and small wood box under each speaker. HDMI is used for both video and audio from the Pi. The screen is connected to the frame using it’s own mounting holes where the stand used to be. I drilled holes in a couple aluminum bars and screwed it down to the wood, and used the TV’s own screws that used to hold the stand. Then one more piece of 1×2 wood on top of the tv to hold it in place. I ended up having to force the Pi into HDMI mode and specify the resolution in the config.txt file to keep the TV from switching inputs when powered on. There was a timing issue where the TV took too long to power up and the Pi didn’t detect anything in the HDMI port and then didn’t output HDMI. (unless rebooted while the TV was already on) Also the TV would switch to another input when it didn’t detect an HDMI signal. So forcing the output settings with config.txt fixed all this. I also had to hard set the audio to HDMI instead of Auto in the Raspi-config script.

    The buttons and 8 way joysticks are wired to an iPac2 controller and connected to the Pi via USB. The iPac is running in keyboard mode.

    I’ve customized certain things such as volume control using the option button + player 2 joystick up and down. Save and Load state buttons, Pause, etc.
    The “shift” button you see in the pics (player 2 select button) is the iPac shift key. This allows me to navigate config menus that require tab, enter, F4, etc. (These aren’t labeled; they are just for me)
    The “Option” button in the middle, is the RetroArch hotkey button. It’s the escape key for all non-RetroArch emulators such as MAME. So players can hold “Option” while pressing pause, exit, save, load, and adjusting volume. Save slots are adjusted with option + left and right on player 1 joystick.

    For power, I used a standard IEC power connector with switch built in. This way I can use any standard PC power cable, and get one as long as needed wherever this thing is moved to. The back is removable using a mailbox key. The back of the IEC power connector goes into an electrical outlet box on the inside of the cabinet and is wired to a standard outlet. Then a power strip is connected where the Pi, TV, and LED light power supply all plug in. The buttons and marquee are all lit with LEDs.

    The marquee graphic isn’t tall enough, my own dumb fault, so I will replace that sometime soon. You can see the white bars above and below it for now. People tell me it looks good that way, but it bothers me, lol.

    Finally, I’m still waiting on two small 2 inch speakers grill covers for the front.

    All in all, I’m happy with this and it was a really fun project. I’m still tweaking things on the software side. I think the software stuff took twice as long as making the cabinet.

    20151223_230012-2

    • This topic was modified 1 year, 3 months ago by Profile photo of catrinisin catrinisin.
    • This topic was modified 1 year, 3 months ago by Profile photo of catrinisin catrinisin.

    Attachments:
    #113826
    Profile photo of dankcushions
    dankcushions
    Participant

    looks really slick! great job 🙂

    #114603
    Profile photo of catrinisin
    catrinisin
    Participant

    Thanks! It was really fun to do, and I’m still tweaking the software side of things.

    #115175
    Profile photo of jwh02017
    jwh02017
    Participant

    Nice build. I also like the marque with the white border. I’m building a cabinet very similar to yours. I’ll post pics in 2-3 weeks when I’m finished. I’m using a Vizio tv for my cabinet and I believe I’m having the same timing issue. When they are both off and I turn everything on at once then the video never shows up. I have to reboot the pi in order for it to work. I’m a newbie so could you explain what you did exactly with the config.txt file?

    #115221
    Profile photo of catrinisin
    catrinisin
    Participant

    Hey @jwh02017

    I edited the config.txt file which you can find in the /boot folder, or if you put the SDCard back into your Windows PC you’ll find the file there.

    The only lines I added were:
    hdmi_group=2
    hdmi_mode=81
    hdmi_drive=2
    hdmi_force_hotplug=1

    The hdmi_drive=2 forces the output to be hdmi so the Pi won’t switch to composite when the TV is still waking up.

    The hdmi_mode=81 specifies the screen resolution of my TV. You need to specify this because the auto detect doesn’t seem to work when using the hdmi_drive=2 line.
    To find the correct code to use for this, use the following link and look for your TV’s native resolution under the “hdmi_mode” DMT section: (You’ll need to look up in your Vizio’s specs what the native resolution is)

    http://elinux.org/RPiconfig

    Hope this helps!

    #115280
    Profile photo of zigurana
    zigurana
    Participant

    Very Nice!
    I am trying to decide on a button layout (1 person), how do you like it so far? Especially the L+R at the bottom seems less than conventional, but might work well.

    #115287
    Profile photo of catrinisin
    catrinisin
    Participant

    Thanks!

    I like it a lot so far, the L + R being at the bottom allows you to use your thumb while also pressing the other buttons at the same time. Think of how a console controller is, the L + R are used while using the other buttons.

    I did several prototypes to decide which I would suggest you do as well. See attached pics.

    You can also reference this link to view various layouts:
    http://www.slagcoin.com/joystick/layout.html

    Attachments:
    #115323
    Profile photo of jwh02017
    jwh02017
    Participant

    Hey @jwh02017

    I edited the config.txt file which you can find in the /boot folder, or if you put the SDCard back into your Windows PC you’ll find the file there.

    The only lines I added were:
    hdmi_group=2
    hdmi_mode=81
    hdmi_drive=2
    hdmi_force_hotplug=1

    The hdmi_drive=2 forces the output to be hdmi so the Pi won’t switch to composite when the TV is still waking up.

    The hdmi_mode=81 specifies the screen resolution of my TV. You need to specify this because the auto detect doesn’t seem to work when using the hdmi_drive=2 line.
    To find the correct code to use for this, use the following link and look for your TV’s native resolution under the “hdmi_mode” DMT section: (You’ll need to look up in your Vizio’s specs what the native resolution is)

    http://elinux.org/RPiconfig

    Hope this helps!

    Thanks for the info. I currently painting my cabinet so it will be a few days before I can test this.

    #115676
    Profile photo of benwlson
    benwlson
    Participant

    Very nice! I’m planning to build something similar. I noticed in another post of yours referencing this one that you use XBox controllers in combination with the arcade sticks. I posted a question in another thread about something similar. I would like to be able to use the sticks with nothing else plugged in, but then also be able to plug in retro USB gamepads. How does the controller hierarchy work with this? I would like the sticks to be player 1/2 unless I plug something else in, then that becomes player 1 or 2. Will this work with the iPac2 interface? I’m trying to figure out what parts to buy to interface my joysticks/buttons with the Pi.

    #115685
    Profile photo of jeffdamann
    jeffdamann
    Participant

    Are those 5v or 12v leds?

    #115749
    Profile photo of catrinisin
    catrinisin
    Participant

    Very nice! I’m planning to build something similar. I noticed in another post of yours referencing this one that you use XBox controllers in combination with the arcade sticks. I posted a question in another thread about something similar. I would like to be able to use the sticks with nothing else plugged in, but then also be able to plug in retro USB gamepads. How does the controller hierarchy work with this? I would like the sticks to be player 1/2 unless I plug something else in, then that becomes player 1 or 2. Will this work with the iPac2 interface? I’m trying to figure out what parts to buy to interface my joysticks/buttons with the Pi.

    Thanks!
    Yes it will work the way you want. This is how I have it working. The ipac2 gives both player 1 and 2 because of the mappings i’ve programmed. Then in the Retroarch menu, I’ve also mapped my xbox controller to player 1. (I also have a bluetooth Wiimote with classic controller for player 2)
    So in the Retroarch menu, it will see the usb controller (Wireless or plugin) as gamepad buttons, while it sees the ipac2 as a keyboard input. Retroarch lets you have both programmed for each player if you want.
    So for me, I can use either the arcade controls, or the xbox controller without touching any settings. They both work at the same time for player 1. My Wiimote works for player 2 at the same time as my arcade player 2 buttons. For my arcade setup, this is ideal.
    With the wireless xbox controller, I don’t even have to have it turned on when booting the Pi. I can turn it on at any time and it just works right away, even mid game.
    The only emulator that absolutely requires the controller is N64. Playstation is a lot easier too with the analog sticks.

    #115750
    Profile photo of catrinisin
    catrinisin
    Participant

    Are those 5v or 12v leds?

    They work with both 5v and 12v. I have them wired for 12v. They look really bright in the pics, but in person they are not bright like that. The lettering is just printouts on normal inkjet paper, cut into circles and inserted under the lid of the buttons.

    These are the buttons I used:
    Arcade Buttons on Ebay

    • This reply was modified 1 year, 2 months ago by Profile photo of catrinisin catrinisin.
Viewing 12 posts - 1 through 12 (of 12 total)

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