Over the last week I have been working on a portable retro-gaming Raspberry Pi device. It all started when I bough the 2.8” touchscreen TFT from Adafruit. I have to admit that the self assembly soldering nearly gave me some sort of breakdown, but eventually it was up and running and attached to a new Pi bought especially for the job.
Initially I was very excited about the prospect of a portable battery powered Raspberry Pi (hence PortaPi). After the excitement had died down it was time to think about what it could be used for. After looking at the projects on Adafruit website I decided on a retro gaming device.
After a bit of digging around I came across the Adafruit mini Raspberry Pi powered arcade cabinet (cupcade). Whilst I didn’t to go as far as building this project the ultra detailed instructions were really helpful in setting up the software. I decided at the start that I was going to use a USB game controller (e.g.. http://amzn.to/1qAS3gk) which was relatively inexpensive.
The SD card image installed easily and within a short period of time I was up and running. After a couple of google searches I found some MAME Roms to download and try.
The game emulation is carried out with AdvanceMAME which I initially had trouble setting up my gamepad until I spotted pressing the TAB key opened up a whole set of menus including custom configuration of keys.
Game selection is done through GAMERA (Game ROM aggregator) which isn’t very fancy but does do the job. At the point of writing this I am still using the USB wireless keyboard to operate GAMERA and the game controller for the game play. I have not yet found a way of controlling GAMERA with the game controller.
This is a fun little device to play with and being a child of the 1980s has brought back lots of great memories for me.
Each Friday is PiDay here at Adafruit! Be sure to check out our posts, tutorials and new Raspberry Pi related products. Adafruit has the largest and best selection of Raspberry Pi accessories and all the code & tutorials to get you up and running in no time!
Eink, E-paper, Think Ink – Collin shares six segments pondering the unusual low-power display technology that somehow still seems a bit sci-fi – http://adafruit.com/thinkink
Stop breadboarding and soldering – start making immediately! Adafruit’s Circuit Playground is jam-packed with LEDs, sensors, buttons, alligator clip pads and more. Build projects with Circuit Playground in a few minutes with the drag-and-drop MakeCode programming site, learn computer science using the CS Discoveries class on code.org, jump into CircuitPython to learn Python and hardware together, TinyGO, or even use the Arduino IDE. Circuit Playground Express is the newest and best Circuit Playground board, with support for CircuitPython, MakeCode, and Arduino. It has a powerful processor, 10 NeoPixels, mini speaker, InfraRed receive and transmit, two buttons, a switch, 14 alligator clip pads, and lots of sensors: capacitive touch, IR proximity, temperature, light, motion and sound. A whole wide world of electronics and coding is waiting for you, and it fits in the palm of your hand.