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retropie arcade controller

My pal Sev' is building an arcade controller with a Retropie Raspi 3 inside for his daughter (for him really but hey, who hasn't used that excuse among the makers in the world ?). So I'm lending my workshop and modest expertise. Here's the lessons learnt.
Edit: it ended up being an afternoon project that closed on a big session of high-fives and some good old Metal Slug on the TV \(^_^)/
⇒ See my budddy Seburan's blog page with the details and pictures.

Presentation

Principle

A Raspi 3, a scavenged big ass USB arcade controller from Yahoo auction, Retropie, a couple of Li-Ion scavenged from an old PC and here we go!

Points of interrest

The power requirements of the Raspi

Apparently, something like 720mA at 5v with HDMI and 4 cores loaded is the mark. That means roughly 1A to source from a Li-Ion at 3.7v, which is doable totally. One 2200mAh should give us 30 mins of power under load, with 2 of them it's 1h+ (finger in the air estimation ⓒ) ...
Source: http://raspi.tv/2016/how-much-power-does-raspberry-pi3b-use-how-fast-is-it-compared-to-pi2b

Edit: after the testing, depending on what you do it might be enough power or not: we often have the "yellow lightening bolt" in the top right corner", but in the menus of Emustation, not while playing Arcade of SNES games (I guess that N64 would make it appear but did not test).

The power management of the Raspi

We just wnat the "raw power" of the Raspi 3, not the wifi or ethernet. So we need to cut all that is useless to save the batteries. So we want to stop:
  • Wifi ✔
  • Bluetooth ✔
  • Ethernet ✔
  • Leds ?
  • For the Wifi/Bluetooth, the Internet Approved™ solution is to blacklist the kernel modules for BT and Wifi, disabling them de facto:
    in /etc/modprobe.d/raspi-blacklist.conf
    
    #wifi
    blacklist brcmfmac
    blacklist brcmutil
    #bt
    blacklist btbcm
    blacklist hci_uart
    
    For ethernet Internet says this:
    ip link set eth0 down
    

    Implementation

    Bill of materials

  • 1x Pair of 18650 Samsung Li-Ion batteries taken from an old laptop. Used 2 who were already in pair to limit risks.
  • 1x USB Li-ion charger over charge protection from eBay
  • 1x Step-up converter from 3.7v to 5V (made it 5.1V)
  • 1x Switch
  • 1x Big ass arcade controller from Yahoo auctions
  • Schematics

    Pictures

    See here : https://seburan.wordpress.com/2017/07/03/retropie-wireless-arcade-box/

    Links

    Helpful sources

    Inspiration

    All content on this site is shared under the MIT licence (do what u want, don't sue me, hat tip appreciated)
    electrogeek.cc ~ Formerly known as Kalshagar.wikispaces.com (AlanFromJapan [2009 - 2017])