So I figured that since I’ve been doing some work on the Picade, I thought I’d share some of the mods I made for it. I’ve found that adding in my own little touches is just as fun as playing on the unit itself.
If it wasn’t obvious, I called it ‘Chillcade’, because why not :) Here’s a quick rundown of some of the mods I did:
- Joystick has been replaced with the Sanwa JLF-TP-8YT.
- Face buttons are Adafruit 30mm translucent microswitch buttons
- Replaced stock artwork with high quality printouts
- Marquee printed on matte-translucent paper with LEDs to light up the marquee + adjustable brightness
- Front facing USB ports
- Button LED control (WIP)
- Volume + / -
So here’s an up-close shot of the artwork and USB ports. You can probably tell, that around where the screws are there is a little bit of of a “shiny” spot around them. This is because the paper I used was glossy paper, so I will be reprinting it on high quality Matte presentation paper to prevent those “pressure spots”. The USB ports bracket was modelling by me and printed on my 3D printer – in fact, all the brackets and extra pieces I modeled myself.
Inside is the bracket that holds the USB ports in place. The bracket clamps the USB port ends together with M3 nuts and bolts. The USB splitter than connects directly to the Pi’s USB ports. You probably also noticed I replaced the stock black cables with coloured ones; it makes it easier to tell which wire is connected to which buttons.
And from the side, starting from the top are the volume keys, to control the game volume. I programmed BTN7 and BTN8 on the hack header to accept these buttons as + and -, but I may dive in a bit further and make the buttons run a script to control the volume system-wide, as right now volume can only be adjusted when Retroarch is actually running. Next is a brightness control knob, so I can adjust how bright/dim I want my marquee to be, depending on my mood. Next below that is an LED control switch, to turn on/off the button LEDs. I still haven’t implemented the LEDs yet, but it’ll happen sometime in the near future. And then of course under that is the standard power button.
And inside you can see the wirey mess and all its goodness. I should think about cleaning it up and running the wires down the sides… but I never see inside when I play, so I never think about it :)
Here you can see how the marquee is semi-translucent. I also show here how I’ve got the LED strips running across the top of the inside of the unit.
And then there are LED lights running across a 3D printed piece that not only allows the lights to be attached to it and introduce more lighting to the marquee, but it also prevents light bleeding from the top LEDs, so it doesn’t add extra shining onto the already highly reflective display piece.
And when it’s powered on, it lights up. The picture really doesn’t do it justice, as the camera seems to wash out the colours, but in person it really makes the marquee pop!
Hope you enjoyed reading, and hope I provided some inspiration for you to tinker with your own Picade unit :)