After a very frustrating Christmas, finally on Jan 1st I have my sons Picade 10" with a PI4 4GB up and running with over 7K games :)
I started researching this back in November to avoid the ‘forgot the batteries’ Chritmas day disappointment.
Of course it didn’t go to plan, as getting a PI4 running picade is not documented clearly and certainly not all in one place, plus extra parts that were included for an 8in screen, extra screw holes in the display frames and unlabelled bags of screws all went to add to the confusion.
To be honest I found the whole experience very frustrating. Rule one of writing any instructions for a consumer product, even a ‘hacker community’ one like the PICADE, is you test the instructions on people who have zero experiance with the product, so you can iron out simple misinterpretations and misunderstandings. Also pictures are so much better than thousands of words, so perhaps more pictures, less words Pimoroni please ?
In the end, this is the config we now have working, which i hope will help others in the same position we were.
(I should also add, we were shipped a faulty HDMI cable/adapter in our PICADE 10inch kit, that resulted in fuzzy blue stripes running vertically across the whole screen. Luckily i had an official PI4 micro HDMI cable which worked perfectly)
Fanshim - https://shop.pimoroni.com/products/fan-shim
IDC booster - https://shop.pimoroni.com/products/booster-header
Premium Pi standoff selection - https://shop.pimoroni.com/products/premium-pi-standoff-selection
128GB Samsung EVO plus SDXC memory card MB-MC128GAEU (on amazon for £17.99)
or 64GB Samsung EVO plus SDX memory card MB-MC64GA/AMZ (on amazon for £8.99)
other things you will need.
USB power bank, used to initially power the HDMI screen
PC USB keyboard
A USB 3.0 SDXC card reader that can write to the bigger SDXC memory cards
Search Amazon.co.uk for sdxc usb 3 card reader BeiKell or sdxc usb 3 card reader Integral.
Both are the same reader under different brands. I have the BeiKell version, so haven’t tested the Integral
At this time, the Beikell is £6.99 and the Integral is £1.83, but is an add on item
Software will need to download
etcher https://www.balena.io/etcher/ to burn the images onto the SDXC card
ok so forum rules don’t permit me to provide details of where you might find a PI4 arcade image but perhaps you managed to find something using a popular search engine…
There are a couple of nice PI4 images out there if you like the nostalgia of playing those old games, it certainly brought back childhood memories for me.
I wanted my son (12 years old) to build the PICADE himself, but the instructions make lots of assumptions, such as being able to indentify m3 screws from a bag of 3 unlabelled bags of different sized screws. Yes, we did find the screw chart printed on the reverse side of the included instructions later in the build, but surely that should have been printed on the same side, right next to step 1?
We used the pimoroni 8inch build video on youtube as our main guide.
Its from August 2018, so why Pimoroni didn’t bother to upload an updated PICADE 10inch video is beyond me.
For installing the fan shim, we used the IDC GPIO Booster to raise the PICADE HAT PCB to clear the fan
There are good instructions on assembling the fanshim here
IGNORE THE DRIVERS, we won’t be installing them as the driver for the fanshim conflicts with the PIHAT Audio DAC.
You will need to do a modifcation to the Fanshim PCB (thank you alphanumeric) to remove the fan control pins otherwise signals passed onto the PICADE HAT can potentially stop the fanshim fan, even without drivers installed.
These are the instructions, but i have not yet tested this myself yet
GPIO Pins 8, 10 and 12 are the fan control pins that conflict with the PIHAT PCB, so these contacts on the fanshim PCB need to prevented from making contact with the GPIO pins. The simplest way is to drill/widen the holes on fanshim PCB. Without these control pins making contact, the fanshim fan will simply run all the time the PI4 is powered on.
This will obviously invalidate any warranty on the fanshim, so i would make sure the fan spins correctly first without the PICADE HAT PCB attached before doing any modification.
END OF UPDATE
We then used 2 of the standoffs and 2 nuts from the Premium Pi standoff kit to fashion support pillars to raise and secure the back of the PI (opposite the GPIO) side. This kit is not perfect for doing this to be honest, so i will look into getting some proper length extension bars from RS or CPC Farnell and post the links here
But lets assume you did manage to get PICADE built and it boots to the point you get a HDMI no signal message.
Ok, so next step is going to be flash the PI4 arcade image you have downloaded. I’m assuming you are using either a 64GB or 128GB image.
unzip the image, so you have .img file ready to flash
put the SDXC card into the USB card reader and insert into a USB3.0 port on your PC
Install BalenaEtcher on your PC to flash the .img file to the SDXC card
etcher is very simple to use, just Select your .img image, select target as the SDXC drive and flash
ether will do a write a verify pass, so be patient.
once the image is flashed, install into the PI4 through the hole underside the PI
if you followed the video/intructions, you will have the HDMI powered from the PI, this won’t be working properly yet. unplug the type-c power cord and remove the back off the PICADE and set asside.
unplug the HDMI USB power cable from the PI4 and instead plug it into your USB power bank and turn the power back on.
connect a PC USB keyboard to any of the PI4 USB ports
make sure you have a ethernet cable that provides internet acess plugged in, or if you are going to use WiFi make sure you know your access password.
Next boot up the PI4 !
If you are lucky your chosen PI4 arcade image should boot to a menu, but you won’t have any
sound yet and the screen resolution will look a bit low res (640x480). The controlls on PICADE won’t be working either at this point.
If your using WiFi, you will need to use the PC keyboard to configure the WiFi
( If using an ethernet cable you can skip this bit, although its a good idea to have WIFI configured, so you don’t have to keep taking the back off the PICADE for internet access if you need it later on)
use the PC keyboard left and right arrow keys and find the options menu. I found left CTRL was the default key to enter this menu. the WIFI options are on the very bottom of this menu, so use the down arrow to scroll down to it.
Hit CTRL to enter the text menu, now use the number keys/updown arrow keys and regular ENTER key to input the WIFI password. Once you have a confirmed IP, select from the text menus and you should return to the grahical options menu
Hit F4 on the PC keyboard, this should drop you into the raspbian text console
type ‘sudo nano /boot/config.txt’ so we can change some settings
rather than uncomment some of the existing statements, just find an emply line and type the following
What this will do is keep the USB ports powered up so the HDMI screen is detected property and set the screen resolution to 1024x768
hit CRTL O, then press ENTER to save the config file and CTRL X to exit the nano editor
next we need to configure the PICADE HAT. The instructions for doing this on the pimorino website don’t work with the arcade images i’ve tried, but thats ok. Thanks to another forum post from July, I found the solution.
type the following…
git clone https://github.com/pimoroni/picade-hat
Enter the new directory: cd picade-hat
Run the installer: sudo ./install.sh
now type shutdown -h now to shutdown the PI4, wait for 20 second and unplug the power
now also unplug the HDMI USB power from USB powerbank and plug it into one of the USB 2.0 (black ports on the PI4, furthest from the back PICADE back panel). I got some power issues trying to power the screen from the USB 3.0 if things like a PC keyboard and USB stick were also connected.
you can now also unplug your PC keyboard if it’s still attached.
Now plug the PI4 powercable back in power up the PI4 !
OK, so you have 1 extra bit of modding to do to the back panel of the PICADE if you are using the fanshim as the Type-C power socket got raised up. I used a small flat file ~8mm to do this.
Now power up your working (hopefully) PICADE
you won’t hear audio when the intro video starts to play, but the background music should start to play as soon as main menu loads. You should then get a controller configuration screen.
As soon as you press a button the PICASE, keyboard should be detected.*** Wahoo ***
configure your controlls as you wish. There are a lot more control buttons you can configure vs the number of buttons on the PICADE, but we have configured as follows and it seems to work well so far.
joystick, A+B yellow buttons, X+Y red buttons, L+R shoulders blue buttons, left front panel START, right front panel SELECT, press and hold any of the buttons to skip past the others until you get to the most important button, the HOTKEY, which we configured as the PICADE right black button
If you configured the controls in this way pressing the START (front panel left black button) + HOTKEY left side panel, will exit you out of the games to the main menu button
Also the root password for the arcade images i’ve tested is ‘supreme’
There are a few things i have not got around to sorting out, like audio volume which is very loud on some games like donkey kong and getting the arcade game screen aspect ratio correct as many of the games have clipped left and right sides.
Anyway, i hope this rather long post may be helpful. I will try and monitor and edit this post if i made any gaffs.
Enjoy your working PICADE PI4 Arcade machine.
I will update this past over the next couple of days, once i’ve fully dialed in my Overclock settings.
GOOD LUCK AND HAPPY NEW YEAR TO YOU ALL