Picade screen resolution - must read for new builds

#1

As have many people on here, I’ve bought a Picade (new style) recently and experienced a few minor issues when following the build instructions. There seems to be a few tweaks that are required to get the screen resolution to work properly - which are missing from the build instructions (the poster version anyway).

Because I used a Raspberry Pi 3A+ in my build, I had to do some cable switching when going through the initial setup. This meant I had to hook up the power to the Picade screen separate to my Pi (as the USB port had my keyboard connected initially).

I noticed that the resolution was fine doing this (i.e. the native 1024x768), but when I had finished my software setup and powered the screen via the Pi, it wasn’t.

It turns out, the following code below needs to be added to your /boot/config.txt:

Firstly, uncomment:

hdmi_drive=2

And then uncomment and set the following:

hdmi_group=2
hdmi_mode=16

Whilst you’re in there, double check that the following has been uncommented by the Picade X HAT installation script:

hdmi_force_hotplug=1

All the above does is:

  1. Force the HDMI mode to HDMI (as opposed to DVI or HDMI)
  2. Sets the resolution to 1024x768 (4:3 ratio)
  3. Ensures that the HDMI source is active (sometimes there is a small delay in powering the screen from the Pi which can cause the HDMI source to look inactive).

Then when my Picade boots, the screen resolution is set to the native (1024x768) and looks crisp and clean as intended!

Bonus tip

If you are using a Raspberry Pi 3A+, then there is some manual work required before it will even boot RetroPie. The latest image for RetroPie (4.4) was released before the 3A+, so on boot, all I saw was the rainbow splash screen. To resolve this, I did the following:

  1. Put the SD card in a Raspberry Pi 3 or 3+
  2. Booted
  3. Exited EmulationStation (to the command line)
  4. Ran sudo apt-get && sudo dist-upgrade -y and waited whilst the updates were applied
  5. Finally, ran sudo rpi-update to update the firmware.

Once done, I popped the SD card back into the Raspberry Pi 3A+ and everything booted fine. I then updated the RetroPie script and tools using the in-built mechanisms. Note, that if RetroPie updates their image, this may not need to be done, but at the time of writing this wasn’t the case.

@gadgetoid - do you think it would be worth adding the part about the screen in the build guides? Appreciate the posters are already printed and boxed, but the resolution fix seems to be something that many people have issues with.

Anyway, I hope this helps - it certainly helped me.

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