Picade Speaker Buzz When Screen is Bright


As the weather wasn’t great I decided to revisit my Kickstarter Picade.

Here are the details:

  • Raspberry Pi Model B (the old one).
  • Blank SD card.
  • Latest retropie installed.

Boots OK.
Usual apt-update / apt-upgrade.
Updated the retropie packages through the menu system.
Installed the latest firmware.

However, the speakers buzz whenever the Picade screen is bright.

When retropie goes to ‘sleep’ and dulls the screen the noise nearly stops.

When using any terminal type screen, likewise, the noise stops.

I have tried turning the retropie volume down and the buzzing stays at the same volume.

I seem to recall that this noise irritated me the last time I dug it out.

It ‘sounds’ like interference coming from somewhere.

Any shielding I can put in any place?

Anyone any ideas?



Oh, and it’s a 'Maxi screen.

The big one with virtually no bezels.



Looking over at Broken my Kickstarter board firmware. How to repair? it seems you might be in a tricky-to-recover firmware situation.

I can get a new Picade PCB shipped out to you to see if it fixes both of these problems if you’d like?

I suspect it’s possible to get your Kickstarter board back up and running, but I’ll have to do some serious archaeology to find an original firmware .hex (it was before my time!).

Hi Phil,

I would be more than happy to give a different board a try.

(It gives me the excuse to buy a new Pi3 too!)

Just looking at the new Picade board, would it be a drop in replacement?

It looks like it has six buttons on top, whereas the Kickstarter Maxi has eight; would I just ignore two of them?

The rest of the wiring looks quite straightforward and similar though.

What do you need from me?

(if you are going to post anything, ping me, and I’ll place an order for more pirate swag.)



Ooof, that’s a good point regarding the buttons. If you need the additional connections for them, then the custom, programmable firmware for the newer board will let you use the data pins on the SPI programming header as additional inputs.

Otherwise, yes, I’m pretty sure it’s a drop in replacement. (I haven’t even seen a Picade KS board in a year or so- I used to have one handy for reference but it’s gone AWOL!)

It was ‘tinkering’ with the firmware that got me into this mess in the first place !


I don’t necessarily need all eight buttons, but good to know that I can still hack away if needed.

I notice that the new loom accommodates six buttons. Could the two ‘spare’ buttons be wired to the volume +/- terminal headers?

That would be a neat solution.

Also, what is the terminal with 1/4 on it for?



Ah yes you could use the volume headers!

1/4 is “a quarter”

As in, “insert coin” :D

Yeah, it’s a stretch! But I don’t think “COIN” would fit on the silk!

Thought it might be ‘coin’.

Didn’t make the mental leap.