Power Supply Suggestions > 2.5A / 5 Volts

Hello retro gamers!

I’m looking for advice on higher current power supplies. I’ve modified my picade with some after market lighting and other additions.

The mod includes 14 adafruit neopixels, a usb audio interface, 8x backlit buttons in addition to the normal picade connections. I’m driving the LED kit directly from the 5 Volt line pre Pi.

With my rather strong 5(.1) Volt supply, I’m finding I’m right on the edge of the voltage warning without any other peripherals attached. The Adafruit Neopixels are tipping current draw over the edge as with them off it’s fine and stable.

I’m trying to establish what route to take from here.

Looking around the usual retailers, the Pi PSU appears to be the most solid supply at around 2.5A. Because I’m on this limit already with existing hardware, this supply isn’t sufficient. I need at least 3 Amps looking at measurements and would probably be best with nearer 5 Volts.

So the question really is, has anyone installed a USB based supply of that current level? (probably not)
If not, what’s the best option in terms of a non usb supply? I want something that isn’t going to catch fire and has good internal construction so it can remain on 24/7.

I have plenty of space inside so I could potentially put a powercon connector or IEC on the back and install a brick inside…

Anyway, any advice is good advice!


Just get one of these. I have this one and its wonderful. I used velcro to stick it in the case. They have some with more ports if you need.

Thanks for the suggestion…

If you load it up, does it deliver the 2.4A it claims? I’ve found all but one of my supplies under voltage under max load.

Looks promising though…


1 x Quick Charge 2.0 port and 3 x 5V/2.4A ports - the fastest 4-port charger for home and office

With Qualcomm QC 2.0, charge your compatible smart devices up to 75% faster and save hours

With 3 x 2.4A charging ports, charge 3 smartphones/tablets simultaneously at maximum speed

No bigger than a deck of cards, compact design frees valuable desk space while non-slip grip keeps it from being knocked off

Compatible with iOS, Android, & Windows smartphones as well as tablets, speakers, cameras, and other 5V USB devices

Thanks, I’ll order one.

However, I’d really like some hard produced evidence it can provide the current it claims. I’ve lost track of the number of times I’ve ordered a supply like this and it’s produced 2100mA or 2500 at 4.5V rather than 5. I’m running a pi3 with multiple usb devices connected inside so the pi itself needs the full capacity.

I own an Anker version of a similar device to this. If they’re not made in the same factory I’d be very surprised. Running it through my fluke meter shows it falls short of its 5 volt claim under load and heavily so approaching its 2500mA quoted limit.

I might gather a whole load of these devices and do a thorough test to see which can produce the current they claim.

Realistically though, for any other use, the pi foundations’ supply is probably best… I guess the next question is cabling… Suggested high current usb micro cables?


It’s not available for purchase through amazon :(

Back to square one. There is the ebay route but given the number of fakes, falses and buyer danger, I’m going to avoid that option.

Anyone got any other suggestions?


Well I have what I sent you but I don’t have a ton plugged into it like you
need. I also but a 5 pack or real good spigen USB cables. All of makes a
difference. Have to have good cables too. Good luck. At the end of the day
maybe u just need to stick a small power strip inside and call it a day.
Good luck. I would to see your picade. Do you have pictures?

Yeah, I’ve found the cable is quite often the culprit amongst projects. To be honest, I was toying with putting in a more chunky supply then mounting an IEC or Powercon connector on the back. I have a (quite heavily modified) adafruit cupcade running on a Pi3 too which seems to eat a bit more than the usual. It’s less of an issue though as I’m not driving lighting.

I’ve attached images. They’re from slightly different stages of the build. The LED strip at the top’s just an off-cut of the age old WS2812s driven from a trinket 5V. The buttons are the Seimitsu ones from arcade world and constitute probably about 1/3 of the total cost of the picade. Joystick’s stock but I swapped the knob for one from A.W also.

Ive put a USB audio device in to avoid the rotten onboard quality (I’m a sound engineer so can’t have that bit wrong!)


Off topic but what game is that you are playing on the Picade?



It’s Afterburner 2 :)

1 Like

Very nice. I hope you find the right setup.


5VDC at 6A.

I bought a couple of these back in 2014. Nice Beefy supply, adjustable to overcome cable losses. You might have to power the Pi through the GPIO to make it easier to attach the wires. Currently showing about $7 USD with free shipping in the US. I had bought some micro USB solderable ends, and used that to power a Pi3 running OSMC (Kodi) for a media center.

I’m liking the coloured lights effect!

Quick question about that USB audio device - does the output from that still go into the picade board amp? It looks from the photos like it does? So I’m guessing the volume buttons on the side of the picade will still work?

Did you have to change any settings in retropie to switch the sound out from the 3.5mm jack on the pi to the USB device, or does it just do it?


Nice job!

Looks like a very similar setup to mine - Trinket running the Neopixels and the Seimitsu buttons.

Yours looks much neater inside though! I’m probably going to try some Mote sticks for lighting the marquee next…

It does indeed… the audio heads straight from the usb i/f to the picade board, side buttons still work.

There’s a bit of playing around in rasbian to get it working. The driver’s there by default but because it’s not the default audio device, a file needs a bit of editing to make it default.

For completeness, the interface I’ve used is the Soundblaster Play (SB1140)

The guide here is the one (I think) I followed.

I then went into /boot/config.txt and turned the onboard Broadcom sound off. Not sure this is necessary but it can’t hurt.

Another option if you’re going to buy an audio interface would be to go for a PhatDAC or an iqaudio dac+ I have both of these boards and use the later in professional audio systems. Both’s sound quality is great and there’s a lot more in the way of support and guides online.

Thanks Sandy!

Those Seimitsu buttons are great, I couldn’t find a good contender for a backlit joystick replacement but am still on the scout… If I stick with the stock one, I could probably get some more neopixels in there. I’d quite like the ball to glow so maybe a cheap LED stick with some button modding might be the way.

I’m looking at options for the marquee… The neopixel strip’s on the edge on the lower side of the handle hole so a strip of diffusion there along with a transparent picade cut-out in the artwork might work. I might design my own but I really like the stock look!

My Trinket code maxed out the internal memory so I had to do quite a bit of modification… I also had a Teensey 3.1 but that seemed overkill!

Neatness… ;) Someone I eternally admire that used to ‘think different’ somewhat taught me that inside is as important as outside… Guess it stuck… Along with easier debug!! I have an empty Mac Plus case laying waiting for a retropie setup… so it may be next, internal signatures intact… :)

Thanks for the info mrkirkby, I’ll take a look into that.