What improvement could be done on the Picade

This topic would be to list all small or bigger thing that could be done to improve the already good Picade :)

My first point would be on the Raspberry Pi mounting itself, mouting on the door is not a big deal, but the current hole layout is for a bare rPi, it’s not possible to put the Pi in a box and expecially a PiBow, and as Pimoroni only sell rPi with a pibow case… We will just sit with a useless case ;)
I would be nice to be able to use directly a Pibow with the Picade :)

Another thing that I think could be improved it the way the picade PCB is mounted, it would me better if washer or better spacer would be put between the panel and the board, at least it will prevent accidental bend on the PCB.
The same for the LCD buttons PCB, mine was quite hard to put as the 12mm is a bit short, and the hole is just too tight to have the screw enter them correctly, I had to somwhat tap the PCB before beeing able to mount it.

Yeah that’s may sounds I’m not happy with my Picade, because in fact I am really happy about it!
I just want to get it even better for everyone :)

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With the mounting on the back, the reason that it’s the Pi mounting is so people aren’t forced to pay the extra £13 for another case. :)
That said there’s no reason mounting holes for the Pibow couldn’t be put on there as well in the future! In the mean time, you could convert your empty Pibow case into some sort of excuse to show off your newly built Picade to people.
To do this, start leaving your empty Pibow case around the house, at friend’s houses, basically everywhere. Then when people go what is this? Grab your Picade throw it down and start gaming next to them. Shouting optional.

The button PCB for the screen, seem to have M3.8 holes (which isn’t a thing), clearly meant to be M4. If you twist the bolts in you can fit them in, it’s snug but they fit. The alternative would be M3 and then the button board would have a bit of movement. We’re looking into it, and hopefully the holes will be slightly larger in the future. :)

For the Picade PCB washers or another set of nuts acting as washers would be helpful. Or some sort of double sided push fit mount to help get the PCB in more easily.

What do people think about lights (neopixels, LEDs, etc) behind the marque, buttons or joystick? If some sort of mod mounting kit was supplied.

For light I was thinking about doing it, so I’m in :D

LEDs on the button, I’m not sure , but on the marquee I’m completely in :) Neopixel would be the most simpler as it only need a few IOs.

Another mod/kit that could be supplied is a small power supply that would provide a USB port for the Pi/BBB/Whatever and be used to power the lights and/or the screen, there is a lot of addon that could be made in fact :)

For the Picade PCB we talked about push-fit nylon stand-offs, but I don’t know if they would work or be any good. If nothing else, the M3 bolts are really secure.

The B+/Pi2 Coupe can actually still be mounted with M2.5 bolts through the Pi’s mounting holes. The Coupe has holes here too, so you can either mount the base plate of the Coupe with some short bolts, or mount the whole thing with longer bolts.

The larger PiBow also has holes for the Pi mounting holes, if I’m not mistaken, so it should be possible to use M2.5 bolts again. I’ll see about making these available.

Actually, some 2.5mm Nylon standoffs might work well here, too. I’ll have a dig through our fixtures and fittings box to see what’s possible.

Yes you’re right, I was cleaning a bit my wire mess yesterday to found that the pibow coupé have holesm of course it can’t be used like that but that a good beggining :)

The bolts that come with the Pibow cases; are they M2.5 too?

The ones for the corners of the Pibow are M3.

I tried the Nylon standoffs, and while they work they’re far too easy to pull off. I think M2.5 bolts threaded through the bottom layer of the Pibow, bolted on and then trimmed is the way to go.

With the Pibow bolts facing upwards, the rest of the case can be assembled around the mounted base.

I am 100% in for light behind the marquee!


When mine arrives, I will probably attempt to mount the Pi+Coupe to the back door if I can find some M2.5 bolts. However does the Picade kit come with bolts to mount the Pi on it’s own if I decide against using the case?

I would add a mini PC power supply to the store with the following:-

1 x 12v for the Display
1 x 5v for the Raspberry Pi
2 x 5v for other items


my plans for improvements are as follows:

1st a 4A 5V power supply & a coaxial power connector; from the connector I’ll drive the display and

2nd a Pi Supply Switch – On/Off Power Switch; there I can start & stop the Pi by using buttons.

3rd I already used M2,5 standoffs for mounting the Pi.

4th use a panel mount USB extension & a panel mount Ethernet extension - there I can plug in network and keyboard without opening the back

5th 3d print a back plate to have a place for the Pi Supply buttons, the panel mount plugs and the power connector.

I ordered the power supply yesterday, the rest are already lying around. Today I ask my colleague if he could cut a rectangle out of the back to have room for the 3d printed plate.

If you want, I try to provide you with photos of my changes.



I made a wiki page where I collect all my improvements.


The wiki page got further improved. More graphics, more text.
Currently I’m prototyping the printed plate. I hope I can finish it during the weekend.



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I’m finished!




I’d love an 8 button top panel but I’m not sure if there is enough space up there. It would allow me to map L1, L2, R1 & R2 either side of A, B, X & Y. I’d pay for an upgrade kit!

I’ve installed a pibow coupe inside my cabinet, it turned out pretty nice! I just need longer skinny plastic screws…

About mounting the pibow case, I got a pibow coupe and simply left the very bottom clear plate off and used the supplied nylon bolts to secure it to the picade door. The door basically acts in the same way the bottom piece would and the bolts are the perfect length.

Getting your micro sd card in and out is a chore though.

Having fun tinkering with my picade - I replaced the artwork and put a light behind the marquee, and an additional blanking panel to stop it shining down on the screen, I also fitted a powered USB hub inside to power the light/screen from a separate psu.

But the one thing I’d improve is those two nuts and bolts that hold the control panel down.

They are fiddly the first time you fit the control panel (because you can’t see what you are doing inside the case) but since then I’ve had the control panel off to check the speaker connections on the picade board, to change the artwork, to fix a loose joystick connection, and will be removing it again to change the buttons.

How about some sort of clamp release mechanism inside the case to release the control panel, rather than it being screwed down?

On my bartop machine I used magnets to hold down the control panel but that doesn’t work too well when a over vigorous player uses it - so a clamp mechanism is preferable.

Just an idea, perhaps the hassle of refixing the control panel every time was a design decision to focus my mind on making all my changes at the same time?!

I also agree with the difficulty in changing micro SD card, however that’s not something I intend to do very often.

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Below is a photo of my Picade mod

I used a 12v DC 5A power supply (just in case I want to later change the screen for a 12.1" in the future). This is fed to the ATXRasPi through a car 12v to 5v converter capable of supplying 3A. The ATXRasPi is used to control the power to the Pi from a push switch on the side of the cabinet. The homemade PCB on the right hand end of the Pi GPIO enables a script called from the menu to activate the ATXRasPi in the same way as pressing the switch.

The Picade can then either be shutdown / rebooted from this switch or from the emulation station menu.

I replaced the supplied audio cable with a shielded one and the sound is perfect unless you turn it up to over 22 (i currently have it set at 15) then there is some slight white noise.



Nice, I copied your example and got a shielded audio cable, and I agree, threre’s a noticeable improvement. Although I think everyone has the hissing issue over a certain volume?

I’ve also added a Powerblock (http://blog.petrockblock.com/2015/07/04/powerblock-another-power-switch-for-the-raspberry-pi/) which is the version of your homemade power switch for those of us who are electronically inept!

Works well, but you have to add your own switch and LED. I combined the two and used an illuminated latch switch (5 for £2.35 from a Chinese Ebay seller)

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That is a nice solution. Can you post what exactly you purchased aside from the power block? Links would help.