Arcade Controller for Retropie

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JohnTheKing
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Arcade Controller for Retropie

Post by JohnTheKing » Thu Apr 27, 2017 12:20 pm

I am thinking about building a really basic controller for arcade games on the Retropie.
Just the joystick and 4 - 8 buttons in a box. I already have a Raspberry Pi 3 running my Retropie and I just want to be able to connect an arcade stick box and buttons through USB.
Anyone have any ideas or thoughts on how to go about this? I see a lot of people building boxes on their own boxes out of wood and things like that. Also there are a lot of kits that are being sold on amazon with buttons and all that fun jazz.
If you have any experience building a controller like this it would be awesome to hear about it.

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Re: Arcade Controller for Retropie

Post by VeteranGamer » Thu Apr 27, 2017 1:16 pm

JohnTheKing wrote:
Thu Apr 27, 2017 12:20 pm
I am thinking about building a really basic controller for arcade games on the Retropie.
Just the joystick and 4 - 8 buttons in a box. I already have a Raspberry Pi 3 running my Retropie and I just want to be able to connect an arcade stick box and buttons through USB.
Anyone have any ideas or thoughts on how to go about this? I see a lot of people building boxes on their own boxes out of wood and things like that. Also there are a lot of kits that are being sold on amazon with buttons and all that fun jazz.
If you have any experience building a controller like this it would be awesome to hear about it.

i havent build a controller, but i built my son a cabinet a couple of years ago.... and its pretty much the same principal

ideally if you want a stick, and dont want to make it out of wood, just buy a cheap arcade stick and it the button/controls dont feel responsive change them (at least that way you have a shell to house your new setup)


i actually used a xbox 360 usb controller and wired the button to it, as my build was using a windows pc it didnt need any configuration and the added bonus we can hook up the xbox to it when ever we want


most of the kits out there come with a usb encoder, but a even one of those knock of snes controllers will be fine (you just have to solder the wire to the point)

the buttons and really cheap (couple of $ a pop), i'd personaaly only go with sanwa or seimitsu buttons... these are the same as you'de find in arcades and are responsive (and feel great)

with the stick again i'd personally go with a sanwa JLF (cheaper one are available, so what ever you feels best)

so with that you really need something to house it all, and i would really suggest looking out for a cheap arcade style stick and just upgrade the setup (alot more easier and cheaper than if you were to build out of wood or perspects)



my son cabinet

Image


basically used an old pc and an unused xbox 360 controller/pad (usb)

Image


even got an xbox 360 home button (for when we hook up the xbox)

Image




the kits out there are fine, but your gonna end up spending money..... if you can find a xbox 360 arcade stick (price reasonably) or any pc arcade stick, then that what i would suggest, you'll have a working stick (that is playable with retropie) and any issues with controls can be sorted

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Re: Arcade Controller for Retropie

Post by JohnTheKing » Thu Apr 27, 2017 2:27 pm

That is awesome! Thanks for the ideas.
I am mostly struggling with trying to find the housing for something like this. I see what you mean about spending the money to have a nice housing made.
I see that someone bought and used an ABS project box off amazon. I think I am going to give that a shot and probably end up getting a drill press of some cheap hardware store for less than 100$. Figure it would probably be worth having in the long run depending on how many projects I end up trying to complete.
Thanks for the ideas for buttons and stick!

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Re: Arcade Controller for Retropie

Post by Helder » Fri May 05, 2017 2:42 pm

My buddy and I built a sweet full size cabinet a few years back and we used this PCB for controllers:

http://www.ebay.com/itm/Zero-Delay-USB- ... SwyKxXhaWE

It also worked on the PS3 for the most part and we used it on Mame and Final Burn for some classic fighting game action.
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Re: Arcade Controller for Retropie

Post by HoolyHoo » Fri May 05, 2017 3:08 pm

Built this years back for my son. It's a scaled down version of a galaga cabinet. I used an ipac mini which is very nice. What Helder pointed out is cheaper in price and will work too
IMG_1831.PNG
IMG_1831.PNG (1.13 MiB) Viewed 7319 times

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Re: Arcade Controller for Retropie

Post by dadi4168 » Fri May 05, 2017 10:10 pm

I built a cab a years ago and used an Ipac. You can also get a controller for a mouse and get a trackball. I believe RetroPie has a tutorial on getting the Ipac to work.

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Re: Arcade Controller for Retropie

Post by ShadowFax » Wed May 17, 2017 6:55 pm

+1 for Helder..

Im using zero delay as well for my portable arcade cabinet.
So basically what I did was, connect all the buttons (mine are Seimitsu PS-14 Replica with LED) as well as the joystick to the zero delay pcb board.
Then from pcb board connect to pi using usb.
It worked flawlessly, I don't even have to install any driver, retropie recognize the usb straight away.

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Re: Arcade Controller for Retropie

Post by tronicgr » Wed May 17, 2017 7:36 pm

I guess I used zero delay for my first arcade cabinet ever, too.
http://www.thingiverse.com/make:337486

Didn't know that was zero delay when i got the stick set a year ago... :)

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Re: Arcade Controller for Retropie

Post by winnetouch » Thu Jun 08, 2017 5:58 am

I made a simple arcade controller that connects via USB. I used an old keyboard pcb and I hooked it up to the buttons. If I would do it again tooday I would use a teensy. I put it in a small wooden box I bought cheeply from a chain store with cheap crap :P The box is kinda flimsy but it get s the job done :P

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Re: Arcade Controller for Retropie

Post by abrugsch » Thu Jun 08, 2017 6:47 am

you can almost think of an arcade stick as a GBZ-MAXI....

most of the things talked about on this forum apply directly to an arcade stick/cabinet.

you can connect the stick buttons directly to GPIO or via a teensy just like a GBZ or you can use an off the shelf controller and tap into it like @veterangamer did...
of course you don't have to worry about a display as you just connect it directly to a monitor/TV
or a battery charge/boost circuit, again just plug in a regular 5V PSU.

I have a bartop cabinet on my partially built project list that's been there for about 2 years... a simple wood frame/MDF top enclosure really is an easy way to go though. there are LOADS of builds on instructables, thingiverse, wider internet, facebook groups etc., but you don't really need plans, just get a set of buttons, decide how you're going to attach them to the Pi (GPIO, USB Zero Delay, teensy etc) then build a wood frame around your chosen parts

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