Retro Pi Arcade Coffee Table

I grew up as one of the arcade generation and as I got older and arcades disappeared I looked on realizing that's its the changing of a generation. Today we have moved to consoles and mobile devices and multiple other gaming platforms.

But I haven't forgotten, I still remember back to the countless hours I spent in arcades as a child playing anything from PacMan to Street Fighter. I remember always striving to have that high score and coming back the next day to see if it was still there... it never was..

So move forward ... several years... cough... and I browse through the internet and come across a magnificent sight. Courtesy of Ikea someone has gone and converted a coffee table into an arcade machine.

Genius! This I figure I can do and do well, given enough time.. so I decided to do it in one day! once a small shipment of parts arrive.

I also wanted to set myself a budget, one thing here is its going to be for the kids, (they will wreck it!) so to give them a taste of the arcade experience I one had didn't want to break the bank in the event it all falls apart. So I figure under 200 Euro is achievable.

So after a little investigation, parts needed area identified and listed below:

Single USB connector and two joysticks + buttons:

Joystick kit from ebay

Raspberry pi 3 kit:

Raspberry Pi 3 via thepihut

Coffee Table:

Lack Coffee Table Ikea

Old Monitor

One thing about the old monitor is I wanted it to have powered USB built in, this is going to save me on the amount of things to plug in. So after a little digging I managed to source a 17" Dell monitor a sample link from ebay is below:
Dell Monitor - Ebay

DVI Adapter cable:

DVI to HDMI Monitor cable - Ebay

28mm drill bit from B&Q:

B&Q 28mm Drill bit

Now that I've everything to hand, build day has arrived, estimated build time 8ish hours or days if I fail miserably.

One of the longest parts of this build was making sure I got the measurements right. Well over an hour was spent measuring and double checking it all looked good.

One part I wasn't sure about was the buttons and distance between them, so a quick good and I managed to source some sample button layouts with appropriate measurements. For anyone doing this you will have your own ideas about placement and distance, I went with this one:

More information is available here:
Button Mappings website source

With all the measurements out of the way the cutting begins!

This wasn't one of those experiences of pride, more frustration as I found the blade was not really the best choice. Either way I continued and eventually victory was mine!

At this point I flipped it over and cut out all a sufficient amount of space to get access to the button areas, I then fit the buttons and moved to fitting the monitor.

Due to the violent nature in which this monitor's case met its end I've chosen not the post the pictures in the interest of those with a love for dell monitor casings...

So with the monitor in place the fitting out looks like this:

I cant deny it took a lot of time to adjust this monitor into place.

A handy note here: the dell monitor has the mount screws in the back which I used to secure the monitor to the table.

So legs taken back off and flipped upside down to begin the wiring. So.. 20ish minutes (1+ hours..) later and we have this:

And now the moment of truth.. power!

We have a winner!

So it looks a little barren around the monitor and this was the biggest puzzle for me, how to insure that the screen doesnt get destroyed in about 5 minutes courtesy of kids spilling stuff and generally beating it to hell..
Thankfully I thought ahead on this and when I picked up the coffee table I also bought a glass overlay that was meant for a bedside locker:
You can see it here:
Malm glass top for Locker

With some mirror brackets courtesy of the local DIY shop this is the final result:

Total build time: around 9 hours.
Total Cost: Roughly 180 Euros

The software used is retro pie you can find out more here:
RetroPie

Ken Darker

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