Raspberry Pi MAME cabinet brings the arcade to your tiny fingertips

Nov 26, 2012
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The $35 Raspberry Pi hobby board is one of the most innovative pieces of circuitry that we've seen yet. It's so simple and cheap, yet it leads to thousands of hackers and modders cooking up their own concoctions of circuitry brilliance. One modder in particular, Sprite_tm, recently made a pocket-size MAME cabinet out of a Raspberry Pi and a few other pieces of circuitry.

Sprite uses a Raspberry Pi board to run the MAME from Linux, and then uses use an SPI-controlled 2.4-inch TFT display instead of dealing with video outputs. Sprite also wanted to have the cabinet run off of batteries in order to make it portable, so he used old mobile phone batteries along with a cleverly-designed charging circuit. So, when the power supply is connected to +5V, the batteries charge up, and when that power is removed, an ATtiny85 microcontroller provides 5V of power to the cabinet using the mobile phone batteries.

Sprite even added a marquee to the MAME cabinet, which is a tiny 128×32 white OLED display, in this case. The display will show the logo of the game currently being played on the cabinet. Everything in the system is set up to be completely seamless when switching between games, and it automatically re-configures the controls and marquee when switching to a new game.

While this may not be a permanent and dedicated arcade solution for most gamers, the ingenuity behind this tiny Raspberry Pi-powered MAME cabinet is one of coolest mods we've seen recently, bar none. The video above shows Sprite himself testing out the machine by playing some Bubble Bobble and then switching to Nemesis later on.

[via Hack a Day]


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