Tiny MAME cabinet built from Raspberry Pi

It’s been a while since we’ve seen [Sprite_tm] pull a project from thin air, and we haven’t seen him do anything with a Raspberry Pi yet. All things must pass, and finally [Sprite] has unleashed his tiny, pocket-sized MAME machine to the world.

The build uses a Raspi for all the Linux-ey and MAME goodness, but [Sprite_tm] didn’t want to fiddle around with the HDMI or analog video output. Instead, he chose to use an SPI-controlled TFT display that is only 2.4 inches across. This isn’t a new hack for [Sprite] – he figured out how to connect this display over GPIO pins with a Carambola earlier this year.

To make his cabinet portable, [Sprite] opted for using old cell phone batteries with a cleverly designed charging circuit. When the power supply is connected to +5V, the batteries charge. When this power is removed, an ATtiny85 provides 5V of power to the Raspi and display.

No arcade cabinet is complete without a marquee of some sort, so [Sprite] used an extremely tiny 128×32 white OLED to display the logo of the game currently being played. Everything in the Raspi is set up to be completely seamless when switching between games, automatically configuring the controls and marquee for the currently selected game.

You  can check out [Sprite]‘s mini MAME booting straight into Bubble Bobble after the break along with some gameplay footage and finally switching it over to Nemesis. A very awesome build from an exceedingly awesome maker.


  1. James says:

    This NEEDS to be commercialised! So awesome.

  2. Eirinn says:

    Aww thats cute…

  3. JoeDontCry says:

    I love this. I’m a huge fan of anything made mini and this would awesome on my desk at the office. Thumbs up!

  4. Bassi says:


  5. CraigBurden says:

    I want to build this, right now!

  6. Tinkerer says:

    One small correction: he’s using a parallel interface screen. Impressive anyway!

  7. Amino says:

    Add an Xbee module for 1-2mile range p2p network play?

  8. jsngrimm says:

    Awesome! Make a Kickstarter, these would sell so fast!

  9. Wow, that’s an great write up, especially liked the battery charge/boost converter.

  10. h_2_o says:

    ben heck gets crazy attention for taking something out of one case and putting it in another when these type of mods really should be getting it. Amazing work on every aspect of this.

  11. This is so full of win!

  12. Seth says:

    This is groovy! I like it, should have Street Fighter 2 though!

  13. Visitor says:

    Dude I admire you.

  14. John says:

    You guys know there is a larger size version up on kickstarter now – http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/pimoroni/picade-the-arcade-cabinet-kit-for-your-raspberry-p

  15. Shea says:

    I’ve been building some mini arcade cases for the Raspberry Pi. You can check them out at http://www.deskcade.com



  16. whatever says:

    good luck with robotron with that right stick LOL

    still cool project

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