Arcade Briefcase (the Briefcade)


[Travis Reynolds] is part of an arcade club at work — the only problem? He’s the only one with an arcade machine, so they always end up at his place. So he decided to make his own portable, arcade briefcase to take to the office.

It all started with a quick trip to Goodwill where he found a beautiful maroon briefcase from the 80’s, for only $5! He then took apart a spare LCD monitor he had sitting around, and it worked incredibly well in his favor. He was able to reuse the LCD’s internal mounting brackets to secure it to the briefcase, and the video cables were just long enough to reach the Raspberry Pi.

The next problem he faced was the joystick height. He picked a Sanwa style joystick which is fairly small, but even that was too tall for the briefcase. So unfortunately, he needs to remove the ball of the joystick before closing the case. After testing out the proposed button layout, he cut a plywood mounting plate to hold everything in place. A bit of black spray paint later plus a power connector through the side of the case, and it’s complete!

He’s running Shea Silverman’s PiMame, which has an easy to use menu, quick setup, and great support. It’s an awesome project, and very well documented in case you’re itching to do something similar — I know we are!

Of course, if you have the space, a coffee table arcade machine is pretty sweet too…

[Thanks Brendan!]

8 thoughts on “Arcade Briefcase (the Briefcade)

  1. I’d encourage him to take a look at the Link from Phreak Mods – It’s a detachable joystick shaft that replaces a JLF’s shaft with a two-part, springed-collar-secured one that allows you to (from the top of the stick) pull up and release the balltop and top of the lever (also battop compliant). This makes the bottom half (which is embedded and secured using the usual C-clip design) flush with the surface (actually slightly shorter, when the JLF is mounted at the correct height), and the hole can be covered by a dust cover or left open. Links are commonly used by road warriors in the FGC who have to transport/fly with arcade stick controllers, or really anyone who wants to throw a stick in a bag without catching the lever on stuff. It’s perfect for this kind of application, and pretty reasonably priced. I have Links on all of my sticks, and absolutely love the darn thing. It was designed by someone in the FGC for fighting games players, and is used in tournament settings — you don’t have to worry about extra play/it popping off (it’s really well designed). Would be beautiful in this application, if you ask me.

    FA sells them, among other shops:

  2. I do some babysitting as part of a co-op and have thought of getting a used briefcase to carry stuff in to show kids cool things like science experiments. An arcade is a great idea!

  3. I’d suggest having a latch of some sort that allows the joystick (shaft and ball only) to come completely out of it’s housing, and cutting a small, closable compartment in to the case so it can be stored with it. I’m aware joysticks are typically held in place with a little washer bit, so they can’t be pulled up out of the housing, hence the bit about a latch. Have that latch attached to a bit that’ll hold it in place normally, but when put in the ‘unlocked’ position, will remove it and allow for the stick to be removed.

  4. Very nice, just needs faux leather covering for the painted wood he’s used, give it the whole “Ron Burgundian” fine leather look, and of course a velvet lined container for the joystick ball (and yes I know he could change the joystick, but that’s for v. 2) Oh, and the joystick ball should be an 8 ball or skull, now that’s classy!

  5. Thanks for the input guys. I am working a little on rev 2.0. I would like to make it battery powered, but I will also look into the Ron Burgundy CP. I will try and pick up the Phreak Mod detachable joystick as well, and give that a go. Glad you all think it is cool!

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