The naming and remixing in this project can get a little confusing to those unfamiliar with the different elements involved, but what [John Gerrard] has done is take a stylish mini arcade cabinet intended as a fancy peripheral for an iPad and turned it into an iPad-free retro arcade gaming cabinet. He also designed his own power controller for graceful startup and shutdown.
The project started with a peripheral called the iCade (originally conceived as a fake product for April Fool’s) and [John] observed it had good remix potential for use as a mini retro gaming cabinet. It was a good starting point: inexpensively purchased off eBay with suitable arcade-style joystick and buttons, a nice layout, and plenty of hacking potential. With a small variety of hardware from familiar sources like eBay and Aliexpress, [John] rounded up most of what he needed.
The core of the new machine is RetroPie on a Raspberry Pi 3, and the screen is a replacement iPad 2 LCD combined with a controller that accepts HDMI. The display matches the cabinet well and the adapter allows for easy interface with the Raspberry Pi 3.
The cabinet’s buttons and joystick are re-wired to an Arcade USB controller. Other additions include speakers and Player 1/Player 2 start buttons. We’ve seen scratch-built RetroPie mini cabinets but [John] made excellent use of the existing hardware of the iCade, even going the extra mile and turning the fake 25 cent coin slot into a touch-sensitive button to add credits. The end result works, looks great, and is only a black bezel for the LCD away from being completely done.