IPad Tossed Out For RetroPie Arcade Cabinet Redux

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.

11 thoughts on “IPad Tossed Out For RetroPie Arcade Cabinet Redux

  1. I have to agree, I think the way apple treats hackers/makers will inevitably be their downfall. they have such a closed eco-system which don’t get me wrong works and may look nice. Having said that hacking/making is booming and while Microsoft have at least attempted to get in on the action along with ASUS, Intel etc. Apple just don’t care they seem to think they can recycle (all be it quite well) other people’s ideas forever without opening up the gates.

    1. So, is there a requirement to poo-poo all controller board based projects in the comments section here, or does it just come naturally. You guys are the hacking hipsters.

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