Car-Cade Build Drives Unthrottled Determination

Remember those dashboard-shaped racing games from the ’80s, like Tomy Turnin’ Turbo? [Daniel] has long wanted to bring one of those into the modern age. After finding that someone beat him to it, he went in another direction and built his own mini-cabinet from the ground up, dedicated to Dirt Rally.

The idea was to build the smallest possible computer than can run SteamOS and fit inside of a cabinet printed on a Prusa clone. At first, [Daniel] tried driving a MinnowBoard around. The frame rate was atrocious, so he switched to an ASUS mini-STX board and went from there.

The printed steering wheel and throttle are both analog inputs—each uses a 10kΩ pot connected to a Pimoroni PiCade controller. We love [Daniel]’s lo-tech way of using rubber bands to self-center them. We also love the post-processing he did on the steering wheel to give it that just-right grippy feel (it’s Plasti-Dip rubber paint), because it looks fantastic.

The lovely blue cabinet is an homage to [Daniel]’s Dirt Rally destroyer of choice, the rally blue ’95 Subaru Impreza. He had an arduous print/sand/prime/paint plan all worked out for the prototype, but ultimately printed the parts in different colors to get the look right. [Daniel] went through four different blue filaments alone before he was satisfied.

Motor around the break for a quick walk around the completed cabinet, and park it for the teaser video that scored [Daniel] a swag bag from the Dirt Rally devs through the magic of social media. Now that it’s cold and flu season in the northern hemisphere, maybe you’d prefer to play driving games without touching anything.

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