Miniature Star Wars Arcade Lets You Blow Up The Death Star On The Go

If you have fond childhood memories of afternoons spent at the local arcade, then you’ve had the occasional daydream about tracking down one of those old cabinets and putting it in the living room. But the size, cost, and rarity of these machines makes actually owning one impractical for most people.

While this fully functional 1/4th scale replica of the classic Star Wars arcade game created by [Jamie McShan] might not be a perfect replacement for the original, there’s no denying it would be easier to fit through your front door. Nearly every aspect of the iconic 1983 machine has been carefully recreated, right down to a working coin slot that accepts miniature quarters. Frankly, the build would have been impressive enough had he only put in half the detail work, but we certainly aren’t complaining that he went the extra mile.

[Jamie] leaned heavily on resin 3D printed parts for this build, and for good reason. It’s hard to imagine how he could have produced some of the tiny working parts for his cabinet using traditional manufacturing techniques. The game’s signature control yoke and the coin acceptor mechanism are really incredible feats of miniaturization, and a testament to what’s possible at the DIY level with relatively affordable tools.

The cabinet itself is cut from MDF, using plans appropriately scaled down from the real thing. Inside you’ll find a Raspberry Pi 3 Model A+ running RetroPie attached directly to the back of a 4.3 inch LCD with integrated amplified speakers. [Jamie] is using an Arduino to handle interfacing with the optical coin detector and controls, which communicates with the Pi over USB HID. He’s even added in a pair of 3,000 mAh LiPo battery packs and a dedicated charge controller so you can blow up the Death Star on the go.

Still don’t think you can fit one in your apartment? Not to worry, back in 2012 we actually saw somebody recreate this same cabinet in just 1/6th scale.

[Thanks to Paul for the tip.]

10 thoughts on “Miniature Star Wars Arcade Lets You Blow Up The Death Star On The Go

    1. Kind of. Given an LCD with sufficiently high pixel density and refresh rate and a sufficiently powerful GPU I think it would be able to replicate the vector CRT artifacts and experience. I’m basing my opinion on my graphics programming experience and the five full-size Atari XY arcade games in my garage including a Star Wars/Empire Strikes Back.

      1. I’m a programmer too and I’ve seen some really incredible CRT emulations with OpenGL and such, but now I’m wondering how they inserted a pixel rendered version of the custom display code for these vector games in the first place. Unless that was something done from the original source at some point? If you knew the memory layout I guess it wouldn’t be impossible

  1. Fantastic work! Really want to build a full size yoke, however don’t know how to get potentiometers to the raspberry pi. Would you be willing to share the wiring diagram for the Arduino and the code? I would really appreciate it. Many thanks

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