A few weeks ago, I was attending a political rally for Bernie Sanders at Bohemian Hall in Astoria with my daughter. We missed most of the rally, but, we had dinner and spent some quality time together. In the basement they had a Ms. Pac-Man machine and we had a blast playing together. It got me thinking about MAME and how it was so much fun setting that up on my Mac many moons ago. Of course, I realized it was time to get MAME set up on a Raspberry Pi. Not only would it be a fun excuse to play the games of my youth, but, it would be a great learning experience to use GPIO to wire up a joystick and some arcade style buttons.
For this project we wanted to use a Raspberry Pi2 model B so we could take advantage of the 1GB of RAM. Downloading the Raspicade system took a long time, but, is a great interface.
Make sure you get the correct version of Raspicade for your system. The version I had would not work on Model B, fortunately, I have a small arsenal of Raspberry Pi in my studio and found a Raspberry Pi2 model B that was free.
Most of the documentation available was for older Raspberry Pi models. I found a great article that explains how to update retraced to work with the newer Raspberry Pi2 here.
Once the software was set up, I began testing the buttons. You can find a great diagram for the pin out on Ian57’s Github page.
It was a great project and very challenging to get all the pieces together. After a few nights of research I got everything prepped and two of my students were able to wire it up within an hour.
If your child likes technology and wants to learn more sign up for Raspberry Heights Workshop.