Make Your Own Arcade With Raspberry Pi

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.

rspicade

photo by : Ron Callahan

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.

IMG_1057

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.

IMG_20160207_131623

photo by Jessica Peugh

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.

kong

If your child likes technology and wants to learn more sign up for Raspberry Heights Workshop.

“Howdy Jessie” New Classes, New OS

Yee Haw!

Our next set of classes start this weekend. We are going to be using the newest version of Raspbian out nicknamed “Jessie” after the yodeling cowgirl from Toy Story. There are quite a few interesting features that we are itching to try such as the new version of Scratch which has a new GPIO server built right in!

jessie

Looking forward to playing with the new Java environments, Blue J & Greenfoot, the Libre Office Suite and the new screen capture feature to be able to share our work on the blog.

How do I get Raspbian?

download here.

How do I install Raspbian on my SD card? (mac)

It’s best to start with a clean image. Once the image file has been downloaded, plug in your SD card and open up Terminal

Identify the partition of your SD card

diskutil list

diskutil list

in this example my partition is on /dev/disk2

Unmount your SD card

diskutil unmountDisk /dev/disk2

Format your SD card (the SD card needs to be formatted in FAT32)

sudo newfs_msdos -F 16 /dev/disk2

start the copy (my disk image was named 2015-09-24-raspbian-jessie.img and is in the Desktop folder

sudo dd if=~/Desktop/2015-09-24-raspbian-jessie.img of=/dev/rdisk2 bs=5m

The process should take about 10 minutes, make sure you eject SD card properly before removing from your Mac.

Insert card into your Raspberry Pi and boot as normal.

Let me know how it worked for you.

sd_card_tutorial

Some useful items USB micro SD card reader, Micro SD card adapter and of course the micro SD card.