RetroPi Portable Gaming Console

Not sure how much further this will run than any of my other projects, but after seeing RetroPi I fancy building a (not so) little portable gaming/media thing based on it.

I already have:

  • a 7" touch-screen LCD (£33)
  • RaspberryPi 3 (£32)
  • a whole load of switches
  • a couple of joysticks (£4)
  • a Teensy (£20)
  • a battery pack (£16)
  • speakers (£5)
  • USB panel socket for power (£6)
  • USB panel sockets for controllers (£5)

Total cost about £120, although a bunch of that stuff I already had and so doesn’t count! :stuck_out_tongue:

I still need:

  • a better HDMI lead - the current one is very bulky - needs 90° at both ends
  • a better USB lead - currently okay, but bit bulky - needs a 90° at the screen end
  • a “case”;
    • I might use laser-cut slabs and keep it all open and geeky
    • or I might get something like a broken old WiiU controller and try and work into that

Nothing fancy yet, just installed the distro.

For a better HDMI cable, I was thinking one of these:

Although it would be nice to find one cheaper than £12.

Nice project! I have a couple of RetroPie machines. One in a PiCade and the other is attached to the TV in the lounge. Would be nice to have one in a totally portable form factor. I lust after the modded gameboy versions I see online all the time :slight_smile:

Someone on IRC mentioned cutting open a HDMI cable.

I can confirm 2 things:

  1. The Amazon Basics HDMI cable range is really well made. Macaba-approved.
  2. When stripped down, it won’t give you the bend radius you’re looking for. Perhaps you’d need to find a really cheap & nasty HDMI cable.

Suggestion of an appropriate HDMI cable:

It even has a cutaway photo which shows the shell ripe for hacking.

Also, the flat cable ones would probably be even better. I have at least one cheaply made flat one lying around somewhere which came with another product so they can’t be that uncommon.

I’ve done a few of these projects in the past and the HDMI cable is by far the biggest pain in the neck. The closest I’ve found to being suitable is:

Using this cable I’ve managed to cram a 5" screen, RPi Zero, WIFI dongle, audio filter, amp, speakers and some controls into a wedding album - so it would be possible to watch videos whilst looking through the photo’s too. Turned out not too bad :slight_smile:

I also grabbed one of these from Amazon when they were reduced to a few pounds:

Eventually managed to get a screen, RPi-3 and all the extras inside the case. Put additional buttons to for start/select/coin insert etc too. Sadly, the joystick on these is pretty poor, but still sufficient enough for a little retro dabble now and then.


Hey, that’s neet! runs away

Looks good - now to find one that’s just 20cm :slight_smile:

I am in the process of building a more traditional “arcade cabinet” form-factor for now, so have a bit more space to play with. I’ll worry about the super-compact version after that I think.