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Could you make a coin-op Retropie?

  • I'm making a raspberry/Retropie setup with a tabletop arcade cabinet I have, I'm also using a physical coin acceptor which brings me to my question. I've already set up the mame4all coin mechs and such but I was wondering, is it possible to get Retropie to stop every 5 or 10 minutes and ask for an input so I can make games for NES, SNES, etc coin-ops?

  • Just to be clear this is not for profit, just for a more authentic arcade feel.
    I have a raspberry pi 3b
    running the latest retropie (as of now)
    with a 5v power supply

  • If you know your wiring it should be possible yes. You need to get something like that and wire it accordingly, as an additional button. Then assign this button to the "coin" function in the arcade games.

  • as vin

  • @ewanrox1987 Just be aware that coin drop is obviously an input for arcade emulators and it does not directly translate to consoles/gamepads. That said, arcade games have player start, but lack the SELECT button. Consequently, the SELECT button is typically mapped (in RetroArch for example) to the COIN input in MAME.

    If you are building real arcade controls, you are wiring buttons to some controller. IPAC keyboard controllers have COIN labeled as inputs, but other controllers may not, so you need to wire coin to select.

    However, for arcade panel builds, this does create an interesting problem. Navigating Emulation Station, or using console emulators (NES, SNES, etc.) will often require the use of SELECT for various functions. If your only way to trigger SELECT is through your coin mech, this will get very very frustrating. One example: If you setup SELECT as a hotkey and use the default SELECT/START to exit an emulator, you would literally have to drop a coin to exit the emulator!

    Coin mechs are neat options for added authenticity, but if this is the only way to trigger SELECT, you should plan for additional administrative buttons somewhere on your cabinet for dedicated exit, pause, etc. I did once see a project on BYOAC forums where a guy wired a microswitch to his coin mech's "coin reject" or "coin return" function. His mechs where the backlit red slots that are also physical buttons you press to clear a jammed coin. He had them setup so that you can trigger a coin by pressing them. You could also drop a coin, but this "hidden" button was convenient when all you are trying to do is press SELECT in other emulators (or free play MAME if you know the secret).

  • Pretty sure I joked on here once that Kids Mode should be coin controlled.

    Up hill. Both Ways.

  • @caver01
    you can bridge coin op together with another that you can also use the other button as select in emulation station. This takes away some authenticity of course, since ingame you can also just push that button instead of feeding it with a coin.

  • @coldnpale said in Could you make a coin-op Retropie?:

    you can bridge coin op together with another button

    Of course. That is exactly what the guy did with the coin reject. He had the mech working so coins tripped a switch as expected, but also wired the same input to a button behind the reject part. That could easily be a secret coin button on the back panel, or under an edge, or foot pedal, or a bookend on the mantle, or a twist of a brass sconce on the wall.


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