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Your experiences in setting up a BarTop Arcade with Retropie



  • Good afternoon to everyone, how are you today?

    I'm starting my journey into the world of Linux, RPIs and others so that in the future I am able to take the step of creating a BarTop arcade.

    For that event, and after a BEHEMOTH reading list on every part of this, the OS, the HW, the SW, the configs, I am left with some questions to those who have already set up a BarTop arcade or have been making arcade concepts based on RPIs, here my most urgent questions which I really can't make off from the sites I have perused:

    1. considering that the RPI (I have recently acquired the RPI3B+ + original 2.5A charger) should not have / use more ports than necessary so to not overload the system and either causing low voltage errors which may end in mSD card corruption (which is rampant these days I hear), if you setup two players in the bartop arcade, do you use two controller PCBs or a two-player single PCB? This I believe would save one USB connection and I could save some As for juice to the RPI, but ont sure if using the single two-player controller would mess much with the internal wiring.

    2. The systems I'm first going to add inside are ZX, C64, Camiga, DOS and ARCADE, with a gathered collection between 16,000 and 17,000 ROMs. My question is, have you had setups which incliude a keyboard to be present, and have you used wireless, usb directly, etc? What is literally, in your experience, the best thing to do not to overload the system which will run these many systems, and keyboards and most likely a Mouse?

    I thank you beforehand for all the help you can provide

    Cheers
    Alban



  • well its a bit of a basic question with no specifics. I setup a bartop arcade with 2 zero day encoders (8 buttons + start and select) . You need a good understanding of retroarch to fix your mapping in certain ra emulators nothign major once you understand it all



  • @grant2258 which specifics do you need? Button size, bartop size...?



  • well you need to say where you having problems the only issue you will come across if if you use 6 or 8 buttons and how you map them in each emulator



  • @grant2258 My issue is precisely that, I'm in the pre-build phase, meaning I will not start to build if there are too many things which need customization all over the place.

    My target is a ~50 cm cube bartop arcade, probably a flatpack version; the setup is two player, Standard Japanese controller setup with 6 buttons (https://www.slagcoin.com/joystick/layout.html), plus a coin entry and player select buttons at least and side pinballs buttons ( already seeing that 30mm is not a good idea and probably will go for 28mm ones to save space); this will be coupled with the need to have keyboard / mouse (most likely, that's what I am asking you to help me with the best setup) on the RPI for the microcomputer emulations (ZX c64 cAmiga, etc.)

    Tell me if you need more data.

    Cheers
    Luis



  • @alban said in Your experiences in setting up a BarTop Arcade with Retropie:

    d / mouse (most likely, that's what I am asking you to help me with the best setup) on the RPI for the microcomputer emulations (ZX c64 cAmiga, etc.)

    As long as none of the emulator use more than 6 buttons will be fine. I personally done a 8 button setup for psx ect. The 6 button is pretty much ideal for all the old emulation systems. Sorry it took so long to get back to you. My cats been sick and had to put him down today poor fella was too far gone



  • @grant2258 dude why did you even bother to answer me in this sad time of yours? I could wait you know? I am very sorry for your loss. And thank you for the tips.



  • @alban said in Your experiences in setting up a BarTop Arcade with Retropie:

    I'm starting my journey into the world of Linux, RPIs and others so that in the future I am able to take the step of creating a BarTop arcade.

    Well then, first and foremost, good luck on your journey into the unknown. :)

    1. considering that the RPI (I have recently acquired the RPI3B+ + original 2.5A charger) should not have / use more ports than necessary so to not overload the system and either causing low voltage errors which may end in mSD card corruption (which is rampant these days I hear)

    As long as you buy a good power supply (I strongly recommend the official one from the RPi Foundation), you shouldn't have low voltage problems with two controllers/encoders and similar hardware. I had two DragonRise zero delay encoders, an ssd, and a Mayflash Wii U Pro bluetooth adapter on my Pi without problems, until an additional LED controller for lighted buttons forced me to buy a powered USB hub (it fixed the inconvenience of unplugging one of the USB devices when a task required my USB keyboard).

    1. The systems I'm first going to add inside are ZX, C64, Camiga, DOS and ARCADE, with a gathered collection between 16,000 and 17,000 ROMs. My question is, have you had setups which incliude a keyboard to be present, and have you used wireless, usb directly, etc?

    Since I only have arcade and console games in my RP build, I only need a keyboard for system maintenance and the likes. I mostly do that via ssh, so I seldom have to connect my USB keyboard nowadays. I do keep thinking about acquiring a bluetooth keyboard someday in the future, though, even if only "because I can". :)

    What is literally, in your experience, the best thing to do not to overload the system which will run these many systems, and keyboards and most likely a Mouse?

    A powered USB hub. :) But with a proper power supply, the Pi should be able to handle two controllers, a keyboard and something else in its four USB ports.

    edit: typo



  • @grant2258 my condolences on your cat.

    @Alban two parts of advice.

    1 I want to echo @Clyde that a powered usb hub will cover any concern that you may have over power draws of multiple connections. If you have that then 1 2 player block or 2 usb encoders will all depend on your personal preference and comfort in configuring the system.

    By making a bar top, space is no longer as much of an issue for internal parts as it would be for a console or cartridge build. So on that front. What ever you feel most comfortable with.

    Personally, I like the USB encoders because it keeps things modular in a way that I can disconnect the Player 2 if I need to trouble shoot a button or something and still play Player 1. I am also still in the design phase for a build that will let me either physically re-arrange the deck to add in and out a 3rd or 4th player or something like that. But I digress.

    What I am concerned about is the size of your cabinet. 50 cm...
    Let's see in America that is...
    half a meter
    ...A meter is 3 feet
    carry the 2...
    Divide by the fact Americans hate being told what to do
    ...really narrow for 2 players (18 inches)

    Sure people make small little cabinets all the time but I recommend to take a moment and measure your shoulders. They are also going to come in near the same finger quotes 50 cm finger quotes
    (I'm not done being angry that I'm stuck in a messed up measurement system, but I will stop being obvious about it)
    Now imagine that two of you are going to try and play as you mentioned 2 players. You will have to squeeze in tight OR build your cabinet to angle the players away from each other in a V form.

    Cardboard is great for a cheap mock up to test the size.

    Just for the deck, make a box that is 50 cm wide and about 6 inch...eh I mean 15 cm deep and about 15 cm height and draw circle for the button placement OR cut hole in the box and physically put the button in it to play test the layout and spacing as well as the width .

    edited: for grammar mistake



  • I highly recommend splurging for a i-pac when setting up controls. I have a 2 player 6 button joystick setup, 2 start and coin buttons, and 4 misc button (exit emulator, pause, rewind, and config menu).

    0_1538008193088_IMG_20180926_202558.jpg



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