Sunfounder DIY Arcade Kit

I first saw these online some time ago but they have been out of stock or quite expensive to get hold of in the company. Finally, Ali Express had a fantastic deal on and it was actually cheaper for me to buy from them with shipping from the US.

Bought this in January for $35.99. Cheaper than I can get in the U.K. Delivery was quoted as up to 40 days but I think I had to wait for about 10 days so was very happy with this.

This is a kit to make an arcade machine using a Raspberry Pi computer. It comes with everything you need except the Raspberry Pi and the software including:

1 x Arcade Joystick Kit (screws and fixing plates included)

6 x Arcade Buttons

1 x Paper Box

1 x 8G Micro SD Card

1 x Raspberry Pi GPIO Reference Card

1 x Guide Brochure

Several Wires

The box arrived well packaged and already looked funky from the outside. I decided to take this into work and get my students to help build it and learn some maker skills. Beow is what the kit looks like when taken out of the outer packaging. You can see the precut holes for buttons and joystick with the colourful artwork. Although this is just a printed cardboard box it still felt fairly rigid and like it will take a reasonable amount of abuse.

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Once opened there is some foam packing to keep everything in place and momentarily hide the goodies underneath.

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This quickly gives way to the goodies inside. Everything seemed well packaged and in separate compartments to make it easier to identify everything.

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Here’s the contents:

The buttons just push fit into the precut holes in the box.

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You then need to take the four screws out that secure the top plate of joystick so it can be fitted into the top of the box:

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The kit even includes a little GPIO reference board that slips over the pins to help ensure you connect the wires correctly – a nice little touch.

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After this, its time to connect the buttons and joystick together. The Raspberry Pi just sit sin the bottom of the box although we plan to secure it better using some sticky pads of some kind.

 

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And the finished hardware setup..

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Follow this guide for downloading and installing RetroPie onto the free SD card supplied with the kit. Don’t forget you will need an SD card reader/writer and Etcher installed on a PC to write the RetroPie image to the SD card.

The kit comes with full instructions to help set up the Raspberry Pi and the controls..

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I will update the post later this week when we finish the setup and copy some game ROM’s (legalley owned of course) onto the RetroPie setup. More to follow….

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Gakken WorldEye Globe Display

I bought this on Amazon as a Japanese import with some vouchers I received for my birthday. Its is a spherical HDMI display with built in speaker that I plan to use with a Raspberry Pi based project. It comes with a number of videos supplied on a USB stick for demonstration. These unfortunately are in Japanese.

It cost about £150 in February and is quite large and comes supplied with a 2 pin adapter. I had a 2 pin to 3 pin UK adapter lying around and used this to convert the voltages. It has a built-in speaker and comes with a round remote for navigating its menus. The display is quite readable in normal lighting but looks better in a dim room.

The globe fits into a stand that lets you adjust the display angle.

I will make an update to this blog post when I find time to connect it to one of my Raspberry Pi projects.

Christmas hunt for Snes Classic Mini

696304_gen_bSome time ago I ordered a retro console from Nintendo and they let me down badly. The console never arrived and then they said they had no more and I wouldn’t be receiving my order. Their customer service was certainly not apologetic, sympathetic or sincere in their dealings with me. Since then I have tried to avoid buying their products.

However they have started releasing some more retro remakes of classic Nintendo consoles and I wanted to purchase the Snes Classic Mini console at £79.99. Again, Nintendo have produced limited quantities and sell out with minutes of releasing any for sale. Its been the same story with other retailers like Argos and Games.

In the past I have used sites like stockinformer.co.uk to keep up to date with any stock held in the U.K but again no luck. Then I read an article saying that Game had some in stock but you couldn’t buy online but rather you needed to check their stores for stock using your postcode on their website. Tried this last night and it showed Bracknell had a limited stock. I thought this was bound to be a mistake but called their store today and was able to reserve the last one for collection. Had to ask the boss to leave early (was honest about why) and made my way to Bracknell expecting them to say it had gone or they had made a mistake but when I walked in they were just about to close and to my delight they handed me the console. One happy Snes Classic Mini owner and for the RRP of £79.99 and not the hiked prices sellers on sites like Ebay are asking.

If you want one, go to the Game website and then on the right hand side, look for the ‘Want it today? Check your local store for stock then pop in’ 

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and then enter your postcode and search local stores. Good luck. I will post a review of mine when I get time to open it and play. Its like Christmas!