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Raspberry Pi MAME Cabinet Retrofit Notes

Last updated on January 2, 2014

Back in 2000 I built a MAME cabinet, but I haven’t used it much lately. I want to retrofit it with a higher resolution LCD screen and updated hardware and OS, so I’m thinking that a Raspberry Pi and a cheaper LCD would work well. These are my work-in-progress notes for this project:

Cabinet Changes:

  • Remove exhaust fan / temperature activated relay.
  • Remove ATX switches and lights; maybe replace with something to toggle the Raspberry Pi on and off.
  • Remove PC, use base plate to mount power supplies / Raspberry Pi and supporting hardware?
  • Swap Hagstrom KE-72 for something USB.
    • Needs to support trackball.
  • HP ZR2440w monitor in place of CRT. ASUS VS24AH-P? 1920×1200 max from Pi.
  • Need to rework power on/off stuff due to Raspberry Pi not having any way to actually shut itself down.

Raspberry Pi Hardware:

  • v2.0 board.
  • Enclosure.
  • Powered USB hub.
  • WiFi adapter: Cheap dongle; Adafruit sells one.
  • Large SD card: 128GB?

Control Panel Hardware:

  • Replace Hagstrom KE-72 with I-PAC or Hagstrom KE-USB36 which may be an almost drop-in replacement.
  • Currently have 39 inputs. Can I work with only 36?
  • Panel-mount USB B.

Order of work:

  1. Get Raspberry Pi.
  2. Validate MAME functionality.
  3. Update monitor.
  4. Update control panel.

UPDATE: After the purchase of a Raspberry Pi and some extensive testing, the hardware seems nice but not capable of running MAME at any appropriate speeds. Thus this project is shelved for the time being.

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