Next on the project list is a Raspberry Pi arcade system. Once again we are starting small with as much stuff as we could from around the Studio. I already had a Pi 3, monitor, keyboard, no controllers (ordered those), and for kicks I got another of the Pi Zero Audio DACs for sound. I will have a speaker leftover from the pool-USB-Streaming-Audio project so it works out well.
We loaded it up with RetroPie and I have to say I am quite impressed. The software works quite well and while it is easy to setup there are quite a few options to check out later on. Right now the most imperative thing to my son was getting it up and playing on the screen today.
Someone has donated some Xbox controllers for the system. We are still going to make some kind of case for it. At this point I am not sure if it will be an all-in-one or keep the console separate from the monitor. Once again I will have to let this one stew and see what comes of it.
I want to start to put together a real arcade style box for the controls, joysticks and buttons for 2 players while keeping the USB controllers for other games. I doubt I will go the standup route, but I never know where projects take me after a while. My big must have for this phase of the project is a Tempest spinner controller. Tempest has to be one of my all time favorite games! And it really isn’t the same trying to play it with a keyboard or mouse, and most paddle are wheezy at best. I have started digging into them.
So let me share with you the links and information I have found on making a spinner. I am looking forward to scrounging and finding the right pile of parts for this one.
BREAKING NEWS – I just found this site today and it seems to have one great manual for making a spinner.
There is one place I found where you can purchase one, theirs is called the SpinTrak, they are pricey. Maybe when I make my standalone Tempest game.
I found this setup which is pretty cool. And making a controller was my original and still my preferred idea.
Below are some of the other links I have found dealing with DIY spinners.
Made from an old VCR head.
Another excellent example made from the what-the-lab-will-surrender category.
A spinner made right inside the mouse. Pretty neat concept.