A Home Arcade

Morning Coffee 108: May 5th



Good morning. Just arrived at the coffee shop (small coffee, french toast, and bacon). Rose is watching her cartoons while I put the finishing touches on the newsletter. This week is all about our custom built arcade cabinet that my dad helped me build. What was supposed to be a weekend project…“Hey dad, I have simple project for us.” Instead, turned out taking exactly a month to finish everything up. Now that the finished product is here, that month was worth the wait. The level of quality and attention to detail is something we’re very proud of. As always, I hope this letter finds you well.

Table of Contents

  1. Software
  2. Hardware
  3. Construction
  4. Final Thoughts

Software

If there was a starting point for this project, it’s when I learned the power of Batocera. I had a Raspberry Pi 400 not being used, but it finally found its purpose with Batocera. The setup was fairly easy, and after adding hundreds of games to the SD Card, the software side of this project was complete. That’s when I presented the idea to my dad. I knew that going forward, once the construction was done, I’d just have to plug everything in and start playing.


Hardware

There was only a handful of items needed for this project. Starting out with the main puzzle piece, 8Bitdo’s Arcade Stick. I quickly realized that I can build an entire arcade cabinet around it. The other two key pieces sitting around at home: an old computer monitor I had in the attic, and a Raspberry Pi 400 that was sitting in a drawer. From there, I purchased a cheap speaker from Amazon, a Nintendo logo from Etsy, and a three outlet extension cord from Target. All the electronic hardware was now ready as well.


Construction

My dad did the construction, and I gave the feedback along the way. We had scrap 3/4 plywood and luan around the house from remodeling, so all that was needed for the construction was the T-molding and paint. I found a good example online of someone who also used the 8BitDo Arcade Stick to build a cabinet, so we used that design as a reference. My dad sketched out a similar build on paper, and then the process started.

For the paint, we took the arcade stick to Lowe’s for them to color match the exact gray we needed. For tools and supplies, we used a Skil saw, miter saw, router table, drill, chisel, punch, utility knife, spackle, spackle knife, hammer, vibrating sander, wood glue, and a nail gun.


Final Thoughts

We started the project on March 26th. That’s when I setup the software and told my dad about the idea. April 28th is when the arcade cabinet was complete and sitting on our countertop. It took a month to complete this project. We chipped away at it every few days, tinkering with the design, cutting pieces here, and fitting pieces there.

As progress was being made, we’d work together, seeing what was left to be done. A very slow and methodical way of building an arcade cabinet, but now that it’s complete, and knowing how well this arcade cabinet was put together, this should be an item we use as a family for many years to come.


This is Morning Coffee: a weekly newsletter that arrives in your inbox every Monday morning. I write about productivity, technology, and cool things I find on the internet. My wife wants this to be my only job, so pay what you want, purchase my books on Amazon, or join my Music Program.


Made 100 coffees in a row. Made a gaming page with a 1989 photo of me. Released two books on Amazon. Celebrating Rose turning two. Working from home for a big company. Writing a newsletter every Monday morning. Last updated: March 7th, 2024.

Morning Coffee


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