The Everything Console - DIY Retro Game Console
Beside me here. I have my PlayStation five, and this thing is a fantastic piece of cutting edge gaming hardware. Given the recent hardware shortages, I feel very lucky to have this thing but it does lack in one key area. It's not very good at retro gaming and me. I'm an ATV. My formative years were spent playing and yes, S.A., Sega, Genesis, N64, and.
Well, you get it. I could go. I have a lot of good memories tied up with those games and I would love to be able to play them again. But I also don't want to have ten different retro game consoles cluttering up my living room.
I'm trying to at least pretend like I'm a functional adult here. So that's where this comes in. This is a Raspberry Pi four and we are going to transform this into a retro game console. In fact, we're going to transform this into every game console up until about the same Dreamcast. Yeah. How's that for a throwback that if you guys have Sega Dreamcast? Because I did. I absolutely love that.
We might even be able to get this to play games, although that might be pushing it almost as much as the sponsor Segway is pushing it. Have you heard of Skillshare? Skillshare is an online learning community where you can learn directly from creative professionals working in the field. I'm currently taking Jordi Van to put a course on color correcting and color grading in Premiere Pro. Getting your colors right between shots is surprisingly hard to do, especially when you're changing locations.
I've learned so much taking this course, and I really feel like it's made me a better filmmaker and a better editor. Hopefully the colors of this video speak for themselves and are a good demonstration of all the stuff I've learned in this course. Skillshare members have a limited access to a wide range of classes on all sorts of different subjects, from illustration straight through to logo design, and it's all completely ad free. It's a great service. I mean, enjoying it a lot, and I think you will too. Right now, Skillshare has a special offer for my viewers.
The first 1000 people to register with the link in the video description will receive a one month free trial membership of Skillshare so that you can start exploring your creativity Now that we're here in the shop, we can get started on the first step of this build, which is going to be building a case for this tiny little adorable computer. And because it's so small, we're not going to need a lot of materials. We have some Walmart here, a little bit of oak here. And then the magnets that let me down in my last video. Hopefully they'll do a little bit better this time.
When you guys come around to this site and then we'll show you what I have worked out design wise, a laptop, because we're going to be working with incredibly small pieces, I figured that this was a great opportunity to use my ex Karp. So over here on the computer, I have it all loaded up, which is the CMC control software for the X car. And on it I've got a bunch of pieces design, so I'm going to build this case out of four main pieces.
These three that you can see on the screen here are going to be made in Walnut. And then we have this other one over here which is made out of the oak. Now instead of explaining all the different details and y design each one the way that I did, I think it would be easier if I just carve them first and then explain how they work What are the main things that I wanted to explore in this build was using my C and C to build things and layers it would have been impossible to cut the shape that I wanted all at once.
But by making it up for individual pieces and then joining those pieces together, I was out of the single piece of walnut. I cut the front grille from the bottom of the case and then the top case, and then out of this tiny little slab of oak, I cut a middle section. If you look closely, you can actually see that I use the CMC to cut out a bunch of little pockets for my magnets. We'll talk more about those later.
All right. That's number two. Let's see how these guys look at the machine. Carving is now done, and all we have to do now is break all of these individual pieces out of the bigger piece. Somebody told me that a really good way to do this is just with a hammer and chisel. So we're going to try that Yeah, that actually worked pretty well.
Now that we have our four pieces separated, let me show you approximately how they're going to go together. So this one is the bottom one. Raspberry Pi is going to fit in here like so. And this one is the middle piece, which is going to go on there, although I had to carve a little bit out of the back of it. Then this one goes on top like so.
And then finally this one goes in the front. So a couple little cinnamon issues that I noticed right off the bat. Obviously, this guy is just way too thick and it looks kind of dumb as is. So I'll play this down on the drum center. And then the other thing I know this is that this stack of three ends up being a little bit higher than that.
So I will probably fix that by just reducing the thickness of this guy a little bit. I didn't want to risk sending such a small, delicate piece through the planer or the joint, but the drum center with its abrasive head did a great job of reducing the thickness of that front grill, as well as the middle oak piece without doing any damage. It just took quite a few passes. The drum center isn't great at removing a lot of material all at once.
Now that we got those small issues taken care of, we are going to glue this midsection to the bottom section and then we're going to glue the front section on after that. And then as for the top, well, I have a little bit of a surprise left for there on a way too early. Talks about the magnets. Yeah, I'm going to use magnets well, I used to think that my larger glue ups are tricky, but gluing together pieces this small presented its own unique challenges Eventually, though, I got everything balance clamps and left it all to dry over night. It is now 24 hours later and the wardrobe change and the glue is now definitely dry. So before we attach this front grille to the main chassis, I love coming up with all names for the pieces as I go.
We had to do a couple of little things to this first, but we still have good, easy access to it. The first one is going to be widening this iReport here. You can see that there's not quite enough room for all these USB ports and this Ethernet port here. I obviously remember to include it in the walnut piece, but I forgot to include it in this OP. So we're going to chisel that out and sign it by hand. This is the part of the video where I expose myself as a true novice woodworker using a small hacksaw, which, by the way, is the only saw that I could fit into this tight opening.
I cut two lines up to the height that I need it. I then used a semi sharp chisel to chip away at the oak until my raspberry PI's USB ports had to fit next. It was time to do a little bit of trolling. You see, last time I drilled through a PCB like this and my desk filled video, quite a few people got mad at me in the comments.
But here's the thing there's not really any traces that run anywhere near these walls, and it's a great, foolproof way to locate your belt extender. So I'm going to keep doing it Once the holes were drilled, I threaded in some brass standoffs that I could then mount the Raspberry Pi two and then, well, then I mounted the Raspberry Pi only to discover a small issue with my design. So between this front grill and the actual board itself, there's a little area here which I was intending to use to put a fit specifically this little one right here. Then I got it and I was like, Ooh, that's a little bit smaller than I imagined it would be. So I ended up ordering a different fan. This one right here but this one is significantly thicker than the first one, so we don't have enough clearance to get this one in there properly.
So that's the nice thing about having your own see and see. I turned off the camera for like five or 10 minutes, put it up easel, and now I have a redesigned front grille that's ready to be carved. Being able to remake components like this on the fly is so here. Could you imagine how heartbreaking it would have been to discover that mistake had I even carved the front grille? Yeah, I might it to scrap the whole build at that point. Lucky for me, though, I was able to carve a new piece with a new and improved design. This time I included a recessed area for the fan that held it tightly in place.
No need for glue or even any mounting screws. Let's see how this guy looks now. Lots of dust, but yeah, I think that should do the trick. Sorry.
Just give me one quick second. Hearing Upload a photo to my Instagram account, which, if you're following me, by the way, you might want to because I do upload photos live of my projects as I'm doing them. So if you're ever curious about what I'm building next, you might want to check it out.
That in there. And then beauty. Okay, now we have the kind of clearance that we need, although this is still looking a little bit too chunky. For my tastes. So really the same thing we did before and played it down to the drum center Who could? This fits in there very nicely.
Now everything looks pretty good, so I think it's time that we glued the front grill in place. Paradoxically, when you're working on small pieces like this, wood movement can be even more of an issue than it normally is. I had to force this wedge into the front of the case in order to return it back to its original shape. After that, though, it was an extremely straightforward look It's about an hour later. See how we did all right? A couple of little rough edges, but I've already set up a little area over here where we can clean those up. Let me show you on my left here, you'll see that I have taped a piece of sandpaper to the desk so what we're going to do is we're going to take our box and we're going to rub it across it and sand it down so that all the sides of it are perfectly flat.
Because you'll see there's a couple of spots like here where there's a little ridge and a little bit there, too. And I want this thing to be nice and flat when we're done. So this is a good way to do it. Basically, we're just referencing the surface of the table in order to flatten this out. At this point, you might be asking yourself, why use a table and not a random sander? And the answer is you just get way more control when doing it right here.
Is really easy to accidentally hold a vibrating tool at a slightly off angle and end up removing more material than you ever intended to. I found that this method was perfect for dialing in all those little millimeter adjustments. Okay. So that's pretty close to where I want it.
Now, before we go any further, I want you install all the magnets that I'm going to use to secure this top to the main body here. Since all the magnet holes were machine carved, installing them was as easy as adding a single drop of glue and then gently tapping them into their individual holes. Once the blue set, they were in there permanently.
So let's see how these two halves fit together. Pretty good, actually. That's not bad at all. Okay, we got to do a little bit more sanding to smooth out these edges. But then we on the finishing this passes. Sanding was more about shaping the case than it was about making sure everything lined up.
I ran it off some of the corners by hand, and then I used a random orbital sander to do what my friend calls. Hello. Were you slightly round and bevel your piece? Wood. I felt like this little detail was kind of reminiscent of some of those rounded edges that were so popular in nineties gaming consoles like SNL and the Genesis. Look at that. That is looking pretty damn good.
Now we're ready to do some finishing. And if you watch my last video or is making that Bluetooth speaker, you know that finishing in these little slots is an absolute pain. So we're gonna try something new today.
We are going to try spraying on the finish. This is my makeshift spray, as you can see in the rest of the shop. There's a lot of stuff going on right now, so I want to be as mindful over spray as I possibly can. Be After I got my makeshift spray booth set up, it was time to test it out.
I loaded up some Water-Based varnish and gave it a spray. Well, this did end up working decently well. In retrospect, the sprayer was probably a bit oversize. Job.
In the future, I think I'll have to invest in a little airbrush for smaller pieces like this. So that is the finishes dry. Basically, at this point in the normal video, we would almost be done. We still have quite a bit of work in front of us. So let's go home and install the hardware and then also install all the software that's going to drive this thing because this could take some time.
It's now the next day and we are back home and ready to dove into some hardware. Well, earlier in the video I said something like, we might be able to get it to run some GameCube we games. Well, in order to achieve that, we are going to have to overclock this thing. And if you're familiar with overclocking, what it means is you're basically pushing the hardware inside this thing to run faster than it was ever designed to run.
And a byproduct of that is that it produces a ton of extra heat. So we are going to need to upgrade the cooling on this thing, and we're going to be doing that in two key ways. So the first, which is just as big well, big, relatively speaking, fan that I installed at the front of the case.
This is going to blow air over the Raspberry Pi and keep it cool by dissipating the heat that way. The second way we're going to cool it is with this guy. This is a heatsink and it attaches directly to the CPU on the Raspberry Pi and Wicks Heat away from it, which is then cooled by this fan right here. But even that is not enough to satisfy my thirst for maximum performance. So we're actually going to replace the Stalk fan on this heatsink, which, by the way, is like a little light up L.e.d.
one, which I really didn't want in my case with this high performance, one from Noctua. This is quieter and it moves more air than this one and unhook this. And now we're just going to put the last one in place for a cool retention bracket on there.
Slide it under the heatsink. There you go. Upgraded heatsink. Next, we have a little bit of a compatibility issue. You see the power connectors that come with these fans aren't really compatible with the power supplies that are on the raspberry PI. These are DuPont connectors, and this is the DuPont crimper. So what we're going to do is crimp a single female pin onto the end of each one of our wires.
That will allow us to connect them to individual male pins on the Raspberry Pi. Of course, I don't have a wire stripper well enough to do these teeny little wires. So I'm going to have to do it the old fashioned way and try to strip these wires just using a little knife. Wish me luck. I want to just cut through the plastic shielding without cutting through the actual wire, which is a bit of a delicate operation.
All right. Z0 three. And then we have the pin in the crypt tool being held in there. Kind of wing. Insert the wire in.
Good. Now, with a little bit of luck, if I just crimp that on there, like, that should be connected. Yeah. Seems pretty good.
So now we have this little metal connector, and we slide it into one of these little plastic sheets. These are all extremely technical terms I'm extremely well versed in, as I'm sure you can tell. This guy goes in here, like, so it's locked in there. So there's one. We got to do three more.
Just do a quick test here to make sure our fins actually work. And I hooked up everything, right? And here's the power switch. And. Yeah.
Perfect. Both our fans are spinning this and smooth move on, though. This little micro SD card here holds the raspberry PIs operating system as well as all of the games.
And it goes in this little slot on the underside of it, which is going to be kind of hard to reach. Once we install it there. So we just sort out the software before we permanently mount this thing on location. So I'm actually going to kind of breeze through this because this step could be a video unto itself.
But long the short of it is, I'm going to use my main computer here to install Retro Pi onto this SD card. Now, Retro Pi is an operating system for the Raspberry Pi that is specifically geared towards emulation and playing retro games and ROMs and stuff like that. It's just going to give us a neat, easy to use clean UI, specifically designed for what we want this thing to do. So in summary, pop the SD card into the main computer, right? Retro PI to it, pop it out, pop it into the Raspberry Pi and enjoy it just like that. We're done. So that's a freshly installed copy of Retro Pi. We'll slide that into the Raspberry Pi.
So now we're ready to install this. In the case, assembling everything inside the case was pretty straightforward, if a little bit frustrating but only because I was working with such small pieces inside an already tight case. Instead of using screws to mount the Raspberry Pi, I actually installed a second set of brass standoffs This set of standoffs would in turn give me some work in the heatsink, but not before I installed a little bit of thermal paste on the CPU and a little bit of thermal compound on the ram chip.
These piece helped to facilitate heat transfer from the components to the heatsink, and they actually helped quite a bit. Without them, the heatsink would be almost useless. So that's something you might want to keep in mind if you're planning on building a similar setup success. Everything fits inside the case.
So the way this is set up to work is that that fan at the front is going to pour cold air in. It's going to pass over the CPU in the heatsink, and then it's going to get ejected out this top side. Now, let me show you one little compromise that I had to make on this build that I'm not overly thrilled about.
So unfortunately, the Raspberry Pi actually has two sets of inputs and outputs. You have these ones around back, which are the USB ports and Ethernet, but then you also have this row of ports here. So this is the power supply. And then this one is the HDMI port. So in order to get those to work, I had to attach two right angle adapters to them.
Now, obviously, I could have just drilled another set of holes there for those cables, but I really wanted all the cables on this thing to come out the back side. So what I'm really going to do is bring these around it over and then I'm going to root them through the top of the box. So this one, I'll go there, that one goes there, and then they just come out the back. Honestly, not the cleanest, the most elegant solution, but it works for now. I think what I would do if I were going to do this project again is have a cut out here and a cut out here, and then just run extension cables to those cutouts and then glue them in place. But you know what they say first you make it work, then you make it look good.
So let's get this thing booted up and see how it runs Look at that. That is running quite nicely now. So give me a little bit of time to get this all set up.
Connected to wi fi transfer over some games and then we will take this thing for a spin. Oh, okay. So that ended up taking a lot longer than I thought it would. I turned off the camera yesterday.
Think it just be a couple of hours and it ended up getting the rest of the day. But regardless, I now have it set up in the living room and it's ready to be demoed. As you can see, this is the initial splash screen.
Once you put up the console and from here you can pick whatever system you want. We've got the any s that ends in 64 Sega Genesis, Gameboy, Gameboy Color Game Gear Dreamcast basically every console right up to and including the PlayStation one and the PSP. The best part of it is all of the games run great and importantly, they feel just like they used to back in the day. Now, at this point, I should probably point out that running emulators in ROMs is a little bit of a legal and moral gray area.
So for my system, I stuck to only games and consoles that I actually owned in real life. They just happened to be collecting dust in my dad's basement right now, thanks to the controller I've got here is actually pretty cool too. It's from a company called Do or a bit Doh, and it's basically like somebody mash together a Super Nintendo control and a PlayStation two controller, but it's completely wireless and even has rumble functionality built into it. I just need to get like three or more of these so that my friends can play too. Another neat feature that this setup has is the ability to remotely manage it. Say, I want to download a new game.
I can just download it on my main computer and then drag and drop it on to the Raspberry Pi and it transfers over WiFi. It's really seamless and really easy. Now, unfortunately, I did fall short of my own expectations and this build in a couple of key ways. One, I just don't love this design that much. It's not bad, mind you, but I just also don't feel like it's my greatest work ever.
And two, I never really got it to run WI and GameCube games that well. The fact of the matter is the CPU and the CPU in this thing, even one overclocked just aren't powerful enough for those platforms. However, I am quite pleased with the way it runs Dreamcast and PlayStation games. And if there's one thing that I learned from Marvel movies, it's that you always leave room for a sequel. If you guys enjoy this video and it does well, then maybe we can do a follow up to this where we build a second version of this with a lot more computational horsepower.
And maybe a better chassis design too. We'll see if we can build something that runs Xbox to PS3 and who knows, maybe even more. So let me know down in the comments if that's something you'd be interested in seeing. And on that note, I think that's a good spot to end this video.
As always, all include a bunch of links in the video description to all the products I use, as well as a bunch of in-depth guides as to how you can set up your own Raspberry Pi as a retro gaming console. Big. Thank you to all my Patreon supporters for sponsoring this video and everybody. I do.
And a big thank you to Skillshare for sponsoring this video in particular. As always, I would really appreciate it if you like this video, if you could hit that like button, give it a comment and subscribe if you are already. Now, if you'll excuse me, I have a little bit of retro gaming to do. I will see you guys in the next video piece. Oh, and I almost forgot. I owe you guys a B-roll sequence. Hit it, Bryson.