DIY Bartop Arcade Machine (Barcade-a-Tron).

arcade-a-tron mk3
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Software Setup - Retropie 3.0

***This page is a WIP***

This project is built around the powerful and popular quad-core Raspberry pi 2 model B.

The Barcade-a-Tron's software package is open source and is freely available. I have used the excellent Retropie 3.0 system and tweaked a few config files and messed about with some GPIO gubbins to make the Barcade-a-Tron a streamlined arcade-centric experience.


- Hugely popular Raspberry Pi 2 Model B

- ARM7 Quad-core CPU running at 1000Mhz - a 100Mhz overclock with heatsink. 1Gb RAM.

- Very nice 21.5 full HD VA LCD panel with LED backlighting, 178° viewing angles.

- Real arcade controls for authentic retro gaming bliss!

- Runs Retropie 3.0 - or any other Raspberry Pi OS.

Files to get (Windows):

- My tweaked Retropie 3.0 image file ********soon!
- Win32DiskImager application
- SD formatter application

Once you have all the required downloads, initial setup takes just a little more effort.

Format an 8-32Gb micro SD card with sd formatter. I find a 16Gb class 10 card will do the job if you're just playing classic arcade games.

Copy the retropie image to micro SD card with Windows disk imager.

Connect a USB keyboard to the Barcade-a-Tron (don't worry this is a temporary thing)

Insert Retropie SD into Barcade-a-Tron and power on. You should see the retropie splashscreen followed by the emulationstation frontend after about 20 seconds.

Select retropie in the menu and scroll down to "raspberry Pi configuration tool raspi-config"

Choose Expand Filesystem, Press right on the P1 JOYSTICK until Select is highlighted and press P1 START:

expand filesystem step 1


You should see this, press P1 START to Ok it

expand filesystem step 2


Press Right to highlight Finish and press P1 START

expand filesystem step 3


Now press P1 START once more to Reboot. The SD card is now ready to take some game files.

Ahem, so... roms?

A Google or DuckDuckGo search for "mame 0.37 roms" for mame4all and or "pifba roms" for FBA should provide useful results.

Once you have some rom files use a USB stick with this file structure and place the files in the emulator's folder. For example: mame 0.37 roms go in the mame4all folder.

Boot the Barcade-a-Tron and the files should copy to the microSD card. When emulationstation starts you should see the new game files.


Not all roms are equal. Unfortunately, it's part of the mame experience to find that your freshly loaded rom does not run. It's important to stick to the same romset version (0.37 for mame4all) the emulator supports. Also, often there are multiple zipped rom files for a specific game, download them all to ensure you have all dependant files. Generally the larger zip file contains the main game files and others will contain optional localisation/clone files. A bit of trial and error is sometimes needed to get a stubborn game to run, its a good idea to use more than one source.



...more soon!




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