Homepage Forums RetroPie Project Peoples Projects My NES Build

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    I decided, after finding an old NES that the innards had unfortunately died in, that I’d have a crack at doing a Retropie build in one. I’d found loads of guides on the net, most notably these two: Raspberry Pi installed into an old broken NES and I too put a Raspberry Pi in an NES.

    I got myself all the basics I needed: Pi2, case, wires and extension leads for the inputs/outputs as I wanted to keep the box self-contained with no trailing wires etc. I had discovered Mausberry use-your-own switch as well as a wiring diagram from the second link above (which was also handy for the LED wiring I did to the original NES switchboard). So I thought I’d have a crack similar to the guide where the Pi was sat on a removable platform.

    Anyway, I knocked it all together and I had already shared the video-splash that I did on the Splash Screen forum – see here: My Video Splash and I thought I’d let people see what I’ve done. Please be aware that I had soldered nothing prior to this, and despite working in IT for nearly 12 years, I’ve not done much with bare electronics such as the Pi tends to use. So if I can knock this together, then I’m sure most people could if given some help.

    Now, I have re-sprayed the top a slate grey (hard to see from the pictures exactly) and I managed to get a new NES logo from eBay which I think looks perfect.

    Only issue I had when sprucing up the case was that the bottom half of the shell had a dint in it (must’ve been dropped which would explain why the original NES innards were knacked) and I tried to fix by heating it up… a little too much. Turns out I melted the plastic just above the power and reset switches, which is why they look odd. New plan is to strip the top off, re-spray the bottom as well as the buttons, but I was anxious to get this online for you all to see. I was thinking a satin finish black for the base would complement the top as well as re-spraying the buttons the same slate grey to match the lid. The top half is pretty much as it will be, apart from one corner where the paint has chipped when I was closing the two halves together (bit heavy-handedly). I’m especially pleased with the game-slot facia with USB port cutout. This was actually UPVC trim from a diy store that fits perfectly, just needed trimming to length. There’s a 4 port hub glued to the other side of it and it’s pretty solid.

    Oh, one more thing which I think quite a few people were after doing was hooking up the reset button so that you could exit emulators. I managed to find this forum post (linky) which I liberated and it works! The bit that you’re after is a fair way down and called escape.py and escape.sh rather that the earlier posts. As it turns out, I thought I’d need both wires from the rest switch, but I only needed one. It was trial and error, so I’m actually unsure of which one works, but there’s only 2 so it’s not exactly going to take long to test.

    I’ve put a video on youtube here:

    showing it off booting and that. And there is a link to the picture gallery showing the insides as well here: HossNES44 Gallery

    Any comments would be great, and I’ll try and answer any questions if you’ve got them.


    Nice job, i lek the Emulation Station theme… have you made it ?


    Sadly I can’t take credit for that, it was made by rookervik and is the pixel theme you can install through the menus. It’s excellent though, and has fit my build superbly! The borders I did have a bit to do with, taking a template and modifying then slightly (not the gameboy one though) and I did a complete PlayStation one myself which isn’t shown in the video. It’s quite simple once you’ve got a starting point (Google retroarch borders) and then just start fiddling with Photoshop.

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