$ 31.85

In stock

(10 customer reviews)

Power Switch, Game Controllers, and I/O for the Raspberry Pi

In stock

SKU: controlblock Categories: ,


Safe Power Button, Game Controller Interface, and I/O for the Raspberry Pi

The ControlBlock is an extension board for the Raspberry Pi™. The two key features of the ControlBlock are

  • a safe power button functionality to shutdown the Raspberry Pi without the risk of any data losses and
  • terminal blocks and a driver for connecting original game controllers for arcade machines and various game consoles.

Here is a more detailed feature list:

  • Supports arcade and original game controllers
    • Arcade controls
    • SNES and NES controllers
    • Atari controllers
    • Sega Master System controllers
    • Sega Genesis / Megadrive controllers
    • All supported controllers for up to two players
  • Safe power button (includes the same functionality as the PowerBlock)
    • Supports toggle and momentary switches
    • Automatic detection of switch type
    • Smooth power status indication via optional external LED
  • All 32 GPIO channels of the ControlBlocks can accessed via SPI (including the interrupt output pins) and, thus, can also be used for any other purpose for your project!
  • Input Voltage: 5V
  • Output Voltage: 5V
  • Continuous Current @ 25°C: maximum 7 A
  • MOSFET Static On-Resistance: 0.006 Ω

The power switch functionality allows you to turn on and off the power to the Raspberry Pi with a toggle switch (A toggle switch is not part of the ControlBlock). The ControlBlock comes with a USB Micro socket. You can optionally solder a USB-B socket to the ControlBlock, if you need a larger connector for your project (A USB-B socket is not included in the package). Any toggle switch can be connected to the ControlBlock, which allows you the biggest flexibility for your project. The power status of the Raspberry Pi can be indicated via an LED that can be connected to male pin headers.

The GPIO pins can be accessed from the Raspberry Pi via the SPI interface. The ControlBlock makes it very easy to connect arcade controllers for up to two players. The open-source driver for the ControlBlock can be configured for various controller types. It supports, e.g., arcade controllers that are mapped to game pad devices, as well as a mapping to a MAME keyboard configuration. The ControlBlock also supports, e.g., the polling of SNES and NES controllers so that it provides the functionality of the RetroPie GPIO Adapter.

You can find an article with a detailed description of the ControlBlock, getting started information and various demo videos here. The ControlBlock comes fully assembled.

If you have any questions, feel free to get in contact with us!

Additional information

Weight 0.1 kg

Driver Source Code




10 reviews for ControlBlock

  1. kenneth.fechter

    Bought one of these for my “Raspberry pi in an NES case” project. board is perfect for my use, although it looks like it has a type C connector now so I might have to buy another one to do some upgrades.

  2. kristof.sack

    This is a great product to use on a retropie project! Easy to install, set up and use. Great service from Florian to get some issues fixed.
    I just bought it for the controllers, but once I started using the start-up function and the LED, I can’t live without it any more :D

  3. Mark

    This is by far the most effective way of providing control inputs and start/stop your Pi without coruupting the filesystem with hard resets. It’s exactly what is needed and nothing you don’t. Delivery was good. Doc is excellent.
    Buy a Pi3, add this control block and a class D 20w Adafruit amp and you’re done. Everything just works without any stress. And, don’t forget to donate to RetroPie. Worth every single cent.

  4. Linux Journal

    Truly, it took this project to the next level. I can’t recommend it highly enough.

  5. Greg

    Used this in a super Famicom retropie build. Wanted to use original case controller board, power, led, ect. Very easy to install and use. Did not run into a single problem.

  6. Nicholas

    I bought the ControlBlock to be able to turn a Super Nintendo into a multi system emulator using Retropie. I wanted to be able to use the original SNES controllers for nostalgia’s sake, and didn’t like the idea of using usb versions since it would destroy the look of the Super Nintendo. To my delight, I found that the ControlBlock not only allows me to use original controllers, but also to safely turn the pi on and off using the Super Nintendo’s original switch, as well as utilize the original front LED. I was a little worried about soldering the ControlBlock, as well as the control panel of the Super Nintendo, but it turned out to be a less than monumental task. I can’t begin to describe how ecstatic I was when I turned on the Super Nintendo to find it worked perfectly. A big thank you to Florian for all his hard work bringing us this device, as well as his awesome work on Retropie. This is fantastic!

  7. Christos

    Very easy to build and easy to install on a retro pie setup. Great for those planing to create an arcade cabinet and don’t want to spend time on wiring and software setup.


  8. Alan

    I purchased this ControlBlock to build a RetroPI. I was impressed with the look and quality of the board, and included parts. After receiving my board I went to the website and followed the assembly instruction. It was very easy to assemble and looks great. I have not had a chance to try it out yet because I’m still waiting for some other parts. I even have my son interested in building a RetroPI after I get mine completed.
    Thanks Florian for a great product.

  9. Florian

    Ich habe lange nach einem Arcade Taster Adapter gesucht für meinen Spieleautomaten. Jetzt habe ich endlich ein Gutes, welches auch ohne großen Aufwand am RPi funktioniert

  10. Lars

    After ordering the first time I saw that I mistakenly had ordered the wrong amount. I sent a mail and got a reply the same day conforming he’d fixed the order with no fuzz. After receiving the order it appeared that there was some production fault with my CB, so I took contact again and explained the problems I was having. After a few mails back and forth detailing different approaches to troubleshoot my CB I ended up with getting a replacement CB :)

    One very satisfied customer here!

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