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A stylish, retro, and fun arcade cabinet for your Raspberry Pi, Mini-ITX, Pandaboard, or other mini PC from the makers of Pibow
A stylish, retro, and fun arcade cabinet for your Raspberry Pi, Mini-ITX, Pandaboard, or other mini PC from the makers of Pibow
625 backers pledged £74,134 to help bring this project to life.

About

Picade: The arcade cabinet kit for your mini computer project video thumbnail
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£74,134

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UPDATE: We're now making the Picade work with other systems (esp. Mini-ITX) and turning the controls into a USB HID device.

UPDATE #2: We're bundling games with the Picade starting with retro classic from Sheffield's Gremlin Graphics. Thanks to games industry legend Ian Stewart for this. See the full update.

Don't know what to do with your Raspberry Pi®? Vexed by your Mini-ITX? Pandabored? Want an awesome mini arcade cabinet for your home or desk at work? Want it to double up as a second screen for your computer when not playing arcade classics? Want to build it yourself? You've come to the right place!

The Picade and Picade Mini are high-quality desk top arcade cabinets for your Raspberry Pi®, Mini-ITX, Pandaboard, or other mini PC. Designed and manufactured with care in Sheffield, UK.

Make it, don't fake it!

The Picade and Picade Mini come in kit form for you to build at home. All parts, panels, and components are included - you just need to supply the Raspberry Pi® or other mini computer. 

The only tools you'll need are a screwdriver and a pair of pliers. Total build time is around one hour and full instructions are included with the kit.

You then load up your mini computer with whatever games or emulators you want to play, hook it up to the Picade and have a blast!

What you'll receive in the Picade kit:

  • Cabinet panels and fasteners
  • LCD panel mount with protective overlay
  • LCD panel and driver board with inputs (at least 8" for the Picade Mini and 12" for the Picade)
  • Amplifier and speakers
  • 3.5mm stereo panel mounted headphone socket
  • Panel mounted video input socket (allows you to use your Picade as a second display for your computer or laptop)
  • A proper arcade stick
  • Illuminated microswitch arcade buttons (at least 4 on the Picade Mini and 6 on the Picade)
  • All other required components and cables
  • Any software we can LEGALLY supply in terms of emulators and drivers for the Raspberry Pi
  • An awesomely hackable product :)

Why we need your help

Right now we're at the prototype stage. We have rough designs for the cabinet itself, the controls are functional, and we're working on improving the audio quality.

Currently the cabinet panels are laser cut (what else would you expect from the Pibow guys?!) but for the final product we need to invest in CNC routers to get the fit and finish we want.

We also need to design and produce a custom PCB (printed circuit board) that includes all of the power, controls, amplifier, and lighting circuitry. This will allow the kit to be constructed without any soldering. (It'll also include extra breakout points for other GPIO pins so you can hack it further!)

Finally to make it look really awesome we want to commission some custom artwork for decals that you can apply to your Picade.

Stretch goals

If we make our target and go beyond we have some ideas we'd like to integrate into Picade.

ACHIEVEMENT UNLOCKED! £65,536 / Commodore 64: Why just Pi? Of course we love the Raspberry Pi and indeed it inspired this project because of its size and easy to work with GPIO interface. But why limit ourselves to that? There are tons of devices and form factors that could work with Picade such as Beaglebone, Mini-ITX, PandaBoard and many more. We want to research and test them to offer compatibility with the Picade.

ACHIEVEMENT UNLOCKED! £49,152 / ZX Spectrum 48K: Decals baby! We'll commission some beautiful, original, and colourful custom artwork that you can apply to your Picade however you want!

ACHIEVEMENT UNLOCKED! £32,768 / BBC Micro B: We're funded, woo! Time to get to work, all those that have backed us will be able to follow our progress, access the designs as we tweak them, and give feedback. We'll be iterating on our design to improve every aspect of Picade.

Hack It!

The Picade has illuminated arcade buttons which you can control via the GPIO pins on your Raspberry Pi. Create your own custom scripts to light them up when you receive e-mail, or are mentioned in a tweet, pulse in time to music, or anything you can think of!

Want to play with a friend? Hack on another controller so you can co-op or compete in your favourite games? There are already projects out there providing compatibility with classic console controllers or you can work it all out for yourself!

Need more powah!? Swap out the Raspberry Pi for something else like a Mini-ITX based computer. If we meet our stretch goals we'll make Picade compatible with other platforms as well by adding the appropriate mounting holes and providing suitable drivers/hardware for the Picade controls.

The Picade also includes a panel mounted VGA port that allows you to use it as a second screen for your computer or laptop. Be the coolest hacker in the office with a mini arcade machine showing your e-mail, twitter feed, or even watching your Nginx logs!

Who are we?

Pimoroni was founded in 2012 and is the same people who brought you the Pibow (http://www.pibow.com) case for Raspberry Pi, a massively popular (and festive) case that has sold over 15,000 units all over the world. As a business we're focussed on creating great things that mix design, function, and technology in exciting and fun ways.

We've been experimenting with the idea for the Picade since April 2012, before the Pibow was even conceived but haven't had the time or resources to invest fully into it until now.

Paul is a designer, hacker & maker. As well as doing award-winning work in Interactive DVD, he also designed the Raspberry Pi logo and is the brand and design lead for the Foundation. He wants everyone to be able to understand, hack, reuse and recycle the things around them. He lives in Sheffield with his Macbook Air and one Quadcopter.

Jon is a software guy and electronics hobbyist. Co-founder and technical lead for Netcopy (a digital archiving solution). He generally wants to control the world via GPIO pins and Python code but only in a mildly megalomaniacal sense. He's looking forward to teaching his six-month-old daughter about all manner of geekery as she grows up.

We also have a team of talented people who we can lean on for support in areas ranging from electrical engineering, finance, product design and illustration, supply chain and logistics to cross-stitch and quilt making.

Risks and challenges

COMPONENTS AND SUPPLY CHAIN

We have a working prototype and a good idea of the components we wish to use in the final product. Depending on the level of interest in the Picade we will need to find reliable suppliers who can provide enough of the parts we need in a timely manner to deliver the Picade on schedule.

Pimoroni Ltd also brought you the Pibow which has shipped thousands of units. We have previous experience of manufacturing a high volume product and have already experienced and solved some of the difficulties involved in procuring parts, packaging, and shipping at that scale.

We've been testing and evaluating various parts for the Picade to find the best balance of price, performance, and reliability for the product.

SOFTWARE

Currently the audio support on Raspberry Pi is a little shaky, the situation is improving all the time though and is a software problem. We are actively seeking workarounds to this and if the problem is not solved by the time we ship then the Picade will include a USB sound card.

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Support

  1. Select this reward

    Pledge £2 or more About $3.20

    Peanut gallery: Maybe you're one of life's spectators. You'll get all the news and updates as we finish developing the Picade!

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    Pledge £8 or more About $13

    Project follower: You'll have access to the designs/blueprints as we finish development of the Picade so you can experiment and maybe even make your own!

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  3. Select this reward

    Pledge £32 or more About $51

    Just the PCB (printed circuit board): Want to build your own enclosure or perhaps do something completely different? You'll receive the custom PCB that includes all of the power circuitry, control inputs, amplifier, lighting control, and all the information you need to use it.

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    Pledge £112 or more About $179

    Picade *Mini* Early Adoptor: Get the Picade Mini first! You'll get one of the first production Picade Minis once they're ready to ship! Each of these units will include a custom etch and unit number.

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    Pledge £120 or more About $192

    Picade *Mini* Early Adoptor Redux: Get the Picade Mini first! You'll get one of the first production Picade Minis once they're ready to ship! Each of these units will include a custom etch and unit number.

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  6. Select this reward

    Pledge £128 or more About $205

    Picade *Mini*: Get the Picade Mini! You'll receive a Picade Mini once they're ready to ship!

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  7. Reward no longer available

    Pledge £160 or more About $256

    Picade Early Adoptor: Get the Picade first! You'll get one of the first production Picades once they're ready to ship! These units will include a custom etch and unit number.

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  8. Reward no longer available

    Pledge £176 or more About $282

    Picade Early Adoptor Redux: Get the Picade first! You'll get one of the first production Picades once they're ready to ship! These units will include a custom etch and unit number.

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  9. Select this reward

    Pledge £192 or more About $308

    Picade: Get the Picade! You'll receive a Picade once they're ready to ship!

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Funding period

- (30 days)