Build Your Own Arcade Kits & more
Build Your Own Arcade Kits & more

The Build Page (News)

Arcade Do-It-Yourself since 2000-something.

<July 27, 2015>

The Tested Video came out without warning and traffic has been exploding. This week is the show and I am building some cabs for it. If you live anywhere near Pittsburgh you better check it out. 

Due to the increase in traffic, I am working on having some inventory to go along side all the additional attention.

Expect some 10" kits available tomorrow.

<July 6, 2015>

I have some slightly imperfect comfort pad artwork I want to give away (well it's $0.01 for inventory reasons). One artwork per comfort pad please!



Since Im not great at graphic design (have you seen the website?) I am thinking of making a user contributed section of artwork/vinyl. If you made your own artwork for the Porta Pi Arcade, and want to share it creative commons style, I will post/link it on my website. Just email me the file or link. 

<July 5, 2015>

Adjust the action (feel + deadzone) of the Suzo Happ competition joystick. I actually lost this part so I made a new one! Replacement actuator.



Also, have you seen the Prototype section of the Shop?

<June 18, 2015>

It is turning out to be a busy summer. The claw machine is up an running with all the game logic programmed. Latest pics here. I am hoping to make the stepper driver circuit a PCB in the near future.


Anyone interested in Porta Pi Arcade a-la-cart section? As in, the same DIY Kits but only pay for the parts you need? If yes, just tweet at me.


Full Kits for 9&10" will be in stock by the end of the month. 


I finsihed the two-player cocktail Porta Pi. I'll make a short video soonish.

<June 1, 2015>

Long time no update!

I have a bunch of Raspberry Pi Screw Terminal breakout boards in stock. Around 100 to be specific!


I have put about 60 hours in the past 2-3weeks into a project I abondoned in 2012. Since I have revisited it, I must say it will blow your mind. I present the Claw Machine!

<May 11, 2015>

I am working on a bulk PCB order for the RPi screw terminal breakout boards

Also, I have been considering designing new kits.

1) DIY Arcade fight stick (very basic rounded rectagle design)

2) Cocktail arcade cabinet (maybe 2 player?) same scale as the Porta Pi Arcades.

Good idea? bad idea? let me your thoughts on twitter: @retrobuiltgames 

<May 7, 2015>

Lots of inventory (9 and 10" kits) is here! 

<April 22, 2015>

Acrylic Kits are ready:)

<April 9, 2015>
10.1" HD LCD kits are HERE!!!!!!!!!!! I want one!

They've been in a few of my youtube videos if you have a careful eye ;) Now they are available.

I buit this 10.1" Neo Geo machine to show you how to paint like a pro.

<April 7, 2015>
Need a switch or quarter slot? Button inserts! Free CAD and 3D printer files.

<April 3, 2015>
The comfort control pad.

<March 29, 2015>

I am happy to see more awareness being raised regarding the Spanish company InterMedia/ who copied my design without my consent or compensation. My write-up here.


ON a lighter note: If you have finished your Porta Pi Arcade Kit send me a photo! I like seeing the unique paint-jobs and custom mods you guys come up with. I will add your photo to the hall-of-fame!

<March 25, 2015>

First prototype of the 'new' acrylic kit takes form. Looking good. There some tolerance issues that I need to address. (Yes, the screen size is 9"). I also need to move 3 bracket locations. You might have noticed the top middle hole location is not quite centered- don't know how I missed that. If you have not noticed; this design does not require glue or acrylic cement; just extra hardware. It is identical to the current 9" Wood Kit, just with brackets and no wood.

<March 23, 2015>

Full Kits are back in stock as of 9:20pm Eastern (New York time).

I still have t-shirts I am trying to get rid of; So buy one for a dollar when you buy a kit or something :)

<March 17, 2015>

Full Kits are sold out AGAIN!

I know... sorry. I have a show this weekend, so I am holding some inventory for it. Full Kits will be back in stock after the show. ( if you come and see me in-person I will have them:)

<March 16, 2015>

New image with RetroPie V2.6 is uploaded; it's for the Pi2 only.

I also re-uploaded image v4.5 (Retropie updated for Pi 1and Pi 2). Uploading a 1.8GB file with DSL is not advisable; I uploaded it again with a faster connection.

<March 14, 2015>

Check out how the Pi2 handles Playstation, 32X and Neo Geo MVS games!

Shop pages will be unavailble today as I "enhance" the layout. 


Happy Pi Day!

<March 11, 2015>

Got some 60 LCDs in today! I am spending the next few days shipping all orders. Thanks for being patient everyone! Full Kits will be in stock by March 13 (once I get these few dozen orders shipped).

<March 10, 2015>

First image is up for Pi2! Please be patient with the FTP server. It's a free one. Over the past 2 years my web traffic/audience has increase significantly; If you're having trouble getting the image to download, please be patient and try again later.


<March 6, 2015>

I'm working on two new images for the Porta Pi Arcade:


1) RPi1 & RPi2: Doing all the required updates for RetroPie v2.3 to run on the Pi2. Nothing fancy. Having high hopes for this.


2) RPi2 only: Using the new RetroV2.6. I have this up and running but not fully tested. Much of RetroPie has been altered so adv configuration is becoming a chore. Raspbian has been removed so getting everything configured must be done through the terminal and I am hating this part. There's also a ton of new emulators including adding two flavors of emulation for many systems (ex N64, 32X). I do not reccomnd this for the uninitiated. I am hesitant to upload it as you guys know if you have questions I will direct you to forums. Everyone's main concern is N64 emulation and PS1 emulation; N64 is hit or miss (Speed is there but gfx and audio issues are still random), PS1 is rock solid. 

<March 4, 2015>

LCDs are on their way to me (about 60 of them)! Once they are in my hands Kits will ship out within 1-2 days. Also, Full Kits will be back in stock too. (I stopped taking orders to prevent a backlog until I have all parts on hand).


Guess who got their Pi 2 in the mail? This guy. I will be working on the image shortly.

<Feb 25, 2015>

The Chinese New Year/Holiday break is adding some delay for orders. I am waiting on more LCDs. Full Kits are going to be delayed by an extra week. If you bought your kit (applies to kits that have LCDs) after Feb 20th expect some delay. My order's have doubled recently so it has shocked my inventory. A good problem to have:) 


In the mean-time the acrylic kit redesign is on track. When will it be done? "When It's done". I promise it's not a Half-life 3 kinda date.

<Feb 14, 2015>

Updated full assembly video guide is up!

<Feb 11, 2015>

ALL kits ordered after today with have new joysticks. Better quality, more 'beefiness'. Also, slight design update coming soon with an updated assembly video. I've been putting the video off b/c it's just soooooooooo much work. But, I will get it done.


IF YOU BOUGHT A KIT AFTER Feb 11th, Check the manual. I have updated it!

<Feb 4, 2015>

The new RPi 2 is out. Every other email I get asks if the OS image will work with it. It will not. The RPi (original) uses am ARM 6 processor. The RPi 2 uses an ARM 7 processer. Different architectures = recompiled/reconfigured OS. Think of this like running Windows 98 on current multi-core CPUs.  I have been getting emails about people running the  sudo apt-get upgrade on their Pi 1 FIRST, and trying the SD card in the Pi2. That  works on the short-term.

The good news is the RPi 2 has the same dimensions and mechainical mounting locations, so when it does work it will be a drop-in replacement with the Porta Pi Arcade! I have been unable to get a Pi2 as they are sold out everying in the US. 

<<Jan 26, 2015>>
I have noticed a surge in traffic /orders the past two weeks :) So, I'd like to know how you got here! Check out the 1 question survey- it helps me a LOT.

<<Jan 11, 2015>>
RPi B+ Arcade Button Shield PCB is now available in the shop. I only have a few on hand as this version was a prototype order. Working on the production order:)


Also- want your joystick to feel "just right"? See how to 3d print a part, plus adjust the feel of your joystick. Getting to know your arcade parts.

<Jan 3, 2015>
Because why not? There's a RPi shield for everything but buttons! 

<<Jan 1, 2015>>

Added the 9Inch LCD to the shop!



<<Dec 28, 2014>>

Updated the video for Advanced Config/Setup for Retropie v2.3 / PPOS 4.x



<<Dec 16, 2014>>

Never noticed the large (and confusing) copy-and-paste error on the Fully Assembled Kit page. Fixed and should make sense now.

<<Dec 10, 2014>>

My Web server has been experiencing DDoS attacks since Tuesday (Dec 11th). Thanks for those messaging me and tweeting at me expressing concern. Like any DDoS there is no expected time when it it stop. The site goes down randomly. Sorry everyone.



The good news is I've added new items to the shop!


Raspberry Pi B+ Computer

SD card with the Porta Pi Arcade OS installed

USB power cable for the RPi

<<Nov 26, 2014>>

How to add a working coin acceptor to your arcade!

I think I've seen this before

<<Nov 21, 2014>>

In an unfortunate turn of events, it looks like my design has been copied without my permission and is being sold without my consent, credit, or compensataion.
Full story here.

<<Nov 5, 2014>>

The Porta Pi Arcade is now one year old and it's that time of year... So, Holiday prices are in effect. The Wood Full Kit 9" is now $280 (that's $5 below the origininal Kickstarter price). Original price was $315. 

Thank you to everyone who has supported me. You are the stuff.


I have twitter now! Follow me using the button on the side panel (left).

<<Nov 4, 2014>>

 GBA XXL, because why not?

<<Oct 23, 2014>>

Current design modeled in Invetor Professional 2014 with exploded assembly animation. Should aid with assembly.

<< Oct 16 2014>> 

Porta Pi Arcade 9inch rendered inside an empty lab using Inventor Professional 2014. Because? I'm trying to learn Inventor.

<< Oct 14 2014>> 

Custom control panel. Laser etched then filled with paint and finally sanded a bunch.

<< Oct 9 2014>> 2nd post
Bought a box (27) of ultra-compact PC's (Lenovo Q150) from an e-recycler. If you want to supercharge your Porta Pi Arcade they work rather well.

<< Oct 9 2014>>

Made a video to show off RetroPie 2.3 and how to edit/change a number of config files to aid in your mini arcade cabinet experience.

I get a number of questions about these things. Hope the video helps. More help can be found in the help page (seems almost too logical).

<<Oct 2, 2014>>

2 Player Mini arcade prototype for sale.

Thanks to those who responded to the survey. Looks like this guy just wont cut it. 

<< Sept 30, 2014>>

1) Removed some now obsolete Porta Pi Arcade images (2.x and 4.0 from the OS download page. Uploaded an updated OS for the B+ and B (this is v4.1). I fixed some GPIO mapping in v4.1 (v4.0 had player 2 mapped to some hotkeys for graphics and made things not user-friendly).


2) Added an option to the Wood Panel Kit 9"; now you can buy the wood panels and the nuts/bolts to aid your assembly :)

<<Sept 22, 2014>>

Selling this bartop prototype, need to make room and build the next almost-final version!

<<Sept 22, 2014>>

I now sell Suzo Happ Arcade buttons. New colors too (purple and yellow). You can now buy just buttons for your Arcade projects here! 

<<Sept 18, 2014>>

First prototype of a two player mini arcade kit. Screen is 10.1" . Tell me what you think here (2 question survey via google docs).

<<Sept 17, 2014>>

You can now select the colors of the arcade buttons for 9" kits at no extra charge! Want all 10 buttons to be red and black? Done. Just enter the color+qty in the text field by the "add to cart" button.

<<Sept 13, 2014>>

Fine-tuning/ trying deeper cabinet model for the 23" plywood kits... I present to you the Button Hero Arcade Machine.

<<Sept 9,2014>>

Today is an important day. It's the Dreamcast's 15th US release aniversarry! I happened to buy mine exactly 15 years ago (for the modest price of $199). If I only knew how different the Sonic game would be from that day on  :\


I will be updating the site (slowly) to use a 'shopping cart' style checkout. This will allow you add extra parts, colors, and add-ons (like the clear plastic control cover). It will be a slow transition and the site might get messy. If the buy-it-now buttons dissapear, it's because I'm working on this. 


The 7" Wood Porta Pi Arcade Kits (all types) are discontinued! I need to make room/resources available for new kits. The 7"  acrylic kits are still available.


I've also got a special cabinet in the works I call "Button Hero".

<<Aug 29, 2014>>

Been busy with orders; things are going well! I have the latest prototype of the "bartop" MAME for the Raspberry Pi B+ here


September 1st-5th I will be on "vacation". I likely will not be responding to e-mail. I don't expect this to delay orders, if at all. 

<<Aug 20, 2014>>

New Porta Pi Arcade image with Retro Pie v2.3 is up. This is pretty much a complete overall of the front end. It looks awesome. I will try to make a FAQ for this on the site as there are many changes that lack documentation (and most of my documentation is now obsolete because of it. Please be patient:)

<<Aug 18, 2014>>

A million thanks to Clint at Lazy Game Reviews for doing a review of my Porta Pi Arcade Cabinet. I don't have the tech nor the smooth sexy voice like Clint to make a video showcase of my arcade. But now, thankfully you can watch one, and many other excellent video game related videos on LGR's YouTube channel.

<<Aug 11,2014>>

The 3" speakers I have been using have been discontinued. I found a replacement. I did try a cheaper alternative but I was not happy with the sound. I've upgraded to this 3" midrange (4ohm) speaker. I tested these guys today and I am very pleased. These speakers cost a bit more, so there is small bump in the 9" kit costs. The hole mounts are almost identical, you can get by if you previously bought a wood kit. I will be revising the cabinet so things fit perfectly. 

<<Aug 3,2014>>

All the Porta Pi Arcade manuals are now free. Download them from the respective Shop pages. If you ordered a kit and are waiting for me to email you the manual, please just grab it from my website. 


<<Aug 2,2014>>

New SD card imagesuploaded! Featuring:
Support for RPi B and B+.
Slightly updated RetroPie version (with better MAME compatibility).

<<Aug 1,2014>>


In process of redoing the Porta Pi image for model B+ using RetroPie v1.10. Also just doing a firmware update of the current image bc it just works the way I want it. I am expecting to have two images up for the old model B and new B+.


Side note: Look at those LEDs!

<<July 25, 2014>>

New Clock! Thanks to Shayna for drawing 58% of the artwork.

<<July 24, 2014>>

So My B+ was not DOA... I had to format (the slow kind of format) the SD card for the B+. It is a picky update Pi. My SD card needed to be TOTALLY clean of any old data, so a quick format was no good for this. I used the "overwrite" format with the SDFormatter tool. I'm in the process of setting up the image from scratch. I'm also working on uploading a new Porta Pi image with RetroPie v1.10 that will work for B and B+. Stay tuned. I'm waiting for a 4GB SD to come in the mail (I only have an 8GB as luck would have it).


Until a solution is found for GPIO input, I'm holding off on using RetroPie v2.3. I agree, it does look very nice :)


All 9inch kits are updated to fit the RPi B+ model, just note my image does not work for the B+ at the moment. I will upload a new image for the B+ soon(ish).


I also have a big show this Saturday in Cleveland ,Ohio. So, this new image will have to wait until next week.

Show details are on the bottom left. Please stop by if you're in the area!


<<July 19, 2014>>

Updated the CAD files to fit the RPi B+. Reworked most of of inventory to fit. Did a test fit on the 9" Model. Looks ok. Will try the 7" cabinet later. Again, check the Shop pages to see if current kits fit the B+. The change is minimal, but at the moment I have a mix of kits that fit one or both. I liked to sell old inventory before I make the offical update, as it is easier to manage fewer variations of the arcade kits.


Unfortunately my B+ came DoA. I will test the image when I get a different one.


<<July 14, 2014>>

The Raspberry Pi Model B+ is out! More GPIOs and USB ports!!! Once my B+ arrives in the mail I will update kits to fit the new Pi model. All the pages will be updated to show this added compatibility. So until then all kits are for the Model B still....


<<July 7, 2014>>

Nintendo DS and 3DS game case coming soon. SD card case too.


<<July 5, 2014>>


New kit prototypes are coming along well. These will be bare-bones kits/ plans aka wood kits or drawing files only. They are geared for a two player layout using PC monitors 15 - 23 inches. See more pics here.






<<June 22, 2014>>


Vote for the Porta Pi Arcade in the Instructables Epilog laser contest!
It would make me so happy if you Porta Pi Arcade fans would support me. Having my own laser would reduce many of my costs and help new protypes come to life faster :)

Thanks for stopping by my page!


<<June 20, 2014>>


A proper video showing the Porta Pi Arcade in action! I realized I didnt have an updated video for those wondering "How is it with games?".


<<June 13, 2014>>
I'm working on new kits right now. A CNC kit of a bartop-styled arcade. Here 's the first mock-up and trial run. It needs a few adjustments for sizing. The goal is low cost. The monitor will be mounted from a bracket system cut from the same plywood as the cabinet. Since this is entirely CNC'ed I have the feeling it will take some time to perfect the design/CAD drawing. I do like the look of it. These kits will house a 17-19inch monitor and have room for two players. They can either fit a small PC  or RPi.


<<May 28, 2014>>
I tried some stain-in-a-can. Seen below is a side-by-side comparison. This is after 6 spray coats. I painted this after I assembled the cabinet panels together. I painted a fully assembled (empty) cabinet.  I think this is the easiest way to paint, as one does not have to worry about 1) the cabinet not fitting together if you get paint in the joints or 2) using up the floor to layout all the pieces individually for paint. A can of this will set you back $9.50. It feels like it could do another cabinet of 5 coats. Color is 'Pecan Gloss 420'.
Verdict: I would buy it again. Results are not as good as the brush/rag method, but spray can is 10x easier.

Custom order done for Jeremy W.

<<May 17, 2014>>

New-er website layout. Removed some clutter.

New SD card download link. I re-uploaded the image. Should fix the broken Zip file.

Thanks to Kahne for letting me know it wasnt working.


And this button panel cover made by Spiros (a Porta Pi Backer!!)

and that paint job. It's superb! 

<<May 5, 2014>>

Uploading a video to explain some new features on the Porta Pi Arcade's design. 

Also to grab some traffic from youtube :)

<<April 29, 2014>>

The download link is back up for the image! 

It appears to auto-reset every day. When the link reaches the 20GB/day bandwidth cap it will go down, then reset the following day. 

I took a decent photo today

(Raspberry Pi is a trademark of the Raspberry Pi Foundation)

Upcoming shows/vending:


CCAGShow 2015*
Cleveland's Classic Console and Game Show

Saturday July 25, 2015. North Olmsted Soccer Sportsplex 31515 Lorain Rd. North Olmsted, Ohio 44070. Noon to 8 PM. Admission: $7


Replay FX*

July 30 - August 2, 2015

David L Lawrence Convention Center
1000 Ft. Duquesne Blvd., Pittsburgh, PA 15222

Day Pass: $30


 Know of a show I should go to? Tell me!

* indicates big show (attendance in the thousands)

Print Print | Sitemap
© 2013-2015 Ryan Bates and © 2013-2015 Retro Built Games, LLC. All photos, documents, and graphics (C) Ryan Bates. All Rights Reserved.

This site is best viewed on a desktop PC. (Can't find the payment buttons? Use a PC)