Worklog The Retro Dream - RetroPie in a Dreamcast VMU

Joined
Apr 27, 2018
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Kentucky
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Wii Laptop V2.0, GameCube SPITE
Hey! Been awhile since I've done a project...like a long while lol But I've definitely been getting the itch and I've been in love with different RetroPie builds I've seen popping up, and I decided to do a project I saw a couple years ago that I absolutely fell in love with. This is not an original build, in fact there have been several people that have done it, but I like doing work logs so I'll chronicle my work here anyway.

I'm going to be taking a Raspberry Pi Zero W and putting it inside a Dreamcast VMU. This is such a cool little project, props to Kite at sudomod for coming up with this (not sure if he is the original creator of this project, but I think so). I also wanted to give a shoutout to Wermy, he has a video on this on YouTube that is really helpful, link HERE. He has a blog post with the parts he used as well.

As far as what this can play, is can play NES, GB/GBC, and Sega Genesis really well. GBA is pretty good, but fps will dip sometimes on tougher games, but from what I've seen it's hardly noticeable. Arcade emulation varies depending on the game.

I'll be using either Batocera or RetroPie as the emulation front end. I have only used Batocera a little bit, and haven't ever messed with RetroPie, or any raspberry pi's in general, so I'll try them both and see if one performs better than the other. Games and OS will run off a micro SD card. I'll be using a 1.44" LCD screen, a 500mAh battery with charging through micro USB, everyone's favorite audio amp (PAM 8803), and a 13mm audio exciter for sound. I haven't used an exciter before, but I've heard them and they are pretty neat and can produce a loud sound for how small they are. I wasn't really planning on using one, but they popped up when I was looking for a 13mm speaker, so I decided to try it out and see how it works.

One thing to note, there are a couple variations you could do to this if you wanted to. One is to use a regular Raspberry Pi Zero instead of the Zero W. They are about $5 cheaper, but I opted for the Zero W that has built in wifi and bluetooth, mostly for ease of use when scraping game data like screenshots and game descriptions, but you could always do that on a different device if you got the version without wifi. The other variant is using a Banana Pi M32 Zero. These have a quad core processor and gpu compared to the single core Raspberry Pi which I think comes without a GPU. With the Banana Pi you can get better emulation with GBA and some additional systems to emulate such as PS1 and N64, although not every game will have playable frame rates. The Banana Pi has the same dimensions as the Pi Zero so it works really well as a replacement, and they have their own version of RetroPie that runs on it.

I just ordered all the parts today, should come in within a week or so, so I'll start posting some updates and pictures once I get started. The parts list I ordered is below for those interested in price and availability. I was able to get everything on Amazon except the LCD screen. If you are trying to shop on a budget, you can find some of these parts cheaper if you get them on eBay or Aliexpress, and the Raspberry Pi Zero is half the price if you get it directly from their website (although keep in mind shipping costs). I just like to use Amazon when I can for convenience.

LCD Screen: https://www.ebay.com/itm/122005165823
Everything Else: https://www.amazon.com/hz/wishlist/ls/MVTQBO9C2OUG?ref_=wl_share

Total Price for everything I got: $82.54 before taxes and shipping.
 
Joined
Mar 29, 2019
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The Big Tree
Hey! Been awhile since I've done a project...like a long while lol But I've definitely been getting the itch and I've been in love with different RetroPie builds I've seen popping up, and I decided to do a project I saw a couple years ago that I absolutely fell in love with. This is not an original build, in fact there have been several people that have done it, but I like doing work logs so I'll chronicle my work here anyway.

I'm going to be taking a Raspberry Pi Zero W and putting it inside a Dreamcast VMU. This is such a cool little project, props to Kite at sudomod for coming up with this (not sure if he is the original creator of this project, but I think so). I also wanted to give a shoutout to Wermy, he has a video on this on YouTube that is really helpful, link HERE. He has a blog post with the parts he used as well.

As far as what this can play, is can play NES, GB/GBC, and Sega Genesis really well. GBA is pretty good, but fps will dip sometimes on tougher games, but from what I've seen it's hardly noticeable. Arcade emulation varies depending on the game.

I'll be using either Batocera or RetroPie as the emulation front end. I have only used Batocera a little bit, and haven't ever messed with RetroPie, or any raspberry pi's in general, so I'll try them both and see if one performs better than the other. Games and OS will run off a micro SD card. I'll be using a 1.44" LCD screen, a 500mAh battery with charging through micro USB, everyone's favorite audio amp (PAM 8803), and a 13mm audio exciter for sound. I haven't used an exciter before, but I've heard them and they are pretty neat and can produce a loud sound for how small they are. I wasn't really planning on using one, but they popped up when I was looking for a 13mm speaker, so I decided to try it out and see how it works.

One thing to note, there are a couple variations you could do to this if you wanted to. One is to use a regular Raspberry Pi Zero instead of the Zero W. They are about $5 cheaper, but I opted for the Zero W that has built in wifi and bluetooth, mostly for ease of use when scraping game data like screenshots and game descriptions, but you could always do that on a different device if you got the version without wifi. The other variant is using a Banana Pi M32 Zero. These have a quad core processor and gpu compared to the single core Raspberry Pi which I think comes without a GPU. With the Banana Pi you can get better emulation with GBA and some additional systems to emulate such as PS1 and N64, although not every game will have playable frame rates. The Banana Pi has the same dimensions as the Pi Zero so it works really well as a replacement, and they have their own version of RetroPie that runs on it.

I just ordered all the parts today, should come in within a week or so, so I'll start posting some updates and pictures once I get started. The parts list I ordered is below for those interested in price and availability. I was able to get everything on Amazon except the LCD screen. If you are trying to shop on a budget, you can find some of these parts cheaper if you get them on eBay or Aliexpress, and the Raspberry Pi Zero is half the price if you get it directly from their website (although keep in mind shipping costs). I just like to use Amazon when I can for convenience.

LCD Screen: https://www.ebay.com/itm/122005165823
Everything Else: https://www.amazon.com/hz/wishlist/ls/MVTQBO9C2OUG?ref_=wl_share

Total Price for everything I got: $82.54 before taxes and shipping.
OOooo. This is a cool idea! Can't wait to see it.
 
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