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Author Topic: Help req. converting my PC cab to RasPi  (Read 988 times)

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thefox

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Help req. converting my PC cab to RasPi
« on: July 04, 2017, 10:44:07 am »
I have my beloved bartop cab powered by a very hot and very noisy old PC. I would like to convert it to a raspberry Pi.

It has a 12v LED cold cathode lighting the marquee, and an NovaGem 5v illuminated coin switch. Both of these are powered from the PC via IDE cables from the motherboard. The PC power supply and the monitor currently share a "kettle"-plug splitter cable for power. The monitor is conected with a hard-wired VGA cable plugged into the PC. It just uses USB speakers for the sound.

The PC is powered on and shut down with a microswitch and arcade button on top of the cabinet, wired to the PC's on/off switch. The monitor auto-shuts down once the signal is lost for a while.

Please could you offer me some guidance on how to connect all this up? Namely:

1. How could I connect/power the 12v Cathode for the marquee, using a Pi ?
2. Can I easily connect the 5v coin switch ?
3. Can I just use a HDMI to VGA converter for the monitor ?
4. Can I still power it all up and shut it all down with the existing microswitch ? If so, whats the best way of connecting the arcade button to operate power ?
5. At the moment the whole thing boots directly to a customized Mala frontend. Can I boot directly to a menu of mame games on the Pi ? Are there ways of getting custom screens on the Pi ?

Sorry for all the Q's. Thanks in advance for any help you guys can offer.
Born in the early seventies
Grew up in the arcades in the 80's
Built "The Fox-Box" in 2012.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8M8z2QqTPAI

https://fromtheoldarcade.wordpress.com/

Titchgamer

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Re: Help req. converting my PC cab to RasPi
« Reply #1 on: July 04, 2017, 11:38:44 am »
Hi, What you want to do is perfectly doable.

1) 2 ways you could do this. The first is to keep your existing PC PSU and use that. You could use that to run the Pi or you could plug the Pi and the PC PSU into a extension inside the cade.

The other thing you could do if using the extension lead method is have individual transformers for each voltage which is what i did.

2) much the same as above.
Ime assuming the 5v is for the LED only? If it requires 5v for the signal as well not sure how that would work with a Pi.

3) yes

4) yes, kind of...
You can power the pi up and shut it down with it easily. You could use a mausberry circuit to do that.

But to power the whole cabinet would require timers and relays and tbh just easier to turn it off at the wall for that :p

5) yes and yes.
 

thefox

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Re: Help req. converting my PC cab to RasPi
« Reply #2 on: July 05, 2017, 03:44:44 am »
Thank you, that's a very helpful response.

After reading your post, I have been reading up on powering the pi from the pc's psu. If I understand correctly, it looks like the 5v supply is for standby mode, which I think might leave the pi in an "always on" state. I think that this in turn would mean that the monitor would stay on as it always has signal, which means when I press the on/off button on the cab, the lights will go out but whatever is on the screen will keep running (?)

The alternative, as you say, is for a multi-socket extension lead inside the cab with plugs for the monitor and the pi,  and - I guess - separate transformers for the cold cathode and the 5v (led) coin switch. But how could I then safely connect the on/off micro switch to operate all plugs on the extension lead ?

I really want to keep the arcade button as a momentary on/off switch for everything in the cab. So I think maybe I'll try connecting the arcade button using ETA prime's method on YouTube. But power it from the pc PSU. And to the same button, I'll run 2 other wires to the momentary switch for the PC PSU. I'm hoping this will solve the power issue.

« Last Edit: July 05, 2017, 07:16:16 am by thefox »
Born in the early seventies
Grew up in the arcades in the 80's
Built "The Fox-Box" in 2012.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8M8z2QqTPAI

https://fromtheoldarcade.wordpress.com/

Titchgamer

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Re: Help req. converting my PC cab to RasPi
« Reply #3 on: July 05, 2017, 07:28:43 am »
Basicly you have 2 problems with  on off power.

Firstly you have different voltages which require different transformers and therefore circuits.

Secondly is the power problems of the Pi itself.

Much like a PC it needs to be properly shut down before powering off so you cant just kill the power to it.

Of course this makes things awkward as you need to have a stepped shutdown sequence.

First the shut down commpand to the pi, then full power down.

It can be done with relays, timers etc but when I built mine decided it was more hassle than its worth so I just had a momentary switch on the front which turned the pi on and off and the rocker switch on the back that switched the mains supply into the cab to kill the marquee, monitor, lights, amp etc.

Mike A

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Re: Help req. converting my PC cab to RasPi
« Reply #4 on: July 05, 2017, 08:04:18 am »
I have a pi I use for console emulation. I just unplug it when I am done. I keep 2 identical SD cards. In 2 years I have had 1 corruption issue. I yanked the SD card and put the other one in. I was down for about 20 seconds. I know almost nothing about Linux or the Pi, but this seems to be a much smaller issue than people make it out to be.

southpaw13

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Re: Help req. converting my PC cab to RasPi
« Reply #5 on: July 05, 2017, 02:40:50 pm »
I got 3 different setups with a PI.  I just shut it off too.  No problems.  Once a game is loaded it won't need to access the SD.  Fine for shutdown.

barrymossel

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Re: Help req. converting my PC cab to RasPi
« Reply #6 on: July 06, 2017, 03:30:43 pm »
Or use a PowerBlock circuit from PetRockBlog. I don't recommend the Mausberry circuit as that guy has the worst webshop ever (doesn't communicate and posting the package takes over two weeks now - yes, I am frustrated).

Titchgamer

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Re: Help req. converting my PC cab to RasPi
« Reply #7 on: July 06, 2017, 04:44:29 pm »
Or use a PowerBlock circuit from PetRockBlog. I don't recommend the Mausberry circuit as that guy has the worst webshop ever (doesn't communicate and posting the package takes over two weeks now - yes, I am frustrated).

He is a bit slow on the customer service I admit, ime in the UK though so was never sure how long it would take!

The actual product though is excellent.

barrymossel

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Re: Help req. converting my PC cab to RasPi
« Reply #8 on: July 07, 2017, 09:05:07 am »
Or use a PowerBlock circuit from PetRockBlog. I don't recommend the Mausberry circuit as that guy has the worst webshop ever (doesn't communicate and posting the package takes over two weeks now - yes, I am frustrated).

He is a bit slow on the customer service I admit, ime in the UK though so was never sure how long it would take!

The actual product though is excellent.
I am pretty sure it is. Actually it even looks better than the PowerBlock as it doesn't use the GPIO pins and it works with both a toggle and momentary switch. But still, not replying to emails or whatever while you are running a business? Mweh. On the one hand I hope he will still send out his product (so I will have both the Mausberry and PowerBlock), but on the other hand I think someone like him shouldn't run a shop whatsoever.

1500points

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Re: Help req. converting my PC cab to RasPi
« Reply #9 on: July 08, 2017, 11:50:22 am »
I couldnt get the powerblock script to work so i put the product in the junk pile. Maybe should revisit.

I agree with above that the pi is pretty stable without it.  I have a cab loaned to a church with only main power switch to the whole system. They have been turning it on and off multiple times a week for 6 months. No issues


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thefox

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Re: Help req. converting my PC cab to RasPi
« Reply #10 on: July 13, 2017, 02:40:22 am »
Thanks for all the helpful replies.

So I guess my real question is: Whats the best way I can continue using the existing momentary button/microswitch to power on/off everything in the cab with one press: The Pi, The 12v cathode, the 5v LED, (and potentially the monitor and an amp/speakers)?
Born in the early seventies
Grew up in the arcades in the 80's
Built "The Fox-Box" in 2012.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8M8z2QqTPAI

https://fromtheoldarcade.wordpress.com/

Titchgamer

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Help req. converting my PC cab to RasPi
« Reply #11 on: July 13, 2017, 03:07:30 am »
If you are dead set on turning everything on and off with a single momentary switch the only way you can do it is with relays and a control circuit.
You would probably actually need a second button to turn off thinking about it unless you go nuts and use a PLC or something!

« Last Edit: July 13, 2017, 03:21:51 am by Titchgamer »

Titchgamer

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Help req. converting my PC cab to RasPi
« Reply #12 on: July 13, 2017, 03:31:42 am »
Some bed time reading for you here: http://www.reuk.co.uk/wordpress/electronics/latching-relay-circuit/

You can use the latching relay circuit to control a relay for each power supply i.e one for you pi, one for the marquee etc.
But as I mentioned before you would need a second off button.

Unless you have access to a PLC to do it all for you!

Or you could use a latching switch to control the first relay which will not require the off switch.

Either way it will be alot of wiring and buggering about for something which can be easily turned on and off at the wall :p
« Last Edit: July 13, 2017, 03:39:07 am by Titchgamer »

barrymossel

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Re: Help req. converting my PC cab to RasPi
« Reply #13 on: July 13, 2017, 01:57:33 pm »
Thanks for all the helpful replies.

So I guess my real question is: Whats the best way I can continue using the existing momentary button/microswitch to power on/off everything in the cab with one press: The Pi, The 12v cathode, the 5v LED, (and potentially the monitor and an amp/speakers)?
I guess you could use a Mausberry to have the RPi turned on and off using a momentary siwtch. The rest should be switched by 5V relay, triggered by the GPIO pins. Actually that's what I am going to do/try (only switching the monitor by relay - the Amp will be used apart from the RPi as well - as juke box with a Chromecast audio).

ark_ader

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Re: Help req. converting my PC cab to RasPi
« Reply #14 on: July 20, 2017, 02:01:30 am »
What is wrong with using an arcade PSU.  Much smaller and safer.
 
"I really do feel pity for those who go out of their way to perform a personal slight, than taking the effort in joining the conversation and creating some useful dialogue which would benefit the persons' perusal of this topic.  Yet where would we be without the persistant antagonist?"

barrymossel

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Re: Help req. converting my PC cab to RasPi
« Reply #15 on: July 20, 2017, 03:50:04 am »
What is wrong with using an arcade PSU.  Much smaller and safer.
Smaller and safer than what exactly?

And I guess the biggest issue is turning off the RPi safely. (And at the same time turning the rest off the same time.)

CpCaveman

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Re: Help req. converting my PC cab to RasPi
« Reply #16 on: August 25, 2017, 11:18:01 am »
you could use an extention lead like I used with my pc cab, has a master socket that switches the other sockets (lighting, monitor speakers) on when the pc powers up and switches them off when the pc is powered down, I'm pretty sure it would work with a pi, use the momentary switch to interrupt the power to the pi to initialise startup, and power down using button inputs http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/New-Ecopower-76934R-Eco-Power-Dome-6-Way-Surge-Protected-Multi-Plug-/272784675515?hash=item3f833bd2bb:g:9DgAAOSwoA9ZfwUk is the sort of thing, mine was in a strip of sockets but did the same thing
Hit something hard enough it should work, if it dont the result can always be called art :)

morton

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Re: Help req. converting my PC cab to RasPi
« Reply #17 on: August 26, 2017, 10:13:55 am »
Weird... I want to go from a Pi to a PC.... but have had similar thinkings in my Pi cab.

Pi's can stay on for ages... no moving parts are gonna wear out. If you want, you can use any pushbutton and a shutdown script that will properly shut down the Pi, then you can cut the main power. Sure it's a two step process, but if you game for 2 hours, what's another 15 seconds??? It's not a piece of deadly machinery you need an emergency shutdown switch on in case you get sucked in... that's gonna happen regardless  :D

I have seen someone mention an arcade PSU for a Pi... Initially I got excited about the prospect of saving $$$$. Reality is though that I wanted to do far more than what it could provide. Make sure the current rating for the PSU will cover your stuff. I couldn't power what I wanted with the PSU I had, and a computer PSU makes more sense...

So regardless of the type of PSU you're gonna use, make sure it can provide the juice your stuff is gonna draw. The Pi needs 2.5amps on the 5v or it will give you problems. I see the cost as a tradeoff. A power bar and Pi PSU costs what a computer PSU costs, and the PC PSU is far more flexible IMO.

CpCaveman

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Re: Help req. converting my PC cab to RasPi
« Reply #18 on: August 26, 2017, 02:52:23 pm »
the extension lead I mentioned is just that, an automated extension lead, only when the (master socket) pc is powered on does it THEN switch on the (slave sockets) power to the monitor, speaker transformer, lighting transformer and when the pc is shut down the power is switched off to the slave sockets, so you don't have everything being supplied all the time, just the master socket, the only thing I'm not sure of is if the pi draws enough power for the lead to activate
Hit something hard enough it should work, if it dont the result can always be called art :)

ark_ader

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Re: Help req. converting my PC cab to RasPi
« Reply #19 on: September 02, 2017, 11:27:11 pm »
What is wrong with using an arcade PSU.  Much smaller and safer.
Smaller and safer than what exactly?

And I guess the biggest issue is turning off the RPi safely. (And at the same time turning the rest off the same time.)

Well the OP wants to keep all his cold cathode lights on, and power the pi.  He can do this with an arcade psu.  I used to say that you can power off the pi with no problems, but that caught up with me, and I shagged the sdcard pretty good, and as luck would have it, a nice 64gb card too (for kodi) which I had to mount in my linux box to fix it.  Now I shut the pi down via a script.  Its not hard to do, you just have to engage your brain.

I'm looking at a USB solution to power off the cab, in the same script.  You would be advised just to keep the pi on.  There is no reason to keep turning it off.
« Last Edit: September 02, 2017, 11:29:08 pm by ark_ader »
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keilmillerjr

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Re: Help req. converting my PC cab to RasPi
« Reply #20 on: September 03, 2017, 12:06:05 am »
What you want can be done, easily.

Buy an "ecostrip" surge protector that keeps power to one source and uses USB to toggle power to other sources. Connect rpi to constant power on the ecostrip, and monitor + power supply for nova gem (buy 5v adapter online and snip the terminal and wire it to button led) to secondary power ports on ecostrip. Connect the USB cable from the ecostrip to the rpi. Now everything will turn on with the rpi. Use one of the power circuits already mentioned to turn pi on and off with a single button. I use the same setup with pc in my cabinet and it works perfectly. Cost is cheap.

  
 

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