NESPi CASE by Retroflag

  • I just ordered a NESPi Case for aorund 30 eur, will arrive tomorrow.

    It looks pretty neat, i just wish the network jack was not on the front, rather on the side or back, but I can live with that.

    I'm looking forward to checking it out soon, anyone else gotten this?

  • @gmgman Got it too, a few people here vahe it. Very nice case, sadly it needs some hardware hacking to drive the Pi through GPIO for shutdown with the front buttons

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  • @substring said in NESPi CASE by Retroflag:

    sadly it needs some hardware hacking to drive the Pi through GPIO for shutdown with the front buttons

    is that explained anywhere here in the forums? I'm aware that the buttons will just cut the power and that I need to shut down maually...

  • @gmgman what is explained ? the hardware hacking ? On retropie yeah, someone here posted a link to the PDF. As for me, I won't hack my nespi because I have a fan in it and i appreciate that the main power button turns it off

  • @substring said in NESPi CASE by Retroflag:

    @gmgman what is explained ? the hardware hacking ? On retropie yeah, someone here posted a link to the PDF. As for me, I won't hack my nespi because I have a fan in it and i appreciate that the main power button turns it off

    ok thanks for the hint. when I think about it, I will have a fan inside too and my roms are stored on a NAS, so turning off the pi the hard way is an option for me here, since i couldn't care less whether the sd card breaks one day or not. 🙂

  • @gmgman That's unless your network mount is not properly unmounted, and shutting off the pi while still in ES could corrupt your gamelists

  • @substring that's a point. will try to always shut down properly as I do now anyway then...

  • You can find a tuto there :

    As for me, I won't hack my nespi because I have a fan in it and i appreciate that the main power button turns it off

    I have done the mod and the main power turns off my fan too .. This modification allows your Rpi to turn it off (soft) before the hard power off (via mofset). But yeah, you have to do several welding.

  • I now have the case, it Looks really nice. there are a few downsides though

    1. as mentioned the Network jack is on the front, they should have made a slightly bigger case and put that on the back.
    2. the microSD Card Slot is hard to access, putting in a sd card works great, but removing it again is a pain unless you have baby fingers or a pair of tweezers.
    3. I put a fan on the top of the case, the same size as intended by the case designers and connected it to the pins they gave me for the fan, and goddamn, that thing was way too loud so I disconnected it again.

    other than that it Looks really nice.

    I have a problem though, now that the Network jack is is on the front, I thought, ok time to go WiFi then, but if I do this recalbox will not connect to my NAS and browses the roms folder on the SD card. Is there a way to change this?

  • I have one and modified it myself (re-did power/reset switch and power LED along with fan control). For the fan noise, look at running it from the 3V3 supply rather than the 5V.
    [The retropie guide is ok but there is actually another way of doing it, using only a single resistor and some wire - in my eyes much neater too!!]

    I don't have much issue with the SD card either as most cards are 'lipped' and easy enough to get a small tool in (or fingernail) to hook it out. Can't comment on the LAN port as use mine wireless. All my ROMs are on the SD card(s). One for most emulators, one for PSX games and a dedicated one for the MAME collection

    I love the case and was lucky enough to get one of the first batch (only £17 before the price went silly and settled back around the £30 mark).

    My only gripes are the space for the USB connector, in my eyes it needs to be just 2mm or so wider allowing for a decent bend radius on the cable.

  • @matra

    Could you please post a link to the guide that uses only a piece of wire and a resistor? I'm interested in having the power/reset/LED function (with no fan), but would like it to work like my other case with homemade power button with the Recalbox push button enabled through the config file. Thanks!

  • Hello all,

    I have that case as well and I'd love to be able to make the hard power/reset buttons softer (through GPIO). I was thinking of following the guide from the retropie forums, but if there's a simpler way, @Matra, I'd be delighted to read about it.

    Thanks a bunch.


  • @xtreemsurf @lesensei
    There is no 'guide' that I used. I did it myself creating a common 5V rail and 0V point (hate the term ground when it's not actually ground). You have to rotate the led and it does require probably more skill than demonstrated in the retropie guide. I also have access to a wealth of SMD parts and spares if I break anything!

    It's not perfect as the tinned copper wire I used is non-insulated and carries 5V but it does look incredibly tidy.

    I'll be taking mine apart probably over the next couple of weeks for some minor improvements and a fan controller (annoyingly the LED is sourced rather than sunk from the GPIO pin but beggars can't be choosers).

    One thing that WILL help you is an arduino jumper set (female-female) as you can simply remove the crimped connector from its housing and click straight into the connector within the NESPi case.

    I'll take some pictures and stuff of how I did mine when I next take it apart (do love the case but my main project at the moment is my 7" portable recalbox [almost done] and my 'hardware hack' gameboy with a pi zero W)

  • @matra

    Wow! It sounds like you really put a lot of work into that! Thanks for taking the time to explain a little bit about it.

    A quick question for you...

    If I don't plan to use a fan, is it possible to just rewire the power/reset/led and wire them like the steps Recalbox power switch guide?

    That's how I have my current cheap-o case wired. I wasn't sure if the NES Pi has a powered USB hub that requires power though. My NES Pi will be in tomorrow, so I'll take a closer look at it.

    Thanks again!

  • @xtreemsurf
    I have mine wired as per the recalbox guide but you still have to cut tracks and make a few mods for it to 'work as intended'

    I still use the NESPi connector and the female-female arduino jumpers that I spoke about, you just chop one to length and remove the crimp/contact and place it into the NESPi connector. You will ideally want to place a 100nF capacitor across both switches as a hardware debounce (I don't believe there is any software debounce within recalbox).

    The LED, HUB, Fan and pretty much everything inside the box is powered off that power switch so you do have to be careful where you cut, it's a real shame that I binned my 'fag-packet sketch' (which was actually a post-it) of my circuit diagram. If I had another box to play with I'd probably document EVERYTHING but this was meant to be a one of for myself 😛

    I also used an overcoat pen on the tracks that I cut but some sort of super-glue would probably work just as well, creating an oxygen barrier preventing the oxidation of the exposed copper (you won't need three guesses to guess what I do for a job!).

    Almost finished my 7" TFT build - which I will post a tutorial and resources somewhere as I have created custom splash screens and theme configs, next will be getting the 3.5" and 2.8" screens running and then I'll go back to tidying up the recalbox with 3V3 fan supply (and/or a fan controller of some sort, probably ok to just use a single transistor). At that point I'll take some pictures of all the work I have done. The goal was to make it look 'standard' and so far I've managed to achieve that

  • @matra

    I've done a few small soldering projects, but it sounds like you're much more experienced than I am. Those Pi projects with screens sound amazing!

    A couple questions...

    1. I'm going to wire the power directly to the Pi, and then connect the 2 switches & LED to the Pi pins as described in the guide, correct? I'm assuming this would require cutting a few traces on the NES Pi board.

    2 ) Could I wire the USB hub to receive its power from the same wire as LED? I'm not clear on how the power switch will control the power (using the Recalbox guide method), while still
    providing power to the USB hub and possible fan.

    1. You mentioned using capacitors on some of the connections. Would the system still work without them...or am I more likely to damage something without the capacitors?

    I was trying to follow what you described in your last two posts, but I feel like I don't quite understand fully. I know you're busy on your other two projects, so please take your time on getting back to me. Thanks again!

  • @xtreemsurf

    1. If you're in a desperate rush then follow any existing guide(s), MY advice for now would be to just connect everything as per the NESPi guide, press the power button in, then plug power into the rear.

    To Shutdown, shutdown via Emulationstation (start, quit, shutdown) then remove the power from the box. To turn back on, simply plug power back into it (I know this isn't what you want to do, but it will be a work around for now).

    1. Leave the hub alone 😛
      It will take power from the rear connector and can be left 'as is' providing you don't cut the tracks in the wrong place

    2. You will find that without a debounce capacitor, when you actually wire the switches direct to the pi you may have issues when pressing the power off button - as the pi may power down but then come back on again. This article actually explains switch bounce very well

    As the power LED is directly related to the state of the Power switch (without any mods) this can cause some odd behaviour - like the power light being on, even though the Pi is 'switched off'. That's why it's advisable to use debounce caps.

    You can modify the fan connector too so that it runs off the power switch easy enough and something I hadn't considered until just now... WAY more simple than my previous idea of using a fan controller activated off the LED pin on the Pi. The fan will only be on when the power switch is depressed 😉 downside is there wouldn't be a switch between 5V and 3V3 but I could just fit a 3V3 linear regulator that should do the job nicely too... interesting when I type my thought process out!

  • @xtreemsurf On a side note if you're interested I will be posting a full guide soon as how to wire up and setup a 7" recalbox system, will also include my own configs and resources to make themes and splash screens look better on the screen too 😉

    Screen is about £50 if you are lucky enough, £60 if not. Case is about £10-12 typically on Amazon

  • @matra

    Thanks for your insight on this. That article was useful in helping me to understand switch bounce.

    I looked around for a simpler solution that would meet my needs and came across this project with these pictures. It seems to do everything I would need to it do, with only one downside...the Pi is in an "always on state" so when it's plugged in, it will automatically turn on the Pi, even if the power button isn't pushed. Would you mind letting me know your opinion of this wiring? The only difference is that I would wire the reset button to the GP0 pin as described in the Recalbox guide, instead of soldering directly to the Pi.

    Thanks so much!

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