part 2 – going retro with RetroPie

I love playing games and in a previous post I explored building a retro gaming station using RetroPie


So this a post on showcasing how I took this project further by building my own retro feel pi case.

When I started thinking about building my own case I was dreaming of building a replica of my first computer the Atari 130XE.

Atari 130xe

I stared reading up on how to mold plastic, researched 3D printing but none of these options were viable mostly due to price and lack of knowledge. So I had to abandon this idea and instead stared designing my raspberry pie case in my head, this time using wood.


  1. raspberry pi model 2 or 3
  2. a Momentary Switch
  3. a LED
  4. a resistor (see LED requirements)
  5. Electronics kit with breadboard
  6. Soldering iron
  7. Box making equipment (wood, plastic, sticky plastic, etc.)
  8. Time…

Building a box

I decided to build the box in wood as it easy to work with and I already had a lot of the equipment. It all started with a plan. It is advisable to draw what you are making first (on the computer or on a piece of paper (going proper retro)).

plan first

This box built in normal plywood, which I stained with a cherry wood stain (I think it gives it a more retro feel). Once dried it has been varnished to give it a glossy look. I also integrated some see through plastic to give it a cooler look.

  1. build box
  2. cut out bits to fit all ports on your pi.
  3. paint/stain
  4. varnish

Assembling the Raspberry Pi

I wanted to add two features to the project to make it a bit more fun (and usable).

  1. power button
  2. power indicator (mood light)

For the power button I followed this great blog post (verbatim) and it all worked for me.

For the LED power indicator I once again followed a great blog post. The resistance will depend on your LED. Be careful as getting this wrong can burn the raspberry Pi’s circuits.

I would highly recommend that you build the set-up on a breadboard first to test it.


This is a great resource which shows the Pinout layout of a raspberry pi


And here is a showcase of the finished project. I have to say I am pretty chuffed!

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