Darren Melbourne returns to the podcast – 5 years after, this time with Retro Games’ CTO Chris Smith, they are talking about the upcoming A500 Mini. I this episode, they talk about the rocky way of getting this onto the road and what it means for the Amiga scene and the Amiga competitive gaming scene, as well. Interview starts at 05:55 Minutes

listen to it at https://scene.world/a500mini

or watch its video version at:

TL;DR

ControlBlock with USB-C and dedicated power switch IC

The ControlBlock provides

  • a soft power switch and status indication functionality, as well as
  • an easy-to-use interface for original and arcade game controllers.

It has been updated now with a dedicated power switch IC to provide all the power that you need for your retro project. Also, it comes with a a USB-C connector to align well with the latest Raspberry Pi connector changes.

Give Me More Information!

If you are looking for a way to connect original game or arcade controllers to your RetroPie installation together with a smart power button functionality, the ControlBlock could be your solution.

Here is why – the ControlBlock provides two core functionalities:

  • For one, it provides a soft power switch and power status indication. You can choose the type of the button to your project needs: A toggle or a momentary button are both supported. Upon button presses it will take care for a safe shutdown. It will only cut the power from the Raspberry, when the system has fully shut down. So, no risk of data corruption.
  • Two: A true retro-gaming project needs original or arcade gaming controllers. The ControlBlock provides an easy-to-use interface for connecting and integrating those controllers into your project: There are screw terminals that ensure a solid and lasting connection between the Raspberry Pi and the controllers. The ControlBlock driver supports various types of original gamepads and arcade controls for up to two players.
ControlBlock with dedicated power switch IC and USB-C connector. Here, shown with toggle switch and power status indication LED.
ControlBlock with dedicated power switch IC and USB-C connector. Here, shown with toggle switch and power status indication LED.

The ControlBlock has recently been updated with a dedicated power switch IC now. That thing can handle up to 7A and gives you plenty of freedom for any accessories that you would like to attach to your Raspberry Pi. Furthermore, the ControlBlock comes with a USB-C connector from now on. It now aligns well with the latest connector changes of the Raspberry Pi.

You can find more information about it at petrockblogs website.

The post More Power and USB-C for the ControlBlock appeared first on RetroPie.

The Raspberry Pi 4 was recently made available and provides various hardware improvements. However, due to minor changes in the boot-up behaviour the former ControlBlock and PowerBlock add-on boards do not work out-of-the-box with the Raspberry Pi 4. But that is fixed!

The firmware of the two boards was refined and even extended such that the new ControlBlock as well as the PowerBlock are both compatible with the Raspberry Pi 4 now.


In case you are looking for a simple way for adding a safe power button to your (retro-gaming) project you will probably have good time with the PowerBlock or the ControlBlock. Both add-on boards for the Raspberry Pi are well supported by RetroPie. They provide a safe power button and a dynamic power status indication via LED.

These two boards just got an update: From now on both, toggle buttons and momentary buttons, can be used with the boards to implement a safe power button. The boards automatically determine the attached button type. In case of an attached momentary button you also have a “hard-off” function: When you press the button for at least 5 seconds the power is cut off regardless of the status of the Raspberry Pi.

PowerBlock and ControlBlock support Raspberry Pi 4 and momentary buttons
PowerBlock and ControlBlock support Raspberry Pi 4 and momentary buttons

Further Details

You can find further details about this new feature of the PowerBlock and the ControlBlock here.

The post ControlBlock and PowerBlock Support Raspberry Pi 4 and Momentary Buttons appeared first on RetroPie.

Many of you are building personal arcade and gaming machines. Part of those projects is to decide which type of controls should be used. Also how to connect those controls to the computer is another question. If you want to connect original controllers in an easy way things get even harder.

Starting with a Game Controller Interface for the Raspberry Pi

So far there is the ControlBlock, which is an add-on board only for the Raspberry Pi™. It provides ways for easily connecting arcade and original controllers to the Raspberry Pi™ (besides a power switch on-off functionality). However, a lot of people  also asked for a game controller hardware interface like the ControlBlock that could be used on additional platforms other than the Raspberry Pi. Windows, Mac, and, of course, other Linux-based systems – including the huge variety of System-on-Chip (SoC) platforms like Odroid and Co should be supported. Also, installing drivers that some people stumbled over in the past, should become easier.

Get Ready for the GamepadBlock

Today petrockblock released the GamepadBlock: It is a Game Controller USB Interface for arcade and original game controllers.

GamepadBlock

GamepadBlock

It is a USB HID compatible device that works with Windows, MacOS, and Linux such that no drivers need to be installed. Besides arcade joystick and button controls also NES, SNES, Megadrive/Genesis, Master System, and Atari controllers are currently supported. In addition the GamepadBlock allows firmware updates via USB. Therefore, it is ready for future updates that, for example, extend the list of supported gamepads! And if you want to dynamically switch between various controller types on your gaming machine, it is even possible to do so via a virtual USB COM port.

You can find more details and Getting Started information about the GamepadBlock here.

We hope you enjoy their newest gadget!

 

The post GamepadBlock: Arcade and Original Game Controller USB Interface appeared first on RetroPie.