Atari 2600 Compute Module Case

Cute Retro case


 20 December 2022   |     4 minute read   |   By Kevin McAleer   |   Share this article on

Video

For every project I create, I often make a corresponding YouTube video. Sometimes, there might be more than one video for a single project. You can find these videos in this section.

Explore more through this this dedicated video.

Overview

This project provides a cute retro case for the Compute Module development board and the CM4 module in the style of the Atari 2600, Perfect as a retro gaming platform.

Atari 2600 case

About the Compute module

I bought the Raspberry Pi Compute Module development board and the CM4 module during the height of the Raspberry Pi shortage that’s now, thankfully, coming to an end. The CM4 is similar in specification to the Raspberry Pi 4; however, it can also optionally feature eMMC storage instead of the SD card. The compute modules can also come with or without Wi-Fi and Bluetooth.

I opted for the CM4 with 16Gb eMMC and Wi-Fi module.

Atari 2600 case open with compute module visible


Bill of Materials

Item Description Qty Price
Compute Module CM4 16Gb eMMC with Wi-Fi 1 £72.00
Raspberry Pi Compute Module IO Board Development board 1 £36.00
Wood Effect Tape 5M Woodgrain Patterned Duct Tape Wood Effect 1 £9.99
3D Printing Filament eSUN PLA+ Filament 1.75mm, 3D Printer Filament PLA Plus, 1KG 1 £15.99
M2.5 Screws M2 or M2.5 Screws will secure the IO board to the case 4 £1.00

3d Design

The case is made up of 3 pieces:

     
Base Top Front
Base Top Front

3d design

Use the wood effect tape to wrap the front piece. This will bring the model to life and give it that retro 70s feel.

3d design

3d design

3d design

Notice the orange/red outline on the front of the top section and the printed decal sticker. In his picture, it looks relatively crude, but from a distance, you can’t see that it’s a separate piece. The orange/red outline was created using an acrylic paint pen.

Download the decal here A4 2600_decal.pdf.

3d design

3d design


Finishing touches

You can add some rubber feet to raise the case off the surface and complete the retro look and feel.


Stickers

Don’t forget the decal - A4 2600_decal.pdf.


What is RetroPie?

RetroPie software allows you to play games from classic gaming systems directly on your Raspberry Pi. With an extensive list of supported gaming systems ranging from 3DO, Amiga, and Atari to Game Boy, Nintendo, and Sega, RetroPie offers a nostalgic journey back in time to the golden age of gaming.

The evolution of the Raspberry Pi has also significantly contributed to the success of RetroPie. Starting from the humble beginnings of the Raspberry Pi Model B launched in 2012, it has since grown and evolved, leading to the Raspberry Pi 4 and 400 capable of running even the most demanding of nostalgic games.


How to Set Up RetroPie

Setting up RetroPie can be as simple as downloading the software, flashing it onto an SD card using the Raspberry Pi imager, and then plugging it into your Raspberry Pi. However, if you opt for manual setup, you can clone the RetroPie setup from GitHub and run the script to set it up.

Here is a link to the GitHub Repository: https://github.com/RetroPie/RetroPie-Setup

Remember to install Samba for easy file sharing. This functionality enables you to drag and drop ROMs straight onto your Raspberry Pi from another computer on the network.


Game Controllers and ROMs

Once RetroPie is up and running, a game controller is crucial. Options range from USB or wired game controllers to Bluetooth enabled controllers like the 8bitdo controller. With RetroPie, you can easily pair and connect your Bluetooth devices for a wireless gaming experience.

Equally important to gameplay are the ROMs. While RetroPie supports a wide range of gaming systems, you’ll need to build your own library of ROMs. Make sure you adhere to legal restrictions—downloading ROMs for games you don’t own may be against the law in your country. Preferably, download from legitimate sources and only for games you own the original cartridge of.


Customizing Your RetroPie

Emulation Station is the frontend for RetroPie and provides the user interface from which you select the game you want to play. Emulation Station can be customized with various themes downloadable from the RetroPie-Setup script.


Wrapping Up

Setting up RetroPie on your Raspberry Pi opens a realm of retro gaming possibilities. From the old classics to newer retro games, this potent combination offers hours of nostalgic fun. Savour the golden age of gaming, ushered into the modern day with RetroPie on Raspberry Pi 4. Happy gaming!


3D Models

Here are the 3D printable STL files:

Base

The base section of the Atari 2600 case

Top

The top section of the Atari 2600 case

Front

The front section of the Atari 2600 case