Build a PlayStation Emulator with a Raspberry Pi (A Hardware Tutorial)

Original idea and source via Instructables.

In this tutorial, we’ll talk about how to build a Raspberry Pi emulation console in just a few steps so nothing can come between you and your games.

Step 1: Gather all the components

For this project, you’ll need: 

Raspberry Pi
⦁ Used or old PlayStation 1 
⦁ Two PlayStation controllers (1/2)
⦁ 4GB SD card (larger is recommended) 
⦁ Converter Adapter for PS2 to USB 
⦁ USB extension cable 
⦁ USB power brick 
⦁ Micro USB cable 
⦁ Soldering gun 
⦁ Short ethernet cable and an ethernet extender 

Step 2: Set up the Pi 

Photo Credit: Instructables

Before we go any further, you must download the latest versions of the RetroPie Project SD-card image before you burn that on a bootable 4GB SD card.

This guide isn’t a software guide – there are plenty of those existing out there. Here are a few:

Once you have the software installed and configured, it is also recommended to paste the following code into RetroArch.cgf file. It will allow you to exit games by holding “select” + “start”. save your games by holding “select +L2”, and load games by holding “select +R2”. 

input_enable_hotkey_btn = 8
input_exit_emulator_btn = 9<br>
input_enable_hotkey_btn = 8
input_save_state_btn = 4

input_enable_hotkey_btn = 8
input_load_state_btn = 5

Next, ensure that everything else is working okay and that you have ROMS onto the Pi. 

Photo Credit: Instructables

Step 3: Get into your PlayStation 

Turn your PlayStation over and unscrew the six screws. Unscrew everything and remove the case. Just keep the memory card ports/controller (front) and internal power brick located at the right. You will be using these components later. 

Photo Credit: Instructables
Photo Credit: Instructables

Step 4: Set up the switch 

If you have been working with the Raspberry Pi, then you probably know that these little processors do not come with an on/off switch. They switch on as soon as the power is supplied. So PS1 power switch will work great as the main power switch for your Raspberry Pi. For this purpose, we need to drill holes underneath and above the original Pi board so the USB cable can easily come through the back and the micro USB cable from the side. Also, take out the metal prongs from the AC port and thread the powered USB cable carefully through it. It may take time to drill a hole big enough to adjust the cable.

Next, you will have to plug the main power USB into the USB power brick. See the images below to understand it better.

Next, connect the Pi to the USB power brick through the 2 micro USB cables. Strip the ends of micro USB cables to make the connection between the two components. Thread the cables from underneath the board and solder each side of the cables to the PS1 power switch.

Test the solder points using a voltammeter to see if they are properly connected to the switch. If the solder is done right, the Pi will only turn on when the USB is plugged and the PS1 switch is on.

The following image shows the hole for the USB so it can go past the plastic divider and underneath the board.

Photo Credit: Instructables

The following image shows the powered USB in its original AC port.

Photo Credit: Instructables

The following image shows the power switch ready to connect.

Photo Credit: Instructables

The following image shows the circuit diagram for the connections.

Photo Credit: Instructables

After you have tested everything, place the cables inside and bring the board back into its place. And now you are ready to jump to the next step for Raspberry Pi emulation console.

Step 5: Connect the controller ports

After configuring small controllers so they work with your Pi using the USB adapter, you need to make the system work on the original controller ports.

For this purpose, you need to unscrew all the 3 screws located at the back of the PS to the USB adaptor (you will find them hidden by a sticker).

You will find 9 different soldier points for the controller ports. You need to solder cables into each port and then match them to the corresponding solder points located at the back of the original ports.

Solder one port at a time, test it with your Raspberry Pi and then move on to the other. See the images below.

Photo Credit: Instructables
Photo Credit: Instructables

Step 6: remove the port covers

The AV port and the Serial I/O port come with gray plastics that you will see sticking out of the PS1 board. You can easily plug in the respective cables without a hassle. These plastics are gray and noticeable so shouldn’t be hard to miss.

When you remove the gray plastic from the PS1 board, make sure to be careful so that the tiny parts that screw the board down do not get messed up. The metal rectangular box on the other hand isn’t that important as you would be removing it to add new ports, so don’t worry if it gets damaged. Go ahead and remove everything you see behind the lip as none of it will be visible in the final apparatus. Take your time with this step, as you need to be careful when removing every delicate component out. Try not to break anything. 

The goal here is to make sure that the insides are ready with the original casing without showing any internal mess. 

Photo Credit: Instructables
Photo Credit: Instructables
Photo Credit: Instructables

Step 7: Mount the Pi 

In this step, make sure that the Pi is mounted in a way that allows the HDMI port to stick out of the serial port of your PlayStation case. 

Here you will notice that the place that holds the screws of the PlayStation case is too far up to allow easy mount for the Raspberry Pi. To make that easy, you need to cut out those places with pliers. Be extra careful to not put the screw in the hole when you put the case back in its place. 

You can use foam stickers and stick them inside the case to adjust the Pi if it doesn’t adjust otherwise. You can also cut some foam circles and stick them inside the mounting holes on the Raspberry Pi to make the mounting firm and immovable. 

Next, finish up by screwing the nuts, put a little bit of super glue on the screws to ensure that they stay in place, and wait for them to dry.

Once they are dried, put a little bit more super glue to attach the nuts to the Pi case. See the images below to get a better understanding. 

The following image shows the screw hole that needs to be cut out.

Photo Credit: Instructables

The following image shows foam with holes.

Photo Credit: Instructables

The following images show screws with nuts at the bottom.

Photo Credit: Instructables
Photo Credit: Instructables

Step 8: Add the USB extension 

In this step, you will extend the remaining USB port out so you can have USB for flash drives and keyboards. The extender can be as small as it can be because you do not need much distance. Simply plug it in, wrap the rest into a coil and tuck inside the case, and only let the female end of the extender through the A/Vport. You may have to make some adjustments at your discretion to fit the metal of the female end inside the case.

Photo Credit: Instructables
Photo Credit: Instructables

Step 9: Set up the ethernet port 

For Raspberry Pi emulation console, make sure to find the shortest or smallest ethernet cable because you would need to save room in the case. Just connect it to the ethernet extender to its one end so you can connect as per your needs. If the cable is larger, you will have to wrap it up and tuck it somewhere inside the case. See the images below. 

Photo Credit: Instructables
Photo Credit: Instructables

Step 10: Set up the power LED 

Carefully tape the LED near the plastic piece responsible for transmitting light from the LED to the outside. In the following image, you will see that the LED is wired in a way so that when the Pi is powered, the LED is powered too. You could use the original LED but you might have trouble figuring it out as it is connected to several other things. So use a new one to keep things hassle-free. 

Photo Credit: Instructables
Photo Credit: Instructables

Step 11: Put the case back together 

Make sure that everything is tucked nicely inside, and then bring the two pieces together to close the case. Place all the screws back in except for the one in the top center, where the Pi is located. 

Photo Credit: Instructables

That’s it! You are all done with the Raspberry Pi emulation console. Now just connect the HDMI cable to your TV, and the two controllers to get started with the games!

Next, learn how to build a dedicated Raspberry Pi Minecraft server with an LED player indicator here.

You can get your Raspberry Pi here.

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Source via Instructables

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