Posted in Linux, Tutorials/Tips

RetroPie on Raspberry Pi 2 with 5 inch HDMI LCD screen

This idea started after watching few YouTube videos where people make portable gaming station, which can run almost any old school console game. I thought it was kinda interesting so I have started building one.

Here is what I have used:

  • Raspberry Pi 2
  • 5″ inch Touch Screen HDMI LCD Monitor
  • Random case for 5″ inch screen
  • 32 GB Class 10 Micro SD Memory Card
  • Bluetooth speaker (with 3.5 mm jack)
  • Mini Rechargeable Remote 2.4GHz Wireless Keyboard & Touchpad
  • Wireless USB Adapter
  • USB Gamepad/Joypad

Thing which you should do at the start is to get SDFormater, yea… it might look weird, but for some reason Windows 7/8/10 formats SD in kinda weird way. So get it, install it, and use it to format your Micro SD card with default settings.

Format_SD

Then download standard version of  RetroPie for Raspberry Pi 2. Unzip content of the archive and use Win32 Disk Imager to write content of the image to the SD card.

win32

Then simply plug all in, SD to Raspberry PI 2, screen, keyboard dongle, wireless dongle.

During first boot you mostly will notice that part of the screen or just a side of it is messed up, example is bellow:

first_boot

That is completely normal, as RetroPie does not know what kind of screen you have. Let it load and reboot once/twice to fix few things up and automatically re-size your SD card to the maximum size.

After it is done booting click and hold any key on your keyboard to start “Input Configuration”, we need only arrows keys, select, start and A B X Y, you can click and hold any key on other’s to skip.

Then use the arrow keys to locate “RetroPie” entry, it is used to configure whole system, after you find it click A, then use arrow keys to navigate “Configure WIFI”

wifi

Click A while you have “Configure WIFI” marked, then select first option in the new window, which is called “Connect to WIFI network”. Please note that selection is now being done with “Enter” key. After you click it will list WIFI network which it finds, it located mine low speed WIFI, but not 5GHz, mostly dongle is a bit outdated.

wifi2

You will be asked to enter password for WIFI ofcourse, once that is done and if it is correct you will see ESSID and IP address you have received. Remember it as we will use it now. Close WIFI configuration window by clicking arrow to the right and hitting Enter.

Now download Putty on your system and launch it, enter IP address from previous step:

putty

Click “Open” to connect, you will see warning, click “Yes”.

Login: pi
pass: raspberry

Now type this text, sudo nano /boot/config.txt

It will open file from SD card, scroll to the very bottom of that file and paste this text:

framebuffer_ignore_alpha=1
framebuffer_swap=1
init_uart_clock=16000000
hdmi_group=2
hdmi_mode=1
hdmi_mode=87
hdmi_cvt 800 480 60 6 0 0 0

Please note that this applies to screens which are same as mine, you might have different resolution, if yes, then change 800 480 to yours. Click CTRL+X, then Y and Enter to save file.

Now type sudo reboot

It will cause system to reboot and you will see that screen is now fixed:

screen

You now have running system, but there are more things and tweaks which can be done. For starters you can check if you can access system from your computer, open your File Manager/Windows Explorer and type \\192.168.0.112 < which is IP address you have used before. This will open share from system, which you can use to upload the ROMS and BIOS files.You need to get “gba_bios.bin” and upload it to the BIOS folder, for legal reason it does not come with the system, nor I can provide it, but Google will help you.

You also can apply Theme and SplashScreen to the system, that is easily done .

One other thing which I have noticed is that if you use 3.5 mm jack for audio output there will be always static noise which is very annoying, in order to fix it type this:

sudo nano /boot/config.txt

and add this text to the end of the file:

disable_audio_dither=1

hdmi_ignore_edid_audio=1

Now you are ready to upload games via FTP or just browsing to network share. You also can remove entries from menu which you do not need, personally I have removed: amiga, apple2, macintosh, pc, ports, scummvm, zmachine. To do that simply delete folders or create new one and move folders to it.

Things at which I am stuck now is Bluetooth audio streaming.

4 thoughts on “RetroPie on Raspberry Pi 2 with 5 inch HDMI LCD screen

  1. Hey – I unsuccessfully attempted several times to output audio to a bluetooth speaker from RetroPie. Following directions that include installing Blueman and PulseAudio has resulted in broken (undiagnosable freezing and crashing) RetroPie and EmulationStation operation. However, it does seem that this tutorial gives us our easy fix — where we’re outputting to a Bluetooth receiver through the 3.5mm audio out jack. The Bluetooth receiver then pairs with your actual Bluetooth speaker. I haven’t tried this solution yet, but it seems promising: http://www.dadkingdom.com/toys/classic-video-game-emulator-raspberry-pi-retropie/

    1. Quite heavy workaround without use of builtin in pi bluetooth. This should work, and quite easy, I had something similar on my car where on AUX cable I had USB powered bluetooth reciver.
      This is kinda other way around, transmitter.

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