A couple of days ago I was made ‘an offer I couldn’t refuse’. An iCade for $50. *SOLD!*
For the uninitiated, the iCade started life as a ThinkGeek April fools joke and ended up going into production. It’s basically a wheee little arcade cabinet with a bluetooth control deck built into it, designed for the Apple iPad. It came free with a collection of Atari’s greatest hits.
Initially the idea was to get it going with an Android tablet. A Samsung Tab2 10.1 to be specific.
So I got to work modifying the inner mounts to accept a marginally thinker, but especially taller tablet. It all went rather well…… until….
Yeah; as much as my research said other wise – the bluetooth control deck don’t work with Android – sigh…
Back to the drawing board.
The only real option was to go back to an iPad. Sadly great apps like RetroArch and Mame aren’t available through the Apple Store. But if you jailbreak your iPad, then its Cydia to the rescue. Jailbreaking is simple enough these day; connect your iPad, run an app, wait, Done!
Now, ever since the iCade came out the one thing I’ve hated is the open front. The ‘arcade cabinet’ look is completely ruined by having the iPad just sitting there is a plastic mount.
I can do better than that…
Using nothing more that a piece of thin plywood, I made up a front fascia to cover the front of the cabinet and make the tablet look less like a tablet. Access to the iPads Home button is still fully accessible although the top needs lifting for the power button and you’ll end up setting the volume via the settings app.
I’m pretty happy with it actually 🙂
Although if I can get my hands on some, I’ll recover it with some heat-on vinyl.
For those playing at home; here are the plans for the front fascia.