Hey everyone,

As you know, recently I’ve been working on developing a GameCube Raspberry Pi Media Center. Each project comes with its own twists and turns and this one was no different. Before I show it off (I’ll leave that for another post) I wanted to share what it’s like creating something new.

The first thing I had to do with this project is compile all of my wires and pieces. My overall philosophy with media center creation is to both keep it simple and to keep as much of the the original system as possible in tact – therefore I try not to Dremel whenever possible.

The cool thing about a GameCube as a form is that it has 4 USB-sized holes directly in the front, making it very simple and an “upgrade” rather than a “overhaul”. When I first started the project last year I followed a tutorial I had found online about dremeling the original “controller holder” into perfectly rectangular pieces. The pieces ended up pretty bad to be honest – it was as ugly as it was difficult to make. Fail. However, this lead me to research alternative solutions, where I discovered the potential of 3D printed pieces! It took me 4 tries to make a passable piece, since each redesign took a bit of time to ship and test, but try 4 fit perfectly into the original housing! I am still working on version 5, which I think will increase the strength of the USB cable holders, as well as add an LED holder for the top of the system.

I also wanted to figure out a way to add an HDMI and a power ports without butchering the back. Standard GameCubes have 2 or 3 different port openings in the back, depending on the model. The versions I had came with 3 ports, two of which were originally for video-in. Luckily they were more than big enough for an HDMI cable and a USB Micro extension cable that allow us to house the Pi without connecting cables to it directly. The first 3D printing attempt just had an HDMI in port holder – the second attempt included the USB micro cable holder. V3 will be slightly better, but V2 was nearly perfect. Success!

Now that I figured out how to put everything together, it really came down to putting my plan to action. Unfortunately, though, I ran across a few more problems… the biggest of which being the case itself.

When I first spraypainted my GameCube shell, I used a paint specifically marketed for plastic. It was really bad though, requiring both significantly more AND less than I ended up using… and I’m not entirely sure how that was possible. In the end, I gave up trying to make this perfect, leaving it as “good enough”. The front looks pretty good though! Just gotta make sure no one looks at it from the side…

When I put it together, I also had trouble getting the LED, a USB port, and the wires all set. I’m still a beginner with all of this, so it took me a while to get it all squared away. Instead of re-gluing the USB port, I decided to stick a bluetooth keyboard receiver in it – now it stays put and has a use. Success kinda! Connecting the Mausberry switch to the GameCube’s original power button took me a few tries, but it ultimately wasn’t a big deal. And the reset button I got working the first time. 🙂 Finally, I tried hot-gluing the LED to the GameCube’s case, but it didn’t stick for very long. This’ll have a dedicated part of my V5 front piece, but it is still annoying knowing it doesn’t work very well.

Overall, I would call my final result a great test model. There were certain things I liked, such as the 3D printed pieces I created and the fact that I finally got the wiring all figured out. Other things, like the paint job, I am less thrilled with. It is definitely a good start though and I’m looking forward to making the process more smooth from here on out. Expect them for sale in the next few months!

-Curtis RetroMaster

PS: Sorry I don’t have any pictures yet. I don’t have a camera and my phone has been having issues!


Project 2: GameCube Media Center (Update 2)

Hey everyone,

It’s been about 6 months since my last post, but I wanted to update everyone on my life and the GameCube project. I spent a lot of this time getting moved into a new house (yay, being a home owner!) and getting caught up on life. I also spent quite a bit of time working on my projects, so there is no more time to waste!

After a few tries, I was able to design 3D pieces to my liking that should make a GameCube media center much cleaner and easy. For those of you who haven’t dissected a GameCube, there are two main areas of concern: the front and the back.

In the front my vision was to replace the current controller ports with USB ports, allowing the user to have 4 readily available ports for things like USB controllers (for whatever system they are emulating) and FLIRC (because it makes having a media center awesome). Since the ports in front are part of the overall design, it doesn’t look tacky – like it would for, say, an ATARI 2600.

On the back I also wanted to retain as much of the original plating as possible, to reduce time, energy, and destruction to the original frame. The piece I designed holds a USB Micro (Female to Male) Cable and an HDMI (also Female to Male) Cable in place, filling up the original two video-in ports. I received this today and it works really well!

I don’t have any pictures, but I believe the last thing I have to figure out is how to get the original LED to light up. Then with a little touch-up paint and a B-quality photo shoot (seriously, I need a new camera!) my Zelda-inspired GameCube should be good to go!

Will update this post soon with pictures!


Project 2: GameCube Media Center (Update 1)

Hey everyone,

I’ve been continuing to tinker with my GameCubes and am working a little slower than I anticipated. Instead of dremeling part of the original GameCube, I decided to craft my own piece to mount the USB ports to the GameCube controller face. The first batch has been ordered, so fingers crossed they’ll work!

While I prefer to have the inside of the GameCubes finished first, I decided to try painting a Legend of Zelda version. How do you all like it?


Helpful Software: MakeMKV

Hey everyone!

As I continue slowly working on my GameCube Media Centers, I thought I’d continue my series on helpful software. This is software I’ve found useful for one reason or another that you may find useful too. Let me know if you have any questions!

Today I’m going to talk about MakeMKV.


MakeMKV is a free DVD/Bluray ripping software that allows the user to convert inserted DVD/Bluray into MKV format. It does not require you to understand complex file formatting or settings, which makes this a great tool for beginners. It also automatically splits the DVD/Bluray into multiple sections: one for the main movie and others for the various extras a movie may have. I also enjoy being able to select and deselect subtitles and audio tracks for the movie, since I don’t speak any foreign languages. 😉

If you want to rip your movie collection, this is a great place to start!

Curtis RetroMaster

Helpful Software: Ember Media Manager

Hey everyone,

When it comes to the movies on my NES media center, I’m very particular: everything from fan-art, to box art, to title/sort title has to be hand-picked by me. I have themes (all Star Wars movies need similar art styles), self-imposed rules (The Fast and the Furious are together in order, even though they’re all over the road with name schemes) and really want to make my collection as crisp and individualized as possible.

One of the tools I use to help with this is Ember Media Manager.

Ember 1.png

After you install it, you simply direct it toward your movie collection. Then Ember scans and tracks what movies you have with a nice interface. Not only can it read local .csv meta-data files, it can cross reference movie file names with IMDB and create local .csv meta-data files with that information if none exists. It also allows you to select from a large collection of fan-art, box art and other supplemental art (like disk art!). When you want to update information manually, like movie rating, actors and taglines, you can change it by double clicking the movie from the list.

Ember 2.png

Ember not only allows you to better organize your movie collection, it also works for TV shows too. Want Season Art? You can get that too! 🙂

Ember 3.png

Overall, this program has helped me tremendously. If you’re interested in going digital with your movie (and TV Show) collection, I really recommend checking this program out!

-Curtis RetroMaster


Project 1: NES Media Center (Part 2)

Hello everyone,

Since my NES Media Center is completed, I wanted to discuss how I built it, as well as the thought process.

Final Build NES Pi

Here we have the final build. You can see that the LED lights up appropriately and that it is on by the Power Button pushed in.

NES Pi Media Center - Inside Look

This is the inside of the NES, with everything wired up.

NES Controller Port

The first thing I did was remove the original controller ports and replace them with the NES-USB adapter. Here we see the originals still attached.

NES Controller Port

Once the ports have been removed, we need to dremel the sockets and make them rectangular.

NES - Controller Ports

After stripping the rubber casing from the NES/USB adapter, we get to put it in the NES. This adapter is upside down.

NES Back

This is the back of the NES, where I dremelled ports for the power, HDMI in, and 2 USB.

NES Front - Ports Epoxied!

The cables have been epoxied!

NES Power Button

After removing the power buttons, we need to make a little notch at the top to break the circuit. We also solder up near the top of the far right side.

NES Power Button Wires

After cutting the ribbon, we need to strip the brown, red, orange and yellow wires. We’ll connect this to the Mausberry circuit so it can power the Pi effectively.

NES Power Circuit

The wires have been soldered to the power circuit.

NES Power Pole

You’ll also need to remove this pole.

NES Pi Media Center - Inside Look

Again, here we can see the inside of the NES, with everything wired up!

Kodi - LibreElec

Here’s a demonstration of LibreElec!


And here we have RetroPie!

There you go! Not a perfect step-by-step tutorial, but hopefully shows the various steps required to do this sort of project. This is a really good project for people who aren’t familiar with dremeling, soldering and electronics!

-Curtis RetroMaster