Category Archives: Raspberry Pi

Refurbishing A Centipede Arcade

This is going to be fun!

It was a Friday night and I was listing some things for sale on Craigslist when I did what I do every time I’m on Craigslist and that was to check the Free listings. Usually there’s a bunch of crap in there and anything worth its salt is gone in a blink of an eye.

Which is why I was amazed to see a Centipede arcade cabinet and thrilled when the person who had it started responding to me!

Now that I have this beast in my garage I want to fix it up and document the process. I plan on adding tons of videos and pictures as I go along so stay tuned and check back often.

What’s wrong with it?

Almost everything, lol. The main board is missing, the controls are missing, the CRT has burn-in, the control board has new holes drilled in it with no controls and two torn control board art pieces, the coin drawer has no key or wires attached anymore, the marquee is missing and the list goes on.

Okay what’s the plan?

The side art is mostly intact and so is the overall structure so my plan is to gut out all of the old electronics except for the speaker (assuming it works) and:

The ultimate goal

The end goal is to have everything in the cabinet wired up to a single power switch that when turned on goes to centipede by default (with trackball controls and 1-2 player selection)  but has an escape key combination to get into a RetroPi/Emulation Station UI with additional games. Money is tight right now so some of this project may be on hold for a while but what I can test and build in the meantime I intend to document.


Testing the speaker

I removed the marquee back-light and speaker assembly to test if the speaker still had sound and this is what happened.

Starting to take shape…

Stay tuned for more to come…


Resources I’m looking at for this project,55639.0.html

Two Player Complete Do It Yourself Arcade Kit

Centipede Owners Manual


Cheap Joystick Controls and Buttons


Hardware Video Encoding progess with the Raspberry Pi


***Scroll to bottom of article to see updated code with audio & video trancoding.*** 

The Raspberry Pi is not bad at hardware H264 encoding. It processed a 5.81GB 720P 60fps Mpeg Transport Stream that was an 1hr, 2min, 27seconds long and converted to H264 1280 x 720 60fps in 1hr, 38min, 57seconds with a resulting file size of 293MB.

The quality is a bit less than I’m used to with Handbrake and this is video only (still need to find out how to add audio to gstreamer transcoding). However for the quality it’s at it is an impressive speed for something the size of a credit card that consumes 5V1A of power and costs only $35.

Here’s how I was able to get the Raspberry Pi to get this far.

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