Install M3 Standoffs

To start assembling the enclosure, we'll need to install six M3 standoffs (55mm tall) into the bottom cover. Start by inserting an M3 screw into a one of the screw holes on either corner of bottom cover. While holding the screw in place, flip the bottom over and insert a standoff onto the screw thread. Then, fasten the standoff by twisting until it's fully tightened. Repeat this process for all six screw holes. 

Standoffs for Raspberry Pi

To secure the Raspberry Pi to the bottom cover, we'll need to install four M2.5 standoffs. The nylon screw and standoff set has a variety of sizes. I recommend using the shortest standoffs, which are 6mm tall. You'll need to use the longest M2.5 screws, 10mm, to install the standoffs to the bottom cover. We'll need a total of four standoffs, four screws and four nuts.

Installing Pi Standoffs

Start by inserting an M2.5 screw through the bottom of the "bottom" cover. While holding the screw in place, grab one of the M2.5 standoffs and insert into the screw thread. Twist the standoff until it's fully tightened. Repeat this process for the remaining mounting holes. Once complete, install the Raspberry Pi by resting it over the standoffs. Line up the mounting holes so the screws protrude through.

Secure Raspberry Pi

With the Raspberry Pi now resting on the screws and standoffs, we can secure the PCB by adding some hex nuts to each of the protruding screw threads. They're a little hard to get to (big fingers being the main factor) so you may find a pair of tweezers or pliers helpful to assist you. You'll need to fasten the hex nuts onto the screw threads to secure the Raspberry Pi. 

Install Side Panels

Now it's time to install the side panels. Start by laying out the side panels and mapping out where they need to go. The left panel has cutouts for the USB and ethernet port on the Raspberry Pi. The back panel has various cutouts for the HDMI port, audio jack and micro USB port for power. The front panel has two cutouts for our Start and Select arcade buttons. Each panel has two tabs that are inserted into the tabbed slots on the bottom cover. Make sure the panels are facing the correct orientation when installing.

Install Front Panel Buttons

With the panels now installed, we can install the arcade buttons to the front panel. Insert the button through the front side and secure using the included screw cap. Tighten the screw caps to secure the buttons to the front panel.

Quick Connects

Now it's time to pull our our quick-connect wires and get them ready to... connect! I recommend connecting them to the Arcade Bonnet first, and then hook them up to the various arcade buttons. It'll make it easier to manage the wiring when doing it in this order. Either way, if we want to rearrange our wiring, it's easy to do so.

Quick Connect Arcade Bonnet

Go ahead and plug in six quick connect wires to the various JST connectors on the Arcade Bonnet.

Install Buttons to Cover

Now we can install the six arcade button to the top cover of the enclosure. Twist the into the hole cutout or simply press them firmly through to install them. Flip the cover over and insert the screw caps to each button. Fasten to fully tighten and secure the arcade buttons to the top cover.

Install Joystick

Before we go ahead and connect the arcade buttons to the Arcade Bonnet, it's a good idea to secure the analog Joystick to the top cover. The mini analog joystick includes a mounting cover and some machine screws. Start by fitting the cover over the body of the joystick. Line up the mounting holes – The rubber gasket can freely rotate, so make sure the notches are aligned up with the mounting holes. Place the mounting cap over the cover and fasten the machine screws. The screws will go through the top of the mounting cap, cover and the body of the joystick. 

Connect Buttons

With the Joystick now secured to the cover, we can now start connecting the arcade buttons. It doesn't matter which wire goes to which button since we can configure the software to our preferred controls. I basically connected them based on how well I could neatly order them. Admittedly, it took a few tries to get the wires from being a tangled rats nest. With this many buttons, it's easy to neglect wire management.  

Connect Front Panel Buttons

Now's a good time to hook up the Start and Select buttons in the front panel. Make sure each button has a ground connection. The wiring is a little inconsistent since we wired two of them to the 4way joystick pins and grounds on the side of the PCB.

Install Arcade Bonnet to Raspberry Pi

With all of our controls wired to the Arcade Bonnet, we can now install it to the Raspberry Pi. Carefully place the bonnet over the Raspberry Pi headers, making sure the pins are properly aligned. Press down on the PCB to fully seat the female header to the header pins. 

Close It Up

How's those wiring looking? Hard to avoid a rats nest, I know. But it's not that important! I'm sure with more patience and time, one could trim down the wires and use more heat shrink to make them nice and tidy. Either way, it's time to close up the enclosure. You'll have to fold the wires a bit to get the cover to close. The top cover is similar to the bottom, as it has slots to allow the tabs from the panels to be inserted. Make sure the tabs from the panels are fully inserted through the slots in the top cover.

Don't forget to install the microSD card! You should already have the software setup and tested before closing shut the cover.

Secure Cover

Six more M3 machine screws are needed to secure the top cover to the six standoffs. I found some of the standoffs are a little off, so I repositioned them with my fingers, held it in place, inserted a screw and fastened in place until fully tightened. The ones in the middle are tricky to get to, so you may need to use a pointy tool to properly align it. 

Assembled Case

And now we have our case fully assembled! If you ever need to rewire the buttons, it should be pretty straight forward to do so. Just remove the six screws from the top and pop off the cover to get to the guts. The Raspberry Pi 3 features on-board WiFi, so it should be relatively easy to install ROMs and configure the controls without having to take out the microSD card.

This guide was first published on Jul 26, 2017. It was last updated on Mar 08, 2024.

This page (Assembly) was last updated on Jul 25, 2017.

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