How to build a Raspberry Pi into a mini SNES – Part 2 – The Building

A fun do it yourself project, turn your Raspberry Pi 3b into a SNES

Recently, the NES Classic made a big splash. The ability to play all your old favorites on a tiny device! However, it only plays NES games, and can fit upwards of 30 games maximum on it. We would all like the ability for a device like this to play our entire library of roms, including SNES and Sega!

Luckily, if you buy a Raspberry Pi, know a little bit about Linux, and can use Emulators and Roms, you can build a miniature SNES! That is what I’ve based my project on. Luckily for you, I knew nothing about Raspberry Pi, or linux when I first started this project, so this tutorial will cover the steps from the beginning. So let’s get started!


Part 1 – The Parts
Part 2 – The Build
Part 3 – The Software 
Part 4 – The Roms

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The Build

So you have all the parts, and are probably double checking to see that you don’t miss anything! I will be honest, the build itself is quite easy, and aside from building a mining rig months ago, I have zero experience putting computer parts together. So if I can do it, you can too! Whether you went with the CanaKit or a scratch build with all separate parts, the build will be very similar. The main difference will be CanaKit users have a preloaded 32 GB Micro SD Card, which already has the program Noobs on it. However, because I chose to use both the CanaKit AND build one from separate parts using the flirc gen 2 case with a 64 GB SD card. So I will talk about instructions for both here!

Super Nintendo Raspberry Pi Case, with SNES controllers, a great gift

Other Parts

We will need:

  • A phillips head screwdriver
  • A precision screwdriver

Now that we have all of our materials, let’s talk about building the Raspberry Pi into our miniature SNES. First step, take the Raspberry Pi out of its packaging, and check for any loose or damaged parts. Do the same for the Tinytendo case. Now grab your screw driver and take apart the SNES case, you will need to unscrew the 4 screws on the bottom.

Open Case

Open up the Super Nintendo Raspberry Pi case, and get ready to assemble

The inside of the case has ‘COLLECTOR CRAFT’ etched into the plastic.  A nice touch.  Remove the screws from the bottom plastic part.  From here, we want to install the Raspberry Pi into the case.

The Raspberry Pi fits directly next to the fan.  The Micro SD slot, and the USB/Ethernet ports should align with the case.  Once aligned, screw in.  Be careful to not over-tighten screws.

Super Nintendo Raspberry Pi Project DIY

This is where the Micro SD Card will eventually go. DO NOT install yet, the SD Card will break.

How to turn a Raspberry Pi into a mini SNES entertainment center
Plug in the fan
A fun do it yourself project, turn your Raspberry Pi 3b into a SNES

The fan is a little tricky to comprehend, but this picture should show exactly where to plug into.  I had a little trouble with this part, so once I figured it out, I took a photo to show where the fan gets plugged in on the board.

Let’s toss the top on and flip it over and start screwing it together.  First, secure the wires leading to the fan.

Then flip over, and insert screws and tighten.

From the bottom, you can see the Micro SD Card Slot on the left, and the 4 rubber feet which will add height helping airflow.  These will also secure your SNES to prevent it from sliding around on the surface you install it to.

Plug in the power supply.

From left to right: Power Supply, HDMI and Audio jacks

Plug in your cables.

Pop the SD card in.

Ready to install Software!

Your finished ‘Build’ should look somewhat similar to this.  Hope you caught the couple of flags that almost made me have to buy a new fan, which I posted.  So you should be all set to  plug your Raspberry Pi in and start playing with some Linux!

Check out our next section, Part 3 – The Software


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