VMU Zero

Reviving the Dreamcast VMU

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Raspberry Pi on Dreamcast VMU

Sega Dreamcast VMU is one of the perfect case for Raspberry Pi Zero. This is a build instruction how to make your own VMU Zero with OLED Display.

Original thread is found at sudomod:Dreamcast VMU Zero All-in-one.

Zip Archive - 118.17 kB - 03/18/2018 at 19:25


  • 1
    PCB Assembly


    Hot Plate
    JBC CD1-BB Soldering Station
    JBC C245-030 Conical Soldering Tip
    JBC C245-768 Chisel Soldering Tip
    ChipQuik SMD4300TF Tack Flux
    ChipQuik SMD4300SNL10 Solder Paste
    Senju ESC-M705-0.3 Solder Wire
    Fluke VT04 Thermal IR Camera
    Nikon SMZ Stereomicroscope


    BOM File is available on GitHub
    All of the parts but LT3469 Piezo Driver are available from DigiKey at the time of this writing. You can buy samples of LT3469 directly from Linear Technology.


    Apply a bit of solder paste on the pads of U1, L1, L2, D3 and D4. Optionally for D1, D2, U2, U4 and CN2.

    Grab components with a tweezer and place them onto the PCB. Make sure to orient the U1 properly.

    Position the PCB on the hot plate over the thick tinfoil as a heat spreader.

    Cooking time! Turn on the hot plate and try to follow the recommended temperature profile of your solder paste.

    I heated it up to 180C in 3 minutes then 220C for the next 60s and hold for seconds. Thermal camera helped a lot to control the temperature. You should see solder paste turn shining silver when it starts melting. Do not heat too rapidly or parts would bounce up.

    Cool it down. Be careful, PCB is extremely hot.


    Install the rest of the SMT parts. Start with the U3 FPC connector then solder other parts on the top in order of increasing size.

    Finally install the CN2 battery connector on the bottom side. We will solder the piezo speaker from the VMU to CN1 later.

  • 2

    Install RetroPie

    Download RetroPie.

    curl -O -L

    Unzip image.

    gunzip retropie-4.3-rpi1_zero.img.gz

    Insert an SD card and find the disk number. /dev/disk2 is assigned to my SD card but result would vary on the environment.

    diskutil list
    /dev/disk2 (internal, physical): 

    Burn the SD card. Hit Ctrl-T to see the progress

    diskutil unmountDisk /dev/disk2
    sudo dd bs=1m if=./retropie-4.3-rpi1_zero.img of=/dev/rdisk2

    Create WiFi configuration file. Change the SSID and Password to match with your network

    tee /Volumes/boot/wpa_supplicant.conf << EOF

    Enable SSH.

    touch /Volumes/boot/ssh

     Boot the Pi Zero with the SD card then log on to it. The default password is raspberry.

    ssh pi@retropie.local

    Configure Pi

    The rest of the instructions would be performed on the Pi.

    Enable SPI.

    sudo raspi-config nonint do_spi 0

     Disable Overscan.

    sudo raspi-config nonint do_overscan 1

     Install FBCP.

    sudo apt-get install cmake
    git clone
    cd rpi-fbcp/
    mkdir build
    cd build/
    cmake ..
    sudo install fbcp /usr/local/bin/fbcp

     Register FBCP as a service. # DO THIS STEP ONLY ONCE #

    sudo sed -i "s/^exit 0/\/usr\/local\/bin\/fbcp \&\\nexit 0/g" /etc/rc.local

     Install FBTFT.

    sudo tee /etc/modules-load.d/fbtft.conf << EOF

     Install SEPS525 driver.

    curl -O
    sudo cp fb_seps525.ko /lib/modules/$(uname -r)/kernel/drivers/staging/fbtft/

    Configure FBTFT.

    sudo tee /etc/modprobe.d/fbtft.conf << EOF
    options fbtft_device custom name=fb_seps525 gpios=reset:24,dc:25 speed=8000000 rotate=180

     Update module dependency.

    sudo depmod

    Install Retrogame. 

    curl -O
    sudo bash

     Select 3. PiGRRL Zero and reboot.

    SELECT 1-8: 3
    Downloading, installing retrogame...OK
    Downloading, installing retrogame.cfg...OK
    Performing other system configuration...OK
    REBOOT NOW? [y/N]y

     Configure Retrogame.

    sudo tee /boot/retrogame.cfg << EOF
    LEFT      17
    RIGHT     22
    DOWN      27
    UP        23
    Z          4  # 'A' button
    X         12  # 'B' button
    LEFTCTRL  16  # 'Select' button
    ENTER     26  # 'Start' button

    Enable PWM Audio.

    sudo tee -a /boot/config.txt << EOF

     Set Maximum Volume.

    amixer cset numid=1 -- 100% 
  • 3
    Modifying VMU Case


    Screw Driver
    Side Plier
    7mm Flat File
    XACT Knife
    Air Duster

    Disassemble VMU

    Strip down the VMU and keep everything but the PCB, coin cell and display.
    Try not to touch the piezo speaker to prevent fingerprints on the disc.

    Modify Case

    Use plier and flat file to make some changes to the case.

    Case Top

    Case Top Left

    Case Top Right

    Case Top Upper

    Case Bottom

    Case Lid


View all 4 instructions

Enjoy this project?



Wenting Z. wrote 03/22/2018 at 22:01 point

It would be better if the screen refresh rate could be higher...

  Are you sure? yes | no

Jeremy g. wrote 03/19/2018 at 22:01 point

Epic! I have to make one now..

  Are you sure? yes | no

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