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RetroFlag NESPi 4 Raspberry Pi Case Mini NES with Workable Cartridge for SSD’s !


hey everybody it’s lon simon we’ve got a fun one today we’re going to be unboxing and setting up this nespi 4 case from retro flag and we’ve looked at their cases in the past they’ve got some amazing build quality on these little raspberry pi uh cases that turn your pie into a mini nest or a mini snes or a mini sega genesis all sorts of fun stuff they’re not that expensive and this is their latest one for the pi 4 and at the moment this is the only one for the pi 4 but i’m sure they’ll have more as time goes on and it’s a mini nest design but it’s got a cartridge as well and you can put a solid state drive inside the cartridge for additional storage a lot of fun very functional and we’re going to unbox this and get our raspberry pi installed into it here in this video and i do want to let you know in the interest of full disclosure that this came in free of charge from retro flag however they are not paying for this review nor are they reviewing or approving it before it gets uploaded so let’s get this thing out of the box and get the raspberry pi in the case all right so let’s take it out of the box and see what we got here and this is the nes portion of it and one of the things that i love about this company the retro flag people is that the build quality on these is excellent it feels almost as good as what you would get from nintendo most of the time it’s got a very nice high quality plastic it doesn’t feel cheap it feels well built this is the little cartridge here so it’s not obviously the same size as a real nes but it fits inside of it here and we’ll have to take this apart and put our hard drive in a little bit and right now it’s not screwed together so we will be doing that when we’re done with everything and one of the cool things that they do with these is they integrate power power and reset buttons here on the front so there is a script that you have to install to get these to work but generally with the raspberry pi without these buttons when you plug it in it

powers up but here you can actually get a functional power button on there inside is a little fan and heat sink and we also get a little warning here saying please remove the sd card before installing the raspberry pi so it looks like you put the pie in and then stick the sd card in for booting so we have a connector cable here for the usb ports on the front now this connector here is for the network because the raspberry pi has a bunch of built-in connectors but if you want to route things differently here for this case you’ve got to find ways to do that so this little extender cable is for the ethernet and that will map out to the port here on the back physically you also have a few other connectors this one is for the usb 2 connector on the front we’re going to plug this into one of the raspberry pi’s usb connectors we’re going to plug another one of these the usb 3 connector into the pi as well because this port will map out to this cable and then there’s another usb connector on this portion of the case because this is where the sata interface for the solid state drive that we’re going to install will interface with the raspberry pi and the latest version of the pi 4 firmware should allow for booting off of that ssd as well so that’s something to look forward to and then we have another connector here for the gpio pins on the raspberry pi and this is going to deliver power along with getting these buttons to work here on the front and we’re going to be having to again install some scripts to get all that to work also in the box is an hdmi adapter here because the raspberry pi 4 has one of those micro hdmi connectors this will give you the full size hdmi that was a nice little surprise to see in the box and i’m trying

to figure out where we’re going to put that part we’ll get to that in a little bit i’m sure and then we’ve got the power adapter here this is not all that powerful it’s only a 5 volt 3 amp adapter so it’s a little bit more than what you might have powered your prior pi from it is usbc of course so if you do need more power you should probably use the existing usbc power supply you have right now but if you don’t have one at all you’re fine because this will be in the box and you’ve got a power supply for your raspberry pi and then here we have some instructions for getting everything installed including the safe shutdown script that will work with those buttons so we’re going to start the installation process now and get our pie in the case and then we’ll install retropie and see what we can do with that all right so we’re ready to go ahead and install the raspberry pi into the case you do need the raspberry pi 4 because this case is designed specifically for the pi 4.

It will not work with other versions of the raspberry pi now i’m also going to give you a public service announcement here about one portion of the install that i screwed up when i was initially doing this and what you’re going to find in the box are two things that look very similar these little raspberry pi gold little connectors and i initially thought that these were heat sinks to attach to the fan but they’re really just decorative there’s actually two squares you’re gonna find uh in the box that are what you’re supposed to put on top of these chips and initially when we were live streaming this we put the gold things on top of the chips but thankfully someone watching pointed out that i was doing it incorrectly and i want to thank jason watts for that tip because we really we’re going down the wrong path here so it’s not the end of the world but you really want to make sure you put these thermal pads on the chips here versus the little gold pieces here that look the same as far as the instructions are concerned because what you’re going to see on number one here step one is to take

out these little squares and remove the stickers and put them on the chips and again these things look these in the instructions exactly like these so just be aware of that and what we’re going to do now is get the thermal pads stuck on those chips and what this does is it helps transfer heat from the chips to the fan attachment so we’re going to put one on here and we’re going to put the other one on the other chip and that’ll keep our pie nice and cool as it’s doing its thing so we’re going to attach that one to here and probably get a little bit better aligned there there we go all right now the next step is to get the pie installed inside of the case and this part is a little tricky because the cables are really stiff and hard to work with but the instruction manual here does give you some good guiding guidance here as for how everything needs to go so you’re going to have two usb connectors one is the usb 2.0 connector here they call this usb 1.

And what’s going to happen here is that this one is going to go around the circuit board and connect to the top connector over here the other one is going to run under the circuit board this blue one and it’s going to connect to the lower one here on the usb 3 connectors the blue ones are the usb 3 connectors these are the faster ones so this one connects to that one and i’ll give you a different angle of that so you can see so the usb 2 goes here usb 3 goes there and then your network cable will slide into the ethernet jack here and you’re good to go now you do need to make sure when you do this that the ethernet cable here i’ll give you an overhead view is secure on this side this cable pops out real easy and i found that happening a few times as we were going here so just make sure all the cables are snug and attached and then once you get it all aligned it’ll just kind of snap right into place and you’re good to go and you’ll see now that all of the cables here are the ports are aligned so we have our two hdmi outputs we got the audio output we got the power and then the lan extender here is ready to go as well so we got the pi in place all right the next step is to get the gpio

connector in place and what you got on the main board is a connector with a little label on it and what you want to make sure is that the solid red cable is pointing to the outside and that’s why they’ve got this helpful label here this is one thing you got to be really careful with and you don’t want to get this one backwards the instructions will also give you a nice image here as well so remember solid cable solid red cable on the outside and what we’re going to do here is just align it to the first pin on the board here just like so and we’re going to lower this down and this is going to provide power to the board and in addition to that it’s also going to allow us to use the buttons here on the front so that part is done and now what we need to do is connect up the fan assembly to this and there’s a bunch of screws that come in the box here so the ones that you’re going to want initially are the two black screws here and we’ve got our heat pads down on the chips and we’re just going to lower the fan here over the assembly and you only have to put in two of these screws initially the two black ones because the rest of this will come together when you put the case together for the final assembly point so i’m just going to get these screws aligned here and we’re going to screw these in and we’re going to use the screwdriver that came with our kit here to get these things in there so we’re just going to screw this part down make sure our gpio connector is nice and snug there all right so that part is ready now there is a power cable here for the fan assembly and that will connect up to a power connector here on the board and you’re going to see that connector right here and this can only go in one way so you can’t screw this part up so just have the red cable kind of point out to the left here and we’re just going to insert that in there it is tiny but it goes in pretty easy and now that is in there and ready to go so it looks like most of what we have to do from an assembly standpoint at least inside the

device here is done one thing i would suggest you look at before you screw everything down is the safe shutdown switch here because if you want to use the script to have it properly shut down your pi you need to make sure that this switch is in the on position and then when you push the button here to turn it off what will happen here is it won’t cut power immediately it’s going to execute a script to shut down the pi the right way and then it will turn everything off all right the next step is to attach the top part and remember we’ve got to connect something here because we’re going to put our hard drive into the mix and we have a port here free on the usb 3 port collection here so we’re just going to slide that in there and connect it up pretty easy there just like any other usb device and then we’re just going to get the top portion here lined up we’re good to go there and then what we’re going to do is take these long screws out and just screw the whole thing together and hopefully i did all this correctly so that when it boots up for the first time we don’t have to unscrew everything again and i think the two screws in the back here are the most important because remember this is what’s connecting to the fan inside so that kind of puts the whole thing you know together there so we’re just going to get the rest of these screws attached and tightened up and then we can get the hard drive installed into the cartridge and we’ll download retropie and then we’ll go and get this thing booted up and make it into our new retropie device and by the way you might be wondering what this little door here is on the bottom now of course on the original nes that was the expansion port here it’s a little

storage area so you can put your sd cards in here and just carry them around with you so if you’re booting multiple versions of raspberry pi operating systems you can just keep your sd cards in there and they’ll be nice and secure this snaps into place and again the build quality on this thing is excellent all right so we’ve got the hard drive slot here looking for a hard drive and what we’re going to do now is get the cartridge assembled now this is the bottom portion of the cartridge i’ve got this hard drive here that we’re going to pop in and what i’m going to do is just align it and there are two different screw sizes on this one there’s two short screws and two longer ones and so what i’m going to do first is get the hard drive secured to the bottom of the case here with the longer screws so we’re just going to the shorter screws excuse me put those two shorter screws in there and these will basically attach the bottom of the cartridge to the hard drive so there’s only two screws going into your hard drive get those in there and by the way this is going to fit you know a two and a half inch drive not something that’s got a little bit more height to it and then we’re going to put the top of it down over it if we can get that to align here all right it looks like it’s coming together and then we’ve got these two slightly longer screws that we’re going to now attach in there and get the rest of the cartridge assembled all right our cartridge is assembled it feels nice and solid here you can see on the bottom the sata connector there and if you’re curious what the size of this is versus a regular nes cartridge here you go so as you can see it’s definitely a lot smaller but it looks the same it’s really cool so what we’re going to do now is just pop this into our case here like so and it just goes in like that i’m not sure if they’re selling additional

cartridges i’m hoping they will because maybe you’ll want to load up a bunch of games on different solid state drives and have them pop in there and again they just do some really fun stuff like this and it’s nice to see a lot of value packed into something and this is not a bad deal you get a little say to the usb connector along with all the other stuff that we saw in the unboxing so it looks like we are all put together now what i’m going to do next is get retropie installed on this raspberry pi if you want you can watch my live stream of this and see the entire installation process in this video we’re focused on the case and getting it going but if you’re curious as to how to install retropie check out the live stream which will be linked down below in the video description all right so we got retropie now flash to the sd card and what you need to do is just have the pins go up here and pop it into the raspberry pi for booting and we’re good to go there so the next step here is i’m going to attach display video and network to this and it’s nice that they give you this adapter in the box here so i don’t have to go find my micro hdmi to large hdmi cable i can just pop that in there and get this thing booted up so next step we’re going to get our monitor out hook this thing up to the network and boot it and we’ll see how it works all right so here is the moment of truth we’re going to attach power to the back of the device now you notice it didn’t turn on because we actually have a switch on this and the first thing that we’re going to do after retropie boots up and configures itself is we’re going to go in and get the script installed

for the save shutdown but as you can see here i was able to hit the button and it booted up now you’ll also notice that the power light isn’t on i believe part of what that script will do is get that light lit back up again so we’re going to let retropie do its initial configuration and when this part is done what we’ll do is go into the command line and set up the safe shutdown script and then we’ll be ready to go to play some games on our new little nes case here all right so we have booted back up here and what i’m going to do now is jump back out to the command line we’re going to hit the start button on the controller and we’re going to go down to quit and this is going to bring us to an option to quit emulation station and that’s going to drop us out to a command line because we actually have to go in and type in a little download request so that we can get this script to work and what you need to do is go over to a website that you’ll find in the instructions and they’ll have the command that you need to type in now we made another mistake as we were doing the live stream because when i arrived at this page what i assumed was you had to go in for this particular script but this is for their game boy case you need to scroll down over to this one here and this command is what you need to type in to get there and if you are installing retropie for the first time what i would recommend you do is load up the raspberry pi configuration screen here especially if you’re in the us because the keyboards on the raspberry pi will default to a british layout and if you’re in the u.s you need to change the localization so what you can do is execute that raspberry pi config command go to localization options and then change your keyboard layout on this screen so all the keys will be in the right spot so what i’m going to do now is type in that command and we’re going to install the script and after we’re done

hopefully that button will safely shut down our raspberry pi all right so we got that command all typed out we’re going to hit enter and what it’s going to do now is download the script and get everything configured for us it’s going to then reboot our device here and when it comes back up our power light should work properly and then when i hit the switch the system should shut down safely so let’s let this thing reboot here real quick all right so we are now rebooted and if we take a look here at the case you’ll notice that the light is now on properly so that’s good and the first thing i’m going to try here is shutting it down so we’re going to hit the button and that’s now going to execute the script you can see that it dropped this out to the command line interface and it’s now blinking and it’s going through the proper shutdown procedure and when it’s done it actually turns itself off completely and then if i hit the power button again it will boot back up when it does come back up i do want to see what happens with the reset button so let’s pop back in when it’s done rebooting all right so let’s hit the reset button now and see what happens we’re going to hit the reset and it will do something similar to what we saw before but instead of cutting power out completely it’s going to just cycle and reboot so hopefully it will not completely shut down you can still hear the fan going and it should start booting back up here there it goes so it looks like we have the script properly installed and our buttons are working correctly all right the last thing we need to check out is whether or not the hard drive is getting recognized properly by the raspberry pi that is of course the hard drive that is on the little cartridge here and to verify its existence i’m going to hit the start button here on the controller and jump back into the command line which is probably the easiest way to find this and i’ll give you a more

zoomed in look here i’m just going to go into the media directory and in here what you’ll see are all of the drives that are attached to it and i’m just going to go into usb and this hard drive currently is formatted for ntfs i was using this with my gaming laptop and i had some steam games installed and as you can see the steam folder is in here i can navigate around and see what’s on it and it looks like everything has been properly recognized so this is at its heart just a say to the usb connector let me just shut it down here real quick so what’s cool about that is that you could pop the drive out of the system put files on it and then put it back in and reboot it’s not that hard to do it comes out super easy here it’s got it’s got to get a little grip on it and it comes out and then as you’ll see here i’ll give you the overhead view you’ve got those sata connectors exposed here so you can get a low-cost usb to sata adapter plug that into the top here hook it up to your pc copy the files over go through whatever configuration steps you need to do to point retropie or whatever you’re using at it and then you can just pop it back into your system here and reboot it now there will be some fan noise associated with this because the fan is not a variable one it’s going to run at the same rate whether you’re at idle or under load in the chat room as we’ve been recording this video roman says that the games you’re playing likely will be louder than the fan in most cases and that’s definitely the case but if you are planning to use this as maybe a pc case for your pi 4 just know you’ll hear the fan running when it’s on all the time but not a big deal i think and overall a really nice case from retro flag who really puts out just the awesomeness little pi 4 accessories they had that awesome game boy thing we looked at a little while ago they’ve got a bunch of neat cases for the pie 3.

This is their first pie 4 case i just love what they’ve done here it’s got great build quality i love the very neat little cartridge concept here that is really a simple execution just say to the usb but they really found a neat way to make use of some extra space in the case here with something very usable and it’s possible on the pi 4 now to actually boot off of this too so you could make this your boot drive when you want to copy some more files to it you just pull it out pop it into your pc and then come back and stick it back in like the good old days and boot it back up the script works great on the buttons here and all in just a really nice high value product and if you are in the market for a case for your retropie install this one is probably the one i would get with the pi 4.

that’s going to do it for now until next time this is lon simon thanks for watching this channel is brought to you by theland.tv supporters including gold level supporters tom albrecht chris allegretta mike patterson and bill pomerantz if you want to help the channel you can by contributing as little as a dollar a month head over to lawn dot tv support to learn more and don’t forget to subscribe

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