Convert Old Android Box In Retro Gaming Station

What is this?

The EmuELEC software is a group of emulators that allows us to load roms, covers and other extras to play dozens of different systems in an orderly manner. To play them you need the ROMS or ISO of the games and some of these systems also require the BIOS images of the machine to emulate.

  • Popular emulators: AMIGA, MSX, NES, SNES, GBA, MG, DREAMCAST, NDS, PS1, CPS1 / 2/3 …
  • Not supported: PS2, PS3, GAMECUBE, 3DS, WII, XBOX

Which Box Can I Do This On?

This is one of the points where we can have doubts when testing the system, but as we have seen we do not run any risk because we can test it without risking the installed Android system. Some TV-Boxes such as the Beelink have official support from this community and other Boxes can be compatible with the generic EmuELEC images, we will have to try it for ourselves. Normally we can emulate up to PS1 with powerful processors like the new S905X3 and S922X.

  • Amlogic S905 / S905X / S912: Hardkernel Odroid C2, Free Computer Le Potato, Pandora arcades (S912)
  • Amlogic S905X2 / S905X3 / S922x / A311D: Beelink Gt-King / Gt-King Pro, Hardkernel Odroid N2, Khadas VIM3

Software Needed?

  1. Emuelec
  2. W32 writer (or any ISO writer you prefer, like Rufus, Etcher etc)
  3. FileZilla (to transfer ROMS)
  4. 7zip (to open the emuelec zip file)

Which version to use:

EmuELEC-Amlogic.arm-x.x.x-generic.img.gz for S905 / S912
EmuELEC-Amlogic-ng.arm-x.x.x-generic.img.gz for S905x2, S905x3, S922x / A311D (NG version)

Steps:

  1. Find the correct zip file from here , expand that to a folder on your PC.
  2. The expanded file for me was called EmuELEC-Amlogic.arm-3.7-Generic.img
  3. Insert a microSD card and use Win32 Disk image writer to burn the above image to your microSD card.
  4. Within the SD card that we have created we go to the “device_trees” folder
  5. Inside we need a compatible device tree compatible with our system, we observe:
    – Concrete model or generic model.
    – Compatible processor: S905X2 / S905X3 / S922 …
    – RAM: 2GB, 4GB …
    – Network: 10/100 MB or 1 Gigabit
  6. Copy the file xxx.img more similar to our hardware to the root directory of the unit we have created.
  7. Rename it as “dtb.img” we overwrite if necessary.

First boot

Before turning on the TV-Box, we must insert the prepared SD card and connect a compatible USB gamepad.

  1. With the TV-Box turned off introduce the microSD card or USB drive prepared with EmuELEC.
  2. Connect a gamepad to your system

To start EmuELEC independently we have several methods available, basically the two options are by means of the update button of the TV-Box or from android reaching this mode by software.

  • Mode 1: Start the TV-Box with the update button pressed, in a box or in an audio jack.
  • Mode 2: Use the LibreELEC app for Android that restarts the TV-Box in update mode
  • Mode 3: If we are root from a terminal on Android we do “su” and then “reboot update”
  • IF YOU DON’T START: Try another device tree file from the folder we have in the SD.
  • The first boot process is slow and we should not turn off the TV-Box until it restarts.
  • The system will always boot into EmuELEC until we remove the SD card.

In the first boot of EmueLEC we will always be asked the key configuration of our connected Gamepad, we just have to press the correct keys for each function.

  • Press B / O to enter the menus and A / X to exit.
  • Select: we enter OPTIONS where we adjust the list of games and folders in the current system.
  • Start: we enter the general settings MAIN MENU, we can redefine the controls and other system settings.
  • Tip: to exit the games press Hotkey + Start 2 times.

EmuELEC user environment

In the first boot of EmuELEC we are shown different sections of each installed emulator where we have the games installed, at the bottom we can see what action keys we have available.

  • IMPORTANT NOTE: EmuELEC must always be turned off from MENU> QUIT> POWER OFF or the system may be corrupted.
  • Tip: At the beginning ONLY Emulators are shown with games installed, if we don’t have games, emulators are not shown.

See the process in action here