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To bartop or not to bartop that is the question?!


Brob78

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What's up guys, I'm getting ready to start my build, and can't seem to settle on the style of cab I want. My first intentions where to do a bartop, I like the look of those "tiny arcade" ones, but I'm wondering if I'm gonna wish I would have built a full size cab instead. I even thought about building a pedestal (stand/box) to set the bartop on that kinda makes it look like a small upright. I have a 19" wide screen monitor and a 32" LCD tv to use for them. I guess I'm just thinking out loud, but maybe someone wants to give opinions on it. Anyways here's a few pics to give you an idea as to what I'm torn between. Maybe even do a community vote ;)post-50419-0-01282000-1453782532_thumb.jpgpost-50419-0-56962400-1453782576_thumb.jpgpost-50419-0-24483500-1453782622_thumb.jpgpost-50419-0-57859200-1453782675_thumb.jpg

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How are your woodworking skills? Mine were non-existing, so i went for a bartop first (and after that i build another bartop :-)) Building a bartop and going through the process can help you decide what you want for a full size cabinet. However, if you are on a budget, you might decide to go big right away.

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Well...I'm a woodworker by trade so I'm good there;) As far as budget, I already have pretty much everything (chrome led buttons, joys with white ball tops, chrome t-moulding, led strip light, audio amp, etc) considering ordering some smaller white led buttons for menu navigation and such. I really like the look of the little white/chrome bartop, that was the one I was dead set on building, but the more pics and videos I see kinda makes me lean towards a full size, besides a 32" screen would be kill.

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http://www.popularmechanics.com/culture/gaming/a8060/the-insane-diy-video-game-racing-cockpit-11976064/

 

i saw this racing cockpit looks pretty cool

i always loved playing house of the dead at the arcade. had a booth like this

Wouldn't that have been awesome as a kid! I probably would have thrown a mattress on the top and slept on that thing! :)

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One thing that could affect the decision is what type of games you will play? Traditional arcade games don't normally last too long (stand up). Console games take longer and are suitable for a sit down arcade. Personally, I like the vewlix model - which is a sit down version with a 32" monitor. FYI

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One thing that could affect the decision is what type of games you will play? Traditional arcade games don't normally last too long (stand up). Console games take longer and are suitable for a sit down arcade. Personally, I like the vewlix model - which is a sit down version with a 32" monitor. FYI

Good point! I will be playing (or I already do) a variety of both, however I am an OG console addict and I do like to sit and play. I have considered the vewlix style and kinda dig it. I actually just read a guy's build thread of one on a forum the other day. I just have so many ideas on what would be sweet, that I can't use them all on one cab. Last week I ordered a usb nes and genesis controller then gutted the pcb's from them and installed them into original controllers to get the original controller feel. I figure if I build a full size I could always get a barstool. I do know if I build a full size, I don't want a big honking CP that has giant overhang.

If its your first build I'd go with bartop see how you get on building setting it up etc...then the bug takes a hold and you might fancy the next project as full size with experience from the first build.

Oh, the bug has bitten a while back! Now it's festering! :) I've been working on the hyperspin part of it for a minute. Got side-lined creating my own custom media there for a while. There's something about the little bartop in the pics I posted I really love. But since my initial plan I have acquired a coin door, 32" LCD, more buttons, etc. Decisions,Decisions!

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  • 3 weeks later...

Finally made up my mind. A full size it is! This is what I have decided on after a lot of thought. :crazy:

post-50419-0-55368400-1455398934_thumb.jpg

Any and all comments are very welcome, I'm still unsure about what kind of artwork for the CPO, may just cover it with some white carbon fiber looking vinyl and call it peanut butter.

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Finally made up my mind. A full size it is! This is what I have decided on after a lot of thought. :crazy:

attachicon.gifdelfuego cab.jpg

Any and all comments are very welcome, I'm still unsure about what kind of artwork for the CPO, may just cover it with some white carbon fiber looking vinyl and call it peanut butter.

 

Wise choice brutha! Bartops are cute and all, I'd even venture that they are more functional. But there is nothing that will transport a gamer to that fondly remembered era of days gone by like a full sized upright arcade cab that is instantly recognizable.

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I am refurbing some CRT based cabs. Instead of artwork, I am going to wrap them in automotive carbon fiber vinyl wrap. I will do the same to the side. Gun metal carbon fiber for the sides, red carbon fiber for the CP. I figure eventually when I get digital marquee, that with the HyperSpin UI will more than make for an attractive cab.

 

Keep it simple while still modernizing the cab.

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Finally made up my mind. A full size it is! This is what I have decided on after a lot of thought. :crazy:

attachicon.gifdelfuego cab.jpg

Any and all comments are very welcome, I'm still unsure about what kind of artwork for the CPO, may just cover it with some white carbon fiber looking vinyl and call it peanut butter.

Looks cool to me!

A traditional looking cab like this looks best and I like the tapered looking base you have there.

Control panel looks good and not to bulbous or ugly (like a couple in your first post). I might trim in those overhangs on the side a bit though.

I like that you're planning on recessing your screen at least a couple inches back. Doing that, putting a black inner bezel around the screen, and then covering it with slightly tinted glass will make it look awesome.

Another thing I'd recommend is if you're doing pinball buttons make sure you put 2 on each side. Many tables use the second buttons for different things.

Not sure what you're planning for dedicated admin buttons but I'd recommend:

P1 start/Select (can double as your shift buttons)

P2 start (shifted could be TAB or MAME options)

Coin 1 (could be the button on your coin box)

Volume up & down

Back/Exit

Possibly an Options button (for games that it can't be mapped to P1 or P2) and/or/maybe a Pause button.

I've learned you want dedicated and labeled buttons so someone can walk up and figure it out without being taught (this is your coin button, but it's also Enter for PC games, but if you hole this button down and press this then this happens etc...)

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I used vinyl wrap foil on my second bartop. So much choice! Carbon look in 10.000 different colors, gold, silver, mirror chrome, etc.!!!

However, using it on large surfaces such as the sides,makes it a bit boring looking after a while. For CP its good though.

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Yeah, it's easy to overkill it with wrap. I'm only gonna do the CP and I'm debating about the doing side graphic with it possibly. If not I'll just tape it out and paint it on. I've used the black carbon on a truck interior before but it was the 2-D style. Not sure which is the best looking, now that they have 3,4,5 and 6-D. Yeah, Metalzoic the 2 for each side pinball flipper buttons is a will do, I believe I have enough to do it. I haven't got PinballFX2 setup yet, I had tried setting it up a while back to no avail, so I just put it on the back burner. As far as my admin buttons what you have listed is what I'm going for, my buttons are white led, and I bought some transparent label sheets to print icons on for inserts. Anyways glad you guys like it and thanks for the input.

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Don't forget, there's ONE more option (that a lot of people overlook)

That's to not do a stand-up, or bartop cabinet... but a console! That's the route I went anyway lol. I like to play my games on a giant HDTV with controllers.

THAT being said, I think the stand up ones are WAY more impressive if you have the space. A major guest-pleaser for sure. Just have some chairs that go well with it.

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Hi,

 

I had the same dilemma, in the end and I have opted for both of them ! Simply make your bartop and the bottom separately but both modules can be attached to each others.

It s an option for the day you may move out, it will be easier for transportation.

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http://www.popularmechanics.com/culture/gaming/a8060/the-insane-diy-video-game-racing-cockpit-11976064/

 

i saw this racing cockpit looks pretty cool

i always loved playing house of the dead at the arcade. had a booth like this

The concept is awesome, but dear god it has to get hot in that little box. (Anything above 70 degrees and I want to KILL MYSELF)

It makes me wonder why we don't see more of those cockpit style builds! That would be pretty bad-ass I think.... I kind of want to throw together some concept art now. Having lots of ideas flood my mind.

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That stool looks sweet, those old tractor seats are surprisingly comfortable. As far as the detachable bartop idea, there's a pic in my first post on this topic for that. I even saw one dude put his on top of a mini fridge. I have yet to cut any wood!! I'm dying to get started, just want to give it everything I got once I do get to building, I know I'd be out in the garage til the early morn everyday after work. Kinda hard to do with a 10 month old little boy and a day job. Lately I've been adding more systems and media to my setup. It's coming, very,very soon.

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