Jump to content

Recommended Posts

Well, I'm finally going to have some time to build my cabinet... took awhile, darn career getting in the way of my games!

Anyway, I have several issues I'd like to hear opinions and advice on, but I just realized I left all my notes and schematics at work.  I'll add more questions and corrections later, since my memory may not be 100% accurate.  Basic design info:  about 7 feet tall, 36" wide, and 36" deep (without control panel, which I plan on making removable).  4-player U360 with (10) rgb buttons per player, (2) aimtrak, (1) rgb trackball with (3) system rgb buttons.  40" LCD, 5.1 sound, secondary and tertiary LCD's, LCD marquee.  Emulating arcade and console games.

1.  I would like to have glass or plexiglass over the screen.  I like the "depth" feeling from standard arcade cabinets with the monitor behind a protective layer.  I think I would prefer glass over plexi for this application.  My questions are:  

     (a) is there a material type that better minimizes glare?  

     (b) how much of a gap between the screen and the glass?  

     (c) what angle off the vertical should the glass and screen be mounted, keeping in mind possible reflections from screen onto glass?  

     (d) "smoked" glass looks cool, but does it dull colors or otherwise impair viewing?  I will be playing some games in 1080p.

 

2.  I would like to have glass or plexiglass over my control panel's artwork:

     (a) I do not want any visible screws/clamps/etc.  The buttons will hold it in place, but will I need to secure it better (especially near edges)?

     (b) also, the edge must look good.  T-molding to cover both plexi and wood, or any other options?

     (c) for this application glass has great advantages, but since it will receive more wear and tear, maybe plexi is better?

     (d) what angle off the horizontal should the top of the panel be (I think my design was close to 5 degrees)?

 

3.  I want hinges to lift the top of my control panel:

     (a) need to be able to access Ipac/interface and controls for maintenance

     (a) must be heavy-duty enough to lift the panel with all electronics attached and hold open

     (b) when closed, all seams/lines should be as invisible as possible

 

3.  T-molding for side panels' edges?

     (a) I kinda like keeping the wood slightly rounded, smoothly sanded, and painted a relevant color for the artwork, but am worried about the edge of the vinyl artwork looking crappy if there is nothing to butt up against.  Anyone tried both and can compare?

     (b) I had planned on using 1/2" plywood.  I'm aware of positives/negatives of it vs. MDF.  If I use T-molding, however, it seems that options and varieties of T-molding in 1/2" is quite limited.  I thus figured 3/4" plywood would be better for the sides (I was already using some for other parts that needed a little more strength than the 1/2"), but still want to keep the weight down.  I guess I don't have a specific question about this, just wondering what other people have done and think?

 

4.  Casters for movability?

     (a) Originally, I planned on putting casters in the rear two corners, and solid feet in the front two.  Now I'm thinking I will rarely have to re-position the cabinet, so not only will this be unnecessary, but the casters may allow a little more "wiggle" than solid feet, which in the heat of competitive play may be annoying.  Has anyone tried this with good/bad results?

     (b) What kind of feet should I use?  I figure I should leave at least a 1/4" gap between cabinet and ground to allow both airflow and the possibility that carpet or soft flooring may affect how close the cabinet really is to the floor.  If there are four feet, the cabinet may teeter if they are not adjustable.  

 

5.  USB and other inputs?

     (a) I will put a powered USB hub right below the screen for Aimtrak guns, gamepads, and other needs.  Is there any need for 3.0 USB?  Is there a simple way to secure the Aimtrak/gamepad cables so they are not accidentally unplugged/damaged during gameplay?

     (b) Bliss-Box?  I read a bit about it, but need more info.  I had purchased an NES-to-USB adapter and was disappointed with the lag... impossible to play Tyson's Punch Out... but Bliss-Box looks promising.

     (c) I also plan on having an I/O for ethernet, TV coaxial, headphones/mic, and power.  Are there any others I should consider?

 

Thanks everyone.  Just reading through others' posts has been immensely valuable, and I truly appreciate it.  I'll post some pictures when I actually start cutting and things look like they are taking shape.  I'm sure I'll have plenty of questions until then.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If your spraying it I'd avoid plywood. Just my opinion but I've made two cabs. First was mdf easy to sand and paint. Second was plywood and it's a labour of love to get the spraying right. Plywood is weak on the edges and easily flakes off..

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

When I eventually get round to a cabinet build I will try to have easy access to my control panel like in this video.

Although I think I will use "easy mount hinges" instead of cupboard door hinges. They have a stronger spring so the control panel wont lift up when people get excited whilst playing! Maybe put some magnets on either side just to hold it down better!

 

Hinges:

http://www.screwfix.com/p/easy-mount-hinges-90-105mm-2-pack/38662?kpid=38662&cm_mmc=Google-_-Product Listing Ads-_-Sales Tracking-_-sales tracking url&gclid=CjwKEAjwrIa9BRD5_dvqqazMrFESJACdv27GdDikCjmN5vLHMQQlt2uJabORQT-iMoTcLnK6vlkz7xoCpjXw_wcB

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'll respond to a few of your questions.

1. 7 feet tall? Most actual arcade cabs run between 5'10" to about 6'4" or so. Mine is noticeably tall at 6'3". 7 would most likely be awkward looking.

2. Unless you want it to seem cheap I say use glass not plexi.

3. To look like a real arcade machine recess your screen back from the glass at least 2 inches. Mine sits about 3 inches back. I also recommend making an outer bezel to hide where the glass rests in the cab opening. I built mine from aluminu, 1"2 inch wide strips from Home Depot, primered and painted flat black and bonded at the corners. Helps give it a factory look.

4. Absolutely use tinted glass. I tried both and clear glass looks flat out bad in comparison. It makes it obvious it isn't a real arcade machine. It doesn't need to be superdark, I'd say light-medium aviator sunglasses dark.  On a bright, vivid screen It doesn't impair color or viewing. I didn't even look into anti-glare.

5. T-molding on the CP will depend on your design, but generally yes. I use plexi (lexan?) on the top of my CP, but wish I hadn't. If I can rebuild it this summer I will instead have Brad print up new artwork for it and just use the tough vinyl. Brad knows what to use (and when you go to print your artwork go through him. The quality is ridiculously good.). That way I'll have less fingerprinting issues and no need to worry about t-molding matching up perfectly to the plexi edging etc...

6. T-molding for the sides of the cab itself absolutely. That's how real machines were generally done. Rounded wood edges are what the cheaper cab kits look like or furniture. Neither look like an actual commercial machine. 

7. Two rearwheels on mine but they are useless on carpet and if I had known wouldn't have bothered and just gone with feet on each corner.

8. Yes for USB 3.0 because the moment you don't add it you will need it. I keep a USB hub inside the CP that can be reached by lifting it up. All other I/O stuff I plug into the PC inside directly.

 

A couple other things you didn't ask:

-The first PC I had in it was de-cased and mounted to wood in the cab. Sounded like a good idea, but was a nightmare to work on or alter. My second PC I instead built it into a low-profile un-tippable Master Cooler case and fixed it so the case didn't slide around inside, but it isn't actually mounted down. Now if I need to do anything I can simply reach in back and lift it out. 10000x's better than mounting it.

-Spend the money to do it right the first time. Skipping a couple things can make it go from looking like an awesome arcade machine to looking like a homemade sorta-good project. 

-What are your 10 buttons per player? Really think through your buttons and admin buttons. I made to few and now find myself needing to correct that when I rebuild a CP.

-Add an actual coindoor. I skipped this and immediately regretted it no matter how good everything else turned out the lack of a coindoor advertises it as not being a factory cab (or a cab kit). Now I have to tear it apart, recut, patch, repaint etc... to fix it. I'll do that at the same time I re-do the CP. If I had simply done it when I should have it would have saved my god knows how many hours of work. 

  • Upvote 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks for the responses.  I can get wordy, so I'll try to limit responses to a few topics to follow up on:

 

Personal Choices

I appreciate the fact that others not only voice their opinions, but also give a rationale for them.  I know MDF has many benefits, but the benefits of plywood outweigh them for my situation.  Thanks for the input though.  I will, however, switch to 3/4" for the sides to accommodate T-molding and to look a little better.

Height:  my designs call for side panels 79" tall, which will extend about 1" above the top panel.  This will allow me to hide square-iron for the (4) L/R speakers, which I would like to hang above head-level.  I could shorten it a little.  (Above I stated cab width to be 36", but it is actually 38")  

I'm about 6' tall, and designed the cab so I could comfortably play while standing.  Control Panel is at about 40" sloping up at 4.8 degrees, and the top of the screen is at 70".  I have a little room to play with, but doubt I can shorten the cabinet to standard height.  I had planned on mounting the screen at a 90 degree vertical.  Many commercial arcade machines had users looking down at an angled screen.  If I did this, I would be able to shorten the height of the cab a bit more, but I'm not sure I really want to.  Any suggestions?

(10) buttons per player?!?  Yes, I know most games do not require this.  Each player will have a start and coin button, as well as (8) play buttons.  This is, of course, to play console games... specifically N64 which only requires one analog stick and up to (14) other inputs.  Some other consoles also use more than the standard arcade (4) button setup for 3rd and 4th players.  No, I don't plan on making a "franken-CP" or a home version of the Steel Battalion controller. 

Yes, I only planned on installing (3) system buttons.  I had thought I would make one a shift button.  This way, I could assign lesser used functions to some lesser used player buttons with the shift, but still have dedicated pause and back buttons.  What other admin functions do you regularly use, that you think is critical I add?

Coindoor:  I originally included one in my earlier designs.  My cabinet shares some features with, but will be quite distinct from, traditional arcade cabs.  I don't think the appearance will suffer without a coindoor, but it does add a certain feel to the machine regardless.  I will think about this a little more.  Interrupting the artwork on the front of the base will not be horrible, and I always thought that even a non-functioning coindoor with illuminated buttons looks good.  I'm guessing I can modify the return buttons to be rgb, then LED-blinky them with the rest of my buttons.

[Just a side note concerning coin mechs or features missing from this design:  I do plan on making two other arcade machines in the near future to accommodate different games.  One will be a cocktail table using a barrel as the base.  I will install (2) servosticks on one side, and a trackball and a spinner on the other.  No coin mech planned for this setup, but it will have the "clicky" feel for 2D fighters, be great for shmups, and also be my go-to machine for centipede/arkanoid type games.  The other machine will be a decked-out HyperPin table using three monitors and a crap-load of solenoids, as well as a gear motor, knocker, shaker, nudge/tilt sensor, blower, rgb array, and more.  The pinball table will have the most traditional appearance, and I am going to include a coin mech.  My man-palace (man-cave doesn't even begin to describe it) does not have a true-replica feel for an arcade, so I do not think I would ever regret foregoing a coindoor on my main cabinet]... Daddy... Yes son... What does regret mean?... sorry, couldn't resist the BHS reference.

 

Glass over Screen

So I will use tinted glass in front of my screen.  What thickness is adequate?  Any vibration dampening?  I will have a subwoofer in my cab, so it'll be shaking!

I will ask local glass companies about minimizing glare.  I'm worried about this on the glass, mostly from either the screen or the rgb buttons.

 

Control Panel

I had seen a youtube video where some guy put plexi on top of his control panel artwork, and it looked really good.  Only a small hole for each button and joystick, and the dust shields for the joysticks were under the artwork.  Obviously, he did not use the adhesive backing to his vinyl, or the dust shields would stick to it.  Though it is a bit of work, I was impressed with the results and wanted to mimic this aspect of his design.  I'll try to find the video and post it so others can comment.  

Also, I was dreading the thought of trying to smoothly install graphics with the adhesive backing.  The U360 shafts are not as easily removable as other models are, so I thought I would have to install the joysticks without tops, then place the vinyl over the shafts -- what a pain!  Sandwiching artwork between plexi and wood would eliminate the hassle of trying to deal with the adhesive.

Alternatively:  Although I haven't tried to disassemble a U360 yet, it looks like (4) philips screws hold the base plate and the rest of the stick together.  I think if I remove these, I could stick the vinyl to the control panel and x-acto holes for the joysticks.  These screws, however, go into plastic, and I would rather avoid weakening it by working the screws again and again.  Shouldn't be a big deal if I only do it once (and there are ways to repair damage), but overall I like the plexi idea better.  Also, if using the adhesive, the dust shields would have to be on top of the artwork.

What drawbacks are there to covering the panel?  Sure, fingerprints and smudges will really show and require regular cleaning, and plexi can be scratched or cracked, but are there other negatives I'm missing?  I do think glass would look and feel better, but am concerned it may crack more easily.  Also, I have no way to cut holes into glass, and would have to pay someone to do this.

 

T-Molding

I wanted to use it for the side panel edges, but now think I'll also use it on the control panel.  Not as many people use it for the horizontals framing their marquee, but I was also considering this.  Anyone tried it and have pictures?

 

Other

I have a 2.0 USB hub I had planned on installing, but maybe now I'll order a 3.0.  I will have it, bliss-box, and maybe a mic or headphone I/O beneath the screen and center channel speaker.  

I will only have access to my pc through the back of the cab and do not want to deal with it often, so will route most of the inputs to the front of my cab.  I'll be routing ethernet, power, and coaxial to a panel on the back of the cab.  Are there any other I/O's I should be thinking about?

I was planning on keeping my pc in its case, which has good airflow through it.  I've already planned air intakes and airflow to the exhausts for components that will generate heat.  I was thinking of straps to secure it, but not too worried about figuring this out.  My subwoofer, on the other hand, I had planned on mounting to the inside of the cab.  This will create vibrations, and I may need to play with it a bit to find the best position, or use dampeners.  Sound engineers out there with suggestions?

No plans for Aimtrak holsters.  I want a clean look, so had thought I'd keep these separately stored (along with wireless keyboard/mouse and gamepads) and only hook them up when using them.  Any comments on this plan?

 

Thanks again, looks like I wrote enough for people to deal with for now!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Well son. A funny thing about regret is, that it's better to regret something you have done, than to regret something you haven't done.  And by the way, if you see your mother this weekend be sure and tell her...

SATAN SATAN SATAN

 

You made my night with that!

 

8 buttons per player makes perfect sense. So does a start button for each. However there's really no reason to have a coin button for each especially if you end up doing a coindoor.

For buttons I'd recommend:

-1p, 2p (3p, 4p for 4 player)

-Select/Enter (for PC games or games that can't have the 1p button bound as "enter/select")

-coin (can be a normal button or a coin-door button(s)

-Back (Can double as Exit while shifted or kept separate from exit if you want ransoms to be able to walk up and play)

-Exit/ESC (You might want a dedicated ESC button if you run PC games since so many damn games use it.)

-Dedicated volume up/down (and use Tur-Volume adjuster to control the volume and auto volume/muting on your cab.)

-2 pinball buttons each side (probably not for you since it's crazyass wide and you're building a dedicated pin anyway)

-Power button (hidden away. Mine is on top of the cab out of site.)

Importantly these also need to be well labeled in your CP artwork so that anyone can walk up and understand how to control the HS menus. Otherwise you play babysitter constantly.

 

My glass is normal thickness? not sure what the actual measurement is. I don't use any additional dampening on mine as it only touches along the bottom and top. But I imagine foam door weatherstripping would work perfectly and you can pick it up at Home Depot cheap. I actually used some of that to jury rig some LEDs on my Hobbit pinball machine. Or any thin foam strip would probably work just along the edges the glass will rest on.

 

For the horizontals channels on my marquee I grabbed L shaped aluminum bars from Home Depot, cut them to exact width with a file, primered and flat blacked. The bottom one is simply held in place with Gorilla double sided tape (kept me from having to drill/screw etc... from underneath). The top one I grabbed two small black hinges, gorilla taped one side to the top of the bar and screwed the other hinge side into the top of the cab. The tape has never come loose and made it so I didn't have to bolt/weld/glue/screw etc... the metal hinge to the aliminum bar. Having it be metal looks factory similar to my MVS machine.

 

No idea on I/O's... like I said I don't plug anything else in. No ethernet as my cab it WiFi connected. My sub is held in place with L brackets to the bottom of the cab. My speakers are car speakers under the marquee.

 

For Aimtracks... I'm not a fan of the cluttered look of holsters. The idea I've had if I add them to mine is to wire them to come out through the Coin door. So when I don't need them they are inside there, when i want them I just open the coindoor and take them out on long cable. Haven't actually tried it though.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Here is the video of plexi sandwiching artwork on a control panel.  It's part of a long series, so you can see other steps in its construction as well.  The author points out how the plexi slightly sticks up above the T-molding on the edge, which I don't like, but overall I like his work.

(Part 23) MAME Cabinet CP Build - YouTube

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Plexiglass above the molding is why I'm going to get rid of mine.

Sent from my SM-G935V

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Ok, tonight I'll revise my design once again.  Some versions have sound controls below the screen (better but eats up space), others below the C-P (although probably won't need to regularly adjust, still a pain to access during gameplay).

 I would like to use the area below the screen for sound controls and a secondary screen, but center channel above screen would be at a poor angle, so I'll need to modify that part.

 I'm using an old stereo receiver for 5.1, and will wire the subwoofer controls next to it, but hadn't considered separate sound control on the C-P.  I think a mute button may be nice, but not sure how necessary another volume knob would be.

The receiver has a nice power button I will use to power up the rig.  I plan on using a separate power button to turn on the PC, hidden underneath the C-P.

I want to minimize the complexity of the C-P.  Players need flexibility, but I figured a lessor number of admin buttons would present a clean appearance while maintaining gaming functionality.  Do you really use many that cannot be mapped to unused player buttons (especially #3 or 4)?

For some games I'll use guns, pads/original console joysticks, and even keyboard/mouse, but I agree that to preserve a clean look, these will be stowed away unless in use.

As far as instructions go, I do not want much in the artwork. I have not experimented with it yet, but there is a 3rd party, secondary screen app to display additional info on a second screen.  I'm sure more of these will be developed, and want to use them to display instructions.  

Buttons are rgb, so instructions  can easily and effectively be done graphically for player controls. I had considered "dirtying up" the C-P with admin button instructions, though.

Thanks again for any advice or suggestions you may have, and yes... sweat loaf with leg kicks may just be the greatest rock n roll performance of all time.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Oh My Gawd!!!... The Flaming... um... er... better be the last time I revise these dag-nabbed designs!

I'm proposing something different.  I want to save space and reduce the size of my upcoming cab, so I think I will mount the stereo receiver and a secondary screen into the Control Panel, rather than the face of the cab.  I saw a cab some time ago where somebody had a movie playing on a secondary screen while games were on the main screen.  I thought it totally sucked!  I do, however, want to be able to display instructions, high scores, etc. on a secondary screen.  No drinks are ever going to be allowed on the machine (I have a bar in my room for this) so I'm thinking this would be safe for the C-P.

I want to have players standing about 30" from the screen, since there may be 4 players viewing a 40".  I had planned on putting the secondary screen below my main display, which fits aesthetically and logically... but in the ongoing quest to reduce the machine's footprint, I've yet again changed it's layout.

30" from screen means C-P edge is about 26" from the tinted glass.  I've reduced the depth of the entire machine, with C-P, to 36", so will make a fixed C-P, (instead of removable one with a 36" deep body which made an overall 42" deep machine).  The body (side panel) is now 27" deep.  Due to display size, the interior cab width is still 38", so with sides it'll be about 39.5" wide.  

The C-P will be a whopping 66" inches at it's widest, to accommodate (4) adults.  I also planned on a little extra space around the trackball so surrounding joysticks and buttons won't get in the way.  After making my test C-P with (2) joysticks and the trackball, I realized that I probably included a little more space than is really necessary around the trackball, so the overall C-P width may decrease slightly as I continue to modify things (will this ever end?!?).

My C-P was so large, (how large was it) that there was going to be significant real estate for artwork on it.  No problem, I can find more art, but it seemed kind of like wasted space.  By adding the receiver and a second screen, I can kill whatever with whatever... birds in hand or bush or mouth or grave or shut the "f" up.

I already have (43) rgb buttons I had planned on using, but now have become enamored with the idea of adding a 4-player coindoor to the cab, which reduces my needs by (4).  I will have to slightly change the base design and reduce the sexy, sexy curves... but an illuminated coindoor with functional buttons would be ultra-cool.  I saw a 4-player version recently on sale for about $140 new, is that what you have found?  I could use the remaining buttons for additional admin buttons, but I'm really not sure I'd want more than (4) or (5) with one being a shift key.  Also, I had planned on programming the coin buttons as a select key for console games, and using the coindoor buttons in lieu of a button next to a start button is no substitute.

I have reduced the overall height of my design to 78" to the top of the top panel.  I still want to have the sides extend at least an inch or two above this, to help hide some of the square iron I will be using to frame the surround speakers.  I will have a Super Mario Bros. artwork theme, so I thought I'd paint any square iron that is visible sky-mario-blue.  Along with the vinyl artwork I'll order, I will include dimensions for the (4) speakers and pictures so I can have Lakitu, and maybe flying koopa, sun, cloud, etc. for the others.

Center channel speaker has been repositioned above the monitor and AimTrak sensor, so with the new height and design it should be aligned with the surrounds nicely.  I may have to have the PC rotated at an angle to fit into the smaller base size, but no big deal.  I had toyed with the idea of wiring the blu-ray player/recorder to the front of the machine... but why?  Realistically I will almost never use it.

I'm not sure how physically stable this thing will be.  I have over 100 lb. lead I can use as ballast, but I really wanted to use that for my cocktail cabinet.  I guess I'll just have to see how tipsy the thing is.  I will not use casters as originally planned.  If I have to move it I'll use a dolly.  Just looking at it on paper, it seems like the center of gravity will be within the base, and even with vigorous button pounding, I think it will remain solid.

Rock on Brothers

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


  • Similar Content

    • By natari
      Hi Hyperspin community,
      I've been a Hyperspin member for a while now and this will be my first post. I spent the past couple of days writing my project down from start to almost finished.. I have yet to write down the section about software/configurations/tips/tweaks, hoping I can provide that in an update shortly. Just wanted to say a special thanks to my friends that helped me with this project as well as the others in this awesome community that didn't know it, but your questions & answers helped me get through it all.. Sorry it's pretty lengthy..
      Machine name : Pac-Cade                  Started on the build 11/2017                         Finished (well its about 98% done)
      Here is my couple of month’s life story of my first MAME cabinet build. Please, feel free to read for your enjoyment or skip through and look at the pretty pictures. I’m just hoping that what I went through helps others out with their build.
      I’ve been wanting to build a Mame Cabinet for years and just never pulled the trigger. A friend of mine surprised me with blueprints of a cabinet, I just needed to buy the wood, find the spare time and get off my lazy arse and get it started. Then another friend found a Target Toss Pro Bags cabinet for $50 on ebay. FIFTY Bucks how in the heck could I pass this deal up. As you can see from the photos below, it’s basically a Golden Tee cabinet. After I pulled the trigger, drove up with a friend, put it on his flat bed I got the beast cabinet into my garage, I just stared in awww of all the cool things I want to do with this thing.
      The cabinet came with the bezel, front glass, 4 buttons, marquee clear plastic, coin slots (BONUS) and a lot of dust. It was pretty much gutted but exactly what I was looking for. I wanted an extra wide cabinet so I can have some room for a 2 player setup.

      Right below the marquee is a wooden board with a nice size open hole that had a metal plate where the speakers go and small rectangle tinted glass which you can see it still in the above photos.

      With 12 screws around the edge of the control panel, I took off the lexan (similar) top layer and thankfully it was not glued down so I can use the control board. It was nice to see the metal plate for the track ball, but it just added more questions on how I’m really going to lay all this out.

      Still not really sure how I’m going to layout the control panel at this time, but I do know I want two player (I considered 4 player), trackball, spinner and pinball buttons. So measuring the opening where all the buttons and joystick will go, I found my area to work with.
      This part took the longest out of all the other projects and trying to figure out the layout was killing me slowly. I thought about laying it all out myself with button templates and looking up some cool graphics. I just couldn’t find anything I really liked and just couldn’t visualize it. Then I finally found a layout which was actually based off the Golden Tee control panel and oh my, I was sold. I can’t take credit for this so thanks goes to dmatanski at Deviant Art (hxxps://dmatanski.deviantart.com/art/MAME-large-control-panel-48650519). I found a couple of reasons why this layout is awesome. It’s based off my arcade control panel for one so I don’t have to retro-fit it, but something I never really realized…. 8 way joysticks suck for Pac Man!! So this layout has a third 4-way joystick at the top “classic setup”. Yes, this layout has lots of buttons!!!!!

      After I printed the layout, I purchased some Forstner bits and made a practice control panel out of MDF so I can have a feel for how it’s laid out, practice drilling and get to use the buttons/joysticks I bought. I had my control panel upstairs hooked to what I was going to use; a Pi3 with retropi installed, using an external 500gig HD, attract mode, themes, video previews installed. Retropi is very slick, easy to setup and pretty darn cool and I think it work well in a cabinet.

      Stuff I bought at this time-
      Trackball – 90 bucks off Amazon 2 player buttons and 8-way joystick.. Here is where I think some will say I went cheap, and yes I slightly agree. But I do like them and maybe at a later date I’ll upgrade. Called Easyget LED illuminated 2 player, $67 off Amazon. 3.5 inch circle speaker covers Light bar from Home Depot for the marquee I happened to have an old CRT and my old speakers with subwoofer, so I temporary put them in place. I also removed the upper black wooded border so I can make room for a 2nd monitor idea frame out of MDF. And yeah the previous wood was glued to the marquee bottom board and it broke off.. eh, no biggie.

      While playing on the Pi3, I just found that some mame roms were not work and customizing it was tedious. So, I bailed on the Pi3 and bought a 2.8ghz quad core mobo, 8 gigs ram from a friend and I had some extra parts laying around - 256gig SSD, sata 500gig, nvidia video card. So, now I’m using Hyperspin/rocketlauncher which I’ll go in more setup detail later in this brain dump of mine.
      I had a lot of friends to bounce ideas off and one of them gave me a 28” TV, which I considered to use for that retro look, so I bought a VGA to HDMI adapter from Amazon. I had some trouble with my PC recognizing it adapter and I could never get the TV to display. So, I bailed on it and started pricing out LCDs. I can still use this TV for my old consoles which I collect, so it’s a win win for me.
      I had a quote for a sign shop to have them print my control panel on polycarbonate but it was too expensive for me. I reached out to my friends again and found one that knew a guy that had a full size plotter and once I gave him the dimensions of the control panel he printed me out 4 copies on sticky back vinyl, just in case I screwed up.

      So, onto the secondary monitor thoughts and plans. My first thought was to buy a LCD screen as my marquee and have it just scroll through the game marquees when one is selected, but that area is fairly skinny and the LCDs are VERY expensive. I thought about designing my own marquee and using the space right below it for a laptop LCD.
      So this open area right below the marquee area would be a perfect place to put in a 15” laptop LCD. I did some research about scrolling marquees and found an awesome thread about Hyper Marquee and (EDS) Event Dispatch System. And thanks to Mamefan for his youtube channel for setting up Hyper Marquee and EDS which helped me TONS! (hxxps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bbcUzyfMtPc)
      I had an old laptop that was dead but the screen still worked so I ripped it out and found the model number and looked on ebay for a LCD controller board. Bingo! clicked on buy now and it arrived in a couple of days!

      So with Hyperspin loaded with HyerMarquee and EDS, I was able to display the rom marquee and its flyer. Learning those two new programs did take some getting used to, but once you work on it for a while it’s pretty darn easy. If the marquee isn’t available it uses hyperspins wheel image and if a flyer isn’t available it just displays a default picture (ready player one). Going portrait mode on the 2nd screen really makes sense and awesome looking. I’m able to easily add both graphics since most of the flyers are basically portrait. Below is my two screen temporary layout held up with some duct tape.

      The one issue I did notice with this setup, if I power off the LCD controller board it doesn’t turn back on without physically pressing the power button. I thought that HDMI when the source is powered on it will turn on the monitor, but no matter what I did or how long I waited it would never turn on the 2nd screen. So, screw it! I fixed this issue by shorting out the power on/off button on the smaller pcb board that plugs into the LCD controller board. When the PC turns off or by the power strip and then turned back on, the LCD board comes to life and I have video. The 2nd screen even goes into powersaving mode and it will turn off when I turn off the PC.
      Onto the 2nd LCD frame. I took measurements and even cut a groove for the screen to set in. My wood working skills are not the best at all and I normally have to measure 5 times and then cut/screw-up/buy new piece, measure two more times and then maybe I’ll hit my mark. Luckily enough the piece I bought was big enough for that 2nd try I needed! You can see on the upper right of the picture the original frame I ripped out. I thought it turned out pretty nice after semi-gloss black paint job and screwed in place.

      Another couple picture showing the mounting of the LCD controller board and 2nd monitor frame.

      So, what to do about the actual marquee area, I thought? I’m a huge Pac Man fan and was thinking an actual Pac Man marquee but I decided to just design one up myself and come up with a name of my cabinet, Pac Cade how original…. right? Some picture googling and paint.net skills I made this up and had it printed at Staples on what they called vinyl for only 6 bucks! What a deal.. slapped it on the plastic and there ya go! I just need to figure out what to do with the side-art. I do have light poking through the edges which I’m not a fan about, so I need to figure out what to do there.

      I think I’m making good progress on it. But what I’m dreading the most, you might ask? Well it’s drilling the control panel holes through the wood/plexi/vinyl.. HOW will I pull this off! I kept prolonging that day when I had to start drilling. It made me nervous just thinking about it. But that will be a later day, time for me to fix this horrible CRT area.

      I found a 30” TV at my local computer shop for real cheap and all I would need to do is route/sand the sides on the cabinet down about ¼”. But when I got there my main question was, when I turn on/off my PC what will the TV do and we never got a straight answer from the techs. Looked online and the specs said auto on with HDMI power, but I just didn’t get the warm and fuzzies. So I ended up going with a Dell 28” monitor. It fit without any issues at all, I was very pleased with the results.
      With some scrap wood I made bracers on the back and bottoms of the LCD screen to keep it in place. Boy It sure did take me a long time to measure and make sure each side of the screen was at the same height.
      Once that was all in place. I had another anxiety attack since I had to now measure and cut another frame for the monitor. This time it only took me one attempt and look at how nice that fits. There is hope for me after all! Spray painted it black and onto the next grueling task.. the dreaded control panel.

      Sorry, going to go in more detail on this as this section was slightly stressful. At this point I didn’t really research into what I should use. At my house (we just moved) the previous owner used plexiglass for an additional layer on our windows. I thought, score I can spare a couple for my cabinet and save some space. I looked up what to use to cut plexiglass and found that using a Stepping Bit is a good way to go, so off to the local hardware store!
      I needed to figure out a way to mark my buttons and joysticks on the vinyl and board. I used a drafting compass draw a 30mm and 24mm circle on cardboard and with a hole poked through the middle, booya I had my center. I then laid the cardboard circle on the vinyl and marked the center with a marker. Then used point of the compass to poke a hole through the vinyl. This part wasn’t so bad since I had 3 other vinyl sheets on the ready. I then used a utility knife to cut the lines into it. Geez, this part was a little unnerving. 

      Once all the holes were done in the vinyl I laid that on top of the control board and just marked my pilot holes. I also bought a dowel rod and plug the original 4 holes of the control panel. Used my Forstners bit and a hand drill. There are two sizes holes here – 30MM and 24MM. Mainly because the Easyget buttons came with 8 30mm and 4 24mm size buttons.

      It’s heartbreak and stress time. It didn’t take long to figure out plexiglass will not work, at least what I had in my basement. It might be too brittle or sun damaged etc.. The sound this stepping bit had on the plexiglass was horrific! As you can see from the right pic that cracks & chips were very visible. WHAT TO DO!!

      My local hardware store had lexan polycarbonate and WOW what a HUGE difference that made. The sheet was expensive but well worth it. The stepping bit drilled into this stuff like a hot knife in butter. But this part was very stressful and it took a while because I didn’t want to screw up. After many practice runs with a circle cutter bit on scrap lexan, I made my final 3” hole.

      Here is the end result of my control panel finally all drilled and assembled. As well as adding what I have for joysticks/buttons and trackball. Looking pretty good so far. Just need to order the other 4-way joystick/buttons and the spinner.

      I ordered the other set of buttons and joystick and then decided to spin up Paint.Net for one ugly looking wiring schematics. This did really help figure out where everything is going. The two purple buttons on the right and left of the panel are the pinball buttons that I’ll drill on the side of the control panel box. After doing some troubleshooting, I had to route my pinball buttons on my first button controller board. Splitting them up between two controller boards seemed to cause some confusion even with JoytoKey installed.

      Here are a couple of screenshots of the pinball holes I drilled out as well as I hooked up the LED switch to my coin slot buttons. SO cool! Turns out Christmas LED bulbs work great for replacement bulbs for the coin buttons.

      After some time I did finally pulled the trigger on getting the rest of the buttons and my 4-way joystick. I ended up with white player/coin buttons and the rest blue and I think it came out pretty nice. Not sure why in this picture my red buttons look more yellowish. Still holding off on the spinner, they are not cheap. After I got my 4-way joystick I read its small paper doc and it showed me how to make it an 8-way and shockingly enough I looked at my other two 8-way joysticks and they are also convertible.. Go figure.. here I was dying to play Pac Man during this build and I could have if I would have just converted a joystick!

      And the 98% final results. With 4 added quarters from 1980 - 1984 on the glass...


      Some high level software and info-
      Win10 Hyperspin HyperSpin Start up script RocketLauncher HyperMarquee EDS registered Joytokey Mame (w/ high score save) crap ton of system emulators I figured out a neat way to make a Main menu item for a second MAME selection for multiplayer that I created a database for. PinballFX 2 and 3 (still trying to get 3 to work) JukeBox Made most of my own themes I know I'm forgetting something... =) I would be more than happy to answer any questions or share my config settings. If you want to see a video, I can post one. 
    • By toreador607
      I created this bezel to experience real arcade cabinet gameplay like i did my childhood and wanted to share it. Actually I don't have enough fun playing arcade games in LCD monitor with a plain screen. That's why I decided to create a bezel for my hyper spin and added it some effects like (light reflection, some old screen effects and a reflection of arcade room for make you feel like playing your game in arcade room. I use 1440x900 pixels on my PC so i edited it for this resolution only. You can just resize your bezel.PNG to fit your Full Screen Resolution and re-edit Bezel.ini file to get the best resolution for you.

      To install just extract rar file to your hyper spin directory like this: HyperSpin\RocketLauncher\Media\Bezels
      DOWNLOAD: MAME.rar
      2ND VERSION: MAME2.rar
    • By xdjbx87
      I'm not sure if this is the correct place for this but I've been spending a lot of time on these forums and thought I'd ask. Does anyone have any experience on building a cabinet for Guitar Hero? I have looked around but I dont see any custom ones anywhere/
    • By Marcoqwerty
      SPEEDrive Project, based on a Jamma coin-op with inside a pc.
      FEATURES:
      - Original 25" CRT Monitor (emudriver)
      - 360° Wheel - Shifter UP/DOWN with NOS
      - Rumble
      - CPO Light Button
      - 2xLed stripes on the back (output controlled)
      - Pedal with micro and pot - 2.1 audio system + 100w Subwoofer
      - Custom Hyperspin Main Theme, Video Preview and NoTheme video
      - Rocketlauncher core
       
×
×
  • Create New...