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Finally Finished My Bartop!


KMxRetro

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Hey everyone,

First time poster...be gentle. :D

I FINALLY finished my first cab. I totally suck at DIY/joinery/carpentry/building things. Basically, if there's a way I can screw it up, I tend to find it! But, I'm really happy with the way it turned out and as a learning process, it was fantastic. A lot of folks were advising me to just purchase a pre-configured cab from eBay for £600-£700, but the PC I have in here is decent enough to play most of the games I want to play via Steam as well. Reckon it's all come out to less than £600 anyway! I've left it bezel-less so that there's a bit of extra airflow going through. As I painted the inside of the cab black as well, the gaps around the monitor are barely noticeable anyway.

I essentially wanted to make a two-player cab that had pinball buttons on the side for Pinball FX/Visual Pinball, that had N64/SNES controller ports for emulation (can beat the original controllers), and that had HDMI/audio out so that I could use it for PC gaming via larger external monitor that I've got sat quite close to it. Oh, and I wanted VGA and audio in, so that I could connect up a Dreamcast and use it via the monitor. Some of it is a bit janky, but she all works and has really given me the bug to build something bigger.

Maybe a full cab with a similar configuration...hmm...I think I'll need to learn how to do t-moulding properly, and not use random chrome truck strips like I've used on this one, though! And get proper art, and a bezel, of course! :D

Images

"Home" Screen - One red button fires PinballFX2, the other fires Hyperspin - and yes, I've called the cab "Fullmetal" as I was watching Fullmetal Alchemist at the time I was configuring the box...

Back View 1

Back View 2

Dreamcast via VGA in

Front Right

Metal Slug 4

PC Gaming via HDMI out

Pinball FX 2 via Steam, using flipper buttons

Like I say, I'm no pro and the erm..."art" on the cabinet is nothing but a random bunch of vinyls that I had laying around - but somehow it all works! :)

I'll be a much more regular contributor on this board now I've got it all set up.

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Welcome and well done, looks pretty sweet to me.

What cpu and gpu did you use in there?

Thanks gigapig!

I didn't want to go too crazy on the internals for a first build, so I picked up a cheap AMD FX-4130 3.8GHz Quad Core, and the GPU is a 2Gb ATI Radeon HD 5400 that I had kicking around. I'm surprised to say that I've not seen a bit of slowdown in any of the games I'm playing, as yet. I figured I'd need to spend monster bucks, but no complaints so far!

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Wow! Thank looks awesome man!I can't wait to build something like this out of some spare pc parts! Just need to buy some wood and arcade buttons/joytick setup. What type of wood does one use and where can I find an easily configurable set of buttons/joystick?

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That's why I asked, it seems to be running things pretty well. Any plans to add anymore to it or more systems?

At the moment, I think I'm all set in terms of systems. I've got Visual Pinball, Pinball FX2, a custom MAME set that took forever to whittle down, and complete sets of SNES, NES, Megadrive/Genesis, Master System, and N64. Plenty to play! :)

In terms of the build, I think tidying up the internal wiring is a priority, as well as replacing the amp (which was a very cheap one that buzzes constantly) is about it. Any more plans will go into a new build of a fullsize cab.

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Wow! Thank looks awesome man!I can't wait to build something like this out of some spare pc parts! Just need to buy some wood and arcade buttons/joytick setup. What type of wood does one use and where can I find an easily configurable set of buttons/joystick?

Thanks, LSDguy!

For the cabinet, I just used 12mm MDF that was real cheap from a hardware store, and the buttons came from Ultracabs (UK based) on eBay. They've got an auction that's got two sticks, 16 buttons, P1/P2 buttons, and all the wiring/connections to plug it into a single USB port for about £40 GBP/$65 USD. It's as easy as it gets - it must be, since I got it working!! :)

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Thanks! That's useful information there. Maybe someone can answer this question. I may or may not have access to saw. Are there readily available dimensions and diagrams that I can take to someone at Home Depot to have the wood cut. Also, how does one cut/drill holes for the buttons or arcade stix? Or do I need to purchase a special wood panel?

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

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Thanks! That's useful information there. Maybe someone can answer this question. I may or may not have access to saw. Are there readily available dimensions and diagrams that I can take to someone at Home Depot to have the wood cut. Also, how does one cut/drill holes for the buttons or arcade stix? Or do I need to purchase a special wood panel?

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

Will Home Depot or Lowes cut the angles etc? Over here DIY stores just cut straight lines.

You can get button templates from etc Slagcoin I used a template from there for my Control Panel. Button holes are around 30mm and I think the actual buttons are 28mm, so you can buy a flat drill bit for that.

Or why not buy a kit if you don't have the tools, plenty of these on Ebay.

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The kit you've linked to is quite decent for the price. A friend of mine got a kit the same seller on eBay and was really happy with it. In fact, his kit is what I used to measure out the cuts I'd need to make for mine!

Don't know what shipping would be like to anywhere outside of the UK, though...

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That's funny, I went on Ebay.com specifically to get US sellers and I picked a guy in th UK. :)

I'd probably go with a kit, I have all the tools but no space to build it usless its in the garden or the kitchen table.

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Will Home Depot or Lowes cut the angles etc? Over here DIY stores just cut straight lines.

You can get button templates from etc Slagcoin I used a template from there for my Control Panel. Button holes are around 30mm and I think the actual buttons are 28mm, so you can buy a flat drill bit for that.

Or why not buy a kit if you don't have the tools, plenty of these on Ebay.

Thanks! Yeah I may go the kit route but I want an excuse to become more handy. Besides I teach so I will have the summer to occupy myself and learn some new hobbies/skills.

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Mate, nice one. Just putting finishing touches to mine.

On that screen - your home screen -where one button launches one thing and another launches the arcade how did you do that.

I have been getting round to asking if anybody had a solution to that sort of thing, although are they mouse activated or with a Button press

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Mate, nice one. Just putting finishing touches to mine.

On that screen - your home screen -where one button launches one thing and another launches the arcade how did you do that.

I have been getting round to asking if anybody had a solution to that sort of thing, although are they mouse activated or with a Button press

I'm using JoyToKey for all my button mappings. A default "Windows" profile in that program contains shortcuts on both button 4s (the red buttons on my control panel) that fire a key combination. A standard Windows shortcut is fired when that combination of keys is pressed. So CTRL+SHIFT+A kicks off Hyperspin. CTRL+SHIFT+Z kicks off Pinball FX2, and CTRL+SHIFT+V brings up the volume window.

For Pinball FX2, its a bit trickier as its the Steam version, so I had to handle signing into Steam automatically and firing up the game. So a shortcut fires a VBS script which fires a batch file that signs me into Steam and kicks off Pinball FX2. The VBS script isn't really needed...it just hides the command prompt window that would show everyone my Steam password :P

The volume button is switched when pressed, so it toggles between CTRL+SHIFT+V, and ESC. So you press it, alter the volume with the joystick up/joystick down, then press it again to close the volume control. :)

Basically, the shortcut icons on the desktop are always there, but just hidden (right click, untick "Show Desktop Icons").

Tricky to explain. Maybe this image will be clearer than my ramblings... :)

shortcuts.jpg

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Noticed this morning that it would be a good idea to have a "Show Desktop" shortcut button in place, too. If Windows has any messages for you, such as a tooltip about not being able to reconnect to your network or something, the desktop shortcuts won't work. So you need a button to press WINDOWS+D to refocus the desktop. ;)

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