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ghetoprobe

"Streets of Rage - Robinson Edition" : Racing Cab Project

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Now for the "license plate". This was my wife's idea and I think it turned out so well. I started off with orange t-molding at the bottom, but realized it was a little overkill. Replaced it with some black t-molding and I think it looks much better.

My little helper kept the soundtrack going the entire time, "Let it go! Let it go!!".

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Seat base hardware is painted black and the seat base is all put together. The brackets on the back are for mounting the rear speakers. Mounting the speakers into the seat's headrest just wasn't going to cut it. I wanted the Z-5500's rear speakers intact behind the driver to provide the best sound possible. Although our party guests won't likely care about the immersive experience that the 5.1 surround offers, I will.

Keeping this project looking like an arcade while offering more of a sim-racing experience has been quite the challenge. If I'm spending this much time and money on the project I want it to handle the newer racing games to the fullest extent possible. The rear speakers won't be the most attractive setup ever conceived, but they'll get the job done and will move around with the cabinet once installed (I didn't want to have separate speaker stands). Let's hope my plan pans out...

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Edited by ghetoprobe

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Time to print the buttons. Again, a quick thank you to BadMouth on BYOAC for the inspiration.

I went to Staples and bought Avery 15660 labels which are clear and sized right. I also downloaded a Photoshop template for the 15660's to make my life easier. For the buttons I bought a pack of SuzoHapp buttons used in a poker machine (I'm assuming). Took a little sandpaper and scraped off the text to leave a white face for the new button art.

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Next up was the Marquee Plexi. What a terrible adventure this was. Shaping Plexi is probably the most miserable thing I've had to do thus far. I did a rough trace of the marquee hole, then cut the oval out with my scroll saw. From there it was all belt sander... I used the coarsest grit I had (120), taking a little bit off at a time, trying not to leave the Plexi on the belt long so it wouldn't melt. Once I was satisfied I polished the edges with a buffing wheel. Maybe took an hour to get it looking acceptable. Not perfect, but once it's mounted I don't think anyone will be able to notice the imperfections.

Drilled out the holes, pealed the plastic protector and applied the marquee with some soap and water - just a rough cutout to get the air bubbles out. Now to let it dry overnight...

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Edited by ghetoprobe

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The marquee has dried so now it's time to take a razor blade to it! After the initial cutout, cut each of the twelve mounting holes, popped in the small screws and mounted it to the marquee housing. Wow! It looks absolutely amazing in person.

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Edited by ghetoprobe

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Oh man! Time to prep the cabinet! I filled in all the holes that I wouldn't be using and prepped the edges to get as close to a 90° angle as possible. Looking forward to finally getting the artwork finished!!

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Here are a few images of the base and cabinet almost ready to be bolted together :

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I sanded down the cabinet and the t-molding edges, used "Goo Gone" to get any little pieces of glue left over from the original decals, hit it with some 91% isoproyl, and then used a tack cloth to get any remaining bits of dust. This is my first time using tack cloth and I'm in love... I'll never do another project without it. All edges got the glossy-black-Sharpie-paint-pen treatment.

THANK YOU to my wife. I could not have applied the cabinet decals without her. They're each 37"x74". That is a huge, very expensive, hard-to-work-with sheet of amazingness that I would have TOTALLY screwed up if she hadn't been there to help. We put the cabinet down on its side, my wife stood on a stool holding up the artwork, and we slowly rolled the backing a couple inches at a time. Slowly, we worked out the air bubbles and managed to get a pretty incredible end-result. A few times there was the smallest speck of dust that would get caught - we would just pull up the artwork, pick it off with a razor blade, and re-apply. The material itself was extremely easy to work with, on the other hand, the size of the print was not. Another thank you to Lucian045 for helping me out with the printing process.

So here she is!!!

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Edited by ghetoprobe

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Now that the artwork is done it's time to cut some holes. When I originally got the cabinet it was missing half of the bolts and associated hardware. I looked everywhere for the flat, black bolts that sit flat in the side of the cabinet. After wasting hours on the search I ended up getting carriage bolts designed for garage doors (here) (if anyone knows where to get the "real" bolts I'd love to know for future reference). I painted them black and they worked perfectly. Once painted, you can't tell the difference between the original bolts and the new ones (except for length).

Once the hardware was installed I permanently attached the gear shift housing and shifter.

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For the marquee housing I used security bolts and rubber washers - I didn't want to crack the plastic in case I got a little overzealous.

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Got some corner protectors from "Twisted Quarter" on eBay (which is also where I got my t-molding). The rear corners of the cab were kind of chewed up and I really didn't feel like taking the time to fill them when they were likely to get messed up anyway. These corner protectors look nice and now I don't have to worry as much if I choose to relocate it.

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A $30 spring arrived from Australia! Under normal circumstances I would never spend $30 on a spring, but the time and effort saved by buying this was well worth it. The company, GTEYE, must have put some time into perfecting the spring pressure so I just went with it. And I'm so glad I did! The stock springs in the G27 pedals are "squishy" and make the pedals feel like a toy, not like a real car at all.

The spring I ordered was for the brake pedal, so the stock brake spring was moved to the clutch, and the clutch spring moved to the gas pedal. MUCH BETTER. Now it feels on-par with my Civic SI's pedals. Very happy with my purchase.

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Old springs on the left, upgraded springs on the right...

Brake :

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Clutch :

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Accelerator :

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Edited by ghetoprobe

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Alright, time to do a little work on the dashboard/control panel. First up; drill some holes. After measuring and making pilot holes, I almost began drilling standard 1.125" holes for arcade buttons. Then I realized that the pushbuttons I'm using aren't nearly as wide as the standard arcade buttons, they're only 15/16". I would have been a very sad panda if I hadn't caught that.

Let's test-fit some pushbuttons!

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NEXT! Time to wrap the dashboard in faux carbon fiber vinyl. At $5/shipped for a 12"x60" roll, I just can't believe how good the quality is. Even the adhesive is pretty good.

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On to the t-molding: As I said in a previous post when cutting the t-molding slot, I'm sticking with black t-molding on the dashboard to help make things blend a bit better. I want the driver's attention to be on the screen and the lit control buttons, not a loud, orange stripe in the middle of the console.

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At first, I kind of wanted to do a padded dashboard like BadMouth's (BYOAC), but I just couldn't envision a good way of going about it without already having a plastic dashboard. After some thought (and trial and error) I think I figured out way to make the dash a little more interesting than just the flat carbon fiber look. I looked around for days trying to find something "interesting" that would fit with the look of the dashboard setup. We had two DVD organization trays in our entertainment center, each with a vertical "fin" that held the DVDs in place. We don't own DVDs any longer so I pulled both trays out and cut the "fins" off. They help give the dashboard a more three dimensional look. Once again, I relied heavily on "Gorilla Glue" and my precious Irwin clamps.

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While we wait for the "Gorilla Glue" to dry let's run some speaker cable. I used a 12-pin Molex connector between the cabinet and the seat base. 4 pins for the RGB LEDs, 4 pins for the rear speakers and 4 pins for "future growth" - nothing planned yet, just wanted to leave myself options. I also took the opportunity to tidy up the cabling and start mounting it to the cab with cable clamps.

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Thanks! I already have the TV, but the PC will have to wait a bit longer. I've got a Playstation3 with GT6, so at least I'll have something to test the cab with. Once I've set aside enough cash I'll be building a pretty decent PC to run Hyperspin (hopefully, sometime in Q1 2015).

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Speaking of TV's, let's install one... The Samsung UN32H5500 I got doesn't leave a lot of options for airflow. A few small slits on the top and a few small slits on the bottom - both of which are right where the mounting bolts go. Genius! I ended making two horizontal mounting brackets as thin as possible while still feeling solid enough to keep the TV in place. These two pieces get locked in place by two vertical boards running up the sides of the cabinet. It works, it's solid, and it was the best/quickest solution I could come up with while still keeping the original mounting bolts in the sides of the cabinet.

The bezel of the TV is completely hidden without obstructing any of the screen itself, it came out looking really nice. Also got some tempered glass from a local shop. A little on the expensive-side ($50), but fits perfectly. One thing to note when buying your own glass; tell them NOT to etch their logo onto the glass. Luckily, the company's logo on mine hides up in the top channel so you can barely see it.

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Almost time to install the sub woofer. I wanted to do a quick test-fit for the sub woofer's shelf and the steering wheel's sliding base to make sure they didn't run into each other. It's a Christmas miracle!! There may be an 1/8th of an inch between the two. That's toit!!

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For whatever reason, I have a mental block when it comes to labeling cables. I always dive right in, start pulling them throughout a project and realize... oh crap... where do these go? Multimeter time! Sub woofer is now installed and cabled.

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Here's the quick, temporary shelf for the Playstation3. Anyone know how to get a PS3 to start-up directly to the disc that's already loaded in the drive? This new media-center crap is frustrating. I just want a good, old-fashioned console that plays games!

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