It's been a few years since I worked on the Lego Batpin virtual pinball cabinet, and I was getting the itch to build something new. I went back and forth on the different styles of arcade cabinets out there. Full size, bartop, pedestal, etc... I finally decided on a pedestal after seeing the X-arcade / Funglo pedestal. I really liked the look and design of the cabinet. Whatever I ended up building, would also have to double as my VR machine as well, and the pedestal seem to be the perfect fit for that.
Before buying anything, I had to see if I could figure out how to build this thing based off just a couple of pictures I could find out there on the internet. I looked at several plans for other full sized cabinets, and started out with a base height for the pedestal, then started pieceing everything together in SketchUp. Surprisingly the cabinet in SketchUp turned out really well. My initial design was going to have some 4 ways joysticks and spinners, so I modified the control panel to give me a lot more space, but then I looked at the amount of games that actually required those types of controls and decided to just save some money and drop those from the control panel design.
Here is the initial design.
After deciding to ditch the extra controls, I made the control panel smaller, and now it looks more like the X-Arcade cabinet design.
Not really knowing what I wanted to do for the art package, I did know that I wanted a black and blue theme, so for joyticks and buttons I went with some sanwa ball top sticks and the GGG eclipse buttons. Both in blue. I really liked the look of the eclipse buttons, especially when they're lit up.
For the trackball I picked up a U-Trak from Ultimarc. Blue of course.
For the pedestal I ended up using ¾” MDF, which in hindsight is way overkill. If I were to do the project over again, I would probably use plywood. It’s lighter and a lot less messy when cutting.
Instead of the coin door in front, I opted the make the front a simple cabinet door since nobody would ever be inserting coins into the machine.
Added some vent holes for heat to escape.
Originally I was going to simply mount the motherboard straight to the pedestal wall with some PCB standoffs, but I needed to secure my GTX 1060 video card as well as a wireless NIC, so I purchased a Lian Li motherboard tray, and mounted that to the wall with some PCB standoffs. I ended up having to drill through the tray in order to mount the standoffs.
Here are the standoffs I used.
Control Panel cuts complete and amazingly no screw ups.
The sanwa ball top joysticks I purchased come with mounting plates that are typically used for attaching to metal control panels, so I ended up purchasing some alternate mounting plates that work well with wood.
Since I wanted to mount the sticks from the bottom, and I didn't want screws coming through from the top, I freehand routed the bottom of the control panel so the plates / joysticks could fit, and installed some insert nuts. It looks ugly , but it worked pretty well.
Here's what it looks like after the joystick is mounted
For the keyboard encoder and lighting controller I went with an iPac and PacLED
The wiring didn't turn out as bad as I expected. I imagine it would have been a lot worse if I was doing RGB to each of the buttons. The length of the wires coming out of the trackball did limit where I could place the iPac board. Luckily it all turned out fine.
Control panel reinstalled on the pedestal.
Now, time for the laminate. This stuff is a lot thicker and tougher than I was expecting, but looks amazing after it is installed. I would use this stuff over painting every single time. Painting is the part I always dreaded when doing these types of projects. The one thing you need to be aware of is it can skew some of your cabinet measurements, because of the thickness of the laminate.
Rough cut with snips, then sprayed with adhesive and left to dry overnight. This stuff is a complete mess when trimming with the router. I had little black strands EVERYWHERE in my garage. Reminds me of routing acrylic.
Now it’s time to put it all back together.
Installing some diamond plate. The diamond plate looks nice, but it sure was a pain the cut properly.
Adding some T-Molding too.
This is where I’m at currently. As far as I have come, there are still a decent amount of things I need to do.
I’m still trying to figure out exactly what control panel artwork I want to go with. I have a few ideas, but none that I’m 100% happy with.
Once the artwork is settled on and installed, I need to get the computer up and running, and working with the lighting controller. I will be going with a Hyperspin setup on this one.
I've attached the cabinet plans I did in SketchUp in case anyone wants to give this cabinet style a try. SketchUp just shows the wood pieces required, and doesn't show any mounting hardware. All measurements can be found by opening up the "Outliner" and selecting the "Measurements" group.
Mame Pedestal Funglo v5.skp