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ecb116

Arcade Dreams Cabinet Project

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Hello everybody!

First of all let me start by saying that i am a kid of the 80s-90s.  Like most of you I was on the front row of the birth and evolution of electronic games and boy, what a huge impression it left on me.

The first game that I’ve ever played was Pong on a Channel F (Video Entertainment System). It also had a cool drag race game.

Then came the Arcades. I still remember the long summers back in the day, where me and friends gathered every pocket change we could find and went to the Arcades to try and beat the next Bubble Bobble level, or each other on Street Fighter II.

Ah Street Fighter II ...what a fantastic game!  Probably my favorite.  When i first played it on my friend’s  Amiga 500 we were so happy that we could play it over and over again without spending coins, that we played continuously until late that night. My mom came to pick me up and I remember telling her "Just one more minute mom, I've got to beat up that Indian guy"..

We played it so much that we new exactly which floppy to change and when to change it before the system prompts us, so the game could load faster. It was great but the quality was not on par as the Arcades.

 

From then a lot of consoles came and went. Commodore 64, Amiga 600HD, Sega Master System, Sega Mega Drive, Playstation 1 and 2, Nintendo Gameboy, N64.

Then came MAME, thank god for the developers that gave us the opportunity to relive those moments from our childhood by being able to play those Arcade games in the convenience of our house. 
However something was missing.

So about 3-4 years ago I've found out about people making arcade cabinets and using MAME and other emulators to play games. I was completely taken over and wanted to build my own. 
I’ve read countless forums and saw numerous cabinet plans and build videos.  I decided to start with a bartop with some scrap MDF panels and some dead cheap controllers and buttons. 

I bought some tools and started measuring and cutting, and measuring again because I didn't got it right the first time, or even the second. That was OK thought, cause this was the learning phase. 
I‘ve even hacked an old gamepad for the controls. Long story short I did it. The cab was ready, I’ve used Hyperspin and it was working great! But still I wanted the real deal... The big daddy.  But there was no room for it, nor the time and money.

 

But now the time has come to make my Arcade Dreams come true. So I ‘ve watched more build videos and woodworking videos, and I've purchased more tools for the job. I’ve learned to use sketchup to  make my cabinet plans and to have a visual representation of my dream cabinet. The plans changed numerous times but now I feel pretty sure that this is the final design. So without any further a due I present to you my Arcade Dreams Cabinet!

 

Arcade Dreams Cabinet.jpg

As you may have noticed it is of a reasonable proportions cabinet since it will be placed inside my house. I didn't want to create a really big, wide one. The total height is 180cm and the width no more  than 60cm. The design is heavily inspired by Knievel's The Woody Cabinet. As for the control panel layouts I will keep it really simple. I've decided to go for a 2 player with 8 buttons per player.  No trackball or spinner, since cabs in Greece didn't have them and i am not accustomed to them. However I’ve decided to put 2 side buttons (2 on each side) for pinball games. I bought the  controllers/buttons from non other than Ultimarc. They may be a bit pricey but the quality is superb. 

 

Control Panel.jpg

For the monitor have an old AOC LM 928 . It may be only 19 inch but it is a 4:3 and the base is highly adjustable. 

The build will be made entirely by wood. From my experience with MDF I decided that I didn't like it. At the moment I have all the tools and materials to start building the cab. The 2 big side panels will  be taken to a proper woodworker to cut them for me, since I don't have the space nor the saw to do it myself (and I don't want to F it up) . But the rest will be done by me.

Any real progress made will be posted here. Wish me luck, its going to take a lot of time but that’s OK, I’ll enjoy the trip.

 

P.s. If anyone is interested in the cabinet plans, feel free to ask me and I will post them and sorry for the long post!

 

 

 

 

 

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This is like a right of passage, looking forward to the build.  I was helping a friend today with his 32' (CRT) 4 player cabinet and I can definitely tell you, there is such a thing as too big.

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32' CRT  O.oO.oO.o !! How heavy that must have been!

 

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It's on wheels thank goodness, and i meant inch not feet ;)

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Oh yeah i knew you meant inches :D 

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Good project, i wait for more pics of it :)

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Well the side panels are already at the woodworker so yeah, there are going to be some pics pretty soon. 

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My only comment is if you are having 8 buttons i would go 2 rows of 4.

1) because you will find it easier and more comfortable to play.

2) better matches layouts for things like Neo Geo.



Also you wont have that bigger gap between you p1 and p2 on a 2ft cab.

My cp is 2ft and although 2 people can play it easy you are close together.

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I tried  different 4 buttons in a row layouts but didnt personally liked it. 

This layout was used in my bartop and for me is much more comfortable than having to stretch my pinky for  that 4th button. 

 

I dont mind the gap. It could be used as a space for a mousepad or a future trackball. Maybe we will see. 

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As promised........ 

arcadesidecp.jpg

arcadecp.jpg

arcadeside.jpg

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i would be interested in the plans, that sketchup model looks pretty good

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Here you go buddy! 

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Ok guys here is some of the work ive done over the weekend

 

base.jpg

arcade control panel.png

control panel open.jpg

 

P. S. Woodworking is haaard! O.o

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First time standing on itself 

 

babysteps.jpg

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Some progress 

 

 

20160825_144907_HDR.jpg

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Man I sure hope I'm able to make one of these for myself one of these days. Thanks for sharing your plans. Looking good so far!

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22 hours ago, toaks said:

Man I sure hope I'm able to make one of these for myself one of these days. Thanks for sharing your plans. Looking good so far!

I surely like to see a post about your build some day. 

Here are some more pics to get you pumped :P

 

 

 

20160827_201553_HDR.jpg

20160827_201712_HDR.jpg

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The monitor  is attached. The plan changed since the AOC monitor is not available at the moment. So instead ive used a samsung 24 inch

20160828_153403_HDR-1.jpg

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Drilled the cp. Ive decided to follow titchgamer advice and go with the 2 row-4 buttons layout since i found ready templates at slagcoin.com.

20160829_142648_HDR.jpg

Also ive drilled holes for the speakers and added a mesh20160830_094158_HDR.jpg

 

And put it all together.

 

20160830_094143_HDR.jpg

 

The cabinet is pretty much complete at this point. Now for the dreaded sanding and staining of the wood. 

 

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Looking good dude!
Though u prob wanted to stain the wood before fitting all your sticks etc lol



Also are you going to cut out the marquee to put a nice light up one in there?

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Very good project! Waiting for other pics.

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3 hours ago, titchgamer said:

Looking good dude!
Though u prob wanted to stain the wood before fitting all your sticks etc lol

 


Also are you going to cut out the marquee to put a nice light up one in there?

 

Oh yeah i knew that. But i had to see it in full with all the buttons etc.  

I designed the cabinet so that it can be disassembled and reassembled at will so now i completely took it apart for the staining. 

 

As far as the Marquee goes it will stay like that for the time being. I want to finish the staining process asap.  I am also considering cutting wooden letters. We ll see. 

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I know I havent posted in a while, well everyday life chores and problems kept me away from my project and i've only had 2 weekends to work on it.

So here is the (booooring) sanding and staining part. The stain is water based.Arcade Dreams staining 1.jpg

 

Gluing the drawer

Arcade Dreams staining 2.jpg

 

some more work done

Arcade Dreams staining 3.jpg

 

Almost there

Arcade Dreams staining 4.jpg

 

and reassembly.

 

Arcade Dreams stained.jpg

Something worth noticing that ive found the "hard" way: when the wood is stained, it swells and i mean quite a lot. It changed the measurements and i had trouble fitting some of the pieces and passing the screws through the drilled panels.

 

Now its time for the electronics, but thats a work for another weekend.

 

 

 

 

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Ime really digging the antique look. Very cool

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