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Author Topic: Zak-Man v3 - the evolution continues  (Read 4413 times)

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severdhed

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Zak-Man v3 - the evolution continues
« on: October 01, 2010, 01:25:24 pm »
well, since acquiring a showcase cabinet that i am setting up as a 4 player horizontal mame machine i figured that having a 2 player horizontal mame setup was redundant....so i figured the best thing i could do with it, it set it up as a vertical classics cabinet.  This project has come along way, since this was my first cabinet.  i picked up th empty cab in december of 2005 (knowing that i planned on proposing to my girlfriend in a few weeks, i wanted to make sure i got it before she could tell me no.  i picked it up, brought it home while she wasnt there, and then told her about it later )

anyway, this cabinet was pretty much set up from the beginning as a horizontal 2player mame config, here are a few major points in the process...

about a week before i picked up the cabinet


this is what it looked like when i brought it home


testing phase, x-arcade sitting on stool, awesome 17" crt, no bezel and blue posterboard marquee (mame logo drawn on and cut out with a razor blade, and a translucent blue plastic file folder attached to the back so the light would shine through)


made a little progress, made a new black marquee, posterboard bezel, 19" LCD monitor and mounted the x-arcade


i moved the monitor back really deep in the cabinet (not sure why) and transplanted the x-arcade into a temporary board to see if it would be too tight for two adults...it was, so the sides had to be cut.


here it is with the sides cut, and the new panel attached.  i had some red plexi sitting around, so i covered the panel with it.  not sure what i was thinking having the trackball back so far.  it was more of an afterthought, i had no originall plans for a trackball, but i found it lying in the bottom of the cabinet when i brought it home, so i installed it.


I also had a dreamcast in this cab, so on that rear panel, there was a knob to switch the controls, a power switch to turn the dc on and off, and a pushbutton to toggle the KVM switch between the dc and pc.


then i removed the dreamcast, moved the monitor forward and made a new control panel, covered with some weird plastic diamond plate stuff (it really sucked). i installed the trackball in the main panel, and added a dedicated 4way stick and home made spinner as well.


then i proceeded to create a custom marquee (zak-man, named after my first son, Zakary) and built yet another contorl panel, this time with a plexiglass overlay (painted black from the back) and no trackball ( i just didn't use it much, hadn't yet discovered centipede/millipede).  i also painted the back of the monitor plexiglass to replace the posterboard bezel.


next came time to build a better control panel, i finally pulled out all of the x-arcade controls, installed two u360 sticks, colored happ buttons, Utrak trackball (with RGB kit), and some novagem buttons for pause and exit. i wired teh buttons to the u360s, and connected the Utrak to a optiwiz (i wanted mouse button support). i decided to make the panel slant forward slightly instead of being flat like before, and i also used T-Molding for the first time.



and that is how it stayed until recently when i picked up my showcase cabinet.  i proceeded to move the u360s into the new cabinet, with plans on converting the zakman to a vertical classics machine.

so the other day, i decided to make a new control panel.  i didn't take any pics of the build process, because i didn't get to start until around 6pm, and here in PA, that doesn't give you much daylight.  i quickly cut it out and finished it up in the dark in the yard.  i apparently missed about 2 inches of my tmolding slot, but didn't notice it until after i installed all the controls..so i improvised and used teh wood saw on my swiss army knife to finish the slot..worked perfectly.  I had never used control panel art before, and wasn't sure if i would like it, so to save money, i decided to try out a poster i picked up at walmart.  i know it maybe doesn't match the zakman theme perfectly, but it doesnt get much more "classic gaming" than Mario.


this is a Sanwa JLW stick set to 4way mode, Utrak connected via optiwiz, and just 3 action buttons...all buttons are connected to the x-arcade encoder i had, which really sucks because the wiring is a mess, but i already had it lying around, so no cost there.

i then proceeded to rotate the monitor for a vertical setup, this wasnt too difficult, other than the fact that the mounting holes on the monitor weren't centered vertically with the screen, so i had to do some math. (i was off by 3/8" the first time, had to do it again)


last night, i decided to cut a new piece of monitor plexi and painted the back side black to mask off around the monitor, i think it makes it look really slick, better than a separate bezel behind clear glass/plexi


here is another shot, there is still alot to do, i'd like to put colored tmolding on the cabinet, fill some holes and repaint the sides and remove the cup holders.  i think i will also make all of the buttons red, but i just used what i had on hand for now to save money.


here is a shot without the flash so you can see the controls lit up. 



well, that's it for now.  i still need to work on new boot screens and wallpapers and things like that so it isn't sidways when it boots up.  I also need to tweak my MaLa layout a little.  maybe someday i'll try to track down a better LCD panel.  i dont know if any of them are viewable from below or not, but as it stands now, if i am straight on or to the right of the cabinet, it looks fine, if i stand to the left just a little, it starts to get really dark.  perhaps a monitor that is designed to be rotated will have a little better viewing angle. 



« Last Edit: March 30, 2015, 03:22:30 pm by severdhed »
Current Projects:      Zak-Man | TMNT Pedestal | SNES Pi | N64 Odroid
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