Main Restorations Software Audio/Jukebox/MP3 Everything Else Buy/Sell/Trade
Project Announcements Monitor/Video GroovyMAME Merit/JVL Touchscreen Meet Up Retail Vendors
Driving & Racing Woodworking Software Support Forums Consoles Project Arcade Reviews
Automated Projects Artwork Frontend Support Forums Pinball Forum Discussion Old Boards
Raspberry Pi & Dev Board controls.dat Linux Miscellaneous Arcade Wiki Discussion Old Archives
Lightguns Arcade1Up --- Bug Reports --- Site News

Unread posts | New Replies | Recent posts | Rules | Chatroom | Wiki | File Repository | RSS | Submit news

  

Author Topic: Modular Mame-In-A-Box...... Neo-Geo style  (Read 9908 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

LeedsFan

  • Trade Count: (0)
  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 1042
  • Last login:May 02, 2019, 11:33:03 am
Modular Mame-In-A-Box...... Neo-Geo style
« on: December 31, 2010, 12:50:18 pm »
Here's the latest project I've been working on for the last couple of months. I didn't bother with any build pics as it's just a box with a PC in it. The only thing I've attempted new (for me) with this project was building a modular system with interchangeable control panels. Basically it's a single player "Mame-In-A-Box" using Hyperspin frontend incorporating many different emulators.

Two players can play together of course, but Player 2 would have to plug in a game pad or a separate controller. I wanted to build the system as compact as possible and as I play these types of games 99% of the time solo I decided to not bother building a behemoth dual panel. However, it is large enough to play all games comfortably with plenty of room to rest palms. I also wanted a more generic theme as well rather than being based on a dedicated game. So I decided upon the Neo-Geo artwork from the early 90s altered a little to my own taste.






















The two joysticks on the left are dedicated 8-way and 4-way sticks (all are Seimitsu LS-32-01) and you toggle between the two using the toggle switch. So when 4-way is selected the 8-way stick is not working and vice-versa. All I've done is route the earth wires for both sticks through that switch while all the other directional wires combine together.

The stick on the right is what you'd call the Player 2 stick. But I just put that there to play other classics such as Robotron, Smash TV, Battlezone etc. I bought a stainless steel hollow shaft for LS-32 from Arcadeshop.de so that I could put in the top fire button. The ball top was supposed to be red to match the others but I made a right bollocks of drilling the red one.  :angry:  And this was after practicing on a spare white ball top I had lying around which went fine... and so that's the one that's there now. I will revert back to a red one at some point because it looks odd like that.







The rear of the panel is just your basic PC affair. So any gamepads will plug right in. The USB through port on the left just allows me to use the unit as a standard joystick without needing to power the unit on. The blue button on the right is my Exit button. It's just so easy to use there and cannot get hit accidentally during game play.











The modular part of the system uses standard Ethernet cables (RF45) as they are so easy to plug in and out. I basically saw this idea used on a previous project on these boards. Just seems the easiest way to go about doing this kind of thing. There are three leads on the main panel, one for the left sticks, one for buttons and one for the right stick. These cables of course have eight wires going through them so there's enough for 7 switches and a ground. Of course so long as there is one common ground on each panel you won't need a ground on each lead.







Whole view of the inside. It is a bit compact in there.  ;)  Specs are as follows:
Gigabyte H55N-USB3 mainboard
Radeon 5570 low profile GPU
i3-550 @3.2 GHz  (I've yet to have a go at OC'ing this)
4GB Ram
320GB 2.5" main drive with Win7 installed with second 1.5 TB 3.5" drive for all the emulation data

I decided to put in two small 40mm fans on the rear to help with airflow. I did have them wired up to 5V supply but they wouldn't spin without giving them a nudge first. So I plugged them into 12V and they are fine. You can hear them now though but they aren't noisy.











Just look at that paint finish!!! I read Ond's page about how to get a perfest piano finish on MDF... then realised it was faaaaaar too much work for me so I just used acrylic to line the MDF.   :P  I just don't have the patience to get the kind of results some of you guys obtain. The bar has been raised well above what I can achieve.  :notworthy:   But that just inspires me to do the best that I can... even the underside gets some love.







The only other panel I've built so far is this Defender/Stargate panel. There are also two other buttons at the top so that Asteroids can be played as it has the same button layout. I flagrantly ripped this design from someone else on here, so apologies for that.  8)  But Defender is deffo one of those games that needs a proper layout if you are gonna get any real enjoyment from it.

I do have other plans for two more panels.... a trackball panel using Ultimarcs's Utrak and also a dedicated Star Wars panel. I want to incorporate a spinner into the trackball panel as well but I just don't think I will have the room. Not to be able to use the trackball in full flow anyway without hitting the spinner with my hand.

Well I hope you guys like it. It plays great and I love the feel of those LS-32s. I did modify them slightly by putting in a little rubber washer between the circlip and the green spring retainer. This just helps take up that little bit of slack along the shaft and in turn gets rid of that pivoting that LS-32 exhibit when on full travel. It's not a fault of the sticks as such but it can annoy/bug some people.











Any comments/suggestions/criticisms are most welcome.   ;D

huygens

  • Trade Count: (+3)
  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 62
  • Last login:October 31, 2011, 01:33:08 am
Re: Modular Mame-In-A-Box...... Neo-Geo style
« Reply #1 on: December 31, 2010, 02:34:54 pm »
Very nice and clean. Well packed as well! What switch did you use for the top-fire LS-32? I was thinking of building one, but was concerned about finding a switch short enough to fit in the balltop.

melvinbates

  • Trade Count: (+1)
  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 104
  • Last login:May 06, 2019, 05:02:04 pm
  • Another day in paradise
Re: Modular Mame-In-A-Box...... Neo-Geo style
« Reply #2 on: December 31, 2010, 04:25:05 pm »
Great little project.  I like the switch for joysticks. :applaud:

LeedsFan

  • Trade Count: (0)
  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 1042
  • Last login:May 02, 2019, 11:33:03 am
Re: Modular Mame-In-A-Box...... Neo-Geo style
« Reply #3 on: December 31, 2010, 04:51:32 pm »
Very nice and clean. Well packed as well! What switch did you use for the top-fire LS-32? I was thinking of building one, but was concerned about finding a switch short enough to fit in the balltop.

This is the switch I used.....
http://www.maplin.co.uk/Module.aspx?ModuleNo=2492

We are not talking Sanwa arcade quality here. But that button isn't going to get a lot of hammer. I just drilled a small 3mm pilot hole in the top of the ball top then drilled down with a 7mm drill till I hit the top of the brass insert. Then I switched back to the 3mm drill and drilled through the end of the insert for the wires. The switch is just a press fit into the 7mm hole.

IguanaStorm

  • Trade Count: (0)
  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 23
  • Last login:December 24, 2011, 04:14:30 pm
  • I'm a llama!
Re: Modular Mame-In-A-Box...... Neo-Geo style
« Reply #4 on: December 31, 2010, 09:52:40 pm »
I had this exact same idea a while back!  Great minds think alike.   :cheers:  I thought of your way and thought about trying a laptop version.  Great job on your project.  Love it!  :applaud:

:oj

  • Trade Count: (0)
  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 58
  • Last login:October 06, 2014, 04:56:47 am
  • Jim Knopf
    • Arcadeshop.de
Re: Modular Mame-In-A-Box...... Neo-Geo style
« Reply #5 on: January 01, 2011, 06:24:09 am »
Sorry for the little OT, but:



this mini DK is probably the cutest bartop I've seen to date.  :notworthy:
Arcadeshop.de - home of E-Limitator & Dual Strike

ChurchOfSolipsism

  • Trade Count: (0)
  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 200
  • Last login:March 10, 2019, 04:47:54 pm
Re: Modular Mame-In-A-Box...... Neo-Geo style
« Reply #6 on: January 01, 2011, 10:29:01 am »
And once again LeedsFan takes the cake. Great work on this one man! (It's just a detail but I really like the red rimmed white buttons, they fit the cp better than the four different Neo Geo colours IMHO)

WhereEaglesDare

  • Trade Count: (+4)
  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 1536
  • Last login:March 24, 2014, 08:47:08 pm
  • Shut Off All The Compactors on the Detention Level
    • My HomePage
Re: Modular Mame-In-A-Box...... Neo-Geo style
« Reply #7 on: January 01, 2011, 11:30:57 am »
Did you put Plexi on the sides?

LeedsFan

  • Trade Count: (0)
  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 1042
  • Last login:May 02, 2019, 11:33:03 am
Re: Modular Mame-In-A-Box...... Neo-Geo style
« Reply #8 on: January 01, 2011, 01:45:26 pm »
Did you put Plexi on the sides?

Yeah for the side panels I used 12mm MDF which is countersunk screwed to 3mm black acrylic on the inside. Then I just used some double sided tape to fix 4mm red acrylic on the outside so there are no screws to see. Total thickness is 19mm which is exactly what 3/4 t-molding is.

I found working with the acrylic very easy so long as you take care. Plus it's cheap to buy in A4 and A3 sheets. So much easier than trying to be patient with painting (for me anyway) and the finish with acrylic is perfect. Of course you need flat surfaces to do this and it will show fingermarks much easier than satin paint.

I don't think acrylic would be viable or even suit a full size cab, but for small projects like this I think it looks neat. It was just something a little different to try out that I hadn't done before. I'd definitely do this again.

BobA

  • Trade Count: (+14)
  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 5943
  • Last login:July 11, 2018, 09:52:14 pm
  • What Me Worry?
Re: Modular Mame-In-A-Box...... Neo-Geo style
« Reply #9 on: January 01, 2011, 04:33:19 pm »
Love the idea.  Changeable panels on a arcade in a box unit is very creative.   How much computer do you have in your arcade in a box? Your DK bartop looks great as well.   :applaud: :applaud:

LeedsFan

  • Trade Count: (0)
  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 1042
  • Last login:May 02, 2019, 11:33:03 am
Re: Modular Mame-In-A-Box...... Neo-Geo style
« Reply #10 on: January 01, 2011, 06:11:36 pm »
Love the idea.  Changeable panels on a arcade in a box unit is very creative.   How much computer do you have in your arcade in a box? Your DK bartop looks great as well.   :applaud: :applaud:

I don't really know what you mean by that question, sorry  :P  If you mean the specs then I listed them in the OP.

BobA

  • Trade Count: (+14)
  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 5943
  • Last login:July 11, 2018, 09:52:14 pm
  • What Me Worry?
Re: Modular Mame-In-A-Box...... Neo-Geo style
« Reply #11 on: January 01, 2011, 06:45:20 pm »
Thanks missed that.   Must be New Years fatigue.  ;D ;D  Lots of HP in that little box.

LeedsFan

  • Trade Count: (0)
  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 1042
  • Last login:May 02, 2019, 11:33:03 am
Re: Modular Mame-In-A-Box...... Neo-Geo style
« Reply #12 on: January 01, 2011, 07:26:02 pm »
Thanks missed that.   Must be New Years fatigue.  ;D ;D  Lots of HP in that little box.


Well it's supposed to be a gaming PC as well (as opposed to emulation). The graphics card is reasonably decent but isn't top of the range. Should play modern titles quite well, just not at ultra settings.

taylormadelv

  • Trade Count: (+1)
  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 377
  • Last login:February 18, 2019, 05:46:59 pm
Re: Modular Mame-In-A-Box...... Neo-Geo style
« Reply #13 on: January 02, 2011, 08:53:51 am »
I really like the "Stargate/Defender in a box" concept! Very nice work, you probably could sell those easy...

BurgerKingDiamond

  • Trade Count: (+4)
  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 686
  • Last login:July 30, 2018, 09:00:50 pm
Re: Modular Mame-In-A-Box...... Neo-Geo style
« Reply #14 on: January 04, 2011, 06:52:08 am »
Thats is really awesome. Like a Supergun but for every game EVER! This is really a good idea that was executed very well.
-Welcome to the Fantasy Zone.

HaRuMaN

  • Supreme Solder King
  • Global Moderator
  • Trade Count: (+45)
  • Full Member
  • *****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 10261
  • Last login:Yesterday at 11:13:01 pm
  • boom
    • Arcade Madness
Re: Modular Mame-In-A-Box...... Neo-Geo style
« Reply #15 on: January 04, 2011, 02:02:48 pm »
Sorry, for some reason when I saw the title I thought...

"Step one, cut a hole in the box"  :D