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 --- Bug Reports --- Site News

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

  

Author Topic: First Cabinet Build - Sapro's MAME  (Read 5000 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

sapro

  • Trade Count: (0)
  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 43
  • Last login:May 29, 2011, 09:22:01 pm
First Cabinet Build - Sapro's MAME
« on: April 28, 2011, 05:08:27 pm »
Three months ago I didn't know MAME cabinets existed. One of my coworkers casually mentioned he'd built one and I don't think I've gotten a decent night's sleep since. This idea has absolutely consumed me.

Since that time I have scoured the Internet (ending up on this forum 9 times out of every 10 searches!) and have crammed, planned, spent, and finally started construction.

First off, let me say that this is a very humble project compared to the many, many excellent exampled on this site :notworthy:. I'm making efforts to have this look good but my skill level is keeping me from anything fancy at this point.

System:
My old PC - a Dell Dimension E510 w/ 1GB RAM
21" CRT monitor (found on Craigslist for $20)

Software:
MAME
Daphne
Hyperspin Frontend

Considering an NES Emulator as well but this will not be included in the initial setup...

Controls:
Classic 2 Player / 6-button setup with a 3" trackball

Cabinet:
Slightly modified Lusid design

Budget:
Shhh... let's not talk about that with the wife around.

Not having read any complete build threads, I decided to give myself a completion date of May 14th - a party at our home at which time 50+/- people will be here. No pressure :)

Most of my photos thus far have been with my phone, so apologies in advance for the crappy quality.

Nephasth

  • Guest
  • Trade Count: (0)
Re: First Cabinet Build - Sapro's MAME
« Reply #1 on: April 28, 2011, 05:13:17 pm »
Welcome to the forum and the disease ;). Your anticipated completion date is pretty optimistic, but you might be able to pull it off if you keep the budget hidden from the wife ;D. Good luck with your build.

EDIT: Oh yea, let's see those  :pics
« Last Edit: April 28, 2011, 05:15:40 pm by Nephasth »

sapro

  • Trade Count: (0)
  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 43
  • Last login:May 29, 2011, 09:22:01 pm
Re: First Cabinet Build - Sapro's MAME
« Reply #2 on: April 28, 2011, 05:25:30 pm »
When I first started planning, I put together a sketch of my controls. "I need something for every possible game,  right? And 4 player! Yeah, 4 player too!" ... then I read some more, including a number of wonderful posts on this forum and some humorous ones at CrapMAME  :laugh2:

I simplified the idea into a very rough sketch:

The left yellow button is a "shift" key. shift+P1 = P1coin, shift+pause=back, etc. This reduced the number of buttons I needed by a few, and gave me flexibility in configurations going foward. Note: I don't want to deal with a keyboard so this is kind of important.

After seeing a few really cool designs I changed the Lusid CP design to have a sweeping curve in the front instead of the three angular cuts.

I then drew everything up in autocad



I took the CP layout to a reprographics place and had them print it out at 1:1 scale so I could use it as a template.

After reading Mountain's AMAZING build, I decided to borrow his admin panel idea for the power switch and volume knob. I found a nice momentary switch online ($35 shipped) then pulled open my PC to find .... proprietary Dell crap where the power switch would be wired. Google helped me not at all, except in locating numerous other people trying to track down a pinout or similar so they could mod their PCs. ... all to no avail.

I almost gave up on the idea then looked at the location of the momentary switch the PC comes with, which is surface mounted to a circuit board :angry: ... but looky what we have here


Hard to tell scale in this photo but those leads stick out plenty to solder to. I used a short piece of wire to jump the two leads and sure enough, the PC fires up!

sapro

  • Trade Count: (0)
  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 43
  • Last login:May 29, 2011, 09:22:01 pm
Re: First Cabinet Build - Sapro's MAME
« Reply #3 on: April 28, 2011, 08:15:37 pm »
Thanks Nephasth. I wasn't clear about this earlier, but I am already 2 weeks into my build and have purchased most of the parts, although some have yet to arrive. Still aggressive on the schedule, but I feel like I'm making good progress.

Since the beginning my thought has been to paint the cabinet black and use Mortal Kombat style red t-molding. With that in mind, I enlisted the help of a friend to do my CPO design...

Simple but cool, that was what I was goign for. Note the top layer is my ACAD drawing, used for scale and positioning. Obviously that layer was turned off when I sent it to Gameongrafix...

When it came time to do the marquee, I was all out of creative ideas. Anxious to get the CPO ordered, I just bought a generic marquee, I'll do something more clever when the idea comes to me.


On to the building!

First we started by going over the Lusid design, my modifications, and our approach. It was time well spent, as you can see above my only real "plan" is the side of the cabinet itself. How it all fits together is something we're figuring out as we go.


First the cabinet side rough cuts


Then a test of the control panel front curve. I noted the radius on my ACAD drawing, we just had to measure that distance (49.5") from the inside of the router bit and screw down a long board to make the arc.


Test cut shows we're right where we're supposed to be (after a couple of adjustments)


Then we cut the actual top


I laid the full size template over the CP and punched a center point for each button and joystick. A few minutes on the drillpress had all the holes, nice and clean - although I learned afterward that the Happ Comp buttons wiggle a little bit in the 1 1/8" holes. Not terrible or anything, but I could have gotten away with a hand drill for the holes.

Personally, I thought the sticks felt short bottom mounted, so I routed 1/4" into the back to mount the joys (Happ Comp 8-way)


And the kids hold up the outcome. Note the trackball hasn't been dealt with at all at this point.


Lastly, we made a jig for the monitor area, jigsawed then cleaned up with the router and jig, and then clamped the two sides and trimmed a couple of spots to make them perfectly line up. This is the first moment the kids recognized what we were doing.



End of weekend 1...

TopJimmyCooks

  • Trade Count: (+1)
  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 2093
  • Last login:May 16, 2018, 08:13:10 pm
Re: First Cabinet Build - Sapro's MAME
« Reply #4 on: April 28, 2011, 08:22:21 pm »
Good looking stuff and obviously you've planned.  that will keep everything smooth and fast. 

sapro

  • Trade Count: (0)
  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 43
  • Last login:May 29, 2011, 09:22:01 pm
Re: First Cabinet Build - Sapro's MAME
« Reply #5 on: April 30, 2011, 08:28:55 am »
Weekend 2:

Cut and routed the trackball. The overpriced plate is coated with a texture of sorts which means that the thickness is inconsistent, but after a few tries I got the router depth so that it's as close to perfect as I can get it.



Now the part where rushing the project got me in a little bit of trouble. I didn't have a template of the trackball device so I made some assumptions about its size. I carried these assumptions not just onto the CP design but also onto the CPO (which I ordered a week ago). The problem is that the body for the 3" Happ trackball is quite a bit larger than I'd originally guessed, and I had it too low to work with the Lusid CP box - basically the trackball's case ends where the box front should be. Since I've already ordered the CPO, I'm kind of stuck with this position.



Good carpentry isn't the ability to do things perfectly, but the ability to cover up your mistakes :D By sloping the front of the CP box forward, we create ample room for the trackball.



Biscuits and glue allow me to add the few inches of material needed...



Then we just cut the angles to fit. More on this solution after this weekend...

One of the challenges I have is a narrow stairwell and a complete lack of desire to carry this thing up it. For that reason, it's designed to be dissassembled if needed, using glued & screwed rails for strength.



Assembly starts!




Time to mount the monitor. Here's the cheap CRT monitor I picked up on craigslist for $20 - it was a pretty high end monitor when it was made and had no visible burn in.



Inside I found it had a usable metal frame to support it


Ready to be mounted!


Since it has the frame, we just positioned it on the monitor shelf and put blocks in place to hold it. Gravity does the rest.



Heading back to the shop now!

sapro

  • Trade Count: (0)
  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 43
  • Last login:May 29, 2011, 09:22:01 pm
Re: First Cabinet Build - Sapro's MAME
« Reply #6 on: April 30, 2011, 07:13:10 pm »
We finished cutting all the panels today! I still haven't finished the new 2-piece control panel front, but otherwise it's ready to start priming and painting.


shan1784

  • Trade Count: (0)
  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 87
  • Last login:September 11, 2014, 01:59:13 pm
Re: First Cabinet Build - Sapro's MAME
« Reply #7 on: April 30, 2011, 10:49:22 pm »
Looks great so far... I would like to build my own cabinet some day so I'm already impressed with your ability...

One thing I thought I'd mention about the computer switch, what I did on mine is use the "Paperclip Trick" which is where you wedge a paperclip into the main power connector on the PCs powersupply... This basically tricks the pc into thinking that the powerswitch is always on. So what I do is have the powercord from the pc and the powercord from the arcade plugged into a powerstrip. When I flip the switch on the powerstrip both the arcade and the PC come on... Then to turn off I just exit the Maximus Arcade frontend which is setup to run "shutdown -s -t 0" which shuts the computer down.. Then once the pc is off I just flip the switch on the powerstrip...

Here is a link on the Paperclip trick...
http://aphnetworks.com/lounge/turn_on_psu_without_motherboard_the_paperclip_trick
Thanks,
Mike
--------------------------------------

sapro

  • Trade Count: (0)
  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 43
  • Last login:May 29, 2011, 09:22:01 pm
Re: First Cabinet Build - Sapro's MAME
« Reply #8 on: May 01, 2011, 09:11:45 am »
That's an interesting solution Shan. The only problem I see there is that you'd have to turn off the powerstrip every time you turn off the system, and likewise turn it back on.

With my setup, the power switch is located just below the monitor (another Mountain-inspired feature). Pressing this turns on the PC, which powers the PowerMite DD (http://www.nicemite.com/PowermiteDD/PowermiteDD.htm). The powermite provides 12VDC to my trackball light, power switch LED, and marquee lights, and a relay switches power on to my speaker amp.

One button, everything turns on. And no climbing inside or behind the cabinet to turn on the power strip :)

drventure

  • Trade Count: (+2)
  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 4152
  • Last login:February 01, 2019, 06:15:33 pm
  • Laser Death Ray Bargain Bin! Make me an offer!
Re: First Cabinet Build - Sapro's MAME
« Reply #9 on: May 01, 2011, 09:31:43 am »
Nice work so far. A simple clean design that should come together pretty quickly.

That's what I +should have+ done  ;D

sapro

  • Trade Count: (0)
  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 43
  • Last login:May 29, 2011, 09:22:01 pm
Re: First Cabinet Build - Sapro's MAME
« Reply #10 on: May 03, 2011, 09:06:53 am »
UPS man brought me a lil something yesterday  ;D



I'm going out tonight to see if I can get a head start on the priming/painting and will bring the CP top home to get that process started as well.

elkameleon

  • Trade Count: (+1)
  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 528
  • Last login:August 20, 2014, 08:31:00 pm
Re: First Cabinet Build - Sapro's MAME
« Reply #11 on: May 03, 2011, 09:19:20 am »
sweetness!

sapro

  • Trade Count: (0)
  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 43
  • Last login:May 29, 2011, 09:22:01 pm
Re: First Cabinet Build - Sapro's MAME
« Reply #12 on: May 04, 2011, 02:11:21 pm »
I'm scrambling to get this done in time now. I drove out to the shop last night and got the first coat of primer on


scream1973

  • Trade Count: (0)
  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 139
  • Last login:July 25, 2014, 10:28:46 am
Re: First Cabinet Build - Sapro's MAME
« Reply #13 on: May 05, 2011, 01:51:21 pm »
Looking good..

sapro

  • Trade Count: (0)
  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 43
  • Last login:May 29, 2011, 09:22:01 pm
Re: First Cabinet Build - Sapro's MAME
« Reply #14 on: May 06, 2011, 09:16:51 am »
Paint is done except for a little bit of touchup I'm going to do in the morning.



How am I doing on timing? I have one week to finish this.

-finish painting (doing that tomorrow)
-disassemble (doing that tomorrow)
-bring home (tomorrow)
-reassemble (tomorrow) (it was designed for this so re-assembly should take ~30 minutes)
-install t-molding (tomorrow) (probably a 15 minute job?)
-mount monitor (tomorrow) (4 screws and two wood blocks)

That leaves me 6 days to:

-finish PC software setup (it's 90% done already)
-wire power switch
-wire volume knob
-put overlay on control panel top
-install joysticks and buttons
-wire joysticks, buttons, trackball to interfaces
-configure inputs
-wire powerswitch light, trackball light, marquee light
-wire relay to switch on speaker amp

I have lots of time Sunday but after that will just have maybe an hour each evening.

sapro

  • Trade Count: (0)
  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 43
  • Last login:May 29, 2011, 09:22:01 pm
Re: First Cabinet Build - Sapro's MAME
« Reply #15 on: May 07, 2011, 08:24:02 am »
I got home last night and had a few minutes to spare...



Funnel

  • Trade Count: (+1)
  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 261
  • Last login:December 24, 2018, 04:04:36 pm
  • Made ya think, didn't I?
Re: First Cabinet Build - Sapro's MAME
« Reply #16 on: May 07, 2011, 09:27:49 am »
Dang! I'm very impressed with your work as this is coming along very nice. Good work man!

yotsuya

  • Trade Count: (+21)
  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Online Online
  • Posts: 18472
  • Last login:Today at 11:25:05 am
  • 2014 UCA Winner, 2014, 2015, 2016 ZapCon Winner
    • forum.arcadecontrols.com/index.php/topic,137636.msg1420628.html
Re: First Cabinet Build - Sapro's MAME
« Reply #17 on: May 07, 2011, 06:41:47 pm »
I got home last night and had a few minutes to spare...




This looks sweet!
***Build what you dig, bro. Build what you dig.***

sapro

  • Trade Count: (0)
  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 43
  • Last login:May 29, 2011, 09:22:01 pm
Re: First Cabinet Build - Sapro's MAME
« Reply #18 on: May 10, 2011, 08:04:39 am »
4 days left  :banghead:

I made a lot of progress this weekend. The first challenge was getting it to my house and taking it apart

It's almost like it was designed to fit :)



... disassembly wasn't hard at all. It probably took less than 30 minutes



I got it upstairs, mostly reassembled, and set to wiring. My fingertips are sore but I think it came out pretty tidy



I got the final dimensions figured out and ordered my plexi. I have had bad experiences with cutting plexi in the past so I ordered mine precision cut from TAP plastics online. $40 and I will have my pieces cut accurate to 1/64th with nice clean edges. Unfortunately, UPS just notified me that these will arrive next Monday, so I will have neither bezel nor marquee at the party Saturday. :cry:

I have LOTS more pictures but will post sparingly until it's finished.

sapro

  • Trade Count: (0)
  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 43
  • Last login:May 29, 2011, 09:22:01 pm
Re: First Cabinet Build - Sapro's MAME
« Reply #19 on: May 12, 2011, 01:08:14 pm »
I made a lot of progress toward my goal of completion by Saturday. The trip to my house caused some damage to the paint so we heavily sanded and repainted with the final coat going on this morning.

I spent a LOT more time than I expected on wiring. Power switch, volume knob, LED's are all wired in no just waiting for the PC to be moved into the cabinet.

This was the sketchiest part of the build. Recall the PCB that I had to tap into for the power switch. If I screwed this up and rendered the board broken I'd be out of a PC until a replacement comes from Dell. So with shaky hands and a smoking soldering iron I attempted the joint...


Nailed it.

Tonight I mount the CP, install the t-molding, and hook up the PC. Holy ---steaming pile of meadow muffin--- ... I'm almost done!

sapro

  • Trade Count: (0)
  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 43
  • Last login:May 29, 2011, 09:22:01 pm
Re: First Cabinet Build - Sapro's MAME
« Reply #20 on: May 13, 2011, 08:52:11 am »
At long last, a much anticipated sight