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Author Topic: Rando's UAII cab progress - Playable!  (Read 13888 times)

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Rando

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Re: Rando's UAII cab progress - Building Control Panel! (Help!!)
« Reply #80 on: June 14, 2011, 08:59:16 am »
Thanks Cot,

- Joystick issue - Simple Windows fix, not a problem
- Trackball issue - Simple MAME fix, not a problem

- Coin buttons - Not sure how I would connect the Red to the floppy connector, will pulling the wire out of the floppy plug and twisting them together with a wire connector work like I would in a regular outlet work? 
Also not sure how I would connect the black to the ground daisy chain I have, chain might not reach, and the wire wouldn't fit the same as a it does on my leafs.  Also, would this negate the normal ground connection I would do to a microswitch button, or do I need to ground this button twice, one for the black wire and a second for the button?  Ground wires in some of the lights in my house go to a ground screw in the electrical box, could I do something like this?

Sorry for the basic questions, I fiddle at night and then try to figure things out at work! :)
Rando - My build thread: http://forum.arcadecontrols.com/index.php?topic=107741.msg1142843#msg1142843 (work slowed but still progressing!

newmanfamilyvlogs

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Re: Rando's UAII cab progress - Building Control Panel! (Help!!)
« Reply #81 on: June 14, 2011, 11:46:50 am »
DO NOT GROUND THE LEDS TO THE DAISY CHAIN.

The black lines on the floppy connector are grounds. If you look at the underside of the connector you'll see where the metal pins have small raised 'barbs' that prevent them from sliding out backwards. A small flat head screwdriver or a boxcutter can be used to gently depress those barbs and slide the red and black wires out of the molex. Then you'll just twist and secure the matching colored wires from the LEDs.

On my machine I wired up several USB Header connectors to the +5V from the floppy connector and placed them on the bottom most expansion slot of the case, then cut the ends off some USB cables and wired those into the LEDs so I have an easy disconnect (my CP slides out like a drawer and occasionally needs to be removed for tinkering).

Rando

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Re: Rando's UAII cab progress - Building Control Panel! (Help!!)
« Reply #82 on: June 14, 2011, 12:06:27 pm »
DO NOT GROUND THE LEDS TO THE DAISY CHAIN.

Now THAT's the kind of feedback I'm looking for! :)  Clear, concise, I can follow those instructions.

So tonight I will remove the black/red wires from my floppy plug, tie them to the black/red wires from the two coin buttons, and they should light up.  I will then wire the multiswitch portion of the buttons as normal, which I haven't done yet as I've only wired the leaf buttons and need to figure out how to do the others as both my coin buttons and Player 1/2 buttons are non-leafs.

And yes I will disconnect the power to the PC before removing wires!!  :dizzy:

Awesome! :)
Rando - My build thread: http://forum.arcadecontrols.com/index.php?topic=107741.msg1142843#msg1142843 (work slowed but still progressing!

TopJimmyCooks

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Re: Rando's UAII cab progress - Building Control Panel! (Help!!)
« Reply #83 on: June 14, 2011, 12:55:37 pm »
On the u360's, remember the chassis orientation doesn't matter, just the PCB.  you can unscrew the board and just rotate that if you want to keep your joystick body oriented a certain way.  IIRC the PCB has a "top" designation indicating the top of the cp. 

newmanfamilyvlogs

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Re: Rando's UAII cab progress - Building Control Panel! (Help!!)
« Reply #84 on: June 14, 2011, 01:52:29 pm »
And yes I will disconnect the power to the PC before removing wires!!  :dizzy:

One time I unplugged a floppy drive without turning off the computer first. It let out all of the magic smoke in the wires... into my hand.

Rando

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Re: Rando's UAII cab progress - Building Control Panel! (Help!!)
« Reply #85 on: June 14, 2011, 11:05:33 pm »
Not as much progress as I'd hoped, but that's mostly due to *cough* testing.

Got both Joysticks recognized and functioning
Got Player 2 buttons connected
Got trackball working and recognized in MAME
Figured out how to get both joysticks playable in Robotron
Kicked butt in Asteroids

Coin and Start 1/2 buttons... tomorrow! :D

Thanks all! :)
Rando - My build thread: http://forum.arcadecontrols.com/index.php?topic=107741.msg1142843#msg1142843 (work slowed but still progressing!

Encryptor

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Re: Rando's UAII cab progress - Building Control Panel! (Help!!)
« Reply #86 on: June 15, 2011, 05:03:23 am »
Nice work. The cp wiring wasn't that bad at all now was it.  ;D

Rando

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Re: Rando's UAII cab progress - Building Control Panel! (Help!!)
« Reply #87 on: June 15, 2011, 09:39:25 am »
Nice work. The cp wiring wasn't that bad at all now was it.  ;D

That's a good question, which I was trying to work out as I stayed up late into the third night in a row working on my control panel.

Is it rocket science?  No.
Is it easy and intuitive?  Not really.
Do I think at the end of the day that I'll have a CP and system working as intended? Yes.
Do I know that many other people that could/would tackle this successfully?  No.

Maybe its the fact that we're creating something from so many different parts, or my preference for printed directions vs locating things online, or my getting used to IKEA instructions where each step is clearly layed out with pictures so you can follow them regardless of understood language, but I can't classify this whole process as EASY.

The constructing of the cabinet was pretty straight forward, but I took the easy way out and ordered pre-cut pieces.  My woodworking skills are limited, just constructing the box for the CP gave me some issues.  I'm really really handy, but I'm not... precise.  I work better on big projects that I can correct/cover up with paint & spackle. ;)  This could be one of the most time consuming parts of this project, but for me it was not.  Thanks to my pre-cut UAII cab for that.

The PC gave me it's own issues where I had to swap out components which would have stopped most other people I know.  It gave me a fresh start for MAME and kept Windows XP uncluttered, but it was a headache and a roadblock that I didn't need.  Of course I spent $0 on this using existing components which is great, but again something that others I know wouldn't have been able to do.  Having built a few PC's in the past has proved amazingly useful to me in both my personal and professional life.  I know that many of you have done this so it doesn't seem like that big a deal, but most people that I know have 0 knowledge in this area.  This skill is a major advantage in this hobby I think.

Software setup was easier the second time around, I'm just dealing with MAMEUI at this point, and not MAME, MAMEUI, and MALA all at the same time, like I was before my PC died.  I initially tried to do too much at once and was trying to configure MALA before I confirmed that games and controls worked as intended in MAME.  After I get everything built and working as intended, I'll work to make the FrontEnd easier for users, incorporate Daphne and other emulators, make it more of a game machine rather than a PC in a big box with buttons thing, etc.

The control panel.   Cost more and taking longer than originally anticipated.  I did a lot of reading and research on this where I could, but at the end of the day I just winged it.  Part of the problem is there aren't definitive answers.  I'm looking to play oldschool games, so some of my components like the leaf buttons were influenced by that desire, but at the end of the day there's no wrong answer, which also means that there's no RIGHT answer.  I'm not sure which buttons to order, or joysticks to use, or size trackball to get.  For the layout of the CP you can copy others or make your own (what I did) but that's preference.  But the putting everything together, again, I lacked basic knowledge since I hadn't done anything like this before, and my interpretations of things that I read/saw weren't always correct.  One thing I've done which I'm happy with is the SIZE of the CP.  So many CP's that I see are HUGE and extend past the sides of the cabinet.  My cab is already big, so I just barely extend past the sides and only an inch or two in the front.

Regarding resources for this project, Saint's book is a great place to start, but of course it covers everything, and not just what I want to make personally.  Vendor sites provide information and schematics which are of course helpful, but this forum is the #1 thing that has helped me get to where I am so far.  Searching topics is great, but nothing beats posting a question and having it addressed, explained, and answered in just a few hours.

I now have a working 2 player system that incorporates two joysticks, a trackball, and 6 action buttons for each player.  That's awesome and has already exceeded my wife's expectations of me. ;)  Cleaning everything up, wrapping up loose ends, adding polish and graphics will make this a finished piece, will lead to a finished produect, which again will lean heavily on this board.

Good times!  :applaud:
Rando - My build thread: http://forum.arcadecontrols.com/index.php?topic=107741.msg1142843#msg1142843 (work slowed but still progressing!

Encryptor

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Re: Rando's UAII cab progress - Building Control Panel! (Help!!)
« Reply #88 on: June 15, 2011, 05:17:13 pm »

Rando

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Re: Rando's UAII cab progress - Building Control Panel! (Help!!)
« Reply #89 on: June 16, 2011, 01:34:20 pm »
Didn't make a lot of progress last night but got a couple things done:

- Connected the Start 1 Start 2 Player buttons to the mini-pac and got them functioning.  But didn't take the additional microswitch piece into consideration when drilling my holes so my buttons are two close together to wire properly.  Had to turn my Player 2 button sideways to allow me to connect to the mini-pac.  On the list of things to fix when I "re-do" my board.

- Connected the Coin 1 Coin 2 buttons to the mini-pac and got them functioning.  But have't connected the LED wires to the PC yet, so they function but don't yet light up.  Also have them resting on the CP at the moment because the harness wires are short so I'll have to extend those (as well as the ground daisy change) to enable the buttons to be moved to the coin door section of the cab.  They work, but looking sloppy.

- Tried to change the properties of my Ultrasticks through the Ultramap software to 4-way (for DK) and 4-way diagonal (for Qbert).  DK seemed to work okay, but couldn't even start QB as I guess I no longer had the left/right movement to bypass the white screen.  After using the left/right keyboard buttons I got the game to start, but QB wouldn't move, he just sat there at the top until some purple snakey thing mauled him.  Probably a simple fix such as modifying the input controls, but haven't worked that out yet.

Next steps:Extend the coin wires to enable them to move down
Construct a makeshift coin door (will just be flat wood at this point as it will be a test door the same as my test CP)
Wire the coin LEDs to get them lit up
Buy/tint plexiglass for screen, see how that looks and see if interior bezel needed
Move speakers from inside cab to marquee area
Have people test and expose issues with existing CP, make notes for future edition
Develop graphics

But since I now have a "working" system, everything above will be slowed due to additional "testing" session. :)
Rando - My build thread: http://forum.arcadecontrols.com/index.php?topic=107741.msg1142843#msg1142843 (work slowed but still progressing!

newmanfamilyvlogs

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Re: Rando's UAII cab progress - Building Control Panel! (Help!!)
« Reply #90 on: June 16, 2011, 01:57:49 pm »
.... had the left/right movement to bypass the white screen.

Dude.

Grab a different build of mame that has the No-Nag patch and Hi-Score support built in.

Groovymame here on the forums is a good choice. http://mame.groovy.org/0142/
MameUIFX isn't bad http://mame32fx.altervista.org/download.htm

Nephasth

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Re: Rando's UAII cab progress - Building Control Panel! (Help!!)
« Reply #91 on: June 16, 2011, 02:40:28 pm »
- Connected the Start 1 Start 2 Player buttons to the mini-pac and got them functioning.  But didn't take the additional microswitch piece into consideration when drilling my holes so my buttons are two close together to wire properly.  Had to turn my Player 2 button sideways to allow me to connect to the mini-pac.  On the list of things to fix when I "re-do" my board.

Can you rotate one button so both buttons have the microswitch contacts pointing away from each other? Then you could just take the plunger out of the button that is "upside down" and rotate it 180 degrees to bring back to "right side up".

Rando

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Re: Rando's UAII cab progress - Building Control Panel! (Help!!)
« Reply #92 on: June 16, 2011, 02:48:21 pm »
.... had the left/right movement to bypass the white screen.

Dude.

Grab a different build of mame that has the No-Nag patch and Hi-Score support built in.

Groovymame here on the forums is a good choice. http://mame.groovy.org/0142/
MameUIFX isn't bad http://mame32fx.altervista.org/download.htm
Thanks Cot,
I agree but you're ahead of where I think I want to be.  Right now things are working so I don't want to mess with the software until I get the Hardware finalized.  I had experimented with MALA before my PC died which I liked, and looked into the Hi-Score posts, but I'm still not exactly clear on what it means to "Compile MAME" so I'm ignoring those options/steps until I start looking at FE's again.

That's when I'll look to simplify the options for the users, add hi-score support, hide windows, etc.
Rando - My build thread: http://forum.arcadecontrols.com/index.php?topic=107741.msg1142843#msg1142843 (work slowed but still progressing!

Rando

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Re: Rando's UAII cab progress - Building Control Panel! (Help!!)
« Reply #93 on: June 16, 2011, 02:53:32 pm »
- Connected the Start 1 Start 2 Player buttons to the mini-pac and got them functioning.  But didn't take the additional microswitch piece into consideration when drilling my holes so my buttons are two close together to wire properly.  Had to turn my Player 2 button sideways to allow me to connect to the mini-pac.  On the list of things to fix when I "re-do" my board.

Can you rotate one button so both buttons have the microswitch contacts pointing away from each other? Then you could just take the plunger out of the button that is "upside down" and rotate it 180 degrees to bring back to "right side up".
Proooooooooobably...

Being that these were the first two microswitch buttons I've ever handled, I can't say that I could do that, but if you're suggesting it, I probably can? :)  Not a major issue now as there are some other design issues that I intend to fix with my future version, but I'll check to see if I can do what you're saying without snapping my button in half.

I was just happy to get the switch thingie attached to the button thingie without breaking those plastic prong thingies!  ;D
Rando - My build thread: http://forum.arcadecontrols.com/index.php?topic=107741.msg1142843#msg1142843 (work slowed but still progressing!

Nephasth

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Re: Rando's UAII cab progress - Building Control Panel! (Help!!)
« Reply #94 on: June 16, 2011, 03:11:41 pm »
To take the plunger out of the button body (microswitch must be removed), squeeze (gently) the feet "thingies" of the plunger together and push them into the holes. This is a little easier to do if you can push the spring back a little with a small tool. And when putting the plunger back in, only squeeze the feet back together just enough to get them to fit inside the button body.

newmanfamilyvlogs

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Re: Rando's UAII cab progress - Building Control Panel! (Help!!)
« Reply #95 on: June 16, 2011, 04:19:10 pm »
.... had the left/right movement to bypass the white screen.

Dude.

Grab a different build of mame that has the No-Nag patch and Hi-Score support built in.

Groovymame here on the forums is a good choice. http://mame.groovy.org/0142/
MameUIFX isn't bad http://mame32fx.altervista.org/download.htm
Thanks Cot,
I agree but you're ahead of where I think I want to be.  Right now things are working so I don't want to mess with the software until I get the Hardware finalized.  I had experimented with MALA before my PC died which I liked, and looked into the Hi-Score posts, but I'm still not exactly clear on what it means to "Compile MAME" so I'm ignoring those options/steps until I start looking at FE's again.

That's when I'll look to simplify the options for the users, add hi-score support, hide windows, etc.

Both of those are pre-compiled. I'd take a look at MameUIFX just for starters. Disable nag screen is just a checkbox in the options; no .INI editing.

Donkbaca

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Re: Rando's UAII cab progress - Building Control Panel! (Help!!)
« Reply #96 on: June 16, 2011, 04:23:04 pm »
Just compile your own, it is really, really simple with headkaze's compiler, there is even a sticky on it. I did it, I would help you do it.

Rando

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Re: Rando's UAII cab progress - Building Control Panel! (Help!!)
« Reply #97 on: June 16, 2011, 11:27:02 pm »
You guys are still ahead of me.  I'm still trying to connect buttons, no compile yet! :)

The good:
I cut up a network cable to extend the wires to my coin pushbuttons to enable them to reach the coin door section of my cabinet.  Buttons still work with the new wiring in place, awesome.

The bad:
The bottom part of the button where the LED wires connect is bigger than the threaded part, and I can't figure out how to remove the circular screw on piece so I can fit the threaded part through the hole for the part to fit in my temporary coin door.  I've got it wired and tested, but can't install it because I can't get the nut off.  I don't want to break it, what do I need to squeeze/twist to pull the button apart so I can get the nut off?

Ugh, two steps forward, one step back...

Bedtime.
Rando - My build thread: http://forum.arcadecontrols.com/index.php?topic=107741.msg1142843#msg1142843 (work slowed but still progressing!

Rando

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Re: Rando's UAII cab progress - Playable!
« Reply #98 on: June 20, 2011, 08:57:13 am »
Hey all,
Had a good weekend for testing where I had a bunch of family over for Father's day and the Cab got put through its paces a bit.  Players ranged from 10 year old kids to 40+ year old in-laws.  All went good, only issues raised were things that I'm in the process of repairing or adding.

Most popular game with the kids: TMNT
Most popular game with guys in the 20's: NBA JAM
Most pulart game with the older folks: Robotron

All was good, my Player 1/2 buttons are still crooked which I haven't fixed yet, people loved the pushbutton coin function, and I need to secure the current CP as it moves a bit so I need to lock that down even though this is a temp version.  But everything was great and everyone was amazed that I was able to create this object of wonder in my basement.  Sister-in-law wants one, her husband is not opposed.

Now I just need to make it look pretty and be user friendly!! :)  Thanks for help all!!!
Rando - My build thread: http://forum.arcadecontrols.com/index.php?topic=107741.msg1142843#msg1142843 (work slowed but still progressing!

Rando

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Re: Rando's UAII cab progress - Playable!
« Reply #99 on: July 13, 2011, 02:24:01 pm »
It's amazing how update progress stopped as soon as the unit becomes playable.

Most recent updates:
- Installed and setup MALA as Frontend
- Created "Top 100" list for most popular games that will want to be played, continuing to tweak this listing
- Downloaded/installed the "Gameroom" MALA layout and LOVE IT!  Exactly what I was looking for, looks perfect on a Gameroom cab and is easy for people to use

Still need to Compile and remove the nag screens, tighten my ball tops, solve some other minor issues, secure my speakers to marquee area, secure monitor, install plexiglas, design graphics, and then finally move towards creating a more finished looking CP and coin door. 

But a little more "Track and Field" first...
Rando - My build thread: http://forum.arcadecontrols.com/index.php?topic=107741.msg1142843#msg1142843 (work slowed but still progressing!

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Re: Rando's UAII cab progress - Playable!
« Reply #100 on: July 13, 2011, 04:48:12 pm »
It's amazing how update progress stopped as soon as the unit becomes playable.

+1


Rando

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Re: Rando's UAII cab progress - Playable!
« Reply #101 on: January 13, 2012, 10:35:09 am »
Done some work but realized that I haven't updated thread in a while or even posted pictures of functioning cab, sooo...

Finally got a hold of the marquee brackets and an under-counter light from Home Depot so I installed the Marquee pieces to check fit and look.  Might put some random graphics up there temporarily until I can figure out a permanent image.

The Control panel is working and I'm pretty happy with the layout.  Recently started trying some shooter games using the trackball instead of guns and like how that works, but I'm missing a second player.  Anyone add a second trackball for shooter purposes?

Control panel will eventually be black, with Red T-Molding around border, and some graphics on top.  Also plan to router around trackball to get that plastic protector hidden.  Regarding black paint for the control panel, any recommendations for type/finish to match the fairly flat black of the UAII cab?

Coin pushbuttons are working but in a test board obviously.  Board will be replaced with black/red and LEDs lit up at some point.

Speaker grills were pre-cut but I donít like the color of them since they are exposed wood and donít match the black of the rest of the cab.  At the least I plan to on putting some red tinted paper/wrap up there so they will emit a reddish glow instead. If that still doesnít look good I will likely paint the exposed wood parts black first.  Also need to secure a couple speakers up there.

Difficult to see but in front of the monitor is a clear piece of plexi with some shading attached to it.  Doesnít look great but doesnít look awful.  Inside is more visible than normal due to the camera flash and the fact that I still have the back of the cabinet open letting in light.  Iím happy with the screen though and depending on how much light gets in there, I donít know if Iíll need a bezel or not.  My center speaker is in there at present with volume knob, I need to move that and get the volume controllable from outside the cab.

Right now everything is tied to the same powerstrip so I flip the switch on the strip and everything turns on except the PC which I turn on manually.  I shutdown PC at the end and flip the switch to knock everything else off.  Not exactly newbie friendly, but Iím the only one powering the system on/off, so Iím okay with that method for now.  LCD Monitor connects displays PC image automatically after turn on which I was happy to discover.

So weíre working, are a bit ugly, but proceeding at my slooow pace!  ;D
Rando - My build thread: http://forum.arcadecontrols.com/index.php?topic=107741.msg1142843#msg1142843 (work slowed but still progressing!

flashlight

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Re: Rando's UAII cab progress - Playable!
« Reply #102 on: January 13, 2012, 11:07:34 am »
I think you need just a little bit more tint to the glass, maybe add another layer to the rear side of it. It  might just be the flash showing whats behind the tint.

I know i used a 20% light pass through for mine and its just about perfect to hide the lcd and hide fact i dont have a real bezel underneath

otherwise looks good! but i agree once it gets playable its hard to keep working at it. Im trying to keep myself from making mine playable till its done!