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Author Topic: Afcade (working title)  (Read 9449 times)

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EssexMame

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Afcade (working title)
« on: January 11, 2013, 03:29:17 pm »
I finally think I'm ready to stop dreaming and start building! I've ALWAYS had a love of arcade, computer and console games. I (like us all?) was always blown away by the sights and sounds of the (too few) visits to the seaside arcades (and later, for a short time, one in my home town - oh the joy). From then on (again, I expect like us all).

I wanted an arcade machine in my bedroom! Space Invaders, Pac Man, Out Run, Galaga, R-Type... and many more. There's the problem (aside from the massive cost when I only had a paper round) - what one? Where would it actually fit? What when you tired of the one you'd bought? I needed one machine with many games. Playstation's helped but I still dreamed of my own cabinet. I expect I always would.

Now.. I have some space. I came across Mame and onto this website and many others - I'd never expected to find so many with the same interest but, then, of course I would - the arcades were heaven and we all wanted one. There's the problem - so many awesome designs, so much to learn and read, so many games to distract me.... Where would I start..

And then... the Project Arcade 2 (second edition) by the man they call Saint (perhaps it should be God) for Christmas. It helped to structure all I'd been reading, in easy logical steps, and gave me some confidence I could build it (with no DiY skill at all) and here I go... I hope!!

I've taken out some of my grander ideas for phase 2 (or 17) such as modular control panels, driving controls (though Out Run alone will tempt me to add them someday).

I'll use an old PC and LCD 19" (as I have them), a 2 Mag Stik Plus setup (4/8 way switchable from the top) and 6 buttons on each. A trackball and/or spinner in the centre (I know not yet which) with a MiniPac (or is iPac2/OptiPac the better choice?)

So, I start with the control panel. I can then setup all the PC and test my design that way before moving on with confidence (or not) to the cabinet.

I LOVE Kneivels Evolution cabinet - http://forum.arcadecontrols.com/index.php?topic=70519.0 -  Lovely! A smaller thinner form (LCD) cabinet, with all I need for this phase. It looks great, I'm hoping I can make something similar (though not as good looking I'm sure with my at best untested woodworking skills). Still, there's always phase 2 with modular controls and rotating screen or the sit down driving cabinet I'm already dreaming of :-)

So, wish me luck, and any comments or advice will ALWAYS be appreciated....

Jumpman64

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Re: Afcade (working title)
« Reply #1 on: January 11, 2013, 04:06:53 pm »
Good luck!

Felsir

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Afcade (working title)
« Reply #2 on: January 12, 2013, 05:56:07 pm »
Good luck!

A for the spinner/trackball controls- if you have space and budget try fitting both. If you have fond memories of real spinner games (Tempest, Arkanoid) a spinner is a great thing to have. Much debated: a trackball can function as a spinner, a spinner cannot emulate a trackball. If you do a forum search on spinner vs trackball you will find many arguments for both. So space on the CP , budget and what games you really want to play may help you decide.


EssexMame

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Re: Afcade (working title)
« Reply #3 on: January 14, 2013, 09:37:10 am »
Thanks Jumpman & Felsir!

I intend to fit a trackball and spinner (of course dependant on space but should be fine - spinner above the trackball). I remember (and played Arkanoid). Never Tempest oddly, though I think I'll have a go as everyone mentions it :-) Trackball for games like golden tee for sure, though I remember Combat School on that too (if memory serves).

For the control panel, I've done a cardboard template but any ideas on the normal size? The LUSid plan overlaps and ideally I'd like to be within the width of the cabinet (or is that too little?)

I'm planning on using the LUSiD cabinet plans, but slimming them down as I'll be using an LCD and don't need all the depth (I'll keep some so its stable - though how to determine that I don't yet know!)

Does anyone know where is the best place for controls to the UK? I've started an order on Gremlin Solutions, but it soon adds up with VAT and postage and so on. I expect Ultimarc (and other US) will be more with import and customs/VAT also though.

Has anyone any idea of a steering wheel (full-size ish) that fits as a spinner top? It seems like something people would want.


yotsuya

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EssexMame

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Re: Afcade (working title)
« Reply #5 on: January 14, 2013, 09:54:22 am »
Thanks Yotsuya. It's sort of what I'm looking for, but 7" doesn't seem very big (I'm not bragging!) for a steering wheel - I'm looking for something closer to full size I guess, like an Out Run cabinet. This may be a good second option though, so thanks!

monkeychunkuk

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Afcade (working title)
« Reply #6 on: January 14, 2013, 10:40:00 am »
Good luck with tour build im about to start my second,whats your plans for art work?



EssexMame

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Re: Afcade (working title)
« Reply #7 on: January 14, 2013, 11:15:44 am »
On artwork, I've no idea yet. I'm no artist, so I expect to buy some off-the-shelf marquees and sideart as well as something on the control panel. Vague I know - not really an idea yet, will add it at the end and so much to do yet!

Seith

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Re: Afcade (working title)
« Reply #8 on: January 14, 2013, 01:11:59 pm »
On artwork, I've no idea yet. I'm no artist, so I expect to buy some off-the-shelf marquees and sideart as well as something on the control panel. Vague I know - not really an idea yet, will add it at the end and so much to do yet!

You know, I too struggled for the longest time over how the artwork was going to look.  Like, i'm talking YEARS.  I didn't claim to have any more skill at design and art than the next guy did.

I figured those grade-school art books that preach "simple straight lines and circles" to start with couldn't be wrong, so I went with that, and after a few hours came up with something I was happy with.  And really, it is quite literally just some straight lines and curves.  I didn't go all "super-detailed 16 million color guy in a spacesuit shooting aliens with a 50's laser blaster" or anything, just something simple and with bright colors that pop out.

Some good resources for inspiration and ideas are of course the arcade art library (i don't have the link) but less-suggested yet just-as-helpful can be stencil sites.  I frequent http://www.reddit.com/r/stenciltemplates just to get an idea of how art can use negative space to kind of "draw lines using your head" in a way.  After all, a lot of the original cabs from back in the day were stencilled on the sides.

Drnick

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Re: Afcade (working title)
« Reply #9 on: January 14, 2013, 03:23:13 pm »
Does anyone know where is the best place for controls to the UK? I've started an order on Gremlin Solutions, but it soon adds up with VAT and postage and so on. I expect Ultimarc (and other US) will be more with import and customs/VAT also though.


Ummm,  Ultimarc is a UK company  :) :) :) :) :)  Just change the currency to GB Pounds.

I must be fairly local to you, Basildon myself. I got my joysticks etc from Ultracabs (also essex based).



yotsuya

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Re: Afcade (working title)
« Reply #10 on: January 14, 2013, 03:35:37 pm »
So what is the meaning behind the working title?
***Build what you dig, bro. Build what you dig.***

EssexMame

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Re: Afcade (working title)
« Reply #11 on: January 16, 2013, 11:20:07 am »
Seith - that's really helpful, thanks! Straight lines and circles I may be able to cope with. I saw the "Wannercade" post today and that artwork is simple and effective. Something like that will do perfectly I think. I still think I'll build the cabinet, install the PC and get stuck playing games for a couple of years before I ever do the artwork though :-)

Yotsuya - the Afcade working title is "AFC" (Arsenal Football Club) and "(c)ade" which most projects seem to have as the suffix for an arcade cabinet :-) My colour scheme for joysticks buttons is red/white so the Arsenal part was where I started.

Drnick - I'm close - just down the road in the new city. thanks for pointing out Ultimarc is uk - I'd assumed USA as it defaulted to US Dollars (though I had seen the GBP option). I should've probably checked the shipping pages. More information on the Gremlin site so I guess I'll go with them as I'll be more certain I'm buying the right stuff/ sizes /cabling etc. Ultimarc doesn't even seem to tell me the button hole sizes for some of the buttons! Ultracabs looks good too - have you ordered stuff from them? Do they even have a shop/warehouse I can visit?


EssexMame

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Re: Afcade (working title)
« Reply #12 on: January 16, 2013, 11:31:05 am »
Seems to be www.arcadeartlibrary.com Seith and I love the stencil art - very Banksy style.. May incorporate a simple black/white side art like that. With the colour on the buttons and marquee.. I'm sure they'll be hundreds of options before I do anything though. I'd not even planned on looking yet, but your info and links has me intrigued (and also easier to research at work where the game-type sites (even ultracabs but not the main page ?!) are blocked ;-))

Drnick

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Re: Afcade (working title)
« Reply #13 on: January 16, 2013, 12:45:22 pm »
I got my joysticks/buttons/xinmo from Ultracabs,  unfortunately they don't have somewhere to see that I know of.  Shipping was quick, quality was good for the price they cost.  I think if I do it again I may go with better sticks/buttons and use an Ipac which would mean ultimarc or Gremlin :)

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Re: Afcade (working title)
« Reply #14 on: January 17, 2013, 01:51:03 am »
More information on the Gremlin site so I guess I'll go with them as I'll be more certain I'm buying the right stuff/ sizes /cabling etc. Ultimarc doesn't even seem to tell me the button hole sizes for some of the buttons!

If there's anything from Ultimarc you aren't sure about, just ask here and someone will chime in with the info or a link.

For arcade-style buttons, assume the size is 1-1/8" unless otherwise specified.
(Sometimes it's easy for long-time sellers to forget that not everyone already knows stuff like this.)


Scott

EssexMame

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Re: Afcade (working title)
« Reply #15 on: January 18, 2013, 07:51:16 am »
I've ordered stuff from Gremlin in the end:

one mag stik plus
one mag stik (both red tops and taking a slight risk they are the same design (just different 4/8 way switching mechanisms))
6 red buttons
6 white buttons (each control will have a row of red and row of white - it 3+3 on each side)
1P start button
2P start button
mini-PAC

The control panel is designed and modelled in cardboard so I want to Its 26" wide, the P1 and P2 taking 8" each leaving 10" centrally for trackball and spiiner.

Its 26" wide (as my cabinet will be, plus width of side panels of course) as I want it integrated into the cabinet (with a view to a modular control panel later). I expect to hold it in place with dowling rods. Later, the 10" central section will be removable and a steering wheel etc could fit there instead. That's all phase 2, but wanted to get the design to allow it to happen

The 1P start will act as "shift" and esc/other control keys will be P1 4/5/6 keys to unclutter the control panel. The 1P and 2P start will be on a 6" high section under the monitor - i.e. vertical, facing the players. This may change though, so advice appreciated.

The cabinet itself is designed (of sorts) taking inspiration from "Lusid" and "Woody" - effectively combining the 2 to give a slimline LCD cabinet but with a little more depth so I can be sure it supports itself and also the 12" deep control panel I'm going with. 25" IIRC is the depth of the cabinet as a whole.

EssexMame

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Re: Afcade (working title)
« Reply #16 on: January 23, 2013, 06:58:42 am »
The controls should be with me next week! Gremlin were out of stock of the red top Mag Stik Plus, but expect it Monday, maybe Friday. Excited!!

I've got the control panel mapped out in cardboard too - ready to plug the buttons in.

Spent the weekend looking at Wood in Wickes and B&Q. Will probably buy from a yard, but wanted to get a visual idea on what I'm looking to get. Surprised by how think 18mm is, but advice on strength is good. I also got a 28mm drill bit to do the control panel.

Sorted people I can borrow circular saw/jigsaw/router and so on from.

Next up is clearing up the garage to make space to do it all!

Drnick

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Re: Afcade (working title)
« Reply #17 on: January 24, 2013, 08:14:23 am »
Make sure to use Breathing apparatus when cutting/routing the mdf, and definitely keep a shop vac, Henry, or oldschool Vax handy for sucking the dust up as its being created.

EssexMame

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Re: Afcade (working title)
« Reply #18 on: January 25, 2013, 11:58:08 am »
Gremlin have posted my order !!!! Is it normal to be this excited ?!?!

EssexMame

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Re: Afcade (working title)
« Reply #19 on: January 29, 2013, 05:56:11 am »
Grrrrrrrr. I got "we tried to deliver your parcel but you were out card" which was expected as I was at work all day.

Still annoying though as had I got the parcel I'd have had the evening, with the wife out, to try out the new joysticks and buttons on a cardboard mockup. It's quite scary how excited I am by all this.

At least I can collect it after work tonight and have something real outside of the emulators on the PC to move closer to arcade nirvana.


Jumpman64

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Re: Afcade (working title)
« Reply #20 on: January 29, 2013, 09:10:35 am »
Ah, man, I hate when that happens!   :badmood:

Yvan256

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Re: Afcade (working title)
« Reply #21 on: January 29, 2013, 10:37:01 am »
Waiting for parts to arrive is always exciting, it's like Christmas!

EssexMame

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Re: Afcade (working title)
« Reply #22 on: January 29, 2013, 11:27:51 am »
Yes, the best Christmas EVER!

When they arrive but no one is in to take the parcel it's like getting a great Christmas present but then having to visit the grandparents for Christmas dinner and not getting to play with it until Boxing Day :D

Drnick

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Re: Afcade (working title)
« Reply #23 on: January 29, 2013, 03:38:33 pm »
I got the same thing today, my T-molding and cutter etc. arrives from the States nobody in to accept delivery.  Then my joysticks and art arrive, once again no one in to accept delivery.  I did tell them all to try my neighbours, but hey what can you do.  I guess its trips to DHL and the post-office for me tomorrow.  PM me if you need to borrow a slot cutter, I will probably have about 20Ft of red Tmolding spare as well :laugh2:

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Re: Afcade (working title)
« Reply #24 on: January 29, 2013, 04:17:27 pm »
I'll remember that - I was going red or chrome and I've no idea about slot cutters yet

EssexMame

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Re: Afcade (working title)
« Reply #25 on: January 30, 2013, 07:11:28 am »
My (hasty) mocked up control panel now the controls have arrived. Its 26" wide. 8" for each player, 10" in the centre for space for players (and trackball/spinner/possible modular steering wheel later). Its 13" deep (though could be 12" I expect).

I might make it 28" as the joysticks feel too close to the edge and I still want 10" centrally. The CP will be within the width of the cabinet, so my cabinet will therefore be 28" (+ 2 x 3/4" for the side panel thickness)

What do you think of the layout? red top/white bottom or red/white alternate?

Also, on the mag stik - how does it install? silver panel on top (and then covered) or silver panel underneath (and if so, how do you feed joystick/dust cover through - does the bat top come off to do this?


Drnick

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Re: Afcade (working title)
« Reply #26 on: January 30, 2013, 09:29:55 am »
I would go Red one side and White the other (Pretty much what I am doing except in red and black).

As for the stick there are many ways of skinning that particular cat :)  I mounted mine underneath by routing out a recess, inserting some threaded inserts (I still have a bunch as bought 50 of them) and then bolted them in from underneath. It makes the sticks a little shorter but that wasn't really an issue.  as for the handle yes that should come off (Probably held on with a C clip or something at the bottom). You should be able to find a diagram of how it goes together around here somewhere.

Found it - http://retroblast.arcadecontrols.com/reviews/joysticks/ultimarc_magstikplus_part1.html

Basically remove the nut from the bottom and the entire shaft pops out.  On a side note I Picked up the artwork from post office and Joystick/Buttons (One missing  :hissy: I have contacted Andy already regarding this).
« Last Edit: January 30, 2013, 02:12:35 pm by Drnick »

EssexMame

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Re: Afcade (working title)
« Reply #27 on: February 06, 2013, 11:27:15 am »
Thanks for that DrNick. I'd looked after your first comment and unscrewed it. The Mag Stik Plus was a little tricky to put back together but I got there in the end :-)

just need a free weekend now to setup a dummy panel. Something I can use but not necessarily the final version. I've some chipboard lying about, 18mm  thick, that I'll use for this.

Look forward to seeing your artwork all setup!


EssexMame

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Re: Afcade (working title)
« Reply #28 on: February 11, 2013, 06:54:08 am »
Another pretty non-productive weekend. I have laid out my plans on graph paper, and have even put one side panel into sketchup (hopefully now I'm starting to understand it I will be able to do the others fairly quickly!

The design is essentially Lusid, but with 6-8" taken off the depth. I've also extended the marquee area forward slightly, and I'm yet decided on having a sloping back at the top, or straight up to the top at 90 degrees.

Anyway, I'll post my sketchup as soon as I'm done.

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Re: Afcade (working title)
« Reply #29 on: February 11, 2013, 08:08:48 am »
Nay mind lad :) Non productive weekends are the norm around these parts.  I am still waiting on the T-molding/Cutter to arrive. It was something else I had ordered that arrived the other day.  The printers can't do my Control panel as their printer has broken down.  So like you a non productive weekend all round. 

EssexMame

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Re: Afcade (working title)
« Reply #30 on: February 11, 2013, 10:29:03 am »
What is the link to your project page DrNick?

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Re: Afcade (working title)
« Reply #31 on: February 11, 2013, 12:38:43 pm »

EssexMame

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Re: Afcade (working title)
« Reply #32 on: February 14, 2013, 01:34:52 pm »
I've spent some time today finalizing on graph paper (the first edition at least) the cabinet design. It's basically LUSID, but with a thinner look (towards Woody) and also an integrated control panel not a box.

I've even gone as far as making a quick cardboard model and I'm fairly pleased with the results.

Some progress on sketchup, but think it'll be a few more hours before I'm truly au fait with that software. I have most of the components drawn out, but snapping them together is proving frustrating.

Now off for a romantic meal - I'll need all the brownie points I can get for the time I'll be spending making this thing!

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Re: Afcade (working title)
« Reply #33 on: February 18, 2013, 05:01:13 am »
Not a lot done again this weekend. I've borrowed a circular saw, jigsaw, workbench and clamps from a friend so I'm ready to go when I get the time.

Sorted my Mame list in Romlister so that it only has joystick/trackball games. The driving/shooting games I want can come later when I've done that part (phase 2?).

Hoping to take a day off this week where I'll do my control panel with some chipboard I have. Only as an initial mockup/cut test but will probably get it working so I can use it/test it with Mame et al.

Malenko

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Re: Afcade (working title)
« Reply #34 on: February 18, 2013, 12:26:23 pm »
AFKade is a funnier name.  Just because its an arcade machine, you dont have to put the word cade in there. Most people gripe about it, Ive only done it once ShoRyuKade and kinda on Mortal Kabinet.
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Re: Afcade (working title)
« Reply #35 on: February 18, 2013, 12:32:17 pm »
6000th post Malenko! :o

Malenko

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Re: Afcade (working title)
« Reply #36 on: February 18, 2013, 01:09:33 pm »
6000th post Malenko! :o

what a waste of it too , lol

This was #5,000:
http://forum.arcadecontrols.com/index.php?topic=115363.0

long time between milestones, I need to Chad it up some more.
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Re: Afcade (working title)
« Reply #37 on: February 25, 2013, 07:43:26 am »
Finally got some time on the cabinet this weekend. Well, for some practice woodworking and mock up control panel at least!

I had a sheet of old loft floor chipboard, 3/4" thick so I thought I'd run some cuts through that, to get used to the tools. It didn't go so bad either. One side sloped off slightly as I overreached (how do you cut a larger length without reaching, hold the tool from the side?). It wasn't too bad (it doesn't really show in the image), but comes in 1/2-3/4" so too much for the main thing. Still 3 out of 4 straight sides isn't bad for a first effort :-). I used a circular saw and workbench I borrowed from a mate (he'd sawn part of his workbench off so I wasn't too anxious about damaging the equipment - he'd done a decent job of that ;-)). Sawing was easier than I expected and I'm now more confident I can actually do this.

The hole drilling went well, though it did 'pop' through at the bottom I was aware I need to use another sheet of wood underneath to stop this happening (I just didn't have any for this try and it's only a mockup so not too worried about that). It wouldn't show anyway and could be touched up with woodfiller in the real event.

So, this is (one side) of my control panel on chipboard. The centre will be trackball (not yet ordered) and possibly a spinner with steering wheel top (also not ordered/decided on yet). The right side will be more of the same (JS and 6 buttons). The P1/P2 will go on the underside monitor bezel, vertically facing the players. The joystick is screwed in underneath, but not recessed (I have no router and don't even know what bit does this yet) so the stick is slightly short but I'll recess in the real thing anyway.

Oh, I also sorted a monitor too - HP LP2065. It's 20"-1600x1200 and perfect for what I need now and in the future (tilt/swivel/rotate 90 degrees, VESA so I'm ready to go on any rotation I try in a later phase). I've also not got an annoying "out of range" error I was getting ad-hoc on the old monitors that resolved on a reboot (or 3) but appeared random - I'd certainly not changed settings but perhaps MALA/MAME was.

Next up? I'm going to put some sides on the CP with some wood I've cut and dowel rods (much as I'll attach to the cabinet itself, inside the side panels). How do you drill a hole to a certain depth with a drill? I'd want to go less than 3/4 inch so I don't pop out the top of the control panel but don't see how you do that so accurately, aside from guessing as you drill...

Drnick

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Re: Afcade (working title)
« Reply #38 on: February 25, 2013, 02:09:09 pm »
First thing to do is to build a sawboard.  see the following thread. 

http://forum.arcadecontrols.com/index.php/topic,43568.0.html

That should help you keep a nice straight line on the longer cuts.  Just make sure that the sawboard is longer then whatever the longest piece you feel you would cut should be.

As for the drilling to a certain depth,  Your drill may be fitted with a stop guide, but that is normally for drilling a certain depth into a wall so probably no use for this.  In which case you want some drill collars

http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/22PC-TAPERED-DRILL-COUNTER-SINK-BIT-WOOD-PILOT-HOLE-STOP-COLLAR-ADJUSTABLE-/261173393071?pt=UK_Crafts_Other_Crafts_EH&hash=item3ccf25b6af
or
http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/DRILL-DEPTH-COLLARS-Set-of-5-6-8-10-and-12mm-FREE-POST-/251222824034?pt=UK_BOI_Building_Materials_Supplies_Carpentry_Woodwork_ET&hash=item3a7e0c1462

EssexMame

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Re: Afcade (working title)
« Reply #39 on: February 26, 2013, 07:32:27 am »
Hmmm. Not sure I follow the sawboard instructions too well. Is it 2 bits of wood screwed together - 1 the "guide" edge and the other underneath, sawn to the width of my saw so the saw then runs against the guide and the blade against the edge of the under piece as well as the wood you are cutting (along a pencil line)? So the sawboard sits ON TOP of the MDF for the cabinet, clamped and lined up to the line I am cutting?

The article talks of a saw guide/saw fence. Though it is fiddly, I'm sure for my first project this should do - just an edge to hold the saw against as I saw?

I figure I will also get 2 or 3 cuts when I buy the MDF - basically my long cuts - so I will have the height of the cabinet done already, it is only the width cuts, shaping and other smaller panels I will have to do.

Thanks for info on the collars, I've ordered a set of them. My drill might have something (it does have a plastic ruler guide which perhaps helps too?) but these seem easier/simpler.

  
 

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