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Author Topic: *SCRATCH BUILD* Slim Cab - 32" LCD - (99.9%) COMPLETE! (for now...)  (Read 30361 times)

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a1pharm

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So I've been lurking on this forum for a long time now, and I decided to take the plunge and build a cabinet.  I initially thought using a CRT would be the way to go, but decided that over time, a slim cab would be a better choice for my living situation, and thus went the LCD route.  This cab will reside in my basement/ rec room, and I intend for it to double as a media station, as well as a TV.  This cab will likely eventually house all of my old Nintendo consoles as well (NES, SNES, N64, and Wii).  I intend to place these behind the coin door panel, and may have to do some creative tinkering to make it happen.

Stay tuned! :cheers:
« Last Edit: November 14, 2013, 08:29:44 pm by a1pharm »

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Re: *SCRATCH BUILD* Slim Cab - 32" LCD - "X-Men Theme"
« Reply #1 on: January 15, 2013, 10:28:59 am »
I had to buy a number of tools in order to build this cab to the quality standard I want.  I have never used a router, and have not used a variable speed jigsaw before.  In summary, I'm a complete woodworking noob!

I will detail some of my learning moments with using these new tools, in hopes that it will help other people who have never used them before.

Here's the tool list I'll be using to build this thing:

Plunge router (make sure you get a plunge router, it makes things A LOT easier!) - 1 and 3/4 HP - $55 new
Variable speed jig saw - $25 new
Drywall 48" T-square - $12 new
Spring clamps (5) - $1/each
3 locking clamps - already owned
2 Sawhorses - $30 (had to assemble w/ 2x4's myself - cheapest route)
Protracter w/ slide - $3.27
Assorted router bits - $13.60
Flush Trim router bit (1/2" diameter, 1/4" shank, 1" length, triple flute, bearing) - $15.58
1 1/8" Spade drill bit - $5.67 (for drilling button holes in control panel)
Slot cutter for router (3-wing, .062" (1/16") Slotting Cutter, Whiteside# 6700A) - $12.97
Arbor for slot cutter (holds the cutting wheel) - $7.64
Cordless 18v drill - already had
Shop vacs (necessary when building indoors) - already had
3 ft Level - already had

Also used lots of graph paper, pencils, sharpeners, rulers, erasers, and other small hand tools most people should have around the house.

I'll post pics of the tools this evening or tomorrow morning.

Louis Tully

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Re: *SCRATCH BUILD* Slim Cab - 32" LCD - "X-Men Theme"
« Reply #2 on: January 15, 2013, 10:40:45 am »
.
« Last Edit: February 12, 2015, 03:15:02 pm by Louis Tully »

a1pharm

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Re: *SCRATCH BUILD* Slim Cab - 32" LCD - "X-Men Theme"
« Reply #3 on: January 15, 2013, 10:56:33 am »
I am going to use the X-Men style from the 1992 cartoon to adorn the cab, and my wife agrees this will look great.

I have the first side of the cab cut, just waiting on my flush trim bit to arrive in the mail before I cut the other side.

Pics to follow soon  ;D
« Last Edit: January 15, 2013, 10:44:27 pm by a1pharm »

a1pharm

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Re: *SCRATCH BUILD* Slim Cab - 32" LCD - "X-Men Theme"
« Reply #4 on: January 15, 2013, 10:49:13 pm »
Here are some tool pictures

a1pharm

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Re: *SCRATCH BUILD* Slim Cab - 32" LCD - "X-Men Theme"
« Reply #5 on: January 15, 2013, 10:51:34 pm »
Here's my work area.  I'm building this in my basement during the cold and very long Wisconsin winter.  In my next post, I'll show you what I built in order to keep MDF dust at bay (it actually works pretty good!)
« Last Edit: January 15, 2013, 10:57:16 pm by a1pharm »

a1pharm

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Re: *SCRATCH BUILD* Slim Cab - 32" LCD - "X-Men Theme"
« Reply #6 on: January 15, 2013, 10:56:48 pm »
Here is my contraption/method for keeping routered dust from getting everywhere in my basement (and the furnace, which would pump this dust everywhere in the house).

I attached a small shopvac to my router.  The router I bought has a dust collection area.  The inside diameter of this plastic collector is the same as the outside dimension of the small shopvac's hose.  When I plug them together, and turn the vac on, the router spits dust into the collector, which is whisked away by the vac!

But how do you keep the vac from falling over, or getting in the way while routering?  Put it on a track, and suspend that track from the ceiling, of course!  :applaud:

Now, whenever I move the router, the vac moves with it (the power cables are also appropriately handled). 

This contraption is not necessary, but makes working indoors much easier  8)

a1pharm

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Re: *SCRATCH BUILD* Slim Cab - 32" LCD - "X-Men Theme"
« Reply #7 on: January 15, 2013, 11:04:03 pm »
Here's the blueprint I created for my cab, it is simple, but draws a lot of inspiration from Martijn's http://forum.arcadecontrols.com/index.php/topic,112721.0.html cab.

Notice the angles of the monitor area, and CP area.  The monitor will be tilted back at least 15 degrees (to 75 degrees off 90), and will likely be recessed 1.5 inches.  I am not sure if I will make a bezel, or just paint over the backside of some plexi.

Also notice that my CP will not be built in a box, and then placed on the cab; it will be built right into the cab.  I also will have a drawer slide out from the angled area under the CP (this will house a keyboard and mouse).

I am still not sure what I will do to utilize the space behind the coin box area.  I want that area to house my old consoles, but I am still debating how best to achieve this, while still providing a visually striking cab.

If you have suggestions :D/questions ???, please let me know!

EDIT: after I installed my subwoofer, PC, coin mechs, and modded Wii, there just isnt any more space left to put additional consoles.  I've abandoned placing them behind the coin door, as I simply don't have room.  I ordered some USB controllers that mimic the NES, SNES, and N64 controllers.  We'll see if those can properly emulate the original experience.
« Last Edit: March 16, 2013, 04:53:00 pm by a1pharm »

a1pharm

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Re: *SCRATCH BUILD* Slim Cab - 32" LCD - "X-Men Theme"
« Reply #8 on: January 15, 2013, 11:12:21 pm »
Here's the display for my baby, a Sceptre 1080p 32" LCD 60 Hz HDTV (X325BV-FHD).  I got this off of amazon.com used for $207.70 w/ shipping.

The sound system is relatively mediocre, but this is by design.  I intend to use the digital audio out on the computer I will use.  This will allow me to plug the cab into my 5 channel surround system in my basement/rec room.  Just imagine how awesome all that waka waka waka is going to sound  :laugh2:

The speaker system I'm using is the 2.1 channel Logitech Z313.  It has remote volume/power controls and a headphone jack.

a1pharm

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Re: *SCRATCH BUILD* Slim Cab - 32" LCD - "X-Men Theme"
« Reply #9 on: January 15, 2013, 11:15:26 pm »
Here is a pic of one side of my cab.  I'm waiting for my router's flush trim bit to arrive via mail before I cut the other side of the cab.  I'll try to take more pictures of the process.  I got carried away while drawing the plan to the board, rough cutting, then routering, and forgot to take pictures.

I'll try not to let that happen again  :cheers:

Martijn

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Re: *SCRATCH BUILD* Slim Cab - 32" LCD - "X-Men Theme"
« Reply #10 on: January 16, 2013, 07:26:47 am »
Good luck, keep in mind that the space between the control panel and the angeled side of the front is very little. Dont use to long pushbuttons or sticks

a1pharm

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Re: *SCRATCH BUILD* Slim Cab - 32" LCD - "X-Men Theme"
« Reply #11 on: January 16, 2013, 08:44:06 am »
Good luck, keep in mind that the space between the control panel and the angeled side of the front is very little. Dont use to long pushbuttons or sticks

The vertical aspect to the front of the cab, below where the CP will go is 2 5/8" (66.7 mm) tall.  From what I could find, this is adequate for most buttons/sticks (if it's not from your experience, let me know!)   ???

Did you use standard height buttons, or special ones?

I also intend for the CP to be pushed back 1.5" into the monitor area, so this should give me about 8.5" x 30" of space for my buttons/sticks and trackball, and the overhang will provide a comfortable wrist rest.  I don't want to build a Frankenpanel, and these dimensions will enable me to accomplish what I want.

P.S. Thanks Martijn, for posting your slim build, if you didn't, I'm pretty sure my design would be ugly  :cheers:

PL1

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Re: *SCRATCH BUILD* Slim Cab - 32" LCD - "X-Men Theme"
« Reply #12 on: January 17, 2013, 01:13:39 am »
The vertical aspect to the front of the cab, below where the CP will go is 2 5/8" (66.7 mm) tall.  From what I could find, this is adequate for most buttons/sticks (if it's not from your experience, let me know!)   ???
You should be good on buttons.  If you aren't sure, Ultimarc's Goldleafs are REALLY short and have a great feel.

Since you haven't mentioned what sticks you're using, I hope you aren't planning on using Happ Supers -- depending on the angle, you've got close to or less than zero clearance for them and you may need to use your router to make some extra space.

LS-32/Zippyy sticks will fit just fine.

Others . . .  :dunno


Scott

a1pharm

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Re: *SCRATCH BUILD* Slim Cab - 32" LCD - "X-Men Theme"
« Reply #13 on: January 17, 2013, 05:40:23 pm »
Thanks for the tips, Scott.  :cheers: I don't have any experience in the way of what sticks work best, so I may ask for more specific advice as the CP build gets closer.  Also, as long as I don't put the sticks right up to the lip of the cab's forward wall, I have much more depth, which will hopefully be able to accomodate anything.

Also, my tri-fluted flush trim bit came today, along with my slot cutter and 1 1/8 drill bit!  I am cutting out the second half of my cab today, and might use the slot cutter, too.  I'll see how far I get!
« Last Edit: January 17, 2013, 05:43:38 pm by a1pharm »

a1pharm

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Re: *SCRATCH BUILD* Slim Cab - 32" LCD - "X-Men Theme"
« Reply #14 on: January 17, 2013, 05:48:27 pm »
So I intend to laminate this cab, and use 3/4" T-molding.  I have a few laminate samples coming on Saturday, and hopefully my T-molding samples will arrive quickly, too.

That said, I did not use clamps to hold the sides together; instead, I just screwed them together.  I don't mind of the faces of the sides have a few very small screw holes, as I'm just covering it up anyways.  Having the sides screwed together meant there was NO shifting while I was using the flush trim bit to carve out the second half.  I had less than 1mm worth of wiggle room, and could not afford even the slightest movement.

If you intend to laminate your cab, using screws makes life easier.  8)

Here are the pics:
« Last Edit: January 17, 2013, 09:47:15 pm by a1pharm »

a1pharm

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Re: *SCRATCH BUILD* Slim Cab - 32" LCD - "X-Men Theme"
« Reply #15 on: January 17, 2013, 05:50:05 pm »
Identical sides, hooray!   :applaud:

I am very impressed with this router, I don't know if I could build this thing without it!

a1pharm

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Re: *SCRATCH BUILD* Slim Cab - 32" LCD - "X-Men Theme"
« Reply #16 on: January 20, 2013, 11:07:14 am »
So I haven't had a whole lot of time recently to hammer out additional work on the cab, but have spent a lot of time thinking about it.  I am hung up on one aspect of my design.  The panel that the coin door will attach to (will be for decoration only, no mech) will somehow open to reveal an array of my old consoles.  I have a few ideas to make this happen, but am struggling with designing a way for this to happen without making the panel look like a door.  If anyone has any suggestions, please let me know.   ???

(I've attached a shoddy mspaint drawing showing the part of the cab I'm talking about.)

Felsir

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Re: *SCRATCH BUILD* Slim Cab - 32" LCD - "X-Men Theme"
« Reply #17 on: January 20, 2013, 11:28:51 am »
We have this IKEA drawer in the kitchen:
http://www.ikea.com/us/en/catalog/products/S39869669/
When it is closed you don't even see it is a cabinet. The drawer itself is very solid. I believe you can get spare parts from IKEA so you can use that mechanism.


a1pharm

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Re: *SCRATCH BUILD* Slim Cab - 32" LCD - "X-Men Theme"
« Reply #18 on: January 20, 2013, 11:35:12 am »
We have this IKEA drawer in the kitchen:
http://www.ikea.com/us/en/catalog/products/S39869669/
When it is closed you don't even see it is a cabinet. The drawer itself is very solid. I believe you can get spare parts from IKEA so you can use that mechanism.

I hadn't thought about using a drawer-like mechanism, that may work great, thanks for the idea  :applaud:

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Re: *SCRATCH BUILD* Slim Cab - 32" LCD - "X-Men Theme"
« Reply #19 on: January 21, 2013, 03:17:05 pm »
if you use that big a lcd and have almost the same width as mine,  keep in mind that that front panel will be VERY heavy, it also is a essential part to hold the slim cab together and in balance, opening that door might tip give balancing problems.

a1pharm

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Re: *SCRATCH BUILD* Slim Cab - 32" LCD - "X-Men Theme"
« Reply #20 on: January 21, 2013, 08:32:12 pm »
if you use that big a lcd and have almost the same width as mine,  keep in mind that that front panel will be VERY heavy, it also is a essential part to hold the slim cab together and in balance, opening that door might tip give balancing problems.

Good point, Martijn.  I tried to make the base of my cab deep enough to be appropriately balanced, but that drawer may prove problematic.  I don't want to, but I may just have to use emulators to play my old games  :-\

Perhaps a novel hinge mechanism may work.  ???  I'll have to see what the hardward store has that may work (or could be modified to work).

Thanks again for the help  :cheers:

PL1

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Re: *SCRATCH BUILD* Slim Cab - 32" LCD - "X-Men Theme"
« Reply #21 on: January 22, 2013, 02:31:16 am »
How about a rolling drawer?

The rigid caster wheel acts as an outrigger when the drawer is extended, preventing the cab from tipping over.

« Last Edit: January 22, 2013, 02:33:41 am by PL1 »

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Re: *SCRATCH BUILD* Slim Cab - 32" LCD - "X-Men Theme"
« Reply #22 on: January 22, 2013, 07:15:54 am »
Smart. It makes the drawer a separate thing from the cab right?


PL1

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Re: *SCRATCH BUILD* Slim Cab - 32" LCD - "X-Men Theme"
« Reply #23 on: January 22, 2013, 08:00:37 am »
Smart. It makes the drawer a separate thing from the cab right?
You could do that, but I was picturing the gray drawer guides in my diagram above hooked to the sides of the cab with the front face (red below -- top view) taking up the whole kickplate.  The inset on the base (green) allows the caster (black) and drawer to retract fully.



Scott
« Last Edit: January 22, 2013, 08:21:48 am by PL1 »

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*SCRATCH BUILD* Slim Cab - 32" LCD - "X-Men Theme"
« Reply #24 on: January 22, 2013, 08:46:01 am »
Ah, yes, I understand what you mean. Thanks for the clarification.


a1pharm

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Re: *SCRATCH BUILD* Slim Cab - 32" LCD - "X-Men Theme"
« Reply #25 on: January 22, 2013, 05:24:22 pm »
How about a rolling drawer?

The rigid caster wheel acts as an outrigger when the drawer is extended, preventing the cab from tipping over.



I like this idea, thanks Scott!  The modified drawer mechanism may work pretty good.  I have to ensure that whatever I make does not look one iota like a drawer.  If I can't achieve that, I may ultimately decide to just build a second console storage cabinet, and attach it to the cab w/ externally mounted RCA jacks.

I haven't been able to work on my cab today (had the whole day off).  My router collet broke into three pieces, and searching 6 stores in two towns yielded no collets.  I guess I'll have to wait until the one I ordered arrives  :-\

On the bright side, I just ordered 3 sheets of 1/16" 4'x8' black laminate from cabinetparts.com.  Much more expensive than painting, but hopefully worth it.

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Re: *SCRATCH BUILD* Slim Cab - 32" LCD - "X-Men Theme"
« Reply #26 on: January 27, 2013, 11:31:18 am »
So I went to Menard's and bought some new clamps, metal grating for the speakers and vents, hardware to attach a marquee, and a replacement router.  I'll post some pics of the assembled cab shortly.

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Re: *SCRATCH BUILD* Slim Cab - 32" LCD - "X-Men Theme"
« Reply #27 on: January 27, 2013, 11:40:21 am »
So I finished with the rough woodworking.  I still have 3 angled cuts to make, which will be completed this week.  I put it all together, just to make sure all my measurements worked.  They did  :applaud:

Here's some pics:

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Re: *SCRATCH BUILD* Slim Cab - 32" LCD - "X-Men Theme"
« Reply #28 on: January 27, 2013, 11:51:58 am »
Looking good. I always love the stage where the flat sheets fit together and transform into what you've been sketching on for days.


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Re: *SCRATCH BUILD* Slim Cab - 32" LCD - "X-Men Theme"
« Reply #29 on: February 06, 2013, 08:12:28 pm »
Updates:

I primed and painted my speaker/vent/subwoofer grill, the marquee rails, and the plexiglass rail

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Re: *SCRATCH BUILD* Slim Cab - 32" LCD - "X-Men Theme"
« Reply #30 on: February 06, 2013, 08:15:07 pm »
I finished putting laminate on all of my surfaces, and installing my 2x2 supports.  I routed off the laminate where I was going to attach the 2x2's.  Then I glued and screwed the 2x2's into place.

Now I'm just waiting on my T-molding and coin door to arrive.  After I install both, I'll get this thing standing again.
« Last Edit: February 06, 2013, 09:12:04 pm by a1pharm »

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Re: *SCRATCH BUILD* Slim Cab - 32" LCD - "X-Men Theme"
« Reply #31 on: February 06, 2013, 08:39:16 pm »
Looking good.  :applaud:
"I really do feel pity for those who go out of their way to perform a personal slight, than taking the effort in joining the conversation and creating some useful dialogue which would benefit the persons' perusal of this topic.  Yet where would we be without the persistant antagonist?"

a1pharm

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Re: *SCRATCH BUILD* Slim Cab - 32" LCD - "X-Men Theme"
« Reply #32 on: February 15, 2013, 07:51:11 pm »
Just got the t-molding in the mail and installed it recently.  To navigate the corners, you need to be thinking ahead about 12 inches, and to cut it, you just need some run of the mill snips.  I cut t-modling channels after I applied the laminate (see my post above for the type of router bit used).  To install the molding, I used a rubber mallet to pound it into place.  This may be better than a normal metal hammer, because it does not mar the surface of the t-molding.
« Last Edit: February 16, 2013, 08:47:16 am by a1pharm »

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Re: *SCRATCH BUILD* Slim Cab - 32" LCD - "X-Men Theme"
« Reply #33 on: February 15, 2013, 07:54:04 pm »
Got the cab put back together and standing, hooray!  Installed a homemade TV mount (the TV has a VESA 200mm configuration), and it fits perfect and level, also, hooray!  Finally, installed the drawer device for the keyboard/mouse, also perfect and level and, also, hooray!

 :cheers:

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Re: *SCRATCH BUILD* Slim Cab - 32" LCD - "X-Men Theme"
« Reply #34 on: February 23, 2013, 08:58:11 am »
I'm putting the finishing touches on the cab today.  Still need to design the CP, but everything else should be complete (finally)

 :cheers:

Pics to follow once I'm finished.

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Re: *SCRATCH BUILD* Slim Cab - 32" LCD - "X-Men Theme"
« Reply #35 on: February 24, 2013, 09:58:45 am »
Here are some pics.  Just need to create the control panel, and order/install plexiglass for the bezel.  I will be attempting to create the artwork myself, which will likely take months.

If you want close-ups/different angles of any part of my cab, please let me know.

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Re: *SCRATCH BUILD* Slim Cab - 32" LCD - "X-Men Theme"
« Reply #36 on: February 26, 2013, 11:07:20 am »
So now I am designing the button layout of my control panel.  I have 2 zippy sticks with long shafts that enable me to undermount them to my CP.  I also have 2 sets of 8 buttons (they have LED's too) for players 1 and 2.  I have a usb 3" trackball from ultimarc.  I have 6 extra buttons, 2 of which I'll use for P1/P2.  This leaves me with 4 extra buttons, 1 will be mapped to be a left mouse button.  I have coin door w/ mechs I will use for coin inputs.

I have some questions  ???

1. What do you think I should use my remaining 3 buttons for? (admin functions - if so, what functions?, or install them like pinball flippers?, or map it as a right mouse button?)
2. Are 8 buttons per player overkill?  I do intend to use NES, SNES, and N64 emulators (and maybe PSX), so I think I will need 8 buttons
2a. What is your favorite 8 button configuration?  (I'd link/upload my slagcoin preference later)
3. Has anyone used a TV tuner card as a video input device for a Wii?  I am running into roadblocks w/ my Diamond TV Wonder 750HD PCIe card which I'm trying to get working in Windows Media Center (I have Win7 Home Premium x64 and a Radeon 6950 HD w/ 2gb)
4. Does anyone have any strong feelings for/ or against using MALA for driving all emulation functions?

The cab is almost complete, thanks to everyone, especially Martijn for his slim cab build post, and Saint for making this site

Cheers  :cheers:
« Last Edit: February 26, 2013, 11:23:19 am by a1pharm »

PL1

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Re: *SCRATCH BUILD* Slim Cab - 32" LCD - "X-Men Theme"
« Reply #37 on: February 26, 2013, 05:20:50 pm »
1. What do you think I should use my remaining 3 buttons for? (admin functions - if so, what functions?, or install them like pinball flippers?, or map it as a right mouse button?)

Start by deciding on your front end and NES/SNES/N64/PSX programs.

Then list the admin buttons you need to perform all required functions, which functions overlap and whether you can reprogram that function to increase logical overlaps. (MAME P1 Start = NES P1 Start = SNES P1 Start, etc.)

After that, if you have some inputs left, you can add pinball flippers -- left flipper = left shift = MAME P1B4 default.   ;D


Scott

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Re: *SCRATCH BUILD* Slim Cab - 32" LCD - "X-Men Theme"
« Reply #38 on: February 26, 2013, 08:25:54 pm »
1. What do you think I should use my remaining 3 buttons for? (admin functions - if so, what functions?, or install them like pinball flippers?, or map it as a right mouse button?)

Start by deciding on your front end and NES/SNES/N64/PSX programs.

Then list the admin buttons you need to perform all required functions, which functions overlap and whether you can reprogram that function to increase logical overlaps. (MAME P1 Start = NES P1 Start = SNES P1 Start, etc.)

After that, if you have some inputs left, you can add pinball flippers -- left flipper = left shift = MAME P1B4 default.   ;D


Scott

Scott, as always, you're beacon of knowledge with sound advice, thank you!   :applaud:

Gatsu

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Re: *SCRATCH BUILD* Slim Cab - 32" LCD - Almost Complete
« Reply #39 on: March 01, 2013, 10:27:53 am »
Cab is looking great. I love the slim LCD cabs.

  
 

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