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Author Topic: Project RetroCade - FINISHED  (Read 48922 times)

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EMDB

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Project RetroCade - FINISHED
« on: February 25, 2013, 06:26:12 pm »
Project RetroCade

After years of thinking about building my own Mame Cabinet I recently stumbled upon some building sites and decided to go ahead and live the dream.

I'll base my build on Project MAME by Rasmus Kønig Sørensen:



I also used the Google Sketchup drawings of this project done by Remco (ViperLook, in Dutch):

   


I think I will just name it RetroCade as I really like it and am in no need of a unique name. I will create my custom artwork though as I don't just want to order the standard RetroCade artwork being out there. For now i'm inspired by several builds on this forum like:


Scratch Build Custom Street Fighter Arcade Cabinet

and

Scratch - Marvel v Capcom: Revolution


I will not have that much time working on it and need to gain all kind of skills but i'm eager to learn.

I bought some MDF (I will use 15mm and 12mm)...



Drew the first side panel...



My first attempt was not a success as I tried to fully cut it out using the jigsaw. I messed up the smooth curves. I put too much pressure on the saw messing up the angle of the cut.  :angry:
After some more reading I figured I would use a router. I never touched a router before so this was an adventure on it's own. I'm no wood worker at all being a software engineer all my life...

I first roughly cut out the full shape using the jigsaw and afterwards used the router to trim it to its final shape. Routing was really easy and fun. I will use that baby a lot from now...

   

And there it is. The first part is done.



And then it started to snow and my workshop was not usable anymore.  :angry:

Time to do some more reading, planning and testdriving my Hyperspin setup. I Compiled my own version of MAME with highscores and no warning screens and fired up good old Donkey Kong. It must have been about 30 years ago I played that machine after my soccer practice. Still great fun. Even my kids enjoy it as much as their Wii and iPad.
« Last Edit: November 04, 2017, 08:42:52 am by EMDB »

leapinlew

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Re: Yet another RetroCade build.
« Reply #1 on: February 25, 2013, 06:51:23 pm »
Even my kids enjoy it as much as their Wii and iPad.

Yeah? Well, give'em a minute...

I swear, those kids will play all 40 games in 10 minutes on my machine.

EMDB

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Re: Yet another RetroCade build.
« Reply #2 on: February 26, 2013, 02:34:52 am »
I played around with Microsoft Image Composer to create some basic prototypes of the sideart. I know, it's a bit early after only cutting out the first side panel but I wanted to visualize some thoughts.

I fell in love with griffindodd's Marvel v Capcom: Revolution artwork and tried to reproduce it using the RetroCade title:

   

Then I tried some other background coloring and other characters:

   

Did a quick marquee too:



My son of 6 liked the first one (Red Marvel vs Capcom), my daughter of 4 the last (Yellow-Orange Nintendo). I'm not sure myself. The last is a bit more unique although that's not a big deal for me. Luckily I still have lots of time to decide...
« Last Edit: November 03, 2017, 01:26:23 pm by EMDB »

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Re: Yet another RetroCade build.
« Reply #3 on: February 26, 2013, 05:04:13 am »
I like the last one better too...guess I think like a 4-year old girl...damn :(

EMDB

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Re: Yet another RetroCade build.
« Reply #4 on: February 26, 2013, 12:33:18 pm »
Today I re-did the side panel. I did not like the curve below the control panel. Very small change but so much better. I'm glad I did it.

   

I then drew the dimensions of the first panel to the piece of MDF for the second and roughly cut it out with the jigsaw.



Now I need a copy-flush bit for my router to flush-copy the first one. I don't have one large enough. Let's hope my father-in-law has one...
« Last Edit: November 03, 2017, 01:27:07 pm by EMDB »

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Re: Yet another RetroCade build.
« Reply #5 on: February 26, 2013, 12:56:54 pm »
I agree with you on the change. Good job!
***Build what you dig, bro. Build what you dig.***

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Re: Yet another RetroCade build.
« Reply #6 on: February 26, 2013, 01:36:15 pm »
I like that you re-did the side panel, and I'm glad you're building from scratch.  Great work so far!

 :cheers:

EMDB

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Re: Yet another RetroCade build.
« Reply #7 on: February 27, 2013, 05:07:52 am »
I received the wheels and leg levelers. I have to figure out how mount them properly.



Picked up the remaining pieces of MDF. I had them cut to the correct sizes in the store where I bought them. Also got the rails for the keyboard drawer.

« Last Edit: November 03, 2017, 01:27:37 pm by EMDB »

EMDB

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Re: Scratch Build: Yet another RetroCade.
« Reply #8 on: February 27, 2013, 10:25:43 am »
I received the speakers and Amplifier. 2-way 80 watt Car speakers and a 12V 2 x 50 watt amplifier should be sufficient:



So I routed the holes in the speaker panel:



Perfect fit...

« Last Edit: November 03, 2017, 01:28:05 pm by EMDB »

EMDB

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Re: Scratch Build: Yet another RetroCade.
« Reply #9 on: March 04, 2013, 03:29:32 pm »
Today I finished the bottom plate:

   

   

   

The wheels stick out the back a bit to let you tilt the cabinet to the back to easily move it (there will be a handle at the top of the back panel to pull it backwards to tilt). The levelers let you level the cabinet while standing and prevent it from moving.




Luckily my father-in-law had a flush-trim-copy bit so the next step will be to copy the second side panel...

« Last Edit: November 03, 2017, 01:29:05 pm by EMDB »

yotsuya

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Re: Scratch Build: Yet another RetroCade.
« Reply #10 on: March 04, 2013, 03:36:41 pm »
I really like your bottom plate there!  :cheers:
***Build what you dig, bro. Build what you dig.***

EMDB

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Re: Scratch Build: Project RetroCade (in progress).
« Reply #11 on: March 06, 2013, 10:45:37 am »
Copy time. I Put the two sides on top of each other and use the flush copy bit to exactly match the second side with the first.

   

Fast and easy with very nice result.

   

Twins  :D



I ordered some samples of 15mm T-molding (which seems kinda rare) at ArcadeWorldUk to see what slot cutter I need to route the T-moulding...
« Last Edit: November 03, 2017, 01:30:05 pm by EMDB »

EMDB

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Re: Scratch Build: Project RetroCade (in progress).
« Reply #12 on: March 10, 2013, 01:12:10 pm »
I received the 15mm T-moulding samples and made a 2mm slot test cut with a slot cutter I could borrow. I could apply the T-moulding with very little pressure. It will definitely not stick.  :angry: So I decided to order a 1/16" slot cutter bit online. The shipping was way more expensive than the bit itself  :angry:



Started on the front panel holding the coin door. I bought a double coin door with only one mech. The coin mech works fine with 50 eurocent coins. I drew the dimensions using a beer glass for the corners.

   

Now waiting for better weather to be able to work in my outdoor workshop again.
« Last Edit: November 03, 2017, 01:30:34 pm by EMDB »

EMDB

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Re: Scratch Build: Project RetroCade (in progress).
« Reply #13 on: March 12, 2013, 06:09:01 pm »
While awaiting better weather (it started snowing again yesterday) and my slot cutter bit I did some work inside. Bought a Dell Optiplex 745 (Core2Duo 1.87Mhz 2GB Ram) PC on marktplaats (our local ebay in the Netherlands), put in a 2gig SATA disc I had laying around and a decent video card (Radeon 5450) and installed Windows 8 (including StarDock's Start8 as I can't live without the good-old start button :)).

   

I copied Hyperspin (with the configuration I already did on my PC) and gave it a try. Hyperspin launched but did not go into the MAME sub menu. I could not figure out what was going wrong as exactly the same config worked smooth on my PC. Was it Windows 8? Google finally helped me (as always): Hyperspin won't work without speakers connected  :angry: When I first read the solution I thought I was being played but I found the same solution on several other sites so I decided to give it a try. Hyperspin and MAME worked like a charm...



Then I started thinking about my Control Panel layout. I want 2 players, 7 buttons each, 1 and 2 players buttons and 4 admin buttons. Coin buttons I do not need as I have my coin door with mech. I probably add some secret shifted coin button bypass if I run out of 50 eurocent coins myself ;D. Maybe I'll add some pinball buttons to the sides too.

« Last Edit: November 03, 2017, 01:31:11 pm by EMDB »

EMDB

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Re: Scratch Build: Project RetroCade (in progress).
« Reply #14 on: March 13, 2013, 04:58:14 pm »
Today I drilled the holes in the CP and cut out the hole in the front plate for the coin door.

   

I knew I should not have used the 8 button layout template although I was certain I would not drill the 8th hole. I drilled from two sides to make the cuts smooth but had the panel upside down when I did the first part and skipped the wrong button position. Well some MDF putty will hide my mistake  ;D



The coin door fits perfectly.

   

I like the layout of my CP. The black buttons will be admin buttons. 4 will be plenty but you never know...



Now I have the think how to mount the sticks. I don't want to mount them sunken on the top as I don't wan't to cover them with putty so I can not re-use them if I want to change the CP.

I'm thinking about routering a sunken part of about 10mm from the bottom and fixate the sticks with a bracket so no bolts or whatever will be visible from the top. Any thoughts, examples or other options?
« Last Edit: November 03, 2017, 01:31:43 pm by EMDB »

PL1

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Re: Scratch Build: Project RetroCade (in progress).
« Reply #15 on: March 13, 2013, 05:44:41 pm »
Your choice of top-mounted + countersunk T-nuts (a.k.a. tee nuts) or threaded inserts from below.

   

One word of warning, the GGG insert screws stick out the back of the inserts a little when used with a metal mounting-plate joystick like yours or the Zippyy.

If the routed area is already shallow enough for that to make a difference, you'll probably want to use the tee nuts.


Scott

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Re: Scratch Build: Project RetroCade (in progress).
« Reply #16 on: March 13, 2013, 06:54:51 pm »
Your choice of top-mounted + countersunk T-nuts (a.k.a. tee nuts) or threaded inserts from below.

One word of warning, the GGG insert screws stick out the back of the inserts a little when used with a metal mounting-plate joystick like yours or the Zippyy.

If the routed area is already shallow enough for that to make a difference, you'll probably want to use the tee nuts.


Scott
Thanks. Do you have images of mounted plates as I can not understand how these work exactly.

PL1

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Re: Scratch Build: Project RetroCade (in progress).
« Reply #17 on: March 14, 2013, 02:30:35 pm »
Your choice of top-mounted + countersunk T-nuts (a.k.a. tee nuts) or threaded inserts from below.

One word of warning, the GGG insert screws stick out the back of the inserts a little when used with a metal mounting-plate joystick like yours or the Zippyy.

If the routed area is already shallow enough for that to make a difference, you'll probably want to use the tee nuts.


Scott
Thanks. Do you have images of mounted plates as I can not understand how these work exactly.

GGG inserts look like this when installed -- bottom view.



Tee-nuts installed from the top look like this -- top view.



If you don't use plexiglass over your CP, you will want to use bondo (or similar) to make a smooth surface over the tee-nuts for your overlay.


Scott

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Re: Scratch Build: Project RetroCade (in progress).
« Reply #18 on: March 16, 2013, 02:20:48 pm »
Looks good and nice start! I noticed a lot of people are using MDF instead of Melamine. How does that work with wrapping graphics around it? Do you have to do some prepping to the wood?

EMDB

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Re: Scratch Build: Project RetroCade (in progress).
« Reply #19 on: March 16, 2013, 05:19:34 pm »
Looks good and nice start! I noticed a lot of people are using MDF instead of Melamine. How does that work with wrapping graphics around it? Do you have to do some prepping to the wood?
MDF is really easy to route, drill, cut and sand. It has a very fine structure so it does not splinter. A lot of furniture is made of (spray painted) MDF over here in Europe.

I will paint the whole cabinet and put artwork on the CP and sides.

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Re: Scratch Build: Project RetroCade (in progress).
« Reply #20 on: March 16, 2013, 07:18:50 pm »
So after you spray paint it and wrap it the wrap wont have any texture to it?

EMDB

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Re: Scratch Build: Project RetroCade (in progress).
« Reply #21 on: March 17, 2013, 05:33:24 am »
I will not spray paint but just paint with a roller but the surface will be completely flat without any texture.

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Re: Scratch Build: Project RetroCade (in progress).
« Reply #22 on: March 17, 2013, 09:51:22 am »
Where did you source those wheels / feet?

EMDB

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Re: Scratch Build: Project RetroCade (in progress).
« Reply #23 on: March 17, 2013, 03:29:32 pm »

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Re: Scratch Build: Project RetroCade (in progress).
« Reply #24 on: March 17, 2013, 03:39:31 pm »
ArcadeEmulator.net also carries them, if you want to order from a U.S. source.

Gary, the guy who runs the site, is also a regular here on the forums -- username Divemaster127.

His B/S/T thread is here.


Scott
« Last Edit: March 17, 2013, 03:49:55 pm by PL1 »

EMDB

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Re: Scratch Build: Project RetroCade (in progress).
« Reply #25 on: March 24, 2013, 04:00:17 pm »
I finally found some time to work on the mounting of the joysticks.

First I routed a 12 mm recess at the bottom side of the CP. The CP is 15 mm thick. Perfect fitt for the joystick.

   

Filled up with small blocks of MDF just a tiny bit above level with the CP.



I had my brother made two metal plates to shut in the joysticks.

   



Mounted without any bolts or other visible stuff on the top of the CP and easily removable without any damage, putty or whatsoever...  8)

   

Next up: routing for T-moulding.
« Last Edit: November 03, 2017, 01:34:18 pm by EMDB »

PL1

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Re: Scratch Build: Project RetroCade (in progress).
« Reply #26 on: March 24, 2013, 05:29:07 pm »
Mounted without any bolts or other visible stuff on the top of the CP and easily removable without any damage, putty or whatsoever...  8)

Nice plate.  :applaud:

Please tell me you aren't using wood screws to hold the plate to the MDF.   :dizzy:

Wood screws into MDF *might* seem to work the first time, but they *will* shred it to fibers and strip out easily when you remove/reinstall or re-tighten them.

If you used the threaded inserts and machine screws mentioned earlier around the perimeter of the plate, it will work fine for many dis-assembly / re-assembly cycles.


Scott

EMDB

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Re: Scratch Build: Project RetroCade (in progress).
« Reply #27 on: March 24, 2013, 05:43:05 pm »
Please tell me you aren't using wood screws to hold the plate to the MDF.   :dizzy:
They aren't regular wood screws *and* I will fixate them with glue after final mounting. The will not be disassembled afterwards but if I decide to redo the CP after some test driving I can easily do so. And with this way of mounting the stick is only 3 mm (less than 1/8") below the CP surface.

PL1

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Re: Scratch Build: Project RetroCade - (slowly) In progress...
« Reply #28 on: March 24, 2013, 06:34:43 pm »
Regardless of what kind of thread geometry a screw has, with MDF you can only tighten it reliably ONCE.   :banghead:

When you loosen and retighten any thread geometry in MDF it pulps and strips it.

Also keep in mind that anything mechanical like a joystick will eventually break down or require alignment.

Which scenario sounds better to you?

1. Being able to remove and reinstall a handful of machine screws from threaded inserts to swap a joystick without damaging the MDF because the inserts stay properly tightened into the MDF.

2. Having to remake/refinish/re-CPO the entire CP because the joystick mount screws stripped out.

You might not have to face #2 for a while, but using screws directly in MDF makes it a guaranteed eventual outcome.


Scott

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Re: Scratch Build: Project RetroCade - (slowly) In progress...
« Reply #29 on: March 24, 2013, 06:52:14 pm »
Regardless of what kind of thread geometry a screw has, with MDF you can only tighten it reliably ONCE.   :banghead:

When you loosen and retighten any thread geometry in MDF it pulps and strips it.
I will reconsider mounting the plate with machine screws and inserts. Thanks for your persistence  ::)
« Last Edit: March 25, 2013, 02:52:38 am by EMDB »

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Re: Scratch Build: Project RetroCade - (slowly) In progress...
« Reply #30 on: March 25, 2013, 05:27:14 pm »
I had my brother made two metal plates to shut in the joysticks.

   



That is brilliant. I mounted mine from underneath as well but could only route about 5mm rather then the 12 or so that you have been able to route. I would definitely second the inserts, I am so glad that I used them for my joystick. 

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Re: Scratch Build: Project RetroCade - (slowly) In progress...
« Reply #31 on: March 26, 2013, 01:58:42 pm »
Very clever stick mounting! :cheers:

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Re: Scratch Build: Project RetroCade - (slowly) In progress...
« Reply #32 on: March 27, 2013, 05:56:11 pm »
I finally found inserts in a local hardware store. I tried 5 mm ones but the 8 mm I had to drill to fit them in and the holes of the previous screws screwed up the MDF around the routed area of the joystick  :angry:

So I created another CP, drilled all 22 holes and routed the two joystick areas. I'm getting pretty handy with this  ;D This time I used 4 mm inserts and tried them on a spare piece of MDF first. All went well so I dared to put them in my just finished CP. It was quite easy and now I have joysticks which are easy and safe to remove multiple times. Thanks again PL1 for pointing this out!

   

   



I received my Slot cutter but the 1/4" (6.3 mm) shank does not fit in my router which can only take 6 or 8 mm shanks  :o  I asked my brother to let the shank be reduced to exactly 6 mm. So still no T-molding routing...
« Last Edit: November 03, 2017, 01:40:55 pm by EMDB »

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Re: Scratch Build: Project RetroCade - (slowly) In progress...
« Reply #33 on: March 27, 2013, 07:10:19 pm »
Sorry it took so much extra effort to get the inserts working, but the latest revision looks really good.   :cheers:


Scott

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Re: Scratch Build: Project RetroCade - (slowly) In progress...
« Reply #34 on: April 01, 2013, 03:30:35 pm »
Today I did the routing for the t-moulding on the side panels and the CP. It was quite easy, once using the right tools.

   



My kids did some Hyperspin testdriving. I think the setup will work just fine on the actual machine...

« Last Edit: November 03, 2017, 01:41:45 pm by EMDB »

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Re: Scratch Build: Project RetroCade - (slowly) In progress...
« Reply #35 on: April 03, 2013, 10:21:19 am »
Today I "framed" the first side panel. It was quite a puzzle to measure and fit everything. I had to deviate from the original design to not let the marquee retainers stick out, better position the plate to cover the monitor and leave the bottom of the CP off to be able to reach the CP clamp I want to use...

   
« Last Edit: November 03, 2017, 01:42:13 pm by EMDB »

EMDB

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Re: Scratch Build: Project RetroCade - In progress...
« Reply #36 on: April 05, 2013, 04:15:21 pm »
I framed the second side panel. I'd better drilled the holes for the bars through both panels at once. Now I had to re-measure (and mirror) everything again. After some corrections they now match perfectly.



I couldn't resist quickly assembly the main parts to get a first glance on how my cab will actually look. I really like the shape and the actual size  :applaud:

   

From this first impression I noticed the plate the monitor is going to be mounted on has to be a bit higher than the original design. Both Rasmus and Remco used a 19" 4:3 one, I scored a 21.4" 4:3 Samsung SyncMaster 214T. Those large size 4:3 monitors are becoming quite rare here in the Netherlands.



I'm not sure whether to first mount the drawer and CP clamps or just assemble everything and mount them afterwards...
« Last Edit: November 03, 2017, 01:42:56 pm by EMDB »

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Re: Scratch Build: Project RetroCade - In progress...
« Reply #37 on: April 09, 2013, 12:05:01 am »
Looking very good so far.

I have some comments

1) The art, I like the last one the best...with Pac-Man, Yoshi, Donkey Kong, etc.

2) Good job on swithing out the screws on the joysticks with the inserts. I will be using T-nuts myself on my build, but I did consider those same inserts.

3) Why did you go out of your way to install windows 8 for the build? Seems like windows 8 will be more of a hassle, when if comes it hiding windows when everything is done. Are you going to try and hide windows?

4) have you decided what the 4 admin buttons are gonna be? I assume one will be pause and one exit, what about the other two?

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Re: Scratch Build: Project RetroCade - In progress...
« Reply #38 on: April 09, 2013, 04:14:20 am »
Looking very good so far.

I have some comments

1) The art, I like the last one the best...with Pac-Man, Yoshi, Donkey Kong, etc.

2) Good job on swithing out the screws on the joysticks with the inserts. I will be using T-nuts myself on my build, but I did consider those same inserts.

3) Why did you go out of your way to install windows 8 for the build? Seems like windows 8 will be more of a hassle, when if comes it hiding windows when everything is done. Are you going to try and hide windows?

4) have you decided what the 4 admin buttons are gonna be? I assume one will be pause and one exit, what about the other two?
1) I'm not sure about the artwork. I was just playing a bit. Maybe it will be completely something else.
3) I had a Windows 8 USB installer laying around. And Windows 8 boots very fast. I did not look into hiding windows yet. I want to start HyperSpin as Windows Shell in stead of the desktop as I did with XBMC on my media center PC.
4) I did not decide yet. ESC and Pause and probably some menu options (F2 or TAB in MAME, but I want to run some console emulators from my youth like Atari 2600, Sega Megadrive ans Super Nintendo  too) I will probably add some more "hidden" (black) buttons on the small panel below the CP and flipper buttons on the side too. You never know...

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Re: Scratch Build: Project RetroCade - In progress...
« Reply #39 on: April 11, 2013, 08:29:06 am »
After all preparation work I could finally start assembling. Almost everything fitted as designed and with a little bit of adapting i'm quite happy with the result...

   

   

Mounted to monitor to get an even better impression. It could have been even bigger but I think 21.4" is the biggest size 4:3 around?

   

After some small additions (pinball buttons on the side panels and two extra Admin buttons on the panel below the CP) I can get started puttying, grinding and adding some layers of primer. That seems to be the least fun part of the project...
« Last Edit: November 03, 2017, 01:44:08 pm by EMDB »

  
 

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