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Author Topic: Reviews on my arcade (Ultimarc, RecRoomMasters,X-Arcade,Paradise Arcade)  (Read 7795 times)

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zabrin

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I wanted to do some reviews on my experiences with my latest arcade build. These are my first reviews I have ever written, so please be gentle ;D.

Here is the list I will be reviewing over the next couple of days, pending time.

  RecRoomMasters Cocktail Cabinet
  Xarcade Tankstick
  Ultimarc Ipac2
  Ultimarc Spintrak
  Ultimarc ClassicRGB LED Pushbuttons
  Ultimarc PacLED64 Controller
  Ultimarc Trackball LED kit with Pearl Ball
  Ultimarc Mag Stik Plus
  Paradise Arcades Lighted Ball Stick


Before you say "Why in the heck did you build that" let me give you some background.

My first cabinet build was a Ultimate Arcade 2.  I bought the plans from North Coast Arcades back then they were called Mameroom, if memory serves. It was a beautiful design and done right. The problem was, it was BIG. A little over a year ago my wife and I decided to buy a new house near some water. To make a long story short, bought a bigger house but lost the basement. The cabinet would not fit into my office very well. So I had no choice but to sell it.

I stumbled on recroommasters by chance and saw the cocktail version of there cabinet. It would work perfectly in my office. I also found a tankstick on craigslist for  100 bucks. I already had a computer and monitor so for a few hundred bucks I was in business. As everyone knows here that NOTHING stops at a few hundred bucks in this hobby!!!! So now onto the reviews.....

If anyone wants any additional pics or anything just give me a shout...
« Last Edit: January 15, 2013, 06:30:16 pm by zabrin »

zabrin

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Re: Reviews on my arcade
« Reply #1 on: January 14, 2013, 03:50:35 pm »
My first review is for the recroommasters.com Cocktail Cabinet.

This is not your typical cocktail cabinet in the sense of cocktail cabinets, did that even make sense.  :laugh2: I ordered it from Amazon.com (it was cheaper there than there own website) for 299 plus shipping. Was very nicely packaged, professional and with care.

The build quality is excellent to the t-molding all the way to the bracket that the monitor hooks to. Behind the cabinet door there is plenty of room for your computer, speakers, ect with room to spare. The instructions said that it came with a shelf, it does not. I talked to RRM and they discontinued that shelf. It was kind of disappointing because that would of been handy in there.

Pros - It's small compared to the UA2
           Well designed for my needs
           Adjustable monitor tilt

Cons - No shelf in lower cabinet
           No casters
           
Review #2

X-Arcade Tankstick

This is where it got ugly. I needed a tankstick because RecRoomMasters cabinets are designed for tanksticks. I was able to find an almost brand new one for 100 bucks on craiglist. I installed it and turned everything on and BAM...nothing worked. I did not know this so this is my fault nothing is really out of the box configured for the tankstick. So I started to change my Hyperspin setup around to accommodate the tankstick. Get all the kinks worked out and BAM....the controls in this thing SUCK. Maybe it's me or maybe I was used to happ controls but they are not very good. Sorry x-arcade....

So I made the decisions to gut the controller. The controller box is real nice and has a solid feel to it but the controls are not very responsive.

Pros - Solid wood cabinet
          Decent trackball

Cons - Buttons, Sticks Controls unresponsive

Pics coming soon....
« Last Edit: January 14, 2013, 06:24:59 pm by zabrin »

zabrin

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Re: Reviews on my arcade
« Reply #2 on: January 14, 2013, 03:51:19 pm »
Review #3 ipac 2

I can't say enough about Andy and how he supports his products, more on that later!!! When I decided to gut the tankstick only one place for me to go...ultimarc!!!! I have used his controllers for everything. From my first build to my stand alone controller now to my redo of the tankstick. I would say they are the best but I can't, I have never used anything else. All I can say is, they just work!!!!

No different from this build. Wired everything up and wallah works perfectly. Everything is pre configured for MAME and the admin buttons I use. As you can tell from the pics (once I post them) for lack of room I have them built on standoffs. Easier to wire that way.

Pros - Customer service
          Easy wiring
          Works right out of the box

Cons - NOTHING


Review #4 pacLED64

When I decided to gut the tankstick I wanted to go all out. My last cabinet I had hacked translucent buttons and fitted them with 12v leds. I like the look of lighted buttons so I decided to take it one step further..RGB's

The Ultimarc pacLED64 paired with the classicRGB buttons make this as easy as pie. No hacking the PS, no wondering how you are going to power them, no wondering what size resistor NOTHING.

First, powering the pacLED64. It comes with an adapter that plugs into your molex connectors from your PSU. No more wondering is Yellow 12v or 5v  ;D. So it goes to your PSU molex connector then the other end into your pacLED64. Your RGB's are now powered. Nothing more to it.

Wiring of the buttons are just as easy which I will go over in my button review.

Once you have everything wired just hook them up to your usb port and you are all set. The one thing you need to know, which I just found out thanks to Andy and Boba, if you have more than one pacLED64 you have to hook them up one at a time to give them separate device ID's. They come shipped at device ID 1.

There is some software on the Ultimarc website which you can play around with the RGB buttons but lets be honest we want ledBlinky, that's right it is ledBlinky compatible.  Here is a quick shout out to Arzoo, you are the MAN!!!! Registration coming soon!!! 

Pros - Easy to power RGB's
          Easy communication to PC
          Easy button wiring when paired with classicRGB's
          64 inputs
          ledBlinky compatible

Cons - None so far
« Last Edit: January 15, 2013, 06:34:10 pm by zabrin »

zabrin

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Re: Reviews on my arcade
« Reply #3 on: January 14, 2013, 03:52:00 pm »
Ultimarc classicRGB buttons

So far you can tell I am an Ultimarc fan. However, this is the first time I have used one of their buttons. So far, I am impressed!!! There are some kinks that needs to be addressed though, if they can.

These are probably very similar to Randys electric ice buttons. One of the main factors of choosing the Ultimarc setup over the GGG setup was space. I would of needed 3 ledWIZ's. I only had the space for two boards as you can tell in the pics. (once I post them)

When my package arrived, some assembly required. In this hobby, that is to be expected but it will take some time. When I started to assemble the buttons I was not a big fan of how the wire seemed pinched against the switch and the button. (see pic once I post them) I contacted Andy about this and he assured me that it was ok and would not cause a short. After 6 months of button pressing everything is good. Installation of the button is really no different that any other button with the exception of a button wrench, cant use one. That's why I keep a nice small pair of channel locks in my arcade tool bag.  :applaud:

After you get all the buttons assembled and installed in the CP all you do is take the pre-wired cable and connect it to the pacLED64. Nothing more, no soldering, no screws, no nothing just slip over the four pins and off to the next button. The bad thing is, extra wire in the control panel. Very difficult to make that neat but no one is going to see it, right! Well you will once you see the pic that I will post...

I should mention that the pre-wired cables come in two lengths. I chose the longer of the two. My thinking is, better long than short. :applaud:

The buttons look fantastic lit and unlit. Pearl white really stands out against the black background of the CP. The colors are vibrant and distinct. In my humble opinion a much better color than my old translucent buttons. The colors really stand out in attract mode in Hyperspin and just playing around with ledBlinky. Did I say Arzoo is the man....

Pros - Easy installation with pacLED64
          No need to power them, done through pacLED64
          Look good lit and unlit

Cons - More assembly than I thought it would be
           Not a fan of how the wire is pinched
         
« Last Edit: January 15, 2013, 07:32:14 pm by zabrin »

zabrin

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Re: Reviews on my arcade
« Reply #4 on: January 14, 2013, 03:52:19 pm »
Ultimarc RGB trackball kit with pearl trackball

UPDATE!!!!! I have been in contact with Andy, it turns out that the model that I have is being superseded by a new and improved model.  New models are on the way. When they become available I will review it. I will put side by side comparisons of the two different kits. Again, Ultimarc standing by their products!!!!!!


I think this is the first time I have been disappointed with an Ultimarc product. The pearl trackball is nice and smooth but the RGB is very dim. You can barley see the color. I don't know how to fix this or maybe it is a defective unit. I am not sure, but it does not live up to my expectations. I will have to contact Andy about this to see if this is normal. I can't believe that it is.

Ultimarc Spintrak

In keeping with my Ultimarc control panel I purchased the spintrak. This is the first time I have used the spintrak. The other spinners I have owned were GGG's turbo twist 2. To me, I feel and see no difference between the two. They both work out of the box plug and play style.

It installed in a button hole and comes with an usb interface, can't get any eaiser than that. I did notice that my tempest scores were higher with the spintrak..LOL

I picked up the black know with the silver ring, I thought it would match nicely.



Ultimarc Mag Stick Plus

I thought I read somewhere that this stick would fit the mounting holes of the tankstick, well it doesn't. You have to modify the mounting plate which is no big deal. I busted out the dremel tool and wallah.

This is where Ultimarc's customer service came into play. I ordered two and one was defective. I didn't even have to ship the other one back. He sent me out another one in no time. Can someone explain to me why I can get something faster from oversees than from Ohio. I live in Michigan.

I installed them and I absolutely hated them at first. I couldn't get them to switch from 4 to 8 way, the short throw.  I almost gave up on them. Then I started to play around with them and now love them. I don't think I could use anything else. I got the switching down and they work perfect and look damn nice. A perfect solution to non accessible joysticks!

The biggest key with the mag stick plus is getting the feel for the switching. I spent some time just switching it back and fourth, to get the feel of it. I strongly recommend doing this before you install the stick in your CP. 


Paradise Arcade Lighted Balltop Sticks for Mag Stick Plus

When I started this whole process over 6 months ago I knew I wanted to try and light what ever stick I installed. I couldn't believe that I found the lighted stick that I needed.

First, these sticks are made perfectly. The craftsmanship on these is second to NONE. The ball tops match the buttons and trackball almost perfectly as well as the colors. It was almost designed with the same rgb's as Ultimarcs.

This was the second time I have purchased from Paradise, they are very easy and nice to deal with. They have some very unique items such as these lighted sticks.


In closing...

I know that this build is not for everyone. This does not have the look and feel of an original arcade but for me that wasn't the point. The point I needed was a function unit that I can keep in my office at home. Sometimes you just want to sit in your chair with your feet up and a gamepad in your hand playing some Final fantasy. One day, once the kids move on, I see a showcase build in my future ;)

All in all with the exception of the tankstick controls everything thing and everyone I have dealt with have been fantastic. I can't say enough about Ultimarc, Paradise arcade and RecRoomMasters.

Now this was all done from my memory. Forgive all the grammar and punctuation mistakes I made. I am so not an English major. I will start to upload some pics tonight and as I remember more or think about more to say I will add to my review of the different items I put into my arcade.  Thanks for reading....

Z.
« Last Edit: January 15, 2013, 07:26:51 pm by zabrin »

Dekieon

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have you gotten the new U-Track yet? And if so what is your opinion.

I got mine a few weeks ago and I love it. I keep playing centipede with it and it is out of this world. I got the pearl ball as well, but havn't lit it up yet. So I am hoping it will light well. I am planning on making my own RGB light for it though, not use the one that ultimarc sells. Mainly because I forgot to order it when I ordered the track ball.  :laugh2:

johnson33

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nice thread and informative i like your reviews thanks