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Author Topic: Vertical Bartop Project - Sugestions and Comments before starting  (Read 2718 times)

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rjpe

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Hello,

Since I've started to upgrade the CPU of my Cabinet that I felt that feeling of restarting an old project...  :)

The idea is to built a Bartop, Vertical Screen, with a Scart-TV (I've a two 14'' and one 21'').
I've have almost all the needed material (PCB, Joystick, buttons, CPU and even some wood).

The project scope is MAME only, 4-way vertical games, two action buttons max (fire and jump), P1 and P2 buttons.
The idea is to keep the budget as low as possible, and use everything that is laying arround.

Before starting hands-on, I need to plan a few things... 
Here is my first project task list:

1st: Build the list of all the material, and check what I already have, and what I need to buy;
2nd: Choose the most appropriate Scart-TV (need to test all of them, check if I have the Service Menu codes, etc.);
3rd: Get an old CPU running with my old (but still working) ArcadeVGA2 AGP, with the latest GroovyArcade distro;
4th: Test all the Hardware and Software;
5th: Get the complete list of 4-way vertical Games and start testing the games
6th: Start building the Cabinet (wood work and so on).

Meanwhile, I'd like your help and opinion on the following:
- What control panel layout would be the most appropriate for 1 4-way, 2 action buttons, P1 & P2 buttons?

I'm thinking in something similar to Galaga's CP layout, but it would be nice to see some suggestions.

Thanks in Advance,




Unstupid

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Re: Vertical Bartop Project - Sugestions and Comments before starting
« Reply #1 on: August 14, 2013, 02:03:01 pm »
Meanwhile, I'd like your help and opinion on the following:
- What control panel layout would be the most appropriate for 1 4-way, 2 action buttons, P1 & P2 buttons?
2 action buttons on the right of joystick,  P1 and P2 buttons on the left of the joystick.  This way you can still place Joystick nearer to the middle of the CP.  I toiled with this for a while when building my Ms Pac Cocktail:
« Last Edit: August 14, 2013, 02:04:46 pm by Unstupid »

rjpe

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Re: Vertical Bartop Project - Sugestions and Comments before starting
« Reply #2 on: August 14, 2013, 06:06:20 pm »
Unstupid,

Very nice! Better than the Galaga CP for what I've in mind. It will be one of the top choices. Thanks!

Sent from my GT-N7000 using Tapatalk 2


rjpe

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Re: Vertical Bartop Project - Sugestions and Comments before starting
« Reply #3 on: August 18, 2013, 01:20:39 pm »
I arranged a shoe box and tested the proposed layout. It's nice!
Here is a picture of the prototype (more details at my blog).



Need to test two old CPU's and choose the TV.

Cheers!
« Last Edit: August 18, 2013, 04:42:46 pm by rjpe »

rjpe

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Re: Vertical Bartop Project - Sugestions and Comments before starting
« Reply #4 on: August 20, 2013, 08:36:36 am »
My 13'' TV is not in a good shape... and misses a few things like horizontal size adjustment on the service menu, and turn on automatically when power comes up.
The other TV is 22''... so the question now is: Bartop or Cocktail?

Here's a picture of TV Testing with my Shoe Box CP:




BadMouth

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Re: Vertical Bartop Project - Sugestions and Comments before starting
« Reply #5 on: August 20, 2013, 09:05:19 am »
I do think the player buttons on the left side is the optimum design for small CPs.
Having the joystick at the left side of the screen instead of centered can make it feel less cramped.
Some of the old games, such as Donkey Kong had the joystick there instead of centered.
On the 3/4 scale cab built for my nephew (mostly out of the neighbor's trash  ;D  ),
I used that layout with an exit button squeezed into the upper right corner.

I'm not a fan of cocktail cabs because of the screen angle.  I vote for bartop or cabaret.

« Last Edit: August 20, 2013, 09:25:13 am by BadMouth »

PL1

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Re: Vertical Bartop Project - Sugestions and Comments before starting
« Reply #6 on: August 20, 2013, 09:39:21 am »
You could also go with a lowboy design like Lettuce, Louis Tully, Dr.Strangelove, and Holdennut did.




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rjpe

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Re: Vertical Bartop Project - Sugestions and Comments before starting
« Reply #7 on: August 20, 2013, 10:11:23 am »
Thanks for the posts guys!

BadMouth, nice CP layout! I'll consider it. The spinner would also be a good option for games like Arkanoid.

PL1, that's a very good idea, something between an upright and a bartop, similar to a Pinball Action Cabinet I saw many years ago  :)

I'm going to take the TV dimensions, check the wood and start a few sketches!

rjpe

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Re: Vertical Bartop Project - Sugestions and Comments before starting
« Reply #8 on: September 02, 2013, 07:48:03 am »
Well guys,

After experimenting the 22'' and the 13'' screens inside the bartop's laterals (see pictures), I totally can't have a bartop with such a big screen. It's not movable and looks very big.
Here is a picture of the 22'' screen, with vertical orientation.



Now, a picture of the 13'' screen with horizontal orientation.



A 13'' is much better for a bartop. The 22'' is good for an Upright or a Lowboy / Mini-Cab (better for the kids).

Instead of one project, I'm going to have two!
- Bartop Cabinet with a 13'' SCART TV or 14'' CRT PC Monitor or a 14'' LCD (let's see what I can get for free or for less than 20). I'll be using the wood I was using for this project. Still don't know if it will be vertical or horizontal, and what controls I'll be using (kept the 4-way for this one? Use a 8-way?);
- Lowboy Cabinet with the 22'' SCART TV (the one I've been testing). This one will be vertical for sure, but maybe for more games (include 2 simultaneous players, and 8-way joysticks, maybe switchable to 4-way for games like pac-man and alike).

These projects are going to take a while... I tried during holidays to do the much I could for this, now the time is going to be much less... I'll have to keep the costs low, but need to get some controls and wood for the Lowboy.

Back to planning phase...