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Author Topic: First MAME machine - 1 month build (David's Arcade)  (Read 8719 times)

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Vilepickle

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First MAME machine - 1 month build (David's Arcade)
« on: September 12, 2014, 09:16:11 am »
My arcade cabinet log...

I own a Dance Dance Revolution arcade machine and I've done quite a bit of work on it.  It was my first personal machine purchase since I'm a regular player of it.  It's running OpenITG and I love the idea of running an open source / custom arcade platform for dance games, so I thought it'd be sweet to be able to do something similar for other arcade games.  Looking into MAME cabinets is fascinating, the build quality goes from cardboard boxes to total custom woodworking project.  Since my dad is handy I thought now would be a good time to start practicing my own carpentry skills...

I didn't want to buy an existing machine since it seems like a non-fun route honestly.  If you're doing this why not build it from the ground up?

I liked the write up and completeness of the Plan 2 from arcadecab.com, so I began gathering materials and started following it.  I had to buy most of my tools since I didn't have almost any of them.

9/26: Complete!  Besides my button LED wiring everything is looking good.  See below for the build shots.


8/30/14
Cut out the first side.  Major accomplishment for me at this point :P


8/31/14
Both sides done, standing up.


9/7/14
The base is done and I attached the monitor shelf.  It stands up!


9/8/14
While not woodworking I'm working on the PC to run Hyperspin.  I hooked up my arcade button to the power pins.  LED works too but I don't have any .25" quick disconnects yet for the power pins.  I took an existing PC power switch, soldered the long arcade wires to it, then hooked up the button with the .187" quick disconnects


9/8/14
Working on the back pieces, etc.  One of my mods to the cabinet that deviates from the arcadecab plans is to enclose the back and add exhaust fans.  Let's not be lazy, now :P


9/9/14
Outside of my job I spent almost all of my spare time on this damn drawer.  But it turned out well!


9/10/14
Installed my coin door.  Not a full blown model, but I found this fully functional X-Arcade one for $25, with LED and button.


9/11/14
Did the control box base and sides.  Lots of mitre cut action... I did have to redo a couple pieces due to mis-bevel and taking too much off, but it wasn't too bad.


9/11/14
Done with the top of the control panel outside cut.  Actually I'm not happy with the flatness of the sanding on the outside for t-molding so I may cut it better with a circular saw and get a better sanded edge.


9/14/14
Cut the offset T-Molding slot in the control panel top.  I'm putting plexi on top of it so it's a 1/2" top.


9/14/14
Disassembled the machine for priming and painting!  First time painting... well, anything.  So I've done some homework.  Laid out the pieces and primed the inside today.



9/16/14
Painting black on the inside and outside pieces.  Most of this week was just painting.


Worked on my control panel layout while paint dried.


9/18/14
Practiced drilling my CP holes on some scrap so I don't mess up!


9/20/14
Did the wiring for my power inlet.  Female will be mounted inside the cabinet so I can plug in on the outside of the machine.  I'm enclosing all of the back.



Done painting the inside and reassembled!  Pretty long day, as some of my pieces needed to be trimmed a bit and repainted...


I tested my joystick routing template.  Just about perfect.  I'm using a 1/2 inch CP base so I'm going to route 1/8 inch out to accommodate the plexi on top.


9/21/14
Red T-molding installed and the outsides are painted!  I put my monitor in to see how it looks.  Also drilled out my first CP holes, joystick routing yet to come.


9/22/14
More control panel work.  Holes are all drilled and joystick areas are routed, now I'm doing the T-Nuts to flush mount.


9/24/14
First drilling pilot holes with a step bit so my router can get each plexi hole exact for the control panel.


It looks like it snowed!  The routing was a success.


9/24/14
Assembled the control panel with art.  I like my art but I wish it was cut a bit better.  There are some bubbles here and there even under plexi.  Were I to do it again I might use different glue and have a border around the outside of the art so the T-Molding won't push it up at all.  I used banner vinyl so if I had used a matte finish it would probably be better. Live and learn :)



Some inside shots.  Still working on wiring to clean it up inside.  Definitely overpowered sound system... But I wasn't using it.



And it runs Street Fighter!  Woo hoo.  I'll be getting the art later, and the next step is to wire the CP.


9/25/14
Control panel wiring.  I don't have a decent LED harness yet so I'm putting off hooking those up for the time being.
« Last Edit: September 29, 2014, 10:03:41 am by Vilepickle »

Generic Eric

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Re: First arcade machine, newer to woodworking
« Reply #1 on: September 12, 2014, 09:32:58 am »
Nice

You are on your way to lots of fun. 

What kind of monitor are you going to use, and what is your favorite game?

Vilepickle

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Re: First arcade machine, newer to woodworking
« Reply #2 on: September 12, 2014, 09:59:40 am »
I have a 5:4 LCD monitor that I wasn't using.  It's 17 or 18 inches but it sort of has dimensions of a 19" because of the outside edge.  Ideally I'd want a larger screen but I do admire the 5:4 aspect ratio since it's classic.

I like Galaga a lot, but I know I'm not building a vertical screen to replicate that.  I don't have a ton of good arcades in my area so it's hard to find retro stuff to play.

I also like pinball so I'm adding side buttons to the CP like the arcadecab tut.  Big fan of Street Fighter as well as other fighting games if I can find someone to play with.

One of my goals is to actually add some of the less common controls to my CP to play some of the games I couldn't on a normal controller, including Spinner and Trackball.

I've mostly been a console gamer all my life so building a cabinet is my way of branching out :)

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Re: First arcade machine, newer to woodworking
« Reply #3 on: September 12, 2014, 10:13:24 am »

9/8/14
While not woodworking I'm working on the PC to run Hyperspin.  I hooked up my arcade button to the power pins.  LED works too but I don't have any .25" quick disconnects yet for the power pins.  I took an existing PC power switch, soldered the long arcade wires to it, then hooked up the button with the .187" quick disconnects



That is a monster of a video card for a MAME machine.  Are you just running older games or do you intend to somehow incorporate 3D gaming also?

Vilepickle

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Re: First arcade machine, newer to woodworking
« Reply #4 on: September 12, 2014, 10:25:35 am »
I'm going to emulate 3D stuff too if I can reasonably, though I know it's probably better if you get similar controllers to those consoles (like N64...).  I'm interested to see if emulating Playstation eliminates load times on a more powerful machine, I always hated them. I actually had some good video cards available so this was my excuse to put it to use (the fall of crypto-mining with VGAs...)!


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Re: First arcade machine, newer to woodworking
« Reply #5 on: September 12, 2014, 10:34:12 am »
I like you, Vilepickle, because of your attention to keeping it real. Good luck on this! :cheers:
***Build what you dig, bro. Build what you dig.***

Vilepickle

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Re: First arcade machine, newer to woodworking
« Reply #6 on: September 14, 2014, 08:52:29 pm »
Did some work today and updated the main post with progress shots.

Vilepickle

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Re: First arcade machine, newer to woodworking
« Reply #7 on: September 22, 2014, 12:33:58 pm »
Big updates since last posting!  The cabinet itself is pretty much complete and the control panel is what I'll be tackling soon.

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Re: First arcade machine, newer to woodworking
« Reply #8 on: September 22, 2014, 01:02:05 pm »
I'll race you VilePickle!

Just kidding.  I am about to tackle the CP on my cabinet too!  Thrilling isn't it!?  Excellent work and look forward to seeing your results. 

I am working with Hyperspin also.  All the artwork and video take up some hard drive space. 

Cheers!
DPB

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Re: First arcade machine, newer to woodworking
« Reply #9 on: September 22, 2014, 02:33:17 pm »
For a guy that is newer to woodworking you are making some nice looking fast progress.  Looking good so far.

Looks like we have the same hammer.   :cheers: I inherited mine from my grandfather. 



9/18/14
Practiced drilling my CP holes on some scrap so I don't mess up!



Vilepickle

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Re: First arcade machine, newer to woodworking
« Reply #10 on: September 22, 2014, 04:07:19 pm »
My dad gave me mine, not sure where he got the hammer.  But it's a good one :P

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Re: First arcade machine, newer to woodworking
« Reply #11 on: September 22, 2014, 04:22:45 pm »
My dad gave me mine, not sure where he got the hammer.  But it's a good one :P

Yep.  I love mine.  It is one of my favorite tools.  Just the right weight.

Vilepickle

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Re: First arcade machine, newer to woodworking
« Reply #12 on: September 25, 2014, 08:54:36 am »
More updates appended to OP.  Getting close!

Anyone have advice for powered PC speakers that needed to be turned on after they lose power completely?  I'd like them to come on via Smart Strip like my other components but the speakers need to have their own power buttons pressed if power loss occurs.  My solution is to put them in the "always on" plug and then just have them on my cab's main power, essentially.  Luckily my power inlet has its own switch so it's not a terrible solution.

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Re: First arcade machine, newer to woodworking
« Reply #13 on: September 25, 2014, 10:49:58 am »
I think that I would just go buy some $20 speakers with a manual switch.

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Re: First arcade machine, newer to woodworking
« Reply #14 on: September 29, 2014, 05:36:49 am »
More updates appended to OP.  Getting close!

Anyone have advice for powered PC speakers that needed to be turned on after they lose power completely?  I'd like them to come on via Smart Strip like my other components but the speakers need to have their own power buttons pressed if power loss occurs.  My solution is to put them in the "always on" plug and then just have them on my cab's main power, essentially.  Luckily my power inlet has its own switch so it's not a terrible solution.

You also have the option of laptop PSU + Car AMP + car speakers.
A lot of the Logitech or Creative sets have a manual knob for on/off, and you'll be able to use the smart strip for powering it on/off.

Vilepickle

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Re: First MAME machine - 1 month build (David's Arcade)
« Reply #15 on: September 29, 2014, 10:04:27 am »
Updated with a final shot.  Spent the weekend playing some good stuff.  Golden Tee is crack, btw.

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Re: First MAME machine - 1 month build (David's Arcade)
« Reply #16 on: September 29, 2014, 11:23:05 am »
I am digging that side art and the marquee! I have those saved in my Ebay watchlist myself, and they look great on that cabinet!

Vilepickle

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Re: First MAME machine - 1 month build (David's Arcade)
« Reply #17 on: September 29, 2014, 09:41:49 pm »
They turned out pretty well.  I'd prefer if the marquee "Arcade" text was a bit further up to not be overlapped with my retainer, but it's not too bad.

Upon playing I noticed my monitor also shook a bit since its stand isn't the most stable thing, so I made a custom wedge that fits snugly into the back of the monitor (there's a rectangle indentation around the power + VGA) and screwed the extended wood support to the side of the cab.  It's pretty stable now.  I wanted to have the bar go all the way across, but the width was a bit off and was pulling the monitor off to the side too far.