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Author Topic: My first build: "Mimic"  (Read 14767 times)

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Laythe

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My first build: "Mimic"
« on: January 14, 2016, 12:59:32 am »
Mimic: 

A slim, dual LCD, dynamic bezel, dynamic marquee, fully illuminated control panel chameleon, with custom frontend software.



Original build thread follows.



I've spent quite a while lurking here, reading about other projects, gathering the details that I liked - and noting the things I wanted to avoid.  Decided to give my own project a shot.

Note that this is a retrospective, past tense build thread - I didn't want to post anything until I was at least 95% finished, because that was the only way I could be absolutely certain I wasn't going to peter out and leave you hanging halfway through.  (I know, some folks here prefer the chance to chime in before it's too late to fix something they see - sorry about that.)  You can of course still speak your mind - I just can't retroactively take your advice.

I figure, I learned a lot from seeing what you all had built, so, I'll post pictures of what I did, in case that is of similar use to anyone else.  I documented my progress as I went, so this will be a bit more than a drive-by photo of a finished project.

This'll also serve as an introduction, of sorts, since I've kept quiet till now.   Hi.   :)
« Last Edit: March 03, 2016, 12:14:04 am by Laythe »

Laythe

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Re: My first build: "Mimic"
« Reply #1 on: January 14, 2016, 01:18:06 am »
So, here goes.

I made my own plans from scratch, and I spent about a month tinkering obsessively with my design - taking measurements of the components I planned to use, building computer models of them, messing with different ways of fitting them together.  Finally decided that I was as ready to start cutting as I was ever going to get, and I'd better just go make some sawdust or I'd never stop fussing with it in digital form.

I went with 3/4" birch plywood for strength, reduced weight, and for the sake of having a friendlier sort of sawdust loosed upon my shop.  All the parts fit into a sheet and a half, since this is a semi-slim design that will be bolted to a wall for stability, in the end.


Transferred my plans onto the plywood, which required a whole heap of measuring in from various edges and doing a bunch of cartesian plotting...


Then, sliced all that out with a saber saw.  It's slow, but, I find that I make far smaller mistakes than the big exciting mistakes that I can make with a faster saw.  Went slow and careful, so I didn't lean the blade over and cut badly out of square anywhere.


Cleaned up the edges using an orbital sander, again with a bit of care to keep things square-ish.  Much sawing and sanding later, I had made something resembling a kit.  It's a good feeling, the first time you see the parts laid out. 
« Last Edit: January 14, 2016, 01:39:09 am by Laythe »

Laythe

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Re: My first build: "Mimic"
« Reply #2 on: January 14, 2016, 01:58:13 am »
I had an old set of Altec desktop computer speakers laying around that sound pretty good.  Seemed perfect for the project.

The ampifier and volume knob were located inside the right side satellite speaker, which would not do.  The cases were glued shut, but, whatever.  I have tools.  They can't keep me out. 


That bit of butchery liberated the amplifier board.


I wanted the volume knob to be located in an admin panel on the center console, so I built a carrier for the whole board, to mount up behind the front plywood.


The amplifier board slides into it from the front, like so.  Pardon the zip ties, they'll become strain reliefs once all the cables are in place and routed.


The volume knob would need to protrude through the 3/4" plywood, so I fabricated an aluminum extension for it.


The extension is a tight press fit onto the original knob, which carries the spline interface for the potentiometer - which saves me some work, not having to duplicate it.  When mocked up through a hole in scrap plywood, it looks like this:


Next up, I knew I'd want USB jacks on this admin panel, for plugging in gamepads, or a thumb drive for file administration.  I've had
iffy luck with USB hubs in the past, though - some are good, but some are twitchy and unreliable, and I didn't have a spare one I trusted. 

However, the PC for this build had 8 freaking USB ports. 

So, I fabricated an aluminum housing for 3 USB extension cables that clamps them into place, which rides on top of the holder for the amplifier board.

Should look OK, when inletted and recessed into the cabinet.  (Also, those cables aren't going anywhere.)

My intention is to flank all this with two admin buttons, for Exit and Pause, and then mount the whole thing out of the way on the center column - something like so:


Looks a little like an old car radio.   I'm okay with that.

Vidiot

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Re: My first build: "Mimic"
« Reply #3 on: January 14, 2016, 09:42:06 am »
Looks like you are off to a great start! From what I can tell I like the shape of the cab. I love how you are fabricating many of the parts you need. Looks like you are very skilled and I am looking forward to watching this one!  :cheers:


Token

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Re: My first build: "Mimic"
« Reply #4 on: January 14, 2016, 11:05:21 am »
Thanks for documenting your build. I'm looking forward to watching your progress. You clearly have the knowledge and tools necessary to make this a successful project.  :cheers:

And I know its too late to offer advice, but I'm hoping you changed your mind about the Esc button on the center column. I would be on level 99 of Bubble Bobble and then hit that with my knee.  :(

vwalbridge

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Re: My first build: "Mimic"
« Reply #5 on: January 14, 2016, 11:16:37 am »
+1 On having a little work done and some pictures to show when you start the thread.

+1 On using a lathe. My Dad always used a lathe in the garage when I was growing up. Lathe guys know a thing or two for sure. :)

Why is it called Mimic?
If you can read this, it means Photobucket's money grab ruined my signature photos.

tomstewdevine

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Re: My first build: "Mimic"
« Reply #6 on: January 14, 2016, 02:56:31 pm »
Looks like great work so far, I will be looking forward to the next update.
Finished: 2 bartops and a cocktail
Not-Finished: 1bartop, 2cocktails, and 2 stand ups.

Laythe

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Re: My first build: "Mimic"
« Reply #7 on: January 14, 2016, 05:39:39 pm »
Aw, thanks for the kind words.

Regarding the 'exit' button on the center column - I wound up winding my own VERY stiff spring for that button... after doing basically that.   :)
It's pretty safe...  now.  But you sure called it. :lol

Why the name Mimic?  From D&D lore.  It seemed to me to fit, for what I set out to try to do.

Laythe

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Re: My first build: "Mimic"
« Reply #8 on: January 14, 2016, 05:54:01 pm »
So, I know the normal go-to tool for inletting a control panel is a router, but, I like my milling machine, and thought I'd give it a try. Turned the speed up, and used a big end mill to rough it out, a small one to touch up the corners.



It actually worked reasonably well, here's the resulting recess so the trackball plate can sit flush.  The splintering out came from the subsequent sawing, not the milling - but none of that will show or matter much.




The P1 and P2 start buttons do intersect the trackball mounting plate, but I'll cut the steel back to clear them - they don't actually collide with the happ trackball underneath.  Doing that let me keep the layout a bit tighter.


A funny story - I actually settled on the 4-button diamond before ever seeing Vertical Retrace.  I don't play any 6-button fighters, let alone 8-button
console emulators, so 4 wound up being the sweet spot for my uses.  I knew I wanted to be able to play Gladiator well, with it's high-middle-low buttons, and I wanted to be able to play Missile Command, with left-middle-right buttons.  The diamond does both patterns elegantly in 4.

It also works for Xybots, with left and right buttons standing in for the twist-sticks.  (In a pinch, it makes a surprisingly usable sort of d-pad virtual joystick for two player Smash TV.)

So I was feeling like I was pretty clever for inventing that...  and then I found Vertical Retrace.  Had to laugh.  Well played, sir, you beat me to it.


Anyway, after a lot of priming, filling and sanding,  the trackball mounting plate blended in fairly well. 


Laythe

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Re: My first build: "Mimic"
« Reply #9 on: January 15, 2016, 02:29:21 am »
I didn't feel any need to go with a 2x4 inner skeleton - I trust the 3/4" plywood to bear any sort of loads this thing is ever going to see.  I opted for simple glued and screwed 1x2 corner batons to index everything together.



I buried the power entry box inside one of the batons to protect it a bit, since I'll be using the lower area of the machine for storage when it's all together.



The inletting I did with a dremel tool on the center console is perhaps a little crude, if seen from the backside -



But, it looks decently good from the front.  I went with the GGG NovaGem CDRs, and fake coin door.  An early assembly mockup to see how it would all fit together yielded this.



Not as authentic as a real coin door, but I particularly like the feel of the CDR buttons - they've got a very satisfying 'chunk' to them.




I folded up my own speaker grilles out of perforated aluminum on a finger brake, for the satellite speakers and subwoofer.



Internally, my plans are somewhat like a bartop, in that almost all of the actual running gear is in the upper half - aside from the subwoofer, the whole bottom half is empty.  I've got a CPU shelf dividing the space at the height of the bottom of the control panel swell, which has 4x 120mm fans, the CPU sitting between them, and a couple cable passthroughs.



The fans are set up above the ceiling of the storage bay, which keeps them out of the way.

As seen from the top, with my crudely breadboarded proof-of-concept fan power setup, and the PC in the center:



The number and size of fans may be overkill, but the 120s are nice and quiet.

Laythe

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Re: My first build: "Mimic"
« Reply #10 on: January 15, 2016, 10:12:16 pm »
The top of my cabinet gets a bit complicated.  It is made of 3/4" plywood and 1/16" aluminum sheet. 

I happened to have saved the side panel off an old Lian Li aluminum tower case, which served as good donor material.



A bandsaw made quick work of the aluminum.  I needed two rectangles.



These rectangles each receive a 90' fold to form a flange of 11/16" - this aluminum is quite soft, and bends nicely.



I machined 1/16" of thickness off the outside of each of the marquee sideplates, to sink the aluminum flush.



Then, countersunk and mounted the aluminum panels like so.  The 11/16" flange, plus the 1/16" cutaway, forms a matching 3/4" edge that lines up with the thickness of the original board.



These pieces then get a thoroughly chamfered 1x4" attached to their inside faces, to act as a rail.

The cabinet verticals get capped with the odd looking square-with-an-angled-tab pieces, inboard - here, painted black.  Then a 1x2" is attached, outboard, in line with the cabinet side, to form a C shape at the top.  This all leaves a 1x4" slot for the aforementioned 1x4 board to slide into, from the front.

Resulting assembly of cabinet sides looks like...




(For anyone wondering what the :censored: I am doing all this for - I promise it all makes more sense from here out.)

Laythe

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Re: My first build: "Mimic"
« Reply #11 on: January 17, 2016, 03:12:33 am »
Next up, priming and painting.

This cabinet has a mix of painted and laminated parts.  Everything to be painted got sanded down, primed with Killz grey latex primer, sanded down, given a second coat of primer, and then sanded down again.



Shown here is the overhead speaker panel, the center column, and the L-shaped control access panel.

My control panel fits snugly between the verticals, and I couldn't figure out a good way to hinge it without risking it scraping up the cabinet sides that it nests between -  worse, scraping them up on the top, right where the damage would be most visible.  So, I decided to hard-mount the control panel between batons like any other permanent piece of the cabinet.   This L-shaped panel on the right forms the front wall and underside of the control panel ledge, and has 4 1/4-20 capscrews running up into metal nut inserts in the batons to make it removable and reinstallable.  Any scratches it accrues are on the bottom, out of normal sight. 

This gives me a big access hatch to remove, for the inevitable servicing of the control panel parts.  It works, but I don't know if I'd do things this way again - working overhead on the sticks and buttons, while laying on your back, is kind of a pain. 

I couldn't find an exact paint match for the color of my printed control panel artwork, so I bought the closest two colors I could find and mixed them 50/50.



The result went on DISTRESSINGLY purple, but dried to a pretty good match to the art I made for it -



Panels painted, with grills reinstalled:




The cabinet color scheme is two-tone, dark grey paint and black laminate. 

I learned a fair bit about applying laminate from reading these forums - using contact cement, spacing things with dowels, rolling it down, then trimming with a router afterward, made the whole task almost not unpleasant.   :)  (As compared to the first project I ever did with laminate, long ago, wherein I trimmed it all to fit with a large hand file.  I wish I was kidding.)



Here you can see the power strip mounted in the upper section, wired through the cable pass-through down to the power input box, the orientation of the CPU shelf and fans as installed, and the whole thing starting to take shape.  Also, a test fit of the white T-mold.

(Ignore the second power strip on the right - that's what I was plugging my tools into.)

Assembling everything onto the center column, and adding some small white vinyl lettering to explain the function of the buttons, produces this:




Thanks for the CDRs and the coin door art, Randy.  At knee height, in a dimly lit room, with the buttons lit - it's a surprisingly effective illusion.

Laythe

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Re: My first build: "Mimic"
« Reply #12 on: January 17, 2016, 04:07:06 am »
I got the control panel populated.  Ultimarc Servosticks for P1 and P2, with Paradise transparent balltops and roll-my-own RGB leds in them.  Electric Ice 2 buttons with RGB Drive IIs from GGG, going through an Ultimarc I-PAC Ultimate I/O...  I think I ordered parts from most of the vendors who hang out here. 



Things are tightly packed under my panel.  The neatness of my wiring won't be winning me any awards.  Considering that it's mostly prefab harnesses, it probably could have been worse.

Probably.



But hey, it looks better from the top.



This was the stage where I did a bunch of the software development, and committed the classic error of realizing the thing was playable.

(That panel may have sat on those stacked 2x4s for a few weeks as a result.)



Here's the cabinet, as assembled and freestanding for the first time, with the control panel in place.



The T-molding for the top box needed to be extensively modified - the center barb is shaved flush for the entire span it runs over the aluminum flashing.  At this point the insides of the verticals still need to be primed and painted black.  The wall mounting panel is visible in the back, above the power strip.


Looking from the CPU shelf towards the front of the machine:



you can see the tops of the four silver nut inserts that the L panel screws into.  There's a lot of room down there, for a reason I'll be explaining in the next post.


After painting the insides of the verticals, here's a player's-eye-view of the control panel, as installed.



(I know RGB controls get a mixed reaction here, but I wanted to be able to color-highlight the active control set for the current game, in the appropriate game colors.  Having anything be RGB, to me suggested that everything ought to be RGB.  If the trackball is going to light up when it's active, then the buttons should do the same, and if the buttons do, then I think the sticks should, too - consistency of meaning, and it seems to help people trying out a new game to see it.)

Token

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Re: My first build: "Mimic"
« Reply #13 on: January 17, 2016, 01:30:39 pm »
(I know RGB controls get a mixed reaction here, but I wanted to be able to color-highlight the active control set for the current game, in the appropriate game colors.  Having anything be RGB, to me suggested that everything ought to be RGB.  If the trackball is going to light up when it's active, then the buttons should do the same, and if the buttons do, then I think the sticks should, too - consistency of meaning, and it seems to help people trying out a new game to see it.)

+1

This makes a MAME cab much more guest friendly.

Alejo I

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Re: My first build: "Mimic"
« Reply #14 on: January 18, 2016, 08:35:46 am »
Not a huge fan of slim builds, but that CP is just lovely. Simple, yet so eye pleasing.

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Re: My first build: "Mimic"
« Reply #15 on: January 18, 2016, 08:48:12 am »
Outstanding.

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Re: My first build: "Mimic"
« Reply #16 on: January 18, 2016, 12:21:32 pm »
Your panel is tastefully done and your cab is a unique design, you won't hear RGB hate from me.

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Re: My first build: "Mimic"
« Reply #17 on: January 18, 2016, 12:46:43 pm »
Excellent panel. And you're doing RGB the **right** way.
***Build what you dig, bro. Build what you dig.***

Laythe

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Re: My first build: "Mimic"
« Reply #18 on: January 18, 2016, 03:00:00 pm »
Token - Thanks.  It does seem to work.  Between that, and making whatever buttons I see guests try to push to operate the frontend work how they wanted wherever possible, the result does seem to be something that people can just walk up to and use, and that's neat.  I think that low investment, just walk up and play feeling is something that all the arcade machines had, and I wanted to try to keep that.

Alejo I - Thank you.  I kept the design very stark and simple, because all the color is going to be coming from elsewhere.  I respect that slim is not to everyone's taste; here, it fit the space I had to mount it in, which is an alcove where you can't get much of a side view on it because of the surrounding walls anyway.

TheOne - Thanks!

harveybirdman - Thanks, glad to hear it.  The unique design will be fully explained in my next post.

yotsuya - Thank you!  I was hoping you'd chip in with your opinions on this.


Next post:  Screens, sleight of hand, and all is revealed.

Laythe

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Re: My first build: "Mimic"
« Reply #19 on: January 18, 2016, 04:10:40 pm »
The goal of Mimic has been to reach what I considered the largest subset of most playable games with the minimum necessary compromises, and, to be as much of a visual chameleon as I can tastefully manage while doing it.

The main display is a 16:9 Samsung LCD/LED HDTV, 1920x1080, oriented in portrait.  I'm borrowing a page from Marvel Versus Capcom: Revolution v2 here, and using a 1080x1080 rotated display area in the center to make a 32.5" diagonal 1:1 aspect ratio square screen, upon which I can render horizontal or vertical games at correct aspect ratio without mechanical rotation.  32.5" is way too big for a game screen - but gives me enough room for bezel art around a roughly-correct sized game screen.   The cabinet design wraps quite tightly around the TV.  Only this center square display area is at all visible from the front, touched by the speaker panel and by the control panel.  The TV just almost sticks out the top of the cabinet, hidden behind the speaker panel and marquee box - and goes down way behind the control panel on the bottom to rest on the CPU shelf. 

All of the weirdness of the top marquee box, is to support an LG 29" M2900S-BN 1366x480 stretch LCD panel.   It's not as svelte as that gorgeous Spanpixel that Blip uses, but it is much closer to the right aspect ratio than the 21:9 monitors are, and I was able to find a factory refurb LG for about a quarter of the $1200 a Spanpixel was going to cost me. 

(Oh, and speaking of Blip, man, my respects to markc74 - of all the great machines I've seen build threads on here, it is my favorite.  Just in case the influence on mine wasn't, like, totally obvious.  Thank you for the inspiration.)

The LG top panel drove a lot of the dimensions of the design - the M2900 is 30.13" wide, and decasing it buys you basically nothing.  By sandwiching only 0.065" of aluminum and laminate over it, I was able to get the overall outside width of the cabinet down to 30.25" while hiding a lot of the inert area of the monitor under the structure and T-mold.  I'm skinning the spine off the T-molding that runs over the aluminum flanges and lays over the front and top of the monitor, making it all appear about 1.5" narrower than it actually is.  It looks like it nests between full 3/4" width plywood - in actuality, the monitor is pocketed so deep that the exterior laminate actually gets slightly warm from the heat of the backlight.

I wanted to pack all this into as close to a normal sized cabinet as I could manage, which is why the top box steps out one plywood thickness;  that gets the main interior width between verticals down to 27.25", which is a little over the traditional 24" but not TOO monstrously oversized.   This is all absolutely as narrow as I could possibly get things, given the 30.13" top panel.

So, with both screens in, from front and back:



(Pardon the right-side storage door sitting on the floor instead of in it's frame in this shot - it does actually fit correctly.)

You can see the degree to which the thing is designed around the TV.  The deep control panel helps match the tall marquee box and gives me the space I need to hide the inert ends of the television that I am not using.   The TV is set for a 20 degree lean back, and the top edge of it almost touches the wall, leaving a half inch slot for warm exhaust air to blow out the top of the machine.  That set the overall depth limit on how slim the machine could be.


Here's how the machine looks, when turned off, with the screens installed and the T-molding in place.  (This picture is from prior to glass installation - there are still to be glass panels over both the TV and the marquee monitor, with black paint on the back of them everywhere but the display areas, to prevent you seeing past the sides of the main screen, and to hide the badges on the display cases.)




I agree wholly with markc74 - if you are going to go the chameleon route with a dynamic marquee, a conservative black and white cabinet is a great way to keep it from clashing colors between the game and the cabinet.  Mimic takes all it's colors from the control panel lights, the dynamic bezel art and the changing marquee, and that's really enough for it I think. 

The resulting chameleon effect, with a few games:



vwalbridge - THAT is why the name, Mimic.   ;D   


After installing the glass to hide the edges and badges, here's a player's eye view of a few games:





And, finally, as wall-mounted in the alcove in my house:




On the software side: 

I wrote my own front end software for it from scratch.  My custom front end talks to the Ultimarc servostiks to switch 4-way or 8-way as appropriate, and talks to the Ipac Ultimate I/O that controls the RGB LEDs per game.  It either displays my Mimic logo (when in the menus), or the appropriate game marquee, on the upper panel.   Then either fires up MAME, Nebula or AAE, depending on the game.  I'm running a game list of about a hundred.

I'm using the marquee art, as the menu selection art, which I think works well.  Up and down on the P1 stick scrolls through the list; left and right jump one letter at a time through it.  The list is shown as the marquee art, and when you select a game (via just about any button) that jumps up to the marquee.

I've spent a lot of time touching up and reformatting marquees and bezels to work optimally with this setup.  I have done a whole bunch of photoshop work cleaning up 1366x480 marquee art.  An awful lot of games turn out to have no original bezel art at all - in those cases I've adapted the art and instructions from the CPO of the original machine to form a bezel.  1080x1080 is just enough resolution that all the instruction cards on bezels are readable.  I have reformatted all the bezels so that the game display is an integer scaling of the original game resolution, which fixes one of the common LCD display problems of uneven resampling.  I've also painted my scanlines directly into this bezel art, translucent black, which fixes another.  It helps to turn the contrast and brightness on the bezel art WAY down - it's supposed to be cardboard, after all, not the emissive phosphor of the CRT that would have been next to it.  If the game display is very bright, and the bezel art is very dim and washed out, the pairing really tricks the eye in person.


I'd like to thank you guys for the ideas I've borrowed from other projects, and for the nudge that made me decide to give this whole project a try.

emphatic

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Re: My first build: "Mimic"
« Reply #20 on: January 18, 2016, 04:40:23 pm »
Nice cabinet!  :cheers:

Vidiot

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Re: My first build: "Mimic"
« Reply #21 on: January 18, 2016, 06:16:30 pm »
Absolutely awesome! I love the way you have used LED lighting in a practical way and how you spent so much time getting the marquee and bezel art right. Also making your own front end is very impressive. Please consider sharing your work with the community. I bet lots of people would like to use what you've created.  :notworthy: :applaud: :cheers:


Slippyblade

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Re: My first build: "Mimic"
« Reply #22 on: January 18, 2016, 06:36:22 pm »
When I first read your description of how you were mounting the TV, I was a little confused.  But now actually seeing how you implemented it...  wow.  That is just sexy as hell. 

I want a video.  Make it happen!

Token

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Re: My first build: "Mimic"
« Reply #23 on: January 18, 2016, 08:12:04 pm »
Alright! Another member of the vertically-mounted oversized LCD club. :cheers:

Overall outstanding work! It's like MvC 2.0 and Blip had a baby and named it Mimic. :applaud:

You spent some serious cash on this cabinet. Why no functioning coin door? It's not to late, ya know...  ;)

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Re: My first build: "Mimic"
« Reply #24 on: January 18, 2016, 08:44:40 pm »
Great work man. The marquee and bezels look fantastic.

Laythe

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Re: My first build: "Mimic"
« Reply #25 on: January 18, 2016, 08:54:00 pm »
Token -

Cash price wasn't too terrible, actually - the TV ran me just <$500, and the refurb LG marquee panel was about $300.

Vertical oversize LCD club - cheers!   :cheers:  I went back and forth many times while building it, between feeling like a genius for getting a huge 1:1 square display on the cheap as compared to something like an Eizo ev2730q 26.5" 1920x1920 square @ $1,400 - and feeling like a total idiot for throwing away 43% of a perfectly good screen by hiding it inside the cabinet.

I got over feeling like an idiot, after seeing it running from the front side.  It's like a magic trick, almost nobody recognizes how it works.

Re: coin door, I guess we all come to associate our nostalgia with different details.  For me, it was the T-molding - when that went on, it was like Pinocchio had become a real boy - whoah, this is an ARCADE MACHINE now all of a sudden.  Putting in a quarter wasn't "it" for me, but I can certainly understand where it would be for some.  I suppose it's true, that it is not too late.  I like the feel of the CDRs though, so if I did go that way, I'd probably end up doing some sort of unholy surgery on a coin door without mechs to hang CDRs flush to the square openings.  I'm sure they're probably both the wrong size and the wrong aspect ratio...  hmm...  ...maybe later.  :)

MvC 2.0 and Blip having a baby -  :lol.  I can only take that as a compliment, thanks!  I hope that neither of them mind the resemblance.

Bloinkxp

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Re: My first build: "Mimic"
« Reply #26 on: January 18, 2016, 09:38:25 pm »
That is a stunning cabinet man.  I love the fact that you made your own FE...that is a commitment to a build.

I am fully of cabinet envy.
Nothing witty here...move along.

yotsuya

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Re: My first build: &quot;Mimic&quot;
« Reply #27 on: January 18, 2016, 09:51:50 pm »
If I may be honest, I'm not a big fan of the size of the marquee area. It makes the machine look top-heavy to me.

With that said, I appreciate the craftsmanship and subtle design choices, and I think you have a nice cab there. :cheers:
***Build what you dig, bro. Build what you dig.***

vwalbridge

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Re: My first build: "Mimic"
« Reply #28 on: January 18, 2016, 10:20:23 pm »
The dynamic marquee is nice but the best part of this cab is the notch in the back for baseboards.  ;)

I was also wondering why you had the power inlet on the side but then I put it all together when you said it was wall mounted. Necessary I'm sure during aggressive gameplay and being top heavy.

Well thought out and great execution.  :applaud:
« Last Edit: January 18, 2016, 10:35:34 pm by vwalbridge »
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Laythe

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Re: My first build: &quot;Mimic&quot;
« Reply #29 on: January 18, 2016, 10:52:58 pm »
If I may be honest, I'm not a big fan of the size of the marquee area. It makes the machine look top-heavy to me.

With that said, I appreciate the craftsmanship and subtle design choices, and I think you have a nice cab there. :cheers:

Honesty very much appreciated, thanks!

I agree entirely, actually.  As you allude - I pocketed the marquee panel into the sideplates to make it smaller, avoided having any structure over or under it to make it smaller, made the control panel belly area very deep and tall to try to balance it top to bottom and make it look smaller, avoided horizontal bands of T-molding up there to avoid visually emphasizing the bulk... and... it's a still a bit too big.  Blip does it better, no question.

(That said, is it $800 too big?  I decided, no, I could live with this.)

The real killer build, if anybody wants to pony up to do it:  Mimic has about 1.5" of dead space beside the TV.  A 46" LCD like this will sandwich into a 24" wide cabinet, with what was the bottom up against the left wall, and a slight gap to the right wall, to center the display area.  If you run a Spanpixel like Blip does, it will also fit nicely inside that 24" space.  You could make something with absolutely classic lines, a dynamic marquee, and your dynamic bezels will go within a half inch of being edge-to-edge as well as top-to-bottom.  It'd be great.  It'd be $1,800 in panels, but it'd be great.   :D

thePrimativ

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Re: My first build: &quot;Mimic&quot;
« Reply #30 on: January 18, 2016, 10:59:10 pm »
WOW[emoji33]

that it

Other than I want
Kudos to you


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Laythe

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Re: My first build: "Mimic"
« Reply #31 on: January 18, 2016, 11:10:25 pm »
The dynamic marquee is nice but the best part of this cab is the notch in the back for baseboards.  ;)

I was also wondering why you had the power inlet on the side but then I put it all together when you said it was wall mounted. Necessary I'm sure during aggressive gameplay and being top heavy.

Well thought out and great execution.  :applaud:

Haha, thanks.   I've built enough bookcases to know that notch is well worth doing.  Here's a closeup shot of it with the back on, and the short sill that it adds to the lower portion of the machine.  And also a shot of the power inlet and cord that I used - since it's visible on the side, for the reasons you identified.

 

markc74

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Re: My first build: "Mimic"
« Reply #32 on: January 19, 2016, 01:26:15 am »
Wow that looks great.  :applaud:

I can't even imagine how long it must have taken to get the hi res bezels and artwork together for it all but it looks so good together. That joust shot looks fantastic.


stigzler

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Re: My first build: "Mimic"
« Reply #33 on: January 19, 2016, 03:50:55 am »
Ingenious. You've married together some great ideas with this one + can't begin to imagine the coding behind getting mame to run in the bottom 60% of the screen. Love the changing CP control colours too - preserves the form and function ideas.

Great build.
« Last Edit: January 19, 2016, 01:40:43 pm by stigzler »

tomstewdevine

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Re: My first build: "Mimic"
« Reply #34 on: January 19, 2016, 11:57:23 am »
Great cab, the bezel looks so good.
« Last Edit: January 21, 2016, 10:41:57 am by tomstewdevine »
Finished: 2 bartops and a cocktail
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Re: My first build: "Mimic"
« Reply #35 on: January 19, 2016, 12:16:56 pm »
Who cares if it's a tiny bit top heavy?! The lcd marquee and bezel make up for it 100x, what an awesome cabinet!

I'm also interested to know how you use only part of the screen. Is it possible to define it so windows only use that part as well?
For a cheaper (and less realistic looking) version, would putting the marquee on the top part of a vertically oriented lcd tv be possible in the same way? (both marquee and main screen on same rotated lcd tv)

stigzler

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Re: My first build: "Mimic"
« Reply #36 on: January 19, 2016, 01:45:22 pm »
The dynamic marquee is nice but the best part of this cab is the notch in the back for baseboards.  ;)

I was also wondering why you had the power inlet on the side but then I put it all together when you said it was wall mounted. Necessary I'm sure during aggressive gameplay and being top heavy.

Well thought out and great execution.  :applaud:

Haha, thanks.   I've built enough bookcases to know that notch is well worth doing.  Here's a closeup shot of it with the back on, and the short sill that it adds to the lower portion of the machine.  And also a shot of the power inlet and cord that I used - since it's visible on the side, for the reasons you identified.


Just make sure your next house has the right sized baseboards. :)

yotsuya

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Re: My first build: &quot;Mimic&quot;
« Reply #37 on: January 19, 2016, 01:58:10 pm »
Who cares if it's a tiny bit top heavy?! The lcd marquee and bezel make up for it 100x, what an awesome cabinet!

I'm also interested to know how you use only part of the screen. Is it possible to define it so windows only use that part as well?
For a cheaper (and less realistic looking) version, would putting the marquee on the top part of a vertically oriented lcd tv be possible in the same way? (both marquee and main screen on same rotated lcd tv)
Who cares? I care, or else I wouldn't have said anything about it.

I've also said it's a nice cab. And I appreciate how the OP appreciated my honest feedback. Honest feedback helps us grow as a hobby.
***Build what you dig, bro. Build what you dig.***

Token

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Re: My first build: "Mimic"
« Reply #38 on: January 19, 2016, 02:14:29 pm »
For a cheaper (and less realistic looking) version, would putting the marquee on the top part of a vertically oriented lcd tv be possible in the same way? (both marquee and main screen on same rotated lcd tv)

Yes, it is possible. Check out MAMELayPlus (page is in Spanish).

Laythe

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Re: My first build: "Mimic"
« Reply #39 on: January 19, 2016, 11:18:45 pm »
I'm also interested to know how you use only part of the screen. Is it possible to define it so windows only use that part as well?
For a cheaper (and less realistic looking) version, would putting the marquee on the top part of a vertically oriented lcd tv be possible in the same way? (both marquee and main screen on same rotated lcd tv)

Restricting windows to a portion of the screen is not easy.  I was able to use some nvidia specific software to choke the 1920x1080 screen down to 1440x1080, but it wouldn't resize any smaller than that, so portions of the native desktop display are inaccessably out of reach.  (I think Maximus was able to get his all the way down to a 1080x1080, though I'm not sure how he did it.)  Amusingly, the way my particular 1366x480 top panel works, it reports itself to be 1366x768 - but the bottom 288 pixels don't physically exist.  So this poor PC does not have a single screen that works right, as far as the OS thinks of them.


However - controlling MAME in this regard is quite easy once you know how to write .lay layout files.  They're pretty simple and fairly powerful.  You'd need to build one for every game you plan to run, but you'll be doing some work for every game you plan to run to gather good versions of all the artwork anyway.  Putting the marquee, bezel and game screen together on a single screen would be much easier than what I did on two heads.

So, yes, a single panel solution would absolutely work and I bet it'd look pretty good.  You could run something like a debarbed strip of T-molding horizontally across it at just the right height, to really hide the fact that it's all one panel under there.

  
 

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