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Author Topic: Half-Shell: a TMNT 1/2 size cabinet – Upgrades in Progress  (Read 12309 times)

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harveybirdman

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Re: Half-Shell: a TMNT 1/2 size cabinet - FINISHED!
« Reply #80 on: July 25, 2016, 09:21:41 am »
This rocks man!  Great job!  :cheers:

emphatic

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Re: Half-Shell: a TMNT 1/2 size cabinet - FINISHED!
« Reply #81 on: July 25, 2016, 11:01:22 am »
Decent!  :cheers:

Vidiot

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Re: Half-Shell: a TMNT 1/2 size cabinet - FINISHED!
« Reply #82 on: July 25, 2016, 01:32:32 pm »
Turned out beautiful! Congrats!  :applaud:


Slippyblade

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Re: Half-Shell: a TMNT 1/2 size cabinet - FINISHED!
« Reply #83 on: July 25, 2016, 03:40:31 pm »
Totally getting an nomination for this this year.

Deek510

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Re: Half-Shell: a TMNT 1/2 size cabinet - FINISHED!
« Reply #84 on: July 26, 2016, 10:46:09 am »
TMNT is by far my favorite arcade game and planning to build a mini mame cabinet for my son... so this machine is amazing to me. Awesome work  :notworthy:

capnjack

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Re: Half-Shell: a TMNT 1/2 size cabinet - FINISHED!
« Reply #85 on: July 29, 2016, 02:56:36 pm »
Hey OP, how did you decide on the multiplyer of .565? I wanna build a smaller Donkey Kong cabinet for my daughter, and am trying to figure out a good size. Thanks!

romshark

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Re: Half-Shell: a TMNT 1/2 size cabinet - FINISHED!
« Reply #86 on: July 30, 2016, 01:51:47 pm »
Glad everyone is liking it. I've been busy with other stuff, and haven't had much time to actually play it.

Hey OP, how did you decide on the multiplyer of .565? I wanna build a smaller Donkey Kong cabinet for my daughter, and am trying to figure out a good size. Thanks!

I already had a CRT I planned to use, and measured it. I compared the numbers to the measurements I found online from an original TMNT cab CRT (Wells Gardner K7000), and found out the ratio. Maybe a bit overkill, but I wanted it to look right.

Donkey Kong is a very popular cabinet for people on these forums. Once you have a monitor chosen, I'm sure lots of people can tell you what scale cab would be best.

romshark

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Re: Half-Shell: a TMNT 1/2 size cabinet - FINISHED!
« Reply #87 on: December 01, 2016, 12:47:45 pm »
Everybody thought the project was over. Actually, it was. However, it was too low to the ground. Even when I had some friends over, they could only play for so long. So, I built a stand for it (before the weather gets too cold for the year).





The stand is constructed of 3/4 MDF wood. Some people avoid this wood because it’s heavy, but I wanted the weight to keep the unit from being top-heavy during aggressive play.

I also built it to hold some of my game boards when not in use (the boards still have to be put in the main cabinet to be played. No cables run to the storage area).



This makes it a much better height to play. Also, it’ll be harder to accidentally hit the CRT tube when working on the cabinet again...

-------------------------------------------------

So, here’s some build pics:


Cut the base out.


Attached some rolling coaster wheels. Two of these have brake levers on them, to lock the cabinet in place. Although unlocked, the whole cabinet doesn’t accidentally move anyway.


Square dowel rods provide shelves for my game boards.


Sides and top installed. The bottom has enough space to hold a larger system, like my Naomi setup.



The back, with the door test-fitted.


Making sure the game boards fit. Had to sand down the wood boards a fit for smooth insertion and removal.


During the painting process.

Not pictured: putting some 3/4 black T-Molding on.


The cabinet is secured with 3 long bolts and wing-nuts. The cabinet can be separated if need-be, but it’s easier to move around like this (there are no wheels on the cabinet itself.)


Half-Shell, when compared to my older “full-size” cabinet.


Me with the cabinets, in case my friends happen across this post.

----------------------------------------------------

So with this, I think I’m really done. Except for getting more game boards. Happy gaming!

8BitMonk

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Re: Half-Shell: a TMNT 1/2 size cabinet - FINISHED!
« Reply #88 on: December 01, 2016, 03:43:38 pm »
Nice stand, much more functional! I'd like to build something like this for my bartop so it can double as a cabaret. Did you consider continuing the t-molding stripes down the front to make it look more continuous?
Games: Asteroids Deluxe | Atomiswave | Centipede | Championship Sprint | Defender | Donkey Kong | Dig Dug | Frogger | Ikari Warriors | Missile Command | Pac-Man | Pole Position | Robotron | Spy Hunter | Tempest | Super Mario Strikers

leapinlew

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Re: Half-Shell: a TMNT 1/2 size cabinet - FINISHED!
« Reply #89 on: December 02, 2016, 02:03:13 pm »
Did you have a hard time using that art and marquee? That's just the worst April.

pbj

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Re: Half-Shell: a TMNT 1/2 size cabinet - FINISHED!
« Reply #90 on: December 02, 2016, 02:11:44 pm »
People ordinarily smile in photos.
This forum needs more threads about Arcade 1Up cabinets.

romshark

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Re: Half-Shell: a TMNT 1/2 size cabinet - FINISHED!
« Reply #91 on: December 03, 2016, 12:17:06 am »
 
Nice stand, much more functional! I'd like to build something like this for my bartop so it can double as a cabaret. Did you consider continuing the t-molding stripes down the front to make it look more continuous?
Thought about it, but the base uses ¾ wood, and the cabinet is ½. Didn’t have any ¾ green T-Molding, so just used some black I had. Also, black is good in case I ever get to build another mini-cabinet (without worrying if the colors will match.)
If you design the bartop and base together, I think they’d look better as a matching set.


Did you have a hard time using that art and marquee? That's just the worst April.
Not really. Part of the nostalgia for me, I guess. Maybe just pretend she’s cosplaying as the one from the early live-action films?
Also, this art is much better than the Turtles in Time version, in my opinion.

People ordinarily smile in photos.
Believe it or not, I was trying to smile (although it didn't look like it, I agree). Took a bunch of photos trying to get it to show. I guess my smile just doesn’t show up well. Or years of working fast-food have killed my ability to display happiness.

Vidiot

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Re: Half-Shell: a TMNT 1/2 size cabinet - FINISHED!
« Reply #92 on: December 03, 2016, 09:30:51 am »

I don't think Romshark was looking for anyone to critique his smile here. That comment should be deleted by a mod, or better yet, PBJ should delete it himself. Shameful. Everyone's smile is unique.
Romshark, You are too kind trying to explain yourself here. You should just ignore BS comments like that. I loved this TMNT build. My first build was a bartop that was way too big to be a bartop and I ended up having to build a stand for it. I like how you gave yours a dual purpose and use it for board storage too. Also, my thought on the artwork is it's the same as the arcade version so why wouldn't you use it for this scaled down replica?  ::) Good job on this all around.


romshark

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Re: Half-Shell: a TMNT 1/2 size cabinet
« Reply #93 on: January 19, 2020, 11:02:00 pm »
So my Half-Shell cabinet has been pretty good for the last few years. No issues with it working since the construction of the riser base. I’ve collected a few more Jamma circuit boards since then. It did take a few scratches from a small drone (those marks in the upper right of the panel with the coin-up buttons.) Some of the side art is not in the best of shape (some rips and bubbles). Still, it’s performed solidly.



As a side note: Arcade 1-Up recently released their own reproduction of the cabinet of roughly the same size. Now, their version has some similarities to mine (green T-molding, includes a riser base.) I did play it a few times at Walmart (they have a unit set up to try out) and it’s…Ok. It would be uncomfortable to fit myself and three other friends around it. It uses an LCD panel (understandable, since CRTs are not made anymore. That’s just how it goes, especially when marketed to the “not-hardcore arcade crowd.”) Still, I like my cabinet a lot better. Interchangeable games, and it’s the correct shape with lit marquee  ;) (yes, I know there’s mods for lit marquees for the Arcade-1Up machines.)

Anywho, the point of this post is to chronicle the recent upgrades to my cabinet. The NovagemCDR buttons are great (after I learned not to stupidly cut the resistors off the wires and literally blow up the LED bulbs), but I missed having a real coin door. Not only for the ability to use real quarters, but to allow easier access to the “maintenance” controls (the SERVICE and TEST buttons, among others). I at one point had the cabinet in an area that made it an annoyance to pull it away from the wall to open the back panel to do all that stuff.

I knew I would need a smaller coin door than normal. My normal over-under style (which I have a spare) was definitely too big. I’ve been poking around every once in a while for anything that would work. In the beginning of December 2019, I came across the answer. Credit where it's due, it was partly due to people modding coin doors…into their Arcade 1-Up cabinets (the older ones, not the TMNT version.)

Those modders were using the X-Arcade coin doors. Basically the upper part with the coin slots, return slots, and includes the mechs. I took a few days checking the measurements, and even cut out a mock-up out of a used Amazon.com shipping envelope. I took into account the size of the entire door frame, and the size of just the opening I need to cut. Seeing as my job is closed between Christmas and New Year, and hopefully I’d have a few good days of weather to work on my cabinet, I ordered it.

At the same time, I found some replacement coin return buttons for it on eBay, but in green. They’d match the overall green color scheme nicely, so I ordered them too.

The door and buttons arrived fairly quickly. Looking at the door, I saw how X-Arcade did the lighting for the buttons. I knew it would be powered by a wall transformer (it’s designed for “normal” home use cabinets like their X-Arcade ones), but that transformer feeds two tiny circuit boards with red LEDs.



I didn’t feel red LEDs would work well with green return buttons, so I looked to light them up in another way. The door is the Happ style, so I decided to use the normal Happ solution. I tried ordering the normal 12-volt socket and LED coin door bulbs from suzohapp.com, but found they have an order minimum of $50 (which seems lower than listed in some previous posts I’ve seen here, but still too much for me.)

More searching, and I found the parts I needed at bestsonparts.com . Got the parts I needed. Shipping was kinda high ($10), but I got the lights and sockets in a few days.

I switched out the return buttons with the green ones. Here, I’m lighting it up with a flashlight for testing.



The day before I planned to start the mods, I received my latest Jamma game: Ninja Baseball Bat Man. I tried it out for a bit to make sure it worked, then set it aside to start gutting my cabinet. Taking some pictures and documenting how things were connected, I took nearly everything out.



That next day (Sunday, December 29) had unseasonably warm weather, and I wanted to be ready for an early start to take full advantage of it. My objectives for the project:
*cut a hole for the coin door.
*create some sort of bin with lid for the quarters to fall into, but can be opened and emptied out when the coin door is unlocked and opened.
*install a panel behind the coin bin, for mounting the maintenance controls, coin counters, monitor controls, ect.
*Fun with lasers! More info to come.
*clean up and repaint front panel, as well as a few other exposed areas that need some attention.


Note: At the time of this writing, I’ve actually finished the cab upgrades. I was delayed from posting these updates by actually working on the cabinet, other mundane real life things (like screwing up my home server and spending 2 days reinstalling and restoring everything), and coming down with a cold that hit me really hard. I don’t get sick very often, but this one cost me a lot of downtime, visits to the doctor, and finding out the hard way that I’m “mildly” allergic to penicillin  :'( .
« Last Edit: January 19, 2020, 11:07:11 pm by romshark »

leapinlew

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Re: Half-Shell: a TMNT 1/2 size cabinet – Upgrades in Progress
« Reply #94 on: January 20, 2020, 08:23:19 am »
Very nice!

I really like the Xgaming arcade door. Quality piece - I need one more and they are sold out. I put one on my Gorf, which I built from an A1up and it appears to have your same height as your cabinet: http://forum.arcadecontrols.com/index.php/topic,161128.40.html It adds a lot to the overall aesthetics.

I never really was a cabaret cabinet fan, but having one near the same dimensions has shown me the value when space is an issue.

Good job on the cabinet. Nice update. Looks like you were building risers before risers were cool.

romshark

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Re: Half-Shell: a TMNT 1/2 size cabinet – Upgrades in Progress
« Reply #95 on: January 21, 2020, 11:25:49 am »
Thanks! Yeah, I'm sure I'm not the first a riser for a cabinet like this, but definitely before Arcade 1Up did it.

------------------------------------------------------

The date was Sunday, December 29, 2019. The day was warmer, but had on and off rain. So I worked in the garage, near the open door but out of the rain. I set a fan up, pointed at my work table, to blow the sawdust outside.

So first on my list was cutting the hole for the coin door. The front panel is made from 1/8 hardwood, so I knew I’d need to add another layer.

First, there were some square dowels I had glued inside to hold the Novagem buttons level and provide a mount for the wiring terminal blocks. It was just glued on, so I managed to rip them off using some channel locks.

In my leftover stash of wood from previous projects, I found the perfect piece. When added to the hardwood, the total thickness would be just right for the coin door. I cut a hole and fitted it for the coin door, then trimmed the sides and length to fit in the cabinet. The new board runs vertically the entire length of the inside front panel, and is secured by wood glue, and screws from the top (in the brace that the control panel attaches to) and bottom.




From the inside, I drilled some holes near the four corners to mark them, then used some old labels to further identify the holes. I then used a scroll saw to cut a rough hole out of the hardwood panel, and followed it up with my router and a flush-trim bit. This made the hole exactly the same as the new inner brace, and the coin door fit perfectly.




To figure out the cash box, I started with the lid (to make sure it would fit through the door).



I measured how high the cash box side walls need to be, and marked where the slot for the lid would go. Then I temporarily screwed a square dowel a set distance above that line. The idea is that when I hold my router against the dowel while going across, it would cut a nice straight groove. This worked out great.




I then removed the dowel, cut off the excess wood a bit above the groove, and cut the boards into left and right halves. Putting the completed coin door is temporarily, I figured out how deep to make the coin box (so that the coin mechs wouldn’t hit the back panel with the coin counters and such) and cut the side walls to match those measurements. This was nice at first, but later I found I had cut too close to the groove, and the part above the groove was ripping off. I attached a small matching strip of plywood above to reinforce it, using wood glue and some small nails (nailed into the part where the groove wasn’t cut out, of course.)



Using the side walls and lid, I figured out the back plate width. This doubles as both the back of the cash box and the maintenance panel. Once I had everything lined up perfectly, it was time for the screws and wood glue.



The back plate runs from the bottom to the monitor frame. To keep it from wobbling, I used a short piece to secure it to the monitor brace. Also used some glue to keep that small split I caused together.



I cut the coin door lid down to fit, so that I could close the coin door. I left a small tab of wood to be both a handle for removing it, and so that the closing of the door would push the door into place, lining up the holes with the mechs.

I then cut out the coin slots out of the lid. This is a current picture of it upside down, to not spoil something I did to the top (you’ll see in a few posts.) I know the coin holes are still a bit rough, but they work. I might clean them up one day. Or just make a better version of it.



That's it for now. More to come.

romshark

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Re: Half-Shell: a TMNT 1/2 size cabinet – Upgrades in Progress
« Reply #96 on: January 23, 2020, 01:01:28 pm »
Shorter update here. The following takes place between December 30, 2019 (Monday) and January 2, 2020 (Wednesday).

Time to clean up the cabinet surfaces, from my recent work on it, the marks from that failed mini-drone flight, and a couple surfaces that have been a bit rough since the initial build.  I removed the T-Molding near the areas to be done. Then did the standard sanding, wiping clean, and painting. Ultimately I redid the front panel (where I cut the whole), the top vent panel, and the speaker panel above the monitor opening.



Note that at this time, the side art does have some bubbles and rips, but it's still good enough to keep for now. Especially for what it cost me. Maybe if it gets damaged more in the future.

The first night, while waiting for paint to dry, I modified the Jamma harness. Originally, a good amount of wires ran to an operations panel located above the Jamma board in the rear of the cabinet (on the player 1 side).

An older pic (posted in this topic back on July 1, 2016) showing where the operations panel was located. It's on the right of this pic, with the coin counter installed into it.


The operations panel earlier this month, pulled out.



After the initial build, I started referring to this as the “control wedge”. This unit had the buttons for service, test, and tilt. It controlled the source of power (either from the Jamma power supply, or external power from the connected system if it provides it), marquee light, coin lights (and if the coin buttons were set to coin 1 and 2 [lit up], or service and test [not lit]), and switches to control the source of buttons 4 and 5 (kick harness or Jamma connector). One of the main problems became actually pulling the unit forward to open the back to get at the panel all the time. Even though the coin buttons could act as my service and test, I had to get to the "control wedge" to set the buttons to that mode. After the new modifications, I still have to pull the cabinet out to change games, but nearly everything else can now be done just by opening the coin door (even reaching the DIP switches on most of my games when they're installed.)

Now that I have a panel in the coin door to access these controls, I decided to remove the “control wedge”.  Spent the night soldering wire and using heat shrink to lengthen the wires, and adding tiny temporary labels (like “test”.) Also made sure to use some fairly heavy wire for the main power lines to the Jamma connector (+5v, Ground, ect.) Made sure to save the switches, terminal blocks, and counter for re-use.

Additionally, I decided to simplify the controls. I decided to permanently route buttons 4 and 5 for each controller to my kick harness (so any boards need a small adapter if they use the Jamma connector for these). I never turn off the marquee or coin door lights while running the cabinet, so those got the axe.

I did decide to go from a single shared coin counter to a dedicated one for each player.

The following days were when I had to fix my home server, so I would work on the cabinet, and then on the server as the paint dried. Reinstalling the OS, changing out a fan that wasn’t spinning up properly, and fixing a loose SATA cable. That was a 2-day job, and I thought it was the dust and the cooling fan air that was making me cough and sneeze…
« Last Edit: January 24, 2020, 10:25:50 am by romshark »

romshark

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Re: Half-Shell: a TMNT 1/2 size cabinet – Upgrades in Progress
« Reply #97 on: January 24, 2020, 01:52:30 pm »
Now it’s time for LASERS!



Since I got my robot with laser back in fall of 2017, I wanted to use it in for customizing my Half-Shell (well, it’s scratch-built, so it’s as customized as you can get, but still…)

Here’s a YouTube video showing it. Ignore my voice quality, as I was still sick when recording it. I’m not good at commentary anyway…



Lasering the cash box lid. The final you see is actually the second attempt. The first one came out too light, so I sanded it off and double-burned the logo again without moving the piece.




Here’s the inside of the cabinet, behind where the Jamma boards slide in. It took about 6 times, sanding off the bad burns each time. I need to figure out the line spacing issue (the lines are still too close together), and the text slightly curves, probably because of having to balance the arm on the monitor bracket. It would have been easier to burn it at the beginning of the whole build, but I need to experiment on more scrap wood before burning to stuff I want to keep.




After the burning, I drilled the holes the stuff behind the coin door. Holes for buttons, mounting the coin counters, and mounting terminal blocks for hooking things up. The white block above the switch holes is for the CRT adjustment board.




After that, I vacuumed and cleaned up the insides, and brought the cabinet inside.  The next day would start putting all the stuff back in.

romshark

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Re: Half-Shell: a TMNT 1/2 size cabinet – Upgrades in Progress
« Reply #98 on: February 05, 2020, 01:29:38 am »
I've been too busy with things to post lately, but I have some time to chronicle the next day.

(Note: most of the pictures here were taken today while writing this post, not during the actual wiring. I forgot to take pictures back then.)

Friday, January 3, 2020.

Fairly simple day. I put some Star Trek: The Next Generation on in the background, and started into the cabinet.

First, the cabinet was put back on the riser. Since the new cash box area blocked one of the old mounting points, I had to drill a new one. Yes, I removed all the PCBs being stored in the riser before doing this.

Next, I mounted the small pushbuttons and toggle switches into the coin door panel. Then, I connected the wires to the terminal blocks, and used a fine-tip Sharpie to write on the wood what that wire was for (the writing looks bad, but good enough to help me figure out stuff in the future).

I then mounting the arcade power supply. I had to move it back a way (since, again, the cash box blocked the old mounting points.) I doubled up on the wires for the ground and +5V lines, to make sure there's enough power for the logic (especially my Capcom CPS II. That thing is a power hog on the +5V line.) More notes were made with the Sharpie. (Also, I'm reusing an old 3-pole switch from the "control wedge" for switching +5 and +12 between the Jamma power supply and external power. I'm using 2 of the poles for +5 Volts, so the switch itself should be able to handle the power. Also, all grounds are tied together.)



Time to mount the coin door in. Mounted the frame first, then screwed the door into the frame properly. I installed the new lights, and wired the coin switches. These all ran to a terminal block on the maintenance panel, above the coin door opening.




Finally, my Jamma harness was installed. I secured it to the cabinet with zip ties, making sure it and the other connectors (kick harness, external power) had enough slack to reach the connectors on my various PCBs,

So, at this point, everything but the monitor stuff (tube, chassis board, ect.) was installed. I went over the power connections with a continuity meter carefully to double check my power connections were correct.

Now for smoke test #1. I put in my Simpsons game, and plugged the cabinet in. Flipping the power switch, everything lit up correctly (marquee, coin lights, the audio amplifier LED), and the power supply showed a nice 5.1 for voltage. After a few seconds, the intro music started. I put in a couple quarters in each slot, and the game reacted properly (remember, there's no monitor yet, so I'm doing this by sound.)

Turning everything off and unplugging it, I then started putting the display back in. Following the notes I made for taking it out, I put the proper number of spacing washers back in, then the CRT, another set of washers, and then the nuts. I then tightened the nuts down to hold the CRT nice and secure.

The chassis board went back in next. I had to refer to the original build pictures to figure out some of the wiring (where the degaussing ring plugs into and so on.) Connected the chassis to the CRT properly, and to the control board behind the coin door. Plugged in the connector for the Jamma video wires, and double-checked the CRT connections again (making sure the neck board was on securely, and the anode suction cup connection was good.) Plugged the chassis board into my cabinet's internal outlet (this CRT does not require an isolation transformer), and plugged the cabinet in again. Everything came up just as it should.

Gave the monitor a good cleaning with Windex, as well as the monitor plexiglass. I then labeled everything on the maintenance panel. At some point, I moved my holders for the hex-wrench (control panel) and small tweaker screwdriver (CRT adjustments) to the front panel for easy access (they used to be in the back). And it turns out I use both tools a lot more than I realize, so that was a good idea.



I then had some other things to do, so I did them, and then the sickness got pretty bad. At this point, I realized it wasn't just my allergies. I had some chicken noodle soup, ran to Walmart and got some NyQuil, and went to bed early.


-------------------------------------


Saturday:

Spent pretty much all day sick and sleeping. I barely did anything at all that day.

I did try playing some Simpsons (as that board was still installed), but Player 1 joystick right wasn't working. So I couldn't progress in the game. I was not up for troubleshooting that day, so I left it for another day.

-------------------------------------

Sunday, I tried a different arcade, and all the controls worked fine. Went back to the Simpsons, and everything worked. Maybe it was just a bad connection to the Jamma connection? I haven't had that problem since.



So, that's it for the upgrades to the cabinet itself. There are a few more things to do (the first two I'll post updates about here):
1.) During the wiring, I tried to put in my Sega Naomi setup, but found it wouldn't fit with the new cash box and maintenance panel anymore (as I feared might happen). So I have to redo that setup to hopefully fit.
2.) I'm getting some spare parts together to make a "Jamma PC" setup. I'm not doing a permanent conversion, but a Windows 7 setup on a removable board, that I can switch in and out as easily as the other boards. Glad I didn't do that before, as it probably wouldn't fit anymore either.
3.) Now that I can run my Jamma extension out the coin door, I can try to troubleshoot my broken PCBs. Maybe I can fix some of them.
4.) Got a Darksoft kit for my CPS II, but didn't get it working properly with encrypted games. Now I can give it another shot.

For now, unless I have company over, I'm leaving Ninja Baseball Bat Man installed, as that's the newest game I have. While I'm leaving the side-art and control panel art as-is, I'm considering going to gameongrafix.com and getting some marquees to match my other games. For example, right now I could switch out the TMNT marquee for Ninja Baseball Bat Man to match the game currently installed. Or the Simpsons, Final Fight, Tekken 3, ect.

Mike A

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Re: Half-Shell: a TMNT 1/2 size cabinet – Upgrades in Progress
« Reply #99 on: February 05, 2020, 08:08:53 am »
PCBs and a CRT.

Your cab makes me happy.

romshark

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Re: Half-Shell: a TMNT 1/2 size cabinet – Upgrades in Progress
« Reply #100 on: February 05, 2020, 10:32:49 am »
Thanks! Looking at the Arcade1Up demo units (LCD, emulation, weird shape, no lit marquee [out of the box anyway], ect), I can tell that my cab feels more "real."

I'd love to expand my game PCB collection, but some of the games I want are just so darn expensive now!

Mike A

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Re: Half-Shell: a TMNT 1/2 size cabinet – Upgrades in Progress
« Reply #101 on: February 05, 2020, 10:35:13 am »
You said it jack.

I have had to pay stupid prices for some of the PCBs I have.

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Re: Half-Shell: a TMNT 1/2 size cabinet – Upgrades in Progress
« Reply #102 on: February 07, 2020, 03:04:12 pm »
Thanks! Looking at the Arcade1Up demo units (LCD, emulation, weird shape, no lit marquee [out of the box anyway], ect), I can tell that my cab feels more "real."

I'd love to expand my game PCB collection, but some of the games I want are just so darn expensive now!

It should feel more real, cause it is! Even though yours is smaller in stature, the weight alone probably helps the unit feel more substantial. I'm guessing when you put the base on it, and assuming you secured the base to the top, it probably isn't something you can move by yourself. While the upside of the smaller units is the portability, you trade in some authenticity of the rock solid arcade feel.




romshark

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Re: Half-Shell: a TMNT 1/2 size cabinet – Upgrades in Progress
« Reply #103 on: February 08, 2020, 08:15:32 pm »
Yup, the cabinet is bolted to the riser (easy to separate without any tools though.) Being smaller, the cabinet wobbles very slightly during more intense play, but stays in place. It takes some effort to roll the whole cabinet / riser combo on the carpet (which goes back to why I’d rather have the configuration controls behind a coin door, and not having to get in the back every time.)

---------------------------------------------------

I was browsing YouTube last night, and happened across a video titled “The History of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles – arcade documentary” by “PatmanQC - History of arcade game documentaries.” Saw something familiar at the 3:41 mark:

https://youtu.be/VLZlPPzWp0o?t=222

Taken from this picture:



So my cabinet is used to represent the two-player version of the game (as in officially released by Konami.) To be fair though, the picture of the 4-player version is not an official cabinet either (wrong coin door, LCD screen, bat-top joysticks.)

I’m not mad at my cabinet being shown in another person’s video. It actually makes me happy that it’s good enough to represent the “official” ones like that.

---------------------------------------------------

Now, about the Sega Naomi. My old setup worked fine in the old cabinet. If I used only standard game carts, it would still fit with the new cash box.

I couldn’t find a pic of the older Naomi setup by itself, but here’s an older pic of it in my cabinet during the initial construction.



The Naomi mainboard was towards the front of the cabinet, with the dedicated power supply in the back bottom, and the Jamma interface board above it. Not shown above, between the power supply and over the Jamma interface was a metal plate. At first, this had the Naomi GD-ROM drive mounted to it. I later got a Naomi Net-Dimm and Raspberry Pi. The GD-ROM was swapped out for the Pi, which fed ROM images from its SD card to the Net-Dimm.

If I used the Net-Dimm (or the Dimm-board for the GD-Rom), it stuck out the top of the main board, and wouldn’t get past the new cash box. So the whole setup would only slide in about ¾ of the way.
So I took the Naomi setup apart. I took a few days to arrange things in a way that works. The power supply and the Jamma interface now go towards the front, and the Naomi itself is towards the rear of the cabinet, with the cart slot towards the very back. The power supply exhaust faces up (towards the control panel).

I used a Jamma pin connector and finger board to provide a Jamma connection that my cabinet harness can use. The kick harness and power supply connections were run next to it, and I obtained sone right-angle adapters for the mainboard video (VGA-style) and audio connections (RCA style)to keep them from snagging on the cabinet wires.
All the wiring is held in place by zip-ties and sticky mount points.





A test fit, and so far, so good.

The last part of the equation was the Net-Booting setup. I had no metal plate to mount the Pi to, so I had to come up with another method.


I ended up mounting the Pi directly on top of the Net-Dimm. Don’t worry, the Net-Dimm was not drilled into or modified in any way. The bottom of the Pi case is secured to the Net-Dimm by a screw that goes into an existing threaded hole. The bottom of the Pi case was cut away by moto-tool, except for certain parts to keep it from swiveling.

Last was the Ethernet cable. Made incredibly short to fit, I first cut out the side of one of the connectors. This is to prevent the cable from pressing against the cabinet back door. Took two tries, but my Ethernet cable checker tool was happy with the finished result. Also ran a USB power cable to the setup’s 5 volt and ground lines.



Tested the setup, and everything worked just fine. I'd prefer if I could get to the Pi and select a game though the coin door. Maybe in the future, I could try moving the Pi to above the Jamma interface? (That just occurred to me while typing this.)

Next are updates about the Windows PC I’m making for this cabinet. That’s still something I’m currently working on, so that will probably take multiple posts.


« Last Edit: February 09, 2020, 10:44:19 am by romshark »

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Re: Half-Shell: a TMNT 1/2 size cabinet – Upgrades in Progress
« Reply #104 on: February 10, 2020, 11:52:54 am »
I’m not mad at my cabinet being shown in another person’s video. It actually makes me happy that it’s good enough to represent the “official” ones like that.

Those videos are 10% ---steaming pile of meadow muffin--- that guy found in 5 minutes of googling and 90% ---steaming pile of meadow muffin--- he made up. 
This forum needs more threads about Arcade 1Up cabinets.

romshark

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Re: Half-Shell: a TMNT 1/2 size cabinet – Upgrades in Progress
« Reply #105 on: February 19, 2020, 12:20:07 pm »
Yeah, looking at it now, he most likely just do a Google search and grab the image. Bah!

-----------------------------

So I was in Walmart a few days ago, and looked at the Arcade 1Up demo. I remember that the unit saves the high scores. Well…



All the high scores are corrupted (probably from so many people playing it). I wonder if that can happen eventually in MAME also when high score save is enabled.

-----------------------------

Some people might be confused as to why I’m putting a PC in this cabinet. If you look at what others have posted in this topic, you’ll see many praise my decision to use original arcade PCBs and a CRT display (although I think there’s more hostility towards the cheap Chinese XX in 1 boards, not MAME.)

My reasons are:
-Games are fairly expensive right now. Look, I’d love to own a Michael Jackson’s Moonwalker PCB, but I’m not paying $900 for one.
-Some games look like they’re too big. My cabinet is half-sized, so there’s not as much room inside. Luckily I’ve never gotten a single-game PCB that’s too big to fit, and I’ve managed to get my interchangeable-game systems to fit with some effort.
-There are certain functions in MAME and other emulators that are nice. Like the ability to pause and save high scores. Cheats are nice to have available too, though I don’t use them to win a game myself. Maybe on those Konami games with limited continues.

A PC setup was always part of the plan, even going back to the original construction. Go all the way back to reply #23 on page 1. The top back of the cabinet was built with a pushbutton installed (it’s a black button, so it doesn’t stand out much.) This was always intended to be my pause / shift button with a PC setup, and my game select button for my Neo-Geo MVS board (if I ever get it fixed.)

My criteria for the PC setup:
-Needs to fit on a slider board, and fit in the cabinet.
-Video signal is compatible with my arcade CRT.
-Changing it in and out is as easy as with my Sega Naomi setup.


I started with some parts I had in storage. Let’s see what will work and what I’ll have to upgrade.
Asrock A75 Extreme6 motherboard
AMD A4-3300 dual core, 2.5 GHz processor
8GB RAM
ArcadeVGA card (5000 series I believe)
400 Watt power supply

Some of these I got at a yard sale in 2018, when I bought some computers to build a new home server. I had a spare product key for Windows 7 Professional 64-Bit, so that’s what I’m going with.

The motherboard and power supply were still mounted in an old junk PC case, so I added some spare hard drives for testing. This was actually before the reworking of the Naomi setup that I did.

While most things went OK, I could not get a picture on my CRT. I had the drivers installed for the ArcadeVGA and everything. The ArcadeVGA was connected to a small amplifier board (also from Ultimarc). I verified the board had 5 volts, and I tried cutting a VGA cable and connecting it directly to a JAMMA fingerboard. Still no luck.

I did verify the ArcadeVGA was working properly though, by connecting it to the JAMMA adapter on my Naomi setup, and powering both rigs. That gave me a picture.

So, I cut my losses, and bought a J-Pac. That worked instantly with my Windows computer and ArcadeVGA. I had a picture on my CRT at last!

However, I tried a few games, and things didn’t look right. I did modify the Mame.ini according to the instructions at Ultimarc. Still, things were noticeably bad. TMNT (or maybe it was Turtles In Time) was so far off in picture settings, I couldn’t get it centered properly with the monitor pots. Vs. Super Mario Bros was also very…orange.

Sorry Ultimarc, but I have to agree with the critics of the ArcadeVGA. It just doesn’t live up to the hype.

So what about this CRT-Emudriver and GroovyMAME I keep seeing get mentioned? I did some research and decided to give that a go. Digging though my parts once more, I found an old ATI HD 4650. I did a clean install of Win7, and followed the instructions. The end result was much better than the ArcadeVGA.

I still had some issues here and there. If I left the desktop at 640 x 480, MAME would run slow. It ran fine if I installed a custom resolution of 320 x 200 and set the desktop for that, but then the top and bottom of the game were cut off (though the part that was visible looked very good. Much better than the ArcadeVGA). No matter what, I still got a poor framerate in the Genesis cores in Retroarch (and I tried multiple cores.) (Note: Retroarch was set up to work with CRT-Emudriver using this guide.)

So, I tried some upgrades. I changed the processor out for an AMD A8-3870K APU. I was hoping the “APU” part would eliminate the need for a separate graphics card, but CRT-Emudriver did not recognize it. Oh well, it was a faster processor with more cores, so I left it in.

Next I upgraded the video card. Amazon has the Radeon HD 6450, new in box. I decided that would work with my setup. Turns out the low profile nature of the card was essential, and a full-height (like the 4650) would not have fit in my cabinet.

(Later I found out I might have just been using the wrong version of the Emudriver installer for the APU.  I’ll just stick with the 6450 card though.)

Testing indicated that the video card worked nicely, and eliminated the stutter in Retroarch Genesis. There was a weird image tearing in Retroarch, but I’ll tackle that later.

After the Naomi setup was complete, I turned my attention to the PC, now named the “Jamma-PC”. I picked up an SSD for the operating system, and a 3.5 inch 2TB drive for the ROMs and other gaming stuff. (Also added another 8GB of RAM.) I got a large Jamma slider board, and started arranging the items to see how to mount them.



(The Pokémon characters on the lower wood board are tests from my robot laser a few years ago).

I decided to start with the power supply. I opened it up to bolt it to the board.



…Whoa…

The thing was absolutely filthy! The previous owners must have had it near pets or something.

So I gave the inside a good cleaning. Donning my breathing mask, I had to use a vacuum, compressed air (I use an electric unit, not disposable cans of air), and a brush.



Good as new. To me anyway.



Put everything back together while bolting it to the board.

Decided to mount the major boards next. I laid them out, and marked the holes on the board.



You might have noticed the I-Pac4. I already designated all the connections on the J-PAC, and needed 3 more inputs. An I-Pac4 is overkill, but this is an old version (2009 or so.) I had damaged some of the inputs (bad hookup), and I only can find one USB cable to use between this and two other setups. If I use it here, I can just use a spare PS/2 cable to the keyboard / mouse ps/2 port. Besides, it’s so old, the current software shouldn’t mess with it when I need to reprogram the J-Pac on the fly.

Marking the mounting holes with larger Xs, I mounted the PCB standoffs in the correct positions. Took the board to the garage to clean up the bottom of the board (where all the screws were poking though). Cut them off with a heavy cutting wheel on my moto-tool, and then ground them flat.



Test mounting OK, and the setup still fits in my cabinet.

There’s still more to do on this, so stay tuned!
« Last Edit: February 19, 2020, 12:24:05 pm by romshark »

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Re: Half-Shell: a TMNT 1/2 size cabinet – Upgrades in Progress
« Reply #106 on: February 19, 2020, 01:23:35 pm »
I like your work.. I think I need to try this

romshark

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Re: Half-Shell: a TMNT 1/2 size cabinet – Upgrades in Progress
« Reply #107 on: March 03, 2020, 07:45:30 pm »
I started building a “cover” of sorts to protect the computer. I know some people here like to decase their computer when putting it in their cabinet, but that’s a semi-permanent install. I’m going to be swapping this unit with Jamma boards on a regular basis, so I need to give it some protection for when it’s out of the cabinet.

To start, I measured the distance from the wooden board to the top of the CPU cooler. I then cut a number of wooden dowels to that length. Around the motherboard, I marked where to mount these dowels, and drilled tiny holes through the wooden board to mark them.

I used wood glue to secure the dowels to the board and let the glue dry when I went to work. After it dried, I reinforced the dowels with screws from the bottom (that’s why I marked the dowels from the bottom with tiny holes.)

In the original plans, I was going to use wood to cover the top. Looking through my spare pile though, I found some plexiglass left over from the original Half-Shell build. I rested it on top of the dowels, and marked the corners with a Sharpie (the plexiglass still had protective film on it.) I also marked a hole for the CPU cooler, the same size as the fan. Used my moto-tool and drill to trim the board to the right size and cut the hole. It’s a rough cut, but it’ll do.




I had some spare cooling fans, so I put them in to blow air across the components and video card (as the card doesn’t have a fan.) Both are held to the dowels using zip ties. Looks ghetto, but works well.

Time for more robots and lasers! I created a sort of control panel for both the “PC case” controls, and extra MAME controls that aren’t found in a regular JAMMA cabinet. This time, I created the whole thing as one big image file, instead of fighting with spacing and everything. Working with a normal flat piece of wood, there’ll be no problems with curving and stuff, like when I tried inside an already-built cabinet.




What the…
Ok, ignore the darker, blurriness of the lettering. I ran the laser twice in a row to try to make the letters darker, but they look more smudged to me now. My main issue is with the shape. That’s not because of the camera angle; the outer box is narrower at the bottom than the top.

I tried recalibrating the robot best I could on the spot, but I’m not sure how to do it properly. The robot came with a calibration sheet, but the menu doesn’t have the option that the calibration sheet says to run. It does have an option to automatically calibrate, but it wants me to install a special tool at the end of the arm that I didn’t get. I’ll have to get with the Dobot company when I have time on how to calibrate.
For the third try, I just edited the image to remove the outer border. That worked the best here, given my current issues.


Left is the first try, the middle is after what calibration I could (looks ok here, but in person, it’s still off by too much.) Right is no border, and the one I used.

Using the miter saw, I cut the panel out and into a near-perfect rectangle, with the text lined up correctly. Drilled some holes for the switches. After soldering wires to the switches, I installed them into the panel. I cut out a spot on the plexiglass for the panel, and mounted the panel under it using spacers. The PC power and reset connect to the proper headers on the motherboard (just like a PC case would) and the rest will be connected to  the Winpac and JPac.

I also mounted a pair of USB ports from an old PC case, and a cut-down Ethernet wall jack wired to the Gigabit Ethernet port on the motherboard. The idea is that these are accessible from inside the coin door. The setup does still fit with the plexiglass cover, but it gets stuck if my tiny keyboard / mouse receiver is plugged into the USB. It’s that tight.



Now to attend to the drives. After much consideration, I decided to:

-change the mechanical 3.5 inch 2GB drive for a 2.5 inch drive of the same capacity. The 3.5 drive will go to my server instead.
-mount 4 dowels to raise everything above the cables coming from the power supply.
-use some leftover Kydex to mount the drives to. These are plastic sheets that I originally made the marquee retainer brackets (an idea I took from vwalbridge's Mini QBert build.) Both drives are mounted on their side, with a dowell in the middle for extra support. Another sheet of Kydex connects to the top, holding everything in place.



Took some time to get the cables hooked up in a way that wouldn’t stick out and snag on anything, but I managed to get it. My biggest hurdle here was the PSU power plug and the JPAC VGA connector being right next to each other.

I went to Amazon, and found a PSU cable with a LEFT-angle connector. I also used another VGA right-angle connector for the JPAC (good thing it was a 2-pack.) I did have to modify it some, as it was designed for right angle coming out of a video card, not the other end. So I had to pull out the little tightening screws.



Ran into another issue here. Putting the plexiglass on, I found the video card stuck back just a bit further than I thought.  While the motherboard has three video card slots, all three had some issue. Top one was against the wooden control panel. Middle one was also against the control panel, as well as the mounting screw for it. Bottom was clear of the panel, but the mess of cables at the bottom made it unusable. I ended up using the top one, and cutting out a small part of the control panel to allow everything to fit.

Did some testing and setup outside the cabinet, and it works great. No shorts or “magic smoke,” and everything works.



A few days later, I received more 3-pin Molex connectors, so I put that and the kick harness in. The Molex is for powering the rest of the cabinet. You see, when using this type of setup, I plug in its power supply, not the cabinet’s JAMMA power supply. So the PC power supply runs the sound amp, coin door lights, cabinet fan, and marquee light. A double pole switch in the cabinet selects where the power comes from: Jamma or External.



Anyway, I just modified the end of a drive power cable on the PSU. That is, I cut off the old-style 4-pin drive power plug, and connected the 3-pin connector my cabinet uses. The kick harness is my standard 9-pin connector, buttons 4 through 7 for each player, plus the “pause” button on the back.





Inside the coin door, you can see the maintenance panel for the PC. Note the USB ports on the bottom, and the USB dongle for my keyboard / mouse plugged in.



Here it is, configured to work with my cabinet monitor (and I only now noticed my reflection.) Since the games look the same, I posted the Windows desktop. I might post a few things about configuring it, but I found setting the desktop to 320 x 240 worked best (games in Groovymame flickered if the desktop was set to 640 x 480, and parts of the image were cut off at 320 x 200.)

That covers it for now. Just some software stuff for the wrap-up, when I have the time.