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Author Topic: CUBE: A bit like an Asteroids cabaret (Complete)  (Read 7390 times)

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markc74

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CUBE: A bit like an Asteroids cabaret (Complete)
« on: September 13, 2016, 02:54:56 am »
Cabinet is now complete  ;D - final pics and video on page 3



Original post...

I've been fancying my own asteroids cabaret since i saw some of the builds on here by Shrunkenmaster, Tully and Minwah. Recently I got to play on an actual Asteroids cabaret and realised just how bloody good they are. Retro level 10 as we like to say in geek circles.

Anyway - i played around with some ideas and thanks to some pretty detailed documentation i had a good starting point for this build so thanks to the aforementioned for doing most of the hard work!

I tossed around some names for the cab: ďBeamĒ, ďRevenge of the laserĒ and I really liked ďInto the Vector SectorĒ for a while but finally went back to basics and *think* I've settled on ďCUBEĒ. Sounds vector-ish and goes with Blip. Nuff said. Even came up with a logo/marquee that I like:



Yeah i know it's another black, white and red theme like Blip but it works for a vector cab as they're the colours from the asteroids cabaret cpo. The next cab I'm making (and already fully planned) will look very different. But that's for later.

This isn't an exact Asteroids cabaret replica. More of a homage so I've taken some liberties with the design and taken cues from the cabaret, the deluxe standup and some other stuff I like and came up with this. It also happens to fit into the spare bits of wood I have laying around. Handy.



I'm trying to keep within the original dimensions as much as is possible but tweaking things to my personal taste.

I'm using a dynamic marquee again - even though you'll rarely see it - because 17Ē widescreen lcds are practically free now and this offsets the cost of printing hi res artwork.I've done all the work getting hi res marquees to display on my last cab so it makes sense to reuse that effort on this one. I considered using the AAE emulator but new versions of mame have some pretty cool HLSL vector effects now so that's what I'll be going with.

Main display is a 17Ē Sony crt running 1024x768 native. I picked it up for a whole £6 so this is a cheap build so far. In fact Iíve pretty much got everything I need bar vinyl for the sides and some white buttons so Iím thinking I can probably build the whole thing for less than £100.

Gonna start this puppy at the weekend - I'll only be spending a few hours here and there on it but should have it knocked out by Christmas.

Comments/criticisms / pointers always appreciated!
« Last Edit: December 31, 2016, 03:53:30 pm by markc74 »

Titchgamer

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Re: CUBE: A bit like an Asteroids cabaret
« Reply #1 on: September 13, 2016, 03:56:43 am »
Nice I like it!
The logo is cute to.


jan25th

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Re: CUBE: A bit like an Asteroids cabaret
« Reply #2 on: September 13, 2016, 02:01:48 pm »
I really like the cleanliness of this design. Wouldn't mind seeing some dimensions.

opt2not

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Re: CUBE: A bit like an Asteroids cabaret
« Reply #3 on: September 13, 2016, 02:08:22 pm »
Nice design, and thank you for not adding Cade or Retro to the name.  :applaud:

vwalbridge

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Re: CUBE: A bit like an Asteroids cabaret
« Reply #4 on: September 13, 2016, 02:15:03 pm »
Nothing wrong with making a dedicated machine and yours looks well planned out.  :cheers:

However, if this is a "button-only" machine, then that limits what you can play on it. So why have a dynamic marqee?

I see that you paid very little for the monitor so I guess that makes sense then.

Cool and straightforward build but I'm not sure it needs a separate name if it really only plays buttons games.
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harveybirdman

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Re: CUBE: A bit like an Asteroids cabaret
« Reply #5 on: September 13, 2016, 02:22:03 pm »
dammit VW, Starcastles Marquee is worth it....





That was a joke Mark, he's totally right you know...

markc74

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Re: CUBE: A bit like an Asteroids cabaret
« Reply #6 on: September 13, 2016, 02:49:19 pm »
Cheers for comments chaps. I think there's about 8 or 9 games that will work well in this setup. My original plan was to do an asteroids cabaret but once i started fiddling with the control panel and angles of the cab i thought i may as well open it up.

The only place the cube logo will appear is on the credit button and the marquee in the front end. As its not on any artwork i can change my mind later.

I'll let you know how straightforward the build was once I've done the front panel for the marquee/speakers  ;D

vwalbridge

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Re: CUBE: A bit like an Asteroids cabaret
« Reply #7 on: September 13, 2016, 02:52:46 pm »
Actually this thread got me thinking about button-only games and there are actually some pretty good ones out there. Am I missing any?

Asteroids
Asteroids deluxe
Space Duel
Star Castle
Track and Field
Phoenix
Space Invaders (original)
Toobin
Gravitar
Armor Attack

Honorable mention:

Lunar Lander (if you are ok with buttons for thrusters)


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wp34

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Re: CUBE: A bit like an Asteroids cabaret
« Reply #8 on: September 13, 2016, 04:00:14 pm »
Actually this thread got me thinking about button-only games and there are actually some pretty good ones out there. Am I missing any?

Asteroids
Asteroids deluxe
Space Duel
Star Castle
Track and Field
Phoenix
Space Invaders (original)
Toobin
Gravitar
Armor Attack

Honorable mention:

Lunar Lander (if you are ok with buttons for thrusters)

Rip Off

wp34

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Re: CUBE: A bit like an Asteroids cabaret
« Reply #9 on: September 13, 2016, 04:01:20 pm »
I've been wanting to build one of these myself since LT's.  Looking forward to this build.   :cheers:

yotsuya

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Re: CUBE: A bit like an Asteroids cabaret
« Reply #10 on: September 13, 2016, 07:10:13 pm »
Astro Blaster
***Build what you dig, bro. Build what you dig.***

markc74

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Re: CUBE: A bit like an Asteroids cabaret
« Reply #11 on: September 13, 2016, 07:13:10 pm »
Astro blaster is one of my favourite games. Got a lot easier when i worked out it used 2 buttons...   8)

yotsuya

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Re: CUBE: A bit like an Asteroids cabaret
« Reply #12 on: September 13, 2016, 07:19:06 pm »
Love the name and the design tweaks. Watching with interest.
***Build what you dig, bro. Build what you dig.***

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Re: CUBE: A bit like an Asteroids cabaret
« Reply #13 on: September 13, 2016, 07:34:26 pm »
Astro blaster is one of my favourite games. Got a lot easier when i worked out it used 2 buttons...   8)
***Build what you dig, bro. Build what you dig.***

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Re: CUBE: A bit like an Asteroids cabaret
« Reply #14 on: September 13, 2016, 08:24:56 pm »
Looking forward to this build.

Laythe

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Re: CUBE: A bit like an Asteroids cabaret
« Reply #15 on: September 14, 2016, 03:28:56 am »
Right on! 

Love the design. 

Clever dynamic marquee that doesn't require an odd aspect ratio LCD panel - that is going to work great.

(Also, props to the regulars here for coming up with, I think, *all* of the button-only games that would work on it.  I tried to come up with something more to add, and all I could think of was Space Zap, which you have the correct number of buttons for but would be utterly terrible in the asteroids layout.  Well done, guys.)

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Re: CUBE: A bit like an Asteroids cabaret
« Reply #16 on: September 14, 2016, 03:32:09 am »
Hah, Space Fury!

Okay, now I can show my face around here.   ;D

JDFan

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Re: CUBE: A bit like an Asteroids cabaret
« Reply #17 on: September 14, 2016, 03:12:25 pm »
Great idea on using the LCD monitor for the marquee and hiding the unused portion inside the cabinet. Much more feasible/cost effective than the ultra widescreen monitors and it should look good when finished since the placement fits well in the design. :cheers: 

What dimensions are you making it ? (Looks like it might even be able to be made with a single 4'x8' sheet of material if you keep the height to around 48")
« Last Edit: September 14, 2016, 03:16:15 pm by JDFan »

markc74

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Re: CUBE: A bit like an Asteroids cabaret
« Reply #18 on: September 14, 2016, 03:42:48 pm »
What dimensions are you making it ? (Looks like it might even be able to be made with a single 4'x8' sheet of material if you keep the height to around 48")

It's exactly 4' high for that very reason  ;D. Although I will be using 12mm MDF for the front and back to keep the weight down and also so that the marquee isn't too far back. I've also got some 12mm perspex laying around that I can use to cover the LCD so hopefully it should work out ok.

Thanks for all the game list suggestions everyone - my original focus was on the vector games as horizontal raster games work awesome on my main cab. But seeing hi-res background art with HLSL on Space Invaders opened my eyes a bit so I'm definitely open to widening the net a bit.

Ultimately this build is a bit of fun. My way of getting back into the flow of things after not building anything for a while. Hence keeping the build budget low and taking my time. This is my 6th build now (since 2002) so I'm just chilling and enjoying the process  :)

pbj

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Re: CUBE: A bit like an Asteroids cabaret
« Reply #19 on: September 14, 2016, 03:52:32 pm »
A lot of your old space shooters that only move left and right work fine as buttons only games. 

Galaga, The End, Moon Cresta, etc.


markc74

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Re: CUBE: A bit like an Asteroids cabaret
« Reply #20 on: September 14, 2016, 03:53:16 pm »
Great idea on using the LCD monitor for the marquee and hiding the unused portion inside the cabinet. Much more feasible/cost effective than the ultra widescreen monitors and it should look good when finished since the placement fits well in the design. :cheers: 

I got the idea when I was putting together plans for my next build which will be a vertical classics type machine.I was going to build that one first but because that will be another full-size and my man cave isn't anywhere near ready yet, the cabaret came first.

I'm still over the moon with the marquee on Blip, but I don't think I could justify that kind of expense again!

nitrogen_widget

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Re: CUBE: A bit like an Asteroids cabaret
« Reply #21 on: September 15, 2016, 11:50:09 am »
Great idea on using the LCD monitor for the marquee and hiding the unused portion inside the cabinet. Much more feasible/cost effective than the ultra widescreen monitors and it should look good when finished since the placement fits well in the design. :cheers: 

What dimensions are you making it ? (Looks like it might even be able to be made with a single 4'x8' sheet of material if you keep the height to around 48")

THIS!
I'm going to finish one of these that I started before summer hit and was going to do a mario bros. theme for the kids.
But i've got a few widescreens doing nothing i can use for dynamic marquee in this fashion to add a little something cool to it.

BorgDog

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Re: CUBE: A bit like an Asteroids cabaret
« Reply #22 on: September 15, 2016, 12:33:23 pm »
Layout might not work so well, but Space Zap is another great, imho, button only game.
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markc74

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Re: CUBE: A bit like an Asteroids cabaret
« Reply #23 on: September 16, 2016, 09:04:45 am »
Getting started...

Nice and easy does it. Started by tracing my design from 3d onto 18mm MDF directly. Itís pretty much all straight lines with the corners rounded so it didn't take too long to mark up.



Then placed the monitor Iím going to use onto the MDF to make sure everything was going to fit properly - best to find out now before I start cutting! From the angle of picture it looks like it pokes out the back but it doesnít.



Did the usual cuts with a jigsaw and router. Once the first side was done it was a matter of placing the finished side onto onto another piece of MDF, roughly jigsawing and then flush cutting with the router to get a perfect copy.

Iíll be using 12mm MDF where I can as it keeps the cabinet a little lighter and is (slightly) easier to shape. Using 12mm I cut 2 panels for the front of the cabinet, and 3 panels for the back. Easy. That done I cut a shelf to go inside the cabinet which will house the PC. Iíve oversized the back panel cuts a little as Iím going to tweak them based on how I end up positioning the display. I need to slide the display in from the back.

Finally, cut the wood for the top and the control panel. Ran a roundover bit over the front of the control panel so that it would be comfortable to rest your wrists on.

Primed everything that needs to ready for laminated/covered with vinyl



Major Accidents: 0. Swearing: Moderate.  :D

stigzler

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Re: CUBE: A bit like an Asteroids cabaret
« Reply #24 on: September 16, 2016, 07:44:53 pm »
Another interesting build. It'd probably be surplus to requirements, but if going for the artwork on a regular 17" lcd, you could use the other two grey 'cutouts' to display two other game-relevant infos (like op-card/CP + developer logo?)

Bit like:



CPWizBiz could easily be set up to do this dynamically.

markc74

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Re: CUBE: A bit like an Asteroids cabaret
« Reply #25 on: September 18, 2016, 06:01:19 pm »
you could use the other two grey 'cutouts' to display two other game-relevant infos (like op-card/CP + developer logo?)

Not a bad idea - In this case I'm using the two holes for speakers, and after spending the best part of 2 hours with a dremel getting rid of the superfluous metal surround they're damn well going in  ;D

Aaaaaaaaaaaanyway - on with the build...

The front panel

 The trickiest part of the build by far is the front panel. It houses the marquee, the speakers and the credit button and I want everything to fit flush against the laminate which means being very careful with the cuts. I also need to support the LCD monitor and speakers so I needed to build a frame to support that too.

Once I had the outline on MDF, I marked out the holes for everything and cut out roughly using a jigsaw. Then, using a straight edge i flush cut everything up to the lines.



Finished by using a hand file to square off the corners that the router couldn't reach. Because Iím laminating the front Iím attaching the support strips now. Then all I have to do is screw it directly into the inside of the cab. Pre-drilled the hole that the power switch will be using.



Now the laminating part. Started by laminating the whole sheet, and flush trimming it around the outer edge. Then drilled holes roughly in the middle of the marquee, speaker and coin door holes.

I then chopped up some 90 degree angles so that I can use them as a template for trimming the laminate around the marquee and speaker holes. The credit button i just cut flush with the MDF as the button is Ďsunkení into the front.



Using a router from the front side with a flush trim bit running against the temporary angled pieces gave me a nice 5mm overlap which I could butt the perspex covering the marquee and the speakers to.





Phew - probably the most difficult part - if I screwed up any part Iíd have to start again. Next part will be mounting the monitor and speakers and then Iíll be done with this part.

Richie_jones

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Re: CUBE: A bit like an Asteroids cabaret
« Reply #26 on: September 18, 2016, 09:45:00 pm »
Did you counter sink them screws..you'd struggle to get the router over those

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Re: CUBE: A bit like an Asteroids cabaret
« Reply #27 on: September 18, 2016, 10:55:22 pm »
Awesome project, i feel the itch to start building again strongly :) been wanting a cabaret like this for months now.
one question about the laminate: how is it applied? can't find something like that here in craftstores, do you have a link with a detailed description? Maybe i'm just looking for the wrong name in my language.
Thanks, looking forward to more updates!
Cheerd

markc74

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Re: CUBE: A bit like an Asteroids cabaret
« Reply #28 on: September 19, 2016, 05:34:32 am »
Did you counter sink them screws..you'd struggle to get the router over those

Yep - had to otherwise the laminate wouldn't have went on properly.

markc74

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Re: CUBE: A bit like an Asteroids cabaret
« Reply #29 on: September 19, 2016, 05:38:02 am »
one question about the laminate: how is it applied? can't find something like that here in craftstores, do you have a link with a detailed description? Maybe i'm just looking for the wrong name in my language
Cheerd

You use contact cement to bond laminate to the wood. Put a thin coat on both pieces. Leave it 10 minutes and then press it together (or use a roller like i did) to make sure there's no raised parts and everything is stuck down properly. Fairly simple once you've done it a couple of times.

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Re: CUBE: A bit like an Asteroids cabaret
« Reply #30 on: September 19, 2016, 05:56:47 am »
As always this is looking good.

How close would you say that HLSL + old computer CRT is to a Arcade monster?

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Re: CUBE: A bit like an Asteroids cabaret
« Reply #31 on: September 19, 2016, 09:29:54 am »

Using a router from the front side with a flush trim bit running against the temporary angled pieces gave me a nice 5mm overlap which I could butt the perspex covering the marquee and the speakers to.


Nice technique + outcome!

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Re: CUBE: A bit like an Asteroids cabaret
« Reply #32 on: September 19, 2016, 06:12:09 pm »
A taster pic whilst i wait for parts  ;D

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Re: CUBE: A bit like an Asteroids cabaret
« Reply #33 on: September 19, 2016, 06:34:55 pm »
As always this is looking good
How close would you say that HLSL + old computer CRT is to a Arcade monster?

Thanks mate - i used the same technique for the speaker panel on my last cab so knew it worked - just had to be especially careful when moving the router not to knock anything or scratch the laminate.

At the moment I'm preferring how the AAE emulator looks to mame's hlsl effects. To be truthful it doesn't nearly match the real vector look as that's pure clean white lines on black background but it comes a hell of a lot closer than an lcd can do. I think all things considered I'm pretty happy with the result.

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Re: CUBE: A bit like an Asteroids cabaret
« Reply #34 on: September 19, 2016, 08:44:22 pm »
What's awesome about you Markc74, you do a lot of things that I really don't like in some of the newer cabs, but your attention to detail and your planning integrate these things seamlessly, and I can't help but love the stuff you do. Keep up the good work!
***Build what you dig, bro. Build what you dig.***

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Re: CUBE: A bit like an Asteroids cabaret
« Reply #35 on: September 20, 2016, 01:09:08 pm »
Thanks yotsuya,

I've been on the site a looong time (since 2005!) so I've seen a lot. Why, back in my day it was all X-arcades and contact paper as far as the eye could see...

My point being - I like classic wooden cabs with crts because that's what they were in my day. If i see something cool I'll ponder on it a while and see if i can use it. i spend a lot of time commuting for my work so have spare time to plan out stuff often for months before i start it. (My vpin being one - don't expect that for a year :laugh:)

In build news, my Speaker cloth arrived today so might see if i can finish the front panel tomorrow.

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Re: CUBE: A bit like an Asteroids cabaret
« Reply #36 on: September 22, 2016, 12:24:48 pm »
Day 3: Dry Build!

Started by just balancing everything on its side to make sure everything was square. Nothing has been screwed together yet so I can double check everything looks good and there's no gaps where there shouldn't be. 



Then laminated the internal sides as Iím going to have to attach the furring strips. Once the laminate is on you really don't want to be writing all over it so I used masking tape and wrote onto that to mark out the position of the strips and panels. Now I had the laminate on I could also cut the slots for t-molding as I could ensure it would be dead center. Iíll apply the t-molding after the side vinyl is on.



Started screwing the front panels, top and base in. The hole in the bottom of the cab is for the bass speaker. TV in the background is a 21" Bang and Olufson mx4000 which I'll be using in my next build (won for £1 on ebay  ;D)



Standing up time - when ---steaming pile of meadow muffin--- gets real :-). Iím really happy with how it all feels. Control panel is at a nice height and the angle feels comfortable, and I can see all the screen (or where it will be!) without the top obscuring the view. I assumed it would be but itís always good to check before you start gluing! The white marquee is because the perspex has a protective film. It's 12mm plexi (the same depth as the wood) and I'll take it off later once the messy/bangy/dusty work is done.



To get a feel for the scale of this cabinet, here it is next to itís big brotherÖ bear in mind that the Blip cabinet is an alcove and the angle I took the picture makes this cab seem bigger than it is. In reality itís 4ft (122cm) high, 19.5Ē (50cm) wide and 21Ē (53cm) deep. This thing is dinky! I was a bit worried about the credit button being so low but in reality it's not much lower than the other cab.



Next job is to mount the marquee monitor n speakers n stuff. Going well so far so I'm still waiting for something to go wrong...  :laugh:

Edited to resize pics as were too large
« Last Edit: September 22, 2016, 01:36:48 pm by markc74 »

Vidiot

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Re: CUBE: A bit like an Asteroids cabaret
« Reply #37 on: September 22, 2016, 12:39:26 pm »
I'm really loving this little cabaret build! I want to build a cabaret sized cab for my next build. Watching with great interest!  :cheers:


markc74

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Re: CUBE: A bit like an Asteroids cabaret
« Reply #38 on: September 22, 2016, 12:46:04 pm »
I'm really loving this little cabaret build! I want to build a cabaret sized cab for my next build. Watching with great interest!  :cheers:

Thanks! It's been a lot of fun to build so far. Because of the size, it's a lot easier to cut and put together than a full size for sure. Also - if you screw up a cut (I did the front panel twice  :censored:) you don't waste a ton of material.

stigzler

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Re: CUBE: A bit like an Asteroids cabaret
« Reply #39 on: September 22, 2016, 12:52:17 pm »




I hate you. Your cabs are classy and even your Whites are white.
:)
« Last Edit: September 22, 2016, 01:57:54 pm by stigzler »

  
 

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