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Author Topic: Prong (Wall mounted, slimline, vertical screen for square bezel, first build!)  (Read 1095 times)

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zestyphresh

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Building an arcade machine has been a project on the horizon for as long as I can remember and space/money/skills have resulted in it being put off for a while now. We've now finished renovating our house though so it's time to crack on and try and get this thing built before easter! This project takes inspiration from a number of projects on here, especially those with vertically mounted screens that allow for a square viewport.

The name? 'Pong gone wrong'. I expect the name will change, and the only thing pong about it is the colour scheme!

The key considerations when designing it were;

1) Getting arcade machines in our tiny British houses is not ideal, least of all in a position where it will get the most use. Fortunately my partner enjoys gaming so this will be going in our living area (next to the kitchen!) but this requires a shallow design, height and width are less important, as long as it's well proportioned.

2) CRT is obviously out to get to the right dimensions but i'm not a lover of LCD's either. Fortunately I was able to pick up a decent Panasonic Plasma (we have one as our main TV and I love it for gaming). It's a 42" GT50 series, so not as big as some of the vertically mounted projects on here but a 50" was going to end up a bit too wide)

3) I've already picked up most of the controls, servostiks, u-trak and 6 buttons per player (SFII will get a lot of play). I've simply chosen to use the 2P Sega layout, i've used this before and find it really comfortable.

4) It will be PC based, i've already got a spare machine that i've tested the controls with using BigBox. I'm happy enough with that setup so will continue along that path.

5) I've gone for a Missile Command style marquee where it sits on the underside of the overhang with the speakers, this seems slightly more suited/proportioned to the slimline designs and allows space for components that would be difficult/impossible to fit without a marquee at all because of the hidden parts of the vertically mounted screen.

6) Colour scheme is from the pong arcade machine, we've got something akin to 'mid-century modern' decor so the veneered wood panel sides with brighter front portions will fit in just fine. It also means I don't have to paint anything, the entire thing will be veneered/laminated.

Here is my first attempt at modelling it - this isn't exactly final as some of it was eyeballed, hence a few non-parallel parts and the need for some round overs on the corners. It's been some time since i've used CAD so will refine it over the next couple of weeks.



The actual cabinet build actually won't start for another month but i'd really appreciate any feedback on the design and any recommendations.

yotsuya

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You know,  Iíve never been a fan of wall-mounted cabinets, but understanding your space considerations, I actually really like this cabinet!

I love the sleek look, the proportions, the Classic lines, and the research you clearly did. It looks engineered for the purpose, and not simply a cab cut in half and stuck on a wall like many of these wall-mounted projects do.

If I can help you in any way, let me know.
***Build what you dig, bro. Build what you dig.***

morton

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Agreed. I like this one a lot.

Are you planning to use T-Mold? If so, I would be tempted to try a nice veneer grade ply for the side pieces. Won't cost much more and instead of vinyl you could just use a good durable finish rubbed on by hand quite quickly.

That said... There is a certain charm to the wood vinyl that nature just can't... Er uh... Fake? If ya follow, you get me hah.

Prong is a good title... also a wicked old school metal band.

markc74

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That's awesome! I've been toying with something similar for a while but never had a design that I liked enough. Yours looks great.

Gotta be chucking a little dynamic marquee in there though...

leapinlew

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If I may make 1 suggestion - is there a way to add one, or two spinners? I think it's a shame to have a Pong themed cabinet and no way to play Pong like games.

Richie_jones

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I like it.  Id play about with the angles at the top a bit though.  And definitely an LCD marquee

yotsuya

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I donít think it needs an LCD marquee. It looks classy the way it is, no need to Vegas it up
***Build what you dig, bro. Build what you dig.***

leapinlew

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Here's an idea I was never able to execute, but I feel a wall mounted cab could really pull it off since it's the right distance from the wall all the time. Drill holes in a space invaders pattern and shine light through it. It should make a pretty cool graphic on the wall. I suppose you could extend this idea out to anything - maybe project PRONG onto the wall, or whatever.

I attached a graphic to help illustrate what I was thinking.




zestyphresh

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You know,  Iíve never been a fan of wall-mounted cabinets, but understanding your space considerations, I actually really like this cabinet!

I love the sleek look, the proportions, the Classic lines, and the research you clearly did. It looks engineered for the purpose, and not simply a cab cut in half and stuck on a wall like many of these wall-mounted projects do.

If I can help you in any way, let me know.

Really appreciate your comments. I've got pages of sketches trying to design something that maintained the 'feel' of an arcade machine, but lacking most of the bulk. I originally intended to build a floor standing machine (albeit too shallow to be completely freestanding) but it just didn't look right, making it wall mounted and cutting the base down made it look much better. For me it was a combination of the controls and the marquee (hence not copying the viewlix style cabs) that gave it the right look and keeping those two relatively traditional kept it looking like an arcade machine (to me at least).

Are you planning to use T-Mold? If so, I would be tempted to try a nice veneer grade ply for the side pieces. Won't cost much more and instead of vinyl you could just use a good durable finish rubbed on by hand quite quickly.

That said... There is a certain charm to the wood vinyl that nature just can't... Er uh... Fake? If ya follow, you get me hah.

Prong is a good title... also a wicked old school metal band.

I was going to use t-molding, probably black like the original pong machine. It's in a high traffic area so will inevitably get bumped into a lot. Veneered plywood isn't that easy to get hold of in the UK so i'll just use normal plywood and wood veneer. I could use vinyl but the veneer should be a little bit more hard wearing and gives me the option to adjust the tone slightly with different finishes. I've never been able to vinyl anything without bubbling too! I will check out the band later, always partial to some 80's metal!

If I may make 1 suggestion - is there a way to add one, or two spinners? I think it's a shame to have a Pong themed cabinet and no way to play Pong like games.

If the screen was larger (giving me a larger control panel) then I probably would, I really don't want it to get too busy though, especially as i'm not a love of most of the spinner games. I do have some nice large aluminium volume control knobs from some old hifi projects though so I may use one of those for volume, so at least there might be a small homage to it's origins.

I like it.  Id play about with the angles at the top a bit though.  And definitely an LCD marquee


Yep, I think it's possibly a bit too big still and the rear angle will then need adjusting. I'm not keen on an LCD marquee though, by the time i've got a small enough screen to go between the speakers it's going to be pretty small. I will probably illuminate whatever graphics I choose to go in there though (i'm toying with how to get some missile command graphics in there instead of pong maybe!)

rablack97

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I like this one as well, but never tried one due it being a ---smurfette--- to service.  Taking it on and off the wall deterred the effort.
   

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zestyphresh

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I'm going to mount it on a french cleat and secure it at the base so while still not easy to remove (the sheer weight of it!) it's also not the end of the world. I haven't finalised construction yet but most of the panels will be removable with internal batons providing the strength. Couple of questions for the experts here;

1) How do most people construct/fit the monitor bezel/glass? Is it even worth it when it's only going to be ~15mm from the screen?
2) I was going to add shift, escape and pause admin buttons (possibly momentary toggle style). Any recommendations?
3) What to do about a coin door/buttons? The angle of the base makes it unsuitable for a coin door. I'm happy using a button/buttons but not really sure where to put it. Don't want to overload the control panel and the front will inevitable get lent on and don't want to trigger it unnecessarily.

yotsuya

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***Build what you dig, bro. Build what you dig.***

PL1

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2) I was going to add shift, escape and pause admin buttons (possibly momentary toggle style). Any recommendations?
If you want to use shifted functions on an I-Pac, the default shift button is P1 Start.

Most people use either shifted functions or dedicated buttons.  There is a list of pros and cons to each approach in the FAQ.

http://wiki.arcadecontrols.com/index.php/FAQ#Number_of_admin_buttons

Either way, disable the shifted function for Menu (P1 Start + joystick right on I-Pac) so kids or party guests can't button-mash their way into the configuration menus and make a mess that can take a looong time to verify/restore all of the settings back to what they should be.   :soapbox:


Scott

zestyphresh

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Not entirely sure why I forgot about the wiki, i've read that bit before! I'm using an ipac so i'll stick with the existing shift key and only have Esc/Pause buttons (although still need to decide what they will be).

I love those GGG coin buttons but I just don't think they'll look right at an angle. I know some people have buttons on the front of the control panel but i'm not sure I like the look. I really like the old chrome, flat, coin doors but as above won't have anywhere to put them so am thinking of doing the following with some momentary toggle switches and a U bolt. The latter is partly for protection but also replicates the reject lever/arm on some old coin doors and the toggle switch will activate on an upwards push simulating rolling a coin into the slot. It needs a bit of finessing, and maybe some sort of label/graphic otherwise it just looks like a security loop! I may also add a headphone port here as it would be barely visible but I will need one.


yotsuya

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See dude, thatís creativity! :cheers
***Build what you dig, bro. Build what you dig.***

morton

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I too like those style coin acceptors and the U Bolt trick is definitely a good one IMO. It's hard to get the Nintendo style coin Mechs local to me, and always appreciate when others also take initiative to try something crafty like this. Only difference is that you'll probably do it, while I just like to talk gah.

Agree about veneer over vinyl. As a woodworker, Ivan appreciate natural grain and how it looks. Classy and as you said, more durable.