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Author Topic: Arcade Galactica! (aka Project Overbuild) - My 1st scratchbuild.  (Read 1932 times)

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darthcommanderman

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Hi, I think I'm finally ready to open up to feedback. Just don't hate if this thread takes a looong time!

In the early days of my research (circ. 3 years ago), I came across arcadecab.com. I liked the 'no screwheads' approach, and the choice of cabinet grade birch. After my first lot of wood for Project Arcade was redirected to make a baby crib.. alls well that ends well! I learned about cutting and working with this stuff that maybe sharing will help. Oh, and yes, I bought the Project Arcade bible (2nd ed) and read here a lot before doing anything because procrastination is my best friend. Anyway, this scratchbuild is based mostly on the LuCiD's arcade flashback from the bible. Please let me know your thoughts!

The Design Goals:
   - 4p upright, come-fight-me aesthetic.
   - Curvy structure, resembling a cylon (wearing bell bottoms)
   - Varathane finish to show off the nice white birch and throwback to the fake veneers of the 70's (so I needed to be extra careful with each step to avoid scuffing the _very_ thin veneer surface). Also, don't you hate priming, then painting? I'll have none of that.
   - No screwheads showing externally
   - Ergonomic for sitting and using as a hidden computer desk, since it will be a living room fixture (I have the best wife ever). A swinging monitor system allowing the monitor to sit vertical for viewing from a sitting position, and leaned back for arcade times!
   - Other super-secret features (TBA)
   - Sexy.
   
   
What I learned so far:
   - Home hardware here in Canada sucks for quality wood, and the stuff that I had bought had knots and was pretty warped. They had the 4x8 sheets on a shelf, but a carps expert tells me that they probably had the wood on its edge at the distro center, causing this slight warping to the wood. Argh. More on that later.
   - Always use painter's tape to yield clean edges when cutting. I was using a jigsaw for much of the cutting and found that it's not critical to have the tape on the underside since the teeth of the blade bite this side and pull up on the top side.
   - Countersink bits break. A lot. Have a few on hand.
   - Don't leave clamps on overnight. Unless you like to trap moisture, leaving dirty black spots that won't sand out of your wood. More on that later too.
   - Use painter's tape when routing too! I used a router from a router table that didn't have the nice plastic disc on the underside and made some major scuffs, luckily on less visible areas.

I guess I have a lot to talk about! Who knew?

Winning games (To-be-played list):
   - Smash TV
   - Double Dragon
   - Gauntlet
   - Ninja Gaiden
   - Ghosts n Goblins
   - Ninja Baseball Batman
   - Lots of point and click adventure games (trackball!)

BSG Games
Diaspora http://diaspora.hard-light.net/
Fleet Commander (Homeworld Remastered) - http://www.moddb.com/mods/battlestargalactica-fleetcommander
Fall of Kobol:  Sins of the Fallen (Sins of a Solar Empire) - http://www.moddb.com/mods/fall-of-kobol


Today's business:

At this point, I think I'm finally nearly ready to print a blueprint of this control panel design and cut it! Please let me know your thoughts! To the right of the trackball is the hole for the spinner, and finally, (don't hate!), a flight stick over the 'nacelles' since I thought it would suit the BSG style. Dimensions are 38x20 inches to avoid having wide 'wings' since it is a living room appliance..

Thanks in advance for your feedback!!!


darthcommanderman

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Re: Arcade Galactica! (aka Project Overbuild) - My 1st scratchbuild.
« Reply #1 on: October 27, 2016, 01:32:56 pm »
control panel supports. I'm thinking about using the same 'letter D' outline as the control panel for the base also, to avoid little kid heads from bumping into the corners. would this look terrible? Maybe I'll just follow the outline of the supports, adding a curved line from the 4p corner to the right side of 2p and the same for the other side. thoughts?

Mike A

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Re: Arcade Galactica! (aka Project Overbuild) - My 1st scratchbuild.
« Reply #2 on: October 27, 2016, 04:33:48 pm »
That is a pretty busy control panel. You might want to rethink that.

Le Chuck

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Re: Arcade Galactica! (aka Project Overbuild) - My 1st scratchbuild.
« Reply #3 on: October 27, 2016, 05:07:04 pm »
Over on the left. That's a bunch of buttons there above another bunch of buttons but below that other bunch of buttons.

darthcommanderman

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Re: Arcade Galactica! (aka Project Overbuild) - My 1st scratchbuild.
« Reply #4 on: October 28, 2016, 10:12:54 am »
What!? You don't like buttons!?

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darthcommanderman

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Re: Arcade Galactica! (aka Project Overbuild) - My 1st scratchbuild.
« Reply #5 on: October 28, 2016, 10:15:41 am »
Thanks a lot for that feedback. It's hard to see it when you're so close to it! Overthinking and overbuilding will rule me on this project for sure.



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darthcommanderman

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Re: Arcade Galactica! (aka Project Overbuild) - My 1st scratchbuild.
« Reply #6 on: October 28, 2016, 10:16:42 am »
The 'wing' of trackball buttons has a purpose

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darthcommanderman

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Re: Arcade Galactica! (aka Project Overbuild) - My 1st scratchbuild.
« Reply #7 on: October 28, 2016, 10:17:17 am »
Look, listen, feel, smell and touch!!!

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darthcommanderman

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Re: Arcade Galactica! (aka Project Overbuild) - My 1st scratchbuild.
« Reply #8 on: October 28, 2016, 10:18:19 am »
I would drop the spinner first and maybe some buttons.

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Le Chuck

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Re: Arcade Galactica! (aka Project Overbuild) - My 1st scratchbuild.
« Reply #9 on: October 28, 2016, 10:45:58 am »
I'm sure the wing of trackball buttons has a purpose.  It's also two inches from four other buttons that you kinda need, so maybe add a button to the P3 slot and drop the wing.  And what's up with the buttons along the top left?  And why so many admin buttons? 

menace

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Re: Arcade Galactica! (aka Project Overbuild) - My 1st scratchbuild.
« Reply #10 on: October 28, 2016, 11:04:20 am »
Since its a scratch build--maybe drop a four player coin door down below and use the credit reject buttons as your coin up buttons--that would get rid of 4 buttons up top.  I would go with maybe just pause and escape and add shift functions to get access to other ones that are used far less.  Also, what games use 7 buttons?  I see this all the time and am curious.
its better to not post and be thought a fool, then to whip out your keyboard and remove all doubt...

darthcommanderman

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Re: Arcade Galactica! (aka Project Overbuild) - My 1st scratchbuild.
« Reply #11 on: October 31, 2016, 09:41:19 am »
I'm thinking about using the Force in Star Wars: Jedi Power Battles (PSX). Use the thumb to run, or maybe give a good Force push. God I love that game, and its brutally unfair difficulty. No other SW game compares with the granular control of combos and playable characters with different styles!

I digress. Short answer: SNES games, PSP, PSX.. No actual  arcade games I know of exactly. I am thinking the extra buttons could also serve well for rapid fire/macros, especially the thumb.
« Last Edit: November 02, 2016, 12:39:48 pm by darthcommanderman »

darthcommanderman

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Re: Arcade Galactica! (aka Project Overbuild) - My 1st scratchbuild.
« Reply #12 on: November 02, 2016, 12:45:44 pm »
Here is the fix for the warped wood from Home Hardware. I dampened the wood by running it under a tap, then lightly wiping dry. I then used dowels to avoid making marks, and was sure to place WOOD between the clamp and the work piece, so mold wouldn't form there.  I left it this way for ~7 days, mostly because I didn't have time to come back to it, and found that it worked!

I noticed in another build thread that someone laid wet rags onto their mdf for an hour, then glued and screwed it onto a jig for a purposeful bending of the 1/2 inch mdf. It seemed to work well there too.

I was surprised this worked for the tough birch plywood, but it did! Now i just have to do this for the other 11 faceboards...


darthcommanderman

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Re: Arcade Galactica! (aka Project Overbuild) - My 1st scratchbuild.
« Reply #13 on: November 03, 2016, 03:37:49 pm »
Thanks for your feedback. May I have some more?

I dropped some mouse buttons and a spinner. I just couldn't remove the 4th button for 3p/4p knowing i'll want to play Dungeons and Dragons. The coin buttons are on the panel for reasons to be explained later. So, I'm really stuck trying to remove anything further. At least the buttons will all be white (aside from 4 red coin buttons) so that might help with the aesthetic appeal.

I'm now questioning the position of the trackball. I love the look of it over the 'reactor core', but i fear only 2.5 to 2.8 inches from the 1P buttons may be too short for the heel of the hand. I suppose i'll create a test panel and decide how much I love/hate it.  (pic1)

The same goes for the mouse buttons, now organized into a chevron, placed above the CIC. I think that should be fine, but I may want to rotate them to better suit the left hand, no? (pic2)

The third pic is the proposed 'most comfortable, least pleasing to the eye' placement of trackball and buttons. I don't like how it covers the forward dorsal batteries, but it ain't terrible! Please let me know what you think looks best from below! Thanks kindly.

darthcommanderman

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Re: Arcade Galactica! (aka Project Overbuild) - My 1st scratchbuild.
« Reply #14 on: November 09, 2016, 04:12:06 pm »
I did some math, really advanced stuff because i didn't really understand the instructions that came with this magnetic hinge.

FYI, I posted about this in the R&D phase onto here:
http://forum.arcadecontrols.com/index.php/topic,150038.msg1567161.html#msg1567161

I ended up choosing this "stay":
http://www.richelieu.com/ca/en/category/hinges-and-slides/opening-systems/vertical-opening-systems/lift-up-door/duo-flap-stay/1033398


So, I've figured out my measurements by using a test setup and now to install! Oops. Tight quarters. Good thing the cabinet design is big.

I like to keep these handy... for close encounters!

darthcommanderman

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Re: Arcade Galactica! (aka Project Overbuild) - My 1st scratchbuild.
« Reply #15 on: November 14, 2016, 01:57:16 pm »
Top board routed, varathaned and t-molded!

Today I learned it is best to leave a good 1/4 inch of extra hanging off of an edge. I lined it up flush the first time, and when I finished hammering it in, my hammering action had tugged the molding along the t-slot and pulled it in from the far edge, leaving a gap. I had to pull it all out and reinstall.
  :angry:

This t-molding is going wall-to-wall as a marquee bezel so I want it flush on both ends.

Also pictured: varathane drying on coin door. I found after varathaning so much that it's really ok to 'slather it on' a bit, leaving some areas a bit milky white, so long as it's done slowly and another swipe or two is made shortly after to pop any bubbles.

darthcommanderman

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Re: Arcade Galactica! (aka Project Overbuild) - My 1st scratchbuild.
« Reply #16 on: March 03, 2017, 02:06:44 pm »
Hello all,
Just to let you know, this thread isn't dead! I have all kinds of excuses, but here's what you might want. A progress pic! A mock-up of the control panel. FYI, It's an earlier version of the control panel that a local print shop blueprint-printed.

Long story short, a major hangup is that I hung the coin door, but then found that there was indeed a warping of the side panel at the bottom, causing the 33 1/4 inch wide door to hang 1/2 inch closer to the floor on one side. :( I've made the hard decision to remove the door and try reattaching. My current plan is to cut the piece on an angle to make the 'floor line' horizontal, but the hinge will not quite be perpendicular as a result. Does that sound like a good workaround? I was thinking to hang from the other side, but I prefer to hang from the angled side because of the volume knob on the AMP will be on the opening side.


thewisteron

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Re: Arcade Galactica! (aka Project Overbuild) - My 1st scratchbuild.
« Reply #17 on: March 03, 2017, 02:27:30 pm »
Cool theme. I love BSG. Working on my own 4 player panel, so I'll be following. http://forum.arcadecontrols.com/index.php/topic,138292.0.html

  
 

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