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Author Topic: New to this all, first MAME Cabinet project!  (Read 2450 times)

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Schnookums

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New to this all, first MAME Cabinet project!
« on: April 11, 2017, 12:26:50 am »
So I finally managed to get my hands on a semi-gutted cabinet (A Police Trainer cabinet with some of the wiring and power supply stuff still inside) and wanted to post here to hopefully inspire me to keep at it. I definitely intend to use these forums as a resource, as I'm only currently passing familiar with everything that goes on with building one of these machines.


Here are some pictures of the empty cab, still trying to figure out what exactly to do with the stuff still inside.






Schnookums

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Re: New to this all, first MAME Cabinet project!
« Reply #1 on: April 11, 2017, 06:11:40 pm »
I think my first big decision with this is if I should strip it and repaint or no. It seems kind of foolish when it's already the color (black) that I want, but on the flip side I'm not sure if cleaning it will be good enough compared to having a fresh coat of paint.

05SRT4

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Re: New to this all, first MAME Cabinet project!
« Reply #2 on: April 11, 2017, 06:37:08 pm »
Welcome to the forum Schnookums.

Its definitely going to be easier to work on the shell now. No pics of the sides but from what I already see it looks to be in good shape. Did you plan on just having it black or did you want to do graphics. Im all for black, the gutted mame cab I did I just left black, I did sand a repaint though because it was in bad shape.




Schnookums

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Re: New to this all, first MAME Cabinet project!
« Reply #3 on: April 11, 2017, 07:03:19 pm »
I'll post pictures of the side panels but there's no major damage that I saw (nicks and scratches maybe, but no cracks or gouges). I had strongly considered having a custom decal done for the sides (which is why I want to keep it black.)

Also, thank you for the welcome!

harveybirdman

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Re: New to this all, first MAME Cabinet project!
« Reply #4 on: April 11, 2017, 08:59:56 pm »
No monitor?  If you can't find a suitable CRT replacement consider spending the time to mount your LCD vertically. Or get the biggest one you can fit horizontally.  The scale will be horrible if you go too small because that's a big cabinet.

Schnookums

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Re: New to this all, first MAME Cabinet project!
« Reply #5 on: April 11, 2017, 10:55:15 pm »
I'm definitely going to go with LCD, since this is my first project and I'd rather not deal with the hassles of a CRT (Weight and suchlike.) I'm just trying to figure out what monitor I want to toss into it, and I can't find my stupid tape measure. Plus if things go wrong they can go really wrong.  As far as the sides go I think I just need to clean them up and do some minor work on them to make them look good.Here's a few pics to give an idea:





The camera kinda makes it look worse than it is. One thing I'm definitely doing is taking my time...the more time I spend making sure to get it right the less money and time I'll spend actually working on it.


mourix

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Re: New to this all, first MAME Cabinet project!
« Reply #6 on: April 12, 2017, 05:43:46 am »
That looks like a perfect cabinet for a first project :cheers:

Those sides definitely need some bondo and paint action if you're going for a "brand new" finish though. And as warned before: get yourself an lcd that fills the entire cabinet width or you'll end up with bad proportions.

Good luck!

Schnookums

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Re: New to this all, first MAME Cabinet project!
« Reply #7 on: April 14, 2017, 12:22:33 pm »
Ugh, and ran into my first dilemma. The 30" 16:10 Monitors I was looking at are just a tiny bit too big horizontally. I'm assuming that there's little to no wriggle room as far as that goes even if I take the case off. I'm hoping a 27" won't look too bad with this size machine.

pbj

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Re: New to this all, first MAME Cabinet project!
« Reply #8 on: April 14, 2017, 12:44:23 pm »
How too big are we talking here?

Schnookums

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Re: New to this all, first MAME Cabinet project!
« Reply #9 on: April 14, 2017, 12:51:34 pm »
I'm going to remeasure it when I get home from work (I was in a bit of a rush) but it's roughly 27" vs 25" space available.

Schnookums

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Re: New to this all, first MAME Cabinet project!
« Reply #10 on: April 15, 2017, 10:03:19 pm »
Yeah, after measuring and checking, a 16:10 30" is just going to be too big no matter what I do. The screen is going to be too wide. 27" is actually going to be fine horizontally....it's vertically that I run into a big problem. we're talking 11" of space, 5.5" space on top and bottom seems like it'll not look good at all.  Might have to come up with a novel solution for this...

keilmillerjr

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Re: New to this all, first MAME Cabinet project!
« Reply #11 on: April 16, 2017, 08:57:08 pm »
Yeah, after measuring and checking, a 16:10 30" is just going to be too big no matter what I do. The screen is going to be too wide. 27" is actually going to be fine horizontally....it's vertically that I run into a big problem. we're talking 11" of space, 5.5" space on top and bottom seems like it'll not look good at all.  Might have to come up with a novel solution for this...

A novel solution would be a 25" crt...

Schnookums

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Re: New to this all, first MAME Cabinet project!
« Reply #12 on: April 16, 2017, 10:58:40 pm »
Yes, well...I'm just not really equipped right now to put a CRT into the cabinet. But anyone in the chicagoland area is welcome to do it for me! ;)

Seriously though, I reconfirmed some of the measurements and realized that I had less vertical space than I had thought, which means that a 27" monitor should be fine. I was looking at the dell ultrasharps or the hannspree 28" monitor.


I was also pleased to find this in the alley today, which should be fine for running mame and besides, if I mess it up it's not like I paid anything for it:



Schnookums

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Re: New to this all, first MAME Cabinet project!
« Reply #13 on: April 24, 2017, 02:21:28 pm »
Small update, managed to strip some of the internal stuff and remove the old control panel from the cabinet. I realize after working on it that instead of trying to force things I should work with how the cabinet is built. This does mean changing some of my expectations (I had originally wanted two players, tracball and spinner but it'll look like carp trying to fit it all in.) I think since this is my first build I should focus on getting something that looks decent and works rather than shooting for the moon. Then I can take what I've learned and apply it towards my dream machine.

Also I'm likely to have a bunch of parts I won't be using, will probably give them away to anyone who wants to pick them up. I can't imagine any of it is worth anything though (Power supply, transformer, I'll probably give away the control panel too.)

Schnookums

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Re: New to this all, first MAME Cabinet project!
« Reply #14 on: April 24, 2017, 04:20:15 pm »
I know what I had said earlier about going with a LCD monitor...honestly, I'd love to go CRT but I'm worried at how difficult and potentially risky they are to work with. I did see this and it was pretty local to me: https://picclick.com/Wells-Gardner-K-7500-27-Inch-Arcade-222467819349.html

Is it worth the trouble? I'm just worried that I'll be paying a bunch of money for something that I can't get correctly into the cabinet and working.

Schnookums

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Re: New to this all, first MAME Cabinet project!
« Reply #15 on: May 02, 2017, 11:37:54 pm »
Progress has been made! I got the side panels from the control panel off, I finished stripping the stuff from the inside including the marquee, and I ordered the monitor that will go inside this sucker. Still not sure what I'll do with the coin door, I'd love to leave it in but I'll definitely need to figure out how to wire the lights for it then. Have a bunch of stuff I pulled from the cabinet that I'll catalog and put up to be given away, methinks. I ended up going with this monitor just because of how the size was going to work out horizontally: http://www.techspot.com/products/monitors/asus-vk266h.4802/

Next step will be setting up the computer and figuring out what exactly I want included in my control panel...











« Last Edit: May 03, 2017, 03:30:17 pm by Schnookums »

Schnookums

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Re: New to this all, first MAME Cabinet project!
« Reply #16 on: May 08, 2017, 02:09:13 pm »
Ugh, I'm at a crossroads right now. I have an idea for how I want the artwork done on this machine, but it'll delay things quite a bit while I wait for said artwork to be completed. And I'm not 100% sure I want this to be my final cabinet. It comes down to two things: If I use this as my starter cabinet and take the skills I gained to make a final cabinet then I'm going to have to sell this one when I'm done, as I just don't have the space for 2 cabinets. But if I do make this my forever cabinet I'm worried I'll always be thinking I could have done better. Otherwise progress is still ongoing, getting ready to figure out how to mount the monitor inside the cabinet, have a few ideas how I'll do it.

morton

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Re: New to this all, first MAME Cabinet project!
« Reply #17 on: May 11, 2017, 09:39:43 am »
Ugh, I'm at a crossroads right now. I have an idea for how I want the artwork done on this machine, but it'll delay things quite a bit while I wait for said artwork to be completed. And I'm not 100% sure I want this to be my final cabinet. It comes down to two things: If I use this as my starter cabinet and take the skills I gained to make a final cabinet then I'm going to have to sell this one when I'm done, as I just don't have the space for 2 cabinets. But if I do make this my forever cabinet I'm worried I'll always be thinking I could have done better. Otherwise progress is still ongoing, getting ready to figure out how to mount the monitor inside the cabinet, have a few ideas how I'll do it.

As someone who has had several projects, including a current cabinet build (already planning another)... finish this one. Having projects pile up is going to mentally break you at some point if you get too out of hand. In all the hobbies I have, I can say that there are about 5 years in projects that will never get done... just a pile of parts. That takes up more space than a couple finished projects. Not to mention its easier to move completed stuff than a bunch of loose parts.

You seem to be learning along the way, and working with a cabinet that was professionally built would provide ample time to look at how things are built and ways things can be improved. By doing this, you will know better what your wants and needs are - and know what to look for or build next... making your first cab easier to sell, and making life easier to move on in.

Lots of people want to hold on to their first for sentimental reasons - sentimentality can get expensive - just ask us guys who pay to store old cars every year. It's a luxury... the only cool hoarders are the ones with acres of junk. That sounds like a lot of work, and inherited land I am not entitled to... so I keep it confined to a room in the house. Once it flows out, some projects need to be culled.

Forge ahead, learn what you can, and make the next one fit your needs... you'll forget about having to sell the first. Just my $0.02, YMMV.

Schnookums

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Re: New to this all, first MAME Cabinet project!
« Reply #18 on: May 11, 2017, 12:25:42 pm »
Thank you. The more I thought about it, the more I realized that the important thing is to get this cabinet done (although I'm not going to half-ass it of course.) I realize I was starting to suffer some serious project creep, but I've got a clear goal in mind which means I just need to pick up a few things to wrap things up with this cabinet.

Schnookums

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Re: New to this all, first MAME Cabinet project!
« Reply #19 on: May 29, 2017, 11:02:54 pm »
It's been a while since I had any updates, but I've made huge progress since then.

Ladies and Gentleman, this is Mambo No. 5 Behold my newly mounted monitor!





What I did was reverse the internal chassis mounts so that the bolts were pointed backwards. I then drilled holes in a piece of plywood and mounted it inside. I followed that up by drilling holes in the middle of the plywood for a vesa monitor mount, which is what's holding up the monitor.

There's a lot in the process I'm leaving out...let's just say this has been a huge learning experience for me and a reminder of the dangers of complacency. (I started the project obsessively measuring everything, but I've been doing so well that I got careless with the plywood, and ordered it too thick, so I had to deal with that. Thankfully I was able to without too much hue and cry.)

In addition I've got the marquee lighting set up. These pictures are a tad out of date, as I've got wire holders in place for the usb cables now, but this still shows what I've done:





Mounting the monitor was by far the hardest part of this project. While there's still a lot to go I feel like my estimated completion date of end of August will be met, at least for something that's functional. Still need to deal with the bezel, T-molding, general cleanup and minor repairs, and mounting the control panel when it comes (that was something I did purchase premade).

mourix

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Re: New to this all, first MAME Cabinet project!
« Reply #20 on: May 30, 2017, 03:31:52 pm »
Progress at last. These projects just take hours to figure out if you're a beginner, I know all about it...

The marquee lighting is interesting as the standard way of backlighting it is straight from the back, while you put the led strip on the bottom and top. It seems to work though :angel:

Schnookums

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Re: New to this all, first MAME Cabinet project!
« Reply #21 on: May 30, 2017, 10:09:08 pm »
Even more progress...my heavily...er...inspired by Tron control panel art (with lots of borrowing from the original CP)



The people I'm buying the CP from will also be printing out the art on adhesive vinyl.

Schnookums

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Re: New to this all, first MAME Cabinet project!
« Reply #22 on: July 04, 2017, 11:41:24 pm »
Well, it's been a bit of time. Blame a week's vacation in Las Vegas for stalling my progress. I've got a fair amount done though in the meantime. The Pics here aren't 100% up to date, but they're pretty close. T-molding has been installed (I'd like to thank RandyT from GGG for that fine purchase.) Since the wood wasn't in great shape and couldn't quite hold the T-molding in place I did have to use epoxy to keep it attached, but I think it worked out rather well, all things considered. Speakers are mounted, properly this time, so ignore the picture showing them facing out, I've got them mounted above the speaker grills in the marquee. I did unfortunately realize that my control panel was not going to be nearly large enough. I've got ideas how to deal with that and will be cutting the prototypes hopefully within a week or so. I did also end up mounting the components inside the case. Well, specifically to a board that had held the arcade power supply. It wasn't necessary, I'll admit, but honestly it made me happy to do it...made it feel a bit more like an arcade machine (that and I hated the case that my computer was currently using.) Hopefully I'll have some more updates soon, I need to get cracking on the side are and marquee art. I also need to pick a name for it. I was thinking Retromamecade 60 in 1...just kidding. I actually was thinking of going with a bit of a tron theme, based on the control panel art. Either Cyclotron or Positron for the name (Heavily leaning towards Positron but I've got time to work that part out.)










Schnookums

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Re: New to this all, first MAME Cabinet project!
« Reply #23 on: July 20, 2017, 12:14:12 am »
Getting to the home stretch...I didn't want to bring this up before I had a solution for it, but...another goof on my part from when I ordered the control panel. I didn't account for the size difference at all, and it was not nearly big enough. Yeah, another case of my overeagerness costing me. So I ended up rigging a stand/mount for it so you can just slide it in (It'll be secured internally with some bolts.) I'm also going to use the space below it for a keyboard/mouse drawer. Here's the work done, going to probably apply laminate to it to make it look at least a little purty:







You can also see my attempts at some form of cable management, was playing around with heat shrink for the cables. I have since rewired the rest of it, it looks...well better, it's not a total mess at least.

I'm hitting the home stretch here...I need to order the marquee and side art, pretty up the cables, and finalize some minor design decisions. I had wanted to complete it by the end of August and it looks like I'm still on track for that.

  
 

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