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Author Topic: Pi > CP > Bartop > cabinet  (Read 1835 times)

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Zak Vortex

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Pi > CP > Bartop > cabinet
« on: June 08, 2017, 04:45:51 pm »
Hi all

I have been reading the forum for a while so thought I should talk about the project I have embarked on. It's worth noting that I have little to no skill.

Although it is coming out far better than I expected before I started it is far from perfect and I am aware it is not to everybody's taste. My arcade build is an excellent example of what happens when you don't plan correctly in advance. I have taken several wrong turns and changed my mind a lot since I started.

I have always been into gaming and have owned several arcade cabs in the past inc double dragon, street fighter 2, NBA Jam and Neo Geo. However, this was many years ago and I sold my complete collection when babies came along. Now the kids are getting older and getting into retro games themselves I have had an itch to own an arcade cab and some consoles again.

I very much made it up as I went but wanted the design and angles to match other furniture in the room it will live in. It also had to be simple and clean, again to match its surrounding furniture.

My original idea was just to create a CP using a raspberry pi. Once I did that I wasn't satisfied and decided I would convert into a Bartop which would still fit in the space I had available. Soon after a new room with more space became an option so I decided to build a pedestal for the Bartop.

As I said above, considering my lack of any skill, patience and planning it is progressing better than I expected.

I started with a stand alone control panel which was meant to be where this ended.

I ordered cheap joysticks and buttons from amazon but I am really happy with how they perform. The control panel is built from 12mm MDF.


 



 

 

 

 





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« Last Edit: June 08, 2017, 07:35:52 pm by Zak Vortex »

Zak Vortex

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Pi > CP > Bartop > cabinet
« Reply #1 on: June 09, 2017, 02:17:27 am »
So I played it like this for a while but it didn't ever scratch the arcade cab itch I had so I set about building it into a Bartop.

Currently it is using retropie but I intend on putting a PC in it eventually so built it with this in mind.
 

 

 

 
I am using an old TV I had lying around which works fine. It would have been nice to have a CRT but for now this is a much cheaper and more convenient option.


 


Again, I really like the straight edges and lines so know it's not to everybody's taste but it will look good going into my 'man cave' when it finally gets there.

Next was to work on a bezel and marquee. I tried a few options for the bezel but went with cutting the shape out of left over mdf to keep costs down.



For the marquee I have used 3mm plastic and edging strips both purchased from my local B&Q.
 


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« Last Edit: June 09, 2017, 02:25:21 am by Zak Vortex »

Zak Vortex

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Pi > CP > Bartop > cabinet
« Reply #2 on: June 09, 2017, 07:02:03 pm »
My plan is a clean, white look with simple and minimal artwork.
 

 

 


For sound I chose to go with a short cheap mini amp from eBay which literally cost a couple of quid. Paired with some cheap car speakers I had laying around it sounds very good and cost very little.
 

 

 
The MDF is too thin and I don't have the tools for T Moulding so I found 12mm chrome, car self adhesive strips on amazon which have worked really well. I am pleased with the quality of this edging and how it has come out.



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« Last Edit: June 09, 2017, 07:09:24 pm by Zak Vortex »

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Re: Pi > CP > Bartop > cabinet
« Reply #3 on: June 09, 2017, 08:45:10 pm »
Nice and clean, man. Plus, 'R-Type' c'mon... one of the best games ever! ;).

Looks great.

Zak Vortex

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Re: Pi > CP > Bartop > cabinet
« Reply #4 on: June 10, 2017, 05:55:41 pm »
I tried several different ideas for the bezel with little success. I read up on lots of techniques for painting onto the plastic but I failed miserably. Eventually I ordered a sheet of 3mm tinted Perspex which came cut to size. I am really pleased with how this worked out and think the MAME games look better under this bezel




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Zak Vortex

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Re: Pi > CP > Bartop > cabinet
« Reply #5 on: June 11, 2017, 01:51:02 pm »
Nice and clean, man. Plus, 'R-Type' c'mon... one of the best games ever! ;).

Looks great.

Cheers mate. R-Type really is but I have definitely lost my skills over the years 


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Re: Pi > CP > Bartop > cabinet
« Reply #6 on: June 12, 2017, 11:46:16 am »
 Looking nice :)

Zak Vortex

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Re: Pi > CP > Bartop > cabinet
« Reply #7 on: June 12, 2017, 12:15:35 pm »
 My graphic designer friend has created very clean and understated artwork for me. I have received the CP and marquee. There is side are also designed but I have held off paying for printing whilst I was in two minds regarding building a base for the Bartop.
 

 

 

 



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Mike A

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Re: Pi > CP > Bartop > cabinet
« Reply #8 on: June 12, 2017, 05:06:50 pm »
It looks better without the artwork.

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Re: Pi > CP > Bartop > cabinet
« Reply #9 on: June 12, 2017, 10:05:37 pm »
It looks better without the artwork.

Agreed. But this is for a man cave, so I suppose it meets the intended needs.
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Zak Vortex

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Re: Pi > CP > Bartop > cabinet
« Reply #10 on: June 13, 2017, 04:17:42 am »
It looks better without the artwork.

Agreed. But this is for a man cave, so I suppose it meets the intended needs.

Thanks for your feedback gents. I think it will look good in the man cave when it's ready as it should all tie in. If not I will have a re-think on the art work.


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Zak Vortex

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Re: Pi > CP > Bartop > cabinet
« Reply #11 on: June 14, 2017, 02:39:22 am »
I have decided that I am going to build a pedestal base for the Bartop which will house my older games consoles. This will sit with my HD consoles in the man cave eventually. Spent a while actually planning it this time which seems to be  paying off.


 



 



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Re: Pi > CP > Bartop > cabinet
« Reply #12 on: June 14, 2017, 05:57:32 am »
Nice and clean, man. Plus, 'R-Type' c'mon... one of the best games ever! ;).

Looks great.

My thoughts too. I also like that you were able to do it in a couple of stages by making a standalone CP first (",)


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Zak Vortex

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Re: Pi > CP > Bartop > cabinet
« Reply #13 on: June 14, 2017, 07:36:05 am »
Nice and clean, man. Plus, 'R-Type' c'mon... one of the best games ever! ;).

Looks great.

My thoughts too. I also like that you were able to do it in a couple of stages by making a standalone CP first (",)
Thank you. It is working out better than I thought but probably not the most economical way to do things. :)


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Zak Vortex

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Re: Pi > CP > Bartop > cabinet
« Reply #14 on: June 14, 2017, 06:08:53 pm »
Simple but effective update. I wanted to be able to play four player games and also prefer playing console games on pads, so I added these USB ports to the front which I picked up for a couple of quid on eBay. Work really well. Also good if i need to use the keyboard
 

 
Also picked up these 50p start buttons from a guy at work.
 



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Zak Vortex

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Re: Pi > CP > Bartop > cabinet
« Reply #15 on: June 15, 2017, 01:44:54 pm »
I put some casters on the base so it is movable, especially as it will be in a temp location for a while.

The plan is to house all of my retro consoles whilst my HD consoles are set up in my large tv cabinet which is of a similar design, style and colour.


 
Did a quick test fit and I'm pleased with how it is progressing



Using cabinet locks to join the top to the base


There is work to do at the back to tidy it up and improve the electrics


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Zak Vortex

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Re: Pi > CP > Bartop > cabinet
« Reply #16 on: June 17, 2017, 01:51:13 pm »
I learned a lot from painting the Bartop so the paint has come out better for the pedestal. Pleased with how smooth the finish is


 

 

 

 




I've ordered some more of the chrome car edging so will set about covering the edges to brig consistency to the base and Bartop.


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Re: Pi > CP > Bartop > cabinet
« Reply #17 on: June 17, 2017, 04:26:55 pm »
Fantastic work! I've often thought of making something similar for my Bartop. It ends up taking up more space than a regular machine because it always needs a table or desk to sit on. And it's way too big and heavy to be portable.
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Re: Pi > CP > Bartop > cabinet
« Reply #18 on: June 18, 2017, 05:47:19 am »
Nice build. Love the white

Zak Vortex

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Pi > CP > Bartop > cabinet
« Reply #19 on: June 18, 2017, 04:38:29 pm »
Fantastic work! I've often thought of making something similar for my Bartop. It ends up taking up more space than a regular machine because it always needs a table or desk to sit on. And it's way too big and heavy to be portable.

Agreed, it's actually far more portable now it's doubled in size :). Wheels have been my best friend


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« Last Edit: June 18, 2017, 04:40:01 pm by Zak Vortex »

Zak Vortex

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Re: Pi > CP > Bartop > cabinet
« Reply #20 on: June 18, 2017, 04:40:54 pm »
Nice build. Love the white
Thanks mate. The colour is clean and will be consistent with the other furniture which will sit around it


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Zak Vortex

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Re: Pi > CP > Bartop > cabinet
« Reply #21 on: June 18, 2017, 04:45:40 pm »
Have started adding my consoles into the unit. It is working well but need to do some research on the best way to handle all of the inputs and importantly the sound. Currently the consoles run through the TV speakers and not the amp which is only being used for the raspberry pi. My goal is to have all running through this so any advice is much appreciated.


 


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Re: Pi > CP > Bartop > cabinet
« Reply #22 on: June 18, 2017, 04:55:46 pm »
I like the build but the wires gotta go on the the bottom side. Went from super clean to clutter real quick.

Zak Vortex

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Re: Pi > CP > Bartop > cabinet
« Reply #23 on: June 18, 2017, 06:38:11 pm »
I like the build but the wires gotta go on the the bottom side. Went from super clean to clutter real quick.
Agreed mate. I have a plan for the wires


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Re: Pi > CP > Bartop > cabinet
« Reply #24 on: July 01, 2017, 03:40:06 am »
Are all the outputs the same for your consoles? Just run them all through a switcher and have the audio part of the switcher run to the amp instead of the TV. That is what I did with my console collection. Although the reason I did that is because the speakers in my TV died so it goes through some PC speakers now :D

This is similar to the switcher I am using:


http://www.ebay.com.au/itm/8-Way-RCA-Video-Audio-AV-1-to-8-Ports-Selector-TV-DVD-Switch-Switcher-Box-/222331777065?hash=item33c401b029:g:qokAAOSwiDFYP7z~

It's so convenient to have them all as AV that even though some of my consoles can do S-video and so does the TV, I just have them all as AV (",)

Oh, if you get a switcher, whatever brand it is, get one with EVERYTHING cable going to the back, and switches on the front. Sounds obvious, but there are quite a few that have some cables in the front, some in the back. It's just silly...
« Last Edit: July 02, 2017, 03:15:19 am by danny_galaga »


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Re: Pi > CP > Bartop > cabinet
« Reply #25 on: July 02, 2017, 06:03:39 am »
Nice. Frosted glass on the front would look skill (hinged @ the point of the indent?)

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Re: Pi > CP > Bartop > cabinet
« Reply #26 on: July 15, 2017, 04:56:48 am »
Nice. Frosted glass on the front would look skill (hinged @ the point of the indent?)

I have been thinking the same. Going to look into it.


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Zak Vortex

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Re: Pi > CP > Bartop > cabinet
« Reply #27 on: July 15, 2017, 04:59:10 am »
Are all the outputs the same for your consoles? Just run them all through a switcher and have the audio part of the switcher run to the amp instead of the TV. That is what I did with my console collection. Although the reason I did that is because the speakers in my TV died so it goes through some PC speakers now :D

This is similar to the switcher I am using:


http://www.ebay.com.au/itm/8-Way-RCA-Video-Audio-AV-1-to-8-Ports-Selector-TV-DVD-Switch-Switcher-Box-/222331777065?hash=item33c401b029:g:qokAAOSwiDFYP7z~

It's so convenient to have them all as AV that even though some of my consoles can do S-video and so does the TV, I just have them all as AV (",)

Oh, if you get a switcher, whatever brand it is, get one with EVERYTHING cable going to the back, and switches on the front. Sounds obvious, but there are quite a few that have some cables in the front, some in the back. It's just silly...
Thanks mate. I bought something similar but not as good having seen this. It works though and I also got a hdmi upscaler so the 360 and Wii u also run through it and all come out of the audio out from the upscaler. Works well just a lot of cables


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Zak Vortex

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Re: Pi > CP > Bartop > cabinet
« Reply #28 on: July 16, 2017, 12:04:07 pm »
I now have all of my consoles and pi connected via the amp and HDMI adaptor. Really pleased with how easy it is to swap between consoles and the Pi. Made the mistake of starting Shenmue which has ended up taking over my life. Now I have finished I can polish off the last remaining bits. Added the chrome car edging to the base and have nearly finished designing the artwork.



There are more pics on IG @retro_zakvortex if anybody is interested.



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