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Author Topic: Tyler's Arcade Adventure  (Read 1344 times)

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Tyler

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Tyler's Arcade Adventure
« on: July 23, 2017, 04:46:18 pm »
Hello everyone!


Like all of you, I’ve been bitten by the arcade-building bug. 

A few weeks ago I stumbled across scoodidabop’s post on reddit, and I thought it was about the coolest thing I’ve seen in years. I had set up retro-pie almost a year ago, and loved being able to play all of my old favorite games; seeing that post made me realize that I wanted step-up my game and build one of those myself.



A few days later I discovered the BYOAC forums, and I’ve spent the past week obsessively looking through various builds, and finding myself in awe of the amazing machines that the members of this forum have created. I’ve scoured this forum searching for answers to my questions, and finding an answer to nearly all of them. I’ve decided that I -want- NEED to build one of these to have for myself. 



Background on me:



Planning: 6/10. I tell myself that I’ll over-engineer this, but in reality I’ll probably end up getting impatient and start building this thing sooner rather than later. I’m currently building a model of my idea in sketchup to make sure everything fits how I’d like it to.



Technical know-how
: 6/10. I’ve built a few computers, set up some home servers, and networks. I’m confident that I can get software that is already written to work, but anything beyond extremely basic programming is out of my league.



Woodworking: 3/10. Actual woodworking skills are limited, but I’m pretty handy, so I think I’ll manage. I’ve been watching youtube videos (I’ve found Steve Ramsey’s channel to be extremely informative) and have learned a lot.

Design Influences:

ChanceKJ’s Flynn’s Arcade for the majority of cabinet.

Pauly’s Ready Player One cabinet for his control panel’s button layout, and his eventually discarded three-sided marquee idea. (I’m not sure if I’ll be able to make this a reality; as I stated above, my woodworking skills are very limited.

Design Goals:

  • Have an internal frame to support the structure, at least up until the control panel. This will primarily used by adults. I’d like to make sure that a couple of grown men leaning on it while playing won’t make it fall apart. 

Exterior will be made out of 3/4” cabinet-grade plywood. Birch seems to a popular choice. Does anyone have any other suggestions?
  • Three-sided marquee, as mentioned above.
  • Locking quick-release rear access panels for easy access to the controls.
  • 4-player coin door (Also debating if I want to have free-play coin buttons on the control panel, or hidden away underneath). Perhaps I’ll incorporate some sort of lock, or hidden switch in order to allow the coin buttons to be turned on/off at will.
  • 2.1 Audio system, with volume control.
  • Tinted plexiglass screen to hide the monitor when not in use and allow for that “floating” look while the screen is on.
  • RGB LED buttons and joysticks that change with each game.
  • T-moulding
  • Clear control panel? I’m not 100% on this yet, but I think it might be interesting to have all of the wires visible (need to make cable management a priority if this happens), back-lit by a soft LED.

Equipment:
  • Buttons: IL PSL-L Buttons
  • Joysticks: TBD
  • iPAC4 to control all of the buttons and joysticks.
  • PACLED64 x2 for RGB LED controls.
  • 32” LCD Monitor


  • Computer: custom built, if I find that I need a better graphics card; intel NUC if not.
  • Software: Hyperspin? I’ve heard tales about how difficult it can be, but it seems to have a lot of features. 



Theme:

TBD



Questions:
Ultimarc U360s or servostiks? How much does microswitch vs analog effect gameplay? I'm primarily planning on running the classics, and some fighters. Some flight games would be interesting though.

Does monitor refresh rate have a massive effect on gameplay? I’ve found several low-lag, 60hz monitors that I would like to use. I’ve never had any problems with standard TVs when using my retropie. Is MAME that much different? Would modern graphics cards be able to overcome the limitations of the MAME/monitor?

Next steps:
  • 
Finalize design plans in sketchup.
  • Purchase materials
  • Build cabinet/paint/install graphics
  • Configure software
  • Install electronics

jennifer

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Re: Tyler's Arcade Adventure
« Reply #1 on: July 24, 2017, 09:47:52 am »
      Don't know what kind of tools you will have access to, But sturdy sawhorses and good router followed by a tablesaw should get most of it done.. Wasting a bunch of time on sketchpage is time you could be use to just scratch the lines on real wood, provided you got some plans to follow. Jennifer uses cured and dried maple ply, but that would entail buying the wood a year ago (or start a year from now) That's just a personal preference however most wood is good enough right off the truck, **Little trick friend*, Use a non stretchy string to X things out as you go to help keep things square as you go....And olleH /Welcome  >:D                     
« Last Edit: July 24, 2017, 09:59:41 am by jennifer »

Tyler

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Re: Tyler's Arcade Adventure
« Reply #2 on: July 24, 2017, 07:42:43 pm »
      Don't know what kind of tools you will have access to, But sturdy sawhorses and good router followed by a tablesaw should get most of it done.. Wasting a bunch of time on sketchpage is time you could be use to just scratch the lines on real wood, provided you got some plans to follow. Jennifer uses cured and dried maple ply, but that would entail buying the wood a year ago (or start a year from now) That's just a personal preference however most wood is good enough right off the truck, **Little trick friend*, Use a non stretchy string to X things out as you go to help keep things square as you go....And olleH /Welcome  >:D                     

Thank you for the tips!

I like working on it in sketchup as it allows me to visualize the plans better than I can in my head. I've been using it to play with different supports, and locations for things. I am anxious to get to work and start making sawdust!

I'll be renting a table saw, and purchasing a router. I have a few sawhorses already. I'm not sure I could wait a year for some nice maple haha!

Update on the project:

I'm 90-95% done with the final layout of the cabinet. Right now I'm just experimenting with different internal frame (going to be using 2x4s for the majority of it). I'm hoping to start the rough carpentry this weekend.

Tyler

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Re: Tyler's Arcade Adventure
« Reply #3 on: July 24, 2017, 09:52:59 pm »
Current Sketchup models:

Internal Frame: Bottom shelf not in place. Overkill?



Cabinet:



I haven't put the control panel or three-sided marquee in place on sketchup. This was primarily to figure out the internals, and general layout.

I have to say that using sketchup has been invaluable to me thus-far. It took a little bit to learn how to use it, but once I got the hang of it, I really enjoyed being able to try different things and see how they come together.

n3wt0n

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Re: Tyler's Arcade Adventure
« Reply #4 on: July 25, 2017, 10:27:49 am »
First of all, nice job in sketchup - it can be super handy. It's a program I wish I was more proficient in.

Personally, I think the entire internal frame idea is overkill if you are building with 3/4" material. It will only add more weight to an already huge cabinet. A couple cross braces in the middle of the cab would likely be more than enough. Also, it looks like you have a solid back planned for the upper part of the cab. That in itself will add a lot of strength. Have you sent a message to Chance, Scott or Pauly or others to see if their cabs with similar designs lack structural stability? You may be fixing a problem that doesn't exist. Just potentially trying to save you some time, materials and backaches. :D

jennifer

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Re: Tyler's Arcade Adventure
« Reply #5 on: July 25, 2017, 10:58:53 am »
    n/3 is right on the money...That cab is already going to be quite heavy and strong just using 3/4" ply,(maple is better than birch, less chippy), 3/4" square bracing (strips cut on a tablesaw) is all you need to hold it together (so you can screw the panels together) kinda like the top half of your sketch (that looks good) not really a internal frame structure on the bottom. The monitor area is the only real mid cab bracing you should need, (to hold the monitor, and strength for the control panel)  because of the abuse they usually take.
« Last Edit: July 25, 2017, 11:11:33 am by jennifer »

Tyler

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Re: Tyler's Arcade Adventure
« Reply #6 on: July 25, 2017, 03:06:54 pm »
First of all, nice job in sketchup - it can be super handy. It's a program I wish I was more proficient in.

Personally, I think the entire internal frame idea is overkill if you are building with 3/4" material. It will only add more weight to an already huge cabinet. A couple cross braces in the middle of the cab would likely be more than enough. Also, it looks like you have a solid back planned for the upper part of the cab. That in itself will add a lot of strength. Have you sent a message to Chance, Scott or Pauly or others to see if their cabs with similar designs lack structural stability? You may be fixing a problem that doesn't exist. Just potentially trying to save you some time, materials and backaches. :D
I was starting to wonder if it was overkill as well. No, I haven't sent any messages but that is a good idea. I appreciate it!

    n/3 is right on the money...That cab is already going to be quite heavy and strong just using 3/4" ply,(maple is better than birch, less chippy), 3/4" square bracing (strips cut on a tablesaw) is all you need to hold it together (so you can screw the panels together) kinda like the top half of your sketch (that looks good) not really a internal frame structure on the bottom. The monitor area is the only real mid cab bracing you should need, (to hold the monitor, and strength for the control panel)  because of the abuse they usually take.

I'll look into maple, thank you. Yes, I'm starting to think the internal frame idea is overkill. I'm going to message some of the members who have built similar cabinets as n3wt0n suggested, and see if they have had any stability problems.

As a side note: I just found Scotty_C's Electrocade . I see he had the same idea for a freeplay switch, and I like the location of his. Also love the LEDs in the marquee. I might have to steal that idea.
« Last Edit: July 25, 2017, 03:18:49 pm by Tyler »

JudgeRob

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Re: Tyler's Arcade Adventure
« Reply #7 on: July 26, 2017, 05:15:38 pm »
I don't think you need all that frame.  It will not only be super heavy but will also take up a lot of space within and make it more cumbersome to position things inside and run wires, etc.  Plus you might think of other things you want inside like a bigger subwoofer box, etc.  Mine seemed to fill up pretty fast.   :)

ChanceKJ

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Re: Tyler's Arcade Adventure
« Reply #8 on: August 09, 2017, 07:56:44 am »
Cool build :)

Yeah, a tad bit overkill on the frame.  I went a little overkill on mine even, but building wooden batons onto the side walls then attaching the front/top/back panels to them worked very well. In retrospect i went a little pricey and thick on the batons.

Tyler

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Re: Tyler's Arcade Adventure
« Reply #9 on: August 13, 2017, 11:45:02 am »
Cool build :)

Yeah, a tad bit overkill on the frame.  I went a little overkill on mine even, but building wooden batons onto the side walls then attaching the front/top/back panels to them worked very well. In retrospect i went a little pricey and thick on the batons.

Thanks! I'm glad the batons alone are doing the job. I wasn't looking forward to assembling that interior structure on top of the arcade.


Update:
The last few weeks have been spent doing additional research, and being overwhelmed by work and an upcoming vacation.

I've put together my shopping list, and am going to make the big purchase of all the electronics when i come back from my vacation in mid-September. I had the side panel, and control panel layout printed at staples, and will start cutting on those soon (hopefully this week).

I'm still having trouble deciding on a monitor though. Does monitor refresh rate have a massive effect on gameplay? Iíve found several low-lag, 60hz monitors that I would like to use. Iíve never had any problems with standard TVs when using my retropie. Is MAME that much different? Would modern graphics cards be able to overcome the limitations of the MAME/monitor?

As a side note, Pauly's Ready Player One cabinet inspired me to read that book, and WOW. I loved it. I read through it in a day!

More soon,
Tyler

talkgeek

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Re: Tyler's Arcade Adventure
« Reply #10 on: August 14, 2017, 09:11:35 pm »
Cool build :)

Yeah, a tad bit overkill on the frame.  I went a little overkill on mine even, but building wooden batons onto the side walls then attaching the front/top/back panels to them worked very well. In retrospect i went a little pricey and thick on the batons.

Thanks! I'm glad the batons alone are doing the job. I wasn't looking forward to assembling that interior structure on top of the arcade.


might be a bit late to this conversation, but I have given up on batons / framing altogether  - http://forum.arcadecontrols.com/index.php/topic,137777.0.html these last builds have proven to be very strong without them - 2 of them have been loaned out to a number of sporting / youth clubs etc over last year+ (e.g. moved around a lot / up down stairs etc) - no cracking in joins / corners  or any other signs of stress (and they are still heavy - approx. 60Kg)

Currently building http://forum.arcadecontrols.com/index.php/topic,137777.0.html Mass-Replicate
Built "n0tsq3" cocktail cab http://forum.arcadecontrols.com/index.php/topic,133913.0/all.html
..and restoring a Sega MegaLo 410 Candy Cab & Moon Patrol Cab

rablack97

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Re: Tyler's Arcade Adventure
« Reply #11 on: August 18, 2017, 09:39:59 pm »
Cool build :)

Yeah, a tad bit overkill on the frame.  I went a little overkill on mine even, but building wooden batons onto the side walls then attaching the front/top/back panels to them worked very well. In retrospect i went a little pricey and thick on the batons.

Thanks! I'm glad the batons alone are doing the job. I wasn't looking forward to assembling that interior structure on top of the arcade.




might be a bit late to this conversation, but I have given up on batons / framing altogether  - http://forum.arcadecontrols.com/index.php/topic,137777.0.html these last builds have proven to be very strong without them - 2 of them have been loaned out to a number of sporting / youth clubs etc over last year+ (e.g. moved around a lot / up down stairs etc) - no cracking in joins / corners  or any other signs of stress (and they are still heavy - approx. 60Kg)



I think you're missing the whole point of batons, it's so you can screw in from the inside, and not put bullet holes all in the side of your cabinet.  Plus screwing into the edges of mdf is not recommend.

   

2016 Texas Pinball Festival - Best Arcade In Show - MKX

  
 

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