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Author Topic: Defender plans/template?  (Read 410 times)

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loupg

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Defender plans/template?
« on: December 04, 2017, 06:26:32 pm »
Hi,
I've off and on been wanting to build a mame/arcade cabinet.  I would really like to base it on the defender cabinet, and thought I'd lucked out and found one that someone had converted for around $100.  Unfortunately, I was informed today that it was already sold.  You snooze, you lose, I guess (although, I wish he'd taken it down off of craigslist if it was sold.)

Anyway, I'm back to the idea of making the cabinet from scratch.  I've found plans from a couple of different places:
https://www.classicarcadecabinets.com/defender.html
http://www.arcaderestoration.com/Articles/1/Restoration+Data/36/Defender+Dimensions.aspx
http://jakobud.com/cabinetPlans.php

I really like the idea of using the plans off classicarcadecabinets.com, but there's a huge disclaimer about the plans no likely being accurate.  The one from arcaderestorations.com apparently came from the guy making measurements of his own cabinet, and are pretty close to the ones on classicarcadecabinets.com as well.  The ones on jakobud.cmo are fine, but lack a lot of detail when it comes to the inside of the cabinet.

One pretty big difference between the plans on classicarcadecabinets.com and arcaderestorations.com is that the classicarcadecabinets.com plans state 1/2" plywood, while the arcaderestorations.com plans state 3/4" plywood.

How thick was the actual plywood used in the defender cabinet?

Does anyone know of a "definitive" set of plans/schematics for the defender cabinet?

I'm probably going to make some minor changes from the original design anyway, but I'd like to start with the original design and go from there if possible.

Thanks!

1500points

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Re: Defender plans/template?
« Reply #1 on: December 05, 2017, 08:38:05 am »
3/4 inch.


loupg

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Re: Defender plans/template?
« Reply #2 on: December 05, 2017, 11:51:07 am »
3/4 inch.

Thanks!  That does help. 

I think from what I can find the control panel should be 24.5" x 8".  I think if the angles are reasonably correct in the sources I linked above, I should be able to get close enough.

Part of my frustration was essentially with the fact that it's so easy to find what appears to be pretty exact specs for other cabinets, but the defender specs seem a bit elusive.

The changes I'm planning on making are pretty minor, essentially putting in stereo speakers instead of a mono speaker, and maybe a sub in the bottom of the cabinet (either facing the back or bottom of the cabinet.)  I want it to look at least reasonably like the original

1500points

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Re: Defender plans/template?
« Reply #3 on: December 05, 2017, 12:46:47 pm »
Defender was something like 75 thousand items, and if you really compare real machines to real machines you'll find minor variations in specs and even materials.  early was all plywood, later started having fiber boards in spots.  the famous one is the pinball coin door early, then black door later.  Cabinet makers in the Chicago area were contracted to build and paint the boxes so you'll see variation depending on the run that week, or which operator was doing what per day. These things weren't highly regulated art, as the retro hobby community sometimes pretends in hindsight.  They were vessels to attract coins and be heavy enough that you couldn't easily steal one, kinda like an ATM machine is nowadays.

If you get the Iconic side profile close enough that your graphics fit, you'll be just fine.

Notice arcadeshop doesn't even list the dimensions, but their product is very very good- http://www.arcadeshop.com/i/244/defender-upright-cpo.htm

Here is a profile Gaz in Oz used to make his which he feels matches his original sitting right beside it.
http://www.robotron2084guidebook.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/08/DefenderCabDimensions.jpg

I see F'n photobucket hijacked the panel images I had on the site-
let me try to attach one.
« Last Edit: December 05, 2017, 12:48:43 pm by 1500points »

DeLuSioNal29

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Re: Defender plans/template?
« Reply #4 on: December 05, 2017, 12:48:52 pm »
There's a guy on the "Williams Defender Players Unite" Facebook page that made a slimline version of Defender which has swap-able MAME and JROK Defender panels.

I pasted some pics below for reference.  You should contact him for the plans.  The only gripe I have is that it's not a 4:3 monitor.  However, it's still very well done.

DeL
« Last Edit: December 05, 2017, 12:50:36 pm by DeLuSioNal29 »
Stop by my Youtube channel and leave a comment:

loupg

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Re: Defender plans/template?
« Reply #5 on: December 05, 2017, 07:31:14 pm »
Thank you 1500points, there's a lot of good info in there.  Really, it's the profile I'm most concerned about getting "right".

I was hoping to hold off on buying the artwork until later in the build process, but maybe it would be valuable for me to order the artwork now so I can make sure it fits my template properly.

DeLuSioNal29, I'll take a look at the slim cabinet, it does look interesting, but it's not quite the profile I'm looking for.  Space isn't a huge concern for me.

DeLuSioNal29

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Re: Defender plans/template?
« Reply #6 on: December 05, 2017, 09:00:46 pm »
Just don't do this...

Ugh!
 :soapbox:

DeL
Stop by my Youtube channel and leave a comment:

loupg

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Re: Defender plans/template?
« Reply #7 on: December 06, 2017, 12:05:17 am »
Of course not, needs more spinners.

Hereís my current mock-up.  Iíve been flipping between wanting to base the cabinet on defender or joust.  Iím leaning back more toward defender, so the panel will change a bit (I was thinking joust when I mocked up this panel, you can see a small hole where a 2nd joystick is semi-planned).  Iím still debating one or two joysticks.  My wife is voting for a second joystick, but not a lot of the games on the cabinet will support simultaneous two player, most are alternating.

[Edit] heh, the picture posted upside down, Iíll try to fix that later.
[edit 2] fixed the uploaded picture.
« Last Edit: December 06, 2017, 11:16:05 am by loupg »

1500points

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Re: Defender plans/template?
« Reply #8 on: December 06, 2017, 08:29:12 am »
I built a Robotron once, which has the same panel real estate as Joust.  And I've owned a Joust machine.
Defender is a superior panel style for multi and swapping.

That curved C shaped panel reduces your working space and just one of them takes a lot of effort to build.
As opposed to one flat plank for Defender, with a simple T-molding groove in the front.

loupg

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Re: Defender plans/template?
« Reply #9 on: December 06, 2017, 11:26:56 am »
The big reason I've been wavering between joust and defender is wanting the metal panel for a shorter joystick.  That being said, I'll get some form of under-mounting to work on the wood panel.  I really do prefer the overall look of the defender cabinet.

I've been playing a lot of different games on the defender layout I mocked up, and the controls seem to work well.  I've needed to remap buttons on a couple of games, but it's actually been pretty minor.

I think I'll move the "hyperspace" button back to the middle, where it belongs, and I'm still debating whether or not I really want to add a second joystick.  I kind of like the layout with only a single joystick.

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Re: Defender plans/template?
« Reply #10 on: December 06, 2017, 12:10:15 pm »
I made a mini galaga pi machine last fall for someone.  Wanted it to cover a lot of games including defender so I made the panel with the layout of--

Left Joystick,  3 buttons to the right in configuration of Defender's Smart/Thrust/Fire.
Right Joystick, 3 buttons to the right in the configuration of Defender's Smart/Thrust/Fire.
Covers about everything plus lets you play 2 player joust or centered Robo sticks.

That was the first time I'd tried that style and it felt good.

  
 

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