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Author Topic: Here's my build. 4 player with live marquee in planning for years.  (Read 1769 times)

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lardlad00

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I've been planning to build a custom MAME machine for years and I think I'm finally about ready to start.

I'm planning for this to be a little more than your usual multicade machine. This is going to be positioned in a sort of Rec. Room / Home Theater, adjacent to the big screen. The idea is that it will act as an accessory screen to the theater (So often I want two football games on at once) while also being the "brains" of a gaming PC running new and retro games and possible a VR setup.

Here's what I have drawn up so far.


Cabinet: To be CNC machined out of black melamine particleboard. I have a homebrew CNC router that can cut about 30x100 pieces so it should be perfect for this.

Main Display: I plan to use a 39.5" TV for the main display. I haven't picked out the exact model yet as it needs to tie in to the bezel and power setup properly. I plan to use a power strip controlled by the PC to turn on the display, so I need to make sure the TV will power on when power is applied.

Bezel: I'm really torn on this at the moment. Lots of these machines do a full glass over the display but I'm really concerned about glare, as this display will be used from across the room as well as close up. I'm leaning toward leaving the display uncovered and just cutting a bezel out of some black acrylic to match up right over a low-profile TV bezel. I could also remove the TV from its case and make the bezel work that way, but I'd prefer not to.

Marquee Display: Seeing someone's build with a live marquee is what sparked me to get going and start this build again. I have a custom 1/2 of a 40" display to use as the marquee. It's in a black metal case and I plan to just mount it out front as is.

Controls: Here's a picture of my unfinished layout:


 I know, I know, it's a big one and a little busy but I don't think it's too bad. I want it to be 4 players for The Simpsons, NBA Jam, etc. There's 3 admin buttons and 3 mouse buttons as well as coin/start for 4 players and then one pause button on each side. What I don't have planned yet is two spinners. I can't decide where to put them. Any suggestions? I'm also pretty undecided on specific controls. Leaning toward Ultimarc J-pac joysticks with translucent colored buttons that light up depending on the game.

Audio: I plan to use a small amp with car speakers, a subwoofer, and an external volume control.

PC: I picked this Dell up a few weeks ago when it was on sale: https://www.bestbuy.com/site/dell-inspiron-desktop-amd-ryzen-7-1700-16gb-memory-amd-radeon-rx-580-1tb-hard-drive-recon-blue/5948598.p?skuId=5948598
I have a hyperspin setup all ready to go with MAME, the standard NES/SNES/Genesis, etc., as well as a MS-DOS and Apple II library.

Others: I plan on somehow integrating a blissbox to handle all my old console controllers. I'd love to have ports right on the outside of the cabinet to plug controllers in to but since it needs easy access not sure how that will work.

I think that's about all I've got so far. Let me know what you think and I'll post updates as I move along with the project.

yotsuya

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Re: Here's my build. 4 player with live marquee in planning for years.
« Reply #1 on: December 17, 2017, 05:12:21 pm »
You know what, bro, you know what you want, youíve thought it out, and the machine matches that plan. Kudos to you.
***Build what you dig, bro. Build what you dig.***

Mike A

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Re: Here's my build. 4 player with live marquee in planning for years.
« Reply #2 on: December 17, 2017, 06:47:32 pm »
Go to Walmart and stand 18 inches from a 40 inch TV screen. Stay there for 20 minutes. If you are okay with that, more power to you.

yotsuya

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Here's my build. 4 player with live marquee in planning for years.
« Reply #3 on: December 17, 2017, 06:55:33 pm »
Iím ok with him going big because he stated itís going to be a secondary monitor in the man cave. See, thatís a specific purpose of a big screen, and not just ďbig is better lolz.Ē I can dig it.
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Mike A

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Re: Here's my build. 4 player with live marquee in planning for years.
« Reply #4 on: December 17, 2017, 07:28:40 pm »
An arcade cab doing double duty as a secondary screen is a bad idea. It unnecessarily complicates everything. Just buy a TV for a secondary screen and then build an arcade cab separately. I still don't agree with the giant screen for the arcade cab. You have to stand way too close to it.


1500points

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Here's my build. 4 player with live marquee in planning for years.
« Reply #5 on: December 17, 2017, 08:40:03 pm »
The big konami fighter cabs with the 4 player panel and a big screen a distance away (not quite pedestal and in a lot of retrocades) is actually pretty darned cool to play on.

Just made a panel for local arcade that got installed today.  People love 4 player action in this era.   And the big screen is a must for group activity. Like your design overall.

Have you studied how the Killer Queen is laid out?



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wp34

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Re: Here's my build. 4 player with live marquee in planning for years.
« Reply #6 on: December 17, 2017, 09:11:51 pm »
1500 makes some good points.  My wife and I got to play Cosmotrons this summer. We had a blast playing it and I was surprised how well I liked that big screen/pedestal setup.

http://forum.arcadecontrols.com/index.php/topic,152974.msg1601906.html#msg1601906

I've not had a chance to play Killer Queen yet because it is always busy at our Barcade when I'm there.

Those 90's games the OP mentioned would be fine/fun on a big screen.

lardlad00

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Re: Here's my build. 4 player with live marquee in planning for years.
« Reply #7 on: December 17, 2017, 10:02:34 pm »
You know what, bro, you know what you want, youíve thought it out, and the machine matches that plan. Kudos to you.


I appreciate it!

Go to Walmart and stand 18 inches from a 40 inch TV screen. Stay there for 20 minutes. If you are okay with that, more power to you.

I anticipated some skepticism here but I put quite a bit of thought into the ergonomics of the design (I keep a copy of this book around for that purpose: https://www.amazon.com/Measure-Man-Woman-Factors-Design/dp/0471099554).  The user will actually be about 30" from eyeball to screen, and that falls within the "comfortable" range of sight without having to bend your neck around. Also, I plan to play older games in their original aspect ratio, so a 40" 16:9 TV that's letterboxed is equivalent to about a 32" 4:3 display. That's not that much bigger than your standard arcade monitors. Finally, for the sake of making the live marquee work there weren't a lot of choices. The display had to be either 40" or 32". A 32" 16:9 is usually going to be a 26" 4:3, and that seems too small for a 4 player setup.

An arcade cab doing double duty as a secondary screen is a bad idea. It unnecessarily complicates everything. Just buy a TV for a secondary screen and then build an arcade cab separately. I still don't agree with the giant screen for the arcade cab. You have to stand way too close to it.

I've heard that feedback about this before and I don't really understand it. The arcade machine is going to be the primary display on a nice PC. A projector and 120" screen will be connected as the secondary display for when you want to put everything up on the big screen. I use a dual-monitor setup all day long so this seems very easy to me. In fact I see it as a nice bonus to not having to power up the projector if I just want to use it for a few minutes.

Have you studied how the Killer Queen is laid out?

I hadn't seen that before but it looks awesome. I'll check it out closer and see if it gives me any ideas for this.

1500 makes some good points.  My wife and I got to play Cosmotrons this summer. We had a blast playing it and I was surprised how well I liked that big screen/pedestal setup.

http://forum.arcadecontrols.com/index.php/topic,152974.msg1601906.html#msg1601906

I've not had a chance to play Killer Queen yet because it is always busy at our Barcade when I'm there.

Those 90's games the OP mentioned would be fine/fun on a big screen.

That's awesome to see Cosmotrons brought up. I know one of the guys who started that, and in fact, the homebrew CNC router I plan to use for this project was built in his dad's shop. Small world eh? Seeing the updates on what was going on with that definitely helped keep the bug in me to start this project.

Thanks everyone for the feedback so far. I appreciate it all. Keeps me thinking about things.

pbj

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Re: Here's my build. 4 player with live marquee in planning for years.
« Reply #8 on: December 17, 2017, 10:31:55 pm »
Make it a pedestal, mount that TV on the wall.  Push control panel to wall when not playing, pull out when you're playing it.  I've been quite happy with that arrangement.  Control panel looks good, get rid of the buttons above the trackball maybe.

Also 40" in 2018 looks cheap and poor.  This thing is going to run you a grand to build - don't save $50 on the TV.  I think 47" minimum and 50-55" is better.


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Re: Here's my build. 4 player with live marquee in planning for years.
« Reply #9 on: December 17, 2017, 11:09:12 pm »
The front bottom area is nothing like a real arcade game, it is just a massive weak point, looking to easily break when you move the thing or if it just gets rocked hard. If you are going with those terrible lines for the front then it needs a bit of floor in that footwell area to keep those feet from snapping the first time someone looks at them funny.
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lardlad00

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Re: Here's my build. 4 player with live marquee in planning for years.
« Reply #10 on: December 18, 2017, 12:12:05 am »
Make it a pedestal, mount that TV on the wall.  Push control panel to wall when not playing, pull out when you're playing it.  I've been quite happy with that arrangement.  Control panel looks good, get rid of the buttons above the trackball maybe.

Also 40" in 2018 looks cheap and poor.  This thing is going to run you a grand to build - don't save $50 on the TV.  I think 47" minimum and 50-55" is better.

I was planning a pedestal for a long time but the live marquee sold me on a full cabinet. I've got the custom display already so no going back.

I'm on the fence about the trackball buttons. I intend for those to be mouse buttons for navigating windows, but there will be a drawer in the control panel with a keyboard and mouse in it so I don't know how much they'll be used.

I can't go bigger on the main display because the marquee screen will then be too small. The marquee is a 40" display that has been cut in half, so if I go 50" on the main display the marquee won't span the full front of the machine and that's a deal breaker for me.

The front bottom area is nothing like a real arcade game, it is just a massive weak point, looking to easily break when you move the thing or if it just gets rocked hard. If you are going with those terrible lines for the front then it needs a bit of floor in that footwell area to keep those feet from snapping the first time someone looks at them funny.

I agree that this could be improved but I'm not sure how. I'd like to remove the "feet" but I'm afraid that if someone leans on the panel the whole cabinet could tip forward. Also, the big blank span across the lower part of the cabinet sticks out to me and could use some lines to break it up. I was thinking some artwork would be good enough but have played with some other configurations:





« Last Edit: December 18, 2017, 12:15:01 am by lardlad00 »

Mike A

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Re: Here's my build. 4 player with live marquee in planning for years.
« Reply #11 on: December 18, 2017, 05:30:21 am »
I hope this works out the way you envision it. I look forward to seeing build pics. :cheers:

1500points

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Re: Here's my build. 4 player with live marquee in planning for years.
« Reply #12 on: December 18, 2017, 07:56:36 am »
"I agree that this could be improved but I'm not sure how. I'd like to remove the "feet" but I'm afraid that if someone leans on the panel the whole cabinet could tip forward. Also, the big blank span across the lower part of the cabinet sticks out to me and could use some lines to break it up. I was thinking some artwork would be good enough but have played with some other configurations:"

One ergonomic about the bottom having it recessed a bit is that it gives room for toes or if you pull a stool up to the machine.
Definitely make the bottom heavier than the top as you'd not want that massive thing toppling over, if it is going against a wall you could attach it to wall.  but the easiest thing to do if needed would add about 6 inches to the dept of it between the TV and the panel (going back to how other large cabs handle it)

I know this isn't what you are building but take a look at the depth of the cabinet.  That's the trick to how they handle stability from toppling when you are dealing with lots of upper weight.
https://www.arcade-museum.com/images/104/1049423314.jpg
« Last Edit: December 18, 2017, 08:21:22 am by 1500points »

KenToad

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Re: Here's my build. 4 player with live marquee in planning for years.
« Reply #13 on: December 20, 2017, 11:11:34 am »
I have a 40" TV running with a pedestal, but I think the distances from player to screen are comparable to what you have designed. I also use my 40" TV for playing console games, and watching movies and TV. And you are absolutely correct that the 4:3 image on a 16:9 40" TV is basically a 32" arcade monitor, so in my mind it's a perfect size for a wide cab or close pedestal like mine and has worked well for us.

I passed on the marquee because, damn, those super wide monitors are expensive. And the payoff isn't that great, since many of the layouts in Hyperspin already use the marquee artwork. I've also heard that some emulators don't work well with multiple displays.

And then there is the issue that the more configuration you have to do initially just multiplies over time. Setting everything up the first time for a complex, unique build seems doable, but then you have issues and updates. Every time you have to fix something ... you just have that many more variables to examine. Suddenly you find that you're just not using the unique parts of your build nearly as much as you thought.

Just something to consider. Good luck on your build.
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Re: Here's my build. 4 player with live marquee in planning for years.
« Reply #14 on: December 20, 2017, 01:59:00 pm »
I have a 40" TV running with a pedestal, but I think the distances from player to screen are comparable to what you have designed. I also use my 40" TV for playing console games, and watching movies and TV. And you are absolutely correct that the 4:3 image on a 16:9 40" TV is basically a 32" arcade monitor, so in my mind it's a perfect size for a wide cab or close pedestal like mine and has worked well for us.

I passed on the marquee because, damn, those super wide monitors are expensive. And the payoff isn't that great, since many of the layouts in Hyperspin already use the marquee artwork. I've also heard that some emulators don't work well with multiple displays.

And then there is the issue that the more configuration you have to do initially just multiplies over time. Setting everything up the first time for a complex, unique build seems doable, but then you have issues and updates. Every time you have to fix something ... you just have that many more variables to examine. Suddenly you find that you're just not using the unique parts of your build nearly as much as you thought.

Just something to consider. Good luck on your build.

You should generally never be updating the software on a cabinet once it is completed, that is a sure fire path to eventually taking your perfectly working machine and rendering it less than perfect. The computer in my Mame cabinet is old enough to drive a car. Still working great, everything runs full speed with mame .78 or Mame .102. I tried the current version of MameUi a few years ago, and it took like 10 minutes just to load the menu.
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Re: Here's my build. 4 player with live marquee in planning for years.
« Reply #15 on: December 20, 2017, 04:16:17 pm »
Marquee Display: .... I have a custom 1/2 of a 40" display to use as the marquee. It's in a black metal case and I plan to just mount it out front as is.

Whassat, now? I read something a while back about essentially 'sawing' an existing LCD in half and it still working - is it this? If not - whassit?

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Re: Here's my build. 4 player with live marquee in planning for years.
« Reply #16 on: December 20, 2017, 05:17:55 pm »
I have a 40" TV running with a pedestal, but I think the distances from player to screen are comparable to what you have designed. I also use my 40" TV for playing console games, and watching movies and TV. And you are absolutely correct that the 4:3 image on a 16:9 40" TV is basically a 32" arcade monitor, so in my mind it's a perfect size for a wide cab or close pedestal like mine and has worked well for us.

I passed on the marquee because, damn, those super wide monitors are expensive. And the payoff isn't that great, since many of the layouts in Hyperspin already use the marquee artwork. I've also heard that some emulators don't work well with multiple displays.

And then there is the issue that the more configuration you have to do initially just multiplies over time. Setting everything up the first time for a complex, unique build seems doable, but then you have issues and updates. Every time you have to fix something ... you just have that many more variables to examine. Suddenly you find that you're just not using the unique parts of your build nearly as much as you thought.

Just something to consider. Good luck on your build.

You should generally never be updating the software on a cabinet once it is completed, that is a sure fire path to eventually taking your perfectly working machine and rendering it less than perfect. The computer in my Mame cabinet is old enough to drive a car. Still working great, everything runs full speed with mame .78 or Mame .102. I tried the current version of MameUi a few years ago, and it took like 10 minutes just to load the menu.

Generally, I agree. However, I have been forced to upgrade after a hardware failure. Even after I purchased a refurbished computer, I could never get it to work quite as well. Even Mamewah was no longer as stable, crashed frequently.

Also, Mame has improved a ton since the mid-2000's. And it will continue to improve. There are a lot of super-fun Cave shooters and such that you won't be able to experience with those older versions of Mame. And that's really just scratching the surface.

Anyway, I get what you're saying and mostly I agree. Have you tried Hyperspin, Paige?
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loupg

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Re: Here's my build. 4 player with live marquee in planning for years.
« Reply #17 on: December 21, 2017, 01:22:57 pm »
I have a 40" TV running with a pedestal, but I think the distances from player to screen are comparable to what you have designed. I also use my 40" TV for playing console games, and watching movies and TV. And you are absolutely correct that the 4:3 image on a 16:9 40" TV is basically a 32" arcade monitor, so in my mind it's a perfect size for a wide cab or close pedestal like mine and has worked well for us.

I passed on the marquee because, damn, those super wide monitors are expensive. And the payoff isn't that great, since many of the layouts in Hyperspin already use the marquee artwork. I've also heard that some emulators don't work well with multiple displays.

And then there is the issue that the more configuration you have to do initially just multiplies over time. Setting everything up the first time for a complex, unique build seems doable, but then you have issues and updates. Every time you have to fix something ... you just have that many more variables to examine. Suddenly you find that you're just not using the unique parts of your build nearly as much as you thought.

Just something to consider. Good luck on your build.

You should generally never be updating the software on a cabinet once it is completed, that is a sure fire path to eventually taking your perfectly working machine and rendering it less than perfect. The computer in my Mame cabinet is old enough to drive a car. Still working great, everything runs full speed with mame .78 or Mame .102. I tried the current version of MameUi a few years ago, and it took like 10 minutes just to load the menu.

Generally, I agree. However, I have been forced to upgrade after a hardware failure. Even after I purchased a refurbished computer, I could never get it to work quite as well. Even Mamewah was no longer as stable, crashed frequently.

Also, Mame has improved a ton since the mid-2000's. And it will continue to improve. There are a lot of super-fun Cave shooters and such that you won't be able to experience with those older versions of Mame. And that's really just scratching the surface.

Anyway, I get what you're saying and mostly I agree. Have you tried Hyperspin, Paige?

I was just thinking about taking a spare hard drive and cloning the hard drive from my mame machine once I'm 100% done getting it setup, just to make sure I have a completely functional backup should the primary hard drive fail.

lardlad00

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Re: Here's my build. 4 player with live marquee in planning for years.
« Reply #18 on: December 21, 2017, 11:14:39 pm »
but the easiest thing to do if needed would add about 6 inches to the dept of it between the TV and the panel (going back to how other large cabs handle it)
https://www.arcade-museum.com/images/104/1049423314.jpg

Yeah I agree but the space this is going in needs to keep it as thin as possible. I think I'm going to have to stick with the design as is and either attach it to the wall or counter-weight it if it comes down to that. The panel hangs out enough that toe space should be OK either way.

I've also heard that some emulators don't work well with multiple displays.

I've done a fair amount of testing this on dual monitors so far but haven't had any problems. I'll keep my fingers crossed.

And then there is the issue that the more configuration you have to do initially just multiplies over time. Setting everything up the first time for a complex, unique build seems doable, but then you have issues and updates. Every time you have to fix something ... you just have that many more variables to examine. Suddenly you find that you're just not using the unique parts of your build nearly as much as you thought.

I hear that. I have quite a bit of time into this already with hyperspin and there's enough there to make your head spin. My plan is to use teamviewer to log in to the machine from my office if I need to do any serious configuring - should be quite a bit easier than standing at the machine.

Whassat, now? I read something a while back about essentially 'sawing' an existing LCD in half and it still working - is it this? If not - whassit?

That's pretty much it. They take a full size display and cut it in half and put it in a new case. The OSD menu is only half there and the PC "thinks" you have a full monitor so it takes some tweaking to get it right, but I think I have it figured out. I'll try to remember to grab some pictures tomorrow.


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Re: Here's my build. 4 player with live marquee in planning for years.
« Reply #19 on: December 22, 2017, 05:37:36 am »
Pictures would be cool. A link to the firm even better. Having an alternative to expensive custom resizing monitors would be great...

As for the emulators on multiple displays, I wouldn't worry. Got 3 on mine and vast majority work. Even on typex there's only one game that requires a work around...

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Re: Here's my build. 4 player with live marquee in planning for years.
« Reply #20 on: December 27, 2017, 04:35:35 am »
Pictures would be cool. A link to the firm even better. Having an alternative to expensive custom resizing monitors would be great...

As for the emulators on multiple displays, I wouldn't worry. Got 3 on mine and vast majority work. Even on typex there's only one game that requires a work around...

Bought one myself a couple months ago as well as I want to get rolling on my build again this winter.  Not the cheapest thing in the world that's for sure....

Ordered mine from Kinytech.com.  Responses from them were prompt...only scary thing (other than my wifes reaction to me paying 3x the price for 1/2 of a screen lol) was doing a wire transfer to China.

http://www.kinytech.com/stretched-lcd/stretched-bar-lcd

Vitrolight.com is another place that does this...

Like lardlad00 said, the OSD is half way off so it took me a while to mess around and get mine to move it up.  The display itself despite technically being 1920x540, the driver is still 1920x1080 so things can be dragged way off the screen as well.  Once Hypermarqee and EDS were configured...it's quite cool.

« Last Edit: December 27, 2017, 05:01:58 am by jbl77 »

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Re: Here's my build. 4 player with live marquee in planning for years.
« Reply #21 on: December 27, 2017, 05:37:25 am »
@jbl77 - yeah I got something similar. My interest was in the OP implying he had an existing monitor trimmed down, a possibly cheaper and more flexible option.

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Re: Here's my build. 4 player with live marquee in planning for years.
« Reply #22 on: December 28, 2017, 03:48:19 am »
oh heck....missed that part.  Can't see any place doing that...it wouldn't be cost effective for anyone (deviating from their "cookie cutter").

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Re: Here's my build. 4 player with live marquee in planning for years.
« Reply #23 on: December 31, 2017, 12:44:35 pm »
Sorry for the confusion -- what I got was very similar to jbl77. Mine is from Vitrolight.

only scary thing (other than my wifes reaction to me paying 3x the price for 1/2 of a screen lol) was doing a wire transfer to China.

That's the truth. For my business I import a fair amount of goods from China, so luckily for me it's rather routine sending these wires off, but still, whenever you start working with a new vendor it's a little nerve-wracking while you wait for a shipping confirmation.

I still haven't got around to taking pictures, but I think you get the gist.

stigzler

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Re: Here's my build. 4 player with live marquee in planning for years.
« Reply #24 on: December 31, 2017, 01:34:55 pm »
Damn. Thought we'd found a cheap option for resizing LCDs then...

rablack97

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lardlad00

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Re: Here's my build. 4 player with live marquee in planning for years.
« Reply #26 on: January 01, 2018, 03:26:30 am »
a safer option is ebay

https://www.ebay.com/itm/29-3-32inch-2-3-stretched-bar-lcd-module/292377522146?hash=item44130eefe2:g:s3YAAOSwkLhaOgvR

That's true, but the items available on eBay are a bit more expensive than they would otherwise be and the selection is limited. If you want the best pricing and selection you gotta throw that money into the wind and hope something comes back to you.

  
 

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