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Author Topic: Defender Bartop - update to the update!  (Read 2229 times)

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leapinlew

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Defender Bartop - update to the update!
« on: October 14, 2018, 05:58:23 am »
Defender was one of those games I didn't have the skill to play when I was younger. When it was released, I was 8. Combine the weird controls and my limited funds and it's easy to see how getting good at a game like Defender could be difficult, but the sounds and the exciting action really drew me to the game. I always wanted to be able to play Defender.

When I first started building cabinets, I built a multi-williams cabinet to start playing Defender, as well as other games.  in 2006, I built this:


It used a Happ Super joystick and a multi-williams layout. I used this cabinet for a couple years before selling it in 2009. The joystick was more of a compromise than I thought it would be.

In 2012, I missed it and decided to build another bartop. This time, I used a NOS Defender joystick and dedicated the cabinet to Defender. I added the inviso button for Stargate, but I don't ever play it. The cabinet was a fixture in my game room until two years ago the PC died. It was corrupt from improper shut downs.
« Last Edit: July 09, 2020, 05:54:59 pm by leapinlew »

leapinlew

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Re: Defender Bartop - update
« Reply #1 on: October 14, 2018, 05:58:48 am »
I've never posted a build log for this Defender bartop when I built it in 2012. The design is pretty straight forward, but if you have any questions please ask.

This weekend I decided to make some updates to the cabinet. The intention is to do the following:

  • Replace the PC with a 19-n-1 horizontal arcade board and disable all games but Defender
  • Replace the lightbulb lighting the marquee with a LED strip
  • Remove the Piano hinge from the CP - I never liked the look of the exposed piano hinge
  • Cleanup the back of the cabinet


Here she is with the old internals. It's more crowded in here than I remembered


And here she is with her new parts ready to be installed


I'm doing this on a fold out table in my game room. I suspect it'll take a couple hours. This is a "mini-project". I considered the Raspberry Pi path, but since the Pi also needs to be shut down properly, or risk corruption, I'm going with the multi-board. I already had a jamma harness and Arcade PSU.

leapinlew

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Re: Defender Bartop - update
« Reply #2 on: October 14, 2018, 06:06:36 am »
I am looking for opinions on a scan line generator for this cabinet. Curious if it would be worthwhile.

javeryh

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Re: Defender Bartop - update
« Reply #3 on: October 14, 2018, 10:59:48 am »
Man that side art is sweet!  Neat little cab.  Letís see some more pics and a video when you are finished...

pbj

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Re: Defender Bartop - update
« Reply #4 on: October 14, 2018, 12:36:00 pm »
That multiboard might have an IDE power connector.  You can buy those for like $5.  That switcher is overkill...
This forum needs more threads about Arcade 1Up cabinets.

wp34

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Re: Defender Bartop - update
« Reply #5 on: October 14, 2018, 06:07:21 pm »
Your bartops always look great.  I like the bigger size compared to the Weecade. :cheers:

I am looking for opinions on a scan line generator for this cabinet. Curious if it would be worthwhile.

I'm 50/50 on the scan line generator.  I've used them on a couple of projects and setups.  Sometimes it is real noticeable (and cool) and other's not.  With my Fix it Felix cabinet I only really notice it when booted into Windows for some reason.


leapinlew

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Re: Defender Bartop - update
« Reply #6 on: October 14, 2018, 07:17:44 pm »
That multiboard might have an IDE power connector.  You can buy those for like $5.  That switcher is overkill...

Agreed. I have several arcade PSU's being unused. I'm only powering this multi-board and two LED's.

leapinlew

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Re: Defender Bartop - update
« Reply #7 on: October 14, 2018, 07:20:26 pm »
Your bartops always look great.  I like the bigger size compared to the Weecade. :cheers:

I am looking for opinions on a scan line generator for this cabinet. Curious if it would be worthwhile.

I'm 50/50 on the scan line generator.  I've used them on a couple of projects and setups.  Sometimes it is real noticeable (and cool) and other's not.  With my Fix it Felix cabinet I only really notice it when booted into Windows for some reason.

Thanks and thanks for the info on the scan line generator. I ordered one. Guess we'll see.

The total size on this is 24" tall, 19" wide, and 20" deep.

leapinlew

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Re: Defender Bartop - update
« Reply #8 on: October 14, 2018, 07:49:42 pm »
Mission 1 complete: Replace the PC with a 19-n-1 horizontal arcade board and disable all games but Defender

Gutted the computer parts. Took way less time than I figured. Less than 10 minutes later, I had all the PC guts removed and the inside cleaned up. I mounted the multi-board in it's place. 


I am using leaf switches and I previously had soldered the wires directly to the switch from the ipac. I didn't want to resolder everything to the switches, so I snipped the wires and did an inline splice, which I soldered and shrink tubed.



It's not perfect, but it's getting the job done.

I configured the board to only have defender. It's pretty awesome - it boots up in less than 10 seconds. The only bummer is it doesn't save high scores.




« Last Edit: October 14, 2018, 07:54:53 pm by leapinlew »

leapinlew

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Re: Defender Bartop - update
« Reply #9 on: October 14, 2018, 07:51:40 pm »
Mission 2: Replace the lightbulb lighting the marquee with a LED strip

Nothing too fancy here. I used a piece of 1/4" hard board to attach these 2 LED strips.


After mounting, I found 2 strips to be too bright. I disabled one of them.

leapinlew

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Re: Defender Bartop - update
« Reply #10 on: October 14, 2018, 07:57:46 pm »
Mission 3: Remove the Piano hinge from the CP

Done. I moved the piano hinge to the back. I also created a simple light leak bezel. I use smoked plexi, so I don't have to be too fancy with the bezel. Getting rid of the piano hinge really makes the cabinet look more streamlined.

« Last Edit: October 14, 2018, 08:06:00 pm by leapinlew »

leapinlew

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Re: Defender Bartop - update
« Reply #11 on: October 14, 2018, 08:00:26 pm »
Mission 4: Cleanup the back of the cabinet

I put the piano hinge from the front on the back, and when I did that, it didn't want to close as well as it had been. So, I had to do some work on the door so it would close properly. I used a belt sander in a few key locations. I also bought some black molding which I cut down to size to cover some of the exposed wood.


leapinlew

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Re: Defender Bartop - update
« Reply #12 on: October 14, 2018, 08:04:56 pm »
All done!





It was a minor update, but it was nice to take another swing at some of the design aspects that had annoyed me over the years. Not being a hardcore Defender player, this plays great. It plays as well as the computer I had in it. I really hate the game selection screens so I would hate for that to be my interface, but for a single game bartop - I'm pleased.

Anyhow - maybe this will be useful to someone else later. Thanks for reading!
« Last Edit: October 14, 2018, 08:09:01 pm by leapinlew »

Vidiot

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Re: Defender Bartop - update
« Reply #13 on: October 15, 2018, 02:51:41 pm »
That is a cool bartop. Great job on the update.  :applaud:


opt2not

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Re: Defender Bartop - update
« Reply #14 on: October 15, 2018, 02:58:00 pm »
Fantastic update lew!  :applaud:
I've been, and still am a fan of your bartops. This one's good, though it doesn't compare to your awesome Galaga bartop from BITD. That one is still my all-time favourite. But still, it's really cool to see a dedicated bartop for a single game. IMO bartops should be focused like this.
 :cheers:

Mike A

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Re: Defender Bartop - update
« Reply #15 on: October 15, 2018, 06:08:56 pm »
Good choice of game for a dedicated bartop. Nice execution. Have you considered getting the multi Williams board to stick in there?

leapinlew

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Re: Defender Bartop - update
« Reply #16 on: October 15, 2018, 08:45:36 pm »
I didn't want the multi-williams because I'm not using a control scheme that would work for anything but Defender and Stargate. The JROK boards cost quite a bit more too.
« Last Edit: July 09, 2020, 05:46:40 pm by leapinlew »

leapinlew

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Re: Defender Bartop - update
« Reply #17 on: July 09, 2020, 05:48:44 pm »
I couldn't take the Defender cabinet sitting on this table any longer. I considered painting the table, or perhaps putting a front on it, but I ended up building it out to a cabaret sized cabinet

leapinlew

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Re: Defender Bartop - update
« Reply #18 on: July 09, 2020, 05:51:50 pm »
I extended the sides, built a front plate to install a coin door and put in a giant sound system, cause Defender is a badass bass heavy game. Sounds awesome.
« Last Edit: July 09, 2020, 05:53:38 pm by leapinlew »

leapinlew

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Re: Defender Bartop - update
« Reply #19 on: July 09, 2020, 05:54:45 pm »
All done! Seriously this time... I'm done updating this cabinet. Looks and plays great. I removed the smoked plexi and went for clear and I really like it more with the light levels I'm playing in.
« Last Edit: July 09, 2020, 05:57:00 pm by leapinlew »

javeryh

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Re: Defender Bartop - update to the update!
« Reply #20 on: July 09, 2020, 08:47:30 pm »
This looks incredible.  Nice job. 

How did you get the art to look so smooth across that joint?  I mean, I know you probably used bondo or whatever and sanded but you really can't tell at all.  I really like its final form.

leapinlew

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Re: Defender Bartop - update to the update!
« Reply #21 on: July 09, 2020, 10:06:37 pm »
This looks incredible.  Nice job. 

How did you get the art to look so smooth across that joint?  I mean, I know you probably used bondo or whatever and sanded but you really can't tell at all.  I really like its final form.

Thanks. It's not perfect. I didn't spend much time making that seam perfect. It does a convincing job being an illusion of a cabaret-ish style cabinet, but it's not something I would resell because it's kind of a janky build.

I once had a good number of bartops, and this was my last one. The end of an era for me.

wp34

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Re: Defender Bartop - update to the update!
« Reply #22 on: July 09, 2020, 11:07:17 pm »
That turned out nice and looks much better than the bartop on a stand.   :cheers:

Is that vinyl on the sides?

bobbyb13

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Re: Defender Bartop - update to the update!
« Reply #23 on: July 10, 2020, 04:24:51 am »
This looks incredible.  Nice job. 

How did you get the art to look so smooth across that joint?  I mean, I know you probably used bondo or whatever and sanded but you really can't tell at all.  I really like its final form.

Thanks. It's not perfect. I didn't spend much time making that seam perfect. It does a convincing job being an illusion of a cabaret-ish style cabinet, but it's not something I would resell because it's kind of a janky build.

I once had a good number of bartops, and this was my last one. The end of an era for me.

Looks awesome to me!
Was very cool as a bartop anyway and made the transition to cabaret like it was meant to be that to begin with.

Definitely inspiring.
Thanks for posting this.

Bobby

Thanks for posting.
Why'd you kick me?
Where's your brain?

leapinlew

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Re: Defender Bartop - update to the update!
« Reply #24 on: July 10, 2020, 04:14:12 pm »
Yeah - it's rolled black matte vinyl on the front and printed vinyl on the sides. I tried ordering local, you know support the local small business and all that? So I got a quote. $185 delivered for 2 pieces of sideart. $55 delivered for 6 prints (I like to have backups) and a bunch of stickers I made for my kids Youtube channel on the slowest slow boat from China. That's crazy. I'm almost embarrassed about buying from China because I had a local option, but damn....

It looks ok, it plays great, and sounds awesome. I'm not a Defender expert. I'm not real good at the game, so I don't know how much worse the emulation is to real hardware. If I ever see a defender out in the wild, I'll check it out to compare.
« Last Edit: July 10, 2020, 04:16:49 pm by leapinlew »