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Author Topic: Feedback Requested on Cabinet Design  (Read 1898 times)

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odog8669

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Feedback Requested on Cabinet Design
« on: January 11, 2018, 04:58:35 pm »
Hello,

I have been playing around with some ideas for an arcade cabinet build, and was hoping I could get some feedback from those of you that have actually done this before I get started.  I attached a couple pictures of my initial design thoughts.  Rather than a standard style arcade cabinet, I was trying to come up with something in the style of a mid century woodrail/wedgehead pinball or an early gun game.  Some of the things I am looking for feedback on are:

Will the flat control panel be an issue or uncomfortable to use?
Is the trackball too far from the front edge of the control panel?
Will having the monitor that high up and perpendicular to the control panel be uncomfortable?
The monitor I have to use is a 21" flat panel 4:3 LCD.  My initial thought for the "Backglass" is to sandwich a printed translite (what is show in the pictures is just a design I have been playing around with) between two sheets of thin glass and mount the monitor (with the bezel removed) directly behind it.  Any thoughts on how this will look?
I am planning to run both horizontal and vertical games.  With a 21" monitor, should I consider adding in some kind of rotation capability for the vertical games so they don't look too small?

Thanks in advance for taking a look, any thoughts or feedback anyone has would be welcomed.



keilmillerjr

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Re: Feedback Requested on Cabinet Design
« Reply #1 on: January 11, 2018, 09:04:54 pm »
Control panel is all wrong. Scratch the rotating monitor idea. Keep it simple. Use a crt. Attach a picture to the post.

barrymossel

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Re: Feedback Requested on Cabinet Design
« Reply #2 on: January 12, 2018, 09:48:47 am »
Looks really nice imo. 21" LCD is great, CRT definitely not needed. Vertical games on a 20" look fine to me. But a slight slope in the control panel would be a good idea.

yotsuya

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Re: Feedback Requested on Cabinet Design
« Reply #3 on: January 12, 2018, 11:33:42 am »
As long as youíre staying 4:3, you should be fine. Iím a big fan of the older EM stuff, so Iíll watch with interest. But yes, add a slope to the control panel.
***Build what you dig, bro. Build what you dig.***

odog8669

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Re: Feedback Requested on Cabinet Design
« Reply #4 on: January 12, 2018, 05:14:37 pm »
Thanks guys.  So which do you think looks better, sloping the whole top, or starting the slope after the monitor mount?


vwalbridge

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Re: Feedback Requested on Cabinet Design
« Reply #5 on: January 12, 2018, 06:01:02 pm »
I like the look of this thing. Nice vintage feel.

I'd slope the entire control panel. I'd imagine that would be a bit easier to build if you didn't have to seam 2 pieces together.

The only other thing you might consider is the legs of the machine. Looks like your feet might bump into the legs a little. Especially with 2 players.
If you can read this, it means Photobucket's money grab ruined my signature photos.

yotsuya

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Re: Feedback Requested on Cabinet Design
« Reply #6 on: January 12, 2018, 06:38:48 pm »
The first design would be easier, but I like the look of the second one.
***Build what you dig, bro. Build what you dig.***

odog8669

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Re: Feedback Requested on Cabinet Design
« Reply #7 on: January 16, 2018, 09:01:27 am »
Thanks guys.  I will let you know how I make out.

odog8669

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Re: Feedback Requested on Cabinet Design
« Reply #8 on: November 01, 2018, 10:05:21 am »
Hi Guys,

Thanks for your feedback.  I finally got around to working on this when the weather got nicer, and have the construction pretty well finished.  I appreciate the input you provided.

I've attached some pictures of the final result.

Thanks again.


« Last Edit: November 01, 2018, 10:16:50 am by odog8669 »

pbj

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Re: Feedback Requested on Cabinet Design
« Reply #9 on: November 01, 2018, 10:27:39 am »
You nailed the aesthetic you were going for.

 :cheers:

Nephasth

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Re: Feedback Requested on Cabinet Design
« Reply #10 on: November 01, 2018, 10:48:20 am »
I dig it! :cheers:
%Bartop

yotsuya

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Re: Feedback Requested on Cabinet Design
« Reply #11 on: November 01, 2018, 10:52:44 am »
What a cool, crazy mix of pinball aesthetic and an arcade cabinet. Way to think outside the box and not simply copycat something because you have a 36 inch screen lying around. Love it!!
***Build what you dig, bro. Build what you dig.***

Mike A

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Re: Feedback Requested on Cabinet Design
« Reply #12 on: November 01, 2018, 10:54:29 am »
Dude. Freakin' awesome.
I get so tired of telling people their build is crap.

Thank you for this.

Mike A

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Re: Feedback Requested on Cabinet Design
« Reply #13 on: November 01, 2018, 11:06:18 am »
That would have fit right in on the Wisconsin Dells boardwalk in the early 80's. There was a mix of EM games, pins, and arcade games. There were also those big shooting galleries where a bunch of people shot at real objects with light guns. One was an old western saloon theme.


This cab immediately triggered the pathway to those memories. :applaud:

thatpurplestuff

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Re: Feedback Requested on Cabinet Design
« Reply #14 on: November 01, 2018, 11:42:28 am »
Great example of how small details can really add to the overall look.  The entire cab design and artwork look great, but those legs really take it to another level.

So once again, we find that evil of the past seeps into the present like salad dressing through cheap wax paper, mixing memory and desire.

yotsuya

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Re: Feedback Requested on Cabinet Design
« Reply #15 on: November 01, 2018, 11:42:58 am »
Glad to see you sloped the panel as well.
***Build what you dig, bro. Build what you dig.***

wp34

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Re: Feedback Requested on Cabinet Design
« Reply #16 on: November 01, 2018, 11:45:28 am »
That turned out fantastic.  Love the old school look.   :cheers:

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Re: Feedback Requested on Cabinet Design
« Reply #17 on: November 01, 2018, 12:03:40 pm »
Very cool design  :applaud:

Ian

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Re: Feedback Requested on Cabinet Design
« Reply #18 on: November 01, 2018, 12:26:38 pm »
Great job! I love the look!  :applaud:
Every normal man must be tempted at times to spit on his hands, hoist the black flag, and begin to slit throats.

opt2not

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Re: Feedback Requested on Cabinet Design
« Reply #19 on: November 01, 2018, 01:43:51 pm »
Yup. This is great! You nailed the look. I love the EM pin influence here. Concept to completion, this was planned and executed really well! Love where the speakers are installed, the shape and thickness of the CP (and the slight slope, which was much needed), and the artwork.  Please tell me you stenciled the paint job.

Even though I don't like putting the word Arcade on a cabinet, this isn't too bad.

You must be really happy how this turned out!  Thanks for thinking outside of the box and not producing just another Flynn clone. ;)

If you have the time, it would be great for you to post a build log on your progress. Show some pictures, if you have 'em, of how you got here and some of the construction details.  For a cabinet like this, the building details and decisions would be interesting to read about, for posterity's sake!  :cheers:
« Last Edit: November 01, 2018, 01:47:51 pm by opt2not »

Arroyo

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Re: Feedback Requested on Cabinet Design
« Reply #20 on: November 01, 2018, 02:20:50 pm »
Love the bezel/screen implementation, and the backlight on the name.  Very well done.

javeryh

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Re: Feedback Requested on Cabinet Design
« Reply #21 on: November 01, 2018, 02:21:02 pm »
Damn.  It is a rare occurrence these days to see a unique design for an arcade cab.  This thing is awesome. 

Please please please tell us that you have a build log somewhere or at least tons of pics of the build process you can share.   :cheers:

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Re: Feedback Requested on Cabinet Design
« Reply #22 on: November 01, 2018, 04:38:58 pm »
Nice!! I like it!

odog8669

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Re: Feedback Requested on Cabinet Design
« Reply #23 on: November 02, 2018, 03:48:36 pm »
Thanks guys!  It ended up coming out pretty much how I wanted it to, so I am happy about that.  I didn't take a lot of pictures while I was working on it, so unfortunately I don't have much of a build log to provide, but I can give some details since some of you seem interested.

Woodworking
The cabinet itself is built from 3/4" plywood (I don't really like working with MDF).  Probably my biggest regret is that the plywood I ended up using had a really open grain and I had to spend too much time filling and smoothing it before painting.  The legs and frame around the bezel are solid 3/4" maple, and I used 1/4" plywood for the back of the top section.  The control panel is 3/4" maple plywood.

Since there are so many angled cuts on the lower cabinet (the front and sides all slope out 3 degrees from the base and the CP slopes 5 degrees from the front to the back section), I found it easiest to use a circular saw and sawboard to cut these pieces.  That let me draw the layout of each piece right on it and then just put the sawboard along the lines and cut.  I used pocket screws and glue to join the base pieces together, then re-enforced the joints with 3/4" square battens on the inside to give it a little more strength.  On the outside, I used Bondo to cover the end grain of the plywood and the joints and make things look seamless. 

The feet were made by gluing 2 3/4" pieces of solid maple together on their face, then veenering the edges to hide the joints.  I did spend some time working out the best way to connect these to the base.  I couldn't figure an easy way to connect them from the foot up into the base and keep the fastners hidden.  Going down from inside the base was also a challange since I wanted them right up against the edge of the front panel, and the feet were only twice the thickness of the panel itself.  I don't know if this will make sense without a picture, but  I ended up using a forstner bit and a little jig I worked up to drill out a rounded portion of the front and back panels above where the legs attach.  This allowed me to drill a hole centered on the middle of the leg and use a 1/2 lag bolt to attach each one. 

The Control Panel is two separate pieces, the flat back section and the sloped front section.  Both are made with 3/4" maple plywood,  with the thickness doubled around the permiter with another 2" wide piece of 3/4".  The edges were then covered with maple veneer to make it look solid.  The back section is pocket screwed and glued to the base, while the sloped front section is held on with 3 control panel latches so it can be removed if necessary.  I routed out areas for the joysticks on the back, and also used a router and circle jig to cut the hole for the trackball.  Two coats of gloss poly were put down, then I applied the vinyl decals I had printed and covered them with two more coats of poly to protect them.

The middle section seemed like a good spot for the speakers, so I routed out holes for them using the How to route a Nintendo speaker grill guide that I found on this site (thanks Johnrt!).  I stapled a square of black burlap behind each one as a grill cloth, then attached a 5" speaker.  This section is glued and screwed to the back CP section.

The top section is mostly just the 4 sides.  On the back side, I routed out a 1/4" deep, 1/2" wide channel around the edge, which let's the 1/4" thick plywood back fit down in.  This is attached around the edge with screws and can be removed to access the monitor.  The front wood frame is made from 1 1/2" wide maple.  I used a router to round over the outer side, and put a 45 degree bevel on the inside to make a more interesting profile.  Like the CP and feet, it was covered in gloss poly.  It was then attached with pocket screws and glue.  There is a 1/4 inch lip around the inside, which serves to hold the glass for the bezel in place.   There are 4 bolts through the bottom of the top section into T-nuts on the middle section, which allow the top section to be easily removed for transport.   Holes were also routed through the top base and the back CP section to allow cables to be routed between the top and bottom sections.  I was lucky that I was able to use the metal portion (with some modification) of the existing monitor stand to mount it, and didn't need to build some kind of custom mount.  It's just screwed in and can be removed quickly to take the monitor out for transport. 

odog8669

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Re: Feedback Requested on Cabinet Design
« Reply #24 on: November 02, 2018, 04:10:56 pm »
Artwork

I did all the artwork for this using Adobe Illustrator.  A lot of the design elements were inspired by, or flat out borrowed from images I found on the internet.  The name and rockets on the bezel were inspired by an old pinball backglass (http://www.pinrepair.com/gtb/rocketship2.jpg), and some of the gagues on the bezel came from the 1943 arcade bezel.  I put it all together and had it printed as a pinball translite.  I then sandwiched it between a layer of glass on the outside and smoked plexi on the inside.  The monitor (surrounded by some black poster board) is right behind the plexi on the inside, which hides the fact that the monitor screen is smaller than the opening on the bezel.  This is backlit on the top (and a little on the sides) by some LED lamp strips.

The design on the outside of the cabinet is also based on an old pinball machine.  I designed it in Illustrator, then had stencils made from the design and used them and some spray paint to get the design on in the same way it was done on those old pinballs. 

The Control Panel design was created with a bunch of 50s design elements I found poking around on the web.  I had it printed and die cut on vinyl and then put poly over the top to protect it. 


odog8669

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Re: Feedback Requested on Cabinet Design
« Reply #25 on: November 02, 2018, 04:44:21 pm »
Electronics

I decided that this was going to be a gift for my nieces and nephew for Christmas, and based on the fact that I wanted it to be simple and easy to maintain and only planned to put classic games on, I decided to use a Pi running Retropie to handle the emulation.  I can give them a second SD card in case the running image is corrupted, and it will be easy to swap in a new one if the hardware ever fails.

Power comes into the back into a single gang junction box with a duplex outlet.  Power (including the outlet) is switched at this point by a toggle switch on the back.  This switch powers the outlet, along with an arcade power supply putting out 5V (connected to the Pi) and 12V (connected to an audio amplifier and the LED light strips behind the bezel.  The monitor is plugged into the duplex outlet, and turns itself on when power is applied.  This arrangement lets you power everything on or off with the one switch on the back, making it user friendly for the kids.  The power switch and a volume control next to it on the back are the only things they need to worry about. 

Right now there are two different joysticks installed.  The player 1 joystick is an Ultimarc 360, which I picked to take advantage of the versatility if offers to switch between 2, 4 and 8 way, analog, diagonal, etc.  Since I had never used one of these before and was reluctant to pay for two without testing first, right now the player 2 joystick is just a standard Sanwa JLF connected to a USB encoder.  Since most games with two simultaneous players only use an 8 way joystick, this hasnít been an issue so far, and I may just leave it this way.  But I am also considering putting in another U360 before I give it to them.  The trackball is also from Ultimarc, which I chose because it could be easily mounted under the control panel with nothing showing on the top. 
Right now I am using Attract Mode as a front end, and still finalizing the games and software configuration.  Iím also working on instruction images for each game to show what controls are used.  Iím planning on using CP wizard to generate these based off an image of the actual control panel. 
All in all, I am pretty happy with how things have come out so far, and I think the kids will really enjoy playing this.  They go with their parents to a classic arcade/restaurant, and  always love the games, so having them at home will be great.

If anyone has any other questions or thoughts, feel free to send them my way. 

leapinlew

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Re: Feedback Requested on Cabinet Design
« Reply #26 on: November 04, 2018, 04:21:45 pm »
Good work! A lot of us see the standard Golden Age style build, so it's nice to see something different. Very well executed and the craftsmanship seems on point.

Big Mario Bros. fan here. I sure hope you got the samples right. My current build I'm using a version of Mame that has the wrong sounds. Drives me nutty. Not enough to fix, but nutty all the same.

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Re: Feedback Requested on Cabinet Design
« Reply #27 on: November 04, 2018, 05:05:21 pm »
That's really nice. Like the design and that pinball backglass style with the graphics looks awesome. Very cool and damn I wish I'd thought of it  ;)

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Re: Feedback Requested on Cabinet Design
« Reply #28 on: November 05, 2018, 05:42:45 pm »
Great work from design through to execution.  And dare I say it, a great example of innovation in 2018  ;D It reminds me a little of Love Hultenís work but the aesthetics are much richer and more fun.  There's always room for excellence like this in this hobby.  There are still plenty of unique, desirable things to build which are in keeping with the classics.
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Re: Feedback Requested on Cabinet Design
« Reply #29 on: November 07, 2018, 02:46:20 pm »
I really like the design that reminds a lot of the builds from the EM era. And a great build. Well done  :applaud:
Building, collecting and playing arcade machines :)

Malenko

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Re: Feedback Requested on Cabinet Design
« Reply #30 on: November 07, 2018, 03:27:59 pm »
One of the best builds I've seen in a very long time, and probably the best "first build" ever.
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Re: Feedback Requested on Cabinet Design
« Reply #31 on: November 08, 2018, 10:07:15 am »
This thing is amazing. Really makes me mad I cannot come up with something like this for my own cab.

For a first build it's probably as Malenko said... One of the best! I would love to own that can.

Congrats!

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Re: Feedback Requested on Cabinet Design
« Reply #32 on: November 08, 2018, 12:06:53 pm »
This thing is amazing. Really makes me mad I cannot come up with something like this for my own cab.

I am also jealous of your ability to conceptualize and create artwork. I am having a hell of a time with mine.

Great work!

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Re: Feedback Requested on Cabinet Design
« Reply #33 on: November 08, 2018, 07:24:29 pm »
This is so awesome looking!  great job!  :applaud: :notworthy: :cheers:
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Re: Feedback Requested on Cabinet Design
« Reply #34 on: November 08, 2018, 10:56:45 pm »
Really cool dude.  I like the design a lot.  Looks great even without a coin door!   ;D

proplayer77

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Re: Feedback Requested on Cabinet Design
« Reply #35 on: November 25, 2018, 02:47:52 pm »
Very nice! :cheers:

  
 

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