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Author Topic: First Build - The Mystery Machine  (Read 1251 times)

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Zoomie

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First Build - The Mystery Machine
« on: February 03, 2018, 03:22:38 pm »
Hi everyone,
A good friend of mine is putting the finishing touches on his pre-built MAME cabinet and I've developed the bug. 
I've been lurking here for a few weeks but I decided to join so I can share my hopes for my own cabinet, and also to tap into the amazing support you guys seem to have on the forum.

My spouse and I are newbies with woodworking, but we're going to take on the project of making a cabinet with 5/8 or 3/4" MDF.  I'm open to opinions on which to use and I'd love to find plans for a 4p machine if anyone has a link.  My father-in-law is very good at woodworking so we have an excellent source of advice and help.  We also have access to a fully equipped wood shop.

I have an old 32" widescreen Toshiba LED TV that turns on with power and remembers the setup (bonus).
I'm comfortable with building my own computer but only have some basic experience wiring a project like this.

Right now I'm in love with the idea of doing a Scooby Doo themed cabinet.  Sides would be monsters from the original series and P1-P4 would be 'the gang".  The marquee would be "The Mystery Machine" painted like the Van.

I'm figuring out MAME and plan to use Hyperspin for my front-end.  I'm happy to go with that unless someone has a better suggestion (or any option for me to research).  The computer will be a new build capable of running STEAM for Dragon Ball Fighterz, Castle Crashers, and maybe some recent SHMUPS (although I don't enjoy bullet-hell games).

My plan at the moment:
4 Player CP
4 - 4/8 way Sanwa knock-off LED Joysticks
No spinner or trackball
P1 / P2 have 7 buttons, plus coin and start
P3 / P4 have 4 buttons, plus coin and start
2 MAME control buttons at the top of the CP (Exit and Pause)

All buttons are Ultralux style single colour LED's, with each player being a different colour set
Ultimarc IO Ultimate board

I bought all my buttons and sticks on sale so I won't be too heartbroken if I end up upgrading to better.  The sticks and buttons were a good deal so I'm going to try them first.

Thanks for reading and hopefully this is the first post in a full build thread. 

Z
« Last Edit: February 12, 2018, 01:36:50 am by Zoomie »

Zoomie

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Re: First Build - The Mystery Machine - (Ambitious)
« Reply #1 on: February 04, 2018, 12:58:38 am »
Lots of reading not much response so far. 

Big questions I was hoping to have answered:
1.  Can anyone recommend plans for a four-player cabinet?  I'd settle for modifying two-player plans if I have to. Thanks!
2.  Suggestions or opinion on my proposed button format?  Right now I'm favouring 7 for my main two players (Japanese style fighting game 6 plus thumb layout) and a four button setup for players three and four.

Reading through the board, I know several of my choices will be unpopular. 
I don't have easy access to a CRT whereas my LCD TV is sitting idle in the garage.  Just having this machine work is a bigger deal than having games look exactly as they did when I was young.
Likewise, I know LED buttons aren't 'retro' but they will make it much easier for my friends to figure out which buttons to use when we start a new game.  Convenience trumps authenticity at this point.  Solid buttons made sense on machines that had one configuration but I think LED makes a lot of sense for a multi game cabinet.
« Last Edit: February 12, 2018, 01:38:18 am by Zoomie »

barrymossel

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Re: First Build - The Mystery Machine - (Ambitious)
« Reply #2 on: February 04, 2018, 07:21:39 am »
What will you use the admin buttons for? Maybe reduce it to two, so you'll need 48 inputs?

No recommendation for plans as it depends on your taste. I would say: Google 4 player arcade cabinet (image search) and see what you like first.

Arroyo

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Re: First Build - The Mystery Machine - (Ambitious)
« Reply #3 on: February 04, 2018, 11:43:38 am »
If you look on the Main page there is a sticky topic: Build an OND designed cab Metropolis.

http://forum.arcadecontrols.com/index.php/topic,118612.0.html

While not 4 player, itís step by step instructions with design layout.

JDFan

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Re: First Build - The Mystery Machine - (Ambitious)
« Reply #4 on: February 04, 2018, 12:00:53 pm »
How do you get 50 inputs ? ( EDit : Forgot the COin and Start so that explains you being at 50 ! - See below for a way around that )

By my math

4x4 = 16 inputs for the 4 joysticks ( 4 way and 8 way sticks only use 4 inputs U,D,L,R )
2x7 = 14 inputs for the 1and2 player 7 buttons
2x4 =  8 inputs for the player 3+4 4 buttons
4x1 =  4 inputs for Mame

16 + 14+ 8 +4 = 42 total inputs

Though that does not include Start and Coin buttons for each player ( You could wire it up so that both Up and Down on a joystick = Start and Both Left and right on a joystick = Coin) then wire a coin and start button for each player by wiring them to both the joystick Up and Down or Left and Right INputs for that joystick ( since you can never hit both of those directions in game so they will not ever get hit at the same time unless pressing the buttons wired to both.) SO then you'd have enough inputs for everything including the 4 mame button inputs and still have 6 inputs left if needed later.

« Last Edit: February 04, 2018, 12:15:20 pm by JDFan »

Zoomie

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Re: First Build - The Mystery Machine - (Ambitious)
« Reply #5 on: February 04, 2018, 12:44:59 pm »
Logging in and seeing several replies made my morning.  Thanks for that.

@barrymossel I've seen many CP's with four but after reading this thread  I think I could reduce them to EXIT and SHIFT.  This would save me two buttons and I'd be within my 48 input limit.

@Arroyo Thanks much for the link.  Like I said I'm pretty inexperienced with woodworking so plans are a must at this early stage.

@JDFan I think I get what you're saying.  Essentially the buttons would be piggy-backed on the wiring for the joystick, but on opposing inputs that can't possibly be hit together by the joystick.  Are there any drawbacks in emulator hardware?  Will MAME / Hyperspin let you have multiple inputs for a button assignment?  If so, you just found me 16 new inputs if I decide to go button crazy!  I mean I won't, but still - awesome.

I played some Exed Exes last night with an XBox controller.  It was one of my nemesis games in the local arcade as a kid and the music alone was enough to take me back.  My quarter was gone within about 2 mins of starting the game.  Either an XBox controller sucks for a vertical scroll shooter or I've forgotten how hard some of those games were.  It can't possibly be because I got older.

vaportrail

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Re: First Build - The Mystery Machine - (Ambitious)
« Reply #6 on: February 04, 2018, 03:50:37 pm »
This sounds like a cool build, anxiously awaiting the start with pics! I watched a lot of Scooby Doo as a kid....this definitely brings back some memories!:applaud:

PL1

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Re: First Build - The Mystery Machine - (Ambitious)
« Reply #7 on: February 04, 2018, 05:07:02 pm »
There's some related artwork at http://vectorlib2.free.fr/ScoobyBorne/.   ;D


Scott

Zoomie

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Re: First Build - The Mystery Machine - (Ambitious)
« Reply #8 on: February 04, 2018, 05:35:35 pm »
Thanks Scott.  I'm so far from cabinet graphics right now it's not funny.  It's still inspiration.

My current bugbear is figuring out button layouts while I wait for parts. I'm leaning towards the standard P1/P2 Japanese layouts to match the convex buttons and Japanese style joysticks I purchased.  I'm a big fan of ergonomic layouts as opposed to rows of visually straight buttons.  Most of the templates at Slagcoin use eight buttons, and my first thought was to use the first six (counting from the left) with an additional pinky button on the bottom row.  However, many 7+ button layouts I've seen place a seventh thumb button down and left from the rows.  I think they're using the rightmost 6 buttons, plus the bottom button from the left-most row?

I won't be building the main cabinet for a few months (waiting for warmer weather) but I'm going to play around with a CP to figure out the wiring and layout in the short term. 

@vaportrail I've always loved Scooby Doo.  I'm starting to move away from the idea of making each set of buttons specific to a member of the gang.  It sounded neat as a concept, but I'm probably better served by having colours specific to player, not character.  It would make more sense for a dedicated Scooby Doo game where each player was actually linked to the controls (ie something like the 6-player X-men)
« Last Edit: February 04, 2018, 05:46:30 pm by Zoomie »

PL1

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Re: First Build - The Mystery Machine - (Ambitious)
« Reply #9 on: February 04, 2018, 05:57:00 pm »
Most of the templates at Slagcoin use eight buttons, and my first thought was to use the first six (counting from the left) with an additional pinky button on the bottom row.  However, many 7+ button layouts I've seen place a seventh thumb button down and left from the rows.  I think they're using the rightmost 6 buttons, plus the bottom button from the left-most row?
Cardboard and/or hardboard (inexpensive, thin wood) mockups using printed Slagcoin layouts and actual buttons are your friend for deciding which layout works for you.   :cheers:


Scott

JDFan

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Re: First Build - The Mystery Machine - (Ambitious)
« Reply #10 on: February 05, 2018, 12:35:31 am »
Logging in and seeing several replies made my morning.  Thanks for that.

@JDFan I think I get what you're saying.  Essentially the buttons would be piggy-backed on the wiring for the joystick, but on opposing inputs that can't possibly be hit together by the joystick.  Are there any drawbacks in emulator hardware?  Will MAME / Hyperspin let you have multiple inputs for a button assignment?  If so, you just found me 16 new inputs if I decide to go button crazy!  I mean I won't, but still - awesome.

Actually 8 more - if using up and down for 1 and left and right for another x 4 joysticks would be 8 new inputs ( can't use up or down and left or right since those could be used in game for movement) and yes Mame will let you set 2 buttons for a single action.

Zoomie

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Re: First Build - The Mystery Machine - (Ambitious)
« Reply #11 on: February 05, 2018, 02:33:43 am »
Right, not sure where I was getting sixteen from.  Still, even 8 more would be more than I need.
I'm going to see whether I can make do with two admin buttons.

Zoomie

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Re: First Build - The Mystery Machine - (Ambitious)
« Reply #12 on: February 08, 2018, 09:12:22 pm »
Quick update on the planning / purchasing side for now.

Joysticks, buttons, an ultimarc I-PAC Ultimate I/O, wiring for 4 players, and wiring for my 32 planned LED buttons are on the way.
I won't know what wiring is included (or required) for the joysticks until they arrive.  Surprise!

The buttons are convex transparent with transparent surrounds.  I will probably buy inserts for coin and player selections and I plan to black out the tops of the buttons to give a look similar to Chance's machine or the Pathway Zelda 4p machine.  I like the look of coloured rings more than fully lit buttons.

I tested the latency on my 2006 LCD 32" using the HDMI output on my Alienware laptop.  I mirrored the same image to both screens and used online-stopwatch and my camera to capture a shot of the difference between them.  The TV had 33ms higher latency than the laptop's own screen. 
(I originally misinterpreted this as better, thinking lower number meant lower latency - the monitor was actually 33 ms ahead of the TV)
I've seen the TV's latency listed at 8ms, so I'm hoping this was an issue with dual outputs that will be faster with a dedicated computer.

I downloaded Chance's plans for a 4 player machine since it seems to have worked well for a 32" TV build here
I really love the look of Chance's "Flynn's Arcade" machine so I will probably shamelessly 'borrow' some of his design for use in my own.  Chance, you're a generous dude sharing plans for such a great cab.

Edit: I moved recently so I don't have an old PC to use in this machine; As a result, I'll probably have to buy new parts.  The plus side is that this machine should be able to run modern games.  I plan to host a weekly arcade night so being able to run modern titles is a bit of a no-brainer.

I'm looking at the following as a basis for the computer.
i5 (3.5ghz or higher)
8 gigs of RAM
nVidia 1050 (900's are power hungry for what they do and have coil whine)
Small SSD for the OS
2TB 7200 spin for the ROMS, videos, and CHD's
Power supply. 
I'm not sure whether to stick with an ATX motherboard or if there's an advantage to using a smaller mobo. 

If any of these components are over (or under) kill, please let me know!  I know this system would be overkill for MAME.
« Last Edit: February 12, 2018, 01:25:23 am by Zoomie »

bperkins01

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Re: First Build - The Mystery Machine - (Ambitious)
« Reply #13 on: February 10, 2018, 07:45:11 am »
Since you want to design your own panel - best bet is to make one..
I did mine out of particle board - I had some scrap leftovers..

I used 2 different layouts from Slagcoin as a test. 
The mockup was worth the effort:
I designed a 8 deg slope into the original plans - way to much it turned out..  I went with 5 deg.
My original CP was too large - I was able to shrink it down.
I moved the control clusters more toward the middle and still had plenty of trackball room..
Made sure the spinner was out of the way...
Moved the P1 / P2 start buttons.

I also set it up at the designed height on a bench with the monitor to test monitor height and angle (which I also adjusted)
Then played a lot of my favorite game (Centipede) to make sure it felt right..

I fiddled with it for about a week - monitor up - monitor down - monitor in - monitor out..  tilt the panel up .. tilt the panel down..

You get the point - It was not a waste of time.
Good luck!
My Arcade Build and other projects here:
https://bperkins.wordpress.com/

Zoomie

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Re: First Build - The Mystery Machine - (Ambitious)
« Reply #14 on: February 10, 2018, 12:44:51 pm »
I appreciate the input.  I have 7 scraps of MDF I will use to practice with my spade bit.  Hopefully I can drill button holes without blowing out the back side or getting too far off 90 degrees from flush.  The scraps are perfect for testing various layouts.  I played around with the mameroom CPD software yesterday but unfortunately it wasn't as useful (to me) as I'd hoped.  I already know what I want the CP to look like so now it's just a matter of mocking up a panel and seeing how things work.

I think I've settled on 7 buttons.  Fighting games mostly seem to use 6 buttons, whereas most platform or shmups use far fewer.  Even SNES only used 6 and NEO-GEO machines had 4 in one row IIRC, which is why I'm looking at a 7 button layout instead of only 6.  The SOLE reason I can find for having 8 buttons would be to mimic modern XBox or PS controllers that have four primary buttons and four triggers.  If I want to play those games I'll just use my PS4. 

bperkins01

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Re: First Build - The Mystery Machine - (Ambitious)
« Reply #15 on: February 10, 2018, 05:37:14 pm »
If you can avoid it - do not use a spade bit.
Use a Forstner bit



It will be a better guide to drilling a perpendicular hole because there will be a visual guide off the back of the bit in relation to the material.
If you use a backer block under the drill point of the hole - you will not get blowout..  you will just drill in to the backer.
Forstner bits make much nicer, cleaner holes and they are easy to control.

This is the best bit I've ever used - but very expensive..


Fantastic cut on the Bormax bits - just expensive.
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Zoomie

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Re: First Build - The Mystery Machine
« Reply #16 on: February 12, 2018, 01:30:10 am »
I bored out some holes on scrap MDF and quickly realised I was getting ahead of myself.  My sticks and buttons haven't even arrived yet and it's going to be a few months before I can start building my cab.  I'm excited about this project and it's going to happen, but for now I'm going to read a TON on the forum and keep playing around with designs for the CP and my cab artwork.  I'll let this thread fade and maybe start over again when I have some pictures of work begun in earnest.  Thanks to those who took the time to help guide me in the right direction.

Zoomie

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Re: First Build - The Mystery Machine
« Reply #17 on: February 17, 2018, 10:38:26 am »
If anyone has time to offer their opinion, I'd appreciate it.

a) Six buttons looks like it's enough for the vast majority of one or two player games.  I've also seen many setups with seven buttons, which seem to be mostly for NEO-GEO setups with four buttons across a row.  It also seems like many people who use seven buttons have a duplicated button function, rather than 7 unique inputs.  Is 6 really enough or have you guys found applications that absolutely need 7 or 8 buttons?

b) Is a 4 player CP worth the hassle?  I won't be including a spinner or trackball because I won't play games that justify their inclusion.  I do feel like 4 players is something I'd use often enough to justify it, but I'd be interested to hear how often you guys actually use players 3 and 4.

c) Are attractive first-time builds a rarity or can most people come up with a decent looking build their first time?  I have a decent eye for design but I'm not terribly experienced with woodworking so there will be a lot of learning involved.  I understand I'm making my life (and chances of a good cab) difficult by choosing 4p instead of just 2p.

Nephasth

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Re: First Build - The Mystery Machine
« Reply #18 on: February 17, 2018, 11:45:53 am »
A) 6.
B) No.
C) Plan accordingly.
%Bartop

JDFan

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Re: First Build - The Mystery Machine - (Ambitious)
« Reply #19 on: February 17, 2018, 11:50:33 am »
I'm looking at the following as a basis for the computer.
i5 (3.5ghz or higher)
8 gigs of RAM
nVidia 1050 (900's are power hungry for what they do and have coil whine)
Small SSD for the OS
2TB 7200 spin for the ROMS, videos, and CHD's
Power supply. 
I'm not sure whether to stick with an ATX motherboard or if there's an advantage to using a smaller mobo. 

If any of these components are over (or under) kill, please let me know!  I know this system would be overkill for MAME.

 I know it's been a few days but just read this and if you haven't purchased or ordered the parts yet - you might look at this site ( https://arrowdirect.com ) - they are a refurbisher that resells off lease systems from businesses and have some pretty decent prices on complete systems that are good for use as a base for builds ( can always add a GPU, PSU if you need better performance but they are a bit cheaper way of getting the basics ( MOBO, Licensed Copy of WIndows, RAM, CPU, etc. ) and are already looked over, cleaned up etc. and are usually cheaper than building from scratch.

For Example the last system I recently bought from them was a 3.3GHz. I5 Gen2 Tower with 4GB. of RAM a 500GB HDD, Tower case with 280W PSU, Win 10 Home ( also had the Cert for the old WIn7 pro OS IF I wanted to revert to it) and after tax and free shipping was only $132.49 ( they had a 20% code that is still working - just enter  " extra20 " without quotes in the discount codes line ) - So you might look around their site to see if anything they have is a good deal before buying. Figure I swapped out the PSU with a 600W and added an older Powercolor ATI 6950 GPU and a 250GB. SSD I had laying around and it made a very decent setup for the price. (Bought the Tower since it was replacing a desktop unit with an older AMD phenom II 720 I was using and wanted to use the case (otherwise some of the SFF and USFF units only accept half height GPUs unless you remove them from the case - but they can make some good mame build bases if you are removing and mounting the MOBO inside your build.)

  
 

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