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Author Topic: First Cabinet Build: Fallout Bartop - A Post Apocalyptic Arcade Cabinet  (Read 4812 times)

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Arimack

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Does that monitor switch on itself when powered up. If your going to encase it in a cab you won't have access to the power button..

I tested it and yes it does.   Thanks for asking.

javeryh

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Wow priming already - you are moving fast!

Arimack

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Wow priming already - you are moving fast!
Like I said in my first post, I have been lurking here for years and been think about what I want.  I read Saints book years ago and have followed quite a few projects. A few years ago, I even went so far as to build a control panel with trackball mock up to test out layouts and such.  I always got hung up on designing the cabinet and a theme. 

This time I am moving ahead with a plan and not second guessing myself.  Certain elements of the theme can play out over time (marquee and side art) but I know I am going to paint the cabinet steel blue, use yellow ball top zippys/yellow happ buttons and use yellow t-molding.  I already have the controls and the t-molding. 

In the end, this is my first build and a bar top at that.  Take some risk, learn some things and when done enjoy it.  If I make a mistake, so be it, learning lesson for the next time. (already learned one: do not let the 12 year old wipe down the MDF unsupervised while you prep the paint!  He didn't get all the dust left in some of the precut holes. Caught it on the speaker piece. A little sanding and a second coat of prime will cover it.)

Arimack

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Javeryh,
Plus I got Mike A pushing me:
The catch is that the project has to be on it's way to completion. I don't want to waste my time on a project that will never be completed.

javeryh

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Javeryh,
Plus I got Mike A pushing me:
The catch is that the project has to be on it's way to completion. I don't want to waste my time on a project that will never be completed.

A little push is good.  I'm trying to stay self-motivated but there are a TON of house projects I'm currently neglecting...

Arimack

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First round of priming is done. 
Went with Kilz 2 Latex for the primer.  I wanted to stay with latex and avoid oil based.  Found some good review on home theater/speaker building forums for use on MDF.


Priming with the help of my youngest.



Drying.


Next, after drying I will sand with 400 grit and then second coat.



JDFan

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Can't go wrong with Kilz - they make a great product.

javeryh

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Can't go wrong with Kilz - they make a great product.

yeah this is the best stuff.  I just primed my cab and it sealed everything up nice and went on fairly smooth.  I built 7 speakers and 2 subs last summer and used Kilz as the base and covered it with Duratex and they came out awesome.

Arimack

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So, looking for marquee lighting ideas.  Keeping in mind the size (under 17 inches wide).  I also would like to use usb to power it.  Just unsure of what my Pi can support.  My current power plan is to run  speakers, monitor and Rasberry Pi 2 to the power strip.  Run wifi adapter, arcade control adapter and a wireless keyboard/mouse off USB.  I still have one USB port open and I am thinking about this LED strip light:
https://www.amazon.com/dp/B077K112YW/ref=psdc_1063292_t2_B00T4GPPD8?th=1

Anyone use something like this for their marquee?  Any recommendations?

rave0035

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On the unorthodox side, but if you wanted to give this some retro-tech feel you could do a smoked glass marquee with an opaque logo and have a row of vacuum tubes lit behind the marquee glass...



It wouldn't be super bright, but the cool factor would be high. 

Cost wouldn't be that high, either... a pile of NOS tubes that aren't in high demand for audio applications can be had cheap, and the heaters (the part that lights up) on most can be lit with 6 or 12v.  It might take a little trial and error as some tubes glow more brightly than others.

Mike
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05SRT4

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If it doesn't boot to a terminal screen where you have to hack it first to get in, then stop building.

Mike A

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So Arimack, are you going to want some CNC work done? If I get some advanced notice I can probably pound something out this weekend.

Arimack

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So Arimack, are you going to want some CNC work done? If I get some advanced notice I can probably pound something out this weekend.
MikeA, thanks for the offer.  I think I will. Do you need me to send a design to you?  I honestly think of keeping it simple fits better with the cartoony theme. Just the gear symbol with the "16" carved out, if it is possible.  Straight sides on the gear (I am thinking no beveling).  So the image is my cabinet side with a 6 inch diameter gear.  Is that scale right?  Maybe 5 inches would work better, I don't want to overkill it. What do you think?

Arimack

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So I plan on adding this to my cabinet to give me USB access to the pi.  It screws in to a button sized hole. I might also build a trackball controller that plugs in via usb to add that to the cabinet (maybe as a pipboy!)
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B078V1M962/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o02_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

The question is,  where do I put the port.  Right now I am thinking on the front control panel.  Layout right now is to have 2 buttons (player one and player 2) on the forward facing control panel.  They are already cut and evenly spread out across the front.  Thinking right now of either pinball flipper location or right front corner of control panel.  Any recommendations?


Arimack

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If it doesn't boot to a terminal screen where you have to hack it first to get in, then stop building.

05SRT4, how about this for a retro pi splash screen animation?

https://youtu.be/BcOIKdMfAQE

Buick455

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Straight sides on the gear (I am thinking no beveling).

IF you are using MDF for the side emblems (1/2" I assume). I would at the very least 45* chamfer the outer profile. Not a lot, just enough. If not its likely to chip if you hit it with something accidentally.

Arimack

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Straight sides on the gear (I am thinking no beveling).

IF you are using MDF for the side emblems (1/2" I assume). I would at the very least 45* chamfer the outer profile. Not a lot, just enough. If not its likely to chip if you hit it with something accidentally.

Thanks good advice.  I hadn't thought about that.

Mike A

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I will get on it. This won't be difficult.

Arimack

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I will get on it. This won't be difficult.

Awesome.  I'll PM you.

After 2 coats of primer, first side of color:


javeryh

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Looks good.  Is that DK blue?

Arimack

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Looks good.  Is that DK blue?
No, I am trying to match Steel Blue from the Fallout Vault Boy Color scheme I found on Schemecolor:
https://www.schemecolor.com/fallout-vault-boy-colors.php

javeryh

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Looks good.  Is that DK blue?
No, I am trying to match Steel Blue from the Fallout Vault Boy Color scheme I found on Schemecolor:
https://www.schemecolor.com/fallout-vault-boy-colors.php

Blue Steel!


Mike A

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Is this close to what you are looking for?
It needs a little sanding. It is a 1/2 inch thick.

Sent from my Pixel using Tapatalk


Arimack

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Mike A
  Looks Sweet. Perfect. Thank you.

Arimack

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Quick update, I have not stopped work, just the humidity here during this heatwave has slowed down my painting.  I was making good headway and then my paint wouldn't dry.  Stayed tacky. Finally convinced the wife to bring it all inside to the air conditioning to finally get dry.  Hopefully this humidity didn't permanently goo up the paint.  Hoping to get some assembly done today and send some pictures of the monitor fix I had to develop (the vesa mount for my panel went away when I had to open the case to get it to fit.)
Also, the light I purchased from Amazon for the marquee is a usb powered light and looks like it is going to work really well.
Hope to have more pictures this afternoon.

javeryh

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Quick update, I have not stopped work, just the humidity here during this heatwave has slowed down my painting.  I was making good headway and then my paint wouldn't dry.  Stayed tacky. Finally convinced the wife to bring it all inside to the air conditioning to finally get dry.  Hopefully this humidity didn't permanently goo up the paint.  Hoping to get some assembly done today and send some pictures of the monitor fix I had to develop (the vesa mount for my panel went away when I had to open the case to get it to fit.)
Also, the light I purchased from Amazon for the marquee is a usb powered light and looks like it is going to work really well.
Hope to have more pictures this afternoon.

Ha - where are you?  It was roughly the temperature of the sun in NJ yesterday...

Arimack

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I'm up in New England and while its been hot it the damn humidity that is killing me.

On the artwork:
Working with someone via PM that offered to help from Artwork Forum.  We determined that my control panel is almost too tight to really do a good graphic for (the bezel of the buttons is going to cover all the space between them.) 
So I am going to have going to have to pass on this:


But I did come up with a new vectored graphic for the marquee, not new but I spent a lot of time this week getting the scale correct and redoing it in vecotized graphics getting ready to print.  I did change the font on the "War never changes line". Unfortunately it is near impossible to vector the background so I will need to stay with a high quality bitmap for it.


Arimack

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So got a lot of work done today.  The move to indoors really helped. 

First, I was able to wire the outlet/switch/power strip as you guys suggested.


Next problem was my monitor.  I had to remover the back of the case because it stuck out too far and wouldn't fit in the cabinet.  When I did that the VESA mount went with the back case.

Fortunately the stand used two brackets at the bottom of the back and I was able to find 6 long screws that fit these.

And cut the MDF monitor support to fit and drilled some holes.

Next problem with the monitor you can see in the image above is the silver heat shield for the power connections (its only on the left side of the monitor. It makes my bracket uneven.  But I used some spare plexiglass I had as shims and it worked great.


Arimack

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Started assembly today as well.


Laid everything out to make sure the layout was right.


Installed the monitor support.


Went to work on my speaker shelf.  I wanted to use an old pair of speakers I had lying around. I shortened  most of the wiring a bit further after this photo was taken.


Decided I am going to hinge the control panel with dowels and supports on the side and use this latch on the front:


I finished everything attached to one side. I drilled the hinge holes for the back door and the control panel in the side on top but I am holding off on finishing the side on top because I need to get the plexiglass for the cabinet.


Definitely will need to touch up my paint after assembly.  Not sure if its the humidity or my clumsiness but there are a few scuffs, mostly on the sides.
Also, next time I would do a better job with the pocket holes.  Some are really difficult to get to.  Also, at the bottom of the last picture you can see the light I  bought for the marquee.  Plan on installing a hardboard wall in front of the speakers and then lining the space with HVAC reflective tape.  Probably overkill but why not.

Arimack

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Paint is killing me.  Still tacky.  Humidity might have messed with me and I probably should have invested a bit more in higher quality paint.  Debating whether or not to sand it down and repaint with higher quality eggshell finish (over semigloss) or just carry on with assembly and touch up after I'm done.

Good news on the graphics scene. Another forum member, Ramaker, over on the Artwork Forum, really helped me out with Vector graphics.  He replaced the background of my marquee with fully vectorized graphics.  He went out and found the vault boy images one by one (because the rasterized group image I had found was an unusable upscaled graphic) and built the background from scratch. 


I can not thank him enough. He also taught me a few things about vector graphics and I was able to redo the whole thing with his help. :notworthy: My Marquee looks great now.


Arimack

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Also, got the package from Mike A..  Really great looking design and really appreciate his help. Thank you for this. :applaud:  They look awesome!  Now for paint and then attachment to the sides. 


The other thing I have been working on is a sled for the table saw.  It is a crappy 10 inch portable but the sled is a really good improvement.  It is just scrap that I had lying around so nothing special.  But after messing up every cut from my first piece of plexiglas, it definitely improved my cuts. No chipping when I cut my second piece of plexiglas! Also sped up the process a lot.

javeryh

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Looking good.  You are making some great progress.  Have you started setting up the software?

Those cogs from Mike look really cool.  They will be a unique feature once you paint and attach them.  Any chance to incorporate some LEDs?

Arimack

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Have you started setting up the software?

I have my pi setup with retro pi right now.  My pi has wifi and I have a wireless keyboard with trackball built in so plan on cleaning it up once I have it all in the cabinet.
This is the keyboard I am using:

Mike A. did a great job.  Now I cant mess up the paint on those  :banghead: pressure is on!

Been working on the graphics and inspired by the work Ramaker did on that background I have a new control panel design.  The bartop panel is super compact and I don't want it too busy. So I cleaned it up and kept some of the details from my older designs. The cogs are the joystick locations.  Buttons are too close together for anything behind them.5
 
One question, center the Vault Tec Logo?


Or push it to a side?


I think I like the one on the side.

javeryh

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Looks better on the side to me too.

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Also, got the package from Mike A..  Really great looking design and really appreciate his help. Thank you for this. :applaud:  They look awesome!  Now for paint and then attachment to the sides. 


The other thing I have been working on is a sled for the table saw.  It is a crappy 10 inch portable but the sled is a really good improvement.  It is just scrap that I had lying around so nothing special.  But after messing up every cut from my first piece of plexiglas, it definitely improved my cuts. No chipping when I cut my second piece of plexiglas! Also sped up the process a lot.

Just a bit unfortunate that the font of the 16 doesn't match the marquee...

Arimack

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Just a bit unfortunate that the font of the 16 doesn't match the marquee...

Note sure if I like this but here it is:


I think I got the right font (or at least pretty close):

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Don't know how much work that would be, but I would do it the other way around. So use the font from the original marquee.

rave0035

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That paint color looks terrific BUT if it's still tacky after weeks (?), you're done for.  It's never going to dry right - I've been there before.  You'll have a tacky, overly glossy, fingerprinty mess forever.

Do it right now and you won't regret it.  Sand it rough and start over. 

Don't do it when the humidity is super high, use several thin coats (with recommended dry time between coats), and let it get plenty of ventilation as it dries.  Forever tacky paint is usually the result of overly thick application and extreme humidity.

Good luck!

Mike
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Arimack

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Don't do it when the humidity is super high, use several thin coats (with recommended dry time between coats), and let it get plenty of ventilation as it dries.  Forever tacky paint is usually the result of overly thick application and extreme humidity.

And I didn't use premium paint (and I know better on this one.) Off to buy some Benjamin Moore Aura paint and a lot of sanding paper!  Going with an eggshell finish this time not semigloss.

Arimack

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Sorry, no pictures of this but I sanded the hell out of this and repainted. 

(Funny thing is I paused with it all sanded down and considered the advice I had gotten originally on this theme to make it look distressed and post apocalyptic and almost kept it like that. But I couldn't do it.)

Very glad I did. I had used a cheap semigloss originally and that was the cause of the tackiness. I went with eggshell this time and used a different brand of paint (Benjamin Moore Aura).  Very happy with the results.  Much nicer and no tackiness.  Also painting the side cogs that Mike A. made.  Looks good and will be able to get through with assembling the cabinet by next weekend I think.

Still trying to figure out where I can get the marquee and control panel made up.  Any suggestions?


  
 

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