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Author Topic: 4-Player Arcade Cab - Quad U360s - First-Time Build  (Read 2538 times)

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Pasquirlio

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4-Player Arcade Cab - Quad U360s - First-Time Build
« on: June 29, 2018, 11:14:51 pm »
So I've been kicking the idea around for a long time.  My brother-in-law and I finally decided to work together on building an arcade cabinet.  We've been working on the concept for a few months and are just about ready to start buying some things.  I was thinking of starting with a cardboard prototype of the CP.  Anyway, here is what we are going for:

-  MUST be 4-player.  Yes, it absolutely will get a lot of 4-player play.
-  Try to keep it under $1,000.
-  It should look nice- lit marquee & buttons, art, etc... but doesn't need to be arcade-perfect.  No coin door, for instance.  (Budget!)
-  Should play as wide as possible variety of (arcade only!) games without a frankenpanel or going out in the weeds for weird or rare games.
-  6 buttons for players 1 and 2, 4 buttons for 3 and 4, as is fairly standard.  (Yes, we'd play D&D.)

Here are the features I'd like to have, but I are less critical:

-  Trackball (this is actually more or less critical, but I could be persuaded to drop it as a good one is pretty expensive)
-  Two guns (probably Aimtraks with recoil)
-  Start button for each player lights up when credits are "inserted".  (Is this hard to do?)
-  "Active" (usable) buttons for each player light up, depending on what game is being played.  (Is this even harder?)
-  A button (or maybe a shift button) that starts a random game
-  If the machine is left on, rather than sit on the menu it just boots up a random game, switching games every half hour or so
-  Split screen for emulating connected machines (this one is a bit out there, so if anyone has tried this, let me know)

My bro has an auto-cad file of the basic design which I'll post another time.  Basically, I'm the research guy, the finances, the project management, and grunt work, while he is the engineer for both the physical and software build.  Yeah, yeah, so he's doing all the work.  I'm not as handy as he is.

So some other details:  We went back and forth on the old CRT vs LCD debate, but ultimately settled on LED.  I'm not overly nostalgic about the classic look of CRTs, though we may toy with software emulation of the look.  I know- it's not as good.  We already have a 32" LCD, though, so that saves some money.  And they are cheap and easy to replace if need be.  Even though we're not putting in a coin door (I might put in a coin door decal, though,) I want to put the credit buttons on the front- preferably where the coin door would be.  I like the idea of reaching down there as though I were inserting a coin.  Reject button assemblies are cheap.  Is it possible to wire those up as credit buttons?

Now here's something I haven't found anyone else doing.  (I've read various threads, but there's no way I can read everything, so I'm sure SOMEONE somewhere has done this.)  I'm planning on using FOUR U360 joysticks.  Yes, they are expensive, but their high programmability makes them ideal for a wide variety of games.  In addition to working as 4-way or 8-way, they of course also work for analog games.  (Or even weird configurations, such as diagonal 4-way like in Q*Bert.)  Plus, analog joysticks work for most driving games as well.  (Not so much for Pole Position, I've read.)  Heck, I even tested using an analog joystick for Warlords (a game known for using 4 spinners,) and while I couldn't beat the CPU, if playing with 4 people it could at least be fair.  I at least got to where I could catch the ball regularly.  I know some (such as ChanceKJ- in a thread I'm sure most of you know well) used two U360s, but I know that with Offroad, at least, I'd need 3 analog sticks.  I'm actually not sure how many 4-player games would need these, but if we go with the split-screen idea, we definitely would need them as most linked machines are driving games.  I also got a promise of a discount for buying so many- because apparently no one does this.  The retailer's shipping is very high, though, so I want to make sure of everything I will need from them before I order.  (Tips on this are greatly appreciated.)

I have seen the numerous reminders to remember to angle the P3 and P4 joysticks!  Very good advice, which I might not have thought of otherwise.  But then I saw one cautioning about dual-joystick games such as Smash TV.  Smash TV and Total Carnage are high on my must-play list!  So now I'm in a bit of a quandary.  I really don't want the make the CP a straight line- it looks so boring and seems like a janky way to play for 4 players.  What to do?  One thought came to mind: What angle do you put them at?  If it's 45 degrees, then it would be pretty simple to program the U360s to read the diagonals as straights and the straights as diagonals for those games.  It could probably be done at any angle, but the map wouldn't be as neat, I think.  Thoughts?

I'll post more details later.  I don't want to cram so much in here no one will read it (too late?).
« Last Edit: June 30, 2018, 10:51:57 pm by Pasquirlio »

PL1

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Re: 4-Player Arcade Cab - Quad U360s - First-Time Build
« Reply #1 on: June 30, 2018, 12:57:36 pm »
I have seen the numerous reminders to remember to angle the P3 and P4 joysticks!
You might want to re-read those reminders -- the idea is to NOT angle the sticks for P3/P4.   ::)

Green = good.  Red = bad.



https://web.archive.org/web/20160809113045/http://newwiki.arcadecontrols.com/index.php?title=FAQ#Orientation


Scott

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Re: 4-Player Arcade Cab - Quad U360s - First-Time Build
« Reply #2 on: June 30, 2018, 02:08:56 pm »
-  Should as wide as possible variety of (arcade only!) games without a frankenpanel or going out in the weeds for weird or rare games.

-  Trackball (this is actually more or less critical, but I could be persuaded to drop it as a good one is pretty expensive)
-  Two guns (probably Aimtraks with recoil)


I'm worried it's already too late.

Is it possible to wire those up as credit buttons?


Yes. Very easy to do with a microswitch and some glue to hold it in place behind the coin return button... but why would you skip the coin door if you want this feature?  With a $1000 budget the coin door is just another drop in the bucket.

Pasquirlio

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Re: 4-Player Arcade Cab - Quad U360s - First-Time Build
« Reply #3 on: June 30, 2018, 03:46:25 pm »
You might want to re-read those reminders -- the idea is to NOT angle the sticks for P3/P4.

Oops.  In that case, I wouldn't have needed the advice.  I would assume you orient the joystick to the screen, not the player.  Thanks for setting me straight.

Mike A

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Re: 4-Player Arcade Cab - Quad U360s - First-Time Build
« Reply #4 on: June 30, 2018, 07:11:51 pm »
Just put a coin door in. It will look much better.
« Last Edit: June 30, 2018, 07:26:50 pm by Mike A »

Pasquirlio

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Re: 4-Player Arcade Cab - Quad U360s - First-Time Build
« Reply #5 on: June 30, 2018, 11:15:41 pm »
-  Should as wide as possible variety of (arcade only!) games without a frankenpanel or going out in the weeds for weird or rare games.

-  Trackball (this is actually more or less critical, but I could be persuaded to drop it as a good one is pretty expensive)
-  Two guns (probably Aimtraks with recoil)


I'm worried it's already too late.

Harsh!  Hey, 4 joysticks with the usual number of buttons and a trackball is far less than most 4 player cabs I've looked up go for.  The guns are a maybe, but even if we do include them, they don't really affect the look of the CP.

Is it possible to wire those up as credit buttons?


Yes. Very easy to do with a microswitch and some glue to hold it in place behind the coin return button... but why would you skip the coin door if you want this feature?  With a $1000 budget the coin door is just another drop in the bucket.

$1000 is the ceiling, and I am trying very hard not to hit that.  I priced everything out and the total already came to $999.  And I am sure I missed some things like paint and screws.  Roughly $150 for a door is not pocket change.  Up until an hour before I started this thread, I thought we were just going to go with the common credit button on the CP.  Then I thought about putting the credit buttons on the front.  Then as I wrote this I thought hey, why not just use the inexpensive eject buttons?  It would be cool to have a real coin door, but it would also be cool to have all the custom details that ChanceKJ put on his, and I have to draw the line somewhere.  In choosing features we put a priority on aesthetics that don't break the bank, but functionality still trumps aesthetics.  (I'm trying the find the right balance.)  Coin doors are great, but as they have no real function, I can't justify the high cost.

I hear you guys, though.  If I can find a 4 player coin door that costs $50 or less and looks decent, I'll seriously consider it.

javeryh

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Re: 4-Player Arcade Cab - Quad U360s - First-Time Build
« Reply #6 on: July 01, 2018, 09:03:48 am »
-  Should as wide as possible variety of (arcade only!) games without a frankenpanel or going out in the weeds for weird or rare games.

-  Trackball (this is actually more or less critical, but I could be persuaded to drop it as a good one is pretty expensive)
-  Two guns (probably Aimtraks with recoil)


I'm worried it's already too late.

Harsh!  Hey, 4 joysticks with the usual number of buttons and a trackball is far less than most 4 player cabs I've looked up go for.  The guns are a maybe, but even if we do include them, they don't really affect the look of the CP.

Is it possible to wire those up as credit buttons?


Yes. Very easy to do with a microswitch and some glue to hold it in place behind the coin return button... but why would you skip the coin door if you want this feature?  With a $1000 budget the coin door is just another drop in the bucket.

$1000 is the ceiling, and I am trying very hard not to hit that.  I priced everything out and the total already came to $999.  And I am sure I missed some things like paint and screws.  Roughly $150 for a door is not pocket change.  Up until an hour before I started this thread, I thought we were just going to go with the common credit button on the CP.  Then I thought about putting the credit buttons on the front.  Then as I wrote this I thought hey, why not just use the inexpensive eject buttons?  It would be cool to have a real coin door, but it would also be cool to have all the custom details that ChanceKJ put on his, and I have to draw the line somewhere.  In choosing features we put a priority on aesthetics that don't break the bank, but functionality still trumps aesthetics.  (I'm trying the find the right balance.)  Coin doors are great, but as they have no real function, I can't justify the high cost.

I hear you guys, though.  If I can find a 4 player coin door that costs $50 or less and looks decent, I'll seriously consider it.

In my experience 4P cabs that try to play the widest assortment of games often end up not doing any one thing particularly well.  That's all.  There are really nice 4P cabs around here for sure but just be careful trying to shoehorn everything in. 

For the coin door, it's true that $150 out of $1000 budget is kind of a lot but I think it is essential in making this feel like an authentic arcade cabinet.  I'm sure you will be able to find a used one to clean up for cheap.  At least measure and plan for it so you can easily add it later on.  There's something about actually putting a quarter or token in and hearing the coin land in the box.

Pasquirlio

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Re: 4-Player Arcade Cab - Quad U360s - First-Time Build
« Reply #7 on: July 01, 2018, 11:36:19 am »
Understood.  I do worry some about that.  But the only concession to flexibility (the guns aren't definite and shouldn't affect how well anything else plays) is the joysticks.  (Almost everyone seems to have a trackball and it's good for other things, such as menu navigation and doubling as a mouse if need be.)  If we have too many games on the roster or ones that don't work well, we can always remove the extras.  Does anyone have experience with U360s?  I'm not looking for arcade-prefect, competition-level  simulation, but do they work well for, say Street Fighter or Mortal Kombat?  (Fighters being the games that generally require the most precise control.)

My plan is currently to not use a restrictor plate, so I know many will not like that.  (Okay, this would probably be the biggest concession to flexibility.)  I've gone back and forth on it, though obviously if we do go with plates it would be the round one, since 4 or 8-way plates would defeat the purpose of having the U360s.  Having the longer throw distance will, I think, work better for driving games and other games wanting analog control.  It will give more granular precision.  I just don't know how much the longer throw will hurt other games.  Will it just make it feel less authentic?  Will it make those games more tiring to play?  Or will it make them too difficult to play right?  (I'm okay with the first two- not so much with the third.)  We do plan to experiment with it in our cardboard prototype.  I was also planning on not adding the long handles as that would only increase the throw distance further.

Mike A

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Re: 4-Player Arcade Cab - Quad U360s - First-Time Build
« Reply #8 on: July 01, 2018, 11:59:21 am »
You already made this whole thing too damn complicated. Driving games with a joystick? Freakin' stop it. Slash your gamelist down. Less games will mean less compromises. Less compromises will make for better game play. Better game play will make for more fun.

javeryh

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Re: 4-Player Arcade Cab - Quad U360s - First-Time Build
« Reply #9 on: July 01, 2018, 12:00:18 pm »
U360s are great but not really for fighters, IMO, but they work fine.  There is no click so it feels weird trying to pull of a fireball if you are used to the arcade.  That said, I've used one for a while and have gotten used to it.  You will have to adjust the spring strength and throw to get it how you like.  I am trying a ServoStik for my next project so I can automatically switch between 4 way and 8 way but this means that there are certain games I won't be able to play like Q*bert... which is OK.  Again, it's all personal preference so only you will know what's right for you.

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Re: 4-Player Arcade Cab - Quad U360s - First-Time Build
« Reply #10 on: July 01, 2018, 12:39:25 pm »
..... switch between 4 way and 8 way but this means that there are certain games I won't be able to play like Q*bert... which is

Have you tried assigning the controls in MAME to the diagonals for Q-Bert?  Meaning make the inputs for UP, DOWN, etc have two inputs like UP+Right. This makes the game ignore anything other than the diagonals forcing the stick to work like the original Q-Bert.  Works well on an 8 way stick, you just donít have the restrictor to ride the rails.

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Re: 4-Player Arcade Cab - Quad U360s - First-Time Build
« Reply #11 on: July 01, 2018, 03:33:33 pm »
..... switch between 4 way and 8 way but this means that there are certain games I won't be able to play like Q*bert... which is

Have you tried assigning the controls in MAME to the diagonals for Q-Bert?  Meaning make the inputs for UP, DOWN, etc have two inputs like UP+Right. This makes the game ignore anything other than the diagonals forcing the stick to work like the original Q-Bert.  Works well on an 8 way stick, you just donít have the restrictor to ride the rails.

Just tried this but there`s no option in the menu for up/down etc. Only up, down, left, right. :droid

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Re: 4-Player Arcade Cab - Quad U360s - First-Time Build
« Reply #12 on: July 01, 2018, 04:30:15 pm »
..... switch between 4 way and 8 way but this means that there are certain games I won't be able to play like Q*bert... which is

Have you tried assigning the controls in MAME to the diagonals for Q-Bert?  Meaning make the inputs for UP, DOWN, etc have two inputs like UP+Right. This makes the game ignore anything other than the diagonals forcing the stick to work like the original Q-Bert.  Works well on an 8 way stick, you just donít have the restrictor to ride the rails.

Just tried this but there`s no option in the menu for up/down etc. Only up, down, left, right. :droid

Sure there is. You just have to hit the corners right.
***Build what you dig, bro. Build what you dig.***

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Re: 4-Player Arcade Cab - Quad U360s - First-Time Build
« Reply #13 on: July 01, 2018, 05:10:11 pm »
You already made this whole thing too damn complicated. Driving games with a joystick? Freakin' stop it. Slash your gamelist down. Less games will mean less compromises. Less compromises will make for better game play. Better game play will make for more fun.

I'll take it under advisement.  Though I actually prefer joysticks for driving, so that's not an issue.  But there is something to be said for just going with four Servostiks and sticking to 4 and 8-way games.  (For one thing, Servostiks are cheaper.)

U360s are great but not really for fighters, IMO, but they work fine.  There is no click so it feels weird trying to pull of a fireball if you are used to the arcade.  That said, I've used one for a while and have gotten used to it.  You will have to adjust the spring strength and throw to get it how you like.  I am trying a ServoStik for my next project so I can automatically switch between 4 way and 8 way but this means that there are certain games I won't be able to play like Q*bert... which is OK.  Again, it's all personal preference so only you will know what's right for you.

I was also going back and forth on whether or not to use the hard spring.  I would think with the hard spring would exacerbate the drawback of the longer throw distance.  Plus make analog precision harder.

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Re: 4-Player Arcade Cab - Quad U360s - First-Time Build
« Reply #14 on: July 02, 2018, 08:33:40 am »
..... switch between 4 way and 8 way but this means that there are certain games I won't be able to play like Q*bert... which is

Have you tried assigning the controls in MAME to the diagonals for Q-Bert?  Meaning make the inputs for UP, DOWN, etc have two inputs like UP+Right. This makes the game ignore anything other than the diagonals forcing the stick to work like the original Q-Bert.  Works well on an 8 way stick, you just donít have the restrictor to ride the rails.

Just tried this but there`s no option in the menu for up/down etc. Only up, down, left, right. :droid

Sure there is. You just have to hit the corners right.
Not on my  version from mame.

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Re: 4-Player Arcade Cab - Quad U360s - First-Time Build
« Reply #15 on: July 02, 2018, 08:35:13 am »
Quote
Though I actually prefer joysticks for driving

You are dead to me.

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Re: 4-Player Arcade Cab - Quad U360s - First-Time Build
« Reply #16 on: July 02, 2018, 09:04:06 am »
Not on my  version from mame.
Hereís a screen shot on my machine:


Sorry for the thread derail OP.

Pasquirlio

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Re: 4-Player Arcade Cab - Quad U360s - First-Time Build
« Reply #17 on: July 02, 2018, 09:53:04 am »
Quote
Though I actually prefer joysticks for driving

You are dead to me.

C'mon, gimme another chance!  I can sometimes not be stupid!
 :stupid

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Re: 4-Player Arcade Cab - Quad U360s - First-Time Build
« Reply #18 on: July 02, 2018, 09:57:39 am »
I wouldn't use the word stupid. Misguided is a better word.

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Re: 4-Player Arcade Cab - Quad U360s - First-Time Build
« Reply #19 on: July 02, 2018, 10:41:40 am »
What other games besides Qbert needs a 4 way joystick angled 45 degrees?
Im thinking here, but would it be worthwhile to have a servo or solenoid to "cock" the 4 way stick 45 degrees just for those games?
Not meaning to hijack this thread, just throwing it out there since it was mentioned.

I really need to get a life. LOL

I like this project BTW. Not many 4 player cabs being built. Will be following.

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Re: 4-Player Arcade Cab - Quad U360s - First-Time Build
« Reply #20 on: July 02, 2018, 03:39:28 pm »
What other games besides Qbert needs a 4 way joystick angled 45 degrees?
dgame has a more comprehensive list here, but it still boils down to Q*bert variants, Congo Bongo variants, and Inferno.


Scott

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Re: 4-Player Arcade Cab - Quad U360s - First-Time Build
« Reply #21 on: July 02, 2018, 11:37:26 pm »
I wouldn't use the word stupid. Misguided is a better word.

Ah.  Well, that's why I'm posting in here.  I have no experience in this, so I would be shocked if I didn't have a lot of misguided notions.  I want people to argue with me when they think I'm making a mistake.  Like many on this site, we (my bro and I) will ultimately end up doing our own thing, but just because we don't take every piece of advice we receive doesn't mean we don't value the tips.  And I'm sure a lot of it will impact the final result.

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Re: 4-Player Arcade Cab - Quad U360s - First-Time Build
« Reply #22 on: July 04, 2018, 03:53:33 pm »
What other games besides Qbert needs a 4 way joystick angled 45 degrees?
Im thinking here, but would it be worthwhile to have a servo or solenoid to "cock" the 4 way stick 45 degrees just for those games?
Not meaning to hijack this thread, just throwing it out there since it was mentioned.

I really need to get a life. LOL

I like this project BTW. Not many 4 player cabs being built. Will be following.

Not sure, but I would just do what Arroyo says and fix it with the software.  The hardware solution seems overly complicated for a handful of games.  If your version of MAME doesn't allow two button presses at once to get the diagonal, then maybe update MAME?

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Re: 4-Player Arcade Cab - Quad U360s - First-Time Build
« Reply #23 on: July 05, 2018, 12:31:27 pm »
You could probably shave some cost off with the U360s.  I agree with Mike; don't try to do racing games with them.  It's not the same as using joysticks on systems like ps3 for car games.  The arcade ones like Off Road do not translate to a stick well.  They are meant to have a big wheel to whip around.  I've tried it with analog sticks and it is not the same experience at all. 

I have 2 U360s in my cab and I really like them.  LEDBlinky switches them well between games.  Just don't expect to get a ton of use out of the analog settings.

If you get them, get the stiff spring.  It's not overly stiff at all. 

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Re: 4-Player Arcade Cab - Quad U360s - First-Time Build
« Reply #24 on: July 05, 2018, 08:14:07 pm »
You could probably shave some cost off with the U360s.  I agree with Mike; don't try to do racing games with them.  It's not the same as using joysticks on systems like ps3 for car games.  The arcade ones like Off Road do not translate to a stick well.  They are meant to have a big wheel to whip around.  I've tried it with analog sticks and it is not the same experience at all. 

I have 2 U360s in my cab and I really like them.  LEDBlinky switches them well between games.  Just don't expect to get a ton of use out of the analog settings.

If you get them, get the stiff spring.  It's not overly stiff at all.

Oh, good. Thanks for the spring tip.  I haven't been able to get solid information on it.  What's it like with the default spring?  Way too loose?  And do you use a restrictor and/or longer handle?

I might have gotten a high enough discount for buying 4 that I wouldn't save any money buying two at full price and getting two regular joysticks.  But supposing I did, which should I go with?  Two 8-ways?  I doubt there are many 4-player 4-way games...

Ooh...LED Blinky https://www.ledblinky.net/ledblinky.htm.  I hadn't heard of that.  It sounds like it does a lot of things I wanted to do, like lighting up the start buttons when there are credits.  But as for switching controls between games- I thought MAME could do that already... Can't it?
« Last Edit: July 05, 2018, 08:19:45 pm by Pasquirlio »

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Re: 4-Player Arcade Cab - Quad U360s - First-Time Build
« Reply #25 on: July 06, 2018, 04:38:37 pm »
Quote
What's it like with the default spring?  Way too loose?  And do you use a restrictor and/or longer handle?

Yeah, it's too loose.  It felt to me like it was barely getting back to center.  IMO they should just ship with the stiff ones as default.  I've been meaning to get the octagonal restrictors for a long time.  Wish I had ordered them with my initial order.  I guess I'm sort of used to it without them, but I think they would probably make 2-4 way games easier and feel nicer.

Quote
I might have gotten a high enough discount for buying 4 that I wouldn't save any money buying two at full price and getting two regular joysticks.  But supposing I did, which should I go with?  Two 8-ways?  I doubt there are many 4-player 4-way games...

I would keep all 4 sticks the same kind whatever you choose.  4 U360s or 4 8-ways.  You could make 2 of them servosticks if you don't go with U360s, but that's basically just an electric add-on for turning the restrictor plates.

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Ooh...LED Blinky https://www.ledblinky.net/ledblinky.htm.  I hadn't heard of that.  It sounds like it does a lot of things I wanted to do, like lighting up the start buttons when there are credits.  But as for switching controls between games- I thought MAME could do that already... Can't it?

Yes, but it is not as good.  I compared the MAME built in vs. the U360 maps and the U360 map control worked a lot better.  If you go this route, LEDBlinky will be well worth it, especially if you are doing lit buttons as well.  It's practically mandatory.

Ian

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Re: 4-Player Arcade Cab - Quad U360s - First-Time Build
« Reply #26 on: July 08, 2018, 07:29:54 pm »
You already made this whole thing too damn complicated. Driving games with a joystick? Freakin' stop it. Slash your gamelist down. Less games will mean less compromises. Less compromises will make for better game play. Better game play will make for more fun.

My first mame cab played thousands of games...

My Second 300 games

My third I am shooting for 50

Less is more, think about it. How many hours of your life has been spent going through what to watch on Netflix. There is way too much content! If they had 80 quality movies and 50 full seasons of great shows it would be way easier.
Every normal man must be tempted at times to spit on his hands, hoist the black flag, and begin to slit throats.

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Re: 4-Player Arcade Cab - Quad U360s - First-Time Build
« Reply #27 on: July 08, 2018, 07:33:26 pm »
Also, stick with good quality joysticks that don't cost an arm and a leg. I would recomend the Sanwas over at Focusattack.com
Every normal man must be tempted at times to spit on his hands, hoist the black flag, and begin to slit throats.

Pasquirlio

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Re: 4-Player Arcade Cab - Quad U360s - First-Time Build
« Reply #28 on: July 08, 2018, 10:00:03 pm »
Also, stick with good quality joysticks that don't cost an arm and a leg. I would recomend the Sanwas over at Focusattack.com

Those look nice, but they cost as much as the U360s before my discount.

I hear you on the less is more thing, though.  But it seems like maybe it's easier to build a cab with only 50 games when you already have one that plays a thousand.  I'm only planning on building one cab.  When I said I was building a cab that plays as many games as possible, I really meant a variety of genres, not an insane number of games.  My current list, which I plan to curate, is well under 300.  Problem is, some are action games, some are arcade classics, some fighters, and yes, even driving games.  (I tested Cruis'N USA with a Playstation joystick and it worked well.  I'm betting a U360, with its longer shaft and probably higher resolution, will work better.)  Any game I can't get to work well, I can just cut from the list, so others playing my machine aren't frustrated.

I'm starting to think one big sacrifice I can make, though, would be the gun games.  The guns are expensive, they require calibration to match the individual player, and they use a Wii-like control scheme that may result in not a high enough accuracy for some games.  (Anyone have experience with AimTraks?  Are they worth the effort?)  Cutting those out will save me at least $240.

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Re: 4-Player Arcade Cab - Quad U360s - First-Time Build
« Reply #29 on: July 08, 2018, 11:00:21 pm »
Yes, but it is not as good.  I compared the MAME built in vs. the U360 maps and the U360 map control worked a lot better.  If you go this route, LEDBlinky will be well worth it, especially if you are doing lit buttons as well.  It's practically mandatory.

I'm going to need to study this up more.  I'm very confused now.  Is the U360 doing the map switching on its own, or is LED Blinky telling it to switch maps?  Or is Hyperspin (or whatever front end you are using) switching the maps?  Or are they telling MAME to switch the maps?  I have no idea how all of these programs interact.

That brings me to the next details about our plans: the buttons.  I haven't decided on exactly what type or brand to use.  I want them to light up.  (I'm not planning on lighting up the joysticks- not worth the expense and trouble, I think.)  Our current plan is to use single-color buttons (a different color for each player, and another color or colors for admin buttons, start buttons, etc...)  Our preference is for durability/reliability.  I want kids to be able to pound on them and not break them.  Responsiveness is important, of course, but I'm not looking for competition grade stuff.  A tactile "click" is nice to have, but a much lower priority than the other features.  I'm also open to RGB ones if they don't sacrifice durability and don't cost much more.  Any suggestions?

I'm looking at 20 buttons for gameplay (6 + 6 + 4 + 4), 4-8 for credits and start buttons, depending on what we do with the whole coin door decision, and 2-4 administrative buttons.  I'm not at all sure what we'll do with the administrative buttons.  One of our goals is for the CP to be idiot-proof.  (Or at least idiot resistant.)  We want players not to have to think too much about what buttons to press.  (Heck, I'm not even sure I want a pause button.  We couldn't pause arcade games when I was a kid, gosh darnit!)  How about just a shift button and an exit button?  The exit button returns you to menu (and could even double as a pause button, since I would want it to pause the game and ask you if you are sure before exiting) and the shift button lets you access administrative functions, like button mapping, when combined with other keys.  When on the menu you could just press the P1 button 1, or perhaps any player start button to enter a game.  Or do I go with "Launch" "Pause" "Menu" "Exit" "Volume +" "Volume -" or some other configuration?

EDIT: I'm also not sure what controller to use.  There seem to be a lot of choices out there.  I was initially thinking maybe I wouldn't need one.  You can wire 8 buttons to each U360.  But I don't think you an do LEDs that way.  And I probably still need one for the Trackball at the very least.  Do I get one of the ones from Ultimarc or is there a better choice?
« Last Edit: July 08, 2018, 11:50:31 pm by Pasquirlio »

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Re: 4-Player Arcade Cab - Quad U360s - First-Time Build
« Reply #30 on: July 08, 2018, 11:19:02 pm »
Also, stick with good quality joysticks that don't cost an arm and a leg. I would recomend the Sanwas over at Focusattack.com

Those look nice, but they cost as much as the U360s before my discount.

I hear you on the less is more thing, though.  But it seems like maybe it's easier to build a cab with only 50 games when you already have one that plays a thousand.  I'm only planning on building one cab.  When I said I was building a cab that plays as many games as possible, I really meant a variety of genres, not an insane number of games.  My current list, which I plan to curate, is well under 300.  Problem is, some are action games, some are arcade classics, some fighters, and yes, even driving games.  (I tested Cruis'N USA with a Playstation joystick and it worked well.  I'm betting a U360, with its longer shaft and probably higher resolution, will work better.)  Any game I can't get to work well, I can just cut from the list, so others playing my machine aren't frustrated.

I'm starting to think one big sacrifice I can make, though, would be the gun games.  The guns are expensive, they require calibration to match the individual player, and they use a Wii-like control scheme that may result in not a high enough accuracy for some games.  (Anyone have experience with AimTraks?  Are they worth the effort?)  Cutting those out will save me at least $240.

Maybe I wasn't clear... I downgraded my current set up. 50 games is all I need, and my guests that play don't get over whelmed. But to each his own. It was just something I learned and wanted to share.

I remember when those U360's came out. They were $100 each. I didn't know they go for $60 now. Good for you!
Every normal man must be tempted at times to spit on his hands, hoist the black flag, and begin to slit throats.

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Re: 4-Player Arcade Cab - Quad U360s - First-Time Build
« Reply #31 on: July 08, 2018, 11:54:52 pm »
Maybe I wasn't clear... I downgraded my current set up. 50 games is all I need, and my guests that play don't get over whelmed. But to each his own. It was just something I learned and wanted to share.

Oh.  Then I suppose I might get there, too.  It will take some time with people playing it to determine which games people like and which get ignored.

Hmmm... I wonder if we can program in a log that keeps track of what gets played and for how long...

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Re: 4-Player Arcade Cab - Quad U360s - First-Time Build
« Reply #32 on: July 09, 2018, 01:17:58 am »
Yeah, there's trackers.  I think Rocketlauncher has one that will give you play stats, I think it's through Pause or Fade, I can't remember which right now.  You don't need it though, you'll quickly see what gets played.

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I'm going to need to study this up more.  I'm very confused now.  Is the U360 doing the map switching on its own, or is LED Blinky telling it to switch maps?  Or is Hyperspin (or whatever front end you are using) switching the maps?  Or are they telling MAME to switch the maps?  I have no idea how all of these programs interact.

It's either-or.  If MAME senses an analog input on a 4-way game, it will interpret it on the fly.  The better way is to have LEDBlinky auto-switch the U360 map to 4-way at game launch.  It does it at the same time it assigns the button LED colors. 

I used IL buttons on mine.  But... I think the LED inserts might have changed since then.  No matter, just get whatever you want.  I would suggest leaf switches in your  buttons for at least the first 1-3 buttons.  They are much more responsive with rapid shooter games. 

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Re: 4-Player Arcade Cab - Quad U360s - First-Time Build
« Reply #33 on: July 10, 2018, 11:05:24 pm »
Thanks.  I just watched all the videos and read some more details on LED Blinky.  It sounds like it does exactly what I want it to do and more.  Almost makes me think RGB buttons are a must-have!

Yeah, there's trackers.  I think Rocketlauncher has one that will give you play stats, I think it's through Pause or Fade, I can't remember which right now.  You don't need it though, you'll quickly see what gets played.

Ha.  Maybe.  I won't be home a lot of the time it gets played.  Our Nintendo Switch's parental controls give me a monthly report on how many hours are spent on each game, and I am sometimes surprised.

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Re: 4-Player Arcade Cab - Quad U360s - First-Time Build
« Reply #34 on: July 11, 2018, 05:08:46 am »
Do you know what parental control works really well? Rules and consequences for breaking rules. Take the video games and smart phone away for a week and that will get their attention.

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Re: 4-Player Arcade Cab - Quad U360s - First-Time Build
« Reply #35 on: July 11, 2018, 05:49:30 pm »
Do you know what parental control works really well? Rules and consequences for breaking rules. Take the video games and smart phone away for a week and that will get their attention.

I was wondering where you went, Mike!   ;D

Ha.  I only wish my kids preferred video games to bingeing TV.  At least video games engage some small part of the brain.  At any rate, the Switch parental controls are useless, since they don't let you set limits for individual users.  I don't use them for anything beyond knowing what was played on what days and for how long.  As for the endless streaming of video, I have their devices throttled to make endless streaming inconvenient and I cut the internet entirely when they shouldn't be online.  And yeah- they've had their devices taken away plenty.
« Last Edit: July 11, 2018, 05:51:53 pm by Pasquirlio »

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Re: 4-Player Arcade Cab - Quad U360s - First-Time Build
« Reply #36 on: July 11, 2018, 08:18:27 pm »
If none of that worked, get ready for regular calls from school, and later the police. Geez. Good luck.

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Re: 4-Player Arcade Cab - Quad U360s - First-Time Build
« Reply #37 on: July 12, 2018, 12:59:57 am »
In some states it's considered child abuse to cut off the internet.

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Re: 4-Player Arcade Cab - Quad U360s - First-Time Build
« Reply #38 on: July 12, 2018, 05:48:03 am »
I would like to see some proof of that statement.

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Re: 4-Player Arcade Cab - Quad U360s - First-Time Build
« Reply #39 on: July 12, 2018, 04:31:10 pm »
Well, I was kidding, but you'll start to see the idea forwarded by parents who need to feel justified parking their kid in front of a tablet every time they go out to dinner.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-5744475/Depriving-children-using-internet-child-abuse-claims-controversial-professor.html

  
 

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