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Author Topic: Greenhorn Project, Greenlit by the Family  (Read 582 times)

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BigCaah

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Greenhorn Project, Greenlit by the Family
« on: January 03, 2021, 06:35:40 pm »
THE INTRODUCTION A placeholder post for things to come.

Hi everyone, my name is Andrew, and Im here to chronicle the building of an arcade cabinet. And now that its in writing, its going to happen, right? Right?! That is the goal, a carryover from my youth. Allow me to elaborate, feel free to skip ahead to the next post for information relevant to an actual project.

All of my life I have loved games. I remember the time my father brought home a Nintendo Entertainment System. It was packaged with the Zapper and the Power Pad. I was hooked! I remember going to arcades and loving the flashing lights, the sounds, the feel of a pocketful of tokens, the haze of smoke that permeated the buildings everywhere in the 80s One day, I told myself, one day I would have a garage of magnitude filled with all the cabinets I could get my hands on, and at least 5 different pinball machines but then, like many of you Im sure, I found that those cabinets were expensive. Console gaming started getting more popular, and I cast the dream of a home arcade aside.

As I got older, I picked up woodworking as a hobby by building a bar on a semi-whim with nothing more than a set of plans, a circular saw and a cordless 12v drill. Sure, we could have just used a folding table with a cloth over the top for the party, but I figured that if the thing was worth doing, IT WAS WORTH DOING RIGHT. I found that I wasnt terrible at it, that the work was satisfying, and that I looked like Superman to my wife when I made something out of a collection of parts. Then, resurfacing a deck with my wifes cousin who happened to know a thing about contracted labor, and how to give good directions to a novice. Tools were upgraded at some point, and small house projects continued. My wife convinced me to construct a pirate ship in the backyard (be a hero, she said!), and I learned a little about myself at 2am, holding on for dear life to a mast 16 in the air while adding a barricade to a crows nest. Bookshelves, a board game table, fireplace bench, wine and cheese boards. Always striving to learn something new with each project, and to keep all digits attached.

This past summer, my family stayed at a cabin in Tennessee that had one of those commercial retro arcade units. My boys made a beeline for it, and it was like I was watching myself back in 1989. A lightbulb went on over my head, and I thought to myself, Well, its nothing more than a cabinet, some shelves, a monitor, a computer, and a fancy NES Advantage. How hard can it be?

Turns out, after lurking on this site and reading for a while, the rabbit hole is deeper than I thought. I -almost- drove to buy one of those multi-game units from Sams Club yesterday. Almost. The cabinet looked nice enough, there were decent enough reviews about the unit, and other ROM files could be sideloaded fairly easily. But then I remembered my dream, and my resolve that if something is worth doing, IT IS WORTH DOING RIGHT. Be a hero to the kids.  :)

So, here I am, thanks for bearing with a retracing of what led me here. Im always striving to learn new skills, and I learn better when those skills are attached to hobbies that I love. There is a wealth of information on this site to dig into, I am looking forward to interacting with anyone who is willing to teach a bit! The next post will be a semi-organization of thoughts and plans.

jennifer

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Re: Greenhorn Project, Greenlit by the Family
« Reply #1 on: January 03, 2021, 06:47:11 pm »
Just the fact you passed on prefab says alot about your character...You got this man, it is not as hard as it looks. 8)

PL1

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Re: Greenhorn Project, Greenlit by the Family
« Reply #2 on: January 03, 2021, 07:21:51 pm »
the rabbit hole is deeper than I thought.
. . . and wider.   :lol

Pretty sure you'll find the "What type of build meets my needs?" section of the FAQ useful in identifying some important branches of the rabbit hole that many first-time builders overlook.   :cheers:

http://wiki.arcadecontrols.com/index.php/FAQ#What_type_of_build_meets_my_needs.3F


Scott

BigCaah

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Re: Greenhorn Project, Greenlit by the Family
« Reply #3 on: January 03, 2021, 08:27:51 pm »
Just the fact you passed on prefab says alot about your character...You got this man, it is not as hard as it looks. 8)

Thanks! It's that character that usually gets me in over my head  :lol


the rabbit hole is deeper than I thought.
. . . and wider.   :lol

Pretty sure you'll find the "What type of build meets my needs?" section of the FAQ useful in identifying some important branches of the rabbit hole that many first-time builders overlook.   :cheers:

http://wiki.arcadecontrols.com/index.php/FAQ#What_type_of_build_meets_my_needs.3F


Scott

Haha, after the past year of poor nutritional choices, a wider hole to jump in is better  ;D Thanks for that link, I'll be sure to give it a look. The circuitry and computer bits will present the biggest challenge, as my previous experience amounts to calling in favors, but there's no time like the present to figure it out.

javeryh

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Re: Greenhorn Project, Greenlit by the Family
« Reply #4 on: January 07, 2021, 01:02:54 pm »
The circuitry and computer bits will present the biggest challenge, as my previous experience amounts to calling in favors, but there's no time like the present to figure it out.

If I can figure it out literally anyone can.  The computer set-up is the hardest part for me by far and I still manage to figure it out even though I relearn it all from scratch every time.  Plus, people here are a huge help.  Good luck.