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Author Topic: Dragon Ballcade  (Read 1199 times)

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PaladinZ

Dragon Ballcade
« on: September 04, 2018, 11:57:47 am »
Project : Dragon Ballcade



Joysticks : Sanwa JLF-TP-8YT
Buttons : Convex classic LED Zippy ultralight 20g
Interface : iPac 2 players
Monitor : Dell 24 inch U2410F
Computer : Mac Mini 2012
Software : Windows 10 + instaboot to Launchbox/Bigbox
Build time : Beginning of April 2018 - end of August 2018
Based on : Edekoning's Magneto build : http://forum.arcadecontrols.com/index.php/topic,119175.0.html

Motivation for the build :
As I grew up in the eighties and loved electronic games, I played a lot of arcade games. I turned 40 a few months ago and as I grow older, I look back with more and more fondness to those days of my long gone youth ;). So Iíve gotten it into my head that I wanted an arcade cabinet to relive some of the great memories of playing arcade games. Especially games as Galaxian / Wonderboy / Outrun / Operation Wolf / Street Fighter 2 / Mortal Kombat 1, 2, 3 / Killer Instinct / The Simpsons / Double Dragon / Golden Axe and others were some of my favorites.

I didnít really have concrete plans for it, I just did some searching around on the net for arcade cabinets and found some vendors that sold them. I didnít really think I would ever seriously get one but I showed it to my wife and instead of rolling her eyes, what was what I expected, she was like ďheeeey thatís cool, that would look great in our hallway!Ē.  Which caught me off guard...
Donít get me wrong, I have a cool wife that never tries to forbid me anything. But I value her opinion and most of the time, she is my tether to reality when I have a crazy plan ;-).

So I started searching for cool arcade cabinets. Which cost a bit of money and most of the time had the 2000/3000 in 1 Jamma boards. I really didnít feel like buying on of those. I also wanted to be able to play fairy recent fighters on it like Street Fighter IV or the new Killer Instinct so I started reading about building one myself. Thatís how I stumbled upon this forum which was of great assistance to me. Iíve read about various builds and especially Edekoningís Magneto build thread was awesome! Iíve build the cabinet by using his plan. The Sketchup plans were very detailed although I went for a bit different dimensions.
Iím an IT guy, not a woodworker so I had to learn some stuff but I loved every minute of making it. It was a very fun project!

Iím doing this project thread a bit different I guess because most people seem to start a thread at the beginning of their build. But I never got around to it during the actual build so Iím posting the entire process at once. Well I'll add a finished picture to this post and gradually add build pics in following posts.
« Last Edit: September 05, 2018, 02:52:11 am by PaladinZ »

javeryh

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Re: Dragon Ballcade
« Reply #1 on: September 04, 2018, 02:20:01 pm »
Tight.  Super clean build.  Only criticism is that the marquee looks a little too busy but whatever - it's awesome.   :cheers:

opt2not

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Re: Dragon Ballcade
« Reply #2 on: September 04, 2018, 02:31:14 pm »
Nice build, and good turn-around time for your first DIY cab. My only comments/critiques are: 
- Like javeryh says, the marquee is too busy, with no real title showing. I would have done that huge character collage below the monitor, between the CP where you have all that space. Which leads me to my next comment...
- the space between the screen and the CP is so large and empty.  I would have had that space smaller, or made a monitor bezel with some art to fill it up.
- Speaker grills would make that part of the cabinet look more professional, rather than empty holes in that panel.

yotsuya

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Re: Dragon Ballcade
« Reply #3 on: September 04, 2018, 03:07:32 pm »
Nice job. Iíll echo the thoughts on the monitor area, but thatís really it. Have fun!
***Build what you dig, bro. Build what you dig.***

PaladinZ

Re: Dragon Ballcade
« Reply #4 on: September 04, 2018, 03:36:17 pm »
Thanks for the comments guys! :D

About the marquee, yes I wasn't sure about it either. I loved the collage because it captures all the characters. And thanks for the suggestion opt2not, I didn't think of putting that collage below the monitor! That's a good idea! Although I wasn't sure I would fill up that space. Because I didn't want a cabinet where all space is taken by vinyl stickers, I like it a bit toned down, not too crowded (yeah I know, the marquee is crowded ;) ). That's why I didn't include stickers around the coin mech either.

I even had minimalistic stickers made for below the monitor and below the control panel, where the single white button is located. But I haven't added them yet as I kind of liked it this way. I'll try to add them to this post as attachment. The one where you see young Goku and grown up Goku as a silhouette was originally for below the monitor, the one with the yellow ring for beneath the control panel over the white button. I even have a spare from the marquee in black that I could use below the monitor.

The speaker grills is also something I'm not sure about. Initially, my idea was to put race mesh over it (but still keep the holes, just put the mesh on the inside). The same thing for an air/sound hole at the back. But I haven't gotten that yet. Not sure I will.

Now if I only can figure out how to reference the attachments so I can order them in a post and place comments below them, I could add the build pictures. If I can't figure it out, I'll host the pictures offsite and reference them that way.

bad_boo

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Re: Dragon Ballcade
« Reply #5 on: September 04, 2018, 03:43:09 pm »
I really like your cabinet, very very nice.
I am currently building mine and I showed my marquee art, which is similar to yours, a collage of all the characters I know. I got so bad feedback :( ... however I like yours still, your collage was better done than mine.

PaladinZ

Re: Dragon Ballcade
« Reply #6 on: September 04, 2018, 03:52:10 pm »
Ah no need, I can just add them as attachments and add the comments to the top.

Measuring out everything but I used different measurements than originaly intended which proved a bit challenging. Thank God I did it in pencil and had an eraser ;).
Bought a router. Never used one before. Not the cheapest, not the most expensive. But it served me well.
Created a template with my trusty electric saw(s), created a second side from the template, also with the saws because I didn't have a copy bit for the router yet. Pressed them together and sanded them so they were identical. Rounded of the corners and routed out the slit for the t-molding.
Mounted the support beams, took some measuring effort to line them up correctly. Glued and screwed them together. Choose to screw from the inside, so I wouldn't mess up the side panels.
« Last Edit: September 05, 2018, 02:50:05 am by PaladinZ »

PaladinZ

Re: Dragon Ballcade
« Reply #7 on: September 04, 2018, 04:05:38 pm »
Screwed the side panels together. I made two plateaus on the inside. Originally I would mount a motherboard to the middle plateau but the old PC I wanted to use for it was a bit too old. So I ended up using a Mac Mini that I didn't use anymore. Made the back and front panels and cut out a hole for the coin mech.
I wanted to be able to remove my back panels so I used the little metal screws you can screw in the wood and which have a hole for bolts. Don't know what they are called. But they are great!
I also bought a dirtcheap vesa mount to easily and securely mount my monitor. I had a 20.1 inch and a 24 inch to choose from. The 20.1 inch would have been a better choice aspect wise but I ended up using the 24 inch. I wanted some more screen real estate for the more recent games.
Ran a quick test to see if the monitor still worked as I salvaged it from the "trash" ;).
« Last Edit: September 04, 2018, 04:20:45 pm by PaladinZ »

PaladinZ

Re: Dragon Ballcade
« Reply #8 on: September 04, 2018, 04:16:26 pm »
Made a rough version of the control panel. Cut out the holes for the joysticks and buttons and routed out the bottom for the bottom part of the joysticks.
Had polycarbon plates cut to size for the control panel, marquee (2x for sandwich) and bezel. Well roughly as I would route them to the correct size later on. I received the control panel plate scratched :(. But I managed to fix it up later on, now it's not noticeable anymore.

PaladinZ

Re: Dragon Ballcade
« Reply #9 on: September 04, 2018, 04:19:44 pm »
Test mounted the joysticks and buttons and wired them up. Hooked up the old pc and had the quality control team have a check.

PaladinZ

Re: Dragon Ballcade
« Reply #10 on: September 04, 2018, 04:31:51 pm »
Broke open an old speakerset and removed the speakers. The woofer I didn't strip as I can put it inside the cabinet.
Created the holes for the speakers. I wanted to add a race mesh over the speakers but I kind of like seeing the bare speakers. Maybe I'll keep it this way.
Reformatted the template in Photoshop to the measurements of my control panel. As I don't have a large format printer, I printed it out on A4 and cut and taped the papers together.Taped them to my control panel and used that as a template to saw the rounded control panel. Sanded it and it looks pretty good!
Also created the holes for the fans and routed rounded edges to the fan holes, speakers holes and bezel. Also created a air/sound hole at the back and routed those edges as well.

PaladinZ

Re: Dragon Ballcade
« Reply #11 on: September 04, 2018, 04:39:17 pm »
Let the painting begin!
Created a custom spraypaint booth ;). But the result of the first paint job wasn't satisfactory. Blew (literally) a whole can of primer away. Ended up using a paint brush and rollers. First a few layers of primer with sanding and filling holes in between and afterwards a few layers of satin black. I had this ugly 1mm deep tear in the wood because of a dent at the bottom of my saw but in the end I managed to fill it up and hide it.
Also routed the polycarbon plate for my control panel. In retrospect, I should have made it a few mm smaller than the actual control panel because when I applied the t-molding later on, it was too tight of a fit.
« Last Edit: September 04, 2018, 04:41:26 pm by PaladinZ »

PaladinZ

Re: Dragon Ballcade
« Reply #12 on: September 04, 2018, 04:49:27 pm »
Finished off the painting, control panel as well.
I didn't mention before (don't have any pictures of it) that there are wheels on the bottom. I had like 2 mm margin from the bottom of the case to the floor so I ended up raising the wheels a bit (18mm). Got some assistance there from my son. Also added a led strip to the bottom.
Added a back panel for the marquee to prevent light bleed and to be able to add aluminium paper to it to better reflect the light. Added a led bar to it.
Bought an angled aluminium profile, cut it to size, drilled holes in it and drilled out the top part of the holes to have the screws be flush with the profile. Spraypainted the profile and the screws. Turned out great!
« Last Edit: September 04, 2018, 04:51:52 pm by PaladinZ »

PaladinZ

Re: Dragon Ballcade
« Reply #13 on: September 04, 2018, 05:06:09 pm »
Spent a few weeks learning Adobe Illustrator (I know Photoshop), creating vectors from free art I found on the net, creating a template for the side panels, control panel and marquee to size in Photoshop so I could match up the art to the physical dimensions. I created a design for the control panel and made a few test prints on A4 to test if my measurements and Photoshop were actually correct. It seemed to match up. So in the end I threw everything together on one very large print with even some extra art for the bezel and the panel below the control panel which I didn't (yet) end up using. I even added a second marquee in black just because I had some space left over on the vinyl. IO created a large pdf and sent it to the printer. I waited for two weeks because DHL managed to lose my package for an entire week. The printer even sent out a second print because they asumed it was lost. In the end, both packages arrived on the same day. So I have a spare ;).
Thanks btw to all the people who contribute free art on the internet. Without people creating the characters, I couldn't have brought it all together in Illustrator and Photoshop.

After receiving the prints, I tried the art on the control panel first as that needed to be millimeter perfect. I ended up putting a strong lamp under my workbench, put the control panel on top and put the art on top of the control panel. This way the light clearly shows the outline of the control panel with holes and everything through the print so I could match it up exactly. Worked like a charm!
I put the polycarbon plate on top and cut the holes.
I also routed the marquee panels to exact size and sandwiched the marquee art.
« Last Edit: September 04, 2018, 05:12:00 pm by PaladinZ »

PaladinZ

Re: Dragon Ballcade
« Reply #14 on: September 04, 2018, 05:20:15 pm »
Added the art to the sidepanels. Had some trouble with the edges and bubbles. it seems that the t-molding pushes the vinyl up a bit on some places so a bubble appeared.
But in the end I like the way it turned out. What I like the most is that all my measurements matched up from designing it on my computer to the real life cabinet ;).
Created a buttload of cables and hooked up the control panel and leds. Ended up using an old disk bay for power for the leds as I don't have a PSU because I've used a Mac Mini.
Had some quality testing done by my boy and the Mac Mini crashed when playing heavier games like SFIV. I could bake an egg on the Mac Mini so it was definitely an overheating problem. Turns out one of the fan cables was loose... Attached it and now everything works as charm.

yotsuya

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Re: Dragon Ballcade
« Reply #15 on: September 04, 2018, 05:20:19 pm »
Iíll say this - at least you didnít put the hootenanny of characters on the control panel. That would suck. You did alright, bro!

***Build what you dig, bro. Build what you dig.***

PaladinZ

Re: Dragon Ballcade
« Reply #16 on: September 04, 2018, 05:27:19 pm »
Seeing the good result, my wife upgraded the place where it could go from the hallway to the living room. Took some pictures of its final place. The picture of the control panel has a reflection in it from the marque, ignore that ;). I might post some low res pictures of the original art files later on.

Added a power switch. Made sure that it was safe for kids hands ;).
Also adjusted the coin mech to accept 50 eurocent coins.

PaladinZ

Re: Dragon Ballcade
« Reply #17 on: September 04, 2018, 05:33:09 pm »
Added fan guards. Originally I was planning on spraypainting them black. But I kind of like the chrome on black. I did however spraypaint the screws black.
The hole in the back will probably covered by a race mesh so the woofer is hidden. Still need to order that. And maybe a kickplate in front althoug I like it being plain black.

I've also added two red leds to the coin mech. Could only do that at the end because one of my original leds was broken. I just received the replacements.

I've put Launchbox/BigBox on it and like it a lot.

I'll probably make another post in the next days with remarks and/or questions I have after the build.
« Last Edit: September 04, 2018, 05:35:19 pm by PaladinZ »

TheGreatRedDragon

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Re: Dragon Ballcade
« Reply #18 on: September 04, 2018, 09:55:42 pm »
Glorious!

I'm a huge DB fan and this is like porn to me.

Are you running FighterZ on that thing?

Mike A

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Re: Dragon Ballcade
« Reply #19 on: September 04, 2018, 10:47:35 pm »
You don't know what porn is.

ivwshane

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Re: Dragon Ballcade
« Reply #20 on: September 04, 2018, 11:43:52 pm »
I like it!


I really wish I had an eye for artwork. I think the artwork is what really sets a cab above others. I've never done artwork on any of my cabs and they never get taken to the next level.

PaladinZ

Re: Dragon Ballcade
« Reply #21 on: September 05, 2018, 02:47:11 am »
Glorious!

I'm a huge DB fan and this is like porn to me.

Are you running FighterZ on that thing?

Thanks!
And no, not yet. The Mac Mini isn't powerfull enough. But the master plan is that I'll upgrade my current desktop PC and use the old motherboard and a fairly decent videocard in my cabinet to be able to run games like Dragon Ball Fighter Z, the "new" Killer Instinct, SFV and others.

villageidiot333

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Re: Dragon Ballcade
« Reply #22 on: September 06, 2018, 10:38:13 pm »
Glorious!

I'm a huge DB fan and this is like porn to me.

Are you running FighterZ on that thing?

Thanks!
And no, not yet. The Mac Mini isn't powerfull enough. But the master plan is that I'll upgrade my current desktop PC and use the old motherboard and a fairly decent videocard in my cabinet to be able to run games like Dragon Ball Fighter Z, the "new" Killer Instinct, SFV and others.

This is what I wanted to do also for Dragon Ball Fighter Z, Mortal Kombat X and other fighters but from what I"ve gathered it's not easy. Something about the 2 players no working properly.  Most arcades I've seen that do work have an xbox or ps4 inside and controllers wired to buttons and joystick. That might be a better route when I retire my xbox one.

TheGreatRedDragon

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Re: Dragon Ballcade
« Reply #23 on: September 08, 2018, 10:55:03 pm »
You don't know what porn is.

How dare you make such presumptions.

This is what I wanted to do also for Dragon Ball Fighter Z, Mortal Kombat X and other fighters but from what I"ve gathered it's not easy. Something about the 2 players no working properly.  Most arcades I've seen that do work have an xbox or ps4 inside and controllers wired to buttons and joystick. That might be a better route when I retire my xbox one.

I believe (as in, don't quote me on it) that issue is with key bindings. The games won't recognize two players on one keyboard, so keyboard encoders are no good. With XInput encoders I don't think it's an issue, since the games are perfectly capable of being player with two controllers on the PC.

villageidiot333

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Re: Dragon Ballcade
« Reply #24 on: September 09, 2018, 08:56:08 am »
This is what I wanted to do also for Dragon Ball Fighter Z, Mortal Kombat X and other fighters but from what I"ve gathered it's not easy. Something about the 2 players no working properly.  Most arcades I've seen that do work have an xbox or ps4 inside and controllers wired to buttons and joystick. That might be a better route when I retire my xbox one.

I believe (as in, don't quote me on it) that issue is with key bindings. The games won't recognize two players on one keyboard, so keyboard encoders are no good. With XInput encoders I don't think it's an issue, since the games are perfectly capable of being player with two controllers on the PC.
[/quote]

I believe you are correct. The other issue I had when I was wanting to do this build/setup was graphics card prices were through the roof for a decent card to handle the games due to the crypto-mining thing. I'll probably revisit this down the line since I'll have a full size cab already built. Just a matter of putting in a better PC and those xinput encoders.

TheGreatRedDragon

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Re: Dragon Ballcade
« Reply #25 on: September 09, 2018, 12:37:56 pm »
e correct. The other issue I had when I was wanting to do this build/setup was graphics card prices were through the roof for a decent card to handle the games due to the crypto-mining thing. I'll probably revisit this down the line since I'll have a full size cab already built. Just a matter of putting in a better PC and those xinput encoders.

Oh yeah, that's a big pain. I've been wanting to upgrade my PC for a while but the prices lately... yeesh.

But fighting games don't need a super powerful graphics card, thankfully. FighterZ can be run at 4k with just a 1060. A lot of older cards can run it perfectly fine at 1080p.
« Last Edit: September 09, 2018, 12:39:29 pm by TheGreatRedDragon »

FALSE

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Re: Dragon Ballcade
« Reply #26 on: September 09, 2018, 08:34:10 pm »
The cabinet looks really good.
I'm not a DBZ fan myself but the artwork looks great and suits the cabinet well.

PaladinZ

Re: Dragon Ballcade
« Reply #27 on: September 14, 2018, 09:17:09 am »
Glorious!

I'm a huge DB fan and this is like porn to me.

Are you running FighterZ on that thing?

Thanks!
And no, not yet. The Mac Mini isn't powerfull enough. But the master plan is that I'll upgrade my current desktop PC and use the old motherboard and a fairly decent videocard in my cabinet to be able to run games like Dragon Ball Fighter Z, the "new" Killer Instinct, SFV and others.

This is what I wanted to do also for Dragon Ball Fighter Z, Mortal Kombat X and other fighters but from what I"ve gathered it's not easy. Something about the 2 players no working properly.  Most arcades I've seen that do work have an xbox or ps4 inside and controllers wired to buttons and joystick. That might be a better route when I retire my xbox one.

Hm thanks for that info! I didn't realise there were issues. I need to figure that out before I put newer hardware in it.
I've tried SFIV before but I can't remember if I tried two players. Going to try that tonight.
A while ago I was also thinking of trying to connect my control panel and screen to an internal pc but also provide a way to hook up a hdmi cable and usb cable from the back of the cabinet to my Xbox One or Playstation 4, so I could easily switch. But I realised that my IPAC2 wouldn't work on a console. I suppose I should get something like a Brooks universal Fighting board or something to be able to set something up like that. Would be pretty sweet as I already have a few fighting games on both consoles.

PaladinZ

Re: Dragon Ballcade
« Reply #28 on: September 14, 2018, 09:20:08 am »
The cabinet looks really good.
I'm not a DBZ fan myself but the artwork looks great and suits the cabinet well.

Thanks! :)
I'll probably redo the marquee as I agree more and more with the opinions stated above about it being too much.

  
 

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