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Author Topic: Defender Bartop - update  (Read 683 times)

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leapinlew

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Defender Bartop - update
« on: October 14, 2018, 05:58:23 am »
Defender was one of those games I didn't have the skill to play when I was younger. When it was released, I was 8. Combine the weird controls and my limited funds and it's easy to see how getting good at a game like Defender could be difficult, but the sounds and the exciting action really drew me to the game. I always wanted to be able to play Defender.

When I first started building cabinets, I built a multi-williams cabinet to start playing Defender, as well as other games.  in 2006, I built this:


It used a Happ Super joystick and a multi-williams layout. I used this cabinet for a couple years before selling it in 2009. The joystick was more of a compromise than I thought it would be.

In 2012, I missed it and decided to build another bartop. This time, I used a NOS Defender joystick and dedicated the cabinet to Defender. I added the inviso button for Stargate, but I don't ever play it. The cabinet was a fixture in my game room until two years ago the PC died. It was corrupt from improper shut downs.

leapinlew

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Re: Defender Bartop - update
« Reply #1 on: October 14, 2018, 05:58:48 am »
I've never posted a build log for this Defender bartop when I built it in 2012. The design is pretty straight forward, but if you have any questions please ask.

This weekend I decided to make some updates to the cabinet. The intention is to do the following:

  • Replace the PC with a 19-n-1 horizontal arcade board and disable all games but Defender
  • Replace the lightbulb lighting the marquee with a LED strip
  • Remove the Piano hinge from the CP - I never liked the look of the exposed piano hinge
  • Cleanup the back of the cabinet


Here she is with the old internals. It's more crowded in here than I remembered


And here she is with her new parts ready to be installed


I'm doing this on a fold out table in my game room. I suspect it'll take a couple hours. This is a "mini-project". I considered the Raspberry Pi path, but since the Pi also needs to be shut down properly, or risk corruption, I'm going with the multi-board. I already had a jamma harness and Arcade PSU.

leapinlew

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Re: Defender Bartop - update
« Reply #2 on: October 14, 2018, 06:06:36 am »
I am looking for opinions on a scan line generator for this cabinet. Curious if it would be worthwhile.

javeryh

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Re: Defender Bartop - update
« Reply #3 on: October 14, 2018, 10:59:48 am »
Man that side art is sweet!  Neat little cab.  Letís see some more pics and a video when you are finished...

pbj

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Re: Defender Bartop - update
« Reply #4 on: October 14, 2018, 12:36:00 pm »
That multiboard might have an IDE power connector.  You can buy those for like $5.  That switcher is overkill...

wp34

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Re: Defender Bartop - update
« Reply #5 on: October 14, 2018, 06:07:21 pm »
Your bartops always look great.  I like the bigger size compared to the Weecade. :cheers:

I am looking for opinions on a scan line generator for this cabinet. Curious if it would be worthwhile.

I'm 50/50 on the scan line generator.  I've used them on a couple of projects and setups.  Sometimes it is real noticeable (and cool) and other's not.  With my Fix it Felix cabinet I only really notice it when booted into Windows for some reason.


leapinlew

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Re: Defender Bartop - update
« Reply #6 on: October 14, 2018, 07:17:44 pm »
That multiboard might have an IDE power connector.  You can buy those for like $5.  That switcher is overkill...

Agreed. I have several arcade PSU's being unused. I'm only powering this multi-board and two LED's.

leapinlew

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Re: Defender Bartop - update
« Reply #7 on: October 14, 2018, 07:20:26 pm »
Your bartops always look great.  I like the bigger size compared to the Weecade. :cheers:

I am looking for opinions on a scan line generator for this cabinet. Curious if it would be worthwhile.

I'm 50/50 on the scan line generator.  I've used them on a couple of projects and setups.  Sometimes it is real noticeable (and cool) and other's not.  With my Fix it Felix cabinet I only really notice it when booted into Windows for some reason.

Thanks and thanks for the info on the scan line generator. I ordered one. Guess we'll see.

The total size on this is 24" tall, 19" wide, and 20" deep.

leapinlew

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Re: Defender Bartop - update
« Reply #8 on: October 14, 2018, 07:49:42 pm »
Mission 1 complete: Replace the PC with a 19-n-1 horizontal arcade board and disable all games but Defender

Gutted the computer parts. Took way less time than I figured. Less than 10 minutes later, I had all the PC guts removed and the inside cleaned up. I mounted the multi-board in it's place. 


I am using leaf switches and I previously had soldered the wires directly to the switch from the ipac. I didn't want to resolder everything to the switches, so I snipped the wires and did an inline splice, which I soldered and shrink tubed.



It's not perfect, but it's getting the job done.

I configured the board to only have defender. It's pretty awesome - it boots up in less than 10 seconds. The only bummer is it doesn't save high scores.




« Last Edit: October 14, 2018, 07:54:53 pm by leapinlew »

leapinlew

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Re: Defender Bartop - update
« Reply #9 on: October 14, 2018, 07:51:40 pm »
Mission 2: Replace the lightbulb lighting the marquee with a LED strip

Nothing too fancy here. I used a piece of 1/4" hard board to attach these 2 LED strips.


After mounting, I found 2 strips to be too bright. I disabled one of them.

leapinlew

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Re: Defender Bartop - update
« Reply #10 on: October 14, 2018, 07:57:46 pm »
Mission 3: Remove the Piano hinge from the CP

Done. I moved the piano hinge to the back. I also created a simple light leak bezel. I use smoked plexi, so I don't have to be too fancy with the bezel. Getting rid of the piano hinge really makes the cabinet look more streamlined.

« Last Edit: October 14, 2018, 08:06:00 pm by leapinlew »

leapinlew

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Re: Defender Bartop - update
« Reply #11 on: October 14, 2018, 08:00:26 pm »
Mission 4: Cleanup the back of the cabinet

I put the piano hinge from the front on the back, and when I did that, it didn't want to close as well as it had been. So, I had to do some work on the door so it would close properly. I used a belt sander in a few key locations. I also bought some black molding which I cut down to size to cover some of the exposed wood.


leapinlew

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Re: Defender Bartop - update
« Reply #12 on: October 14, 2018, 08:04:56 pm »
All done!





It was a minor update, but it was nice to take another swing at some of the design aspects that had annoyed me over the years. Not being a hardcore Defender player, this plays great. It plays as well as the computer I had in it. I really hate the game selection screens so I would hate for that to be my interface, but for a single game bartop - I'm pleased.

Anyhow - maybe this will be useful to someone else later. Thanks for reading!
« Last Edit: October 14, 2018, 08:09:01 pm by leapinlew »

Vidiot

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Re: Defender Bartop - update
« Reply #13 on: October 15, 2018, 02:51:41 pm »
That is a cool bartop. Great job on the update.  :applaud:


opt2not

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Re: Defender Bartop - update
« Reply #14 on: October 15, 2018, 02:58:00 pm »
Fantastic update lew!  :applaud:
I've been, and still am a fan of your bartops. This one's good, though it doesn't compare to your awesome Galaga bartop from BITD. That one is still my all-time favourite. But still, it's really cool to see a dedicated bartop for a single game. IMO bartops should be focused like this.
 :cheers:

Mike A

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Re: Defender Bartop - update
« Reply #15 on: October 15, 2018, 06:08:56 pm »
Good choice of game for a dedicated bartop. Nice execution. Have you considered getting the multi Williams board to stick in there?

leapinlew

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Re: Defender Bartop - update
« Reply #16 on: October 15, 2018, 08:45:36 pm »
I didn't want the multi-williams is because I'm not using a control scheme that would work for anything but Defender and Stargate. The JROK boards cost quite a bit more too.

  
 

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