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Author Topic: Newbs Gotta Learn Somehow... The Xmas Build  (Read 975 times)

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rrobbone

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Newbs Gotta Learn Somehow... The Xmas Build
« on: December 20, 2018, 01:48:36 am »
Hello, folks.

I signed up yesterday to thank you for all of the info contained here on this forum. It's been very helpful to me in my very first arcade build. I belong to a few guitar forums as well, and they always like to look over my shoulder while I build guitars - so I know that build threads are usually appreciated. I documented this first build to share with you so you can see how much your advice and knowledge has helped me.

I have been building electric guitars from scratch for about four years now. I am familiar with woodworking in general, so I knew that I could pull this off as far as the physical build is concerned. However, I have limited experience in emulation and programming. I have worked with console emulation, but MAME and CD/DVD based emulation is new territory for me. Though I have learned a lot in the area, wiring is always something that I really have to concentrate on to get right - even in something as simple as an electric guitar.

I have always loved video games, and this has rubbed off on both of my kiddos. In early November, (during a particularly lenghty Forza Horizon 4 session) my daughter noted that we have plenty of games, but none that really support local multiplayer. She was right. Forza, Mario platformers, Metroidvanias, Skyrim... anything you could want, but no real party stuff that can be enjoyed with others simultaneously. Now, my kiddos (11 and 12 years old) absolutely love 80's nostalgia and pop culture. They love the music, the movies, the clothes, everything. Now, the 90s are becoming cool again, too. Since this is an arcade building forum, you already know where this is headed...

Suddenly, thoughts of the whole fam enjoying four player Simpsons, TMNT, and NBA Jam filled my head. I can't wait to see the kiddos faces when I first show them a Mortal Kombat fatality. I would also love to finally play all of those NEO GEO games I could never find cabinets for.

I have always wanted to tackle a full sized cabinet, and this was my chance! However, this was in early November, and I had no knowledge whatsoever about putting one together at all beyond the woodwork. So instead, I settled for a control surface with a Raspberry Pi heart. I did some more research and decided on 3/4" MDF for the construction. I'll simply run an HDMI cable from the console to my 55" TV.

I decided on a simple box construction, one where the top and bottom will extend beyond the walls of the box for stability, strength, and aesthetics. I'm going with Sanwa joysticks and Japan spec buttons (Seimitsu, if memory serves).



I want four players, of course, and I've opted for 7 buttons for players 1 and 2, and four buttons for players 3 and 4. I'm sure most of you are familiar with the joystick layout pattern I have printed out in the pic. Again, I went with the Japan spec (buttons in close spacing) because the kiddos have smaller hands, as do I for a guy my size. Two admin buttons for each player (coin and start), and four central admin buttons. No trackball or spinners for this first one - although I would've loved to include them, I didn't think time would allow for learning how to get them up and running. This has to be done by Xmas, and there's paint curing time to consider.



I'm not going to use graphics or laminate on the sides this time, but I did custom paint the control surface in a way that I've not seen anyone else do. I also am going for a little extra bling with an LED light strip along the bottom since (again) I didn't want to extend my already tight schedule by wiring up LED lit buttons or joysticks. I'm going for a very simple build for my first effort. I'll be cutting corners again by purchasing a couple of SD cards with the emulation already set up so I don't have to do that work. I'm hoping to learn a bit more about how it all works by looking at the file structure of the cards. Maybe I can try to get "Run and Gun" up and running, it's the only game I want that's missing from the cards' libraries.



Please keep in mind that I started this bad boy the second week in November, and I'm at an advanced stage presently. Paint is curing and I'll be wiring up my panel tomorrow. I won't be able to change much now, but I still welcome your constructive criticism and advice. I've made some mistakes on this build, (yes, I angled the 'sticks for players 3 and 4... ;D) and I would love to hear your war stories and solutions. So if you know a better way of doing things, please feel free to comment.

If there are any questions, fire away. The answer I give will likely be something like, "because it was cheap" or, "because it was faster this way," but I consider it worth asking anyway.

I'm going for speed of build and functionality, all while trying to keep the costs down and using the skills I already have. I also must apologize for the condition of my shop. You'll see in these pics that I'm not cleaning up much as I go, and you'll also notice that I like a few sunflower seeds while I work (they're all over my shop floor). I usually work far cleaner than this, but again - time is of the essence. I normally take better lit photos as well, but my shop's window is covered for this project to keep kiddo peepers from looking in and spoiling the surprise.

I don't have a table saw or mitre box to use, so you'll see me using a few workarounds as well.

Hopefully, you'll at least enjoy the show. Thanks again for having such an informative forum, and I hope to learn even more from you. 

Malenko

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Re: Newbs Gotta Learn Somehow... The Xmas Build
« Reply #1 on: December 20, 2018, 08:37:18 am »
There are numerous benefits of starting off with building a control box. Not as overwhelming as a full sized cab, less engineering, takes up less room and..... you can always build a full sized cab for it later. Did you put 4 buttons on players 3 and 4 to play a lot of Dungeons and Dragons (both SoM and ToD) ? Those are the only 4 player games I can think of that use 4 buttons.
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rrobbone

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Re: Newbs Gotta Learn Somehow... The Xmas Build
« Reply #2 on: December 20, 2018, 12:19:19 pm »
Did you put 4 buttons on players 3 and 4 to play a lot of Dungeons and Dragons (both SoM and ToD) ? Those are the only 4 player games I can think of that use 4 buttons.

I didn't go with four buttons specifically for those games. I simply did the slightest amount of research into how many buttons to give the secondary control placements. What I found was that, as you know, most folks just go with three buttons for player 3 and 4. In most build threads I read up on, the builders were saying that games exist that use four buttons there, but that they were few and far between. Buttons are cheap, so I decided I'd like the option to host those games - no matter what they are. I didn't look at which specific games they were, but the D&D titles look decent and I have both of them in the library. I also figured that it couldn't hurt to have a couple extra options for shift buttons, even though the admin buttons I have should be plenty.

I also had (and still have) a nagging feeling there's another 4up game we played a lot that used four buttons. I just can't remember much of any identifying details about it. I haven't looked it up, but I'll figure it out eventually.

So, I opted for overkill.
« Last Edit: December 20, 2018, 01:59:02 pm by rrobbone »

rrobbone

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Re: Newbs Gotta Learn Somehow... The Xmas Build
« Reply #3 on: December 20, 2018, 01:35:15 pm »
I'm ready to get started on wiring my CP today, but we're having some work done to the house so I have to stay readily available for the installers. So, I'll make an entry here.

Now that I had gathered most of my supplies, it was time to decide how I was going to build the silly thing. I looked around and found a surprising amount of plans for full size cabs being freely shared and available online, but not much for just a stand alone CP. In the end, a simple box construction is really all I need so that's what I'm going for. Since I didn't see much to go by as example, I made it up as I went along. It'll be a simple rectangle with butt joints for the box. I'd love to build a more traditionally shaped box with angled sides and corners, but I lack a few tools necessary for that kind of nifty work. Not much need for table saws or mitre saws in guitar building.

What I do have, and I very seriously recommend you also obtain, is safety gear. I always wear some eye, ear, and lung protection. You can go really cheap on this stuff, but you should only spend what you think your ability to see, hear, and breathe is worth. Sawdust is nasty, but the combo of it and glue is a killer. Paint fumes and particulate is even worse. Take some time, read some reviews and get quailty stuff - then maintain it well. It's not mandatory to have work gloves, but I use those too. I work mostly with furniture grade wood in my guitar building, and getting splinters sucks. Take that seriously, safety gear is super important. End of public service message, we now return you to your regularly scheduled programming.

The control panel itself will hang over the box a bit so that the controls can be positioned closer to the player. The plan is to build it into a table unit/deluxe cab later, but for now the box will be sitting on a nice, sturdy coffee table. As I need it to be as portable as a big stack of MDF and wires can be, I'm extending the bottom of the box past the sides to give it a lip in hopes that this will add rigidity, since the top will be hinged and not doing any work to hold the unit together. This will also give me the ability to add grab holes in the bottom of the box so we can move it.

I can see that many of you use nice, fancy, easily hidden hardware for clean builds. Well, there will be none of that here! Speed and strength!



Time to set up my plans. I'm working rather quickly here, so I'm not really measuring much at all. I'm just making sure things are square and using the edges of the MDF to plot out my control layouts and CP angles. Just working from the centerline out. I don't recommend this strategy unless you're well versed in seat-of-the-pants constructing. Still... measure twice, cut once.



As you can see, and some of you might be dead set against, I have made the decision to slightly angle the controls for players 3 and 4. I did this knowing that it wasn't what was usually done on real multiplayer cabinets, but (at least initially) this will be used by four players sitting side by side on a couch. Since I was limited in spacing to what the box underneath can accomodate, I went ahead with it. The angle is rather slight, and I considered the player's spacing in relation to other players as well as the monitor. I also wanted to give a little more room to players 1 and 2, since those positions will be getting the most work. I dig fighting games, and I hope to get the kiddos into them as well. This crowds 3 and 4 a bit, but the (forbidden) angle shoud mitigate that a bit.



I have left the button layout from the smaller Japanese pattern intact for the secondary player spots and simply cut the extra buttons away. I'm also starting to think about how I might mount the joysticks in the cleanest manner possible. I don't want the bolts showing or getting in the way of our hands while we play.



The sheet of plastic is measured to 4 feet exactly, while the MDF has a bit of extra material I needed to shave to match. More on this later.



Simply for aesthetics and no other reason, I angled the cutaways on the CP to the same measurements as the secondary player controls. I do want this to look like a real CP, after all. To get the curves, I traced an empty spray paint can. I'll trim that later as well.

« Last Edit: December 20, 2018, 02:09:06 pm by rrobbone »

rrobbone

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Re: Newbs Gotta Learn Somehow... The Xmas Build
« Reply #4 on: December 20, 2018, 01:57:30 pm »
Time to make some holes. I've got quite a few to cut out, so I wanted to make sure that I had the right sizing - and I needed to know that my hole saw would cut the acrylic sheet cleanly without splitting or warping it. I may be working as quickly as I can, but I always make sure I test a new (to me) process.



The acrylic is clamped down onto the MDF in that shot, and I cut a practice hole in some of the waste material. I wanted to see if I could cut both at the same time. The reasoning for this was that I could ensure the holes and cuts in the acrylic would be a perfect match for the MDF if I cut them both out while sandwiched together. It worked, so I installed a button to check the results.



It's a perfect fit, except...



...there's not much room for the threads of the ring nut to grab on the bottom. I'll have some routing to do to gain more room there.

MDF is nasty stuff. I had to constantly back the saw out and clean the teeth. It's a great material in that it's strong, cheap, plentiful, and easy to work with. My shop is an absolute disaster area right now from all of the dust it leaves. I think I'll consider another type of material in my next build.



I also had to switch from my power drill to my cordless. The power drill is a cheapo and doesn't have a speed control. It spins too fast for the MDF, and kept heating up and reactivating the glue in the fibers. It was also burning and warping the acyrlic. It took two sessions of drilling to get all of the holes cut since I had to stop to recharge the batteries....



...but I can't argue with the results. This'll work. As you can see, I simply placed the pattern under the acrylic sheet and drilled pilot holes where the centers of the buttons lined up. Then I cut out the holes, sweating the whole time that the plastic would split somewhere while cutting. It never did.




opt2not

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Re: Newbs Gotta Learn Somehow... The Xmas Build
« Reply #5 on: December 20, 2018, 02:03:41 pm »
As you can see, and some of you might be dead set against, I have made the decision to slightly angle the controls for players 3 and 4. I did this knowing that it wasn't what was usually done on real multiplayer cabinets, but (at least initially) this will be used by four players sitting side by side on a couch. Since I was limited in spacing to what the box underneath can accomodate, I went ahead with it. The angle is rather slight, and I considered the player's spacing in relation to other players as well as the monitor. I also wanted to give a little more room to players 1 and 2, since those positions will be getting the most work. I dig fighting games, and I hope to get the kiddos into them as well. This crowds 3 and 4 a bit, but the (forbidden) angle shoud mitigate that a bit.
You can still keep buttons angled like that but have the joystick angle aligned straight.  The whole point of not rotating joysticks for P3/4 is not to save space or elbow room, it's to keep the joystick oriented to the monitor's angle so players aren't disoriented with the joystick directions.  It doesn't matter if you're sitting, standing, or are building controls for laying on the floor, even a slight angle like you have there will cause people to miss directions on the joystick.
My advice is to do what the original control panels did and keep the joystick aligned straight to the monitor, then re-position the buttons to whatever angle that fits your space and is still ergonomically functional. Look at original Simpsons, Xmen, even how Gauntlet control panels have their P3 and P4 controls positioned. The sticks are straight while buttons are placed assymetrical and in different positions that work with the top space.

Also, why are you worried about P3 and P4 for fighting games?  Other than the Power Stone series, I don't know of any other fighting game that is 4 players.  Unless you mean beat-em-ups as fighting games?  Versus fighters are primarily 2-players, so you shouldn't have to worry about "crowding" to play those games.

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Re: Newbs Gotta Learn Somehow... The Xmas Build
« Reply #6 on: December 20, 2018, 02:09:47 pm »
Are you wearing a dust mask? I would suggest it when messing with MDF. The dust it produces is not good for your respiratory system.

rrobbone

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Re: Newbs Gotta Learn Somehow... The Xmas Build
« Reply #7 on: December 20, 2018, 02:28:01 pm »
As you can see, and some of you might be dead set against, I have made the decision to slightly angle the controls for players 3 and 4. I did this knowing that it wasn't what was usually done on real multiplayer cabinets, but (at least initially) this will be used by four players sitting side by side on a couch. Since I was limited in spacing to what the box underneath can accomodate, I went ahead with it. The angle is rather slight, and I considered the player's spacing in relation to other players as well as the monitor. I also wanted to give a little more room to players 1 and 2, since those positions will be getting the most work. I dig fighting games, and I hope to get the kiddos into them as well. This crowds 3 and 4 a bit, but the (forbidden) angle shoud mitigate that a bit.
You can still keep buttons angled like that but have the joystick angle aligned straight.  The whole point of not rotating joysticks for P3/4 is not to save space or elbow room, it's to keep the joystick oriented to the monitor's angle so players aren't disoriented with the joystick directions.  It doesn't matter if you're sitting, standing, or are building controls for laying on the floor, even a slight angle like you have there will cause people to miss directions on the joystick.
My advice is to do what the original control panels did and keep the joystick aligned straight to the monitor, then re-position the buttons to whatever angle that fits your space and is still ergonomically functional. Look at original Simpsons, Xmen, even how Gauntlet control panels have their P3 and P4 controls positioned. The sticks are straight while buttons are placed assymetrical and in different positions that work with the top space.

Also, why are you worried about P3 and P4 for fighting games?  Other than the Power Stone series, I don't know of any other fighting game that is 4 players.  Unless you mean beat-em-ups as fighting games?  Versus fighters are primarily 2-players, so you shouldn't have to worry about "crowding" to play those games.

After more research, I see the point in keeping the joysticks aligned perpendicular to the screen and I agree that it makes sense. Truthfully, I was working fast and didn't come across anyone stating this as advice or argument until I had already cut and routed for the sticks. I'm not really anticipating any problems since our fam plays video games quite a bit, but I can see where it might be a little disorienting for folks who don't play as often. I'll very likely not be making another 4up CP again very soon, but if I do I'll change this design choice. When I was taking measurements of live machines, I never thought about checking the stick orientation. I'm too far along to fix it now, but if the kiddos just can't adjust I can always open her up and re-mount them. I'll report back on this once they've had a chance to play it.

As for the fighters...

I'm not worried about P3 or P4 so much for fighters (although I had forgotton about Power Stone, awesome game!) but I was concerned about elbow room between P1 and P2 in general, not just for the vs fighters. Maybe (likely) it's due to my inexperience building a CP, but I wanted P1 and P2 spaced even farther apart than I have them now! It still just looks cramped to me - even though I know from measuring live 4up cabs that my board is every bit as wide as an NBA Jam CP is.

It's probably fine as is, but this is my first so I'm unsure about some of the design. Like I said... newbs gotta learn.  :)

rrobbone

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Re: Newbs Gotta Learn Somehow... The Xmas Build
« Reply #8 on: December 20, 2018, 02:43:39 pm »
Are you wearing a dust mask? I would suggest it when messing with MDF. The dust it produces is not good for your respiratory system.

Absolutely I am, for every second of this build. I edited my initial post to include the importance of safety wear. Thanks for looking out for me.

I want a mini bartop for my office, so I'm already shopping ideas for it. One of the things I'm considering is avoiding MDF like the plague.

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Re: Newbs Gotta Learn Somehow... The Xmas Build
« Reply #9 on: December 20, 2018, 02:46:32 pm »
That's good to hear.

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Re: Newbs Gotta Learn Somehow... The Xmas Build
« Reply #10 on: December 20, 2018, 02:47:28 pm »
It's probably fine as is, but this is my first so I'm unsure about some of the design. Like I said... newbs gotta learn the hard way:)
FTFY  :lol

This is a long-time issue with new builders here. It's not hard to find topics about us discussing angled sticks,  because there are quite a few.

While I understand not wanting to redo what you've already done out of time, or laziness, or whatever, don't get it twisted: even experienced gamers will notice that the orientation will be messing with their ability to execute.
You can give yourself whatever reason to not redo or modify the CP, but at the end of the day you'll have something that less than comfortable for the P3 and P4 players...which is basically like saying, screw those players, they don't deserve the same playability experience that P1 and P2 have.


rrobbone

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Re: Newbs Gotta Learn Somehow... The Xmas Build
« Reply #11 on: December 20, 2018, 02:57:09 pm »
It's probably fine as is, but this is my first so I'm unsure about some of the design. Like I said... newbs gotta learn the hard way:)
FTFY  :lol

This is a long-time issue with new builders here. It's not hard to find topics about us discussing angled sticks,  because there are quite a few.

While I understand not wanting to redo what you've already done out of time, or laziness, or whatever, don't get it twisted: even experienced gamers will notice that the orientation will be messing with their ability to execute.
You can give yourself whatever reason to not redo or modify the CP, but at the end of the day you'll have something that less than comfortable for the P3 and P4 players...which is basically like saying, screw those players, they don't deserve the same playability experience that P1 and P2 have.

While not denying my being a stubborn guy, I think time is more the issue now. It's not going to be terribly difficult to fix later.

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Re: Newbs Gotta Learn Somehow... The Xmas Build
« Reply #12 on: December 20, 2018, 09:19:48 pm »
Go go go!

Good luck. :)

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Re: Newbs Gotta Learn Somehow... The Xmas Build
« Reply #13 on: December 20, 2018, 09:53:52 pm »
I'm confused why it's too late to fix the joystick orientations. Just route out some more material, rotate the joystick, fill in the empty area, and sand it all smooth. I assume you will have an overlay which will cover it all up and no one would never know.

As someone who is a very avid gamer and has used an angled joystick, I can tell you it's pretty bad. It goes against your body's natural expectations and muscle memory. Try it yourself. Play a game you're good at with the angled stick.

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Re: Newbs Gotta Learn Somehow... The Xmas Build
« Reply #14 on: December 21, 2018, 12:44:55 am »
Go go go!

Good luck. :)


Thank you! I appreciate it!

I'm confused why it's too late to fix the joystick orientations. Just route out some more material, rotate the joystick, fill in the empty area, and sand it all smooth. I assume you will have an overlay which will cover it all up and no one would never know.

As someone who is a very avid gamer and has used an angled joystick, I can tell you it's pretty bad. It goes against your body's natural expectations and muscle memory. Try it yourself. Play a game you're good at with the angled stick.

I'm not dismissing what you're saying. I agree with you that it's likely not ideal. Having never done this before, I want to leave myself time to troubleshoot and fix issues in case I have done something incorrectly. As I said, I'm mostly worried about the wiring and setting up the interface correctly. I have several steps to complete yet, and I want this thing finished, tested, and shiny for Xmas morning. Also, this isn't the only thing on my plate this week.

Ripping it apart to rout new mounts would mean disassembly, filling, routing (actually, I'd probs just fabricate some bracing), cleaning it up, and reassembly. Again, I'm not sure the kids will notice an issue with the angle of the sticks, so it might not be necessary to go to all the trouble at all on this build - but certainly something to keep in mind for the next. I'll try them myself and watch the kiddos as they play. If any of us struggle, I'll rotate the P3 and P4 sticks when I've got the time to do it. I will document the fix here as well.

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Re: Newbs Gotta Learn Somehow... The Xmas Build
« Reply #15 on: December 21, 2018, 12:54:24 am »
There are numerous benefits of starting off with building a control box. Not as overwhelming as a full sized cab, less engineering, takes up less room and..... you can always build a full sized cab for it later. Did you put 4 buttons on players 3 and 4 to play a lot of Dungeons and Dragons (both SoM and ToD) ? Those are the only 4 player games I can think of that use 4 buttons.

The PGM and PGM2 beat em ups (The Gladiator, Oriental Legend series, Knights of Valour series) also use 4 buttons for all 4 players.

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Re: Newbs Gotta Learn Somehow... The Xmas Build
« Reply #16 on: December 21, 2018, 08:25:00 am »
I like build threads and getting OJT is good.
If it all works out - a big cab is in your future.
Thanks for posting!
My Arcade Build and other projects here:
https://bperkins.wordpress.com/

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Re: Newbs Gotta Learn Somehow... The Xmas Build
« Reply #17 on: December 21, 2018, 12:10:07 pm »
There are numerous benefits of starting off with building a control box. Not as overwhelming as a full sized cab, less engineering, takes up less room and..... you can always build a full sized cab for it later. Did you put 4 buttons on players 3 and 4 to play a lot of Dungeons and Dragons (both SoM and ToD) ? Those are the only 4 player games I can think of that use 4 buttons.

The PGM and PGM2 beat em ups (The Gladiator, Oriental Legend series, Knights of Valour series) also use 4 buttons for all 4 players.

Thank you. Knowing about more 4 button, 4up games will certainly help with testing the CP.

I like build threads and getting OJT is good.
If it all works out - a big cab is in your future.
Thanks for posting!


I think you're right. I'm getting closer to the end of this build now, and -- well... I don't know about you guys, but I really enjoy stuff like this so it's a little bittersweet to declare something "finished."

I'm already (very slowly) gathering parts and ideas for my next build. I have a glaringly empty space on my office counter/desk that needs to be filled with something. I've been looking at lots of mini bartop designs, and thinking about varitions of how I might want to make mine. I'll have some time and the experience from this CP on the next build, so I can work up a plan and not be so locked into winging it this time. This next one will be a lot cleaner and not quite as barebones.

I'm thinking a lower profile cab with a slimmer design than most. I like the retro look of the way most minis are built - kind of a shrunken verision of a normal game cabinet, but I'm not sure the space I have will be well suited for that. I want something a little different, but I'm not sure yet what that is. I'm waiting for inspiration. We'll see.

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Re: Newbs Gotta Learn Somehow... The Xmas Build
« Reply #18 on: December 21, 2018, 12:52:28 pm »
I got the wiring done last night, now I just need to figure out how to test it now that the kiddos are on Xmas break and will be home all day. Well, stepson kiddo is with his bio-dad until the 26th, but that still leaves my very inquisitive daughter here. I'll ask the wife to take her out for a bit.

Right now, I'm waiting for the plumbers to arrive. The installers did a good job yesterday, and now we're almost back to normal. I'm feeling a bit like Tom Hanks' character in Money Pit these days, as we've had a restoration project that's been underway since July. With all of the construction going on around here, it's been very difficult to get the guys on to fix this stuff. We can see the finish line, but there's still some inconvenience ahead - like today.

Proof of safety gear, for my OSHA folks:



In the meantime, where did I leave off?

Oh yeah, holes.



Even though I'm blasting through this build, I want it to end up with as many of the visual cues of an actual cabinet as possible. I thought that trimming an angle into the edges would be something easily done to help accomplish this. I don't have a table saw, so I grabbed a slice of 1x and clamped up a fence for my circular saw. That partial hole is where I figured out that I can't use my power drill here.



There's a laser line that projects a nice straight line out from my saw, but it's only there to tease me as circular saws aren't really designed for precision - they just chop stuff. So, going as slowly and carefully as possible, I make the cut.



Okay, it's rough, but servicable. MDF is very workable, and a little gentle application with a palm sander will fix that up. Now that I have my basic shape for the top all set, I need to address the length and width mismatch between the MDF and acrylic sheet. After I double checked the holes' alignment, I clamped the pieces together.


rrobbone

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Re: Newbs Gotta Learn Somehow... The Xmas Build
« Reply #19 on: December 21, 2018, 01:12:19 pm »
Aha, now I'm feeling at home since edge routing is something I do constantly in my guitar builds...

After loading up a top bearing pattern bit, I simply used the edge of the actrylic as a guide to rout the MDF to the same shape. It bears mentioning that I checked the acrylic's edges and made sure they were square beforehand. If they weren't, I would've trimmed them square before routing.

I planned to make two passes with a 1/2' bit. Pass number one:



Went a little too fast...

Oops, had the bit a scoonch too low. If this were wood, that would potentially cause a splintering or splitting across the top surface while fixing it - causing me an issue to fix. But since it's MDF, it's no big - it just requires a third router pass now.

There are no action pics of my routing because I am extra super careful where plugged in spinny blades of death are involved. I play guitar, and I like my fingers, so both hands are busy. No pics.... until done.



Well, crap. I'm not even sure how that happened.

It's an easy fix, but at a time cost. My repair option of choice here would be an application of Bondo. It's easily shaped and doesn't expand or shrink while curing. On the other hand, this little imperfection would be covered by acrylic and t-molding.

So, I left it and moved on. It won't be visible unless you look at it from the underside.



All done and shaped. I could've set up my spindle sander to shape the rounded corners, but since this is MDF I just used a lower grit and shaved it with my palm sander. I just had to be careful to keep the side as square as possible to the top so the t-molding will fit properly later. I used a square to make sure of this. Yet another "time vs. precision" decision.

My first games card arrived in the mail on this day, so I quit early for "research."





I missed these! It had been a super long time since I had played a lot of these titles. I had forgotten how much NBA Jam cheats like a mofo!

It was this day that I started really getting excited about the build.


rrobbone

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Re: Newbs Gotta Learn Somehow... The Xmas Build
« Reply #20 on: December 21, 2018, 04:21:07 pm »
Alright!

And now a little break in the action to give update. The fam left the house, and I have had a chance to test out my CP after wiring it up last night.

The good news: It's all functioning, all buttons and sticks are operational.

The bad news, none of it is configured properly. The sticks are working as expected, so that's some work saved. The buttons are a bit mixed up, and the ones that are mapped to specific functions (according to the Ultimarc table on their site) aren't registering correctly - or at all in some cases.

For example:

*the credit and start buttons are working perfectly on one game card, but do not function on the other.

*The button config in most games isn't where I'd expect it to be. It was kind of difficult to play certain familiar games with the button functions all switched around. BTW, I think I found the absolute worst position to place a "block" button on a CP.

I have downloaded WinIPac and started playing with it, but I doubt I'm using it properly.

So now I've just started reading up on how to program all of this and set it up properly on each level: Retropie in general, emulator, and ROM.

I'm currently reading through the guides on the Retropie site. If you know of a really good how-to website or video which goes over how to set this up - that can be of use to someone doing this the first time - please let me know. Anything would help at this point, since I'm new to this. Otherwise, it'll have to be my brute force way of pushing through things, and I don't think I have time for that!

Thanks in advance!

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Newbs Gotta Learn Somehow... The Xmas Build
« Reply #21 on: December 21, 2018, 05:06:04 pm »
Sounds like there isnít any consistency in how your pre-configured cards are set up. They call come from the same source?
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Re: Newbs Gotta Learn Somehow... The Xmas Build
« Reply #22 on: December 21, 2018, 09:26:06 pm »
Sounds like there isnít any consistency in how your pre-configured cards are set up. They call come from the same source?

No, they didn't.

  
 

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