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Author Topic: Obsessed Newbie - Looking for starter resources  (Read 798 times)

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TheDistrict

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Obsessed Newbie - Looking for starter resources
« on: January 01, 2019, 10:34:08 pm »
Hello Everyone!

I'm new to the forum and have been obsessively reading for the last few weeks.  I have always wanted to create my own arcade for years, but I never knew where to start.  The last few weeks of reading this forum has given me a better idea of what I need but I'm still looking for a comprehensive guide for newbies. 

I have seen people mention Project Arcade on various forums, but it doesnít appear to be in print any longer. I would love it If someone could point me in the direction of a great how to resource? 

Here is what Iím thinking in terms of my build.  (Again, Iím new so please let me know if this will never work): 

Initially I plan to use a Raspberry Pi 3 B+ with RetroPi and later hope to add a PC.

For the cabinet and control panel Iím thinking a modified version of the Flynnís Arcade project, thanks to ChanceKJ for the inspiration and providing the CAD files for the side panel on his project thread.

I have done a TON of research on joysticks, trackballs, design etcÖ.  but I am looking for a starter guide to help me build out how it all connects.

Here is what I have so far:

Wifeís approval!
Friends who design airplane parts who have volunteered to help with the cabinet modifications.
Access to a CNC machine. 
A friend who has volunteered to help with the software. 

For the build this is what Iím thinking so far:

Cabinet based on Flynnís Arcade
Front drawer or cupboard under CP with room for a keyboard and mouse
4 Player Coin Drawer
2.1 audio system
Headphone jack and volume control
RBG LED Buttons (standard Japan 8 button for P1 & P2 and some sort of 6 button for P3 & P4)
RBG trackball - thinking Suzohapp RBM-700-B
Spinner (LED lit?) Ė no idea where to get one of these.
Back lit Marquee
32in or 42in TV
Raspberry Pi 7-inch touchscreen (Thinking I may be able to rig this to choose games).
Joystick Ė Thinking the new Servostick with 4-8 way switching  w/ RGB handle 

And as a kicker we are hoping to make the cabinet water proof. 

I know I will need to connect all these things which is where I could use some help.  What do I need in addition to all this to run the LEDís, connect controls, get the coin drawer to work with games etcÖ  Is there a go to setup most folks are using?  Or a thread that walks through the options?

I still have a ton to learn and would love the communityís advice on how to best find the info I need to get started.  Iím looking forward to getting this project planned and priced out so I can start to build!

Thank you in advance for your advice! 

Mike A

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Re: Obsessed Newbie - Looking for starter resources
« Reply #1 on: January 02, 2019, 04:39:50 am »
You don't need a keyboard drawer. This is 2019. Use a wireless keyboard that has a track pad built in. I bought one for like 12 bucks. I stash it behind the cab when not in use.
Why does it have to be water proof? :dunno

Jimbo

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Re: Obsessed Newbie - Looking for starter resources
« Reply #2 on: January 02, 2019, 05:05:45 am »
That's pretty ambitious for your first build - but good luck!  My advice is to keep asking for and listening to advice but stick to your vision as much as you can - it's YOUR machine after all!  :cheers:

Titchgamer

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Re: Obsessed Newbie - Looking for starter resources
« Reply #3 on: January 02, 2019, 06:57:44 am »
Its great you are getting so excited about this but you are bordering on making your first mistake....

Slow down and think what you are doing through carefully :p

So firstly why the hell is it going to need to be waterproof?? Not turning it into a fish tank are ya!!???
Secondly, As mike said forget the KB draw its not needed these days, Thats very 2000.

Do the build in stages, dont rush it and plan each part in order, that stops you  over loading yaself and easier to manage.
The first thing you want to do is sit down and decide what type of games you want to play on this machine. That will answer most of the design questions you need to answer.

What games are you wanting to play? (The most important Q of all)
How many players?
Do those games require additional controls like spinners, wheels, extra joysticks, 4/8 way etc.

Forget about LED buttons and things like that for now, they are extras and dont really add much other than looking pretty.

Answer those questions in your mind and then start working on the cabinet design, If you are planing a full size arcade though (which sounds like you are) I would forget the Pi and go straight to the PC.
They dont cost anymore and they are ultimately more powerful and easier to work with.
I would restrict Pi's to bartops and other small builds.

Its great to have this massive air craft carrier franken-panel but are you really going to use it?

Which games are you planing on playing that needs 6 buttons for players 3/4? And would they of run on a Pi?

Dont fall into the trap of wanting to play PS4 games or whatever on a arcade machine.

barrymossel

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Re: Obsessed Newbie - Looking for starter resources
« Reply #4 on: January 02, 2019, 11:34:49 am »
Match games with control panel layout and screen. Don't cheap out on controls. Match cabinet design with screen and control panel layout. Just Google for some tutorials for full builds. There you will learn almost anything you need to know. For everything else do a Google search or a search on this board. It really isn't rocket science.


luizw81

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Re: Obsessed Newbie - Looking for starter resources
« Reply #5 on: January 02, 2019, 12:20:41 pm »
My two cents...build what you want however you want.  having said that....

LED buttons look nice but are only functional if you are planning to install an LED controller.  It's useful if you plan on having a lot of buttons and games as the controller can be used to only light up the buttons you have mapped for each specific game.

8 buttons = ditch the PI.  Any games that need 8 buttons will play like mierda on a PI if they play at all.


I can only assume the waterproofing is because of beverages.  If you spill something on your machine the paint/wood will be the least of your problems...keep liquids away from electronics!


BadMouth

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Re: Obsessed Newbie - Looking for starter resources
« Reply #6 on: January 02, 2019, 12:28:15 pm »
Heed the pic in my signature.

Don't buy the crappy controls that come with the cheapest kits on amazon/ebay.
I just bought a set to check out the analog joystick they came with.  OMG, they are horrible.
Also stay away from those chrome LED buttons.  I've used them as the start button in driving cabs.
They are good for that, but for actual action buttons on a regular arcade machine they suck.

Unless running Steam or a modern console, there is no reason to have 8 buttons for player 1&2.

Unless there is a specific 4 player Steam or modern console game that requires more than 4 buttons for player 3 & 4, there is no reason for those players to have more than 4.
Only the two D&D games in MAME use 4.  The rest of the 4 player games in MAME use 3 or less.


PL1

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Re: Obsessed Newbie - Looking for starter resources
« Reply #7 on: January 02, 2019, 12:50:28 pm »
Check out the FAQ, especially the "What type of build meets my needs? " entry.

(Backup copy since the wiki is still down. :( )
https://web.archive.org/web/20160809113045/http://newwiki.arcadecontrols.com/index.php?title=FAQ#What_type_of_build_meets_my_needs.3F


Scott

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Re: Obsessed Newbie - Looking for starter resources
« Reply #8 on: January 02, 2019, 01:09:36 pm »
Raspberry Pi 7-inch touchscreen (Thinking I may be able to rig this to choose games).
The juice might not be worth the squeeze on that one.

Front End programs usually use P1 joystick to navigate the menus and one button -- usually P1B1 -- to launch the game.


Scott

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Re: Obsessed Newbie - Looking for starter resources
« Reply #9 on: January 02, 2019, 01:55:00 pm »
You donít need a drawer or cupboard. Scrap the pi idea. It will be a long project for something that can easily be accomplished on the main screen. Scrap the headphones port. It will never get used. I donít use lcds, so I canít tell you how big of an lcd to get. In general, bigger is not always better. The closer to a screen you are, the larger it appears. Too large and you will have to turn your head. This is why the perfect seats in a movie theater is in the middle to the back rows. Remember that arcade machines came 13Ē -> 26Ē 4:3 crts. Some larger screens were angled back. Some smaller screens were upright or later almost flat and made you lean into the cabinet.

BadMouth

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Re: Obsessed Newbie - Looking for starter resources
« Reply #10 on: January 02, 2019, 02:34:05 pm »
On the screen size: My rule of thumb is that the diagonal measurement of the 4:3 image (possibly displayed in the center of a 16:9 screen), should not exceed the distance that your eyeballs will be from the screen.  In other words if your eyeballs are 24" from the screen surface, the biggest screen you'd want would be a 24" 4:3 monitor or 30" 16:9 monitor.

Some people have used 32" screens in a regular cab and been happy with it.  Too big IMO, but they've been satisfied.
Definitely wouldn't go any bigger that that unless you are doing a pedestal which you'll stand farther away from.
42" looks impressive if all you're going to do is stand back and admire the cab from a distance or sell it on ebay to people who don't know what they are buying, but it will make the games less playable.  Try playing your current console or PC games while so close to the screen that you have to move your head to see enemies on different parts of the screen.  It's especially a disadvantage on shmups.

Titchgamer

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Re: Obsessed Newbie - Looking for starter resources
« Reply #11 on: January 02, 2019, 03:05:27 pm »
On the screen size: My rule of thumb is that the diagonal measurement of the 4:3 image (possibly displayed in the center of a 16:9 screen), should not exceed the distance that your eyeballs will be from the screen.  In other words if your eyeballs are 24" from the screen surface, the biggest screen you'd want would be a 24" 4:3 monitor or 30" 16:9 monitor.

Some people have used 32" screens in a regular cab and been happy with it.  Too big IMO, but they've been satisfied.
Definitely wouldn't go any bigger that that unless you are doing a pedestal which you'll stand farther away from.
42" looks impressive if all you're going to do is stand back and admire the cab from a distance or sell it on ebay to people who don't know what they are buying, but it will make the games less playable.  Try playing your current console or PC games while so close to the screen that you have to move your head to see enemies on different parts of the screen.  It's especially a disadvantage on shmups.

True dat!

TheDistrict

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Re: Obsessed Newbie - Looking for starter resources
« Reply #12 on: January 02, 2019, 05:24:38 pm »
You don't need a keyboard drawer. This is 2019. Use a wireless keyboard that has a track pad built in. I bought one for like 12 bucks. I stash it behind the cab when not in use.
Why does it have to be water proof? :dunno

Thanks for the advice. I was thinking the drawer would be more for storing the keyboard and mouse.  The water proofing is two fold.  1. My friends can be clumsy and like beer,  2.(Probably the more likely Scenario)  I live in a wet climate and suspect that the build could end up in the garage or covered back patio.  (I have my wife's ok to build but, my guess is it could have short life in the house, until we get into a place with more space).  Sounds crazy, I know... But hey, you work with what you got.   :)

slickam

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Re: Obsessed Newbie - Looking for starter resources
« Reply #13 on: January 02, 2019, 05:28:28 pm »
Only the two D&D games in MAME use 4.  The rest of the 4 player games in MAME use 3 or less.

The Knights of Valour series, Oriental Legend series, and The Gladiator also use 4 buttons for 4 players.

TheDistrict

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Re: Obsessed Newbie - Looking for starter resources
« Reply #14 on: January 02, 2019, 05:32:07 pm »
Check out the FAQ, especially the "What type of build meets my needs? " entry.

(Backup copy since the wiki is still down. :( )
https://web.archive.org/web/20160809113045/http://newwiki.arcadecontrols.com/index.php?title=FAQ#What_type_of_build_meets_my_needs.3F


Scott

This is fantastic thank you!  I also stumbled across this post yesterday:
https://andrewdupont.net/2017/04/10/nostalgia-tron-part-1/

Which I think is was a pretty great overview.  It answered some of my questions about what I'm missing and even has some custom software hacks. 

TheDistrict

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Re: Obsessed Newbie - Looking for starter resources
« Reply #15 on: January 02, 2019, 05:51:04 pm »
Heed the pic in my signature.

Don't buy the crappy controls that come with the cheapest kits on amazon/ebay.
I just bought a set to check out the analog joystick they came with.  OMG, they are horrible.
Also stay away from those chrome LED buttons.  I've used them as the start button in driving cabs.
They are good for that, but for actual action buttons on a regular arcade machine they suck.

Unless running Steam or a modern console, there is no reason to have 8 buttons for player 1&2.

Unless there is a specific 4 player Steam or modern console game that requires more than 4 buttons for player 3 & 4, there is no reason for those players to have more than 4.
Only the two D&D games in MAME use 4.  The rest of the 4 player games in MAME use 3 or less.

Do you have a recommendation for buttons?  I know it is somewhat subjective, but I'm curious where the best places are to purchase?  I was looking at the L PSL-L/CV Translucent with Black Convex Plunger and cherry microswitch but they are out of stock at Paradise Arcade shop and don't appear to exist anywhere else on the internet.  I definitely would like to use Steam or my old xbox in the future.  Sounds like it may be worth while to cut down player 3 and 4 to a 4 button set up. 

TheDistrict

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Re: Obsessed Newbie - Looking for starter resources
« Reply #16 on: January 02, 2019, 06:15:12 pm »
Its great you are getting so excited about this but you are bordering on making your first mistake....

Slow down and think what you are doing through carefully :p

So firstly why the hell is it going to need to be waterproof?? Not turning it into a fish tank are ya!!???
Secondly, As mike said forget the KB draw its not needed these days, Thats very 2000.

Do the build in stages, dont rush it and plan each part in order, that stops you  over loading yaself and easier to manage.
The first thing you want to do is sit down and decide what type of games you want to play on this machine. That will answer most of the design questions you need to answer.

What games are you wanting to play? (The most important Q of all)
How many players?
Do those games require additional controls like spinners, wheels, extra joysticks, 4/8 way etc.

Forget about LED buttons and things like that for now, they are extras and dont really add much other than looking pretty.

Answer those questions in your mind and then start working on the cabinet design, If you are planing a full size arcade though (which sounds like you are) I would forget the Pi and go straight to the PC.
They dont cost anymore and they are ultimately more powerful and easier to work with.
I would restrict Pi's to bartops and other small builds.

Its great to have this massive air craft carrier franken-panel but are you really going to use it?

Which games are you planing on playing that needs 6 buttons for players 3/4? And would they of run on a Pi?

Dont fall into the trap of wanting to play PS4 games or whatever on a arcade machine.

Ha yes, I'm trying not to get to carried away.  I mentioned the waterproof thing in a reply to a different post but basically there is a 50/50 shot this ends up outside in a covered area once my wife see's exactly how big it is. :)  So I want to make sure its fine a garage or covered (and secure back patio).  I know its crazy but between the lumber yard connection and the airplane equipment designers I might just be able to do it. 

 In terms of the games I heard rumors of a site with a list of controller configurations?  Do you know if this exists?  I would love to take a look.  I was thinking the track ball would be great for golf games and the spinner would really cool for something like brick breaker but outside of that I don't really have a clear picture of what games are out there and the control set up they need.

TheDistrict

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Re: Obsessed Newbie - Looking for starter resources
« Reply #17 on: January 02, 2019, 06:17:31 pm »
That's pretty ambitious for your first build - but good luck!  My advice is to keep asking for and listening to advice but stick to your vision as much as you can - it's YOUR machine after all!  :cheers:

Thank you!  I am really excited about the build and have had a ton of fun digging up all the info on what is out there.  Can't wait to get it all planned out and start building!

Titchgamer

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Re: Obsessed Newbie - Looking for starter resources
« Reply #18 on: January 02, 2019, 06:47:02 pm »
There are tons of games for track ball and spinner.

But they are expensive and pain in the ass to fit in decently if you dont really need them.
If you dont know the games would you really miss them?

As for leaving your cab outside thats a bad idea for so many reasons I dont even know where to start!!

May I suggest you scale down the plans to a 2 player cabaret style cabinet or pedestal style you can fit in easily and move aroumd the house if needed?
Maybe even a bartop or a cocktail cabinet??

TOMMYGUN

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Re: Obsessed Newbie - Looking for starter resources
« Reply #19 on: January 03, 2019, 05:38:10 am »
I agree leaving a cab outside is asking for trouble if there is fog it will get into your cab and short circuit the mother board power supply and graphics card, little bit of moisture + alot of trouble even in a garage.
Forget the RaspPi go for a computer, and if you have no room in your house go for a 2p cab or even a bartop with a Pi you can move that easely around.
It helps making most of the cab out of taped cardboard first many ppl do that to see if it fits or needs adjustments before getting to the woodwork.
When i build it they will come

BadMouth

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Re: Obsessed Newbie - Looking for starter resources
« Reply #20 on: January 03, 2019, 03:10:37 pm »
Do you have a recommendation for buttons?  I know it is somewhat subjective, but I'm curious where the best places are to purchase?  I was looking at the L PSL-L/CV Translucent with Black Convex Plunger and cherry microswitch but they are out of stock at Paradise Arcade shop and don't appear to exist anywhere else on the internet. 

Not really.  Any cheap button sold by Happ, Groovygamegear, Ultimarc, Paradise, etc will be ok.  It's more about the switches than anything.
The cheap ones I mentioned that are bad feel like they were made for some other purpose than arcade.  They travel down a bit, then feel like you're pushing a harder click on/click off switch (although they are momentary switches).  The cherry or e-switches have a consistent resistance all the way to bottomed out and there isn't much feel from the switch itself except the audible click.

If you want the Asian style convex buttons, check out https://www.focusattack.com/ .
I've had several good dealings with them.

I used convex buttons in a curved layout on my current cab because I wanted it to have a modern look and feel.
I really like it on games that use 3 buttons or less.  On the fighting games that use 6 buttons, my fingers lose track of where they are and I find myself looking down more often to find the buttons.
I never had that problem with concave buttons in a straight-6 street fighter layout.  If I ever build another cab with 6 or more buttons, I will go back to concave.

EDIT: member SegaOutrun has an outdoor cab.  IIRC it's under a porch, but outside by a pool in Southern California.  I don't recall him ever mentioning any issues with it.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=35DQ3CTMpg0
« Last Edit: January 03, 2019, 03:16:39 pm by BadMouth »

BadMouth

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Re: Obsessed Newbie - Looking for starter resources
« Reply #21 on: January 03, 2019, 03:28:48 pm »
I was looking at the L PSL-L/CV Translucent with Black Convex Plunger and cherry microswitch but they are out of stock at Paradise Arcade shop and don't appear to exist anywhere else on the internet.

GroovyGameGear's Spectra Eclipse has the look you're going for https://groovygamegear.com/webstore/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=73&products_id=408

bperkins01

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Re: Obsessed Newbie - Looking for starter resources
« Reply #22 on: January 03, 2019, 08:50:50 pm »
I'll add my $.02

I have a favorite game - Centipede..  I designed my cabinet so I could play that game and everything else was designed around the trackball for the most part..

To get the same size 19" vertical screen area - I chose a 32" monitor.. its pretty close to the actual size if not exact.
There really is no need to make the machine giant - mine is only 28" deep - but doesn't look flat.

I like the RBG buttons - but the ones with solid black plungers sold by Paradise arcade..  you get the color w/o the loud bright buttons.
Paired with LedBlinky - it tells me the buttons for the games I do not know.

I have a rocker volume control button - very necessary.. 
Use a PC - its just going to work better and give you more options  - like a nice front end..
Servo sticks work great..

You really mean moisture resistant more than waterproof...  Obviously do not use MDF..  Marine grade plywood laminated with a hard laminate would be the only sure fire way to control things on the cabinet from going bad if it got wet..  That said - if you can't keep it in doors..  You may want to start with a counter top machine..  You're going to spend over $1K and likely closer to $2K  To store outside?  The electronics are not going to like wet environments at all...

I also have a shallow drawer that is pretty well hidden..  It looks like a trim panel...  but perfect for keyboard/mouse..

Best thing I did...  made a mockup of the control panel with particle board..  tested heights, angles,etc..  it was set up on my bench for a couple weeks before I was sure it was what I wanted..
Good luck.
My Arcade Build and other projects here:
https://bperkins.wordpress.com/

hurricanefan

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Re: Obsessed Newbie - Looking for starter resources
« Reply #23 on: January 03, 2019, 11:26:21 pm »
What amp are you going to use? I bought 4 inch speakers and haven't figured out what amp to buy.

bperkins01

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Re: Obsessed Newbie - Looking for starter resources
« Reply #24 on: January 03, 2019, 11:31:23 pm »
My Arcade Build and other projects here:
https://bperkins.wordpress.com/

hurricanefan

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Re: Obsessed Newbie - Looking for starter resources
« Reply #25 on: January 03, 2019, 11:38:54 pm »
I got this - way more than any arcade machine needs.. works great.
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B072Q8GTXJ/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o09_s01?ie=UTF8&psc=1

Also got this to eliminate noise/hiss..
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B019393MV2/ref=oh_aui_search_detailpage?ie=UTF8&psc=1

Did you buy a power adapter off amazon too?  I'm still hesitant on most of the amp reviews I see on Amazon. Lepai and Lepy amps have some great reviews and some other horrible reviews.

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Re: Obsessed Newbie - Looking for starter resources
« Reply #26 on: January 04, 2019, 09:03:58 am »
I agree leaving a cab outside is asking for trouble if there is fog it will get into your cab and short circuit the mother board power supply and graphics card, little bit of moisture + alot of trouble even in a garage.

I think the garage warning is a bit extreme.  Arcade machines have been deployed at boardwalk arcades that are essentially huge garages right in front of the ocean with their doors open 12 hours a day for decades.  I'm sure things can degrade quicker / wood can swell, increased risk of rust, but I don't think it's nearly as bad as this statement makes it out to be. 

I wouldn't recommend leaving it outside in a lightly covered area though, that's asking for trouble, unless you build the whole thing out of perspex.  wind + rain + electronics + plywood = bad situation.

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Re: Obsessed Newbie - Looking for starter resources
« Reply #27 on: January 04, 2019, 09:06:29 am »
I got this - way more than any arcade machine needs.. works great.
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B072Q8GTXJ/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o09_s01?ie=UTF8&psc=1

Also got this to eliminate noise/hiss..
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B019393MV2/ref=oh_aui_search_detailpage?ie=UTF8&psc=1

Thank you for this.  I've been looking for what to use.. I was toying with the Lepai 2020A+ or 2020TI,  but they're 2 channel, not 2.1, and I want the woofer.

barrymossel

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Re: Obsessed Newbie - Looking for starter resources
« Reply #28 on: January 05, 2019, 03:45:21 am »
I got this - way more than any arcade machine needs.. works great.
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B072Q8GTXJ/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o09_s01?ie=UTF8&psc=1

Also got this to eliminate noise/hiss..
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B019393MV2/ref=oh_aui_search_detailpage?ie=UTF8&psc=1

Thank you for this.  I've been looking for what to use.. I was toying with the Lepai 2020A+ or 2020TI,  but they're 2 channel, not 2.1, and I want the woofer.
If you do a search for "TPA3116 2.1" you get a lot of 2.1 amplifier boards (from China). Cheap and they work great. I use them for boomboxes and stuff.

  
 

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