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Author Topic: Agitation Arcade  (Read 850 times)

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newmanfamilyvlogs

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Agitation Arcade
« on: February 28, 2019, 05:02:09 pm »
My company recently relocated to a larger space which included a generous warehouse attached directly to the work space. This, coupled with a new focus on 'employee wellness and happiness', looked like the perfect opportunity to finish a project I started a long time ago.

Way back in the Spring of 2010 I came across an operator who was de-inventorying themselves:


I asked if they cared what I took from their trash, and was told to grab whatever.
Unfortunately I didn't have much storage, nor means to transport much of it, but I grabbed enough parts to assemble my home cabinet, and since it was
essentially untouched, I grabbed this complete cabinet as well:


I thought the CP looked a little funny though, because two of the controls weren't labeled:


Once I could crack it open and have a look on the inside it became more clear what was going on:

The observant among you might notice the peculiar placement of a speaker below the monitor and odd quantity of wires going to the monitor's video hookup.
The game had been modified to house a hidden video slots machine (illegal in this state), with the video inputs wired in parallel. Sneaky!


So the cabinet sat in our warehouse unused until this past fall when we started clearing things out to move.
We threw it in the back of a truck to haul it to its new home..


I gutted all the original boards and power supplies and sat an old discarded i3 board running GroovyMame in the drawer:


Thankfully all the years in the warehouse doesn't seem to have affected the monitor any!


I replaced the small speakers with some 6x9's I had laying around, and wired them to a small PC Subwoofer



And while contemplating what to do with the control panel I sat some old USB fight sticks up top and let the guys in the warehouse give it a test:


So nothing too terribly exotic as far as conversions go, however we fabricated a control panel out of solid steel, which I will follow up with posting shortly.

sealcouch

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Re: Agitation Arcade
« Reply #1 on: February 28, 2019, 09:23:50 pm »
Props for using the original monitor! That thing is in great shape. Now to get some controls fully integrated.  :cheers:

newmanfamilyvlogs

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Re: Agitation Arcade
« Reply #2 on: March 01, 2019, 09:34:45 am »
So I had some connections with a local metal door manufacturer and asked if I sent over a CAD file if they could cut out something for me on a plasma cutter or whatever they use.
"What kind of material were you thinking?" they ask. Having not worked with various gauges of metal any, and assuming that Thicker == Stronger and Stronger == Better, I request "Whatever the thickest panel you have is."


Well I ended up with a pretty substantial chunk of metal as a result.

Thankfully since I everything was cut to exactly the dimensions I gave them, it fit perfectly in the existing CP hole:


Unfortunately because it was cut to the exact dimensions I gave them, that also meant that when I measured the outer diameter of the buttons I ordered, that meant that they were just a bit too snug to fit. I think if I had added like 0.5mm to the size it would have made the difference.

Being a company that builds a lot of our own equipment (Doing industrial waste agitation, hence the project name), I was able to take the panel down to our machine shop and have them bore out the button holes with a drill press just a hair larger. We also coated it with several layers of a metallic flake automotive paint and sealer, ending up with this lustrous sheen:


We cut the center out of the original CP and used an epoxy sealant to affix the metal, so the original mounting grooves for the CP could be used, as well as the monitor transition bracket lining up. The T-Molding from the front edge had been missing for years (probably fell off in the warehouse at some point and was discarded), so we're still trying to decide how to pretty up that front part. I'm thinking maybe some diamond plate metal that covers the entire front of the cabinet.


Anyway with as difficult as the metal was to cut through I decided to do something a little ill-advised....


With the top panel looking so nice, I really didn't want bolt heads showing through. So I roughed up the area around the trackball, laid down some epoxy and hoped for the best!


I didn't have any C-Clamps in the office, so I used what I had to put some pressure on it over night:


Seems like I used enough because the edge around the bottom of the trackball had a bead of epoxy that squeezed out:


I decided that when something goes wrong, that's a problem for Future Me.

The joysticks got the same epoxy treatment and lead acid battery clamping technique:


I used a set of those zero delay encoders that seem to be popping up everywhere now for both sticks. The encoders themselves seem fine, but the buttons are very cheap and don't feel very nice. Also the microswitches on the joysticks could be smoother. The seem to take a long time to actuate. I'll probably spring for a set of GGG switches at some point, but as I've already exhausted my company budget of "Just don't spend anything on it", I'll probably wait until someone actually complains other than me.



For as sketchy as the epoxy felt, the finished product really took me by surprise with how much I liked it. Also, it is solid as a rock. The complete panel probably weighs something like 15lbs. We'll see how well the epoxy holds up to people beating on it with fighting games and the like, but the wood of the cabinet is going to break before this thing gets bent or flexes.






I printed out a small instruction card for either side of the monitor and affixed it under the glass with some double sided tape. I'll probably redesign it at some point to explain button order a little better. Since most of the people actually using the cab have no experience with the idea of a multi-game cabinet, or emulators it needs to be pretty self explanatory.


I've got a small LCD monitor that I'm considering using as a marquee or controller layout display on the top of the cabinet, but I haven't used the control layout programs to generate images before, and have not started researching how it works. Links to someone else's project doing something similar would be appreciated.

I also need to re-print the marquee. It's just copy-paper that I cut in segments and taped to the back of the plexi. Also after taping it and flipping it over I noticed that I taped the wrong segment down on the left. That's a fix for another day. Either that or I'll fit that small LCD on one side and just have an asymmetric layout.

Until then, it's getting plenty of break-time use!



We're toying with the idea of picking one game a month to use the coin door at the bottom (since the encoders look like they have unused button inputs), running a high-score tournament, and letting the winner decide to which local charity we should donate the proceedings. As a company we do a lot of community service and charity work.


So it took a while from picking up this cabinet to getting back in service, but it's been fun finally getting it running.




leapinlew

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Re: Agitation Arcade
« Reply #3 on: March 01, 2019, 10:30:47 am »
Good Job!

Alejo I

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Re: Agitation Arcade
« Reply #4 on: March 01, 2019, 10:52:14 am »
That monitor looks in stupid good condition, all things considered.

newmanfamilyvlogs

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Re: Agitation Arcade
« Reply #5 on: March 01, 2019, 11:10:45 am »
When I first found it, the blue color was totally out, so I replaced all of the neckboard transistors. Date of manufacture on the frame was 2004, I think, so at the time was fairly new.
I ran it in my home cabinet for a few years before replacing it with a 31kHz Makvision 29". Ironically the Makvision is starting to have vertical collapse issues while this thing keeps ticking on!

pbj

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Re: Agitation Arcade
« Reply #6 on: March 01, 2019, 12:17:28 pm »
That dude went straight to Galaga.  Exactly as expected.


 :cheers:
This forum needs more threads about Arcade 1Up cabinets.

Nephasth

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Re: Agitation Arcade
« Reply #7 on: March 01, 2019, 12:32:26 pm »
Eh... Anyone considering cutting out their own metal CP... Include mounting holes in your cut pattern. Don't like exposed hardware? Try weld studs. If you ever need to take anything apart, epoxy will ---fudgesicle--- you.
%Bartop

newmanfamilyvlogs

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Re: Agitation Arcade
« Reply #8 on: March 01, 2019, 01:56:55 pm »
That dude went straight to Galaga.  Exactly as expected.


 :cheers:

For real. It's a fun enough game, but I'm really shocked how many people are immediately nostalgic for that particular one. He was totally getting into explaining the strategy of early game high points scoring.

Eh... Anyone considering cutting out their own metal CP... Include mounting holes in your cut pattern. Don't like exposed hardware? Try weld studs. If you ever need to take anything apart, epoxy will ---fudgesicle--- you.

I was hating myself the whole time I was mixing the epoxy. Weld studs. That's a fantastic idea. I've never really worked with metal at all, so I can't say I thought it through all that well :D
The panel itself was cut out of some scrap metal, so if I really had to re-do things, I could probably get another cut pretty easily.

Malenko

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Re: Agitation Arcade
« Reply #9 on: March 01, 2019, 02:02:11 pm »
looks really good.  Guess you didnt save that big blue eh?
No matter one's station in life, the Dance of Death unites us all.

newmanfamilyvlogs

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Re: Agitation Arcade
« Reply #10 on: March 01, 2019, 02:31:43 pm »
looks really good.  Guess you didnt save that big blue eh?

Thanks!
No, There were SO MANY CABS I wish I could have taken.. A T2, Cruisin' USA, several NeoGeo MVS, some 4-player 360 wheel game.. I wish I had taken more pictures back then.
They were smashing the necks off of most of the tubes and just dumping them in a big roll-off. The guy told me if I had been there a few weeks prior I could have had them just delivered to my house. Not that I had the room for any of them, but the thought alone is enough to just make you cry.

opt2not

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Re: Agitation Arcade
« Reply #11 on: March 01, 2019, 02:44:35 pm »
Eh... Anyone considering cutting out their own metal CP... Include mounting holes in your cut pattern. Don't like exposed hardware? Try weld studs. If you ever need to take anything apart, epoxy will ---fudgesicle--- you.
^ This.  So much this.

pbj

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Re: Agitation Arcade
« Reply #12 on: March 01, 2019, 03:03:03 pm »
The guy told me if I had been there a few weeks prior I could have had them just delivered to my house. Not that I had the room for any of them, but the thought alone is enough to just make you cry.

They always - ALWAYS - tell you this.  It's BS.

What did you do with the Golden Tee boards?
This forum needs more threads about Arcade 1Up cabinets.

newmanfamilyvlogs

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Re: Agitation Arcade
« Reply #13 on: March 01, 2019, 03:06:41 pm »
Eh... Anyone considering cutting out their own metal CP... Include mounting holes in your cut pattern. Don't like exposed hardware? Try weld studs. If you ever need to take anything apart, epoxy will ---fudgesicle--- you.
^ This.  So much this.


surtr

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Re: Agitation Arcade
« Reply #14 on: March 01, 2019, 03:58:49 pm »
I haven't used epoxy, but honestly curious -- why is it such a bad idea?

newmanfamilyvlogs

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Re: Agitation Arcade
« Reply #15 on: March 01, 2019, 04:12:09 pm »
I haven't used epoxy, but honestly curious -- why is it such a bad idea?

Because it's very much a one-way-street. When I eventually decide I can't deal with the horrible USB interface on the Happ 3" track ball, I get the distinct feeling that removing the trackball from the panel is going to end up destroying the trackball housing trying to separate them.

Ond

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Re: Agitation Arcade
« Reply #16 on: March 02, 2019, 12:23:49 am »
I like the details of this project, especially some pics of the innards including CRT and component placement.  The whole epoxy thing...well..no big deal, controls panels can be replaced or improved upon.  There's ways to get a nice clean bolt free surface on your CP without gluing your controls in, but I totally get that it was a solution at the time.   :cheers:
« Last Edit: March 02, 2019, 12:25:28 am by Ond »

newmanfamilyvlogs

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Re: Agitation Arcade
« Reply #17 on: March 04, 2019, 08:49:13 am »
I like the details of this project, especially some pics of the innards including CRT and component placement.  The whole epoxy thing...well..no big deal, controls panels can be replaced or improved upon.  There's ways to get a nice clean bolt free surface on your CP without gluing your controls in, but I totally get that it was a solution at the time.   :cheers:

Thanks! One detail I did leave out was the lighting behind the marquee.. Originally it had a standard incandescent candelabra bulb fixture. I modded a "flame effect" LED bulb whose 120v transformer had blown to run off a 5v line coming from the computer PSU. The bulb was being thrown out, so I figured why not re-use it. Behind the marquee it just makes the lighting pulse and flicker a little. Not exactly the "broken florescent bulb" vibe I was hoping for, because the color temperature is wrong, but it's interesting enough. I'll snap a picture of if whenever I get around to re-printing the marquee.

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Re: Agitation Arcade
« Reply #18 on: March 04, 2019, 10:55:54 am »
Looking good. My only suggestion is to ether do side are right or not all all. Quickly printing up something up and taping it off look worst then just leaving the sids blank.

newmanfamilyvlogs

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Re: Agitation Arcade
« Reply #19 on: March 04, 2019, 11:41:43 am »
Looking good. My only suggestion is to ether do side are right or not all all. Quickly printing up something up and taping it off look worst then just leaving the sids blank.

I had actually forgotten that bit of paper was taped to the side in the first picture. It was actually a cut vinyl transfer that we use for our tractor trailer fleet, but it felt too small. I can't recall seeing any larger ones in our warehouse, so it'll probably stay blank.

The guy told me if I had been there a few weeks prior I could have had them just delivered to my house. Not that I had the room for any of them, but the thought alone is enough to just make you cry.

They always - ALWAYS - tell you this.  It's BS.

What did you do with the Golden Tee boards?

I seem to recall someone saying the same thing when I first posted that pic back in 2010. I'm sure they wouldn't have actually delivered them, but I do wish I had spent more time plundering.

As for GT Classic, I've still got it, along with the marquee. You want?
I've got the video slot machine board too, Jungle King 2002. Apparently it's undumped.
https://mamedev.emulab.it/undumped/index.php?title=Jungle_King_2002

Malenko

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Re: Agitation Arcade
« Reply #20 on: March 04, 2019, 12:28:41 pm »
I wouldnt mind GT classic if the price was right
No matter one's station in life, the Dance of Death unites us all.