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Author Topic: The Kline's Arcade - 4 player - first build, help needed!  (Read 11420 times)

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vertexguy

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The Kline's Arcade - 4 player - first build, help needed!
« on: December 31, 2019, 02:10:59 pm »
Hey everyone!

My first project post is finally here and I'm really excited to get started!  Please feel free to leave questions and comments as I go. 

I am new to many of the skill sets required to pull this off so will need the full support of the community to succeed!

================================
Thread Table Of Contents:
================================
This section is kind of a place holder for now.  When the thread is complete I will see if I can make a comprehensive table of contents for easier navigation to particular topics.

1. Intro / Project Details and Status
2.  Where Ever I May Roam

================================
Primary Goal:
================================
My primary goal with this entire effort is to get this built quickly in 2020 so my kids and I can enjoy it together while they're still around the house.  I'm hoping to find ways we can build it together as well so the entire project focuses around family and making memories.


================================
Backstory:
================================
I'm a child of the late 70's, so naturally I spent a lot of time at the arcades growing up.  At one point I can remember trying to build one out of a giant refrigerator box in my back yard.  I have been dreaming of building my own real arcade since the early 90's, but many obstacles stood in my way.  I asked my dad to get me an old arcade shell and one day he did!  He found an old Defender cabinet through my uncle who once had invested in arcades and he modified it to hold my TV and game consoles.  That was as close as I got to the arcade dream.  I pursued working in the video games industry going into college and was able to be a big part of reviving pinball into the digital console era.  Fast forward to me being married with 4 kids, and the arcade dream is still hanging on.  After finally getting a house with a basement to have room for it, saving small amounts of cash over the years, and getting a general OK from my wife, the time has finally come!  I tried designing my own arcade cabinet almost 20 years ago and decided to throw that out once I found inspiration from sites like this one.  I haven't seen a ton of other cabinets but the few I have followed on here were incredibly inspirational and really opened my eyes to what is possible and how to do it properly.  The sheer amount of intimate detail and talent on sites like this and slagcoin are indispensable resources.

I decided to finally pull the trigger a year ago and started working on a detailed design and slowly started buying parts.  I decided to go big or go home and am aiming to make this thing do a lot and hopefully look professional enough to fool people into thinking it belongs in a legit arcade.   

Part of the journey will be developing a lot of new skills.  I am NOT skilled in ANY of the major crafts required to do this (ie wood working, electrical, circuitry, lifting heavy objects, etc), so I am definitely looking to the community for advice as I go!

One skill I can leverage is working in 3D, so I decided that would be the best way for me to start playing around with concepts.  So far it's helped me a lot, but despite the detail and looking like it might be finished in the renders, I still have a lot of underlying questions and problems to tackle.  The devil is always in the details!

I'd like to put together a very comprehensive step by step thread here covering every detail and keep it well organized.  At least that's my hope to offer something of value back to the community during this journey.

Here we go!


================================
Theme:
================================
Video games have had such a big influence on my life that there was no way I could settle for a single game theme.  I decided to try to make my own theme that represents a good majority of my all-time favorites that I played growing up.  Given that this machine will also play classic console games, I decided to represent a few from there as well.  The real trick is finding balance in the design as I don't want it to feel like a car bumper littered with stickers of all colors from around the world.  It needs to be a cohesive design that compliments my home but would fit perfectly in a real arcade.

The artwork for this is a combination of a lot of stuff I've found online, a lot of custom sprite grabbing from various games, and some original art.

I needed to settle on some base colors for the theme to be able to move forward on purchasing so I've settled on white / red / blue / purple / and black as my key palette.  The artwork in the renders is still a work in progress.


================================
Design Goals:
================================

- Must be a 4 player cabinet minimum, with the ability to support even more simultaneous players with additional USB controllers for games like X-Men.
- Needs to be as light weight as possible since I'm likely the only one who will be attempting to move this thing around up and down stairs with a dolly.
- Needs to weigh enough and be sturdy enough to not accidentally move around when playing with 4 people.
- Must be low profile to not take up a lot of space and must fit through 28" door frames.
- Everything starts up from a single power button.
- It's not apparent that the machine is running Windows (convincing boot sequence)
- Support a control panel capable of authentically playing as many games as possible while not feeling cluttered or overwhelming
- Utilizes LedBlinky or similar application to clearly light up the relevant controls for the current game, simplifying the massive control panel.
- Primary player controls are easily distinguishable from secondary functions and emulator specific controls.
- Must look really cool in the dark with some custom attract mode sequences
- All core controls are easily accessible on the main cabinet for quick game selection, load / save state, pause.  Additional control for master volume control, and custom game settings will also be available through a function key combo.  Keyboard will be available but ideally never needed.
- Has a drawer to house keyboard / mouse, and additional USB controllers.
- Front coin door area is a hidden cabinet to easily access future controllers (steering wheel, analog flight stick / throttle).
- Working coin door that supports custom tokens
- Control Panel is removable with only a few disconnects to make arcade fit through small door ways.
- Arcade cabinet is height adjustable and able to make level on any surface
- Cabinet is not at risk of damage from any minor spills or ground water
- Thinking about how I can attach an additional control panel to the front to secure a wheel or flight stick for games that use them.
- Look into existing apps that can track recently played games and high scores.  See if it's possible to integrate those into an attract mode state.


================================
Core Controls / Inputs:
================================

Joysticks:
4 Sanwa JLF 8 Way
1 Sanwa JLF 4 Way

Flight stick:
Ultimarc MiniGrip Stick
Ultimarc Ultrastik 360FS

Trackball:
Ultimarc U-Trak trackball

Spinner:
Ultimarc SpinTrak

Light Guns:
2 Ultimarc Aimtrak guns

Light Gun Sensor:
ArcadeGuns.com Extreme IR Sensor Bar V2

Buttons:
Mix of LED button colors / styles from Arcade Renovations.

USB Input Controller:
Ultimarc iPAC 4

USB LED Controller:
Ultimarc pacLED64



================================
Key Inspiration and Special Shouts:
================================

This list will likely grow and apologies if anyone accidently gets missed!

- ALL companies that provide and support arcade products  Without you none of this would be possible!
- Andy with Ultimarc for creating so many great solutions and answering questions along the way!
- Rich with Arcade Renovations for creating great product and providing additional support.
- Scott with GameOnGrafix for answering questions on Vinyl prints (my likely source when it comes time)
- Folks at ParadiseArcade for providing LED solutions!
- EVERYONE who has ever contributed to the BYOAC forum.  It's clearly a community where everyone has inspired each other in some way.  The free knowledge share and expertise is unbeatable!
- Arroyo / The Grid project that has excellent detail and originality.  Also for encouraging me to approach the build with a fresh perspective.  :)
- Space Paranoids Control Panel for looking really nice and inspiring me, but also making me realize I needed to do more homework on what works well for a 4 player layout.
- yotsuya and Mike A's advice early on to research the 4 player control panel, and providing general sage advice through out.
- Chance / Flynn's Arcade thread which was really the first major thread google happened to link me to years back when searching for 4 player cabinet designs.


That's it for now!  I hope you enjoy my journey in this project and find something useful in the process!

Chris Kline
https://www.vertexguy.com

« Last Edit: August 14, 2020, 08:11:37 pm by vertexguy »

Mike A

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Re: The Kline's Arcade - 4 player - first build, help needed!
« Reply #1 on: December 31, 2019, 02:29:58 pm »
The first thing you should do is forget about playing console games on an arcade cab.

Console games were designed to use game pads. For most console games the experience will be bad to terrible on an arcade cab. Also, console gaming sessions tend to last longer.

After you build your cab, put together a console emulation box and play console games from a comfy couch in front of your TV.

That will make your arcade cab game list much smaller and more manageable.

People quickly lose interest in wading through a game menu with a few thousand entries in it.

vertexguy

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Re: The Kline's Arcade - 4 player - first build, help needed!
« Reply #2 on: December 31, 2019, 02:31:16 pm »
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
 :applaud:  :dizzy: :applaud: :applaud:   :dizzy:  Current Questions  :applaud:   :dizzy:  :applaud:   :dizzy: :applaud:
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
I will attempt to migrate questions up to this level so it's easy for folks to find and contribute if you don't want to follow the entire thread.

  • How can I make a slider drawer with no visible handle that easily pops out when I want it and closes properly every time?  Think hidden drawer.
  • How can I make a hidden cabinet door that stays shut but easily opens without a handle and doesn't expose hinges on the outside?
  • Has anyone come up with a way to make a ring light around a Flight stick and a Spinner?  I need ideas!

Any suggestions?
« Last Edit: May 31, 2020, 05:45:40 pm by vertexguy »

vertexguy

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Re: The Kline's Arcade - 4 player - first build, help needed!
« Reply #3 on: December 31, 2019, 02:41:37 pm »
-------------------------------------
2D / 3D Design Plans
-------------------------------------

*** WORK IN PROGRESS ***

Here are some renders of where I'm at in the design process so far.  All is subject to change as I gather input from the community to help me improve it.









Let me know your thoughts!

« Last Edit: January 03, 2020, 12:25:40 pm by vertexguy »

Mike A

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Re: The Kline's Arcade - 4 player - first build, help needed!
« Reply #4 on: December 31, 2019, 02:42:14 pm »
A lot of people use MDF. I hate it.

It is heavy and it doesn't hold screws well.

The sawdust is toxic.

vertexguy

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Re: The Kline's Arcade - 4 player - first build, help needed!
« Reply #5 on: December 31, 2019, 02:55:58 pm »
The first thing you should do is forget about playing console games on an arcade cab.

Console games were designed to use game pads. For most console games the experience will be bad to terrible on an arcade cab. Also, console gaming sessions tend to last longer.

Yep, this is why I'm supporting external USB game pads through the cab.  I'm likely not going to attempt to support anything beyond the SNES era on this.  The current computer I'm using wouldn't support it anyway.  The main focus is games intended for arcade.  I'll likely end up getting some bar stools for longer play sessions.  A separate console box is a consideration for a future project though.  :)

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Re: The Kline's Arcade - 4 player - first build, help needed!
« Reply #6 on: December 31, 2019, 03:02:30 pm »
Yeah. sitting in front of an arcade cab with a game pad in your hands will feel really unnatural.

You are already pushing it with all of the controls on that cab.

I have a small arcade room with a little over a dozen dedicated games. I have parties with adults and kids present.

I have one MAME cab. It has a 4 way joystick, a trackball, and three buttons. There are about 20 games on it. People still have trouble figuring it out.



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Re: The Kline's Arcade - 4 player - first build, help needed!
« Reply #7 on: December 31, 2019, 03:24:41 pm »
=============================================
Parts Inventory With Cost Breakdown
=============================================
I'll update this Excel file as I go.  I already have purchased most of what I should need.

CURRENT TOTAL: $2168

https://www.vertexguy.com/projects/arcade/the-klines-arcade-4p/arcade-cost-breakdown.xlsx


Keeping all this stuff organized has been a challenge as it comes in, but I think I have it broken down into some key category boxes now to help me find things faster.

Exploring Button Options



Big Box Of Buttons


Coin Door saved from the old defender cabinet I had growing up.


Drawer Slides!


iPac 4 Input Controller


pacLED64 - LED Controller Test


Big Box of Joysticks and Control Pads


LED box


LED Marquee Strips


Mounting Hardware box


Computer (Dell Optiplex GX620) running Windows 7


Power Button



Power Strip


Speakers


T-Molding


Misc Tools


TV (LED Flatscreen chosen for maximum viewing angle and light weight)


USB Extention Box


USB Hub


Wires and Electrical Connectors


LED Experiment Supplies


« Last Edit: December 31, 2019, 08:24:52 pm by vertexguy »

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Re: The Kline's Arcade - 4 player - first build, help needed!
« Reply #8 on: December 31, 2019, 03:43:17 pm »
Surprised Mike didnít mention that bad CP shape design.
 ???

vertexguy

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Re: The Kline's Arcade - 4 player - first build, help needed!
« Reply #9 on: December 31, 2019, 03:58:27 pm »
Surprised Mike didnít mention that bad CP shape design.
 ???

Uh oh... tell me more.  What are the concerns?

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Re: The Kline's Arcade - 4 player - first build, help needed!
« Reply #10 on: December 31, 2019, 03:59:21 pm »
Surprised Mike didnít mention that bad CP shape design.
 ???

You just get numb to it after a while. I like to see new build threads, but once I see ďfour playerĒ and ďFlynnís ArcadeĒ, I cant help but mentally check out and unfollow.
***Build what you dig, bro. Build what you dig.***

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Re: The Kline's Arcade - 4 player - first build, help needed!
« Reply #11 on: December 31, 2019, 04:01:25 pm »
Oh, and I think Iíd like the art and theme if you lost all the characters. Otherwise, the high tech bits look good. The characters just seemÖ forced. At least they blend in a bit, Iíll give you that.
***Build what you dig, bro. Build what you dig.***

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Re: The Kline's Arcade - 4 player - first build, help needed!
« Reply #12 on: December 31, 2019, 04:34:49 pm »
Surprised Mike didnít mention that bad CP shape design.
 ???

Uh oh... tell me more.  What are the concerns?
Myself and many others have explained this on multiple occasions to multiple new builders.

So here goes again: that CP design, while having a fun shape is ergonomically bad for multiplayer. Basically it comes down to the P3 elbow interfering with P1ís joystick, and P4ís elbow getting in the way of P2ís button space.
You could always widen the CP, but then youíre compromising the layout and screen position of P3&4ís controls for what, a slightly different looking shape?

Iíve said it before, arcade control ďcraftĒ should be about ergonomics and playability first, aesthetics second.
Just look at all the original 4P cabs and take note of their shapes and control positions. Thereís a reason why they didnít make CPs with wild shapes for 4P cabinets.

Oh, and I think Iíd like the art and theme if you lost all the characters. Otherwise, the high tech bits look good. The characters just seemÖ forced. At least they blend in a bit, Iíll give you that.
Iím in agreement with brother Yots here. But art seems to be more of a personal taste subject, so Iíll try to be mellow on this criticism. I do believe that a dedicated theme is stronger than a mishmash of characters thrown together with no context.

Iím also not too keen on titling an arcade cabinet as Arcade. Itís like putting a label on your car that said Car. Or a sign on your dog that says Dog.
We know itís an arcade cabinet. You donít need to hit us over the head with the arcade label. I suggest coming up with a creative name of your cab. Something that goes along with the art as a themed title.
 

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Re: The Kline's Arcade - 4 player - first build, help needed!
« Reply #13 on: December 31, 2019, 05:42:38 pm »
that CP design, while having a fun shape is ergonomically bad for multiplayer. Basically it comes down to the P3 elbow interfering with P1ís joystick, and P4ís elbow getting in the way of P2ís button space.

Related post:
I got this advice from multiple members on this board, and it was very hard for me to visualize what people were talking about.  In working on MULTIPLE configurations for a 4 player panel, I finally understand what everyone has been talking about.  I had planned after working on the build log to create a separate topic on the 4 player panel design to give visuals to what finally clicked for me.  Below kind of summarize it, if you build the controls at certain angles you force the players to either be close together or further apart:



VS.



You can see that by changing both the angle of the buttons and sticks as well as the shape of the panel affects the angle at which players play and of course whether or not they bump into each other.


Scott

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Re: The Kline's Arcade - 4 player - first build, help needed!
« Reply #14 on: December 31, 2019, 06:00:40 pm »
There should be a giant flashing banner on that Chance cab thread. Your CP shouldn't be shaped like a Batarang.

This is a very ambitious first build. I hope it comes out great.
Take all of the comments, negative and positive. Take what is useful and discard the rest.


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Re: The Kline's Arcade - 4 player - first build, help needed!
« Reply #15 on: December 31, 2019, 07:24:42 pm »
Probably already ordered, but I'd recommend a Sanwa JLW or Ms. Pacman anniversary stick for 4-way.  Although the JLF insert can be rotated for 4-way, it isn't great as one.

I'm not sure of the quality of your buttons, but be wary of the cheapest knockoffs of the Japanese style convex buttons.  I received similar looking buttons with an analog joystick that I wanted to test out.  The action of them isn't smooth.  You press down, then meet some resistance, then push past the resistance to activate the switch.  Real Sanwa or Semitsu buttons feel like one smooth motion from initial press to bottomed out.  Buy one good name brand button as a reference point.   They may be fine.  The good ones and bad ones look pretty much the same.

I used Semitsu buttons in a curved layout on my cab because I wanted a modern look.  On games that use more than 3 buttons I find myself looking down at my hands to reset my fingers more often than I did on my old x-arcade cp.  If I were doing it over, I'd go back to concave buttons in a straight 6 layout.  The concave shape gives your fingers a reference to center themselves and not wander off the edges.

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Re: The Kline's Arcade - 4 player - first build, help needed!
« Reply #16 on: December 31, 2019, 07:34:54 pm »
Oh, and there are no good flight stick games. Just Space Harrier, but that used an analog flight stick. (It's actually very playable with a standard joystick if you tweak the analog "digital" settings in MAME)

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Re: The Kline's Arcade - 4 player - first build, help needed!
« Reply #17 on: December 31, 2019, 08:40:13 pm »
Oh, and there are no good flight stick games.

For me it's primarily for Tron.  Might get me by for afterburner until I have a good analog stick attachment solution.  ;)

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Re: The Kline's Arcade - 4 player - first build, help needed!
« Reply #18 on: January 01, 2020, 03:09:00 pm »
So what are peoples opinions on wood?  Seems like the cab will be well over 300lbs with mdf and closer to 200 with ply so I'm leaning towards ply.  Why is ply harder to work with?  Will my 3/4 t-molding look odd if the ply thickness is less than 3/4?  I cant seem to find any that's the right thickness.

Some in other threads recommend Baltic birch but I cant find a place to get 8x4 sheets?

Regardless the ply type what can be done to prevent warping with humidity swings?


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Re: The Kline's Arcade - 4 player - first build, help needed!
« Reply #19 on: January 01, 2020, 03:31:59 pm »
I have a love/hate relationship with MDF.  I used it on my cab because it's available and machines well.  If you go with MDF, paint the inside and edges, especially the bottom.  Unless it's outdoors or in a basement that floods, humidity won't be a problem.

Better quality plywood like baltic birch can be found at suppliers for kitchen cabinet builders if you can figure out where your local cabinet builders shop.  The stuff they sell has more layers and fewer voids than the big box store stuff.
Plywood probably is superior.  I assume the reason people might say it is harder to work with is chipping.  Use a blade with a high tooth count to minimize chipping.  Depending on how smooth it is, you may also have to skim the sides with glazing putty and sand before applying side art.

They make a tool that trims the t-molding flush with the edges of the wood, but I am ok with a very, very slight overhang.
« Last Edit: January 01, 2020, 03:36:04 pm by BadMouth »

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Re: The Kline's Arcade - 4 player - first build, help needed!
« Reply #20 on: January 01, 2020, 03:41:17 pm »
MDF is also easier to paint than Ply. Ply will require a lot of filling and sanding of the flat surfaces to get smooth, while mdf comes in smooth from the get-go.

Personally I think ply is the right way to go, regardless of the extra finishing work.
Lighter, less toxic dust.

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Re: The Kline's Arcade - 4 player - first build, help needed!
« Reply #21 on: January 01, 2020, 03:50:17 pm »
Opt, I dont mind spending a little extra time to get things right.

What kind of filler should I use on ply and how much do you think is needed for 3 8x4 sheets?

I was debating doing that kind of work and priming and painting before making any cuts.  Seemed like it would be easier to just do touch ups that way.

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Re: The Kline's Arcade - 4 player - first build, help needed!
« Reply #22 on: January 01, 2020, 04:05:50 pm »
What kind of wood are authentic classic cabinets like pacman. Centipede, etc. made from?

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Re: The Kline's Arcade - 4 player - first build, help needed!
« Reply #23 on: January 01, 2020, 04:07:16 pm »
What kind of wood are authentic classic cabinets like pacman. Centipede, etc. made from?

Some, like Pac-Man are ply, while all the Atari cabs Iíve seen are heavy-ass MDF/particleboard. It depends.
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Re: The Kline's Arcade - 4 player - first build, help needed!
« Reply #24 on: January 01, 2020, 05:58:06 pm »
What kind of filler should I use on ply and how much do you think is needed for 3 8x4 sheets?
Bondo would be the most reliable. Itís an automobile filler that everyone uses for our hobby and is a bit tricky to use the first time you do it. But it drys fast and hard, and itís easy to sand and shape.

What kind of wood are authentic classic cabinets like pacman. Centipede, etc. made from?
Just as Yots said, it varies. I just finished a 90ís Konami cab restoration that is made up of particle board. Terrible stuff. Chips easy and is heavy af. My Robotron is made of ply, as well as my DK Jr.. I think Dynamoís are made of MDF, and I believe the Neo Geo cabs are as well. But donít quote me on that one.

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Re: The Kline's Arcade - 4 player - first build, help needed!
« Reply #25 on: January 01, 2020, 06:48:42 pm »
Nothing wrong with MDF, if you wear a mask.  If you do use it, go with an MDF core melamine.

I've had no issues with MDF holding screw, just use a a coarse thread screw, there's also specialty screws you can buy as well.

All of my cabs are MDF core melamine, mainly cause i refuse to paint another cabinet.  I spent more time sanding, filling and pulling splinters out of my hand etc.  The melamine layer is super smooth and is ready for graphics right out of the box.

Regardless a 4plyr cab is gonna be heavy no matter what  you use, every part adds weight.  My MDF core builds can be easily moved by one person no issue, without a dolley.  Minimizing inside space and shelving cuts down on the weight as well.

Also another idea if you want a lighter cab is go with 5/8 mdf or plywood and laminate both sides with 1/16 vertical cabinet grade laminate, that will get you 3/4 for your tmoulding.  Once you install your graphics and tmoulding, a sharp razor blade across the edge will make quick work of any overhang that you have.

But yes, you are going ambitious for a first build, and to Mike A's point shoving a crapload of games in that thing will get old really quick.  I've also found that a dedicated 4way stick is waste.  There are servo sticks and the kind where you can pull up and twist to go from 4 way to 8 way.  Dedicated 4ways don't tend to work up to expectations especially in wood panels.

The artwork is ok, no one is s real fan of the inifinite character mosaic :)

Also, take the pinball buttons off, playing pinball games one screen in a arcade cab sucks.

Before you invest in those guns, do your research the emulation for the compatible games isnt that great, people complain about the calibration and its either off or doesnt work at all.

Id take that 4 way out and put a real tron trigger in its place if your a tron junkie.

And bless your heart if your front end is hyperspin building the cab will be the easy part getting that software to work with all of those consoles, pc, games, mame etc seamlessly will push you into a state of F-this i'm buying a pandoras fight stick and call it a day.



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Re: The Kline's Arcade - 4 player - first build, help needed!
« Reply #26 on: January 01, 2020, 10:45:10 pm »
Here's a more detailed view of what I was planning for the internal structure of this thing.  Note the thickness differences to save a bit on weight.  I was thinking the box frame of 1.5" pine would help with additional stability when opening / closing the front cabinet door and make assembly a bit easier.  I had planned on gluing everything and only having screws used as temporary clamps for gluing or on removable panels where they are screwing into something like a t-nut to prevent wear.  The base is an idea for the under lighting though it may be overkill.  I figured I would need the lighting moved away from the outer edge a bit and able to mount so it points outward, hence the second smaller box frame on the bottom.  I also thought the squares on the inner corners is where I would connect the adjustable feet.   Cabinet dimensions without the CP are 24" deep x 31.5" wide x 71.5" tall.  Thoughts?



« Last Edit: January 01, 2020, 11:02:17 pm by vertexguy »

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Re: The Kline's Arcade - 4 player - first build, help needed!
« Reply #27 on: January 01, 2020, 11:21:05 pm »
So what are peoples opinions on wood?  Seems like the cab will be well over 300lbs with mdf and closer to 200 with ply so I'm leaning towards ply.  Why is ply harder to work with?  Will my 3/4 t-molding look odd if the ply thickness is less than 3/4?  I cant seem to find any that's the right thickness.

Some in other threads recommend Baltic birch but I cant find a place to get 8x4 sheets?

Regardless the ply type what can be done to prevent warping with humidity swings?
The pieces once screwed together tend not to warp after the fact...Normally I personally buy 2x the wood a year in advance and let it cure before I cut it (extreme I know, and normally not necessary) as long as the moisture content is relatively low your good to go...Secretly Jennifer has been experimenting with Coosa board (a carbon fiber ply like substance) Normally used in boat construction that shows incredible promise in moisture control,  absorption rates, and since it is a ply quite workable with wood tooling (although blades dull quickly) and has excellent screw retention.
« Last Edit: January 01, 2020, 11:34:13 pm by jennifer »

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Re: The Kline's Arcade - 4 player - first build, help needed!
« Reply #28 on: January 01, 2020, 11:24:15 pm »
You can see that by changing both the angle of the buttons and sticks as well as the shape of the panel affects the angle at which players play and of course whether or not they bump into each other.

Thank you for posting the visual!  That definitely explains things better than words.  I agree that the play-ability and ergonomics outweighs aesthetic.  That's why you'll note that my layout isn't simply symmetrical.  I've been shuffling a lot of buttons and controls around.

I had done a digital test with bipeds early on with this panel design as a starting point and I admit I'm not sold on it yet.  The problem I have with the 90 degree turn on the outer players is the severe compromise on viewing angle for a little elbow room.  That bothers me more than squishing against someone.  There's gotta be a better happy medium somewhere...

I'm hoping to do several tests both digitally and physically to prove out the ergonomics and viewing angles to find a suitable solution.  I'll likely start up a whole category in this thread just focused on the control panel when I get to that point.  For the moment, hopefully you notice that the layout is modified from what others like Chance had used.  I'm trying to carefully think about button access from each players perspective and in different combinations for different game types.  When I get the core cabinet up. I plan on doing a fast CP top to physically test it out, especially from P3 / P4.  Another unknown is how much I'll end up whacking other controls trying to use the trackball for games like Marble Madness and Golden Tee.   I tried to do some guess work based on some simple measurements of how far my hand moved but nothing beats testing a physical working prototype.

...drop the pinball buttons...

Regarding the pinball buttons, I'm not sure I'll get into pinball on this either, but figured I'd give it a shot.  I did develop some nice console pinball games in the past so I know there's hope for it being enjoyable...at least for me.  ;)
 Worst case I planned on doubling those controls up as volume controls when holding the function button down (front plunger button).  I already bought 2 sets of buttons for them.  One set are black classic Happ style for more authentic feel. and the others are the blue eclipse style in the renders.
« Last Edit: January 01, 2020, 11:47:27 pm by vertexguy »

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Re: The Kline's Arcade - 4 player - first build, help needed!
« Reply #29 on: January 02, 2020, 12:26:41 am »
The side viewing angles arenít as severe as you think theyíre going to be. People are standing back away from the screen, after all!
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Re: The Kline's Arcade - 4 player - first build, help needed!
« Reply #30 on: January 02, 2020, 12:35:53 am »
Word of advice, donít use Chance as your arcade messiah. He just regurgitated information siphoned off other memberís projects here, then practically disowned the forum to promote his YouTube channel posing like heís an authority on the subject matter. This is one of the major issues with why people keep propagating his bad CP design. The guy doesnít even post here anymore other than to respond to bumps to his own threads.

There are multiple other projects here that have way better examples on building a scratch cab. Check out the hall of fame sticky. Many of the projects there have some great ideas and themes, and are far better examples for reference.
« Last Edit: January 02, 2020, 03:09:21 am by opt2not »

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Re: The Kline's Arcade - 4 player - first build, help needed!
« Reply #31 on: January 02, 2020, 02:08:24 am »
Never really thought about it, But it does seem to explain the desire, that and the lure of one machine that does everything but make toast...personally, I think his design isn't far off the mark, but that insistent use of plexi kills the machines soul, something about real glass and steel that just lights up the night.

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Re: The Kline's Arcade - 4 player - first build, help needed!
« Reply #32 on: January 02, 2020, 01:01:29 pm »
Word of advice, donít use Chance as your arcade messiah. He just regurgitated information siphoned off other memberís projects here, then practically disowned the forum to promote his YouTube channel posing like heís an authority on the subject matter. This is one of the major issues with why people keep propagating his bad CP design. The guy doesnít even post here anymore other than to respond to bumps to his own threads.

There are multiple other projects here that have way better examples on building a scratch cab. Check out the hall of fame sticky. Many of the projects there have some great ideas and themes, and are far better examples for reference.

Clearly there is some friction with that project around here. :(  I had no idea and am not at all saying any one project is the superior solution to reference.  Fact of the matter is, that's just where google routed me back when I was searching 4 player cabinet designs years ago.  I tried looking at others but several in the hall of fame and elsewhere lack photos.  They all point to photobucket urls that don't seem to work anymore. :/ .  I'm also not sure there's nearly as many 4 player builds to reference as 2, so that limited my searching.

Bottom line, I don't think anyone on a forum like this should assume their contributions didn't some how influence everyone around here.  I'm looking to the community for help and wisdom.  I assumed he brought a few things of his own to the table, but even if not, there's no way I would know that, and it doesn't make it any less relevant to helping others.  I simply referenced what caught my attention back then and nothing more.  I'll try to make that more clear in my intro post.  If someone covered something well in an existing post, please link me to it.  One of my goals is to consolidate that information into one place to make it easier for everyone to find in one comprehensive build thread.


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Re: The Kline's Arcade - 4 player - first build, help needed!
« Reply #33 on: January 02, 2020, 01:08:01 pm »
Never really thought about it, But it does seem to explain the desire, that and the lure of one machine that does everything but make toast...personally, I think his design isn't far off the mark, but that insistent use of plexi kills the machines soul, something about real glass and steel that just lights up the night.

You lost me?  Was this intended for a different thread?  I don't follow the context?

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Re: The Kline's Arcade - 4 player - first build, help needed!
« Reply #34 on: January 02, 2020, 04:01:25 pm »

Clearly there is some friction with that project around here.

And I'm not entirely sure why.  There are some observations about the placement of the four players and I'm sure there's a lot to be learned from the wisdom of others on that matter.  But there's also a lot of great information and attention to detail in that project.  I remember when I first came across it and nearly didn't read the thread because the cabinet design wasn't really to my taste, but the thread is a great read and the cabinet is a quality product.  It also lead me on to check his other projects, which gave me a huge amount of information that I'm using in my own build (and he's still providing input on that thread).  Take what you can from a variety of cabinets on here, but don't ignore Chance's projects because there's a lot to be learned from them.

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The Kline's Arcade - 4 player - first build, help needed!
« Reply #35 on: January 02, 2020, 04:36:23 pm »

Clearly there is some friction with that project around here.

And I'm not entirely sure why.  There are some observations about the placement of the four players and I'm sure there's a lot to be learned from the wisdom of others on that matter.  But there's also a lot of great information and attention to detail in that project.  I remember when I first came across it and nearly didn't read the thread because the cabinet design wasn't really to my taste, but the thread is a great read and the cabinet is a quality product.  It also lead me on to check his other projects, which gave me a huge amount of information that I'm using in my own build (and he's still providing input on that thread).  Take what you can from a variety of cabinets on here, but don't ignore Chance's projects because there's a lot to be learned from them.

It goes a lot deeper than just simply the cab and itís not worth rehashing. The problem is that people see that cab and project and lock on to it without seeing what else is out there or the cons of that design. They fall in love with the bling and the thought of a 4 player cab and never get deeper than that until the ďproject announcementĒ phase, and by then itís too late to give feedback without feelings getting bruised.

I chat with Chance from time to time off this site. I hope he comes to ZapCon one day. But Iím not a fan of the cab (well, really just the control panel shape). You can learn a lot from his thread. But itís not the end all/be all that some new builders think it is.
« Last Edit: January 02, 2020, 04:52:50 pm by yotsuya »
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Re: The Kline's Arcade - 4 player - first build, help needed!
« Reply #36 on: January 02, 2020, 11:06:52 pm »
Never really thought about it, But it does seem to explain the desire, that and the lure of one machine that does everything but make toast...personally, I think his design isn't far off the mark, but that insistent use of plexi kills the machines soul, something about real glass and steel that just lights up the night.

You lost me?  Was this intended for a different thread?  I don't follow the context?
I was talking to Opt2...Might as well be in a different thread since it was so lost on you.

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Re: The Kline's Arcade - 4 player - first build, help needed!
« Reply #37 on: January 02, 2020, 11:36:32 pm »
First off, that is some slick cad work.  If you bring that level of detail to your other skill development your cab will be excellent.

I think Iím in the same boat as you.  Started off here with a Google search wanted the 4 player and stumbled on the cab.  I posted that example of the 4 player angles from my research that Scott posted so Iíve spent a lot of time thinking over this thing.

Itís clear youíve got an eye for detail and Iíd push you to come up with something on your own.  Not because I donít like Chanceís stuff, like you heís documentation got me going on mine.  Rather itís clear you have the skills to design something on your own, and I know that would suck and be a lot of work but I think youíd look back and be glad you can call it your own.

I only say this cause as someone knee deep in a build, itís a lot of work, and you wonít change what you are doing once you commit to something, so just be sure you like what you go with. 

We need more creativity around here these days and I think youíve got the chops to do it.

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Re: The Kline's Arcade - 4 player - first build, help needed!
« Reply #38 on: January 03, 2020, 01:07:52 am »
We need more creativity around here these days and I think youíve got the chops to do it.

Subscribed!

Thanks Arroyo!  I needed that about now.  :)
« Last Edit: January 03, 2020, 01:09:53 am by vertexguy »

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Re: The Kline's Arcade - 4 player - first build, help needed!
« Reply #39 on: January 03, 2020, 09:38:47 am »
On the subject of console games on arcade cabinets; I went all-in on my cabinet's game selection as well with stuff from the 8/16-bit era, Playstation, Dreamcast, etc. along side wired USB controllers. It's certainly a mixed bag, but I'd say on the whole in my own set up it wasn't detrimental to the function of the system. I think there are enough arcade-like console games to be worth including. Similarly, my kids were often happy to play longer console games on a stool, elbows on the control panel, holding a wired controller.

The only real frustration with multiple systems that we ever ran into was my choice of front-end. I like the over-the-top flashiness of Hyperspin and the animated game selections screens it supported. At the time it didn't support mixing systems on a single selection menu, so having the kids struggled a little with remembering which submenu the games they liked were in. When I built a console-dedicated emulation computer for the family room TV, I found Emulation Station supported a favorites menu that mixes multiple systems' items.

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Re: The Kline's Arcade - 4 player - first build, help needed!
« Reply #40 on: January 03, 2020, 12:51:39 pm »
that CP design, while having a fun shape is ergonomically bad for multiplayer. Basically it comes down to the P3 elbow interfering with P1ís joystick, and P4ís elbow getting in the way of P2ís button space.

I put my bipeds back in the scene to test and to no surprise found some things I needed to adjust.  When it comes to general spacing concerns, this isn't terrible, but I'm not done yet either.



The bigger problem I see with the "aircraft carrier" look is the placement on some of the controls in the original concept.  Even with my revisions I see issues to fix now.  Notice Player 3 (far left) needed the buttons moved down to be more accessible for instance given their right arm won't have the same reach.  Likewise P4 (far right) needs the joystick to be lower to accommodate the angle they stand at.  I can further understand from this why a cabinet like X-Men has all the button orientation turning as you work your way around the cabinet.   Now obviously the size of the person is a big factor here too.  I'm solving for my family scenario and trying to keep this cab as small as possible.

Surprisingly CP height may still be a consideration for me to adjust from this test.  I'm going to do further tests with a mix of kid sized bipeds and adults to try to dial it in.  I remember searching forums far and wide for average CP heights on classic machines.  If I remember correctly it was something like 34"-36" at the lowest point?  These bipeds are just under 6ft tall and would struggle putting their palm flat on the CP.


« Last Edit: January 04, 2020, 04:29:54 pm by vertexguy »

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Re: The Kline's Arcade - 4 player - first build, help needed!
« Reply #41 on: January 03, 2020, 01:01:31 pm »
If you swing player 3 and 4 buttons out more, you can fit more obese skeletons around your panel easily.
This forum needs more threads about Arcade 1Up cabinets.

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Re: The Kline's Arcade - 4 player - first build, help needed!
« Reply #42 on: January 03, 2020, 01:30:50 pm »
Poor player 3 looks uncomfortable, tucked in that alcove. Do they really have to keep their arms close to their body like that?

Itís good youíre doing your homework, though.
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Re: The Kline's Arcade - 4 player - first build, help needed!
« Reply #43 on: January 03, 2020, 08:24:07 pm »
Your mockups certainly look prettier than many of the other gargantuan 4p panels that have been done in years past. Also +1 for real coin door.

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Re: The Kline's Arcade - 4 player - first build, help needed!
« Reply #44 on: January 03, 2020, 11:05:22 pm »
Nothing beats real life mockups, preferably functional ones.

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Re: The Kline's Arcade - 4 player - first build, help needed!
« Reply #45 on: January 05, 2020, 06:30:26 pm »


Ok, here's my latest revision to the CP.  Please check my work and see if I'm missing anything.

This is a modification past my previous one to the "aircraft carrier" design.  I abandoned that but tried to keep some of the appealing aspects.  Several things have changed that I think solve the problems a lot better.  Good luck naming this shape if it proves to work well.  ;)

- Overall the dimensions are the same as before (technically a hair less wide).  This should keep it fitting a standard 8x4 sheet...hopefully.
- Player 3 and 4 are angled and pushed as far down towards player 1/2 as possible, while keeping an inviting angle to stand against vs a pointy box corner.
- Button positioning / orientation and joysticks have moved a bit.
- All players should have enough room for a palm rest
- Viewing angle is maximized for Players 3 and 4.
- Plenty of room in between players for even more drastically bent elbows and people of various sizes.
- I keep just enough room for pinball buttons and pushed them down more so I can vertically stack them with an offset as I originally wanted.  They will be hidden from the top and theres a slight chamfered edge to rest your hand against.
- There's about a 6inch radius from the center of the trackball before you risk running into anything.  With a 3 inch ball that means 9 inches of motion.
- I still maintain a lip around the top of the CP, but it's reduced to 1/2 inch.
- Green lines between the joysticks and buttons measure at least 3 11/16ths to keep with the slagcoin japanese layout distances.

Thoughts?

« Last Edit: January 05, 2020, 07:03:18 pm by vertexguy »

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Re: The Kline's Arcade - 4 player - first build, help needed!
« Reply #46 on: January 05, 2020, 06:34:08 pm »


Ok, here's my latest revision to the CP.  Please check my work and see if I'm missing anything.

This is a modification past my previous one to the "aircraft carrier" design.  Several things have changed that I think solve the problems a lot better.

- Overall the dimensions are the same as before (technically a hair less wide).  This should keep it fitting a standard 8x4 sheet...hopefully.
- Player 3 and 4 are angled and pushed as far down towards player 1/2 as possible.
- Button positioning / orientation and joysticks have moved a bit.
- All players should have enough room for a palm rest
- Viewing angle is maximized for Players 3 and 4.
- Plenty of room in between players for even more drastically bent elbows and people of various sizes.
- I keep just enough room for pinball buttons and pushed them down more so I can vertically stack them with an offset as I originally wanted.
- There's about a 6inch radius from the center of the trackball before you risk running into anything.  With a 3 inch ball that means 9 inches of motion.
- I still maintain a lip around the top of the CP, but it's reduced to 1/2 inch.
- Green lines between the joysticks and buttons measure at least 3 11/16ths to keep with the slagcoin japanese layout distances.

Thoughts?

Much better. P3 doesnít look like heís being punished anymore.
***Build what you dig, bro. Build what you dig.***

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Re: The Kline's Arcade - 4 player - first build, help needed!
« Reply #47 on: January 05, 2020, 06:46:02 pm »
Player 3 on the left it may not be a bad idea to move the buttons up.    When you sit and play at that position which I often do, itís nice to have the ability to rest your wrist or arm on the cp between you and player 1.  My first cp had the buttons for 3 and 4 closer to the edges but was thanked on my second build by people for having more room to rest arms and wrists.

Looks great though nice work!

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Re: The Kline's Arcade - 4 player - first build, help needed!
« Reply #48 on: January 05, 2020, 07:24:28 pm »
Player 3 on the left it may not be a bad idea to move the buttons up.    When you sit and play at that position which I often do, itís nice to have the ability to rest your wrist or arm on the cp between you and player 1.  My first cp had the buttons for 3 and 4 closer to the edges but was thanked on my second build by people for having more room to rest arms and wrists.

Looks great though nice work!

Good point - thatís why the standard Midway/Konami 4p panel is superior to any cut-corner job.
***Build what you dig, bro. Build what you dig.***

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Re: The Kline's Arcade - 4 player - first build, help needed!
« Reply #49 on: January 08, 2020, 11:52:16 am »
Player 3 on the left it may not be a bad idea to move the buttons up.    When you sit and play at that position which I often do, itís nice to have the ability to rest your wrist or arm on the cp between you and player 1.  My first cp had the buttons for 3 and 4 closer to the edges but was thanked on my second build by people for having more room to rest arms and wrists.

Looks great though nice work!

Thanks for the feedback dougan.  I double checked and sure enough my measurement was off.  Based on my test from the bottom first button center to the edge of the panel I'm going for at least 4.5" for a decent wrist rest.  The compromise of moving it further up the panel is changing the approach angle of the player and distance from the screen.  It's not a mile off or anything so I need to do a little bit of shuffling pushing it up some on ALL the players.  Next update today will fix all that and show the panel from multiple angles.

Side note, I'm also playing with some revision ideas on the artwork.  Really like some elements of The Grid project concept where the bottom artwork wraps around the sides.  Also testing out some concepts to make the characters even more cohesive in style and tie it all closer with a pixel theme.  The title of the cab may change too.  I had another idea in mind but we'll see.  I'm trying not to get TOO caught up in art right now as my plan is still to build the cab and do more physical play tests with the CP before I finalize artwork.

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Re: The Kline's Arcade - 4 player - first build, help needed!
« Reply #50 on: January 08, 2020, 04:31:50 pm »
On another note, have any other projects come up with a good way to add a ring light to the base of a spinner and a flight stick?  I have some concepts but love to see what others have done.

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Re: The Kline's Arcade - 4 player - first build, help needed!
« Reply #51 on: January 08, 2020, 05:18:53 pm »
Good point - thatís why the standard Midway/Konami 4p panel is superior to any cut-corner job.

 :stupid

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Re: The Kline's Arcade - 4 player - first build, help needed!
« Reply #52 on: January 20, 2020, 02:49:20 pm »
I've been playing around more with the control panel trying to test out positions as best I could digitally and decided it's time for some physical prototype testing.

First I went to home depot and picked up some of the extra heavy duty large boxes as these were conveniently 24" wide.  Two of those sides together will get me to the 48" width of the CP.  I don't think the single layer boxes they sell in similar size would have been strong enough to hold everything in place well.  My initial thought was to double up on the heavy layer for even better support.  I tried laying down hot glue but the surface area was too big.  By the time I had it reasonably covered, the glue was drying too fast.  I decided to roll with just the original thickness of the extra heavy cardboard and try it out.



After getting the boxes all cut into workable pieces I went back to my digital model to write down measurements from the outer edges to each button and joystick center point.  This was painfully slow and hard to make sure I was accurate.  Once I had a joystick and related button plotted for a player I decided to try to use the printed controller layout template to "speed things up".  This proved to be tricky as well.  Since you can't see through it, I found it hard to get it lined up properly with the starting points.  I also found that because the center holes were being marked with a not so great pencil, it left for roughly a 16th to an 8th of variability in the marks, which is problematic further down the road.




Initially I ended up using slightly too large of a forstner bit, which gave too much wiggle room to the buttons, making it harder to align them properly.  I also discovered that going slow with cardboard and power tools doesn't seem to work well.  It ended up tearing more of the edges and moving slightly out of alignment as I went.

After I found a smaller bit that was a much closer fit to the buttons I was using, I tried again on the second half of the panel.  This time I tried the drill at max speed before plunging in, and that seemed to work a lot better.

I also realized after starting to put in the controls that some of my measurements were off. :(  Simple things from my ruler sliding slightly over a large area can make for big problems.  The way I notated my measurements split between the panels also made it a little more confusing.  In a couple instances I measured from the wrong side of the CP edge which threw things off.  That's exactly why I wanted to start with some simple test runs though.  Hopefully as I keep going I can refine my process and avoid these mistakes by the time I get to the real construction.



Getting a way of propping this thing up at the proper height proved to be very challenging.  Fortunately between some kid toy storage furniture, additional plastic bins, and some wooden rail road tracks I was able to get it very close to the proper height (~38 1/4").

Then I did a bunch of position tests between myself and some of my kids.










After some quick measuring I realized that the side flaps on the box, when cut in half, were perfect for a bulky arm and the correct length to go from finger tip to elbow.  This let me make some simple test arms to attach, aligning based on my real arm positions.  Then I could physically test from the side positions for P3 and P4 more effectively.



I refined several things about the CP layout from these simple tests.  I may end up making one more CP from cardboard with the refined layout for practice and to be completely sure I like the adjustments.  I payed particular close attention to how easy it was for my youngest to reach the dedicated 4 way classic controls in the back center, as well as trying to come up with adjustments to allow more room for aggressive side to side movements with the trackball without whacking the P2 joystick.  My conclusion was that if I make the CP 2 inches deeper, I can move the trackball down and a little to the left and should have just enough clearance (if your arm is aligned with it) to where your finger tips just miss the P2 joystick with an aggressive move to the right.  I also moved player 1 and 2 up by a half inch I believe.

I looked at other games like Missile Command to see how much room was between their trackball and the right edge, and it wasn't a lot.  This adjustment gives more room.  A game like centipede. and most of the trackball centric games, seem to have the ball centered in the CP with a ton of room on either side.  Replicating that with this layout is tough, but I'm hoping these adjustments will do the trick.  I plan on making a working CP to test this theory soon.  It's games like Crystal Castles, Marble Madness, and Golden Tee that will require maximum agility.  I've looked at so many different custom panels. both 2 and 4 player and scratch my head every time when I see the trackball centered on the panel with less than 6 inches of space to the nearest joystick.  Not sure what games they plan on supporting with that limited space?


Next I wanted to focus more on the pinball controls.  If I'm going to bother to have them, I want it to feel right.  I used to have a ton of measurements from when I visited the Pinball Hall of Fame in Las Vegas to make the digital versions of the tables, but sadly don't think I have them anymore.  From what I could gather on google, the average width of the playfield should be around 22.5" wide.   As is the buttons would be 30" apart, which is doable for an adult but feels really wide and unnatural to a real table.  It's also not great for kids.  Given my adjustments and desire to be able to bring the trackball down more, it gave me an excuse to adjust these to be the proper distance.

Here you can see I've moved them inward so they are exactly 22.5" apart.  This feels pretty good.  Given the height I'm not sure I would comfortably wrap my hand around the side of the lower part of the panel to play, but if I simple free hang or use my thumbs as anchors on the top of the CP, it seemed like it would work well.  I may adjust these a bit more yet and go with an even vertical alignment on the buttons.



Digitally, this is what the CP would look like with all these new adjustments.




I may still play with the design a bit more too once I put it back on the arcade.  I'm trying to find an interesting shape that doesn't impact any of the layout requirements, and at the same time is hopefully something I can actually pull off.


Next steps for me is trying to figure out a way to get my TV at the correct height and angle so I can do some functional play tests and make sure I'm happy with the viewing angles for P3 and P4.

« Last Edit: January 20, 2020, 05:19:22 pm by vertexguy »

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Re: The Kline's Arcade - 4 player - first build, help needed!
« Reply #53 on: January 20, 2020, 02:57:39 pm »
I will say this - no one can accuse you of not doing your research! :cheers
***Build what you dig, bro. Build what you dig.***

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Re: The Kline's Arcade - 4 player - first build, help needed!
« Reply #54 on: January 20, 2020, 03:17:05 pm »
Fantastic prototyping.  This is exactly how it should be done!  Anything that has to do with human interfacing and ergonomics should be prototyped IRL before any wood is cut.
Good on you for doing this initial phase and getting the "focus group" involved.  :)

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Re: The Kline's Arcade - 4 player - first build, help needed!
« Reply #55 on: January 20, 2020, 05:15:35 pm »
Thanks guys.   ;D

One concern I've had even before extending the depth of the CP is the tip ratio.  I don't know how I can calculate this, but how do I know it wouldn't be easy for a person (or 4) to start to tip the cabinet during play if they're leaning into it or pushing down for some reason?



This ties into my idea for extending the CP with some sort of modular attachment base that I can strap down a steering wheel or analog flight stick to when needed.







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Re: The Kline's Arcade - 4 player - first build, help needed!
« Reply #56 on: January 20, 2020, 05:35:00 pm »
Thanks guys.   ;D

One concern I've had even before extending the depth of the CP is the tip ratio.  I don't know how I can calculate this, but how do I know it wouldn't be easy for a person (or 4) to start to tip the cabinet during play if they're leaning into it or pushing down for some reason?



This ties into my idea for extending the CP with some sort of modular attachment base that I can strap down a steering wheel or analog flight stick to when needed.



I wouldnít do that, especially with a thin cabinet. If youíre going to do that, strap it to the wall.
***Build what you dig, bro. Build what you dig.***

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Re: The Kline's Arcade - 4 player - first build, help needed!
« Reply #57 on: January 20, 2020, 05:58:42 pm »
^ agreed.

If youíre set on wanting swappable controls, Iíd figure out a solution for swapping the existing CP.
Molex connectors for quick disconnecting, maybe a latch solution for quickly pulling off the CP top.

Japanese sit-down cabinets ( New Astro City, Blast City, etc..) could be your inspiration here. They have detachable panels that are screwed to the housing and have AMP connectors for connecting the controls. I can swap a full panel in <5mins. 

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Re: The Kline's Arcade - 4 player - first build, help needed!
« Reply #58 on: January 21, 2020, 03:08:51 am »
...Given the height I'm not sure I would comfortably wrap my hand around the side of the lower part of the panel to play, but if I simple free hang or use my thumbs as anchors on the top of the CP, it seemed like it would work well.  I may adjust these a bit more yet and go with an even vertical alignment on the buttons.
Any chance a thumb hook of some sort above the pinball buttons would help? It would move the buttons in and down some, but might solve the free hang problem.

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Re: The Kline's Arcade - 4 player - first build, help needed!
« Reply #59 on: January 21, 2020, 09:12:54 am »
Love the cardboard mock-ups!  Prototyping the CP is essential, IMO.  Get it exactly how you think you want it then sleep on it for a few days and refine if necessary.  Do the same thing with the artwork once you get there.

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Re: The Kline's Arcade - 4 player - first build, help needed!
« Reply #60 on: January 23, 2020, 12:03:18 am »
I'd agree that's it's great that you are prototyping with the cardboard.  Nothing like feeling it out in IRL.  You are now butting up against what I believe is every Frankenpanel owners biggest challenge, balancing the many controls with the ergonomics/aesthetics/functionality of a design. 

I grappled with a lot of what you are going through, moving things all over the place. 

With regards to your question of tipping.  This took me a long while to figure out, but after awhile got clear.  Think of it as a teeter totter.  Your fulcrum point (teeter totter base), is your closest leg leveler/castor.  The further out you get from it the more leverage a person/child can apply weight and try to tip it over.  It's fine if the weight on the other side of that fulcrum is heavy (meaning you have more weight on the other side of the leg leveler/castor), however if your cab is light and the control panel sticks out far past your closest point on the ground then it becomes easier to tip.....

This leads to the next thought.  Although it may make sense to move that track ball further away from the joysticks to create clearance, it creates a lot more depth, and subsequently a greater probability of tipping.  In playing trackball games I can think of only one game that some people need the clearance to smack the trackball hard and need that, and that's Golden Tee.  Every other trackball game is more subtle movements, and I don't know if it's worth creating a whole control panel scheme based on that one game  :dunno.  The other option is to create a deeper cab (which originals were anyway), and then your fulcrum point gets pushed out and you can create more depth in your control panel and be covered.

Anyway good work on the research.  Keep it up.

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Re: The Kline's Arcade - 4 player - first build, help needed!
« Reply #61 on: January 24, 2020, 10:04:53 am »
If the machine ends up that front-heavy, you might also be able to counter-balance it with some removable weights on the inside. Something like a pair of 10lbs weight plates hanging on hooks on the back wall.

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Re: The Kline's Arcade - 4 player - first build, help needed!
« Reply #62 on: January 24, 2020, 10:14:52 am »
This is why, in addition to using CRTs, original arcade games were not thin profile. It doesn't do you much good to save space under the CP by overhanging it. Just extend the bottom half of the cab out further to support the CP better. As long as you don't extend past the CP it takes up the same amount of floor space. Look at an original TMNT cab. It is a 4 player cab that is 27 or 28 inches wide with the CP removed. You could sit on the CP and it will not tip even with the CRT removed.

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Re: The Kline's Arcade - 4 player - first build, help needed!
« Reply #63 on: January 24, 2020, 12:46:59 pm »
Thanks everyone for the thoughts on the tipping concern.  The counter balance to simply making everything bigger and heavier are some of my key restrictions in the original design requirements.

- I have to be able to fit it through 28" wide doors. (that's with doors removed)
- I have to be able to move it up and down my basement stairs by myself (with a dolly?).
- I'm trying to avoid having to completely take the thing apart to move it around. (otherwise screws and a lot of assembly time would solve most of this)

So step one was to make sure the CP can be removed fairly easily.
Given the width to fit the TV, and a desire for a little wiggle room on components so they can be swapped out easily down the road when they fail, that left me forced with 32"s wide from the front.  So to counter that and help keep it from looking so monstrously huge and get it through doors, I made the depth 24" in the current design.  That also makes both side panels nicely fit a 97x49 sheet of MDF.  Now I'm still considering a baltic birch option if I can find it and the price is right but that may also shrink my raw material size even more.  Originally I was hoping to get this all in 2 sheets but its looking more like 3 already.  Less concerned about total sheets as long as the wood cost isn't crazy.

So all that said, I'd be comfortable extending some of the base area depth out a couple inches for additional CP support if needed.  I'm just not sure that will make or break the tip factor.  I also assume others who have built slim 4 player cabinets haven't have a tipping problem because I haven't seen it called out.  If the design is flawed I'd sure like to catch it up front.

I did consider adding some sort of removable weight as an option.  It might still be a good idea to keep it portable but solve any balance concern?

It would be awesome if anyone reading with a slim 4 player cab could chime in on any tipping / wobble concerns!


As for the additional controller extension...I agree that really makes it look easily tipped.  I'm trying to avoid swapping out the CP entirely as kids definitely won't be doing that.  Might end up being an additional folding table of some kind they can quickly setup and plug the controller into the front USB ports.   :dunno



« Last Edit: January 24, 2020, 01:06:38 pm by vertexguy »

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Re: The Kline's Arcade - 4 player - first build, help needed!
« Reply #64 on: January 24, 2020, 08:52:01 pm »
Concerning moving it up or down steps, the "Bigfoot" hand truck from harbor freight rolls over stairs fairly well.
https://www.harborfreight.com/700-lb-Capacity-Bigfoot-Hand-Truck-62900.html


Concerning it tipping, just plan on anchoring it to the wall and call it good.  That's my $.02

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Re: The Kline's Arcade - 4 player - first build, help needed!
« Reply #65 on: January 27, 2020, 09:09:00 am »
Concerning moving it up or down steps, the "Bigfoot" hand truck from harbor freight rolls over stairs fairly well.
https://www.harborfreight.com/700-lb-Capacity-Bigfoot-Hand-Truck-62900.html


Concerning it tipping, just plan on anchoring it to the wall and call it good.  That's my $.02

I've got a dolly like that for moving cabinets around.  Works great and makes stairs a LOT easier.

Agreed on anchoring it to the wall to prevent tipping.  Someone would have to sit or pull on the CP to get it to come out of the wall if you anchor it properly.

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Re: The Kline's Arcade - 4 player - first build, help needed!
« Reply #66 on: February 18, 2020, 10:01:03 pm »
Been a while since an update, so here goes:

Surprisingly busy last couple of months for me, so to no surprise things didn't get done as fast as I'd hoped.   I did make some progress on research and refinement items with the CP and display.

A working prototype (sort of):



I'm not able to easily hook up the main controls on this with all the stuff I'm using underneath to hold it up at the moment, so I focused tests around the trackball, and viewing angles for the outer players.


After comparing the wiring harnesses that came with my joysticks I was a bit surprised to find the one I ordered off ebay came with a nice long 19.5" harness while the others I got from arcade renovations were only 11.5" long.   Neither of these will reach where the controller was going to be.  :/  I was hoping not to have to buy a heat gun and shrink tubing to extend wires.


The viewing angle from P4 isn't too bad.  This is me matching the angle of the CP top.


TRACKBALL TESTING!:
==============

I hooked this up and tested every major trackball game I could find.  So far I'm pleased with the results.  I think I only very lightly bumped the P2 joystick once as I was adjusting my play.  Games like Marble Madness and Crystal Castles worked well.  Even Golden Tee tested out great with no joystick collisions.  I come mighty close though so I think I would think twice before having less than about 5 inches of room from the edge of the ball in any given direction.  I also found that a less experienced player (like my youngest daughter) tended to bump the P2 stick a little more frequent with games like Marble Madness, but it wasn't a deal breaker.

The best feedback was all of my kids asking me when they could play more arcade games. :)

So with those tests in mind I'm going to make a few more tweaks to the model and probably not extend it out an additional 2 inches.  Not doing the extension poses some challenge with the pinball button placement though....so I've got some design work to do.

I was out of town this past weekend and managed to stop by a big indorr / outdoor arcade in Manitou Springs, CO that I've been to a few times now.  I wanted to look at a few more details in person and try to compare the feel on some of the joysticks (although they're all pretty warn out).


I looked at things like joystick height relative to the control panel top, and reminded myself what a true 4 way felt like.


Looked at distances on Centipede and trackball height.  Sadly it was the only trackball game I could find in the place.


Flightstick and Spinner reference.


An interesting coin slot mechanism on the CP.  Never seen this before...


I couldn't pass up a shot with Tron.  :)  Now I really take notice of how low the CP is.



Lastly, I just got in my order for the new Ultrastick 360 Flight Stick model.  I'm anxious to try this out as a better solution for analog games like Afterburner while hopefully working well for games like Tron as well.  Should fit perfectly where I had the mini grip stick.


Kind of hard figuring out next steps to stay productive but I'm going to continue with CP refinement and probably attempt to build that first before everything else.  Hopefully I can find time to make that happen soon.  I have a decent 3/4 inch ply sheet with some sort of white laminent from getting our kitchen overhauled that I might use as a test run.  That way if I mess up too much, it's really no loss and hopefully I can learn from it.  Maybe it'll even work as the final if it turns out and vinyl print sticks to it.



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Re: The Kline's Arcade - 4 player - first build, help needed!
« Reply #67 on: February 18, 2020, 11:57:42 pm »
Kind of hard figuring out next steps to stay productive but I'm going to continue with CP refinement and probably attempt to build that first before everything else.

Donít do it!!!  Many a great projects were killed cause the builder finished the control panel and started playing games.

Save the control panel for last!

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Re: The Kline's Arcade - 4 player - first build, help needed!
« Reply #68 on: February 29, 2020, 06:30:16 pm »
A few weeks ago when my brother in law stopped by, I showed him my prototype CP and let him play a few games with the trackball.  I noticed that he tended to use his finger tips at the center of the trackball and occasionally rested his wrist just below the ball.  This worked with the initial prototype layout but wouldn't be possible if I moved the trackball down further like I was contemplating.  At least you would be losing a wrist rest there...

This leads me to the question:

To those who play trackball games, what is your typical play style?
Vote TB 1. Fingertips on the center area of the ball with your wrist sometimes or always resting just below the ball
Vote TB 2. Palm rested on the center of the ball utilizing more arm movement
Vote TB 3 Some mix of the two depending on the game
Vote TB 4 Some other technique (Please Describe)

I found myself using more of my palms for games like Marble Madness and Golden Tee.


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Re: The Kline's Arcade - 4 player - first build, help needed!
« Reply #69 on: February 29, 2020, 07:57:11 pm »
TB 1
***Build what you dig, bro. Build what you dig.***

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Re: The Kline's Arcade - 4 player - first build, help needed!
« Reply #70 on: February 29, 2020, 09:21:55 pm »
Agreed TB1, at least thatís how I play all track ball games except Golden Tee.  For that one I place the fingers on the top part of the support plate and use my thumbs to generate the power.

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Re: The Kline's Arcade - 4 player - first build, help needed!
« Reply #71 on: March 01, 2020, 04:35:18 pm »
TB1, except the fling games. (but I wouldn't quite call those TB2)

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Re: The Kline's Arcade - 4 player - first build, help needed!
« Reply #72 on: March 16, 2020, 02:33:37 pm »
I placed another order for some more electrical accessories and a heat gun.  Time for some woodworking questions I haven't fully solved in my designs yet. 

I need all you drawer and cabinet maker experts advise.

The front coin door section is intended to have a drawer above it, and the lower half is a larger cabinet door for storage / easier access to accessories like steering wheels / pedals / pc access when I get there.

I've not yet figured out how to make these accessible without an exposed door handle, and not rely on magnets that will probably lose grab over time.  I'm trying to keep it feeling as much like a legit front of an arcade as possible.  The drawer above is to house the keyboard / mouse, which won't be used often, BUT it will also house USb controllers that will get used a lot... so it validates the need more in my eyes.

The idea I had for the main front door was to leave about a 1/2 inch lip at the bottom which would meet up with the base of the cabinet, so it can be colored the same to help hide it and given its on the ground it's less noticeable.  I thought MAYBE I could pull on that easily enough to open and close it with some sort of stiff pull hinges.  Needs to be somewhat kid friendly too.  I'd also like to figure out a locking mechanism so it doesn't flop open in transport

Similar deal with the top sliding drawer.  I have the slides already but am not sure how I can hide a handle.  I figure this drawer will get a lot more action then the bottom cabinet drawer so it should be built to last and kid friendly.  Also not sure how I can have some sort of lock to keep it in place during transport.

Any suggestions?

« Last Edit: March 16, 2020, 04:58:19 pm by vertexguy »

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Re: The Kline's Arcade - 4 player - first build, help needed!
« Reply #73 on: March 16, 2020, 02:40:00 pm »
Quote
and not rely on magnets that will probably lose grab over time

Do you plan on passing this cabinet along for like 1000 generations?

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Re: The Kline's Arcade - 4 player - first build, help needed!
« Reply #74 on: March 16, 2020, 02:44:38 pm »
Quote
and not rely on magnets that will probably lose grab over time

Do you plan on passing this cabinet along for like 1000 generations?

Maybe? :)  I've only ever experienced cheap magnet doors on entertainment centers and haven't been impressed with their grab.  The other consideration is the weight of the door with the coin door on it.  If magnets are viable with a better quality part I'm all ears.... although lasting less than 1000 years could be a deal breaker. ;)




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Re: The Kline's Arcade - 4 player - first build, help needed!
« Reply #75 on: March 16, 2020, 02:48:09 pm »
I use rare earth magnets to hold oak plaques to a steel wall. They have great holding power.

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Re: The Kline's Arcade - 4 player - first build, help needed!
« Reply #76 on: March 16, 2020, 04:18:11 pm »
Mostly TB1 but sometimes TB2 for games like Missile Command.

Opinion:  You're trying to cram too many things on 1 control panel.

Why the extra joystick and buttons in the middle next to the spinner?

I would make P2 and P3 have 6 buttons each, move P3 joystick more to the right and put 2 buttons to the right of the trackball for trackball games.

Remove the joystick in the middle which is next to the spinner and the buttons and only put 2 buttons next to the spinner for games like Tempest, Archanoid, etc.



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Re: The Kline's Arcade - 4 player - first build, help needed!
« Reply #77 on: March 23, 2020, 12:09:31 pm »
Why the extra joystick and buttons in the middle next to the spinner?
Dedicated 4 way controller for more authentic feel on classic games.

I would make P2 and P3 have 6 buttons each, move P3 joystick more to the right and put 2 buttons to the right of the trackball for trackball games.
Why would Player 3 need 6 buttons?  What arcade game would utilize it?


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Re: The Kline's Arcade - 4 player - first build, help needed!
« Reply #78 on: March 23, 2020, 12:21:08 pm »
Bumping my current questions about hidden drawers and cabinets: 
Maybe there's another build link someone can point me to where someone did something similar?

http://forum.arcadecontrols.com/index.php/topic,161694.msg1709769.html#msg1709769

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Re: The Kline's Arcade - 4 player - first build, help needed!
« Reply #79 on: March 23, 2020, 12:33:55 pm »
Hinge the front panel on one side. Latch it shut with a control panel latch on the other side, inside the cab.

You can reach in through the coin door to unlatch it.

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Re: The Kline's Arcade - 4 player - first build, help needed!
« Reply #80 on: March 24, 2020, 01:06:55 pm »
I made a 4 player pedestal with a similar layout to your CP. I use the pinball buttons all the time. Desktop VPX is amazing!

My main issue is that my kids are polygon snobs. Generally, they don't go for 2D games with digital controls. And they like new games. They are 9 and 13 years old, so maybe that will change, or maybe they won't embrace retro until they're my age and it will be Switch games or PS2 for my son, since that is one of his favorite consoles.

If you want to get a sense of how much room there is for each player, on the 3rd page of the build thread, there is a picture with 4 kids playing the Simpsons arcade.

I've been very satisfied with the layout of my aircraft carrier, although its large and multipurpose design isn't for everyone. I'm typing on it right now to make this post. Yep, it's also a desk. With the width of the peninsula matching the width of a pinball machine, I can easily type on a full-sized keyboard and have room to rest my wrists.

When he's not on the couch across the room, my son often puts his feet up on the deck while he's playing games on PS3 or on Steam with wireless controllers. Even  though the arcade controls are the least used part of the whole project, I'm just glad it gets used, one way or another, because it seems like only people of a narrow age range want to play arcade games at all, minus playing maybe a few minutes of Frogger or some other classic.

http://forum.arcadecontrols.com/index.php/topic,154133.0.html

Good luck with finishing your project! It looks really good so far.

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Re: The Kline's Arcade - 4 player - first build, help needed!
« Reply #81 on: March 29, 2020, 05:09:23 pm »
Here's a very minor update.  I ordered a heat gun and tubing since it became clear that I would inevitably need to extend wiring harnesses for the controls to properly reach the ipac on a 4 player cab.  I'm not very good with a soldering iron, but hoping I can watch a few videos and improve enough to twist, solder, and cover the wires properly for a good extension.  This gun seemed reasonably priced with decent reviews...hopefully it ends up working well.  From my research online it seemed like it made the most sense to buy 3/32" heat shrink tubing as this would cover the bases for 18 and 22 gauge wire used in the project.  Got a 100 foot roll so assume I should have plenty to spare.




I thought I might have more opportunity to work on this given all the forced staying at home for the corona pandemic, but it's actually been the opposite.  I've been working longer hours and we have really big initiatives still trying to kick off.  :dunno

I've been bouncing between different aspects of the project trying to solve outlier things in the design and also experimenting with new themes and names for the cabinet.  Might make a few more mods to the side shape of the design too.

Just for fun, here was a really early design I did over a year ago with a slightly different color schema and shapes instead of detailed graphics.  I liked aspects of it.




@Mike A:  I'm considering your suggestion for hiding the main cabinet door handle with a hidden latch accessed through the coin door.  That of course means I have to leave the key out for the door and leave it in.  Only concern there is the younger kids misplacing or bending the key.  Assuming you can easily get those keys copied I might go that route and keep a spare elsewhere in the cab.


Meanwhile here's a bunch more questions in topics for people to chime in on.

==================
HIDDEN SLIDE DRAWER
==================

Still not sure how I make a handleless slide drawer work.

==============
TV MOUNT
==============

With the TV mount, I was hoping to avoid having to buy an actual TV mount.  All of them seem to be designed to drop and hook into place, letting gravity help keep the TV in place on the wall.  That seemed to present a problem where it could potentially slide off during transportation if the cabs on it's side and say bumping up and and down stairs.  I was looking to simply fabricate my own mount from wood that would have the ease of hanging to get it mounted correctly or removed easily, but also be bolted down so it can bump around in any direction without ever moving.  I think my design for this is sound but the only unknown for me is where I get the proper length / size screws to go into the back of the TV, and how I fit those onto the wood mount.  What have others done?




===========================
BEZEL WITH MINIMALLY VISIBLE SCREWS
===========================

My idea for this was to have plexi resting on wood braces on the sides, and have a small rabbit hole at the base that it sits in.  At the top I would have a small thumb screw on the large side panels that sticks out just enough to hold the plexi in place up top.  Underneath the thumb screw I would tuck a thin strip of material that's attached to the back of the plexi to work as a hidden pull tab once the thumb screw is removed.  The idea here is that I can very quickly remove the plexi (say weekly) to clean it as necessary without much hassle.  If someone has a better solution and a way to be screw free, that would be even better.

===========================
Light Gun Sensor
===========================

I haven't yet figured out how I'm going to mount this.  It doesn't have a case so it just "sits" on something.  Obviously I want it anchored somehow and am not sure if this will work through a tinted / painted plexi bezel or what my best option is to hide it.  I was thinking some sort of hanging metal or wood mount coming down from the speaker area just above the TV to anchor it to, all behind the bezel.

===========================
Marquee With Hidden Screws
===========================
 
Another thing to solve was not having any visible screws on the bottom metal angle bracket holding the marquee.  Every arcade in the real world seems to have at least 2 screws holding this in place.  While I guess it's not critical, it would be cool if I can keep the no visible screw theme in tact and figure out a way to anchor this in place.  The bottom would never need to move again.  The top will have screws to service it as those are high enough up and out of the way to not matter.  Plus there will be other service screws up top anyway.  Also what is the right kind of screw to hold this in place, and do I need some sort of threaded insert for every screw I plan on making a service point?




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Re: The Kline's Arcade - 4 player - first build, help needed!
« Reply #83 on: March 30, 2020, 06:17:15 am »
You should fine that Pyle TV's will take M8 Bolts 40mm  (Maybe 50mm) High Tensile should do the job nicely. Just drill corresponding vesa mounting holes in the mounting board and mount through the wood, If you are using 3/4 inch for the mount it will hold with no issues.

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Re: The Kline's Arcade - 4 player - first build, help needed!
« Reply #84 on: May 06, 2020, 12:14:53 am »
Thanks MikeA an Drnick for the links and advice.  Still got plenty of outstanding questions up there for any takers!

Been very slow going the past few months, but I had to try to make some progress somewhere.  I ordered some new soldering iron tips from Radio Shack because the one I had didn't seem to be working well anymore.  Once those came in I quickly realize that regardless of having a new tip, I still am not very good at soldering!  I decided to try and get my PC power switch converted over to the external light up switch I purchased as what I hoped would be a simple endeavor one day.  However, to no surprise I ran into all kinds of challenges with it.

First I made some rookie mistakes by immediately jumping to soldering on wires confidently trusting everything would be ok.  Boy was I wrong.  Then because I decided to wrap the wires inside the holes of the prong and loop them around before heavily covering them in solder, I had a heck of a time figuring out a way to get them back out.  Turns out my micro flat head screwdriver was helpful because the solder wouldn't stick to it well and I could use that to try to slowly pry and unwrap the wire while keeping the iron on it with the other hand.  Also learned you gotta be more careful with hot solder flying around.  All that tugging flicked some hot specs back at me, causing me to flinch and drop the iron.  Fortunately the iron landed on something metal instead of the carpet. :)  The other big mistake I made was trying to pry a big excess glob of solder off one of the prongs sticking out of the back of the PC power switch board.  Turns out that solder holds pretty tight and I took the prong off with it.  :)  So.... then I had to create a make shift solder connection point with the bottom metal pad that was now exposed on the board.  After managing to get the two wires connected to the bottom of the board, I was finally read to try to do some connection tests and make sure all was good before making anything more perminent.

I was given a wiring diagram online from the seller of the switch and it seemed pretty straight forward, so I thought it would all just work.  However, after many tests I quickly realized that I could manage to get the button to light up, but that was about it.

After a lot of time thinking about it and going for a walk, I came back and decided to start trying other combinations of connections to see if I could get it to work.  In order to do this, I needed to make some additional wire connections based on the original diagram.  Fortunately I have some solid core #22 gauge wire I mistakenly ordered years back thinking it was stranded, and decided to use some of that to make some crude additional jumpers I could bend on and off to test.  This actually worked, and after studying it a bit more and trying different combos, I FINALLY found one that worked!  I still don't quite understand why it's so different than the diagram I was given.  My only guess is maybe it will work different if I have a separate power source like the diagram wants?  Any electronic wizards wanna shed some light on that for me?








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Re: The Kline's Arcade - 4 player - first build, help needed!
« Reply #85 on: July 19, 2020, 04:50:24 pm »
Itís finally time for an update!  I took a big leap and started working with wood and power tools at one point.  Itís a long one so Iíll break up the posting.  Hereís the updated journeyÖ

Weíll start with something technical on the programmer side.  One of the many tasks left ahead of me was to easily translate my 3d model work into real world measurements to replicate.  The problem is, the version of 3d studio max I have has very primitive measuring tools that take a lot of steps to manually setup and adjust.  Furthermore, thereís no easy way to export all those measurements to a document to print.  This makes iterating a lot slower.  Itís as if they donít want you to make anything in the real world unless you buy autoCAD.   :angry:  I also didnít want to rely on making giant print outs to avoid additional cost and potentially new problems.  Since this was around the start of things shutting down for COVID, I also needed something that I could do myself in isolation.

My solution was to bite the bullet and re-learn enough MaxScript to write my own automatic tool within the software.  I wanted to simply be able to specify an ďoriginĒ point to start all my measurements from, select what I wanted included in the measuring, and then have the system automatically generate all of them in a print friendly format, and provide a visual map for reference.  MaxScript has always been challenging because of odd syntax and the documentation for it is pretty bad.  It took a day or so but I was able to find enough examples of different core functions to stitch together what I wanted, and make it flexible in some areas.
The result looks something like this:





I want accuracy down to 1/32 of an inch with everything but since none of my big rulers have 32nds, I wanted it represented as a decimal value on a 16th.  This way I donít have to worry about getting confused with conversions and making more mistakes when measuring and plotting it in real lifeÖ or at least thatís the hope.  I created a threshold for the decimal to round down, round to a 32nd or round up.  Technically with the way I built it I can pretty easily swap to something else like 64ths or metric.  If anyone is interested in this script, let me know.  I find it pretty handy.

Next I wanted to test out my new measurements in action.  Since I had modified a bunch on my CP layout from the first cardboard prototype I did, I made another one to test it.

Hereís the result:



It turns out there were a few errors, but not because of my tool! Rather I guess precision measuring and doing this late at night with my brother in laws help over Memorial Day weekend was a flawed combo.  You can see that the Player 2 controls are about an inch higher up than they should be.  Couple other random mistakes elsewhere too.



Despite those minor setbacks, I was still able to do some good tests to validate the changes I made.
First checking arm positions to make sure we have good elbow room.




All good, and no need to push the outer players too close to the screen or at a hard 90 degree angle to everyone else.  The viewing angle is the same from the previous test, so I didnít need to put up a monitor again.
Made sure the trackball has just the right amount of wrist rest room for precision play, plus still has enough room for a strong whack in any direction without hitting a joystick.

 


The flightstick sits comfortably in between the P2 joystick and buttons so even with your wrist and arm resting, youíre not hitting anything.



The spinner sits in comfortable reach relative to the flightstick and the 3 buttons for alternate 4 way player 1 controls.



The 4 way alternate player 1 joystick can be comfortably grabbed with plenty of wrist rest room without hitting other buttons.



The Player 3 and Player 4 controls have just enough wrist rest, and have angle cut edges to minimize their profile.




The pinball buttons have the proper distance from the edge of the CP to reach both the top and bottom buttons, with arc of motion considered between them.




Lastly the spacing between the outer edges that contain the pinball buttons are exactly 22.5 inches apart to match average real world pinball table sizes.  Most other CP designs Iíve seen tend to push these out quite a bit wider.

I also tested a few small things in this layout, like a slight angle turn to the P1 / P2 buttons to see if I liked it better and if it helped arm space any.  I believe I ended up reverting that idea.

« Last Edit: July 20, 2020, 11:35:56 am by vertexguy »

vertexguy

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Re: The Kline's Arcade - 4 player - first build, help needed!
« Reply #86 on: July 19, 2020, 04:54:46 pm »
Once I was as happy as one can be with a cardboard prototype, I decided itís time to put on my big boy pants and start cutting some wood!
Fair warning, Iím a total noob at this stuff, so this is going to be an interesting learning process.  I have a good sized piece of ĺĒ ply with some kind of finish on it left over from our kitchen remodel.  I figured this would be a great way to test building out the CP.  If it works itís presumably a decent quality ply so I could probably just roll with it.  If not, not a big deal.



I decided to mark several test cuts beyond the length I needed for the CP so I could get used to the tools a little first.



As you can see, I had some problems.  Oddly enough in this example I tried using a 2x4 as a fence with a jigsaw.  I had issues with the blade bending as I went after about half way through so I wasnít getting a nice 90 degree edge.  I also may have been pushing too hard against the fence?  Somehow between that and perhaps a measurement that was somehow off, I noticed when I got to the end of the cut that I wasnít lined up with my other tick mark.  I then tried cutting from the opposite direction to finish it off and avoid chipping at the ends, and this was the result.  Yuk!

I eventually got a better cut with the jigsaw just free handing it.  Still some wobble though.  My last attempt I switched to the skill saw and used that for my edge cut to get it down to the proper CP size.  That came out pretty straight freehand, and was probably the best of all cuts.  Still not what I was hoping for.  Definitely need more practice.
Next up, I decided to utilize some of the small MDF pieces I got a long time back to start testing out control panel buttons.  I wanted to practice drilling straight, which is a lot harder than is sounds, and then work my way to building out my test joystick ring glow design, which would require a lot more tools and materials, including using the router for the first time.
I decided to try fast tracking the measuring with a print out to see how well it would hold up if only taped tightly at the edges with some scotch tape.



Surprisingly it held up pretty wellÖ but you wanna make sure you start drilling at a high speed or it can tear and pull pretty easily.


One thing I forgot but wasnít too concerned with was the blow out damage on the other side doing it this way.  For the real deal Iíll make sure Iím drilling with a scrap piece of wood tightly under it to avoid this.


« Last Edit: July 19, 2020, 07:10:13 pm by vertexguy »

vertexguy

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Re: The Kline's Arcade - 4 player - first build, help needed!
« Reply #87 on: July 19, 2020, 05:00:13 pm »
Next up I wanted to try an experiment with a sheet of Lexan I got from Lowes.  Iíve seen others use a thick tube of polycarbonate for this, but when I searched and couldnít find anything less than 40-50 bucks for a small tube, I opted to try another way with a 5 dollar sheet.



  I also have this vision in my head of a slightly different look.  Iím not going for a glowing hole.  I want a nice vibrantly lit up ring under my joysticks.  I also want the top of it to be nice and smooth, crystal clear to give off a nice spectral highlight.

So I found a cheap holesaw set at Harbor Freight that had enough increments to help me create the size needed for the task.
The first go at it shows it creates some rough edges that need to be fixed up.



I think this was a combination of me cutting it too fast and pushing too much alone with some drill wobble.  I intentionally left the cover plastic on the lexan sheet to help protect it from scratches during all this, so that adds to the edge mess too.

I used a file of a finer grit to carefully work the edges down, which took a fair amount of time.  I had to bend the edges back and forth a bit too before it would snap off the excess.  When all is said and done, I got a decent clear ring out of it.



Next I got out my sander. And used a 120 grit (finest I had) to test out making a frosted version that would hopefully diffuse the light a little better.



Here you can see them stacked with the clear ring on top.



More on this a little laterÖ
« Last Edit: July 20, 2020, 11:46:03 am by vertexguy »

vertexguy

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Re: The Kline's Arcade - 4 player - first build, help needed!
« Reply #88 on: July 19, 2020, 05:06:47 pm »
Next Iíll backtrack a tiny bit because I want to cover all the wirework and knowledge of tools and process there in order to extend the wiring from the short LED wires (that are only 26 gauge) to longer harnesses that plug into the PacLED64.  There was a lot to learn here too.  If you know all about this stuff, skip forward, but Iíll probably reference this many times myself as a reminder.
First we need dupont connectors.  I had no idea thatís what these things were called until I got into this arcade project.  Even when I ordered a dupont kit and opened it up, I wasnít sure what all I was looking at.  They come attached to a strip of metal in a long roll.  You break them off like this.



As a side note, Scott was kind enough to PM me these notes about the metal roll after I posted.  I will try this process the next time I crimp and see how it goes.

"Actually, that "pins on a roll" setup is designed for you to cut through the center of the rectangular holes parallel to the pin so you end up with a piece of roll and a pin that look like a T.

The metal roll acts as a depth gauge while crimping.
- Insert the pin into the crimper until the roll is against the side of the die and you're at the right depth.

The roll also provides a handle outside the crimp die jaws for keeping the pin and wire properly aligned.  Changing your grip can cause the wire to shift.
- Use your left thumb and index finger to pinch the wire to the roll at the correct depth in the pin.
- Insert the pin and wire into the die.
- Crimp with your right hand.

After the crimp is completed, that's when you break the roll off the pin.   :cheers:


Scott
"

Here I thought the roll was just part of the manufacturing process to dispense them in rolls.  Cheers Scoot!  So that approach will help with proper alignment of the pin in the crimping tool.  I'll be trying this next time I crimp.


The wire you plan on connecting it to only needs a little bit exposed.  More specifically, just enough to reach the end of the second split metal ring that will be crimped down to grab it.  In this photo, you see the proper length in line with the dupont connector above it. 



The pointy wing like metal tips on the left end of the dupont connector are meant to grab the wire shielding, then just a little further to the right you see metal arcs on the top and bottom that are meant to pinch together to grab the bare wire.   According to everything I read online, you donít want your wire to extend beyond this.

Next we put the dupont connector in our crimping tool that supports this type of connector.  On mine itís the #3 spot. 

Thereís an important lesson coming up with how itís placed in the tool.  Start orienting the dupont connector as shown in the tool, then tighten it down just enough so you can still move the connector within the tool, but it wonít easily slip out.





Now we have a quick example of what NOT to do.  I missed a step with the tool and shoved the wire in and went to crimp too quickly. DOH!





Here you can see the insulation around the wire is too far to the right, pushing into the metal thatís supposed to be grabbing just bare wire.  I also noted that the dupont connector as a whole was now slightly bent.  Clearly something wasnít rightÖ. Then I rememberedÖ

Back to the correct way!

When you put the connector in the tool, you want to PULL it away from the edge and thereís a little notch inside the tool that will stop it from coming all the way out.



Notice the difference?  Itís not lined up with the edge of the tool anymore like my previous photo showed.  This step is important!
The other thing I realized is that it can be easy to shove the wire in too far from that side.  So, once I had the connector hitting the notch, I flipped the tool when inserting the wire so you can see the end of the wire coming through and make sure it doesnít go past the split metal ring part thatís meant to grab it.



The result is a perfect dupont crimp! Yay!  Only about 99,999 more of these to go!



Here was another point I messed up routinely.  DO NOT forget to add your heat shrink tubing at this point or you will end up having no way to get it back on your wire with parts at each end.
The next part of the process is to use a 1x4 housing (not sure what these are called) to hold the dupont pin in the proper place and complete the wiring harness.  This is as easy and inserting the dupont pin into the correct end of the plastic adapter and the little plastic tabs further down it will push out as the pin enters and then snap back to hold it in place.



If you screw up and forget your heat shrink tubing like I did, you can use a tiny flat head screw driver to GENTLY lift those tabs and pull the dupont pin back out.
For this test I wanted to build 2 long harnesses that should work for anywhere on my CP without knowing the exact measurements.  This way Its more than just a test harness and saves on parts.  Technically the PacLED 64 comes with 4 long harness connectors that I could have used, but since this is a tiny test I just wanted to use a small adapter from the dupont set I bought.
Thatís it.  You should not need to add solder anywhere in this process because the crimping is plenty when done right.

The other end of my wires needed to be spliced together to the LED.  In order to do that, first I needed to build myself a little helping hands tool.  I had been looking at these online and reading reviews and all of them seemed to be rather cheaply made and seemingly easy to knock over.  I had bought an alligator clip set a while back just in case, and decided this would be a big part of my solution.  The real trick was finding ďarmsĒ for it that would be strong enough but also bendable.  What I came up with was using this metal strip stuff I got for anchoring my old wooden fence around my house to metal stakes.  When double layered, itís pretty strong but still bendable.  The alligator clips have a little screw on them so that worked perfect to anchor them to the ends.  The other end of the arm just gets screwed into a block of wood.
Hereís the result:



I added some electrical tape around the alligator clips to soften their grib a bit.  As is they were a little too strong and pierced the wiring insulation too much.
In this case I had to connect a 26 gauge wire to a 22 gauge.  That was a bit challenging.  My first attempt without any help was to just do a classic twist of the two wires and fold it over.  I also added some solder.  Apparently there are better ways to do this, which Iíll cover.



After doing some research I found the Nasa grade approach, or Linemanís splice.  While I know Iím not doing it quite right up to the full Nasa standard, and thatís probably a bit excessive anyway, I was able to find a quick twist method that seems to work well.  Just make an X with your wires.  Hold the bottom right of the X straight while bending the top of the X to a 90 degree angle relative to the bottom X.  Then coil it as tightly as you can around the bottom of the X, making at least 2 complete loops.  Then repeat for the left side.



Again this is by no means full quality Nasa standard, but when done, you should be able to tug on both wires a bit and not have them pull apart.  The next step is coating them with a healthy amount of solder on all sides.



This looks better!

Now onto the heat shrink tubing.  I used a mark on a board outside to line up the center of the bare wire as a reference point. 



Then pull the heat shrink tubing over it with equal amounts to either side of that center line.



Next hit it with a heat gun.  For mine it seems to work well with the dial control on setting 3 and the switch turned onto setting 2.   BEGINNING TIP:  When you first get a brand new heat gun, it likely won't warn you about this anywhere on the box or in the instructions, but I found out the hard way it will start smoking A LOT.  Best explanation I found was that it's residual oils from the factory burning off the heating element.  This is why you shouldn't use it in doors unless you want your fire alarms going off. :)



I also had an attachment on the front of the gun to narrow the air flow to a more appropriate size for wiring.  Hit it with that for a few seconds and youíll see the tubing shrunk around it tight.

Thatís it.



« Last Edit: July 20, 2020, 05:54:12 pm by vertexguy »

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Re: The Kline's Arcade - 4 player - first build, help needed!
« Reply #89 on: July 19, 2020, 05:08:00 pm »
The next thing I wanted to try was seeing the difference between 5v and 12v on the Leds.  Everything I read indicated that my Leds are meant to be run at 12v, but the problem is the PacLED 64 runs at 5v.  I spoke with Andy from Ultimarc about this a while back and he told me despite some other posts on this board indicating otherwise, the PacLED 64 can be run at 12v safely without any problems.  All I had to do was alter the molex plug to pull from the 12v wire on the computer instead of the 5v.

I found a neat trick online for getting molex cables apart.  Like the dupont connectors, they use a pinching mechanism (this time on the metal pins) that expands to catch the plastic connector and hold everything in place.  The trick with these is that you canít access them easily like a dupont connector.  You need something very thin yet pretty strong to wedge in between the pin you want to remove and the plastic housing to depress the tab and pull it free. 

The solution was to use 2 staples from my stable gun.  Bend them into an L shape and that gives you a pointy end to push into the molex plug by the pin, while providing a flat surface at the other end of the L shape to push in. 



Push one staple in on each side of the pin you want to remove.  Look carefully at the pin to make sure you line up with the little tabs holding it in.  These go in on the side of the molex connector that plugs into something, not the side the wires are leading into. 



I used magnifying glasses for soldering so I could more easily see the little metal tabs on each pin and line up the staples.  You give them a good push to really wedge them in there and then the metal pin should pull right out without much effort.



In this process you may end up bending the little tab on the metal molex pin too far in (which you can see in the above photo), so you go to plug it back into a slot and it won't stay.  If that happens, just use the staple, this time putting it on the INSIDE hole of the pin and put slight pressure on the end of the tab to bend it back outwards.  When done, the tabs on the pin will look like little wings sticking out a tiny bit, kinda like a V shape.  That prevents you from being able to pull it out backwards.

I did this process with a Y splitter molex plug I had lying around so I wouldnít risk messing anything up on something important.  Once done, I labeled that Y splitter as 12V LED on the end where I switched the wiring around.  Then I could easily plug 1 end into the computer, and swap the Y end between 5v and 12v that goes to the PacLED 64.  You wouldn't want to leave this cable lying around unlabeled and forget what it was meant for and try to use it for something else in your computer.  You would be sending the wrong voltage and bad things may happen.




« Last Edit: July 20, 2020, 05:59:03 pm by vertexguy »

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Re: The Kline's Arcade - 4 player - first build, help needed!
« Reply #90 on: July 19, 2020, 05:11:49 pm »
Next up, I realize I needed to do more research on Router basics before I attempted the next part of the process with wood.  Since I couldnít wait to try out the ring light and LEDs, I threw together a quick cardboard prototype of it.
Hereís the underside where I experimented with some tin foil and tape to hold things in place.  I put some tape around the rings as well to hold them in, so thatís noticeable in the result along with rough cardboard edges.  I used a sharpie on the cardboard to help give it a more authentic end result look.



Here it is from the top:



And with the joystick assembled:



Not bad.  However I will note that I spent a good hour messing with settings on my phones camera and found some interesting things out about it.  First, no matter what I did, it over exposes the glowÖmeaning itís a lot subtler than this.  I also noticed that the camera failed to correctly represent some of the colors as they cycled from Red to Green to Blue to White.  Green in particular came out far more blue.  Once I hooked up the software to control my PacLED 64 from the computer and test other color combos, I found other mismatches too.  I guess the important thing Iím pointing out is that when you see photos of lit up stuff on these forms, itís hard to trust the camera accuracy.

I wanted to make sure the center of the stick stays nice and black, and the ring itself isnít as thick as the hole / CP thickness as well.  This helps give it kind of an ďeclipseĒ button style. But in joystick form.

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Re: The Kline's Arcade - 4 player - first build, help needed!
« Reply #91 on: July 19, 2020, 05:21:18 pm »
After some additional help on the board here with router bit questions, I realized I had ordered the wrong bits for the type of work I needed to do (I have 3 flush trim bits)Ö bummer.  So after a trip to Lowes, I bought a new mortising / straight router bit that should do fine for the bulk of the work needed.  It was about 20 bucks.



As others have stated, I strongly recommend watching a lot of basic tutorials on handling a router for safety first.  These things are very loud and powerful.  Iím a bit shocked they donít have a safer on / off mechanism.  Mine is really hard to reach when the router is on and youíre trying to hold it steady and flip it back off.  Thereís also clearly techniques to be understood with using them to get good results and not have it catch the wood and bounce back on you, which could be dangerous.

One of the challenges I immediately saw using the router was being able to actually SEE what I was cutting.  The back side of it has a plastic cover to catch debris and allow you to see the cutting area.  However, this window almost instantly becomes foggy and covered with dust, making it worthless.  I found myself leaning to look at the front opening of the router, where again, debris likes to fly out.  By not having plastic there I could at least see the blade a little more clearly.
Another important note, wear good protective eye glasses and use a mask!  I was cutting ĺ MDF in these tests and it makes a TON of super fine dust that gets everywhere and is apparently toxic.  Iím also doing all this stuff outside to have a little better air flow.


The next step was to get the right depth for the cuts. 



I did a mix of drawing stuff out on paper, and then eventually moving it into 3d to figure out how to make this complex channeling work.  A consideration with my design is that I need room underneath for the black dust cover to be able to move around freely, while providing a closed surface to mount the joystick too.  From the top I wanted a hole just big enough to fit my plastic rings and hold them in place with glue and perhaps a tiny wood ledge. 

This top hole is challenging because I donít necessarily have the exact size bit to make this happen.  My rings are custom fabrications of a somewhat odd size.  I purchased a forstner bit set online with a lot of different small metric sizes.  In this case I needed my biggest bit which seems very close to the right size.

Once I knew the right depths for everything from the 3d model, I needed to set the proper depth of cut on the router.  For this I put a ruler straight against the edge of it next the blade and slowly went back and forth adjusting the height until it looked to be exactly what I needed.  Then for further precise confirmation, I made a tiny test cut on the side of the panel to check the depth.  This gives me an easy thing to put a ruler flush against and verify itís the perfect depth.



I highly recommend doing this on some scrap wood before you attempt anything on your real wood for the project.
I marked up the wood CP with pencil on the bottom.  This was again way too hard to see with all the dust from the router during a cut, so I decided to try filling in all the areas I wanted to remove with a red sharpie.  This helped.



I tried my best to make straight cuts, but again, even with red sharpie helping, it still gets really dusty fast and is hard to see and move the router blade in a super straight manner standing in an awkward position to see things.  I imagine I could setup some sort of fencing around the area to push the router against to force more of a straight cut.  I guess this depends on what you care about since no one will ever see this but a person servicing the panel.  I like to do my best everywhere thoughÖ so Iíll probably revisit this.



Another issue I ran into with drilling holes was that these forstner bits donít like to stay nice and centered.  They tend to wander quite a bit when you start a cut with them touching the wood.  To try to help force a straighter cut, I tried making a template with some ĺ MDF.  The theory being that if I just plug into it at full speed and make one perfect hole, all my other holes will be made with this template on top, which will keep the bit from wondering.  This seemed to help when I needed to go back to the other side and make a larger hole to hold my light rings.



I used a piece of paper over the template to give me a reference point for the depth.  I also wrapped some tape around the drill bit.  The idea being when the tape meets the paper, Iím at proper depth.  It sorta worked.

Hereís the result.  I used a sharpie to make the interior black for testing.



The biggest problem I ran into here was again keeping the drill perfectly straight.  That made some strange cuts and the surface area lopsided that the rings would rest on.  I freehanded the drill a little more to try to compensate and get it good enough for a test, but this is not acceptable for a final product.  Iím looking into some devices I saw at home depot to help keep drills straight.  There are some crazy expensive drill guides out there that I canít justify.  Hoping this 30-40 dollar purchase will be good enough to get me straight holes.

https://www.homedepot.com/p/Milescraft-DrillMate-Portable-Multi-Angle-Drill-Guide-with-3-8-in-Chuck-1318/206520394?mtc=Shopping-B-F_D25T-G-D25T-25_9_PORTABLE_POWER-Multi-NA-Feed-PLA-NA-NA-PortablePower_PLA&cm_mmc=Shopping-B-F_D25T-G-D25T-25_9_PORTABLE_POWER-Multi-NA-Feed-PLA-NA-NA-PortablePower_PLA-71700000034127218-58700003933021540-92700053252310110&gclid=Cj0KCQjw3s_4BRDPARIsAJsyoLPBTB3ikj4LCAvGQMBr-prpu2E0wSYE7IM2fzUxmXR74s8PdOFZV4EaAj5nEALw_wcB&gclsrc=aw.ds

Anyone else have experience with these with recommendations?

Likewise when making my rings, there are some serious alignment issues with the process.  I think this is a mix of the drill not being straight, and also the hole saw bits just being cheap.  I can tell they have significant wobble to them watching them spin from the side.  Hoping my template will help with that a bitÖ. We will see.  If another 30 dollar purchase of some craftsman hole saw bits from Lowes will fix it, I may consider it.

FinallyÖ here are the results of putting it all together in my MDF test control panel.




Overall Iím glad to have gotten this far.  This was a big accomplishment in the journey for me, but Iím not happy with the results yet.  Several things to improve on.

1.   The hole in my template to fit the rings is super tight, yet when I used it to drill the top of the CP, somehow the hole is slightly bigger??  This is unacceptable as the rings donít fit properly and you see things in the light channel not meant to be seen.
2.   The rings are all unique in some way with lopsided centers.  I think if I use a forstner bit to do the center hold instead of the hole saw, this may improve the accuracy since the little bit has way more wobble than the bigger one.  Or maybe buy a giant 1 inch standard drill bit if thatís an option?
3.   If I decide I need a dust washer on the top of the panel (trying to avoid it since I have one underneath) then I can make a clear one with this same process.  The challenge though again is that the holesaw does not create a properly centered hole.  I made one test and it was off by way more than 1/8 in 2 directions.  I canít figure out a way to fix this.  I think itís just the cheap hole saw set I got from Harbor Freight.  Anyone know if a Craftsman set from Lowe's will perform better?
4.   Iíve spent a fair amount of time trying to figure out how to diffuse the light around the ring more evenly without much success.  I really want it to look like itís a solidly lit ring without clear indication of a point light source.  I can improve it a little if I add even more LED's but thatís expensive, and requires a lot more controller hookup spots then I have.  If I can daisy chain them to a single hookup on the PacLED and not lose light intensity maybe thatís an option.  I also need a way to channel more of them under the joystick then.  Any ideas?
5.   I may end up ordering new joystick ball tops.  Originally I thought the simple white and red plastic look would fit well, but seeing it with the ring lights makes me want a more refined look.  So far though in looking at some options online I havenít found anything Iím loving.  There seems to be a lack of white tops in anything other than a flat cheap plastic look.  Just imagine like a candy apple red with some texture / sparkle to it, and then the same concept in white.
6.   Iíve been noodling on how to do this with a spinner, which presents a lot of new challenges.  I need a way bigger ring than I can currently fabricate, and the mounting gets complex unless glue and lexan are strong enough to clamp it to without risk of a player pushing down too hard on it.
7.   The paint finish I put on the test CP is complete crap.  I didnít put a lot of effort into it, but still.  I used some Rustoleum spray and gave it one coat.  Then I sanded it down with my power sander and 120 grit.  That removed most of what I did. (oops).  Then I coated it again.  Looks like crap.  I donít yet have a grasp of how to get a good finish out of this process.  I did pickup some 220 grit which I hope solves some of the problem.  Does everyone use a power sander for this, or should I be doing this by hand?

Next steps for me I think will be more test CPs with just the joystick to figure out the lighting.  After that Iíll try making the ring light for the spinner.  Then the ring light for the Flight Stick.  Then onto the full CP.  All this serves as good practice for me too before getting into more expensive wood for the main cab.  Itís also working with materials I have for the most part.  Finding the rest of the wood and transporting it will be a whole new set of challenges when the time comes.

Iíve also decided that the cab name and general theme are up in the air.  I agree it needs a stronger identity.  The term Arcade really refers to the building itís in with a collection of games.  Iíve got a list of over 30 name considerations now.  Iím open to ideas!  The general principal will remain the same though in that itís celebrating the retro era of pixel gaming and will feature a mix of characters that all come together in a cohesive way.  To me thatís far more fitting than picking a favorite game theme when the cabinet is meant to play everything.  It's definitely proven to be an artistic challenge!

As always, all sage advice is welcome and greatly appreciated as I continue my journey.
« Last Edit: July 20, 2020, 08:10:17 pm by vertexguy »

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Re: The Kline's Arcade - 4 player - first build, help needed!
« Reply #92 on: July 20, 2020, 06:06:44 pm »
As you can see, I had some problems.  Oddly enough in this example I tried using a 2x4 as a fence with a jigsaw.  I had issues with the blade bending as I went after about half way through so I wasnít getting a nice 90 degree edge.  I also may have been pushing too hard against the fence?  Somehow between that and perhaps a measurement that was somehow off, I noticed when I got to the end of the cut that I wasnít lined up with my other tick mark.  I then tried cutting from the opposite direction to finish it off and avoid chipping at the ends, and this was the result.  Yuk!

I eventually got a better cut with the jigsaw just free handing it.  Still some wobble though.  My last attempt I switched to the skill saw and used that for my edge cut to get it down to the proper CP size.  That came out pretty straight freehand, and was probably the best of all cuts.  Still not what I was hoping for.  Definitely need more practice.

You can do a long straight cut with a jigsaw, but you will probably never get a perfect 90 degree angle because the blade will wobble. The thicker the board you cut, the more pronounced it gets.

To do the straight cuts, you can use a table saw + fence or you can use the jigsaw to cut the board a bit too big freehand, clamp a straight piece of wood over the pencil marks and use the router + flush trim bit to make the actual cut.


I decided to try fast tracking the measuring with a print out to see how well it would hold up if only taped tightly at the edges with some scotch tape.



Surprisingly it held up pretty wellÖ but you wanna make sure you start drilling at a high speed or it can tear and pull pretty easily.

If you include the center points of the holes in the print, you can tape the print to the CP and use something with a sharp point (a nail or something) to punch a small hole though the center points. After that, you can remove the print and still know where to drill the holes.

I highly recommend doing this on some scrap wood before you attempt anything on your real wood for the project.
I marked up the wood CP with pencil on the bottom.  This was again way too hard to see with all the dust from the router during a cut, so I decided to try filling in all the areas I wanted to remove with a red sharpie.  This helped.



I tried my best to make straight cuts, but again, even with red sharpie helping, it still gets really dusty fast and is hard to see and move the router blade in a super straight manner standing in an awkward position to see things.  I imagine I could setup some sort of fencing around the area to push the router against to force more of a straight cut.  I guess this depends on what you care about since no one will ever see this but a person servicing the panel.  I like to do my best everywhere thoughÖ so Iíll probably revisit this.

You can use some battens, clamped/taped to the edges so that the router cannot wander off. Here's an example pic used in a recent build. javeryh's Nameless Cabaret Copy


Another issue I ran into with drilling holes was that these forstner bits donít like to stay nice and centered.  They tend to wander quite a bit when you start a cut with them touching the wood.  To try to help force a straighter cut, I tried making a template with some ĺ MDF.  The theory being that if I just plug into it at full speed and make one perfect hole, all my other holes will be made with this template on top, which will keep the bit from wondering.  This seemed to help when I needed to go back to the other side and make a larger hole to hold my light rings.

Something to watch:
How to SAFELY use a forstner bit in a hand-held drill   

Easy Forstner Bit Drilling by OTB Thinker   
                  

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Re: The Kline's Arcade - 4 player - first build, help needed!
« Reply #93 on: July 26, 2020, 10:40:17 am »
Trying to cut straight (with a 90 degree edge as well) with a jigsaw is hard. Part of the issue with a fence is that if the blade does start to wander towards the fence then you can't push the jigsaw towards it to get it back straight. It's counter-intuitive and took a while to do it without thinking, but the natural temptation is to 'pull' a jigsaw when the blade wanders which is the opposite of what you should do.

For drilling button/joystick holes I find spade bits to be the best, with a small pilot hole. As with any other hole cutter you need to use a piece of scrap to ensure it doesn't rattle around at the bottom of the hole. Quite easy to get straight as well as you can align it when it starts hitting the wood.

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Re: The Kline's Arcade - 4 player - first build, help needed!
« Reply #94 on: July 26, 2020, 11:49:52 pm »
I avoided paying money for good tools for a long time....I wish I wouldnít have.  It was such a waste of time (and money).  Jigsaws are pretty much only good for ruff cutting.  If you want something you can be proud of, use either a router, or a good circular saw/table saw.  You can see the slow realization I came to in my build.  Since buying the track saw my life has gotten sooooo much better.

Long story short, you get what you pay for, and if you value your time invest in good tools, you wonít regret it.

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Re: The Kline's Arcade - 4 player - first build, help needed!
« Reply #95 on: July 31, 2020, 02:13:45 pm »
If you include the center points of the holes in the print, you can tape the print to the CP and use something with a sharp point (a nail or something) to punch a small hole though the center points. After that, you can remove the print and still know where to drill the holes.

Good point :)  A center hole punch should work well.

You can use some battens, clamped/taped to the edges so that the router cannot wander off. Here's an example pic used in a recent build. javeryh's Nameless Cabaret Copy

I'll try this on the next iteration.

Something to watch:
How to SAFELY use a forstner bit in a hand-held drill   

Easy Forstner Bit Drilling by OTB Thinker   

Thanks for the tips!  Even with something as seemingly simple as drilling, there's clearly tricks of the trade that can make a big difference.


zestyphresh & Arroyo, thanks for the words of wisdom.  I have much to learn yet. :)   :cheers:

« Last Edit: July 31, 2020, 02:15:47 pm by vertexguy »

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Re: The Kline's Arcade - 4 player - first build, help needed!
« Reply #96 on: September 11, 2020, 12:50:04 pm »
In looking at options for the power inlet / cord extension outside the cab to plug into the wall, and then how a lot of people are connecting it internally to a power strip, I've run into some questions.

First question is around the inlet choice.  Looking on Amazon there appears to only really be one option available and it isn't UL rated.  It has a red power switch with it and a 5A fuse.  It's also the same one featured on the electrical section of the Wiki here.  Is that really it for choices?  Given even the wiki mentioned some reports of melting and corrosion possibilities with these, are there better alternatives?

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00NWO68JI/ref=ox_sc_act_title_5?smid=A2Y736KGZ14HTQ&psc=1

I'm also now debating if I really need 2 power switches.  One on the inlet, and then a separate one to turn on the PC, which also triggers the smart strip for the rest of the cab.  One idea was to set the bios on the PC to boot when it detects power presence, so I'd just have the one switch then.  The nostalgic side of me also wants to consider a metal toggle switch instead of the red LED rocker.  I only remember those on the backs / tops of cabs growing up.

The next question is the correct wiring gauges to be using to handle this direct power.  With outlets, to be up to code in high use areas (kitchen) you're suppose to use 12 AWG from what I've read.  14 is supposedly OK for something like a bedroom, but I've only ever used 12.  Yet when I look at some of these inlets that come with wires and quick disconnects, they appear to be using 14-16 gauge.  Then to further confuse me, the standard PC power cables all appear to be using 18AWG, which is what I intended on wiring the inlet to, and then connecting that to my power strip so I don't have to ruin the strip.

So given all that variance, what is the right gauge to not burn the house down?  If it's all converting down to 18AWG at the cable / power strip, is that all that's needed?  Why is that so different than outlet wiring gauges, and is that really acceptable given how much draw the full cab is likely to need?  :dizzy:




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Re: The Kline's Arcade - 4 player - first build, help needed!
« Reply #97 on: September 11, 2020, 03:23:13 pm »
The reason outlets and strips have a lower gauge (thicker) is because they may have multiple devices powered at once.  Therefore the current draw may be more significant.  All you really need to do is figure out the power usage (watts) of each of your components at max usage then you will know the current draw at the outlet (P=V*I) so multiple each of your components Voltage * Amperage to get the max power used.  Add all the power of each of you components then divide that by the 120V that a standard US outlet outputs and you have your amperage at the inlet.

Here's a chart for stranded wire current ratings:

https://www.engineeringtoolbox.com/wire-gauges-d_419.html

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Re: The Kline's Arcade - 4 player - first build, help needed!
« Reply #98 on: September 12, 2020, 12:37:26 am »
Given even the wiki mentioned some reports of melting and corrosion possibilities with these, are there better alternatives?
The melting and corrosion problems are almost certainly the result of user error.
i.e. Loose crimps, crimping mostly on the insulation instead of bare wire so only a few strands are making contact, high resistance connections, etc.

If you do the simple mechanical and electrical checks outlined in the wiki, you won't have a problem.   ;D

http://wiki.arcadecontrols.com/index.php/Wiring#Inspecting_Power_Wiring

The nostalgic side of me also wants to consider a metal toggle switch instead of the red LED rocker.
I haven't seen any fused IEC inlets with that type of switch, but you could use an un-fused IEC inlet and fabricate a panel for the toggle switch.

Wire the switch in series with the hot/live/black wire -- the tab marked "L" in this photo.



One easy and clean way to mount the switch is to use a blank single gang cover.

 

You may also consider using an "old work" single gang electrical box or low voltage ring with the cover.

 

The pre-fab single toggle switch on a panel options I've seen are usually rated for 12v (car/motorcycle/boat applications), so you'll probably need to replace the switch if you get something like these.

 


Scott

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Re: The Kline's Arcade - 4 player - first build, help needed!
« Reply #99 on: September 12, 2020, 04:12:52 am »
FYI, my power inlet melted because I used an ancient pc power cable.  The connectors inside that end were probably worn out or corroded.  Buy a new cable.  I redid everything exactly the same with a new cable and have had no issues since.

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Re: The Kline's Arcade - 4 player - first build, help needed!
« Reply #100 on: September 12, 2020, 07:15:18 pm »
Thanks for the quick responses guys.   :cheers:  I'll need to recalculate what the total draw will be now that I've got most everything except maybe all the lights.  Although if I can run all those through the PC with the PacLed64 then the total draw is the max of my PC PSU anyway.

Scott, (or anyone), what would be purpose or advantage to having an inlet with a fuse?  My brother in law though the house circuit breaker covered the need for that.  I'm guessing surge protection, but shouldn't that be covered with a smart strip?


He also pointed me to an inset inlet on amazon like this:

https://www.amazon.com/Journeyman-Pro-Flanged-Commercial-Straight-Cap/dp/B01E6N0XFI/ref=sr_1_1?dchild=1&keywords=inset+inlet+outlet&qid=1599951944&sr=8-1

It's quite a bit more expensive but is rated for up to 15 amps.

Thoughts?


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Re: The Kline's Arcade - 4 player - first build, help needed!
« Reply #101 on: September 12, 2020, 07:53:35 pm »
Quote
My brother in law though the house circuit breaker covered the need for that.

Don't ever take electrical advice from that guy...ever.

Ask him why they bother putting fuses in anything then.
« Last Edit: September 12, 2020, 07:56:24 pm by Mike A »

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Re: The Kline's Arcade - 4 player - first build, help needed!
« Reply #102 on: September 12, 2020, 08:16:05 pm »
A fuse can protect your cab from catastrophic damage.

I picked up a Taito cab that someone was trying to convert to JAMMA. He said a power supply fuse kept blowing.

I got it home, disconnected the JAMMA board and replaced the fuse. The power supply works fine, and the board works fine in one of my JAMMA cabs.

The fuse protected the linear power supply and the JAMMA board from damage from a ---smurfy--- wiring job.

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Re: The Kline's Arcade - 4 player - first build, help needed!
« Reply #103 on: September 13, 2020, 09:00:46 am »
what would be purpose or advantage to having an inlet with a fuse?  My brother in law though the house circuit breaker covered the need for that.  I'm guessing surge protection, but shouldn't that be covered with a smart strip?
The circuit breaker is there to protect the house from an electrical fire caused by too much current drawn through the wiring of that circuit.
- You can easily fry a system with far less current than it takes to trip the breaker.

The fuse is there to be a cheap sacrificial part to protect the rest of the system from situations like a cascading failure if one part of it breaks down.
- A cascading failure is where one part fails, which causes another part to fail, which causes another part to fail, . . .

A 10A table saw and a Raspberry Pi plug into the same type of wall outlet, but have very different levels of current draw and protection needs.

Generally speaking, select a fuse based on the current draw and blow time.
- If there's a lot of inrush current when you first apply power (CRT, table saw, etc.), use a slow-blow fuse.
- If it's a sensitive circuit with only a little inrush current when you first apply power, use a fast-blow fuse.
- If it's an average circuit, use a regular-blow fuse.

A surge protector isn't the same as a smart strip, but I would expect a smart strip to include some type of surge protector circuit.

He also pointed me to an inset inlet on amazon like this:

https://www.amazon.com/Journeyman-Pro-Flanged-Commercial-Straight-Cap/dp/B01E6N0XFI/ref=sr_1_1?dchild=1&keywords=inset+inlet+outlet&qid=1599951944&sr=8-1

It's quite a bit more expensive but is rated for up to 15 amps.
That would work OK if you want to use an extension cord instead of an IEC power cord.
- You won't draw anywhere near 15A.


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Re: The Kline's Arcade - 4 player - first build, help needed!
« Reply #104 on: October 17, 2020, 09:03:12 am »
I placed another order for some more electrical accessories and a heat gun.  Time for some woodworking questions I haven't fully solved in my designs yet. 

I need all you drawer and cabinet maker experts advise.

The front coin door section is intended to have a drawer above it, and the lower half is a larger cabinet door for storage / easier access to accessories like steering wheels / pedals / pc access when I get there.

I've not yet figured out how to make these accessible without an exposed door handle, and not rely on magnets that will probably lose grab over time.  I'm trying to keep it feeling as much like a legit front of an arcade as possible.  The drawer above is to house the keyboard / mouse, which won't be used often, BUT it will also house USb controllers that will get used a lot... so it validates the need more in my eyes.

The idea I had for the main front door was to leave about a 1/2 inch lip at the bottom which would meet up with the base of the cabinet, so it can be colored the same to help hide it and given its on the ground it's less noticeable.  I thought MAYBE I could pull on that easily enough to open and close it with some sort of stiff pull hinges.  Needs to be somewhat kid friendly too.  I'd also like to figure out a locking mechanism so it doesn't flop open in transport

Similar deal with the top sliding drawer.  I have the slides already but am not sure how I can hide a handle.  I figure this drawer will get a lot more action then the bottom cabinet drawer so it should be built to last and kid friendly.  Also not sure how I can have some sort of lock to keep it in place during transport.

Any suggestions?

If you haven't addressed your drawer issue yet, the slides I am using in my build might suit your needs.  Push to open feature is built into the slides.  No magnets needed and they stay pretty securely closed until pushed in to release.  They seem to be working well so far.

http://forum.arcadecontrols.com/index.php/topic,163631.0.html


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Re: The Kline's Arcade - 4 player - first build, help needed!
« Reply #105 on: October 18, 2020, 04:38:26 pm »

Quote
If you haven't addressed your drawer issue yet, the slides I am using in my build might suit your needs.  Push to open feature is built into the slides.

Thanks for the idea!  I'll have to check local stores and see whats available. 

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Re: The Kline's Arcade - 4 player - first build, help needed!
« Reply #106 on: October 25, 2020, 10:06:25 pm »
Time for a quick update on progress.  I've been getting advice on a variety of topics in other posts and PMs that I'm now trying to fold into the project.  BPerkins convinced me that Sande Plywood from Home Depot would be good enough and I wouldn't need Baltic Birch.  That saved me a longer trip to a lumber yard that sold apparently over priced baltic birch, and gave me a little more budget to put towards laminate.  I picked up all my wood a few weeks back.  Got an extra sheet of 1/2 inch just in case and splurged on select grade furring. Ordered and received a variety of additional parts including castors, leg levelers, some test LED strips, threaded inserts, laminate, roller pads, rubber cement, etc.  Talked shop with Arroyo for a bit today too, and after revisiting his thread again I think I'm going to go with a layered CP approach to allow me to get the joysticks closer to the surface and allow for a universal mount plate so I can more easily swap out sticks later on if desired.

I'm going to keep a lot of the cabinet held together with threaded inserts so I can easily disassemble it and get in into my basement without fear of killing myself, the incidental kid a the bottom of the steps it lands on, or destroying walls along the way. ;)  So that caused me to need to revise a few things on the design.  Once I have all the furring in place with sides cut, I'll probably end up using a black paint / primer mix on the interior just for general looks and some moister proofing, and the laminate and glue should be enough protection on the other sides.  This will hopefully hold up to the higher humidity swings my house tends to have thanks to our evaporative cooler.

I'm breaking things up into modular pieces so I can focus on each and try to get them to completion.  I need some simpler things to get my feet wet first and then something more challenging.  For the simpler part I thought building the base should be fairly straight forward but will involve plenty of cuts and routing for castors.

Next up I'm thinking of trying to take on my gun holsters.  These little things needed a lot more design work yet from my earlier posts and when done are seemingly every bit as challenging as the full cabinet from my perspective.



Here you can see a simple toon shaded view of the holster design on the side of the cab.  I intentionally removed all the graphics on the cab so I can stay focused on finishing the fundamental design and get building.  The theme has a ways to go yet.  The gun holsters will be covered with black laminate, feature a few addressable LED light shapes, and felt interiors.  Part of the challenge is figuring out how to channel things to run the wiring to the LEDs in a tight space and get a nice diffused shape.  I also needed 1 inch of space between the LEDs and the plexiglass to diffuse it properly, so I added some extrusions.  It adds to the tech look a little bit while not making the whole thing crazy thick.  Then I also needed to create a thin but strong paneling on the interior to hide all the wiring channels and protect them.  The best I could come up with right now is 1/8" tempered hardboard,  I'm trying to keep screws hidden but still easy enough to service with the right tools.  Ideally I don't want potential for the gun to come in contact with any screws.  The 2 rods in the front hole design I thought added a neat look and the idea was to have something smooth and sturdy to wrap the USB cable around to give it a stress catch to prevent accidentally yanking the plug out.

I'm also hoping with the design that the interior is deep enough to keep the cable shoved in the bottom with a little side space by the gun so it looks nice when not in use.  I figure I'll try to build one and validate everything works well.  To attach it to the cab, I'll need a hole to run all the wiring, and then threaded inserts on the back side of the holsters and holes through the side panels.  This way I can screw it in from inside the cabinet, which I think will be easier and not expose any screws outside.

Here you can see some of the updates to the overall cabinet design as well.  Again, toon shaded so we're only focusing on form.  I changed up the front edge design and added a t-molding design that I think is kinda futuristic.





Really hoping to start building some pieces of it this coming weekend.  :cheers:



« Last Edit: October 26, 2020, 03:46:09 pm by vertexguy »

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Re: The Kline's Arcade - 4 player - first build, help needed!
« Reply #107 on: October 26, 2020, 01:24:38 am »
vertexguy, nice build, keep up the good work! 
I'm assuming you won't be playing pinball very much? If so, disregard what I'm about to say as it will not apply.

But if you plan on playing pinball more than just a little, consider that pinball players will naturally put their palms on top of machine to rest some of their body weight on their arms for more comfort.  The way your control panel top panel wings out, this won't be possible. Hence the reason for the 4-player carrier control panel design. It serves a purpose.

(The average pinball machine is 29" wide.)
« Last Edit: October 26, 2020, 01:33:38 am by Katana Man »

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Re: The Kline's Arcade - 4 player - first build, help needed!
« Reply #108 on: October 26, 2020, 01:53:18 am »
Quite the learning curve aint it...Like the way you get the right tools for the job at hand, It seems like it will never end, perhaps it won't, but quality tools last a lifetime and would consider that as an investment in ones future.

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Re: The Kline's Arcade - 4 player - first build, help needed!
« Reply #109 on: October 30, 2020, 01:59:27 pm »
Hence the reason for the 4-player carrier control panel design. It serves a purpose.
(The average pinball machine is 29" wide.)

Thanks for the comments Katana.  This is a tough one.  Honestly the pinball add here I want functional enough to see if I really get into it or not.  So probably just lighter play right now.  I'll be surprised if my kids give it much attention.  If it turns addictive, I guess I'll have to build a dedicated pinball cab to support it properly. ;)

I wrestled with this quite a bit early on but then never really went back to focusing on the pinball buttons.  I understand why the carrier design benefits pinball but there were some other considerations.

1. If I simply made the top of the panel more carrier like without changing panel dimensions, you compromise the wrist wrest area for P1 and P2 in favor of pinball.
2. You can overcome the wrist area by making the panel even deeper, which I tried but ultimately didn't like how big it became.
3. You can also make the pinball controls come out a lot wider to not interfere with the P1/2 wrist area but that's quite a bit away from a typical pinball table width.  I remember a few tables that were much wider than normal, but they were not very common.  I was trying to keep things closer to regulation and smaller to be more kid friendly.
3. Play stance could be different on a cab like this because you're looking up at a monitor instead of down at a playfield.  I get that you still want some form of arm / wrist and perhaps overall body support though.

I'm hoping the concept of hooking your thumbs around the top edge along with a little lean in with your palms on the cab edge will help support your hands enough for some reasonable play times while promoting you to stand like you normally would at an arcade cab and look forward.  It might also be a situation where it's only decent to play if sitting on a stool.  :dunno

It would be interesting to see if anyone has pics of people playing pinball on their carrier design CPs from the side to see what their play stance is like.  Also knowing average play times would be a factor to consider.  I was never a pinball wizard so I think my average game time was less than 5 minutes a game.  Even just feedback from people who have played pinball on these cab designs would be great.

« Last Edit: October 30, 2020, 08:33:22 pm by vertexguy »

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Re: The Kline's Arcade - 4 player - first build, help needed!
« Reply #110 on: December 01, 2020, 07:50:54 pm »
It's finally time for another big update!




I'm playing catch up on posting so this should be fairly lengthy with lots of pics.  Back in September / October I finally went out and picked up all the major lumber I thought I would need.  After getting advice from a number of folks and debating between MDF vs Ply, I opted to go with Ply.  Then I researched where to get Baltic Birch in my area since that seemed to be the hot choice around here.  After speaking with others including bperkins on it, I was then convinced it wouldn't be necessary and he pointed me to a Sande Plywood stocked by Home Depot that was quite a bit cheaper than the 115+ a sheet I was seeing for 8x4 Baltic Birch.  This stuff was more like 39 a sheet which left me with more budget to try out laminate.



Unfortunately after spending just a few days in my garage I noticed some warping was occurring.  The top 1/2 inch sheet got it the worst with a wicked bend.  You can also see the pvc pipes I picked up for about 1.25 a piece that I'll be using later for laminating.



That's when I cleared a space in my basement storage area and brought all my lumber in doors.  Fortunately the top most warped piece was a spare so hopefully the other pieces are still decent enough to use.  We shall soon find out.

I ordered a bunch more parts over the past several months.  You never realize just how much there is to buy until you're deeper into this I guess.  Among these items were castors from Penn Elcom as recommended by Arroyo.  These weren't cheap and shipping was just as much as the castors!  However an important factor here is that they are rated to hold more than enough weight indefinitely.  Many castor varieties are intended for shorter term movement where these are intended to be like legs.



I also ordered leg levelers from eBay.  I had a hard time finding ratings on these to hold enough weight.  These were supposed to hold 250 per pair.  I'm hoping between those and the castors I should be more than fine.



One important thing to note with these however was that when I got them, I discovered one of the mounting plates was improperly welded.  It's just a simple nut welded onto a metal plate, and there was a big gap on one side of the weld resulting in the leg leveler not being anywhere close to level.  Kinda defeats the purpose!  So my backup was to run to home depot and grab T-Nuts instead.

I wanted to approach this project in manageable components / sections that challenge my building skills incrementally while also showing broad progress towards a complete cabinet.  As such I decided to start with the base.  It seems simple in concept but ultimately had me using most of my tools and presented all kinds of challenges.



I started by plotting every piece out in a layout in photoshop to give me a nice reference and help me find any potential measurement flaws in the 3d model.  There were plenty.  Turns out 3d Studio Max does some interesting rounding that could make for things being off by a 1/16th in some situations.  Once I averaged those things out and triple checked my work, I printed it off and with the help of my oldest son, measured and plotted everything on a scrap piece of 3/4 ply from my kitchen remodel.  I was going back and forth on the thickness of the base and ultimately went back to keeping it 3/4 for strength and needed thickness to support the castors and leg levelers.  Even with that, there were problems that you'll see in a bit.  One important lesson in this part... notice I marked all new edges for my base inside the wood scrap.  This is because I discovered that even factory edges can sometimes have flaws, and the other sides I had cut definitely had issues.  I even discovered the giant T square I got for dry wall has 1/16th of play in it so I ended up trusting my solid metal 48" ruler to get everything perfectly square.  Other reasons for this approach was that there were little tacks embedded in the edge of this piece that I couldn't easily get out, and the size of my base just barely fit to avoid all the flaws in the wood.


First I needed to setup shop in my cold garage with crap lighting.  This was my make shift solution to get more light where I needed it with a bonus of a little more heat from the lights.



I even found a way to get my boys to help out.  They measured some of the underlying structure and I let them do some cutting as well.

One tool I picked up to help with getting straight cuts was the Accu-Cut from Kreg.  I got this local at Home Depot and it is a fantastic tool!




Before doing anything serious with it I tested it out on some scrap MDF.


You simply set it down directly on your cut line and slowly move the saw across the track.  The results are an incredibly straight cut I could never achieve on my own.


There were some tricks I had to develop as I continued working with the Accu Cut.  In general, if your wood is flat, and dust free, the rubber under the track is plenty to keep it in place.  However if you're dealing with slightly warped plywood, it can cause for some issues where it spins on the high surface.  To counter this, I either used some speed clamps (Harbor Freight special for 3 bucks a pop...WELL worth it! Shown further down with my portable drill press)  and placed one on the far end well passed my stop point, or I walked my hand in front of the saw pushing down on the track as I went.  That plus the weight of the saw kept it straight.  I guess Kreg makes special clamps that attach underneath the track that I might look into, but so far my work arounds are sufficient.

With a good result in the tests, I moved on to the base.






Since I opted to use threaded inserts so I can take this thing apart to get it into my basement, I needed to revise several things with my initial design.  I also realized I had other detail work still remaining.  Turns out for me it's easier to make a 3d model that looks pretty but still miss details necessary for the actual build.  One of the changes was a way to thread the side panels onto the base without taking away additional space on the inside.  Along with this I needed to find a way to confidently drill perfectly.  The solution I arrived at was a 35 dollar portable drill press from Home Depot Online.



It's got a bit of play in it, but ultimately does a far better job than I could do by hand.  It also has a handy depth stopper which is necessary for this work.  Here I did a practice hole that needed to be inset to the right depth to work with the length of hex bolts I went with.







I decided to use black hex bolts (amazon) everywhere for ease of working with in tight spaces and being far less likely to ever strip.  I went with 2 different lengths at 1/4-20 x 1.5mm and 1/4-20x .75mm.  I also got a small kit of assorted lengths that I ended up using most of on my castors (they take 14 a piece and although that's likely overkill, I like the look better with all the holes full.)





Once I had the base cut out I sanded off the white veneer from the ply so I had a good wood on wood surface to glue and screw into.  It was a shiny veneer that was quite slippery and glue didn't take to it at all.

I picked up a little trick on the net for glue spreading.  Bought a threaded rod from Lowes for less than a buck and used it to quickly and evenly spread glue over large wood surfaces.



I went with locktite III for my glue and got some gorilla glue for backup.

All these 1 6/16" boards were the cheap stuff from HD.  In retrospect it would have been nicer to work with a slightly better quality wood but I figured it would suffice for this purpose.  In general it didn't splinter too badly when cutting, but it was really hard to find decent pieces in the store to begin with and all had flaws.  I also accidently grabbed star bit style screws when looking for exterior screws of a shorter length.  Maybe it was intentional subconsciously since I wanted to work with star bits... who knows.  Either way it should be plenty protected and solid.



This top piece required a bit of routing.


The castors have a lot of uniqueness to their shape with subtle 32nd extrusions and such that can cause some headache.  I used the jigsaw on most of these cuts (and my boys helped) as I figured ultimately it didn't matter to much if it was dead on or not.  I ended up breaking out a file and doing a bunch of sanding because it was ultimately too tight of a fit.

Here's the base fully assembled from the bottom with castors and leg levelers on.  I will probably go back and remove the remaining veneer and prime / paint it for extra protection... and to look nice for all the dust mites passing under it. ;)



I then sanded the top veneer off.  Here you can start to see the little problem I ran into.  My depth was somehow off on both my leg levelers.  I was supposed to have 1/8th left but I didn't account for the thickness of the veneer and it's possible the diagram I looked at for the bolt size was slightly off too.  Given my success at depth with the other threaded inserts coming out perfect, that's the best answer I can come up with.



Now I'm left wondering what I should do here.  My intention is to laminate the top with the same black laminate going all over the cabinet.  However I don't know if I should go over the top of the holes and risk it cracking over time if it's ever pressed on.  I also need to get some washers to prevent the leg lever from screwing up quite so high.  Another alternative would be to keep the holes and add holes in the new laminate so it can move up another 8th or so.  Generally speaking you shouldn't ever need to drop the front legs this much but I tried to give it equal movement up and down for versatility.

If I tried filling in the hole any I'm not sure of the best way to do it.  I'm guessing bondo but would it be enough to really matter for strength?



I checked that everything was level and walked and jumped on the base a few times to ensure it was sturdy.  It can be moved with the right motion but it also doesn't have much weight to it yet.  With the full cabinet I think it will be quite solid.



Here's the base trying out it's future home in my basement.


Next I was debating on attempting to laminate, but with the outstanding hole issue I decided I want to wait a while to tackle laminating and focus on building progress.  I was debating moving on to tackle my gun holsters next as a complex little project that starts to address some remaining LED lighting issues as well, but ultimately decided I wanted to feel like I'm making bigger progress on the cabinet.  To me the answer was clearly to continue with the sides.

Here I am plotting that out in the comfort of my basement.  This one I did myself and spent a good amount of time making sure everything was perfectly aligned.  Given the switch over to plywood I found my original designs needed some adjusting.  I had planned on MDF a year ago which meant slightly bigger sheets.  That meant I needed to bring each of my side panels in by about an 8th to have it fit and have a comfortable wiggle room space between them for a clean cut.  Once I got that all sorted out, here's the end plot.



For the cutting I wanted to use my accu cut as much as possible but couldn't use it as much given all the angles.  I ended up using a combo of a lot of jig saw cuts and then going over them again with the accu cut where possible.  The first side was a rougher go with more fine tuning needed.  For the second, I simply traced my first, then rough cut it with the jig saw, and then was able to use the accu cut in more places.  A fatal mistake as I went was the drill holes I used to turn the jig saw.  The fatter drill bits tend to jump a bit when starting, so if you start too close to your finish line, you end up screwing things up.  I had that happen in one area.  I'm hoping it's a small enough indent to not really matter and be hidden by the T-Molding.  Otherwise I'm guessing I have to use bondo and rebuild the corner.



I filed down areas where my jig saw didn't do a great job and used a small finishing sanding block on all of the edges.  Generally the chipping wasn't bad, but I do have some sections that I may need to use bondo on to clean up.  I guess that's one of the down sides to plywood.



This all ended up taking me a lot longer than I expected.  I'd enter the garage thinking I could knock something out in an hour and then look at the clock and 3 hours had gone by. Either way it's a fun process and I'm trying to keep myself tasked with something daily when possible so I can keep moving.



Can anyone tell me if I really have to round off every corner for t-molding to lay down correctly?  Right now I have a couple 90 degree angles on the sides.  Are there techniques to make this work?  If not, what's the minimum I have to round off by?

Thanks to all the great insights provided from the community that has helped get me this far.  As always all thoughts, advice, opinions, etc are very welcome.  Let me know how I'm doing so far and help keep me motivated to cross the finish line!  Next up are the major cross supports so I can get a standing cabinet.  There will be many challenges including a method to precisely drill the threaded insert holes in the side panels that perfectly align to the holes in the cross supports.  Any recommended techniques to help with that other than just really accurate measuring?
« Last Edit: December 01, 2020, 11:34:59 pm by vertexguy »

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Re: The Kline's Arcade - 4 player - first build, help needed!
« Reply #111 on: December 02, 2020, 12:13:32 pm »
Congrats on getting started.  Taking that first step on cutting is definitely the hardest. 

It looks like you are getting some good results with the tools, learning how to use them for the first time is tuff (well it was for me).  Your base looks very solid, and your castor cut outs looks like they were well executed.

I think you using the Accu Cut as much as much as possible is a good idea. If it were me I would break out the router to finish the edge and make it clean for anywhere you couldn't use it.  The jig saw is great for rough cutting, but personally I wouldn't use it as a final cut unless it was a tight 90 deg interior angle, and then just to finish it.

Curious why you choose the veneered Plywood, were you going to paint some areas and wanted a smoother surface, or perhaps you were going to laminate against it?  You should be fine to laminate it.  I'd try a practice piece and see how it comes out.

Keep it up!

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Re: The Kline's Arcade - 4 player - first build, help needed!
« Reply #112 on: December 02, 2020, 02:21:51 pm »
Looking good so far.

I would second the router suggestion.  I don't know how much experience you have with one, but I know that I was intimidated by it before I got started on my project, since I had never really used it for anything other than simple round-overs, but it is an incredibly useful tool and this project is a great opportunity to learn how to use it.  In fact, that's probably been the best thing about it for me so far.  You are going to need it for the the t molding tracts and, I assume, trimming the laminate (i've never used laminate before), so might as well get familiar with it if you aren't already.  Also useful for cutting out coin door cutout, circles, dadoes, perfectly matching the sides, recesses, etc.  Lots of good videos out there.

It makes so much cleaner and straighter edges, which will be really important for your t molding to prevent small gaps.  With simple jigs, you can make nice, consistent, rounded corners with it also.  I feel like it is a huge time saver in the long run once you get used to it because you spend less time (i.e. none) filing, sanding, patching, and re-sanding the edges.

I can never get the blade to stay right at 90 degrees and make good straight cuts with my jig saw and the router cleans up the edges amazingly after a quick rough cut with the jigsaw.

This is my first project, so I cant speak much about the t molding, but I got a number of color samples and have been using them to practice cutting them for both round and 90 degree corners.  There seems to be a bit of a different trick to getting it to lay flat for both ways, so do some trial cuts first.  Also handy to have samples around when you make your t tract cuts to make sure you have your router bit depth right.  Make sure you check your actual plywood thickness.  My "3/4" is actually only 11/16.  They have a much smaller range of colors in the other sizes, unfortunately.

It can be tricky to get those inserts lined up precisely.  It's also very easy to insert them at a slight angle on accident if inserting them freehand, which makes a bigger difference than you might think.  A simple jig can help insert them straight.  I remember reading this post where he used inserts and had lots of pics, if you haven't seen it yet:

http://forum.arcadecontrols.com/index.php/topic,156272.0.html

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Re: The Kline's Arcade - 4 player - first build, help needed!
« Reply #113 on: December 02, 2020, 11:58:30 pm »
Curious why you choose the veneered Plywood, were you going to paint some areas and wanted a smoother surface, or perhaps you were going to laminate against it?  You should be fine to laminate it.  I'd try a practice piece and see how it comes out.

Hey Arroyo,
I used it because I only bought 1 sheet of 3/4 Sande plywood and wouldn't have enough remaining for the base once the sides were cut.  No other special reason.  I might use more where needed.  The ply underneath seems nice to me.  I intend on removing the rest of the white veneer and then laminating it fresh with the black matte laminate you pointed me to for the inside surface.  The white veneer chips really easily on cutting so I thought it better to just remove it all rather than try to glue laminate to it.   I still have to figure out what to do about the accidental holes from the leg levelers...

I will need to do some research on how to use the router to clean up those edges.  I'm not well versed.  I THINK the edges are fairly decent after sanding but I'm sure a router would be more precise.  In my head right now all I can picture is having to somehow align a perfectly straight board underneath the cut side panel section which the flush trim bit bearing would ride on.  My bearing is on the end of the bit after the blades.  That way there's a flat surface on the top for the router to lay on while I trace the template underneath?  Seems like I'd have to reposition the straight piece for every cut.  Not sure if I need a fence up top too or what risk there is to screw it up.  Will definitely need to practice on some scrap first.   Trying to get my measurements notated for the cross pieces tomorrow and then on to the inserts to bring it upright.

« Last Edit: December 03, 2020, 07:12:53 pm by vertexguy »

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Re: The Kline's Arcade - 4 player - first build, help needed!
« Reply #114 on: December 03, 2020, 12:02:30 am »
This is my first project, so I cant speak much about the t molding, but I got a number of color samples and have been using them to practice cutting them for both round and 90 degree corners.  There seems to be a bit of a different trick to getting it to lay flat for both ways, so do some trial cuts first.

Thanks for the ideas.  I'll definitely test it out with some of my sample pieces.  You mentioned making it lay flat, but looking at the cross second on mine, the t molding doesn't look flat.  It's more like a squished letter C.  I assume it's suppose to only be flat at the edges and not the center when applied?

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Re: The Kline's Arcade - 4 player - first build, help needed!
« Reply #115 on: December 03, 2020, 09:49:32 am »
i was referring to the edges of the molding in relation to the side edge of the panel if there are any irregularities of the panel edge

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Re: The Kline's Arcade - 4 player - first build, help needed!
« Reply #116 on: December 09, 2020, 12:15:19 am »
Progress update:

Trying to get the cab upright is my main next goal.  I spent a bunch of time figuring out the key supports needed and tweaking their measurements, then spent several hours plotting with my oldest son helping out a little.

I tried to utilize my Accu Cut to make a sort of table saw / chop saw type rig to make really quick cuts but my efforts didn't work out.  For some reason I was getting issues where I was off by as much as 1/8.
 After several error cuts and lots of time wasted I opted to go back to the jig saw.  Honestly if it weren't for the potential of not getting a 90 degree cut I would favor this tool above the others.  I can cut extremely straight with it without a guide and actually SEE what I'm doing as I'm cutting.



All of these were quick and easy to do with the Jigsaw.  I sand all of the ends lightly when done.  There will be more of these later, but this should be enough to get the cab standing.

Then I started cutting out large sections with the accu cut for the back panels.  These all have a bunch of vent holes that I want to cut with the kinda classic Nintendo'esque cab speaker style with the pill shape cuts.  To start I measured everything out and then used a starter punch to help give the drill a better resting point.  That mixed with the portable drill guide proved to work really well on the first try. 






At first I had the board over open air taking my sons advice that it would be faster to get through them quickly.  Well... sorta, except I forgot about all the blow out that inevitably would occur underneath.
Here you can see that even when I tried adding painters tape, it didn't help much.  Ultimately I think I just needed a sacrificial board tightly clamped under it.



Outside of that, which I sanded down, so far so good.  Then came figuring out how to give my router some fence guides to try to make this perfectly straight.  I tried several different things.



It worked!  My first attempt was a pretty decent success.  So then I continued with a similar approach on the others.



For the most part the row came out pretty good with a couple areas where the end holes were getting a little bigger than I'd like.  I thought, ok, this isn't so bad and seems to be working, so I'm continue to the next set.... then the ---steaming pile of meadow muffin--- started hitting the fan.  :timebomb:



As I kept going things just kept getting worse and I couldn't understand why... and it's too late to really fix.  My best guess is that my fence just wasn't staying perfectly in place even with the way I had it clamped in 2 places (which was tough to stay out of the way of the router).  Also when I reached the end I think the bigger hole in the ends was a result of me trying to shut the router off, which is a bit of an awkward reach to hit the switch.

I thought maybe I could salvage it somehow and carefully lined up edges to try to correct it.... well, it's a fatter vent slot....


Ultimately I ended with this, which has a ton of mistakes and I'm not too happy about. 



I should have enough spare 1/2" ply to go back and make another, but I really need a new approach first.  This also makes me pause before continuing to do any vents on my back panels.


Next I decided to try to move on to speaker cut outs.  I don't have a circle router jig, and if I had more time I might have tried building my own....

First I predrilled holes for my jigsaw to ruff cut the shape.








Then I mounted the inner frame of the speaker mount to trace with the router.



Here's where I also discovered another problem.  I bought a new router bit that was a 1/2" shank with a bearing at the end.  This would have enabled me to flip the board over to have a smoother flat surface for the router to ride on which probably would have prevented the upcoming mistake....  Turns out I was mistaken and my router only supports 1/4" bits.  Fortunately I had a flush trim set I got over a year ago I could try, but the bearing is on the opposite end.

I put some cardboard under it to raise the edge up a little bit to try to get it more on the bearing and away I went.



Everything worked out pretty well until I got close to the end.  I must have accidently leaned into the circle a bit because I started hitting metal.


So I thought... great.  I came this close to a perfect circle and now I screwed up my frame and the circle.  Fortunately these are all inside and hidden, but still.... disappointing.

In the end the speakers look good mounted at least.




My next task was to cut the 3/16ths hardboard sheet I got in half so it is a little more manageable.  Once that's done I started measuring out a small section to try to make my own template for the vents.


I plan on using this stuff for some wire panel covers in various places of the cab and on my gun holsters, but I should have plenty of extra.

My hope is that by leaving a 3" margin around the entire template, I will have just enough flat space for the router to ride on.  Then I just have to make 1 perfect vent, and can then hopefully use the flush trim bits to mirror that perfect shape without a chance for error.  Now obviously if the router tips somehow its going to screw up my template just like my speaker mount...but I don't think that will be nearly as likely when always on a flat surface.  I also need to come up with the best way of holding it down.  I know a few of you have relied on a double stick tape method, although I'm not sure of the exact type.  I was thinking of going to HD to get some to test.  If it holds well enough and doesn't strip away my wood surface it would be a lot easier than finding a way to clamp it down from multiple sides.

More on this attempt soon...
« Last Edit: December 09, 2020, 12:16:58 am by vertexguy »

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Re: The Kline's Arcade - 4 player - first build, help needed!
« Reply #117 on: December 14, 2020, 01:45:19 pm »
After spending a bunch more time trying to understand why my first attempt at the vents failed so badly, I believe I finally have it figured out!

Welcome to the quest for the perfect pill shaped hole! ;)




It turns out my first attempt was doomed to fail for a variety of reasons I didn't realize at the time.  Rather than using a full template approach, my first attempt was using a moving fence.  Seems like this should work, but there were several factors I didn't consider that resulted in this not working right.  First, it was difficult to figure out ways to clamp both the vertical and horizontal fences in place and then have the vertical fence be easily movable so I could jump from hole to hole.  This resulted in a lot of tear down and setup between each hole, and adjustments on everything which left a margin for alignment error.

The next culprit was the holes I was drilling.  Getting those to be absolutely precise down to a 64th or less even with the drill guide is very challenging, and some of my holes were not lined up correctly.  This is in part why if you look back you'll notice a tendancy for the top or bottom of the hole where it's round to be slightly bulging out on one side.  When the holes are off but the fence is straight, it makes a bulge.

Then the real kicker....  it turns out my router base is not actually a circle.  After banging my head on the wall for hours trying to understand how I could get such horrible slippage with a fence, I figured out that the likely culprit was in part my technique, and a result of the router not being round.  Sure enough, as I was making these lines I wasn't keeping the router lined up exactly the same way on each attempt and reversed my approach on the second set of holes  (that came out far worse) to accommodate my clamped setup.  The side measurement from the blades edge is 1/8th less than the measurement from the blade to the front of the router.  So as I was going if I didn't keep the router aligned (which I wasn't) that would cause a big variance.  Pretty sure the back was a unique measurement as well.  So WTF craftsman?!  Why on earth wouldn't a round looking router base actually be perfectly round?

So after figuring all this out, I decided to try making a template instead to hopefully get more consistent results and speed up the process.



To make these, I tried using my drill with a 1/2" bit to make the ends, being extremely careful to get them as perfectly aligned center as possible.  Then I used my jig saw and hand cut out the rest of the shape.  This of course was not C&C grade by any stretch and left me sanding down inner bumps trying to get a more perfect edge.  Using this method I really should have used a fence to help get a more perfect straight cut.  The end result on the template looked OK, but I could still tell it wasn't perfect.  Regardless, I tried it out on some scrap.

The next challenge in using this was holding down the template.  I did some digging and saw that some folks recommended using a brand of double sided carpet tape.  (Shuretape) I went out to Lowes and found a roll for about 6 bucks.



This stuff is interesting in that it's a somewhat thick fiber texture as it goes on.  It does stick fairly well on the first try, but I quickly learned some set backs with it as well.  The hardboard I'm using to make the templates has a lot of fiber like texture to it on the back, which likes to stay stuck to the tape and makes it hard to reuse it for multiple cuts.  Also it's a heat activated tape and I'm working in my garage with the temperature outside averaging about 18 degrees this week.  That combination doesn't work well and makes it where the tape doesn't stick at all.  I figured out a work around to this which was to hit the tape strips with my heat gun once it was applied just for a few seconds.  This rejuvenated it and I was able to use the same tape to complete several cuts.

Here you can see the results of testing this template out on some scrap.


Not bad.... way better than my first attempt.... but also not perfect.  You can see some of the ends bulging from where I drilled and things not being perfectly aligned, along with a subtle waveyness in the straight section.

This is the point where my wife thinks I've lost my mind trying to make this even better for a vent that no one see's sitting against a wall.  I figure that's not the point.  I want to learn how to do the best job I can regardless the part, and getting things right here means I should be better equipped when doing parts that are more front and center.  Plus this process of making one at a time is still fairly slow.  My design has a lot of these vents. 6 sets of 7 in this style, and 2 more sets of 3 in a slightly longer horizontal variety.



My 5" vent came out slightly better, but still has some hand done qualities to it.


Instead of attempting to make the rounded ends with the drill bit I decided to let the router make as much of everything as possible.  Here I realized all I needed was a straight edge to ride with stops on either end.  For this I used a jigsaw against a fence to get a perfectly straight edge.  I then measured out the 7 vent holes I needed for a set and with this simple little half cut template, lined the edges up to perfectly match the lines.  For the holes I still used my 1/2" router bit and painstakingly made perfect starter holes for it with a center punch that I aligned and hand pressed first, then hammered a little bigger.  The top of the hardboard is really slick so it makes the center punch want to slide around really easily. 




To the right you can see 2 failed attempts at making a single slot template.  These were a combination of measurement error and drill bit alignment.

After all this.... here's the first test result.  Finally... a perfect vent!


Now the next question is, can I replicate it consistently?



It would appear I have success!



Here I lined up the old cuts in my top panel next to the brand new template cuts.... it's night and day. :)  I showed my wife this and she saw the improvement, but still didn't think it mattered given it was against the wall.  Yet I know if she bought something and saw it looked like the vent on the left, she wouldn't be happy with it either. ;)

Next up was to test the template and make sure everything worked well before I risk ruining another large panel.



For these I decided to use a slightly smaller drill bit so there would be less risk of accidently damaging the template, but also making sure the starting holes are always inside the template as opposed to drilling them with measurements before putting down the template and risking something being slightly off.

The trade off here is that it's just a little snug for the router bit.  It makes it where the router can't start spinning initially, but with some subtle wiggling it eventually is able to kick in.  The trouble with the kick in part is that I'm near positive this is causing the pitted marks you'll see in the middle areas of each vent slot. (see how it's lighter in the middle.)  I just couldn't figure out a better way to quickly give the router bit a large enough starting area to spin freely but not risk damaging the template or having to do ultra precise measurement and predrilling.



With the second test coming out nicely, it's time to test it out on a real panel.  Below you'll see I'm using a plastic (I think drywall) scraper as kind of a spudger tool to gently get underneath the template with a few taps from the rubber mallet.  The tape can stick really well and make it quite difficult to pull it off by hand, so this technique made it much faster and didn't damage the template.






Below you can see the little pits that the router blade seems to be making on startup.  It has to be the kickback force of the blade struggling to start.  I really didn't want to have to do a bunch of fine detail work on vent holes, but I'll probably attempt to fill these in with some light bondo somewhere down the line...  If anyone has ideas to further improve my process, please share!





Overall I'm happy with the results I got now.  WAY better than my first botched attempt.  I managed to knock out 2 of the back panels yesterday.  I still haven't decided if I will make another template set for the horizontal longer vents, or just utilize this template and slide it over once the holes are made to get them to the correct length.

Another side note.... I noticed there seems to be a bit of a difference in my noob opinion between the 3/4" and 1/2" ply I'm using despite it supposedly being the same type.  The grain on the 3/4" has more red in it and just looks nicer IMO.  The 1/2, especially when cut down to smaller pieces just feels more like a balsa wood for lack of a better description.  It's still got some strength...but I feel much more confident in the 3/4.  The 1/2 inch also seems to want to have more bow in it just across a 30" strip.  I'm doubling up the 1/2 now for some of my designs, particularly on the lower front where I have a drawer and cabinet to make the frame a lot stronger, and hopefully correct some of the bow.  If I can't get good enough results I may have to start all over with 3/4" everywhere.  However I will note that even the 3/4 has some bow in it depending on the cut.  From what I've read this seems to be common in ply and is one of the advantages of working with MDF.  That said, I'm hoping it's not significant enough to matter, and hoping that when pieces are put together they will straighten out a bit more.  I also realized that the glue I'm using doesn't work so well in 18 degree weather.  I'm going to have to migrate pieces to and from my basement it seems to solve that issue....


« Last Edit: December 14, 2020, 01:47:55 pm by vertexguy »

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Re: The Kline's Arcade - 4 player - first build, help needed!
« Reply #118 on: December 15, 2020, 11:01:13 am »
If anyone has ideas to further improve my process, please share!



If you want to give it another try, here's a link on how to do it. How to Route a Nintendo Speaker Grill
                  

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Re: The Kline's Arcade - 4 player - first build, help needed!
« Reply #119 on: December 18, 2020, 11:51:04 pm »
Thanks for the reference Yamatetsu.  :cheers:  It seems like I'm doing pretty much the same thing outlined in that post, but the main difference is that I don't have a plunge router, and I'm attempting to blow thru all of the depth in one go vs shallow passes.  I might try a shorter bit to see if it helps, but then of course it takes a lot more time to swap out bits and change up depths.... but it might make the difference.  These cuts are good enough for this panel, but I will end up touching them up with some filler.


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Re: The Kline's Arcade - 4 player - first build, help needed!
« Reply #120 on: December 18, 2020, 11:57:46 pm »
Anyone have any idea how I might go about mounting this network pass thru jack in wood paneling?  I bought this from one of the arcade shops (forget which one) and expected it to be a little more mount friendly then this.  Seems like it was only meant for a 1/32 or less thick metal sheet to fit under the plastic black screw down face plate.  I'm going to have to improvise somehow, and I haven't come up with any great ideas yet.   :banghead:  Worst case I could wedge it in a tight hole and use glue to keep it in place but I'm hoping for something a little more elegant and serviceable.

Any thoughts?



« Last Edit: December 19, 2020, 02:16:29 pm by vertexguy »

Drnick

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Re: The Kline's Arcade - 4 player - first build, help needed!
« Reply #121 on: December 19, 2020, 10:35:00 am »
Small metal sheet :) Probably get away with a 2 inch by 2 inch or something.  If you have an old computer cut a piece from the side panel (As long as it is metal) Then Rout out and inset into wood, couple of small screws and should be good to go.  Or save a lot of hassle and get one of these https://www.thomann.de/gb/seetronic_se8fdyh_61_b_ns_rj45.htm



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Re: The Kline's Arcade - 4 player - first build, help needed!
« Reply #122 on: December 19, 2020, 11:50:51 am »
Anyone have any idea how I might go about mounting this network pass thru jack in wood paneling?
As Drnick suggests, you can use a piece of sheet metal or you can 3d print something similar to an arcade button-hole plug, but larger and with the three mount holes.

Mounting hole pattern.  (click for full-size)


I bought this from one of the arcade shops (forget which one)
Probably Focus Attack.
https://focusattack.com/neutrik-ne8fdp-rj45-feed-through-black/

Here's a video showing how to mount this feedthru on a plastic panel. (2:15 - 5:25)




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Re: The Kline's Arcade - 4 player - first build, help needed!
« Reply #123 on: December 20, 2020, 08:23:37 am »
In my Magneto cab I mounted multiple Ethernet/USB/HMDI Neutrik passthroughs in 12mm (1/2") MDF.
Just drill a proper sized hole, and predrill for the two screws. As there is not a lot of clearance between these screws and the hole, you need to be precise/careful.
Anyway, I would suggest to try it out on a piece of scrap first.



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Re: The Kline's Arcade - 4 player - first build, help needed!
« Reply #124 on: December 20, 2020, 10:21:34 pm »
I think that I am going to try a modular furniture faceplate. They are used for adding ports on desks. I don't have one in hand yet but as far as I understand, you just snap them into your cutout and attach your keystones. I thnk I am going with just hdmi and rj45 for any future updates.

https://www.amazon.com/Leviton-49910-SE2-QuickPort-Furniture-Faceplate/dp/B002FYOL2M/
« Last Edit: December 20, 2020, 11:12:41 pm by PL1 »

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Re: The Kline's Arcade - 4 player - first build, help needed!
« Reply #125 on: December 21, 2020, 01:03:09 am »
Thanks for all the ideas and quick feedback!  As edekoning pointed out, he successfully mounted it in 1/2" mdf on his Magneto build, so this should be possible.  Upon closer examination of the part, I'm now wondering what the purpose of the PUSH metal tab / button really is on this pass thru.  As far as I can tell it doesn't do anything with the little plastic tabs on the cat 5 cable so if I don't need to worry about using the push tab I can mount it deeper in about a 1/4 or slightly thicker piece of ply and be fine.  If needed I can find some slightly longer screws so it threads enough into the base.  Unless I find critical purpose to the push tab I should be good.

I'm really hoping to make some massive progress this week before Christmas is here.  The weather looks decent all week.  I did a bunch more detail work in 3d leading up to this week that should help me too.  I still have a few things to figure out but nothing that should keep me from getting this thing upright.  I now have WAY too many hex bolts and threaded inserts of different sizes because I was originally planning on using a lot thicker framing and 3/4" ply everywhere.  Those plans changed over the past year or so, and uh... I guess maybe that confused me. ;D  It could easily have been me misreading something too but either way I ordered 100 bolts that were too long (1 1/2" instead of 1 1/4").  I just got the correct size bolts in today.  On the plus side I was able to find some small M5 hex bolts and threaded inserts that should be perfect for all my smaller service panel areas inside the cabinet and in my gun holster designs.  :)  I also picked up a gallon of satin black paint and Kilz #2 dark primer for all the non laminated surfaces.  Wish me luck...







« Last Edit: December 21, 2020, 03:27:19 pm by vertexguy »

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Re: The Kline's Arcade - 4 player - first build, help needed!
« Reply #126 on: December 25, 2020, 03:42:32 pm »
Merry Christmas everyone!   :cheers:

My Uncle in law got me a really cool ornament this year that I thought everyone would get a kick out of.



It lights up the screen and marquee and plays a bunch of sounds from the game when you push the start button on the CP.

Turns out there's only a couple different collectable cabinets out there so far.   I might have to collect em all. :)


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Re: The Kline's Arcade - 4 player - first build, help needed!
« Reply #127 on: December 29, 2020, 10:22:14 pm »
Time for an end of year update!

I can't believe how this past year flew by while at same time dragging on as if trapped in an endless loop of covid hell.  Another words no where near as productive as I had hoped. That said, I have managed to make some good progress in the past few weeks.  If I had maybe another day or so, I think I would have met my goal of having this thing standing up, but between Christmas and running into new challenges and required design changes, here we are.

I've ordered new parts in the last couple weeks, I've built a number of things in 3d, revised designs, and done a fair amount of wood working and assembly.  Let's start from the top...

I hadn't really fully fleshed out the back design yet to full detail.  I needed to figure out how I was going to mount my power inlet, momentary power switch, and (eventually) a network cable pass thru.  I also decided to play around with the visual style of the back a little bit.

Here's the power inlet area.  I decided to recess them so that it's less obvious and hides the cable end a bit more.  It should also be more versatile for maintenance because if the part or the wood it's mounted too ever has an issue, those are easier to replace than the full back panel.



Here you can see how it vertically mounts to the large board I have across the back of the base.



I also experimented a bit with an accent edge color for all my vents and inset areas on the back.  From straight on everything is black, but the more you angle your view the more you see edge color.  This would match the blue T-Molding I plan on using.  Thought this might add an interesting special touch.



Here you see the full back arrangement straight on, so it's all black.  I wanted to make sure I had plenty of vents to keep a good airflow going through the cabinet to not require any fans.  I also wanted to make sure you can't see into the cabinet, so each vent has a 3/4" spacer behind it with a piece of hardboard attached, so it's impossible to see in from any angle while still promoting good airflow.



Lastly, here's some of the new details worked out for the main electrical wall.  I plan on covering all the connection points with hardboard to keep young hands away and still need to design a cover for the back area of the mounted power supply.  I will probably be good with a standard outlet box to cover the back of the main power inlet.



On the right side of the above pic you can see the inner details of the inset side design I added to the front.  There's a long thin strip of hardboard over it in the back to cover the long channel of lights you will see in the front.  I also am playing around with turn locks that I think I may go with that keep the main lower front cabinet door closed.  You can access it through the coin door with the key.  That keeps the front looking more like a traditional arcade with no extra handles and gives me a way to seal it up if I don't want people accessing the inside.  I'm also toying around with a slide out coin catch drawer kinda similar to what Arroyo had in his designs.  Still working out details for that.  I also doubled up most of the wood on the front cabinet area to make it almost 1 inch thick just to reinforce the door areas and some otherwise rather thin long strips (1.5x30) that felt too flimsy and bowed to me if left at only 1/2 inch thick.



Now as far as wood working and assembly goes, I started by reviewing the base.  Turns out there were a few mistakes I needed to correct before I could move on.  The first was on the large board across the back.  I had intended there to be a nice tight joint where long cleets from the side panels would sit into this board.  I clearly was not careful enough on this section because my measurement was off and the cuts were kinda sloppy from the jigsaw.  Pretty sure I let my boys help with some of these cuts...so I'll just blame it on that. ;)  Either way, the holes on both sides needed shifting, so I broke out the chisel set I got a while back and did what I could to widen them out.  It's not that pretty, and is too wide now due to how it was originally cut, but it should be corrected and still has board in front on either side.  If I care enough I might try to pretty it up somehow later on with some covering.

Next up I took my time and carefully mapped out the bottom 4 holes for threaded inserts in my side panels.  These are meant to connect to the base.





These came out ok.  The only major setback was that I couldn't get the inserts to thread in enough to be completely flush with the board.  Not a big deal though because they compress into the pine boards on the base and become flush.  The first side I tested came out great.  Everything actually lined up well and with some subtle adjusting I was able to get the side to stick below the base by exactly 1/16th.  Then I went to test out the other side, and trouble struck hard.



I can't explain this misstep at all.  Clearly I have a line marked where the center of the holes SHOULD be....but this is no where near.  I thought maybe I marked the other side and flipped the board wrong when I attached it, but in looking back at my design, it was suppose to centered, so it wouldn't have made a difference.  Either way, I now had a problem to solve.  Since this was for a part never seen and I didn't want to attempt to rip off that piece of the base and lose a bunch of time redoing it, I decided to try altering the holes manually with a free hand drill approach.



Turning the small hole into a capsule shape wasn't too tough and that would get it where it needed to be.  The harder part was lowering the large inset circle on the other side that the washer and bolt rest on at a specific depth.



This wasn't pretty but through a bunch of side drilling / cutting with different bits I was able to get it just wide enough without messing up the depth much.  Finally I tried assembling it again and was able to get it in the correct position.



The next part is a ton of manual plotting.  This took a lot longer than I had hoped, but it's imperative that everything be as accurate as possible...especially with threaded inserts.  In retrospect I think I would approach this process different next time.  Given the shear number of things to position correctly and total number of inserts, it might be worth printing out a large black and white print and using that to align all the holes quickly.  A step further would be to do this on a piece of hardboard.  Then you would have a nice template to get perfect results on the actual wood you intend on using, and it makes it easier to reproduce the whole cabinet in the future if that's your goal.  Anyway.... in this process I discovered a few mistakes with the sides that I needed to adjust my designs to and roll with.

The first thing with the inserts was plotting out the main side cleats that run up the back of the side panels.  These hold on all of the back, add stability, and hopefully give the side panel a little more protection against warping.  When drilling these and putting in inserts, I discovered it was best if I clamped several boards together on all sides to help keep it from accidently splitting during the process.  This also provided a wider area to rest my drill guide on.






The screws are quick temporary holders while gluing on the side cleats.  I may leave them in or I might just pull em out and fill the holes.

This next section is all the fun and pain I've run into dealing with threaded inserts and accuracy. :)

First a little tip I learned from bperkins.  I used a standard toilet bowl wax ring and lightly rolled the insert on it prior to insertion.  It turns out a little bit goes a long ways, and it definitely helps it go in faster and easier.  It's even easy to remove and reinsert again if needed. ;)



It turns out there's a lot more to these than meets the eye.  Getting them to be the exact depth and perfectly straight is no easy task.  First I measured out where my fully inserted drill bit hit the ground surface I'm drilling into and mark that with the stopper on my drill guide.  Then I use a tiny measuring stick with mm on it and measure down from that point to the depth I need.  In this case I'm using 15mm 1/4-20 inserts.  On the first side panel, I got lucky and apparently went just deep enough to not run into an upcoming issue.  On the second side panel though, I quickly noticed that each insert I added was also adding a noticeable bulge on the other side of the panel.   The real breaking point was when I got to this section by the corner where the CP rests.



This is the repair shot.  It ended up pulling the plywood apart!  The crack wasn't very wide so I tried putting wood glue on some paper and was able to slide it in and try to wipe as much glue in there as possible, and then clamped it over night.  At that point I made the decision that something was clearly wrong and I needed to figure out how to fix all these bulges, so I pulled out all the inserts on the panel.


Here you can see the regular depth required of an insert sitting against 3/4" ply.



There's only about 1/8th left which happens to be the final bottom ply and perhaps a thin veneer coating.  This really doesn't leave much room for error, but it also doesn't explain the bulging and split wood just yet.

Next I used my scrap 3/4" ply to test more holes and try to understand what was really happening here.  With what I thought was the proper depth hole, here's the insert threaded in to sit flush.


Now you can see the resulting bulge I was talking about on the other side, along with lots of cracking between the ply layers.

Here I made it a little bit deeper of a hole first, and in a cleaner section of the wood, and again you can see the bulge and cracking.


Eventually I drilled deep enough where it started cutting thru the other side.


After putting in the insert, here's the result.



So... now we have a new set of problems.  This tiny hole shouldn't be an issue worth attempting to patch given that I'm laminating and it's the size of a pin head, but it's frustrating and if I were painting, this is not acceptable.  It's also not acceptable to be this close to the surface if I'm thinking about inserts on my CP.  I then backed it up by a hair and tested it again.




Finally.  This is more acceptable (although still way too close to the surface....any sanding and a hole would likely surface).

I might have a couple different options to help this situation out.  If I went with the next size down (10mm) threaded inserts that I got for 1/2" sections, and a shorter bolt, it would probably be fine with a shallower hole.  However, then what will I do for the 1/2" areas I need inserts on?



Turns out the drill bit selection I was using will definitely make a difference.  I caught this early on but still don't have the best possible drill bit for the situation.  Notice these 2 bits have different end points.  The left one would cut a good 1/8th away before it starts to get to the actual diameter of the bit.  The one on the right is what I used in all these examples.  Still not ideal.  What I really need is a flat ended bit so I can buy back 1/8th of depth.  After a quick search I found some steel bits that kinda look more like what I need, but I'm not sure how it will handle wood.



You also run into situations where you need to find ways to make level surfaces to drill on.  This wasn't even the worst one.  The top section had 2 holes right next to a cleat so I had to measure the thickness of the cleat plus the hole depth and get it just right where millimeters count.

After I found the depth that didn't make a hole all the way thru, I went back over every hole on the panel and drilled each one more time.  That was just enough and took out all the bulging, and left no holes (although it's still mighty thin).



So here we have 2 completed side panels with all the inserts in place.  There are quite a few...72 in all.  This is as far as I was able to get.  At this point I probably won't be able to get back to the project until the new year.  This feels like a lot of the complex parts though.  A lot of the remaining pieces are rectangles and attaching cleats to those with drill holes for the bolts to pass thru into the inserts on the side panels.  I already have all the primary panels cut to stand it up so it's really just attaching cleats.  Hand drawing all this detail out on the sides revealed some flaws in my measuring, flaws in my cutting, and even flaws in the digital design,  So it's been a back and forth process and I'm trying to roll with the punches as best I can to keep it moving forward.


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Re: The Kline's Arcade - 4 player - first build, help needed!
« Reply #128 on: December 30, 2020, 05:08:26 pm »
Good thread and congrats on your progress!  I'm just getting started on my own 4 player system.  Learned a few things from your thread that I want to do... and a few mistakes I want to avoid after reading your trial and error.  I think I might just go with some plastic vents instead of routing parallel slots in multiple places. 

I'll definitely do a cardboard CP layout.... have it drawn out on paper right now.  Mounting everything to cardboard or even thin plywood is a good idea.  Want to "try" and get all of the buttons and joysticks in the best locations.

Looking forward to following along wither progress.

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Re: The Kline's Arcade - 4 player - first build, help needed!
« Reply #129 on: January 03, 2021, 11:54:52 pm »
Thanks Shookie.  Its good to hear the thread actually is helping someone rather than just capturing all of my blunders for all time.    ;D. I saw the start of your thread and will be following along.  Prototyping definetly helps!

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Re: The Kline's Arcade - 4 player - first build, help needed!
« Reply #130 on: January 14, 2021, 08:43:10 pm »
Here's a little progress update!  There's lots more detail to share on this that will come in a later post.  For now, after a lot of challenges, it finally stands!





« Last Edit: January 14, 2021, 08:56:03 pm by vertexguy »

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Re: The Kline's Arcade - 4 player - first build, help needed!
« Reply #131 on: January 16, 2021, 10:45:30 pm »
Congrats on getting her standing.  When you havenít done any wood working itís hard to understand what an accomplishment this is.  I know this is your first foray into the hobby so kudos for sticking with it.  Keep going, Iím curious to see where this takes you

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Re: The Kline's Arcade - 4 player - first build, help needed!
« Reply #132 on: January 21, 2021, 01:46:03 pm »
@Arroyo  Thanks man!  It really does inspire to get it standing and be able to focus more on adding pieces to it.  Now that you're getting back to your build I have more inspiration to look forward to as well.  :cheers:


Here's a bit of a backtrack to cover everything leading up to my last update, and beyond.

Getting this thing upright meant I needed to get a LOT of cleats in place.  Rather than do all this precision drilling outside in my cold garage, I try to setup shop in my basement whenever possible.  Here you can see I used a few existing cleats to wedge the one I'm working on into the middle with some speed clamps.  I also had some scrap MDF underneath to drill into so the back of the hole didn't blow out as I drilled.



I got pretty good at being very precise with my hole making having to create so many of these.  The downside to this is that ultimately I learned you still need a little more flexibility in some places then planned.  In a few places I needed to widen these holes by up to 1/8th or so to achieve correct alignment.  Ultimately this is the best way to have that flexibility since the insert itself isn't going anywhere.

Of course this process made a lot of sawdust with each hole, so I made sure I had my old basement vacuum next to me to suck it all up after each hole.  This kept the basement clean and maintained a happy wife.  :)



Once I had all the cleats made, I attached them all to the sides to test them out.  Since I had plotted everything on the side panels, it was really easy to see where the cross sections should align to the cleets.



After all this I was excited to start piecing stuff together and see it stand.  Here's where I made a very simple but critical mistake...



I accidentally grabbed the wrong bolts box.  Originally I ordered bolts that were too long (1.5 inches) and what I really ended up needing for most of the cab was 1.25.  For some reason I though I still needed the longer bolts to attach my base to the sides.  This was unfortunately NOT the case....  I didn't realize this was happening until I was able to flip the base to attach the other size, so it was too little too late.  I quickly removed the bolts at this point and put clamps over the damaged area to smooth it back out.  This seemed to work OK, and given that I'm laminating, I'm hoping that addition will be enough to cover these flaws and keep the hole area flat.

After this mess, I moved those 1.5" bolts to a different location to help prevent me from accidentally grabbing them again, and labeled my 1.25 bolt boxes more distinctly.

I also did more work on the back panels before I could stand it up.  It turned out that my insert placement on one side was off and instead of checking first on the real deal, I went by the computer measurements.  This was another big mistake as I ended up drilling large holes around the edges of the panels that didn't align to anything.  My hope here is that I can patch these up with wood filler, marking where the holes really should be, and then re-drill them once the filler hardens, and sand it down to match the wood.

Somehow I also made a mistake on the placement of the vents on my top panel.  Instead of redoing everything over this mistake, I decided to modify my layout and keep those vents where they were.  There also seems to be some subtle alignment issues with the panels that I still need to address where it isn't completely square.  This is why the back middle section panel is still not attached.  I went to put it on and realized it wasn't fitting properly.  I also need some gap to be able to easily remove my service panels, but I don't like that it creates obvious cracks in back.  This will be an issue to contend with in several places of the cabinet, so I need to figure something out.  Right now my idea was to either use some thick felt, or perhaps hardboard and create a lip on the inside of the panels to cover the gaps.

Moving along I also added the holes for the "handles" on the back that several machines seemed to be adding as a convenience for moving them around.  The search for these things showed there were very limited options on where you can buy them.  I also had some strange naming results as the place I ended up getting them from on eBay was calling them "handle bars".



I found some really small hex bolts on amazon that I intend on using in several places around the cab.  I had to make the hole ever so slightly bigger to fit, but it worked well and keeps a consistent look.


I also went searching for black carriage bolts at local stores and that proved to be a wild goose chase.  I went out of my way to a far Home Depot that showed it had some in stock only to find out they really didn't.  At that point I decided to just grab regular bolts and spray paint them.



I will likely hit them with another coat to really get the edges better, but considering my coin door has wear and tear in places, this should blend right in.  My main concern is if it ends up scratching off easily.  Hopefully not... my only alternative seems to be ordering online in much higher quantities.

Along the way of working on stuff I started getting more familiar with the router and some techniques to help get perfectly straight edges.



Here I'm using the factory straight edges on each of the hardboard templates I had made to form the edges of the rectangle I wanted to cut out for the power inlet on the back panel.  With a flush trim bit this was dirt simple with the double stick tape and resulted in the rounded edge corner I was after to tie in with the capsule shaped vent holes.  Once I got comfortable with this I started using the router to make perfectly straight cuts along the edges of every board I was making.  This is time consuming to setup, but the end result is perfect.  I bought a few boards and even some cheap floor tiles to act as quick templates I can setup and use for faster setup and better edges.
« Last Edit: January 21, 2021, 02:01:18 pm by vertexguy »

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Re: The Kline's Arcade - 4 player - first build, help needed!
« Reply #133 on: January 21, 2021, 01:51:14 pm »
Next up I decided to take on the light box that holds the marquee up top.  I went out and bought some tin duct repair tape to line the inside to help bounce the light around.   I was hoping to find something even more reflective as this seems to be no better than aluminum wrap you would use in the kitchen.  For now I'm hoping it's sufficient and actually helps, as I plan on using it in several places on the cabinet to help diffuse the lighting.

My light box design required a few cuts with the router beyond just making nice straight edges. 



First I lined up where I needed to make my cut, which when finished will basically be a rabbet joint.  This channel is needed to make a space for my black metal corner molding pieces that hold the marquee in place.  It's only about 1/16th tall and I think roughly 3/4" deep.  I started by testing the depth of the router on some scrap wood.  I like this method vs just relying on a measurement alone.  It avoids unwelcome surprises!



Next I simply ran the router along my fence (just a factory cut board with a perfect edge) and made the start of the channel.  Since I'm using 1/2" bits, I then needed to move the board closer to the fence to finish the channel.



Just for fun once the cut was complete I then measured to verify my depth was correct again.



I then had to make another channel on the opposite side of the board to create the groove that will hold the plexi glass / marquee once the metal corner molding is attached.  This was a 3/16" square cut if memory serves.  Here you can see the end result with the finished edge for the bottom piece of the light box.



The top panel has a similar channeling but I opted not to channel out the top where the metal sits just to save a little time.  I think I'm OK with a subtle lip facing backwards on the top of the cabinet, and the laminate will end up adding height so that lip will be something like 1/32".  If when I get to that point I change my mind, it shouldn't be hard to route it out and make it flush.

Here it is all assembled on the cabinet.



Another cool thing was that my parents were visiting for the first time in about a year.  I was able to convince my dad to make a few cuts with the router.  He wasn't willing to try anything that wasn't a guided cut.  Still, now I can truly say he helped in building this cabinet.  :)  He used to make a lot of things when I was growing up, including building a giant workshop / shed in our back yard, and making me a massive tree house with a giant staircase.  He definitely has woodworking skills, but it's been so long he's forgotten a lot too.  He said he's never tried doing something this precise before.
« Last Edit: January 21, 2021, 02:45:52 pm by vertexguy »

vertexguy

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Re: The Kline's Arcade - 4 player - first build, help needed!
« Reply #134 on: January 21, 2021, 01:52:39 pm »
One new thing I had to get right to complete this was how to make precise angle cuts.  I'll have a bunch more of these all over the cab, especially in the CP side walls, so it's important I figure it out.  I also don't have a miter saw so I need a solution with the skill saw I have.  The other problem I ran into is that for whatever reason, I just can't get the protractor tool in 3d Studio Max to work correctly.  After spending way too much time wrestling with it, I opted to find these angles another way.  What I ended up doing was taking measurements of the 2 angled edges on the board, and the depth of the board.  Then I carefully measured that out and drew it on some scrap wood.

I then extended the angled line so I could make a nice wedge block from the wood.



I used the router to make the cut along the line so it would be as perfectly straight as possible.  I also needed to make sure I had a factory edge to square it up against on my scrap wood.



This created a nice jig that I can set right up against the bottom of the saw and move the angle of the blade until it rests perfectly against it.



I never did figure out what the exact degree was for this cut, but it wasn't anything that was easily set on the saw.  Maybe there's a better way to figure this out or force more standard angle cuts to be used, but this is where I landed.

Next I aligned the saw on the board I was cutting to put the top of the blade right on my cut line.  I then marked where the edge of the saw base / sled was at and made a fence for it to follow.  I measured and made sure both ends aligned perfectly.  I also noted that different angle cuts will have different distances to the fence.  I'm guessing this is just because of where the pivot point is on my saw.



After setting the saw against the fence, I did a short cut in to double check things looked ok before ruining my entire board.  All checked out, so away I went.



The result is a perfect match to the angle I needed.  This particular angle cut goes on the top back panel for the lightbox that will meet up with another angled panel with vents.  This was the panel I first tried making my vents on and messed up, so I still need to remake it.  This time, I'm going to do the angle cuts FIRST and make sure everything fits properly before I do the detailed vent cuts.  At least now with my templates, the vents come out consistent.

The next angle cut was a little more standard at 45 degrees.  My speaker panel needs these to line up correctly.  So again I used the same technique but didn't bother with a jig since the saw has a 45 degree line on it.



This panel required something a little more tricky beyond the 45 angle cuts though.  This next part didn't turn out quite the way I had hoped, so I will be revisiting it at a later point to try to fix it.  The bottom section of my speaker panel needs a specific angle cut in it at a specific depth to serve as the top notch to hold my bezel in place.  I wanted to make it serviceable and not have any visible screws.  The idea is that by opening the control panel top, it allows the bezel to slide out if desired.  With the control panel shut it can't move.  This way I can clean the inside of the glass on the bezel and / or the TV when needed.  I remembered reading older posts a long time ago where people had complained that they didn't make their bezel easily removed so cleaning was an issue.

Anyway, my idea for this channel kind of worked but had some problems to address.



I used the same method to find the angle and create a jig to go against the saw blade.  Then I made the first cut.  This was the first mistake.  I should have done this channel before making the edge 45 cuts.  Then maybe it would have faired a little better with more support?  As you can see, the top edge chipped away in several places along the cut.  This screws up the tiny channel to hold the bezel.  At least it's on the back side that isn't seen, so now I'm left with coming up with a way to fix it.  My current thought is to cut a strip of hardboard and glue it along the 45 edge to extend it up to the correct height.  That will at least create a tiny solid edge the bezel can rest against.  If anyone has better ideas, I'm always open to input!

Then I continued along making the same angle cut but at the other end.



This part seemed easy enough.  Then I would just offset my fence in 1/8th increments to remove the middle.  This part didn't work out as smoothly as I had hoped though.  Somehow I got off in a few places.  The top cut near the speaker hole edge now has a lumpy break in it that I need to fix.  Fortunately I caught it early on instead of going over the entire board.  I think I must have lifted the saw a little to make this happen.   



I cleaned up the channel with a chisel.  This worked fairly well and I wonder if I would have been better off just making a single cut down the middle and chiseling out the channel from there.  I am also debating taking a router to it given that it's exactly 1/4" wide.  I can't get the angles, but I can clean out the center area perfectly that way.  I'm hoping some wood filler will rebuild that upper edge and with the laminate over the top it will look fine.

Here's the speaker panel mounted.


All these cleat connections with threaded inserts add time to the process as well.  For each one I have to carefully map where it goes on the board it holds.  For this process,  rather than relying on the computer measurements, I'm using the real cabinet, holding the piece up where it should go, and making pencil marks to align the cleats.  This way I account for any mistakes I may have made along the way that would impact alignment.  Again I also find that I'm having to go back and adjust the holes on the cleats slightly to buy maybe 1/16th wiggle room to get things sitting exactly where they should be.  This is why having washers with these bolts is key to allow you some flexibility for adjustment.  I then have to glue and clamp them on and wait 24 hours before stressing the joint any based on everything I've read.  These are just weak butt joints, so I don't really want to risk them becoming any weaker by shortcutting.

As I go I'm trying to build out the front as much as possible.  Next areas of focus are below the CP, which has a ton of complexity.  I need to build the drawer which is probably my next piece, and then move on to the coin door, larger cabinet door, and side light panels.  I've already run into challenges with the front cabinet because of the hinges.  I didn't realize just how big and deep these things are and I'm not sure they will work well with a 1/4" cabinet door.  At the same time I haven't fully figured out how to mount them correctly and what door thickness the hinges require.  Apparently this is a factor I hadn't considered in my original designs.  The cup depth on the inset euro hinges is extremely close to 1/4".  Maybe even slightly over.  Thus the hinges are kind of dictating how thick the door panel must be.  It all seems to be pushing me back to 3/4", which I was originally avoiding to lighten the cab a bit. :(  Now that all my cleats are in place, I also have to work with where those sit.  So it's a bit of a design conundrum.  I'm not sure if I can only add depth to the door where the cup hole goes and still have it open correctly, or what to do yet...  Given my design I figured I needed inset face frame hinges, so that's what I have.  Given the weight of the door with the coin door attached and coin box full of coins, I need at least 3 hinges.  I have 4 so we're good there.  I've been digging through stuff on the Blum hinge site and looking at a few videos but so far no specific answers   :dunno 

Until I figure out the hinges, I'm stuck from moving forward on the front.  I can move on the drawer though, so I'll probably do that in the mean time.  I'm also nervous about the light panels because they are all glued to the front section.  If I mess that up it will be difficult to remove it and start again.  So I will probably have to cut those and get them perfect before I can actually complete the front section.  I was aiming for the light panels (plastic) being flush with the wood, so that means precision cutting the holes and the plexi that goes in them.  Not sure how I'm gonna do that yet...
« Last Edit: January 21, 2021, 01:58:07 pm by vertexguy »