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Author Topic: Humbly requesting expertise and advice  (Read 351 times)

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Humbly requesting expertise and advice
« on: March 26, 2020, 05:05:08 pm »
Good day, all!
I am new to the forum and in fact, new to building.
Because of my inexperience, some scouring of the internet in search of information has led me to this place, which seems to be where the experts and enthousiasts reside and share knowledge.

A short introduction then: My name is Dennis, born in '85, and I'm from Holland. Hallo allemaal!
I' ve always loved the arcade, its atmosphere and most of all its games.
After the arcades died out (at least in my region), I discovered MAME and played a metric ton of Mugen in my teens, always dreaming of one day having my own sort of Mame cabinet, ever since it seemed neigh impossible.

So at this point, aged 34, i have my own place with a retro game room set up (consoles, mostly), and I'm ready for a build.
Point is though, the entire endeavour seems incredibly daunting..
And that's where I would love yall's help.

Just to be clear, I'm not planning on building a full on cabinet, I sort of want to build my own tabletop-ish thingamajiggum. Sort of like a side table with an arcade console built in. I'm mildy adequate with a saw and power tools, I've wired up a couple of PC's and Im planning on doing my own artwork for inlays (because thats sort of what I do).

The current plan is: (probably blasphemous)
I own a B&O mx4000. Lovely crt screen which Im not planning in taking apart. I figured I'd get myself a Pandora's Box 6 (as it supports 4:3), includding a Jamma harness and obviously a power adapter, the whole joystick encoutrements etcetera. Then I would need some sort of Jamma to Scart adapter I reckon. All of this will be built into a little table, which can then be connected to my MX4000, which is already built into its nice, snug cabinet.

So, some if you might be rolling your eyes at the lack of purism here, and I understand that conpletely. However, any guidance would be greatly appreciated. I don't want to build a monstrisity or anything, I would just love to buuld my very own custom arcade machine.

Thanks for having me, and if you need any information or sketches, or if you guys can help me out, lemme know.

Kind regards,



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Re: Humbly requesting expertise and advice
« Reply #1 on: March 27, 2020, 05:26:38 pm »
What sort of help are you looking for?  Woodworking, electronics, software?  Might help to pair down the questions so people can help with their responses.


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Re: Humbly requesting expertise and advice
« Reply #2 on: March 28, 2020, 12:11:11 am »
Building a machine is not really as hard as some around here make it sound, Basically wood, glass, steel all wired together to make it something fun...Build what you like, but as you do so most likely you will find it almost if not more fun than the games it was ment to play...Welcome friend.


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Re: Humbly requesting expertise and advice
« Reply #3 on: March 28, 2020, 07:09:04 am »
My general advice for a noob (which I am currently walking that path myself) is to start with the "guts" and then design your cabinet after that. Pick out your hardware first, your monitor, and mock up some controls, and make sure you are satisfied with what's going to go into the cab before you ever lift a pencil to design that part. It sounds like you have a plan in that regard, so I'd say go ahead and mock all that up and make sure it works as you'd like first. Then you need to measure all your components and make sure you can design around them. Some folks here use 3d rendering software to do that, but I say the best tool for rough idea work is just a notebook and a pencil. From there you can get an idea of shapes you like. I would also highly suggest looking at how classic cabinets have been contructed, as they are really much more simple than you might expect.

Once you're becoming sure of how you want to design it, start looking at what tools you want to use. Some folks use CNC, and if you have it, use it, but if not there's plenty of lower-tech options. Simple tools like a jigsaw, drill, hole drilling bits, a router, and a homemade sawboard will get you in the door quickly and cheaply. I don't know what is the equivalent of Harbor Freight in Holland, but you needn't get the most costly tools for this project, and in fact if you can borrow them, all the better. But might be a good idea to get your own, since once you've built one, you might want to build more!


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Re: Humbly requesting expertise and advice
« Reply #4 on: March 28, 2020, 07:09:39 am »
Hello Dennis,

Also from the Netherlands;-)

I donít understand what you need?
You talk about a tabletop. But also talk about the mx4000 (a real big screen).
Where I can help, I will help.
I build Bartops, tabletops, full cabinets from scratch.
And love original old stuff

Greets Ger


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Re: Humbly requesting expertise and advice
« Reply #5 on: March 28, 2020, 12:07:18 pm »
Dont make something built into a coffee table,its in the long run going to be something your annoyed with IMO.
As your tv is probably quite low,and used for your console gaming,im guessing a nice pedestal build is out.
If i was you,id build a tank stick sort of CP that had the controls i wanted.connected to a pc under your tv which was running groovymame.Place it on a table when in use,then stow away when the tv and table is needed for consoles.Maybe you run console builds from the pc? add some controllers to the tank stick.