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Author Topic: Thoughts on methods to rotate a monitor within a cabinet?  (Read 882 times)

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P-chan

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Thoughts on methods to rotate a monitor within a cabinet?
« on: October 07, 2020, 09:52:32 am »
I would like to be able to rotate my 27" widescreen monitor within the cabinet to play vertical games.  I've attached images of how I would set up the screen so that it could display fully in either orientation.

I'm looking for ways to be able to rotate the screen easily while the cabinet is in use.  I could have a door in the back or side and just reach in there and rotate it, but ideally I would have a lever or something protruding through the side or back of the cab that could be used to do the rotation, so that even a kid could do it and not worry about damaging anything.  I will probably be VESA mounting the monitor with a rotating mount, although it does currently sit on a stand that rotates, I would probably use something like this: https://www.amazon.com/Maclocks-Orientation-Swivel-Enclosures-VRP-B/dp/B00T78GH1M/

Anyone have any examples?  Thoughts?

CitznFish

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Re: Thoughts on methods to rotate a monitor within a cabinet?
« Reply #2 on: October 07, 2020, 11:19:14 am »
Why not automate it?

http://forum.arcadecontrols.com/index.php?topic=153370.0

Yup.  If you are going through the trouble to make it rotate you should automate it.  No one - especially kids - is going to want to pull a lever or spin a wheel or whatever when changing games.

Howard_Casto

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Re: Thoughts on methods to rotate a monitor within a cabinet?
« Reply #3 on: October 07, 2020, 05:18:14 pm »
Why rotate a flatscreen?  The whole reason we used to rotate monitors back in the day was because people were using low res crts, which made vertical games look horrible when they were displayed in horizontal mode.  Your flat screen will be at least 1080p and the games will look great in either orientation. 

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Re: Thoughts on methods to rotate a monitor within a cabinet?
« Reply #4 on: October 07, 2020, 05:56:55 pm »
I rotate a flatscreen.  It's nice to have the same size screen in both orientations rather than a smaller vertical one.

See the automated projects subforum for ideas.

A word of warning on the VESA mount: often the monitor holes aren't centered on the monitor and you have to build an adapter plate.  See my build linked in my sig.

Nothing wrong with keeping it simple and rotating by hand.  The software side can be a PITA.  One of the MAME devs had a cab where you pulled on opposite ends of a rope to rotate.

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Re: Thoughts on methods to rotate a monitor within a cabinet?
« Reply #5 on: October 07, 2020, 09:02:45 pm »
I have to agree with Howard on this.

In the days when most people were using CRT monitors in their cabs, you couldn't really go much above 20 inches or so as, beyond that size, CRT monitors (and TVs) need a lot of space behind the display, and are extremely heavy. So, it made sense to maximise the usable display area for both vertical and horizontal games by allowing the display to rotate.

However, with flat screen displays, there is no practical limit to how big they can be. I've seen 43 inch 4K monitors being advertised recently for very reasonable prices. So, why not just buy a bigger monitor? Or, if that's not possible, have you considered using a fresnel lens to magnify the display?
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Howard_Casto

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Re: Thoughts on methods to rotate a monitor within a cabinet?
« Reply #6 on: October 07, 2020, 10:13:53 pm »
I saw a 40 inch display at walmart for under 200 bucks yesterday.  I'm sure it isn't top of the line, but I'm just saying.... price isn't an excuse.  As pbj says... "Have you considered a pedestal?"  Hang a big ass tv on the wall or build a showcase cabinet and you are golden. 

If you insist on rotating a monitor though the way modern candy cabs do it is the monitor cutout is perfectly square with the monitor attached to a wooden bezel that fills in the gaps.... to rotate it you just pull the whole thing out, rotate it 90 degrees and you are golden.  K.I.S.S.

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Re: Thoughts on methods to rotate a monitor within a cabinet?
« Reply #7 on: October 08, 2020, 04:47:28 am »
Having done this with a CRT, I'd say it'd be far easier with a flat panel.

I think it's worth it to get bigger screen on gameplay for vertical games even on a large/HD monitor.  Make use of the screen space!

Just cut a hole in the side and attach a little door to it.  What I did was mount the monitor in a circular frame and had it on castors.   The frame had a small handle on the side to help rotate it.

It was easy, kids could do it no problem:  Open side door, rotate monitor, close side door, done.  If you have a vesa mount, I guess you could attach something to that or the TV to act as a handle, if that's even necessary with a flat screen.

Or you could do what Howard suggests, but that sounds like more work to me.

If you want to go automated, it's a lot more work.  I didn't in the end due to that reason, and I don't regret it as it's so easy.

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Re: Thoughts on methods to rotate a monitor within a cabinet?
« Reply #8 on: October 08, 2020, 05:57:46 am »
Build what you dig.   :)

If you want to make it physically rotate, you can.  Manually, or automatically.

In my machine I mounted a 46" TV vertically, in portrait, and hid the top and bottom ends inside the machine.  Exposed the center square, and then put 4:3 games horizontally or vertically in that area, with bezel art around it.   That approach gets you software rotation with no moving parts in an overall size that's just barely wider than real arcade cabinets were back in the day, and not huge like a Killer Queen cabinet.

There's many approaches.  Hope you find one you like!

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Re: Thoughts on methods to rotate a monitor within a cabinet?
« Reply #9 on: October 08, 2020, 07:27:07 am »
Build what you dig.   :)

If you want to make it physically rotate, you can.  Manually, or automatically.

In my machine I mounted a 46" TV vertically, in portrait, and hid the top and bottom ends inside the machine.  Exposed the center square, and then put 4:3 games horizontally or vertically in that area, with bezel art around it.   That approach gets you software rotation with no moving parts in an overall size that's just barely wider than real arcade cabinets were back in the day, and not huge like a Killer Queen cabinet.

There's many approaches.  Hope you find one you like!
This is definitely the most elegant solution I’ve seen to the vertical/horizontal “problem” - was it hard to define the play area?  How do you tell the front end / MAME to output in a square and also to a defined section of the overall screen?  One of my favorite cabs for sure.

Ropi Jo

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Re: Thoughts on methods to rotate a monitor within a cabinet?
« Reply #10 on: October 08, 2020, 08:56:56 am »
Rotating 25" CRT in a modified Xenon (with tinted screen removed to show surround)

Still very much WIP.

« Last Edit: October 09, 2020, 03:41:41 am by Ropi Jo »

javeryh

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Re: Thoughts on methods to rotate a monitor within a cabinet?
« Reply #11 on: October 08, 2020, 10:06:44 am »
How did you cut such a perfect hole for the monitor?

Ropi Jo

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Re: Thoughts on methods to rotate a monitor within a cabinet?
« Reply #12 on: October 08, 2020, 10:10:23 am »
It's not as perfect a hole as it looks. I initially used a foam window seal strip to plug the gap but that was crap. I cleaned that off and used black silicon. With the tinted screen fitted it's virtually unnoticeable.
« Last Edit: October 09, 2020, 03:43:14 am by Ropi Jo »

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Re: Thoughts on methods to rotate a monitor within a cabinet?
« Reply #13 on: October 08, 2020, 10:34:48 am »
Sometimes I think it would be cooler to do a transforming bezel rather than rotating the monitor. Especially if you are using a flat screen. If you can fit a decent sized monitor in your cab, vertical games will still be displayed at a good size... Having some sort of system that closes over part of the monitor when a vertical game is played would be cool I think.

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Re: Thoughts on methods to rotate a monitor within a cabinet?
« Reply #14 on: October 09, 2020, 03:43:40 pm »
Rotating a screen is a great idea.  You could go one step further and have it turn by linear actuators.

I seem to remember there was some software that allowed for exceptions to be created from MAME that would activate the actuators per the vertical game that was played.  Mame Hook or something like that.

The only word of warning I would impart, is with the display.  I remember someone rotated or used a monitor in a position that made the monitor overheat and catch fire.  Usually there is nothing in the monitor case that would touch that would cause that issue, but it is something to think about like, de casing the LCD back and Bezel to provide better airflow in a cabinet.

Please share your progress, as I would find that very interesting and helpful.  :cheers:

I found this as an example:

http://forum.arcadecontrols.com/index.php?topic=135711.0

P-chan

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Re: Thoughts on methods to rotate a monitor within a cabinet?
« Reply #15 on: October 09, 2020, 05:58:17 pm »
Build what you dig.   :)

If you want to make it physically rotate, you can.  Manually, or automatically.

In my machine I mounted a 46" TV vertically, in portrait, and hid the top and bottom ends inside the machine.  Exposed the center square, and then put 4:3 games horizontally or vertically in that area, with bezel art around it.   That approach gets you software rotation with no moving parts in an overall size that's just barely wider than real arcade cabinets were back in the day, and not huge like a Killer Queen cabinet.

There's many approaches.  Hope you find one you like!

Dude.  You may have just screwed up all my planning.  I have a spare 40" LCD TV that isn't doing anything right now... :)  I may have some questions for you (seriously, who writes their own front end?)  :applaud:

P-chan

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Re: Thoughts on methods to rotate a monitor within a cabinet?
« Reply #16 on: October 10, 2020, 12:14:03 am »
Ok thanks to Laythe I think I'm going with a large LCD mounted in portrait orientation.  I have been screwing around with bezel art and .lay files all evening and it should be pretty easy to mount vertically and instead of hiding the top, use it as the marquee.

csnow

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Re: Thoughts on methods to rotate a monitor within a cabinet?
« Reply #17 on: October 10, 2020, 10:07:26 am »
Rotating 25" CRT in a modified Xenon (with tinted screen removed to show surround)

Still very much WIP.
Amazing work.  Seeing stuff like this reinforces that my wood working skills are pathetic.

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Re: Thoughts on methods to rotate a monitor within a cabinet?
« Reply #18 on: October 10, 2020, 03:55:45 pm »
Rotating 25" CRT in a modified Xenon (with tinted screen removed to show surround)

Still very much WIP.
Amazing work.  Seeing stuff like this reinforces that my wood working skills are pathetic.

Very kind of you. Thank you.

There's a write up and some info about my bodgery in the automated section...

http://forum.arcadecontrols.com/index.php/topic,163068.0.html


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Re: Thoughts on methods to rotate a monitor within a cabinet?
« Reply #19 on: October 11, 2020, 09:05:38 am »
Build what you dig.   :)

If you want to make it physically rotate, you can.  Manually, or automatically.

In my machine I mounted a 46" TV vertically, in portrait, and hid the top and bottom ends inside the machine.  Exposed the center square, and then put 4:3 games horizontally or vertically in that area, with bezel art around it.   That approach gets you software rotation with no moving parts in an overall size that's just barely wider than real arcade cabinets were back in the day, and not huge like a Killer Queen cabinet.

There's many approaches.  Hope you find one you like!
This is definitely the most elegant solution I’ve seen to the vertical/horizontal “problem” - was it hard to define the play area?  How do you tell the front end / MAME to output in a square and also to a defined section of the overall screen?  One of my favorite cabs for sure.

You don't*. Set your graphics card to the correct resolution and orientation and most emulators will just work, You do need to make sure a few settings like auto-rotate and aspect ratio are set correctly but no more so than a normal cabinet. The only emulator that hasn't played ball so far is Demul (and I haven't tried that hard). PC games have actually proved the biggest pain in the arse to get working, although it's doable.

*You can still use .lay files in the same way, just specifying pixel dimensions and offset.

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Re: Thoughts on methods to rotate a monitor within a cabinet?
« Reply #20 on: October 14, 2020, 04:44:24 pm »
Build what you dig.   :)

If you want to make it physically rotate, you can.  Manually, or automatically.

In my machine I mounted a 46" TV vertically, in portrait, and hid the top and bottom ends inside the machine.  Exposed the center square, and then put 4:3 games horizontally or vertically in that area, with bezel art around it.   That approach gets you software rotation with no moving parts in an overall size that's just barely wider than real arcade cabinets were back in the day, and not huge like a Killer Queen cabinet.

There's many approaches.  Hope you find one you like!
This is definitely the most elegant solution I’ve seen to the vertical/horizontal “problem” - was it hard to define the play area?  How do you tell the front end / MAME to output in a square and also to a defined section of the overall screen?  One of my favorite cabs for sure.

You don't*. Set your graphics card to the correct resolution and orientation and most emulators will just work, You do need to make sure a few settings like auto-rotate and aspect ratio are set correctly but no more so than a normal cabinet. The only emulator that hasn't played ball so far is Demul (and I haven't tried that hard). PC games have actually proved the biggest pain in the arse to get working, although it's doable.

*You can still use .lay files in the same way, just specifying pixel dimensions and offset.

Totally agree, I've got a good workflow going building .lay files for the games and making custom bezels and marquee art for 1920x1080 (not using the lower 25%ish of the screen) and it's working really well.

thomashenry

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Re: Thoughts on methods to rotate a monitor within a cabinet?
« Reply #21 on: October 15, 2020, 11:37:33 am »
Sometimes I think it would be cooler to do a transforming bezel rather than rotating the monitor. Especially if you are using a flat screen. If you can fit a decent sized monitor in your cab, vertical games will still be displayed at a good size... Having some sort of system that closes over part of the monitor when a vertical game is played would be cool I think.

That's a great idea.

P-chan

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Re: Thoughts on methods to rotate a monitor within a cabinet?
« Reply #22 on: October 15, 2020, 11:09:17 pm »
It's really easy to transform the bezel in software using .lay files (different layouts) for MAME.  If you're comfortable with super basic script modifications, it's great.

zestyphresh

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Re: Thoughts on methods to rotate a monitor within a cabinet?
« Reply #23 on: October 16, 2020, 05:38:42 am »
Sometimes I think it would be cooler to do a transforming bezel rather than rotating the monitor. Especially if you are using a flat screen. If you can fit a decent sized monitor in your cab, vertical games will still be displayed at a good size... Having some sort of system that closes over part of the monitor when a vertical game is played would be cool I think.

The alternative route is to use either a Plasma or OLED screen so unused (black) portions of the screen are actually that, and avoid some of the local dimming issues with LED screens. Throw some tinted glass in front of it and you're golden.