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Author Topic: First Time Build - "Chimera" (Completed... mostly)  (Read 8410 times)

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zeorangr

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First Time Build - "Chimera" (Completed... mostly)
« on: November 12, 2021, 06:37:46 pm »
Welp, it's that time.  While there's still a LOT more work to do on marquees, artwork, scripting, adding games, and overall polish, I think we're in a 'completed' enough state to call this build done for now.  I'm going to step back from building anything new for a bit and just enjoy continuing to tinker with this for the foreseeable future.  I'll definitely post more updates if I do anything major, but I think I'm ready to call this project finished for now from a build standpoint.

I grabbed some pictures today of the cabinet running in attract mode, and got a couple of shots of pinball as well, and compiled them all into an animated .gif image to share here.  I had to 'optimize' the .gif, so the quality isn't great, but this should give some idea of how it looks in the living room now.  Anyway, here it is, on location at home:



Right now, we're sitting at 114 PC games, 100 Pinball FX3 tables, 645 Arcade games, and ~3500 music videos loaded.  I've got a few more games still to add on the Steam side of things, and I'm eventually going to get off more into the vpin side of things and try to figure out how to add more emulated tables, but that's more tinkering for future me to enjoy.  8)

I learned a LOT while building this, and it's been a great experience.  Even though I'm posting this as 'done,' I keep seeing things that I could improve on, or ways to redesign things, or simply things I didn't get to add that I would have liked to, like the side panels that Laythe had suggested (I still think he's 100% right - those would look great, but I ran out of time to really do anything with those for this build), or adding 'automatic transform' functionality for transitioning between the upright arcade format or the pinball format.  Still, those are definitely things I'd like to either add to this cabinet later, or incorporate into Chimera 2.0 someday (at some as-yet-undetermined point in the future, but I'm going to have to save up for a while before diving into another build or doing anything else major to this one  ;D.)  I think the next major 'upgrade' I'm looking at first would be to get a couple of Gun4IR guns to replace the wii remotes in gun shells I'm currently using for lightguns, but they work ok for now.  I may also look at commissioning some side art at some point, but I haven't quite decided what I'd want there.


I'll be around if anyone has any questions about my build, or anything I've done here, so please feel free to post here or message me.  For as much as I've relied on you all for the past couple of years while I've worked through all this, answering questions is the least I can do.  I'm also happy to share any of the artwork I've created, as apparently 21:9-sized marquees aren't really a thing out in the wild, so hit me up if you'd like a copy of something.  I'm still looking to put up a .zip file of all my marquees once I get more done, so I'll post a link back to that once it's available.

All that said, I want to thank everyone here for inspiring this project - not only those I've mentioned by name in my posts, but all of you - the random tidbits of information spread throughout this forum have been a tremendous help as I've worked through this build, troubleshooting issues, writing scripts, wrangling configurations, and figuring out how to make all these random parts work together.   This is a great community, and you all are awesome.

Cheers.   :cheers:

-z-



Original post below:
==========================================

So, according to Greek mythology, the Chimera was a monstrous fire-breathing hybrid creature composed of different animal parts.   The definition on Wikipedia ( https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chimera_(mythology) ) includes the following line, which I found apt:

The term "chimera" has come to describe any mythical or fictional creature with parts taken from various animals, to describe anything composed of very disparate parts, or perceived as wildly imaginative, implausible, or dazzling.

Definitions out of the way, here's my unholy transforming motorized monster (but not fire-breathing) hybrid of an upright arcade cabinet and a vpin. 







Here's a youtube clip from a bit earlier in the build process showing the motorized screen movement:



I started this project in around August of 2020, after stumbling onto this forum and seeing  / drawing inspiration from some of the other projects here - most notably Markc74's 'Blip' cabinet, Laythe's 'Mimic' cabinet and Maximus' "MVC Revolution" cabinet.  It's taking so long because I'm only able to work on this on the weekends, about 4 hours at a time on Saturdays.  I started this project with very limited woodworking ability...  and I still have very limited woodworking ability, though I'd like to think I've gotten better at it over the past year or so!  ;D 

I've had to learn as I go, and I've made quite a few mistakes along the way (like dropping the marquee onto and shattering the first 50" TV that was mounted in there  :badmood:) , but I've finally gotten this to a point where I feel relatively comfortable sharing this with the interwebz - so here it is.  We're at about 80% complete with the build at this point.

Although it's going to still need to be painted, I'm hoping to finish the woodworking part of the cabinet build and the control panel wiring, and get it moved into the house before Thanksgiving (which, at the time of posting this, is just a couple of weeks away), and have a functioning cabinet by then:

I'm planning to have more pictures and videos linked over the coming weeks, and will update this thread until this is finished.
« Last Edit: April 08, 2022, 02:53:52 pm by zeorangr »
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bobbyb13

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Re: First Time Build - "Chimera"
« Reply #1 on: November 12, 2021, 10:27:40 pm »
Always love a different idea.
Cool implementation of the slide motion.
Is it just straight slides with pivot points in appropriate spots?
Relax, all right? My old man is a television repairman, he's got this ultimate set of tools! I can fix it.

Ond

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Re: First Time Build - "Chimera"
« Reply #2 on: November 12, 2021, 11:17:06 pm »
I love the innovation going on here! It's a clever implementation of the transforming arcade machine idea. Some pictures of the build process and mechanics would be cool.

zeorangr

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Re: First Time Build - "Chimera"
« Reply #3 on: November 13, 2021, 11:10:48 am »
Thanks for the kind words!   I'm not as organized with all this as I probably should be, but I'm happy to answer any questions anyone might have on this - and I definitely will be sharing more pictures and videos as we go here.


I love the innovation going on here! It's a clever implementation of the transforming arcade machine idea. Some pictures of the build process and mechanics would be cool.

Thank you Ond!  After seeing some of the stuff you've built and shared here, I really appreciate that!    I wasn't as good at taking as many pictures earlier in the process, but I have a few and I'll definitely share what I have.  Definitely happy to talk about the parts of the build process that I do have documented though.


I started sketching a rough outline based on the diagrams that Laythe shared for his build of Mimic.  After seeing the result he got on that cab, I decided that something similar would work well for what I was trying to do here.  Here are a couple of the early sketches I did:





In the interest of full disclosure, I'm not sure that the dimensions I've got listed on these are entirely accurate - These were both VERY early on, and I was mainly trying to more figure out how things would generally fit together and get proportions set - so if someone were to want to try and build one of these, please DON'T base your measurements on what I have here.   :laugh:

Since the size of the main screen would really determine the proportions and measurements of everything else, the dimensions of the 50" TV are what this was all based around to start with.

After getting the information on the screen height / width / depth, I figured that if the screen was 25.5" wide, 44.1" tall (when in vertical orientation), and 3.2" deep, then I should probably build a box for the screen 26.5" wide and like 45" long, and 4" deep (to mount the screen in with a little clearance for ventilation and be able to protect it somewhat).  The rest of the measurements came from that.

One of the things I loved seeing was the digital marquee - I knew I had to have one if I was building a cabinet.  Sadly, the 'bar LCD' screens from china are still fairly expensive, so my compromise was to go with a 29" LG Ultrawide - the 21:9 ratio on this isn't ideal, but it's not too bad.  I've been working on custom 1280x540 marquee artwork for a lot of games.  While my woodworking skills aren't great, my 'photoshop' (actually GIMP, because I'm not made of money Adobe!) skills are a little bit more polished, so I've been able to produce well over 200 custom images so far, and I add a few more every week as I have time.  I have a custom marquee for all of the PinballFX3 tables, and I have custom Marquees for all of the steam games I've added so far, and I've started going through the MAME games and adding artwork for those as well.  Here are a few examples:

This is my current 'main' marquee:


Here are some of the other custom marquee images I've put together for various arcade and steam (or indie) games:






and here are a few of the 21:9 pinball marquees I've put together, that will display when a given table is loaded:





For the pinball marquees, I've tried to make sure that when laying these out, I leave room at the bottom for a DMD display, so that can be overlaid on the marquee as well - like this:




At some point after I'm completely done with the build I'll bundle most of these 21:9 marquees that I've made up and share them all online so that the community at large can use them if they want.

There are some MAME games that I absolutely want to get custom bezels made for, but that's going to be an ongoing process for now.  I have dynamic bezels so far for only a couple of games - 1942, Ms. PacMan, and Galaga are the main ones right now, off the top of my head, but I'll be adding more for at least some of the other MAME games in the future.



Always love a different idea.
Cool implementation of the slide motion.
Is it just straight slides with pivot points in appropriate spots?

I initially thought of doing something with like garage door slides, but I couldn't ever quite make that work.  Instead, I went with a hinge assembly I found on amazon for a wall or cabinet-mounted folding table.

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B074GQNCQ3/

I used a drill press and carefully drilled holes in one end of the main hinge to be able to thread a 1" steel structural pipe through, and that's how this is mounted in the rear of the cab.  The rest of the movement assembly for the cabinet is some heavy duty full extension drawer slides, and another, smaller piece of structural pipe at the front of the screen box.  I realized this morning that I don't actually have a good picture of this, but I'll see about getting one either today or next weekend as I've still got to finish putting a back on the cabinet anyway, hopefully later today - I'll have to see how much I can get done this afternoon when I'm able to go back to the shop.

The motorized movement itself comes from the linear actuator I appropriated from a Monoprice 'pedestal' lift table.


More to come...


« Last Edit: November 16, 2021, 12:40:54 pm by zeorangr »
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zeorangr

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Re: First Time Build - "Chimera"
« Reply #4 on: November 14, 2021, 04:59:22 pm »
I was able to snap a couple of pictures from the rear of the cabinet.  Hopefully this will help show how I have the screen hinge and drawer rails working for the screen movement.



I've got a 27" monitor wrapped up under that blanket - at some point in the next two weeks, it will be mounted to the board I have up there now and will serve as the 'backglass' when we're in pinball mode.  Not pictured is the 14.9" bar LCD that will serve as the primary 'heads up' DMD for the pinball system as well.  I'm still working out exactly how I'm going to get these mounted, but I'll add pictures once I get it completed.  My current expectation is that the actual rear of the cabinet will extend outward a bit from the body, similar to the overall profile of an original NeoGeo cabinet. 


Here's a closer shot of the inner workings of the interior from the rear:


There are wires everywhere at the moment - I kinda wired up the speakers well ahead of time and I've been using them to listen to music while I work on other stuff.  :)  I've got some ideas on how to integrate the cable management through the back once it's completed, so that all the wiring is out of sight for anyone playing, but I haven't quite made it that far yet in the build.  I'll have more pictures once I get it built though. 

For completeness sake, here's a shot from the back of the marquee as well, where I have the 29" LG ultrawide mounted on a 'quick remove' flush VESA mount (so I can easily remove / replace it if needed), the pixelcade LED panel, and the 5.25" Pioneer speakers mounted:



-z-

javeryh

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Re: First Time Build - "Chimera"
« Reply #5 on: November 14, 2021, 05:06:07 pm »
This project is crazy!  Really cool.  I do think you should finish it before bringing it inside or I fear it will remain unpainted forever.  Once you get a cab functional motivation goes out the window (at least for me...).

Also, does everyone around here have a 600sqft workshop with 15 ft. ceilings???   :cheers:

zeorangr

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Re: First Time Build - "Chimera"
« Reply #6 on: November 14, 2021, 06:34:27 pm »
This project is crazy!  Really cool.  I do think you should finish it before bringing it inside or I fear it will remain unpainted forever.  Once you get a cab functional motivation goes out the window (at least for me...).

Also, does everyone around here have a 600sqft workshop with 15 ft. ceilings???   :cheers:

Thanks! 

I wish this was my workshop.  It actually belongs to the father of one of my friends, and it's about an hour or so drive from my house to get there, which is part of what's taking me so long to work on this build.  He's retired now, but used to be a professional carpenter, so he's got a LOT of woodworking tools and equipment.  And thankfully, he's been gracious enough to both let me use the shop and the tools to work on this, and offer a few pointers along the way - otherwise I'd be in my garage with way less space and without all the access to the toys in the woodshop, like the planers, the air compressor and nail guns, or the table saw.

I'm going to have to pretty much take it entirely apart to paint it, but I'd also like it available for family and guests to use for the holidays - so it WILL likely sit in the living room unfinished for a few weeks, but after that it's getting finished.  I'm pretty sure my wife would be upset with me if I got this far with it and DIDN'T completely finish it out.  :)  Especially if it's going in her living room.  lol.

While the cabinet itself is down at the shop, I actually have a ...we'll call it a 'test bench' ... at home for all the work I've been doing on the marquees and artwork, as well as getting the software tested and all the scripts needed to automate things in place.

I started working on this project just from my own 'main' PC, but earlier this year I managed to get in on an early beta test for these, so I've got a 40" TV attached to one of these mounts from BuyStuffStore, using an ATGames Legends Gamer as the control panel for it right now.  I've got an older PC in there currently that's running BigBox with all the software, and I've got a smaller 25" LG ultrawide nearby to act as the 'marquee' display for this.  I've been using it to test out various things, like some light customization of the BigBox theme I'm running, scripting loading and unloading various game-specific controller mapping to the arcade controls using AutoHotkey, JoyToKey, and UCR, controlling forcing screen rotation or changing resolution on the fly for a couple of games that simply do NOT play nicely with the 1080x1080 resolution, force-dismissing pop-up dialogs or 'launchers' for some of the UNITY based steam games, and other stuff, and then returning things to a 'default' configuration once the current game is exited.   Once I get the cabinet completed, I'll be pulling the old PC and moving over drives and components (like the GTX 1060 that's in there now - video cards are STUPID expensive right now!) to the PC I have earmarked to be the cabinet.

As it stands, though, I've pretty much got the software to a point where I can mostly just drop a hard drive in the cabinet and go once the woodworking part of the build is completed.... so technically, it's 'playable' now.   ;D   I've got about 650 arcade games on it emulated through MAME or DEMUL (for NAOMI games), and about 100 or so 'Steam' games that translate well to an arcade cabinet ('newer' fighting games, beat-em-ups, shmups, and stuff, though not all of them are actually FROM steam - some are smaller indie or 'web' games, like Cho Ren Sha 68k, for example, or some of locomalito's freeware games that were really good, and a couple of them are from other platforms, but they kinda 'fit' into this category, so that's where I've got them for now).    I've also got a number of music videos loaded on there, in their own section within BigBox, which I thought was nifty.  I managed to set up a way to partially automate creating a marquee image for each video, so it shows the title and artist for the song that's currently playing, and it will cycle through all the games and categories whenever bigbox is in attract mode.  I've been trying to cobble together a way to get it to show an entire music video before cycling to the next one, but I don't have a great solution for that just yet.  That's something I'll probably continue to work on after I've got the build completed.

I recorded a quick video of this all running on the test system though, if anyone is interested:



-z-

vertexguy

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Re: First Time Build - "Chimera"
« Reply #7 on: November 14, 2021, 06:57:13 pm »
Awesome work so far!  I love that you're going way above and beyond with this creative approach.  Having access to all those tools and a hands on pro grade mentor sure must be nice.  Looking forward to seeing this all come together!  :cheers:

bobbyb13

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Re: First Time Build - "Chimera"
« Reply #8 on: November 14, 2021, 07:56:47 pm »
This project is crazy!  Really cool.  I do think you should finish it before bringing it inside or I fear it will remain unpainted forever.  Once you get a cab functional motivation goes out the window (at least for me...).

Also, does everyone around here have a 600sqft workshop with 15 ft. ceilings???   :cheers:

Mine is only 500 sqft and 10 ft high ceilings
 ;D

I thought the pinball slide integration here was awesome as it was-

The marquee work is next level.

Stoked to see the rest as this gets finished.
Relax, all right? My old man is a television repairman, he's got this ultimate set of tools! I can fix it.

DaOld Man

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Re: First Time Build - "Chimera"
« Reply #9 on: November 15, 2021, 08:21:41 am »
Man I love this idea! (Of course I am a automation\stuff moving junkie).
Great work and precise engineering.

wp34

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Re: First Time Build - "Chimera"
« Reply #10 on: November 16, 2021, 10:49:05 am »
Cool and clever project!

zeorangr

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Re: First Time Build - "Chimera"
« Reply #11 on: November 16, 2021, 01:07:17 pm »
Here's some more of the pictures I took while working on the build.


Base cabinet 'frame' - freestanding for the first time.


Checking the fit on the screen box.


Cabinet frame and screen box, with the pile of assorted parts that will be mostly used to finish the build.  Note the two OSB 'side panels' that are lurking back there as well, those were used as an initial 'proof of concept build I threw together in the back yard back in like sept / oct 2020 just to see if the whole 'folding out' motion for a drawer slide / screen hinge movement system was actually viable. 


Working on the control pedestal here...


...and here -


'storing' the control pedestal inside the frame after wrapping up work for the day - It looks like I hadn't finished building the extra framing boards yet for the inner bracing of the main drawer slides, and hadn't finished building out the shelves yet.


Checking layout and estimating screen height, and using that to try and extrapolate how the control panel would sit -


Coin Door installed!  - I've since removed the coin reject plungers and may have lightly massaged the plastic housings with a dremel to successfully surface-mount the two RGB 'insert credit' buttons in their place.  I'll try to get a pic of the current state of the coin door next weekend.


Here's a shot of the linear actuator from the monoprice table, prior to installation in the bottom of the pedestal and the cab.  Lurking behind the actuator is a subwoofer, with the shelving containing various tools and other odds and ends.


Linear actuator installed in the pedestal


« Last Edit: November 16, 2021, 01:41:02 pm by zeorangr »
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zeorangr

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Re: First Time Build - "Chimera"
« Reply #12 on: November 21, 2021, 11:34:19 am »
Awesome work so far!  I love that you're going way above and beyond with this creative approach.  Having access to all those tools and a hands on pro grade mentor sure must be nice.  Looking forward to seeing this all come together!  :cheers:

Thanks!  The access to the tools and the workspace, and the freedom to come and go and work at my own pace have really been helpful.  The mentoring has been more hands-off than anything, but he's definitely shown me a few different methods for doing things that have been eye-opening, and has been quick to suggest using different tools to get better results for various things.  A lot of it has been simply learning what different tools are actually capable of - I had never used a router before working on this project, for example, and had no idea how versatile those really are.  Same thing with a Dremel - I'd never used one before, now I can't imagine NOT owning one, because they're really awesome, really versatile tools.



This project is crazy!  Really cool.  I do think you should finish it before bringing it inside or I fear it will remain unpainted forever.  Once you get a cab functional motivation goes out the window (at least for me...).

Also, does everyone around here have a 600sqft workshop with 15 ft. ceilings???   :cheers:

Mine is only 500 sqft and 10 ft high ceilings
 ;D

I thought the pinball slide integration here was awesome as it was-

The marquee work is next level.

Stoked to see the rest as this gets finished.

Thank you!   The artwork is still very much a work in progress.  I've got 21:9 marquees made for all of the PinballFX3 tables, and for all of my 'steam' games.  I've started working on getting marquees made for any of the arcade games that either have missing marquee art, or really bad quality marquees.  It's probably going to take me another few months to finish up marquees for every game that needs one, even after I get the 'build' part finished, but it's kind of a relaxing zen thing to work in GIMP on cleaning up, resizing, scaling, rotating, and stuff.  Getting bezels made and adjusted is probably going to take a lot longer, and I'm not sure how many I'll actually try to do.

For anyone wanting to 'roll their own' marquee art, I basically just start with whatever artwork I can find doing a google image search, and then 'photoshop' it all together.  A lot of games that have steam releases tend to have pretty good quality art assets on steamdb or steam grid db - and I've definitely relied heavily on those for all the steam games, as well as some of the arcade games - there are quite a few SHMUP games that were originally in arcades that have seen steam re-releases over the years, for example.

other than 'whatever google comes up with,' or 'steam (grid) db,' I don't really have a full source list for artwork.  I do want to at least give a shout out to Ars Invictus and the other really talented artists sharing marquees and other images over on the libretro forums - the marquees I have for deathsmiles, and a few others pretty much came directly from what they've shared, so go check out the stuff over there if you're looking for marquees or bezels.  I will add that the work they're doing over at Vertical Arcade is pretty awesome as well.

Man I love this idea! (Of course I am a automation\stuff moving junkie).
Great work and precise engineering.

Thank you!  I wish it was more precise.  I started this project with barely any woodworking or 'build' experience at all.  What I've got came from just seeing what other people are building, and visualizing how different things might fit together in interesting ways, and then building something and 'prototyping' until I get something that actually works.  And the more I work on it, the more things I see here or around the internet or just get ideas for that I could tweak or improve - like moving to some kind of better engineered bushing and sleeve assembly for the rear of the main screen mount, or a couple of different approaches for changing up the mounting point for the front of the screen, or re-doing the control panel to include capactive buttons or removable joysticks for analog controls, or adding the vpin shakers / flipper solenoids / exciters / 'analog' plunger / other toys that I've had my eye on, or using usb-connected relays and wiring them up so I can script the transformation to trigger automatically when selecting a pinball table instead of having to manually push a button, or etc...  I'm not sure yet if it will be a complete rebuild, or just further iteration on the existing build, but there will be a Chimera Mark II at some point, just because this hobby is addictive of all the various small things that I've seen while building this that could be better, or think would be cool to add.  I've decided to 'cut off' here though and find a good stopping point for 'Mark I' because I've met me - and if I don't set myself some kind of deadline, I'll have a half-finished project forever because I'll keep tinkering and messing with things, and not actually cross a finish line and get 'done.'   :)



Cool and clever project!

Thank you!
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zeorangr

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Re: First Time Build - "Chimera"
« Reply #13 on: November 21, 2021, 12:02:47 pm »
I got a bit more work done yesterday - More build pics:

I had originally intended to use a 27" monitor as a 'backglass' display for the pinball configuration.  And I still want to, but it doesn't fit well. 

What I've found is that I could actually cram one in there, but with how it would have to sit in order to clear the playfield, the top 3" or so would be obscured by the marquee while looking into the cabinet from the front, and that's just at my height (I'm 5'3") - anyone normal-sized would see even less of it.  So - compromise.  I've gone with a smaller screen - I had an extra 21" screen that I'll be using, so I measured and marked and cut out holes to accomodate the smaller display.  You can still see the outlines where I had originally marked this with the 27" in mind, but so far, it looks like the 21" will work ok.



Here's what it looks like mounted back in the cabinet - I was showing someone how the dynamic marquees and bezel art SHOULD work once they're all in place, so I happened to have galaga up when I took these -



...and from several feet away -




...and just for completion's sake, a shot of galaga running in 'arcade' mode, with the pixelcade software actually running, and the keyboard / mouse put away and the coin door actually closed for a change (it's open in just about every other picture I have...)




I still don't have the control panel wired just yet, so none of the buttons are connected to anything or lit up - I went with Ultimarc for just about all the controls - using servostiks for the P1 / P2 joysticks, an ultimarc trackball, and their RGB buttons for most of the buttons, which will be controlled via LEDBlinky and will eventually light up per-game (which I personally think makes multi-game cabinets more intuitive and user friendly).  The P1 / P2 buttons that are in there currently came from amazon, and I may swap out for some more RGB buttons - haven't decided yet.  The smaller countersunk 'red' button in the front left is going to be my exit button.  The (slightly off) center knob ( :angry:) is just a windows USB volume control / mute knob.  I know I can use shift keys and map things to buttons, but I wanted everyone to be able to control the volume or simply mute the thing without having to have any prior knowledge or experience with it.  The big white button on the right is the pinball launch button - I'm still not sure if I'm going to go with this one or swap it out for a more normal-sized button yet, so we'll call it a placeholder for now.

Below the control panel on the pedestal, I've got a 3.5" 'front panel USB and audio' connector - this is designed to sit in a 3.5" slot in a PC case.  I want to be able to have the option for people to use headphones with the cabinet though, and with this plugged in to the audio header on the motherboard, it should work just like the headphone jack on a PC - if you plug in headphones, it will sense that and mute the speakers / switch outputs to the headphones automatically.  The two USB ports will be used for guitar controllers for clone hero and/or for lightguns for shooting games, and for just general auxiliary access for USB.  I ordered one of the Sinden lightguns several months ago to test it out and it finally showed up yesterday.  I've manged to resist tinkering with it so far on the test bench system, but I'm looking forward to seeing how it works with the actual cabinet, so that's coming soon.  If it works, great, I'll have the ability to play single-player gun games, and will order another one for player 2.  If it doesn't work well, I may look into the aimtrak guns, or just try to rig up something with a mayflash dolphin bar and wiimotes, or something, because my kids seemed uncharacteristically excited when they saw the gun yesterday and I told them it was for the cabinet, so that's going to happen one way or another.  :)


I will get some pics or videos of the cabinet actually running a pinball table once I finish getting all this 'backglass' stuff in place.

I'm headed back down to the shop today, so I should have at least a couple more pictures to post later tonight or tomorrow.  For now, I'm back to the grind...
-z-

zeorangr

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Re: First Time Build - "Chimera"
« Reply #14 on: November 22, 2021, 12:52:18 am »
Started working on t-molding, lower 'half' of cabinet done.

Incidentally, today I learned that cutting t-molding slots SUCKS, and I am bad at it.  I also learned that t-molding neatly covers the mess I made trying to install the t-molding.   ;D






Not sure yet if I'll get to go back to the shop tomorrrow or Tuesday, but work continues.  I'm not sure I'm going to meet my thanksgiving deadline for getting it fully functional - still a LOT to do for that to happen, like all the wiring...  but I'm going to see how close I can get.
-z-

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Re: First Time Build - "Chimera"
« Reply #15 on: November 22, 2021, 11:03:18 am »
Looks good.  For safety (and accuracy) reasons you should always cut t-molding slots prior to assembly.  Not only is it difficult to use a router vertically, it is also dangerous.

Looks like it all worked out though - your cab is coming together nicely.

vertexguy

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Re: First Time Build - "Chimera"
« Reply #16 on: November 22, 2021, 12:17:19 pm »
Have you considered another screen when transformed into pinball mode for the back glass?  It could be hidden in the back of the cabinet and only visible when the long vertical screen comes down, or is that the purpose of the little marque screen in between the speakers?


zeorangr

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Re: First Time Build - "Chimera"
« Reply #17 on: November 22, 2021, 01:11:04 pm »
Looks good.  For safety (and accuracy) reasons you should always cut t-molding slots prior to assembly.  Not only is it difficult to use a router vertically, it is also dangerous.

Looks like it all worked out though - your cab is coming together nicely.

Yeah - I'll keep that in mind for the future.  I still have to try and cut the slots on the marquee either later today or tomorrow, and then finish up the back. 

It definitely seems like some of the trim / finishing work should be done prior to assembly for the best results though.  And painting - painting (and sanding, and painting, and sanding, and...) would have been much easier one part at a time, instead of having to either carefully tape everything off or remove all the electronics and then try to paint the 'shell'.

Definitely some lessons learned for the next one!  :)


Have you considered another screen when transformed into pinball mode for the back glass?  It could be hidden in the back of the cabinet and only visible when the long vertical screen comes down, or is that the purpose of the little marque screen in between the speakers?


Good catch - That's actually what I'm going for.  I don't have the screens mounted back there just yet, but hopefully this will help illustrate:



In the back of the cabinet, I've got two cutouts - For the top, I've got a 21" monitor that will be used to display the 'built-in' dynamic backglass images that come with Pinball FX3.  I wanted to put a 27" back there, since it would fill more space horizontally, but it's too big to fit well, so I compromised and went with the 21" instead.
The smaller cutout on the bottom is for a 14.9" VSDisplay Bar LCD i picked up off amazon, which is like 1920x390 resolution, and will be used with DMDEXT to display a virtual DMD when a pinball table is loaded.

The 'little screen' between the speakers in the marquee is a Pixelcade - it can serve as a 'drop-in' DMD for virtual pin cabinets, and when I bought it, it was actually originally intended to go in the back as part of my 'backglass' just for that purpose.  After getting it and playing with it for a bit, though, I realized that it could be a lot more versatile, so I decided to move it from the back of the cabinet to the marquee.  It can run little 128x32 px .gif animations and has a pretty large library of images and animations included, and you can make your own as well.  I've got a custom animation I've thrown together for each platform I've got defined in BigBox ('Arcade,' 'Steam,' 'Music Videos,' and 'Pinball'), and it will load an individual 'marquee' for just about all of the MAME games as well - I think I've got a few I still need to add, but that should be just a matter of moving some files around to get images for anything still missing one.

As configured right now, though, when a pinball table loads, we'll get a custom 21:9 marquee image, and the 'built-in' DMD overlay that Pinball FX generates up in the marquee.  The Pixelcade will display an animated PinballFX3 logo.  The 21" 'backglass' monitor will show the corresponding backglass image from PinballFX, and the VSDisplay bar will use DMDEXT to show a  DMD display for the table.   This may be overkill, I'm not sure yet.  I'll have to see how it all looks when I get the screens mounted in the back.  That's coming soon, though.   I'll share pictures and/or a video with all the screens lit up once I get them in.


So - Question for the community.  For my joysticks - these are the Ultimarc Servo Sticks.  I've got the replacement RGB shafts for them, and I tried to start swapping out the shafts yesterday - I was able to get the e-clip off the bottom of the existing shaft and get it removed, but there's a... I'm not sure what it's called - it looks like part of what helps the stick pivot in the slot - this part needs to be moved from the old shaft to the new shaft, but for the life of me, It doesn't seem to fit. 

This piece:


Is there a trick to this, or do I need to just keep working at it?
-z-

zeorangr

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Re: First Time Build - "Chimera"
« Reply #18 on: November 24, 2021, 01:53:06 am »
I got some more work done today.  Finished installing the t-molding on the marquee, and got the 'backglass' screens mounted.   









I also got a couple of videos:









It's not going to be finished before Thanksgiving, but shouldn't be too much longer. 
-z-

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Re: First Time Build - "Chimera"
« Reply #19 on: November 24, 2021, 02:50:44 am »
Looking good! I only discovered Bigbox a short time ago and I have to say that it's a great frontend.

Your additional screens make such a difference for the Pinball configuration. I have a 'stubby' build planned for running pinball in VR.

Are you running any other pinball software such as Visual Pinball?
Click a pic for a video tour 

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Re: First Time Build - "Chimera"
« Reply #20 on: November 24, 2021, 09:01:54 am »
Not my style of cabinet, but I can really appreciate the effort to get that mechanical movement going, very impressive.  Well done.

zeorangr

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Re: First Time Build - "Chimera"
« Reply #21 on: November 24, 2021, 10:35:12 am »
Looking good! I only discovered Bigbox a short time ago and I have to say that it's a great frontend.

Your additional screens make such a difference for the Pinball configuration. I have a 'stubby' build planned for running pinball in VR.

Are you running any other pinball software such as Visual Pinball?

Thanks!  I really like BigBox - it seems to be pretty customizable, and the dev team seems to be pretty responsive to the community with regard to squashing bugs and fixing issues, and with taking feedback and adding new features.

I'm only running pinball FX3 at the moment - mainly because it 'just works'.  I just slowly bought all the FX3 tables on steam over the past year, as they were on sale. In researching things for this build, it really seemed to me like the virtual pinball side of things has the potential to get VERY complex, very fast.  I plan to add more in the future, but I want to get this cabinet build finished (or 'done enough, at least') before I start down that rabbit hole.  There are definitely some tables that I'd like to have that aren't covered with FX3 though, and there are some of the vpin 'toys' that I'd like to add eventually, if I can figure out how to incorporate them into this overall design. 



Not my style of cabinet, but I can really appreciate the effort to get that mechanical movement going, very impressive.  Well done.

Thanks Arroyo.  I know that this build is kinda weird and probably won't be everyone's cup of tea, but I appreciate the kind words.  :)
-z-

zeorangr

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Re: First Time Build - "Chimera"
« Reply #22 on: November 29, 2021, 06:04:24 pm »
Quick update -

I spent Wednesday prepping for Thanksgiving - my wife and I host Thanksgiving dinner, so I spent the day baking pies, chopping veggies, and brining turkey.  Thanksgiving was great, and I ate way too much food.  I spent Friday around the house, mostly eating leftovers and napping, but I did pick up a few more steam games to put on the cabinet while they were on sale.

I ran back down to the shop on Saturday and brought the control panel home with me - I'm going to work on wiring up the sticks and buttons this week as I have free time.

I managed to get the joystick shafts swapped out - I finally got the pivots (or whatever they're called) moved to the RGB shafts.  I wound up taking some sandpaper and just gently sanding them by hand for a few minutes each until they were able to slip over the new shafts without forcing them. 

I've swapped out my P1 / P2 start buttons for a couple more of the Ultimarc RGB buttons (which is what just about all the other buttons are) for consistency's sake - as it stands now, the only non-RGB buttons are the dedicated smaller exit button and the huge pinball 'launch' button... and I may swap that one out too, still not sure yet.  I did move the P1 / P2 start labels over to the RGB buttons though, and I think they look ok.  I'll have to see how it looks with everything connected and lit. 

I'm also going to test things out with a spinner added.  Depending on how it goes, I may leave it in there, or may just swap it back with the 'center' button which was going to be a dedicated pause / xbox guide button, but I can use shift functions for that if I keep the spinner.  I don't really want a frankenpanel, and I'm trying to decide if aesthetically (for me), the spinner is too far in that direction or not.  On the other hand, I also want to be able to play the few spinner-centric games with the spinner and not just the trackball.  At the very least, my panel is spacious enough that the spinner is positioned far enough back from the trackball that it won't be too in the way for crazy golden tee trackball hits (I tested this), so that's something.

Here's what we're looking like currently, with the RGB shafts on the joysticks, the newly labelled P1/P2 start buttons, and the spinner in place:



I'll get some more pictures after I get all the wiring done over the next few days.





-z-

zeorangr

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Re: First Time Build - "Chimera"
« Reply #23 on: December 01, 2021, 05:53:02 pm »
Progress update:

I started working on wiring up buttons later monday night.  I got like four buttons done and realized just how much work it was going to be to wire everything up, and then pull all the wiring so I could paint the thing, and then have to RE-wire it all back up.

So I stopped wiring, and instead pulled all the buttons and stuff out of the panel, and then went to Lowes to get some paint and stuff.  I also got a couple of thin sheets of acrylic (0.08, I think?) while I was there.

I have, to this point in my life, never really attempted to paint anything.  I don't really have any prior experience with this, and have very little idea what I'm doing here.  Because of that, I've been somewhat anxious about painting.  What snapped me out of it was that I had a really nice moment of clarity before bed Monday night that I built this thing, and if I screw it up somehow, I've already proven that I can at least get back to the point I'm at now since I built the thing, so I can rebuild things if I have to.  Paint can be removed and painted over, or covered up, or whatever.  So - instead of wiring, I've been painting (and sanding, and painting, and sanding...  ;D)

I used a can of Krylon Black Gloss 'all in one' (which includes primer, according to the label) as the base coat - painted early tuesday morning, then let it dry for most of the day, then sanded it down and hit it with about five coats of krylon black gloss lacquer late in the afternoon / early evening (which is apparently supposed to be 'dry' enough to stand and reapply after about 20 minutes), sanding with progressively finer and finer grit paper each time, up to the last pass which was a wet sand at 1500 grain, and then a very light 'final' coat of the lacquer.

As this was intended to be a 'just a test run' for the larger job of painting the rest of the cabinet, there are some minor things that I will do differently next time.  There are a few blemishes in the plywood - tiny nail holes from the finishing nails used to tack the thing together, or uneven / rough spots, or places where the plywood had splintered when it was cut and had peeled slightly, or places where the paint was just slightly too thick and ran a bit, and didn't get fully sanded back out, and I didn't catch them until later.  I think it looks pretty good anyway, all things considered.  Definitely better than I expected for my first attempt at actually trying to seriously paint something and make it look good, so even though there are things that need to be fixed or touched up, I'm actually kinda proud of this for a first try.  I'll be more closely following the book of Ond for painting the rest, though.

Once I was done painting, I measured and cut down an acrylic sheet for the top of the panel, and got it temporarily attached to the panel.  I used a drill bit to drill a pilot hole in the acrylic for each of the pre-existing controller holes in the panel, and then used a router with a flush trim bit to finish out the holes.  The router got away from me a little in one of the button holes and dug into the side a bit, but I don't think it's bad enough to have to re-do the entire panel...  I'll have to see if there's any light bleed from the RGB button once I do get it lit up, but if so I might be able to 'patch' it with some black cardboard in the hole, instead of re-cutting and re-drilling an entire panel.  I don't think you can actually see the dinged button hole unless you really look for it, but I'd be interested to know what you all think - should I re-do the panel, or is this minor enough to just let it go and move on?

Anyway - Here's how it turned out:





So - next up, going to get the wiring done, hopefully before Saturday so I can take it back down in a 'ready to plug in' state and start working on getting the rest of the cabinet painted and finishing out a lot of the little detail work that I've been neglecting so far, like getting the rest of the acrylic mounted for the screens and get actual bezels built and installed for the main screen and marquee screen,  That's probably going to take me a couple of weeks (since I have limited time in the shop each week, and paint can take a while to dry), but hopefully it won't be too bad.

More to come.   8)

-z-

vertexguy

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Re: First Time Build - "Chimera"
« Reply #24 on: December 01, 2021, 10:23:16 pm »
CP is looking nice in the photos!  Is the button router issue just in the wood paneling or somewhere else?  If it's just the inner wood, thats easy to patch up with some wood filler.  I have photos of me doing that all over on the side pinball button holes in my build thread.    Use a dowel like object with sandpaper on it to smooth it out to perfection.  If you don't notice the issue without going under the hood, then it depends how much of a perfectionist you wanna be.  Keep going!

javeryh

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Re: First Time Build - "Chimera"
« Reply #25 on: December 02, 2021, 10:52:02 am »
Your panel looks good from here.  I cannot see anything wrong with the buttons so unless something is really bothering you it's probably OK to keep it as is.  The black on the side looks nice and flat too so seems like you are doing a great job.  Painting is the worst but once you get past it (take your time) you will basically be finished.   :cheers:

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Re: First Time Build - "Chimera"
« Reply #26 on: December 02, 2021, 06:20:27 pm »
CP is looking nice in the photos!  Is the button router issue just in the wood paneling or somewhere else?  If it's just the inner wood, thats easy to patch up with some wood filler.  I have photos of me doing that all over on the side pinball button holes in my build thread.    Use a dowel like object with sandpaper on it to smooth it out to perfection.  If you don't notice the issue without going under the hood, then it depends how much of a perfectionist you wanna be.  Keep going!

Thank you, that's reassuring.  :)

It took a chunk out of the wood and the acrylic, but the button covers most of it - Here's what it looks like with the buttons out:



Right now my main concern is light bleed once the button lights up, but I've got a couple of contingencies in mind to try and mitigate that if it's an issue.  Worst case, I'll patch the button hole with wood filler pretty much exactly like you described, and just cut another piece of acrylic for the top, but I'm hoping I can get away with not doing that.   ;)


Your panel looks good from here.  I cannot see anything wrong with the buttons so unless something is really bothering you it's probably OK to keep it as is.  The black on the side looks nice and flat too so seems like you are doing a great job.  Painting is the worst but once you get past it (take your time) you will basically be finished.   :cheers:

Thanks!  I appreciate it.  The paint actually turned out WAY better than I'd expected, so I'm feeling pretty hopeful that I can actually manage to paint the rest of the cabinet over the next few weeks and get something that doesn't look awful.  And if it does, I'll just do it again until it looks better.   :cheers:
-z-

nitrogen_widget

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Re: First Time Build - "Chimera"
« Reply #27 on: December 02, 2021, 06:57:00 pm »
wire up a smoke machine to kick off when it transforms.

PL1

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Re: First Time Build - "Chimera"
« Reply #28 on: December 02, 2021, 07:00:59 pm »
Worst case, I'll patch the button hole with wood filler pretty much exactly like you described, and just cut another piece of acrylic for the top, but I'm hoping I can get away with not doing that.   ;)
If you do end up having to redo the panel, you might want a bit more space between the trackball and the spinner.

Looks like someone playing Golden Tee "Superman" style instead of "two-thumbs" style might end up stubbing their fingers.


Scott

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Re: First Time Build - "Chimera"
« Reply #29 on: December 02, 2021, 07:45:20 pm »
wire up a smoke machine to kick off when it transforms.

...and let's not forget the classic 1980's Transformers transformation sound effect.  :lol
« Last Edit: December 02, 2021, 08:00:02 pm by vertexguy »

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Re: First Time Build - "Chimera"
« Reply #30 on: December 02, 2021, 08:22:53 pm »
wire up a smoke machine to kick off when it transforms.


I'm not sure the missus would appreciate that.  Especially since she's likely to be the primary user for the pinball side of the cabinet.  It might be funny to sneak one in there anyway and trigger it remotely or something though!  ;D


Worst case, I'll patch the button hole with wood filler pretty much exactly like you described, and just cut another piece of acrylic for the top, but I'm hoping I can get away with not doing that.   ;)
If you do end up having to redo the panel, you might want a bit more space between the trackball and the spinner.

Looks like someone playing Golden Tee "Superman" style instead of "two-thumbs" style might end up stubbing their fingers.


Scott

...I'm not familiar with the 'two-thumbs' style, I thought slamming your hand forward over the trackball as fast as you could while in various states of inebriation was the accepted method for playing Golden Tee.   :lol

Seriously though, that's an excellent suggestion, and was something I was concerned about.  It's just barely far enough away now where you WON'T bust your knuckles on it if you try a pretty aggressive golden tee drive (and I did test this), but if I did re-do the panel, I'd try to scoot the trackball forward at least another inch for exactly that reason.  I'm still on the fence as to whether to keep the spinner in there permanently or not - I may try to use it for a while and see how much we actually DO use it.




wire up a smoke machine to kick off when it transforms.

...and let's not forget the classic 1980's Transformers transformation sound effect.  :lol


I thought Laythe was doing the transformers sound effect on ShapeShifter...   :laugh2:

What sound did the go-bots make when they transformed?  lol
« Last Edit: December 02, 2021, 08:32:49 pm by zeorangr »
-z-

PL1

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Re: First Time Build - "Chimera"
« Reply #31 on: December 02, 2021, 09:11:10 pm »
...I'm not familiar with the 'two-thumbs' style
See 7:07 - 7:25 in this video for "two-thumbs" and 5:03 for "Superman".




Scott
EDIT: Other video wasn't embeddable.   :banghead:
« Last Edit: December 02, 2021, 09:18:52 pm by PL1 »

zeorangr

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Re: First Time Build - "Chimera"
« Reply #32 on: December 05, 2021, 04:08:49 pm »
Ok - so I was being a bit flippant earlier about the whole 'inebriated hand-slam' thing for Golden Tee, but I guess I didn't appreciate how deep the control strategies, positioning, and overall gameplay could get.  I've really only ever seen Golden Tee in the wild at bars, and well... 

Thanks for sharing that video!


Update for this weekend:

Not much visual progress today (no pics at the moment), and it looks like a horrible twisted spaghetti mess for now, but I got the control panel wired.   I'm working some today to try and start getting buttons mapped in the ultimarc WinIPAC software and corresponding LED lighting set up with LED Blinky.  I'll try to get more of that finalized this week as I have spare time, and then should have some progress pics to post by next Saturday Night or Sunday.  I'll have to work through all my scripts I've got running with the ATGames panel and adapt them for this control panel, so that we can load custom controls on the fly for various games / various control schemes... Ideally I can get those working with LEDBlinky as well, so I can custom-light controls for the STEAM games, but first I need to just get a standard layout light-mapped and work from there. 

For overall progress, I'm just about to the point where I'm going to start a general teardown and start painting the main cabinet, which is likely to take a couple of weeks since I'm still mainly limited to saturdays for woodshop time.  I'll have to remove the screens and the coin door, but that shouldn't be too bad.  Once it's painted, I can reassamble it and then look to add 'trim' pieces like screen bezels, screen 'glass' (Using 1/4" clear acrylic for the main screen and marquee screen, and a piece of thin stuff (0.08") for the backglass area.  I still need to figure out something for control panel artwork, and get that printed and installed, but things are looking pretty good!

-z-

javeryh

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Re: First Time Build - "Chimera"
« Reply #33 on: December 05, 2021, 08:01:07 pm »
Spring for some glass to cover the monitor if you can.  It won’t scratch like acrylic is bound to.  Less glare too.

Laythe

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Re: First Time Build - "Chimera"
« Reply #34 on: December 05, 2021, 11:49:56 pm »
Heh, this is cool!  Nice take on a multipurpose transforming machine.

Shapeshifter rotates the vpin pinball table sideways... Flip lays it down from a hinge at the back down to the floor... and Chimera lifts the layback angle up from the rear while telescoping the CP in and out.

Props for coming up with a totally new approach!   :cheers:

zeorangr

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Re: First Time Build - "Chimera"
« Reply #35 on: December 06, 2021, 07:47:28 pm »
Spring for some glass to cover the monitor if you can.  It won’t scratch like acrylic is bound to.  Less glare too.

I actually wanted the acrylic because it's supposedly more resilient than glass, and I'm a little gun-shy about trying to protect this screen as much as possible after already busting one 4k TV.  Also, while I'm fairly confident of my ability to work with (and cut / shape / sand / etc) the acrylic, I don't know anything about working with glass. 

That said, I'm definitely open to the idea, and I may look at pursuing that as an 'upgrade' after I've got it finished - it shouldn't be too hard to simply pull the acrylic and put a sheet of glass in it's place. 

I wonder if I can get safety glass, or something that's composite like a windshield, that's not going to just shatter...  or is that overkill?  I'll have to start researching that.



Heh, this is cool!  Nice take on a multipurpose transforming machine.

Shapeshifter rotates the vpin pinball table sideways... Flip lays it down from a hinge at the back down to the floor... and Chimera lifts the layback angle up from the rear while telescoping the CP in and out.

Props for coming up with a totally new approach!   :cheers:



Thank you Laythe - I really appreciate that!   Your work on Mimic was a pretty huge part of the inspiration for this design, though I have to tell you, looking through some of the custom fab work you've done on ShapeShifter makes me feel like I'm over here just banging rocks together.   

Seriously though - I think I actually ran across Blip! first, and fell in love with the clean design and the dynamic marquee - but after looking through the forums here and also finding Mimic, there was one comment you made in the forum thread on Mimic that that may have sparked this all off - If I remember correctly, you were replying to another poster and mentioned something about both feeling like a genius for figuring out how to get a huge 1080x1080 'screen' in the cab without paying insulting sums of money for a square LCD, and also feeling like an idiot for "wasting" a bunch of the available screen area with it hidden inside the cabinet... and for some reason that stuck with me, and made me start thinking about how best to get any use at all out of the rest of the screen, which led to the 'what if it like folds or slides out of the cabinet somehow' train of thought, and if it does, what do I do with it then, and that's a very VERY abridged version of how we got to now.   So really, we have this forum, and specifically you (and markc74 with Blip!, and Maximus with his MvC Revolution rebuild, who as far as I can tell was one of the first pioneers of the big vertical LCD club) to blame for this atrocity.   ;D    ...so thanks for that!   :cheers:
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Re: First Time Build - "Chimera"
« Reply #36 on: December 06, 2021, 10:36:14 pm »


Looking at it from this angle... I've got an idea, which might already be in your plan - or might be too much work, or might not appeal to you.  Free for you to use, modify, or discard as you like.  I don't mean to be backseat driving or bossing you around on your project.

You have a vertical wall under the control panel, which drops from the CP to the floor, running narrower within the width of the skirts around the main monitor.

If the outside of those walls had a stack of 3 sliding leaves on top, maybe each mounted to more drawer rails, with the picture-right-edge of the top of the stack of leaves attached to the back cabinet, they'd form a collapsing telescoping cover to close off most all the visually open space while it's in pinball mode, but retract together when it's collapsed into arcade cabinet mode.

I can mock it up in a picture if you don't follow my clumsy description.

It looks cool open, so it hardly NEEDS it.  But it might look slick.  Just thinking!

zeorangr

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Re: First Time Build - "Chimera"
« Reply #37 on: December 07, 2021, 01:27:34 am »
That's a neat thought Laythe. 

I had actually been toying with the idea of trying to eventually do ...well... something to add a 'cover' of some sort for at least part of the bottom section under the screen box, if for no other reason than to really give it a more authentic pinball silhouette when it's extended.   I was thinking of maybe using some kind of attached weighted fabric 'skirt' (since it would more easily extend and contract with the cabinet movement) that would cover an area from the bottom of the screen box down to around knee height, leaving about 2' of mostly empty space underneath.  Something like this (the black section - ignore the completely not to scale overlay - it's more just to help illustrate the target shape / profile):



A 'sliding leaf' system of some sort might also work to the same effect though.  I'll have to look and see how I might be able to get something like that to fit - it might be doable with smaller / lighter rails and thinner lumber.  All of this is 3/4" plywood, so that's 2 1/4" plus roughly another 1 1/2" width for the rails surface mounted - not sure how the taper on a ~4" difference front to back would look off the top of my head, but I might be able to route out at least some space for the rails and inlay them a bit, or use thinner lumber and smaller / lighter rails.  Hmm... that might work - in any case it's something I think I'll look at and maybe try to model with some scrap lumber while I'm waiting for paint to dry when I head back down to the shop this weekend.

If you want to do a mockup, I'd be happy to take a look - I'd definitely be interested in getting a better picture of what you're envisioning, because reading over your idea again, now I can't get the '89 Batmobile out of my head for some reason- specifically, the shielding:


(Credit: original image)
 

Nifty idea, thanks!


 
-z-

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Re: First Time Build - "Chimera"
« Reply #38 on: December 07, 2021, 05:08:34 pm »
Good thought on routing the rails down near flush.  I was figuring that if the telescoping covers were just a cosmetic feature, they only need to be strong enough to withstand the occasional possible bump and to hold up paint - no need to make it full 3/4" ply.  But either way, using thin plywood or sinking the rails, reduces the stack depth. 

In my head I was carrying the full height, from the ground up to as high as clears the monitor swing-through space, in the telescoping leaves to make the whole thing read like a solid pedestal - but you've got a good point on the silhouette of a pinball machine not hitting the ground there, and your hanging skirt approach fills the wedge of top space that leaves would have left awkwardly open. 

Looking at your overlay... yeah, I think I'm with you on intentionally leaving the bottom half of the space open to make it more pinball cabinet like.

zeorangr

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Re: First Time Build - "Chimera"
« Reply #39 on: December 08, 2021, 03:06:49 am »
How about this Laythe:

I've been turning this over in my head today, and I think there may be a way to combine the two ideas, and use drawer rails with maybe a piece of 1/4" ply combined with fabric skirting around the screen flex points if needed to get the same effect.  You're absolutely right, this wouldn't be bearing any kind of load.

So here's the idea -

With the way the cab is built, I needed some kind of better structural support for the middle 16 or so inches, since that's where all the drawer rails for the pedestal and screen movement live.  So I built in shelves on the sides, to essentially help brace the main supports by attaching them to to the sides of the cabinet, but also to store lightguns / controllers / guitars for clone hero / extra joysticks and spare parts / etc. 

I think this is one of the better shots to display the shelves:



Anyway, the thought is that I could add a set of drawer rails and panels on the wall of the shelves, or even on the side of the cabinet and attach them to the screen drawer, or even directly to the pedestal so that they slide out when the pedestal and screen do.  And for any cutouts that might be needed to accommodate the screen tilting, I could use a scaled-down black fabric skirt for, so that it would flex with the panel, but still hopefully be neither too obviously visible, nor visually detract from the overall profile.

Something like this, maybe?



If the panel rails are slightly below the main screen rails, that may even let me attach this directly to the pedestal without interfering at all with the screen movement.  I'll have to see if this all actually could fit together in a feasible manner when I get back down there, but even if it requires some tweaking, I think this may work.
« Last Edit: December 08, 2021, 03:12:37 am by zeorangr »
-z-