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Author Topic: LeapinLew's Mame Cabinet - Old School - Complete!  (Read 6780 times)

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leapinlew

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LeapinLew's Mame Cabinet - Old School - Complete!
« on: January 03, 2006, 08:47:56 pm »
*****EDITED*****

While working on Prepare to Qualify, I put some finishing touches on Old School. I learned some good lessons with my first mame cabinet. Namely, don't have one set of controls try to do everything. I was trying to squeeze too much onto a Nintendo (narrow body) cabinet. Also - I might as well do it right the first time, cause if I don't, I'll end up redoing it later. A member on this board, Bleemus, is a friend of mine and I went to look at his cabinet one day. The paint scheme he used was nintendo orange and black. I liked how it looked so I redid my cabinet. Here are most of the changes I made:

  • I put a darker blue paint on the sides
  • Painted it black in the middle
  • added a coin door
  • added a 25cent button I got from Mike Deuce
  • installed the monitor vertical
  • Installed smoked plexi
  • Switched the front end to Mala
  • Installed smoked plexi
  • Installed a new control panel and topped with polycarbinate

And here are the pics of the new cabinet. Below the pics is the original thread with the images.


Here it sits in the game room. Notice it's right by the thermostat. This ended up being an issue because the thermostat constantly thinks it's warm. I'm going to move the thermostat to the other side of the wall.




And here is the much simpler cp. the white button pauses, the red quits the game and 3 action buttons. Works for a good deal of the classic games.


***END EDIT***


Hello everybody! What a great board, I been lurking here for a while since I caught the bug. What a difference a few years can make. I wanted to build a machine years ago and it seemed like a daunting task. Now there are so many resources.

First off I'd like to give a shout out to MissionControl. I didn't intend to use the same name for my cabinet as he did. I tip my hat to you Mr. Control. Also, I'd like to thank Sasquatch - he gave me some quick helpful advice as well as some words of encouragement. Thanks!

I took a vacation at the end of December to burn up some hours at work (use'em or lose'em). I decided it would be cool to look into building a Mame cabinet so I began doing the research. I stumbled across Arcadecontrols.com, Arcadeparadise.org and Lusids website. I'll admit I didn't read too much here initially. The website has SO much information it was intimidating at first. Anyhow, I decided I would build a cabinet using Lusids designs and I was telling some friends my plans. One of my friends knew a guy, who knew a guys uncle, etc. that had some old arcade games. I talked to the guy to ask him if he had any junkers that were sound, that he didn't want. He said he did and this is what showed up in my garage:



At first I was a little worried... what was I going to do? I'm no carpenter/electrician. But upon further inspection it was a Nintendo Cabinet. Most likely a Mario Bros. that has been gutted and fitted to be a poker machine. Things were looking up! I got it home on Friday night around 11pm and started to gut it. There wasn't much inside from when it was a Nintendo cabinet. Hopefully no one will be upset I converted this shell into a Mame cabinet.


removed the bezel


guts!


I'll be honest here. I wanted to find a way to use the power supply, but I was scared of it. It looked like it could kill me, and not knowing much about electricity I opted to remove it. (it was heavier then I thought)


What a shame...


Under the control panel. Note the lockdown brackets on either side. I found these to be a good way to lock down the new control panel and make it secure down and at the same time make it easy to remove. What do you guys use to lock your control panels down with?


« Last Edit: June 17, 2006, 02:53:28 pm by leapinlew »

leapinlew

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Re: LeapinLew's Mame Cabinet
« Reply #1 on: January 03, 2006, 08:56:57 pm »

An image of from the left side. I wish it still had the original coin door, or at least a decent coin door. Beggers can't be choosers. I'll decide what I'm goind to do here later.


Back view

Ok, time to start removing everything. I put everything I took out in a bag and I'm going to return them to the guy who gave me the cabinet with a thank you letter. After I got it all cleaned up and looked at the clock I realized how much time it saved me. It was about 3 am. In 4 hours I was able to have a cabinet that needed some repair - it would've taken me several days to cut/route/assemble all the wood from Lusids Plans. At least, I think it would. How long does it take to build a cabinet from scratch?


At this point, I realized things were going to be ok. In fact, I was getting pretty excited!


I pulled the coin door - I'm thinking I'm just going to cover it up with a peice of 1/4 plywood and reinforce it on the inside.


Cleaner then it was! My eyes are failing me - I needed to sleep - so I crashed out.




leapinlew

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Re: LeapinLew's Mame Cabinet
« Reply #2 on: January 03, 2006, 09:13:07 pm »
Tuesday Dec. 27th

I only slept a few hours then woke up and started thinking about the cabinet right away. I needed some paint! I had some primer left from some house work I did. I created a list of some items I would need:

1. Hinges - I wanted to make the front door where the speaker was a keyboard tray
2. Cabinet locks - whatever those things are that keep cabinet doors closed. I needed a couple of those for the keyboard tray
3. Some L brackets to reinforce the keyboard tray shelf.
4. Paint
5. Paint brushes
6. Plexiglass (holy cow! this stuff is more expensive then I thought)
7. Black spray paint
8. Wood Filler
9. Sandpaper
10. Flourescent light

Some things I needed to order:
1. PCB/Joysticks - I wanted to get these ordered quick so I could have it up and running ASAP. I ordered the X-arcade BYOAC. Comes with 20 buttons, 2 8way joysticks, and a PCB. No solder and seems perfect!
3. T-molding - I picked the paint color before I ordered the t-molding. Turns out this cabinet uses a 9/16" molding size that I could only find in white from tmolding.com.

So I installed the hinges and reinforced the tray with the L brackets. Seems sturdy. I applied wood filler, primer, more wood filler and another couple coats of primer. I used a brush to apply my primer and paint and I kind of wish it was smoother. What technique do you guys use to paint your cabinets?

I used the black spray paint to paint the marquee holder.

I sat down and got to know photoshop again. Drew up my control panel and marquee design.


The idea here is to put the buttons in the middle of the blue dots... easier said then done.


I hope Mission Control doesn't think I stole his name! But, the idea was to build this box to play older games. The width of the box is 22.5 inches. Not a lot of room on the control panel and I didn't want to build it out. So I thought about 2 joysticks with a couple buttons each. I ended up using this marquee but dropping the e when one of my friends started giving me grief about it.... damn peer pressure!


« Last Edit: January 03, 2006, 09:24:11 pm by leapinlew »

leapinlew

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Re: LeapinLew's Mame Cabinet
« Reply #3 on: January 03, 2006, 09:23:02 pm »
Wednesday Dec. 28th

I put some paint on the cabinet finally! I settled on a blue. I say settled cause I wanted the standard issue Mame cabinet black. But, I wanted to use the cheapest good paint I could (Americas Finest at Home depot $13 a gallon). But the guy at the paint counter said they can't make it black - I'd have to buy the $26 paint. The reason I'm on such a tight budget is because, well, christmas just past and money is tight! Also, I wanted to use the extra money on having Kinkos print up the Marquee.

So, I printed off a temporary Marquee, put 3 coats of paint on the box. It's a latex paint - I wonder how well it will hold up. Seems to do ok on the walls. What do you guys think?


By this point the garage is getting so messy, I can't find anything quickly. I bought a small flourescent light from Home depot. I took the original marquee that was in it (it was painted black) and used some paint stripper on it and wiped as much of the black off as I could and used it for the back peice of the marquee sandwich.


Also, you can see my test control panel. I was trying to determine the best placement. My buttons are 1player, quarter, quit, pause, quarter 2 player then joystick, fire, jump and joystick, fire, jump. Seemed to be fine. (later I would wish I added a tab button)


The back.

Also, I took an older Pentium II 300 I had and loaded win98 and Mame32 on it. I set the computer to boot straight into mame and then you could select a game by moving the joystick up and down and hitting the player 1 fire button. This configuration didn't work as well as I had hoped. I need to experiment with different front ends to find out which ones I liked.




« Last Edit: January 04, 2006, 10:05:43 am by leapinlew »

JonnyBoy

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Re: LeapinLew's Mame Cabinet
« Reply #4 on: January 03, 2006, 09:28:11 pm »
I like your approach, nothing fancy but simple and classy. I can't wait to see what it looks like.
I had to beat them to death with their own shoes...

leapinlew

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Re: LeapinLew's Mame Cabinet
« Reply #5 on: January 03, 2006, 09:42:37 pm »
Thursday/friday Dec 29/30th

The joysticks arrived - assembly day! How exciting. I started early in the morning and spent the first portion of the day trying to figure out at what angle to mount the monitor... argh... this was a difficult decision. It seemed so permanent! I liked looking down on the monitor like galaga, but I also liked looking up on it like ghouls and ghost. I decided to mount it horizontal, but I couldn't figure out at what height and angle. I eventually settled on it's current setup based on the fact that the braces used to hold the monitor could rest on supports that hold up the case. I mounted the monitor and created a bezel for it. I removed the bezel from the 19" flat CRT and spray painted it black and also spray painted the bezel I created. I currently do not have a mounting option - it sort of wedges in there. I'm thinking of using some L brackets to hold it in, but it's in pretty good. I don't think it would move.

The x-arcade joysticks... I don't have much experience assembling joysticks and the x-arcade didn't make things any easier. There was a lot of guesswork involved and the instruction manual and online tech support was worthless. I found out the x-arcade doesn't like my p2 300mhz and I had to program it on a different machine. Now that it's programmed I'm having some issues:

1. lots of clicking... whats a good joystick in the $20 price range that makes less noise? What about the buttons. I assume if it says microswitch it's going to click?

2. Angles were difficult - I switched it from 4/8 way to ensure I had it properly, and it's just difficult to get angles.

I'm now thinking of getting the ultimarc ipac and some e-stiks. Anyone have any thoughts? I sure could use it. The Ultimarc webstore is closed till January 6th or 8th(depending on who you believe). I never heard of a webstore closing, but whatever...

Holy Smokes! Drilling out the control panel... that was a challenge for me. I bought a 1 1/8 spade bit. I printed off a control panel and taped it to the wood, then I started drilling... What I should have done when I printed the control panel was put dots in the exact center of the circles where the buttons were to be, so I'd know where to drill. I then had to drill through the plexiglass. Based on what I read here, I put the drill in reverse and melted my way through. I was happy with the results. I mounted and assembled the control panel.

No t-molding. Damn... I was hoping that would show up! Here is some shots of the cabinet -


Sitting in the family room. Still needing to mount the speakers, but I'm thinking of leaving them there. Something is making the sound crackley and distorted occassionaly. Need to figure out what that is.


Profile shot. I need some side art of some kind - but until inspiration hits - it will remain bare. I also used a peice of wood to cover the front portions and caulked the wood on the bottom to make a clean seam.


Close up of the control panel. One thing that irked me about the x-arcade is it didn't come with any bolts... none. So the only thing open late at night was Walmart. I found some longer bolts that look out of place - but are holding the joystick.


That marquee is pissing me off. I went straight to Kinkos and bought some backlit vinyl ($15)


Those latches work great. The control panel is rock solid!

Still no t-molding!



« Last Edit: January 03, 2006, 11:50:10 pm by leapinlew »

leapinlew

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Re: LeapinLew's Mame Cabinet
« Reply #6 on: January 03, 2006, 09:44:15 pm »
I like your approach, nothing fancy but simple and classy. I can't wait to see what it looks like.

Thanks, I appreciate it! I am thinking of building a cabinet still and I was using this as a test cabinet. Money was an issue, and so was time. Oh, and the biggest issue is my skillset with power tools and wood!

leapinlew

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Re: LeapinLew's Mame Cabinet
« Reply #7 on: January 03, 2006, 09:49:57 pm »
Dec. 31st.

No t-molding, but it's playable. We had some people over for New Years and it was a big hit. Had a couple minor issues with Mame32. I need to work on a better front end, but after playing on it for a while myself - I'm thinking I can fit 6 buttons on each side. Bring on some HO-DU-KEN!

I started redesigning a control panel. This time - no blue buttons to try to drill in the middle of... A tab button to get to the controls section. These are the kinds of things you just can't plan for.

Also, the X-arcade sticks are starting to bother me. Click Click Click, angles suck... anyone else use these?




leapinlew

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Re: LeapinLew's Mame Cabinet
« Reply #8 on: January 03, 2006, 09:53:20 pm »
Tuesday Jan 3rd

T-molding is in! I installed it with a rubber mallet. It cleans everything up real nice.


Outlined in white. If I had my choice - I would've went black. But I didn't!


Profile - still need some sideart!


Keyboard drawer in action! Also, you'll notice the exposed wood I painted white. For the new control panel - I'll have to come up with something more pretty.


I ordered the new control panel overlay and will pick up both the overlay and control panel tomorrow. I'll install them with some new pictures.

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Re: LeapinLew's Mame Cabinet
« Reply #9 on: January 04, 2006, 12:11:14 pm »
Looks great, nice and clean. Go for P360 joysticks - they'll cost you, but nice and quiet. Check out Ponyboy for a good price. I know you decided against a coin door, but you might want to look into a coin door sticker, not sure if RandyT ever offered them:

http://forum.arcadecontrols.com/index.php?topic=42623.0

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Re: LeapinLew's Mame Cabinet
« Reply #10 on: January 04, 2006, 01:58:27 pm »
Looks great, nice and clean. Go for P360 joysticks - they'll cost you, but nice and quiet. Check out Ponyboy for a good price. I know you decided against a coin door, but you might want to look into a coin door sticker, not sure if RandyT ever offered them:

http://forum.arcadecontrols.com/index.php?topic=42623.0

I've been wondering about the coin door. I found this one and I'm thinking as soon as I decide on the joysticks, I'll order a blank coin door from Happ http://www.happcontrols.com/pc/accessories/40071300.htm . Thanks for the suggestion - I think I'll do it.

I just got back from Kinkos and let me say this about backlit vinyl. Awesome. It really makes the colors pop. Well worth $15. I also had a new blank control panel printed. I figured it'll be more forgiving if I don't find the exact center. This time - 6 buttons per joystick. A little tight, but a lot worth it I think.


This should give me the freedom I need to not have to be so precise!

I am mounting the speakers underneath the marquee. I wanted just some normal car speaker covers. Maybe some 4 or 6 inch speaker covers - I'm flexible. I went to Autozone, Walmart, Kmart, Best Buy and couldn't find anything. Walking through CompUSA I found some 92mm fan grills that only cost $.25 each and will work. They will work till I can find some decent covers...


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Re: LeapinLew's Mame Cabinet
« Reply #11 on: January 04, 2006, 02:12:01 pm »
Ponyboy should be able to get the coindoor too - much better on shipping. Or, check out APFelon, he has some used ones:

http://forum.arcadecontrols.com/index.php?topic=47807.msg462402#msg462402

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Re: LeapinLew's Mame Cabinet
« Reply #12 on: January 05, 2006, 10:36:31 am »
Hello, i have 4 of the fake coin doors in stock, they are 31.99 plus shipping, & the shipping is a lot less than happ, let me know if i can help you
thanks
divemater127
I carry both ultimarc & happ items, all brand new & I ship from the united states. My online store is ARCADEEMULATOR.NET, pm if I can help in anyway.

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Re: LeapinLew's Mame Cabinet
« Reply #13 on: January 05, 2006, 10:42:56 am »
I've been wondering about the coin door. I found this one and I'm thinking as soon as I decide on the joysticks, I'll order a blank coin door from Happ http://www.happcontrols.com/pc/accessories/40071300.htm .

That's only half of the coin door structure.  You still need the bin/door if you don't already have it.

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Re: LeapinLew's Mame Cabinet
« Reply #14 on: January 07, 2006, 05:11:11 am »
X-arcades equipment has been sent back. The throw was too much for me and the angles were a pain. I'm now going to go with a ipac and order the buttons/sticks from Ultimarc as well.

I'm currently checking out the ultimarc e-stik vs mag-stik. Anyone have any thoughts?

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Re: LeapinLew's Mame Cabinet
« Reply #15 on: January 09, 2006, 03:58:43 pm »
Can I have the holes from your speaker grill? As you're not using them and I REALLY want to put some in mine!  ;D
Put the grill back in it's proper retro looking!

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« Last Edit: April 15, 2007, 12:13:08 am by leapinlew »

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Re: LeapinLew's Mame Cabinet - Old School - Complete!
« Reply #17 on: June 18, 2006, 09:58:54 pm »
All the updates look excellent

Improvement on the original design...

I like the colour on the sides against the black front..

Keep up the good work.
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Re: LeapinLew's Mame Cabinet - Old School - Complete!
« Reply #18 on: June 18, 2006, 11:51:46 pm »
Looks great!

Looking at the updated pics...did you rotate the monitor to vertical?

It seems weird to see a Nintendo-style cabinet without the speaker slots. It's one of the things that make them stand out. If it's the narrow 23-1/2" wide cabinet in orange it was probably DK Junior or Popeye to start. If I remember right, Mario Bros was only available as the widebodied cabinet or a conversion kit for DK, DK Junior, and Popeye.

Another option if you don't want the joysticks to be too "clicky" is an old-style Wico ball-top leaf joystick. Ironically, Nintendo cabinets were one of the few in their day to use microswtiches and were probably the "clickiest" joysticks I've ever used. Clicky and stubby. Pretty much every other company in the early 80's used Wico ball-tops.

Did you consider moving the cabinet instead of the thermostat?
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Re: LeapinLew's Mame Cabinet - Old School - Complete!
« Reply #19 on: June 19, 2006, 09:37:32 am »
I rotated the monitor and have it working primarily with games that work with that format.

About the speaker slot.... I made some changes before I really knew what I was doing. That is one I regret. When I started this, I didn't even know there was a wide body version, but I know now this was most likely not a mario bros. Looking at the original CP it had holes cut for a Super Mario Bros or Excitebike with 2 joysticks with 2 buttons each.

I've come to terms with the clickyness since the original post. That being said, the x-arcades are extra clicky. The super is slightly better.

Last, the thermostat.... that room is going to have 3 arcade games in it. I think it'll be warmer than the rest of the house, so I'm just going to move the thermostat to the other side of the wall. I'm running out of room in the game room! It shouldn't be a big deal.... shouldn't!

Thanks for looking.

Looks great!

Looking at the updated pics...did you rotate the monitor to vertical?

It seems weird to see a Nintendo-style cabinet without the speaker slots. It's one of the things that make them stand out. If it's the narrow 23-1/2" wide cabinet in orange it was probably DK Junior or Popeye to start. If I remember right, Mario Bros was only available as the widebodied cabinet or a conversion kit for DK, DK Junior, and Popeye.

Another option if you don't want the joysticks to be too "clicky" is an old-style Wico ball-top leaf joystick. Ironically, Nintendo cabinets were one of the few in their day to use microswtiches and were probably the "clickiest" joysticks I've ever used. Clicky and stubby. Pretty much every other company in the early 80's used Wico ball-tops.

Did you consider moving the cabinet instead of the thermostat?

  
 

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