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Author Topic: Party-Box...Countertop cab w/ laptop & flat screen  (Read 42303 times)

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Stobe

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AtomSmasher

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Ninten-doh

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Re: Party-Box...Countertop cab w/ laptop & flat screen
« Reply #82 on: June 29, 2006, 03:45:18 pm »
I was the one with the idea of a picture of a coin, yet my name was deleted from the quote.  I think Ninten-doh paid someone off.
I did...with a quarter.   :laugh2:

My lame quip aside, let it be officially recognized that the quarter graphic idea came from AtomSmasher, not me.   :cheers:

AtomSmasher

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Re: Party-Box...Countertop cab w/ laptop & flat screen
« Reply #83 on: June 29, 2006, 04:45:33 pm »
I was the one with the idea of a picture of a coin, yet my name was deleted from the quote.  I think Ninten-doh paid someone off.
I did...with a quarter.   :laugh2:

My lame quip aside, let it be officially recognized that the quarter graphic idea came from AtomSmasher, not me.   :cheers:
hehe, no worries, I just thought it odd how he edited my name out of the quote.

theCoder

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Re: Party-Box...Countertop cab w/ laptop & flat screen
« Reply #84 on: June 29, 2006, 05:42:35 pm »
I was the one with the idea of a picture of a coin, yet my name was deleted from the quote.  I think Ninten-doh paid someone off.
I did...with a quarter.   :laugh2:

My lame quip aside, let it be officially recognized that the quarter graphic idea came from AtomSmasher, not me.   :cheers:
hehe, no worries, I just thought it odd how he edited my name out of the quote.
Sorry for the omission AtomSmasher; cut & paste error.  Actually, I was trying to help you avoid the hit for your blaphemy comment. 

tore-

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Re: Party-Box...Countertop cab w/ laptop & flat screen
« Reply #85 on: June 29, 2006, 05:56:57 pm »
Excellent work! I must say, countertop cabs are really nice, hope I also can make one some day.

Stobe

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Re: Party-Box...Countertop cab w/ laptop & flat screen
« Reply #86 on: June 29, 2006, 08:59:20 pm »
Sorry for the omission AtomSmasher; cut & paste error.  Actually, I was trying to help you avoid the hit for your blaphemy comment. 

Phew!  I thought I might have made the cut and paste error.  I'm glad that's settled.  Now back to the topic at hand.....

Very nice looking cab.  Can't wait to see more!

-Stobe

AtomSmasher

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Re: Party-Box...Countertop cab w/ laptop & flat screen
« Reply #87 on: June 29, 2006, 09:21:59 pm »
Sorry for the omission AtomSmasher; cut & paste error.  Actually, I was trying to help you avoid the hit for your blaphemy comment. 
I only said picture of a coin, you came up with a picture of a quarter all on your own  ;D

theCoder

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Re: Party-Box...Countertop cab w/ laptop & flat screen
« Reply #88 on: June 30, 2006, 03:53:10 am »
Thanks again for the input.  I think I'm about ready to call this done. 

Changes from last:
1)  Quarter replaced with BYOAC Token.
2)  Drop shadows lightened up & made more transparent.
3)  My own addition - transitioned the swirl from lighter & crisper at the trackball to darker and more fuzzy further out.  I believe this draws more focus on the trackball providing the anchor gamecreature was recommending.

I'm printing up a couple of copies on large format photo paper at work tomorrow to see how it looks and to make a trial run cutting my CP. 

Any additional comments/recommendations?

AtomSmasher

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Re: Party-Box...Countertop cab w/ laptop & flat screen
« Reply #89 on: June 30, 2006, 11:56:33 am »
The BYOAC token looks kind of hard to make out, while it might be better after printing out, its not exactly self explanitory to new users so you will always have to explain what it is.  Maybe you should try making a simple coin design that just says "1 Credit" so its easy to understand the purpose of the button.  Just a thought.  Either way, I like the coin better then the dollar signs :)

javeryh

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Re: Party-Box...Countertop cab w/ laptop & flat screen
« Reply #90 on: June 30, 2006, 12:23:38 pm »
Also, the outer circle of the trackball design doesn't look perfectly round... maybe it's just me...  looks great though!

theCoder

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Re: Party-Box...Countertop cab w/ laptop & flat screen
« Reply #91 on: June 30, 2006, 11:35:55 pm »
The BYOAC token looks kind of hard to make out, while it might be better after printing out, its not exactly self explanitory to new users so you will always have to explain what it is. 
I agree.  By the time it was shrunk down to the size I needed, you can barely make out the image.  I switched it back to the quarter.  At least my guests will recognize it as a quarter.

Also, the outer circle of the trackball design doesn't look perfectly round
True.  It appears to be a problem with the chrome effect.  I will add a few rows 1 pixel wide to clean it up.

Today I printed the CP on a HP DesignJet 130.  Man, this thing puts out one heck of a quality print.  I made one with all the graphics (to hang on my wall at work), and another with cross hairs marking where I need to drill holes.  Once I've verified that everything will fit using a proof-of-concept board, I'll print another to make the holes on the final piece of wood.  I think it will work out fine, but the CP will be 5/8" wood.  Unfortunately I could not find 5/8" wood, so I'll be shaving down a piece of 3/4" wood.  After all the work to make the 3/4" piece of wood into a 5/8" piece of wood, I'd hate to ruin it.  So... I'll verify everything works out first with a trash piece of 3/4" plywood.  Anyway, you've got to love the print quality of modern HP inkjet printers.

Cameronj

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Re: Party-Box...Countertop cab w/ laptop & flat screen
« Reply #92 on: June 30, 2006, 11:59:35 pm »
Yeah you have to love the quality of all of these new Wide Format inkjets. I am still very amazed by my Epson 10000 Pro. It uses archival inks which don't have the best color gamut, but the prints just don't fade out.

Your artwork is looking awesome!!!! I'm a big fan. :applaud:

NightGod

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Re: Party-Box...Countertop cab w/ laptop & flat screen
« Reply #93 on: July 01, 2006, 01:14:57 am »
$6.75 the hard way-one quarter at a time.

theCoder

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Re: Party-Box...Countertop cab w/ laptop & flat screen
« Reply #94 on: July 03, 2006, 06:05:02 pm »
Twisted Pair
Another trick my father showed me was how to make a single strand of two conductor wire.  It's pretty easy when you use power tools for the job.  I've used this trick countless times.  Place the wire in the chuck of a drill, pull gently at the other end, and drill.  If you do it tightly, it will reduce the overall length by almost 50% so plan accordingly.  Works great.


LED Wires
I will be lighting most of the buttons and the trackball on this project.  The monitor bezel is removable, forcing me to mount the LED power lines flush with the side walls.  I used a dremel tool to pocket out a slot in the sidewall.  The wires were then glued in place with hotglue.  I put a small wood board over the hotglue while it was still wet, trying to get a flat surface.  To avoid gluing the board to the sidewall, I put down a piece of tinfoil.  I thought the tinfoil would just pull away, but most of it stuck.  Oh, well, no problem.



Bezel Is Ready To Mount
Today I mounted the speakers and monitor to the bezel.  Not much excitement here, but it's progress.




I'm taking this week off from work, and hope to make significant progress on the CP.  Stay tuned.

theCoder

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Re: Party-Box...Countertop cab w/ laptop & flat screen
« Reply #95 on: July 05, 2006, 12:17:15 am »
Tight Squeeze
All the pieces slid in as planned, but holy tight squeeze Batman.  There is something about seeing the drawings, then the actual pieces in place.  I knew it was going to be tight in there.  There is about one inch between the CPU and monitor at the top, transitioning to about 2 inches at the bottom.  There are a few inches to the sides of the CPU to allow air flow to the monitor.  However there are a lot of wires in between.  Hopefully it won't get too hot inside. 



Wireless LAN
I want to be able to connect the cab to my wireless LAN.  Unfortunately the antenna for the system was the titanium lid surrounding the original LCD.  With the LCD gone, I needed to come up with something else.  I

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Re: Party-Box...Countertop cab w/ laptop & flat screen
« Reply #96 on: July 05, 2006, 12:28:20 am »
...if nothing else, it keeps me off the streets at night.


And for that we are thankful.

Keep up the good work. (And the pictures.)

Crafty

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Re: Party-Box...Countertop cab w/ laptop & flat screen
« Reply #97 on: July 05, 2006, 02:51:48 am »
Coming together nicely...

Good use of hot glue for all those tricky areas... :cheers:
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Re: Party-Box...Countertop cab w/ laptop & flat screen
« Reply #98 on: July 05, 2006, 07:17:17 am »
I hope you guys are not getting sick of the quantity of pictures I'm posting.  I'm sure some of this stuff is no-brainer to you more experienced cab builders.  But I

theCoder

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Re: Party-Box...Countertop cab w/ laptop & flat screen
« Reply #99 on: July 05, 2006, 11:33:18 am »
Thanks again for the comments.  I'll keep it up.   

Its how people who are much less talented live vicariously through the work of others.
I can relate to the "living vicariously" comment.  It is cool to see how different people solve similar problems. 

...I have started 3 cabinets-- sold one, the other 2 are still not playable.  :(
So what's keeping you from from finishing one of them?  Too much time modding XBoxes and selling them to unsuspecting fools like me.  Thanks again for the unit.  I can't wait to finish this project and build a cab around it.

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Re: Party-Box...Countertop cab w/ laptop & flat screen
« Reply #100 on: July 05, 2006, 11:37:22 am »
So what's keeping you from from finishing one of them?  Too much time modding XBoxes and selling them to unsuspecting fools like me.  Thanks again for the unit.  I can't wait to finish this project and build a cab around it.

haha, lack of time, money, tools and ability.    :dizzy:
I'll finish one someday.....

-D

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Re: Party-Box...Countertop cab w/ laptop & flat screen
« Reply #101 on: July 05, 2006, 01:18:20 pm »
That is the craziest wireless lan setup I've ever seen-man, what's so hard about Mini-PCI that makes laptop designers want to go with a custom solution? Three cheers for industry standards.
$6.75 the hard way-one quarter at a time.

leapinlew

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Re: Party-Box...Countertop cab w/ laptop & flat screen
« Reply #102 on: July 05, 2006, 02:08:42 pm »
It's looking great!

Quick question - where does your wrist land when playing games? I ask because I generally install my joysticks higher to allow my wrists to rest on the cp.

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Re: Party-Box...Countertop cab w/ laptop & flat screen
« Reply #103 on: July 05, 2006, 09:04:26 pm »
It's looking great!

Quick question - where does your wrist land when playing games? I ask because I generally install my joysticks higher to allow my wrists to rest on the cp.
The screen is only about 1" higher than the top of the CP.  I'm concerned that my left hand will block the view of the screen.  That is the primary reason I placed it where I did.  I didn't consider a place to rest my wrist.  I'll check it out tomorrow and see if any adjustments make sense.  Thanks for the input.

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Re: Party-Box...Countertop cab w/ laptop & flat screen
« Reply #104 on: July 07, 2006, 05:02:26 am »
Plexiglas Covered Control Panel

I searched this site for write-ups on how to make the Plexiglas over artwork part of a control panel.  Lots of people have done it, and many have written various notes on it.  I found one by Timoe to be particularly helpful.  Based on his input and that of many others, I

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Re: Party-Box...Countertop cab w/ laptop & flat screen
« Reply #105 on: July 07, 2006, 08:29:47 am »
Amazing work.  Looks great.  And great job documenting the process.  Thanks for sharing!

Timoe

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Re: Party-Box...Countertop cab w/ laptop & flat screen
« Reply #106 on: July 07, 2006, 08:36:42 pm »
WOW - that came out really well.  I need to see a full frontal shot.  :o

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Re: Party-Box...Countertop cab w/ laptop & flat screen
« Reply #107 on: July 09, 2006, 01:16:29 am »
Lighting the Trackball
I've seen a lot of people that have come up with fancy LED mounts for the bottom of trackballs.  Rather than mess with a fixture to hold the LED's then figuring out how to mount the fixture to the trackball, I decided to just drill three holes into the bottom of the trackball and glue the LED's in place.  There is plenty of room between the ball and the bottom of the housing.  I slipped a thick shim of scrap plastic through the hole, under where I was drilling to keep me from damaging the ball.  It works like a champ.


Control Panel Wiring & Lites
It was a long night last night wiring things up.  Here is the standard shot of my wiring job.


I've heard other people mention it, and now I truly understand, it is hard to photograph LED lit buttons and trackballs.  This shot was taken with a flash.  The colors and brightness are flattened out.  In real life they look much more distinctive than this.


This shot was taken without a flash.  Obviously it is not this bright in real life.  Notice the small black admin buttons on the right side of the panel.  They turned out nice.



Things are very cramped inside now with the pinball buttons, control panel, IPac and trackball cables, etc. etc. etc.  Tonight I put it all together and tested my wiring.  I found a few problems.  One I've tracked down to a shorted switch, which I proceeded to destroy while removing the hotglue around it.  Lesson learned...test all your wiring before assembly.  It took at least 30 minutes to get the control panel on (LED wiring, adjusting leaf switches, moving wires around, dropping screws, etc.)  It took another 5 minutes to get the control panel off to debug the wiring.  It's getting late and I'm tired and frustrated.  I'm probably better off letting it sit over night or else I may trash something else.

theCoder

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Re: Party-Box...Countertop cab w/ laptop & flat screen
« Reply #108 on: July 10, 2006, 11:01:52 am »
Hardware Mostly Complete
Yesterday I did some additional work on debugging wiring problems.  I tracked the main problem down to a bad Ipac-4 board.  It is either bad physically, or I've got the wrong version of the configuration software or something.  I'm working with Andy at UltiMark to figure out what is going on.

In the mean time, I put the t-molding on.  Given the blue highlights around the perimeter, I'm considering leaving off the side art.  Comments?

I've getting so close I can smell it.  I've just got to load up my menuing software (going with Mamewah), load up my various games, configure the menus, do a custom Mamewah skin, and get the wiring/IPac "fixed".  Here are some shots of the project in its near-complete stage.










leapinlew

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Re: Party-Box...Countertop cab w/ laptop & flat screen
« Reply #109 on: July 10, 2006, 11:26:43 am »
awesome dude. Just awesome.

Couple quick questions and a comment.

The trackball - which model did you go with? I would love to flush mount mine, but I didn't go with a high lip model. Is yours a high lip?

My comment is on the sideart. I think sideart would make it too busy. You've built a machine that makes a statement in design. Let the design be the art. Take the side profile of your machine for example. It's uniquely shaped and thin. If you add art, you'll add dimension that may not showoff the thin characteristics that I believe make the machine so nice looking. It's just my opinion, but I subscribe to the less is more philosophy.

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Re: Party-Box...Countertop cab w/ laptop & flat screen
« Reply #110 on: July 10, 2006, 11:39:37 am »
I'm sorry, this is unacceptable. It is totally unacceptable that this board lacks the jaw-dropping smiley that reflects the way I looked when I saw those pictures. I'll have to settle for this instead:  :notworthy:

I have to agree with Lew - keeping it clean and simple may be the way to go here.
Make your cabinet look its best with custom art from
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Re: Party-Box...Countertop cab w/ laptop & flat screen
« Reply #111 on: July 10, 2006, 11:52:27 am »
I really like the look, but I gotta say...

The first thing that popped into my head when I saw it was "Hot Wheels Laptop".





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Re: Party-Box...Countertop cab w/ laptop & flat screen
« Reply #112 on: July 10, 2006, 04:17:20 pm »
Couple quick questions and a comment.
The trackball - which model did you go with? I would love to flush mount mine, but I didn't go with a high lip model. Is yours a high lip?

I could be wrong but I think all the Happ trackballs are sold "high lip" now with spacer plates if you want no lip.  Then there's the "high ball" which is something completely different.

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Re: Party-Box...Countertop cab w/ laptop & flat screen
« Reply #113 on: July 10, 2006, 04:48:24 pm »
I think Gamecreature's "blue" layout that he did for Mala would look great on this.



Of course, you're probably planning to use your stylistic flair for a custom skin.  Just a thought.   Great cab!  :cheers:

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Re: Party-Box...Countertop cab w/ laptop & flat screen
« Reply #114 on: July 10, 2006, 06:21:08 pm »
Thanks for the compliments.  It's been a fun ride.

I think Gamecreature's "blue" layout that he did for Mala would look great on this.
I'm all for re-use.  Gamecreature, did you do this in photoshop?  Could I get a copy?

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Re: Party-Box...Countertop cab w/ laptop & flat screen
« Reply #115 on: July 10, 2006, 08:06:56 pm »
I'm all for re-use.  Gamecreature, did you do this in photoshop?  Could I get a copy?

Yes I did. It's over 9 megs in size. And to answer your second question, let me think about it.
Make your cabinet look its best with custom art from
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Re: Party-Box...Countertop cab w/ laptop & flat screen
« Reply #116 on: July 10, 2006, 10:28:59 pm »
Awesome Effort

Thanks for the ride....

It's projects like yours (unique and well documented) that inspire us all..

:applaud: :applaud: :applaud: :applaud:
A Bad Day Playing Is Better Than a Good Day Working

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Re: Party-Box...Countertop cab w/ laptop & flat screen
« Reply #117 on: July 11, 2006, 09:46:02 am »
Could I get a copy?

If you're up for trying Mala (I'm giving it a go after a few months of testing out Mamewah), you can find this layout and others here:

http://mala.arcadezentrum.com/layouts.html

Gamecreature has generously given Mala users his "Blue" and "AlienDashboard" layouts to use.

theCoder

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DigDreams

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Re: Party-Box...Countertop cab w/ laptop & flat screen
« Reply #119 on: July 12, 2006, 01:16:48 pm »
Very nice work!

I was originally going to do something like this, but when I tried the old AMD K6-2 3d/400 laptop I had for it, it ran MAME so slow, I gave up on it.  It probably should have worked OK, but this is an old laptop (2 upgrades ago) and when it boots up it thinks it's a 755mhz P3 instead of an AMD K6 3d/400.  Strange.  I think it's just fried.

BTW: If you like gutterball, try World Class Bowling in MAME - it's awesome with a trackball.  Shuffleshot is also very addictive.

- DigDreams