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Author Topic: Battle Chasers Upright - Frankenpanel started!  (Read 15165 times)

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Boz

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Battle Chasers Upright - Frankenpanel started!
« on: June 27, 2006, 03:52:06 am »
Research, Training, and Woodworking 101

I've been doing what a number of people do when they first get interested in Mame and
custom cabinet design...research and lurking. Enough of that, "let's build the thing
already".

I have to say first that a number of cabinets have had a significant impact on my
conceptual design and although my first one will be customized to my preferences, you
will undoubtedly see "rip offs" of concepts in others' cabinets. Good ideas are good ideas
and I hope those other cabinet builders aren't offended.

After lurking and researching for a couple of months, I ordered a standard round of CP
parts from Happ. I had no woodworking tools (to say nothing of woodworking skill) and
needed my neighbor to cut all the pieces for me. That was 6 months ago. And I haven't
used the table-top CP all that much (mostly due to my displeasure with the joystick I
bought, but that's another story). I guess something as big and bulky is this turned out
wasn't much fun to use. Oh... and I learned that about half of the games that I queued up
in my "favorites" folder either required a trackball or a spinner - neither of which I
installed on my hastily built CP.
About a month ago, my interest in wood-working piqued again and I just *had* to do
something. My motivation was not Mame driven, though, in the back of my mind, my
classic arcade game enthusiasm would certainly benefit. After a hefty sum on everything
from power tools to clamps and glue (you know, those "condiment" tools that you think
you *might* use someday, so you buy 'em), I commenced on a couple of projects.

Adjustable shelves and a few Adirondack chairs later, I gleaned a number of important
lessons not the least of which was "routers are LOUD" and they create 4 times as much
saw dust that ends up in 10 times as many places as any circular saw will for the same
cut. The other big lesson was that you can't count on anything to be square except the
square itself, a concept that will make the woodworkers among you chuckle with an all-
too-knowing nod.

EDIT: Add link to daily set-based compilation of images
« Last Edit: October 09, 2006, 02:11:52 pm by In2ishun »

Boz

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Re: Battle Chasers Upright
« Reply #1 on: June 27, 2006, 04:04:12 am »
Cardboard Jedi Master

After having the "chicken or egg" question answered (what to buy first, wood or
electronics), I busted out the old Dell 19" CRT monitor boxes that I've been dragging
around for easily 8 years now. I'm pretty much done "moving", so they had served their
purpose.

I started with the control panel which went surprisingly quick (3-4 hours). I like the
curved areas where the 3 and 4 player positions are as well as a moderately streamlined
height. It slopes from 5 inches in the back to 3 inches in the front. I'm not positive about
clearance for my controls so I'll have to do some research once I figure out the control
placement.

I found it odd how amazingly fast marking, cutting, laying-out, and taping went for the control panel, but how slow and tedious it will go when I transfer to wood.

Images are at flickr...




I don't know what's up with the crappy image scaling of the flickr badges above, but the pics on flickr look normal.


EDIT: Image links
« Last Edit: July 13, 2006, 06:03:07 pm by In2ishun »

Boz

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Re: Battle Chasers Upright
« Reply #2 on: June 27, 2006, 04:20:10 am »
Artwork

As the thread says, this is a cab themed on the Battle Chasers comic book series. I'm not much of a comic book reader, let alone collector. The first time I saw Red Monika was a Vector project that Felsir was doing for a client. I was immediately impressed with artwork of the Monika character and decided to look for more images.

After weeks of searching I found an entire set of Battle Chasers comics on eBay which I gladly scooped up. I'm not sure what characters from the series I'm going to use in my cabinet artwork. I haven't even looked through all the comics yet.




EDIT: Image links
« Last Edit: July 13, 2006, 06:04:00 pm by In2ishun »

theCoder

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Re: Battle Chasers Upright
« Reply #3 on: June 27, 2006, 01:08:54 pm »
About a month ago, my interest in wood-working piqued again and I just *had* to do
something. My motivation was not Mame driven, though, in the back of my mind, my
classic arcade game enthusiasm would certainly benefit.
For me, it is as much the journey as it is the goal.  I'm a gamer deep down.  I love playing arcade games.  But I also love making things.  Along the way you are learning new skills and/or improving old ones and playing with new media or technology (bondo, dowel pins, vinyl, Photoshop, etc.).  Having your kids and their friends boast about your handywork is also a rush.

Welcome to the hobby.  Great progress so far.

Crafty

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Re: Battle Chasers Upright
« Reply #4 on: June 27, 2006, 09:48:27 pm »
Looking Good

Its good to have a theme decided early..

With the artwork applied it should look excellent

Keep the pictures coming
A Bad Day Playing Is Better Than a Good Day Working

Boz

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Re: Battle Chasers Upright
« Reply #5 on: June 28, 2006, 12:05:03 am »
The theme, I hope won't turn out to be a pie-in-the-sky thing. I really, really like the concept of the theme, but doing vector conversion is going to be a real pain for me. I'm not sure my work will turn out as good as the cab hopefully does.

The bondo and dowel pins I might have to read up on. I *have* seen some projects that have used it though I don't have that many curves that I'll be painting. I made a trip down to Home Depot today and I think I'm gonna use 3/4 oak for the cabinet for it's durability and the ease with which I can work with it. I had planned on using just run of the mill 5-ply plywood, but after building the shelves, I don't want to have to deal with crap wood just beneath the surface of the first ply. The oak I was looking at was easily 9-ply if not 10.

I'm also toying with the idea of staining the oak then placing the artwork over the top with a couple coats of poly for protection. Of course, I'm not familiar with any of these materials so I have no idea how they will interact or end up looking.

Oddly, I'm going to be in-between jobs for about a month and I'm thinking that I could, if I worked hard, have the whole thing done if I don't have to wait for parts. Single, no-kids, no job to go to...could be the only time I have to devote to it till my new job picks up in August.

« Last Edit: June 28, 2006, 12:07:53 am by In2ishun »

jcroach

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Re: Battle Chasers Upright
« Reply #6 on: June 28, 2006, 08:40:03 am »
How did you create those static flickr badges?

Boz

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Re: Battle Chasers Upright
« Reply #7 on: June 28, 2006, 02:41:07 pm »
How did you create those static flickr badges?
It's just a screenshot of the last step. The BBS here doesn't allow for the kind of intense HTML that flickr badges spit out (AFAIK), so I took a screenshot of the last step in the badge creation, cropped it, linked to the screenshot from my own web server, and added the (url=blah) tag around the image for the BBS here.

Hope that helps

RayB

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Re: Battle Chasers Upright
« Reply #8 on: June 30, 2006, 05:54:02 pm »
The first time I saw Red Monika was a Vector project that Felsir was doing for a client. I was immediately impressed with artwork of the Monika character and decided to look for more images.

Holy basketballs Batman!
NO MORE!!

Boz

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Re: Battle Chasers Upright
« Reply #9 on: July 02, 2006, 01:04:06 am »
I love how this message board saved the 30 minutes of typing and updates when I accidentally attached an image that was too big.

I'll update after the weekend.
« Last Edit: July 05, 2006, 02:18:32 pm by In2ishun »

Boz

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Re: Battle Chasers Upright
« Reply #10 on: July 02, 2006, 06:17:29 pm »
Update: July 2, 2006

I thought I'd give this whole "update" thing another stab only this time I'll remember the size limitations of posting images...hopefully.

No construction news to report as of yet although I did bring the wood home from Home Depot that the cabinet will be made of (pic below). Thanks to advice I acquired in another post of mine, I wanted to wait until I had gotten ahold of the actual arcade monitor I'll be using as well as some idea as to the speaker setup I intend to use before cutting the first sheet. More on that later...

I've been quite busy making posts in other areas of BYOAC looking for guidance on a couple of other topics. I felt that *this* thread should be dedicated to the actual progress of my cabinet, hence the outside posts. However, they *are* related so here are the links.

Questions about "bending" wood given the curved front face of my proposed control panel.
http://forum.arcadecontrols.com/index.php?topic=55243.0

Frustration with the constantly changing (and improving) face of available joysticks, here's a post about what latest and greatest joysticks I should consider. I received a lot of VERY good information here that helped form my control selection.
http://forum.arcadecontrols.com/index.php?topic=55242.0

Questions about the "finishing" of the cabinet including some technical info on application of side art on a stained surface. (You gotta love Drew!)
http://forum.arcadecontrols.com/index.php?topic=55240.0

I've already placed the order for my monitor and was curious about the use of the "Arcade VGA" card given the wide range of refresh rates of the monitor I selected.
http://forum.arcadecontrols.com/index.php?topic=55241.0

The control selection I've ended up with follows below. I realize there are a ton of other little things I'll need which I can pick-up when I cross those bridges. These are the major parts that should help me confirm that the control panel dimensions I'm using will be enough. I have an assortment of 15 buttons and an IPac 4 from my first control panel (first set of pics in this thread) that I intend on using for the upright.

Happ... (Rollie Electronics?)
42 - Horizontal Pushbutton Leaf Switch w/Bracket (as reviewed on retroblast, April '06)
24 - Pushbutton (black) - 58-9166L
1 - 2 player start (white) - 58-9111-L2PLY
1 - 3 player start (white) - 58-9111-L3PLY
1 - 4 player start (white) - 58-9111-L4PLY
1 - Pushbutton Wrench - 53-8002-00

1 - 3-inch "High-Ball" trackball w/ harness - 56-0110-10
1 - 3-inch "High-Ball" mounting kit - 55-1103-00
1 - PS/2 & USB Trackball Interface Kit for 2-1/4'' and 3'' - 56-0113-00K

1 - 4-Entry Multi-Player Coin Door - 40-0946-00
1 - Cashbox - 42-0769-00
1 - 4 Entry Enclosure for Coin Door 42-7328-00
1 - Various Radio Shack parts to implement Oscar's "Optical Coin Sensor Circuit" (No, I probably don't need it. But... I like it and it's cool.)

1 - SlikStik Tornado Spinner Assembly - 95-2657-00
1 - Black skirted knob for spinner - 50-0465-16A

Ultimarc....
1 - Arcade VGA
2 - Ultra Stik 360 Balltop (Player positions 1 and 2)
4 - Mag Stik Plus Balltop (maybe...) (Player positions 3, 4, and two for the single player section in the middle of the CP)

I have a couple of questions that still remain on my control selection -- specifically the spinner and trackball setup and additional encoders needed. If you have some guidance you'd like to offer, I'd appreciate your comments.

I'd like to get all the joy-sticks from Ultimarc but I have posted a question to Andy that I need to have clarified about pricing for ball-tops on the Mag Stik Plus before I can order. $40 bucks for a 4/8 top-switchable seems like a bit much for infrequently used player positions. May have to go with another solution. Plus, I don't even know if any games actually use dedicated 4-ways in the 3 and 4 player positions. Maybe someone out there can say for sure.

Another little tidbit I wanted to throw in is my intended use of retractable casters. A number of people have used caster on their machines and some have used levelers only. I'd like to use a combination of both with leveling casters. After some research I may end up with these from Mapp Caster (model: Q932001NYL). Here's an animated gif example of how they'll work

As for the monitor and speaker setup before slicing my first sheet of wood, I had a bit of a Eureka moment a couple of days ago. I wasn't sure what I was going to use for speakers and the thought of using a computer speaker doesn't really appeal to me. I was looking through other posts for speaker suggestions when it dawned on me that I have a perfectly good set of bookshelf speakers that are very high quality and have been collecting dust since I got rid of my home entertainment system (money was *really* tight a couple of years ago). Having had these previously hooked into a high-powered receiver and having heard the volume and distortion free sound they are capable of putting out, I've opted to use them. They are JBL "studio series" monitors model: S38. Again, since I've heard what these speakers sound like from a real setup, I have absolutely no reservations about using them in the cabinet. They sound BRILLIANT at nearly every single sound range. Of course, I'm aware that much of this accoustic bliss is the result of some finely tuned design in the enclosure. I may not achieve the same kind of trouble-free sound out of them once they get into a cabinet, but I'm not opposed to building baffling and additional stuff to get them to sound good for gaming (possibly heaping double-duty on my cab as a juke-box as so many have done). Here's a write-up for them at stereophile.com where the reviewer apparently can't stop raving about the sound. I'll cut the speaker boxes up, yank out the speakers, and split the woofer from the titatium tweeter and mid-range. The woofers will go to the bottom of the cab while the other two will go somewhere near the monitor. I've also given some thought to sheilding which I will probably have to build myself as the shielding in the unmodified speaker enclosures may be attached to the enclosure itself.

Pics are at flickr:
« Last Edit: July 18, 2006, 03:15:28 pm by In2ishun »

Boz

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Re: Battle Chasers Upright
« Reply #11 on: July 04, 2006, 02:27:43 am »
Dreaded News!!!

The kind of news that anyone building a cabinet dreads. The transmission went out in my aging 92 Honda Accord today. I have first and second, but no third, fourth, or reverse. The dealership has a lovely price tag of close to 3g's. I've taken it to a second place hoping for better price results.

The progress of the cabinet hangs in the balance of a car at the moment. Keep your fingers crossed (for me).

johnperkins21

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Re: Battle Chasers Upright
« Reply #12 on: July 04, 2006, 02:41:57 am »
I'm not too sure those speakers will sound as great without a nice amp powering them. One of the nice thing about computer speakers is that they are powered (i.e. have the amps in them, which is why they need power). Have you thought about how you are going to power those speakers? And is it really going to be worth it? If you're not going to use this as a jukebox, I'd say get a nice 2.1 computer speaker setup and be done with it. I've got some Creative Labs that sound absolutely fantastic, and they only cost me like $30 at Fry's Electronics.

Sorry to hear about your car. I once had a VW Bug that had no reverse. Luckily it's a light enough car, I could do most of my backing up by sticking my left leg out and pushing. I sold it for parts because fixing the tranny would cost too much. Plus I couldn't use the headlights and the windshield wipers at the same time either. I feel your pain with the car trouble. Good luck on finding a good deal to get it fixed.
« Last Edit: July 04, 2006, 02:46:21 am by johnperkins21 »
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leapinlew

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Re: Battle Chasers Upright
« Reply #13 on: July 04, 2006, 03:45:13 am »
3g?! I'd take my chances with a car that costs 3g. I might be out of touch though - does 3 grand get a car worth driving?

My tranny went out last year - it was a $1,300 repair. If my mechanic told me $3,000 - I'd probably just use the 3k to put down on another car.

Or..... you could buy a motor and drop it in your cabinet. 

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Re: Battle Chasers Upright
« Reply #14 on: July 04, 2006, 06:02:48 am »
Three grand is insane for a new transmission-doubly so for a 14 year old car. Go to a garage (instead of a dealer) and get a used or refurbed one. There's no reason you should pay more than $1,500 for it.
$6.75 the hard way-one quarter at a time.

Boz

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Re: Battle Chasers Upright
« Reply #15 on: July 05, 2006, 12:55:16 am »
Or..... you could buy a motor and drop it in your cabinet.

Actually I'm still weighing my options and this one is on the list. Maybe a nice four-speed too.

:)


Boz

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Re: Battle Chasers Upright
« Reply #16 on: July 05, 2006, 01:07:54 am »
Quote
I'm not too sure those speakers will sound as great without a nice amp powering them.
Touche'. I've been thinking about how I will power them and am curious about an amp only option that will work. I don't want to use a full-on home entertainment setup so I'm searching for options.

Quote
And is it really going to be worth it?
Well, "worth" is merely a figure that someone is willing to pay. I think these speakers will sound just fine if I can find a alternative amplified source and build some kind of fair enclosure system depending on what's inside the actual speaker boxes.
Quote
If you're not going to use this as a jukebox, I'd say get a nice 2.1 computer speaker setup and be done with it. I've got some Creative Labs that sound absolutely fantastic, and they only cost me like $30 at Fry's Electronics.
I can't explain why, but I honestly don't want to  use computer speakers regardless of how they sound. I'd rather spend $30 on a used and abused amplifier than a brand new set of speakers. I'm going for a more "full" sound with the cabinet.

Quote
Good luck on finding a good deal to get it fixed.
Thanks. I'm reasonably sure the guy who will be looking at it tomorrow will be able to get me out the door for a lot cheaper. I had a "good feeling" when I was talking to him about it.

We'll see.

Boz

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Re: Battle Chaserz Upright
« Reply #17 on: July 13, 2006, 02:58:49 am »
Update: July 12, 2006
(monitor arrived...cardboard model done...all CP parts ordered)

I finally got my car back from the transmission rape center. It was a horrifically painful and expensive experience consuming 8 days and several "oh-we-found-something-else-that'll-be-another-500-please". As the days wore on, the car cost was putting a severe damper on the possibility of doing anything -- anything at all -- with the cabinet. It was very difficult to have enough motivation to work on anything gaming related while my car was in the shop. All is fine now though. Car costs have been taken care of with just barely enough to move forward with the cab and that's what I'm doing. I'm starting a brand new job on the 28th of the month and my goal is to get this cabinet done and mostly playable before my first day. On with the show...



Speakers

A couple of days ago I figured I could at least build a set of sawhorses as well as take apart those JBL's that I intend on using for the cabinet to see if the speakers were shielded and what kind of baffle re-creation I was up against. To my pleasant surprise, the baffling is minimal and the rich, full sound of these speakers is done through what appears to be a built-in cross-over and some thick padding inside. I was also pleased to find that the drivers have nice heavy magnets as well as "sheilding magnets" (?). I'm not sure that's what they are called, but I do know that's what is typically used to interupt the electro-magnetic-field and provide maximum field reduction.

I've decided to use nearly all pieces of each of the bookshelf speakers in my cabinet with exception to the MDF housing. I'll re-use the cloth of the original covers from some custom cover, the thick padding inside, the stylish silver skirts that surround the tweater and mid-range speakers (overhead above the monitor), and even the silver sound ports that extend into the speaker enclosure. I'd like to build a similar speaker box in the bottom of the cabinet that mimics, to some degree, the enclosure the woofers came from. I'm not really sure about the "thumping" that is likely going to happen, so I'm considering mounting the entire woofer enclosure on some kind of very pliable rubber feet.

The woofer is a hefty dual-cone beast that should provide some outstanding base. You can see in the picture the large sheilding magnet attached to the rear of the woofer.  The mid-range speakers were sound sheilded by a large plastic cup that was glued to the underside of the housing. I'll mount the cross-over (if that is, in fact, what that thing is) in the top of the cabinet and run wires down to the woofer enclosure.



Cardboard Model Complete

I considered seriously not even completing the cardboard model. I thought with the sides built, I had a fair idea for how big it was going to be as well as a notion for the scaling (i.e. how far I had to reach down for the controls, how big the monitor section was going to be and where my eyes would meet it, how wide it was going to be and whether or not four adult males could fit side-by-side comfortably -- NO COMMENTS! ;D ). With car trouble behind me as of late yesterday, I awoke with renewed construction vigor and decided to finish the mock-up. I'M SO RELIEVED THAT I DID!!!

With cardboard cut-to-size for most of the visible planes, I have a new appreciation for how big this thing is. The measurements on paper just didn't do it justice. The pictures I've posted to flickr don't do it justice either. This thing is a MAMOTH!

I chose a width of 32 inches. It's a couple inches shorter than the width of the most narrow, outside-opening door in my home. It's 6 feet 6 inches tall. As noted in previous posts I added 5 inches to the original mock-up because I thought it was too short. You see, I recall the games of old from the perspective of an adolescent child of between 5 and 6 feet. My perspective then was of a marquee that I had to reach up to touch and one that did not meet my eye-line naturally. I had to look up. In desining this cab, I wanted the exact same perspective, the difference now is that I'm 6'1".

When I first brought it inside for a real-world size test, I was a bit overwhelmed and began to wonder if I had bitten off more than my limited floor space could chew. With a few manly "Woo-Hoo's" that begged the attention of my dogs, I settled into a staring contest. Me against the paper-mache. The more I looked at it, the more I liked it. I load tested the couch and TV for a while, then went back to stare some more.




I choose to post most of my images at flickr. I don't mind the bulletin board system here, but it doesn't give me the flexibility I want where images are concerned. Besides, a full-blown account at flickr for *really large images* is pennies. I'll put thumbnails in my posts here that link to images at flickr. Details for each image is captioned at flickr as well. Didn't want to duplicate text here and there.

Here's my daily set-based compilation of images

Tomorrow

My plans for tomorrow include adding the last few remaining pieces of cardboard to the model so that I can pencil in items like monitor placement, monitor bezel, coin door and speaker placement. I'm also considering doing a cardboard mock-up of the actual monitor dimensions so I can get a better feel for it's size inside the cabinet and the kind of structural support I'll need to mount it securely.

Since I would like to cut wood when it's a nice cool 90
« Last Edit: July 13, 2006, 03:20:00 am by In2ishun »

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Re: Battle Chasers Upright
« Reply #18 on: July 13, 2006, 02:20:29 pm »
Where you at in Phoenix? You'll have to invite one of your fellow BYOCers over to play this bad boy once it's up.  :cheers: I'm currently in Chandler, but will be moving to Laveen as soon as someone decides to buy my house.

I am in awe at your ability to work in this heat. My main reason for waiting to start my project is that I'm moving, but a secondary reason is this desert heat.
Bob Dole likes cheese.

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Re: Battle Chasers Upright
« Reply #19 on: July 13, 2006, 04:10:05 pm »
Hey In2ishun,

I'm in Scottsdale and while I know it doesn't help you now, I can give you the name of an *honest and reasonable* auto repair shop if you're ever in need again.  They're few and far between and I know how it feels to get ripped off.

Steve

Boz

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Re: Battle Chasers Upright
« Reply #20 on: July 14, 2006, 02:21:29 am »
Where you at in Phoenix? You'll have to invite one of your fellow BYOCers over to play this bad boy once it's up.  :cheers: I'm currently in Chandler, but will be moving to Laveen as soon as someone decides to buy my house.
I'm in the North Valley at 19th Ave and I-17. Absolutely I'll have you over. I'm still optimistic that I'll be able to finish it by the 28th of the month.

Quote
I am in awe at your ability to work in this heat. My main reason for waiting to start my project is that I'm moving, but a secondary reason is this desert heat.

The heat, while you are in it, really isn't that bad. The thing that becomes bothersome is the amount of liquid you sweat out while trying to work on stuff that should probably stay dry (cardboard). I've gotten into the routine of wearing over-sized T-shirts so that I can lean my forehead down and wipe the sweat away from my forehead without interupting my work. Otherwise it just drips all over the place like a leaky faucet.

Boz

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Re: Battle Chasers Upright
« Reply #21 on: July 14, 2006, 02:26:17 am »
I'm in Scottsdale and while I know it doesn't help you now, I can give you the name of an *honest and reasonable* auto repair shop if you're ever in need again.  They're few and far between and I know how it feels to get ripped off.

Yeah... PM me with details...
I'm not 100% certain that I got ripped off in the truest (sp?) sense of the word. But, I don't buy the owner's story that he "didn't make any money" off this deal. In fact, I think his mark up was plenty big. Thinking back, I probably ended up paying what I did merely because I blurted out (right in front of him) what the dealership had intended on charging me. So, he knew he could come in a couple hundred lower and still "claim" that he was cheaper than the dealership.

EDIT: typo

Boz

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Re: Battle Chasers Upright
« Reply #22 on: July 14, 2006, 03:36:05 am »
Update: July 13, 2006

I didn't cut-out every last remaining plane for the mock-up. But, I did need to see what the monitor would kind of look like inside the cabinet. It was a real b1tch getting it to hang just right with long pieces of tape, and still I had to reach out to help position it while getting a birds-eye-full from only an arm's length. I think I got it though.


You'll notice in the pics above that I have what appear to be wings hanging off the ends of the control panel. The benefits of building a cardboard mock-up is that you can judge scale and size before you cut any wood. I determined after hanging the control panel on the model that it really, truly wasn't going to be wide enough for four people to stand/sit side-by-side comfortably. Comfort is a huge factor in this cabinet build. I'm not trying to break any molds or be "the biggest", but when a project like this costs the money that it does to build, you want it to be right the first time.

So, here are the visual adjustments I've made thanks to the cardboard model...

o   I've widened the control panel by 13 inches to make it a nice round 60" across.
     It should fit four adults in four-player battle with relative comfort standing or sitting.
o   I'm leaving the depth the same at 27 inches (or so), but am moving the CP forward
     about 3 inches. The monitor fits, but with only a few inches to spare on the back
     panel. I'd like a few extra inches for the fudge factor.
o   With the CP moving forward, so will the entire plane that represents the display
     front (where smoked glass will go). From the first fully-cut side, I've always thought
     that the top section (monitor) was a little shallow. This will bring it forward.
o   I may eliminate the angle of the CP base (the part the CP will rest on) altogether or
     make it less severe. Right now it's at 10

Boz

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Re: Battle Chasers Upright
« Reply #23 on: July 14, 2006, 04:06:26 am »
Thought I'd post the 4x6 of my measurements for comment. Photoshopery applied. When you pull up the image, if it's too small to see detail, click "all sizes" above the image for more detail.

« Last Edit: July 14, 2006, 04:08:26 am by In2ishun »

Boz

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Re: Battle Chasers Upright
« Reply #24 on: July 14, 2006, 06:17:30 pm »
Update: July 14, 2006

The heat is prohibiting me from working outside (on my cabinet) today. So... after reasonable assurances that I have not only purchased the right monitor, but that it will be "kick-ass", I decided to give it a whirl. Surprisingly, there was very little fuss with setup. I walked through the RetroBlast! article for arcade monitor setup (which I had read many times previously) to make sure I was covering the bases. My Arcade VGA card hasn't arrived yet, so I just used the standard video card in a spare computer. I made sure to download the application Refresh Force to make sure Windows and the card didn't set resolution and refresh without my explicit instruction.

The pics are kind of rotten, but I'm no photographer.  :)


I set (with the app named above) and tried the following resolutions:
640 x 480 x 32bpp x 60Mhz
800 x 600 x 32bpp x 60Mhz
1024 x 768 x 32bpp x 60Mhz

None of the resolutions gave me any trouble and I could see and "read" all corners of the screen with no difficulty. I actually happen to like 640 x 480 more than the others for the size of text on the screen. It seemed to represent what one should expect to see on a TV / arcade monitor.

It seems there will probably be quite a lot of customizing each display resolution and refresh once I have it all installed in a cabinet. Some of the games I launched looked very small on the screen and others tended to bleed off the screen entirely. None of the sample games I launched failed to display.

All-in-all I'm very pleased, though my exuberance is tempered by the fact that I can't make any progress today (and likely tomorrow) until the heat breaks a bit. There's still plenty of hours left in the day today, so maybe I'll actually get some construction done. We'll see.

EDIT: spelling. Grrrr!!!
« Last Edit: July 14, 2006, 06:21:59 pm by In2ishun »

Boz

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Re: Battle Chasers Upright
« Reply #25 on: July 14, 2006, 11:43:03 pm »
This GD heat (think explicative) was nuts today and is probably going further north tomorrow. This SUCKS! Little progress of note today.

I had a friend over to drop off his aging dog that I'll be watching while he is away at a family reunion. There were a couple of minutes of the front door being open in a 30 minute time span while we jockied stuff into the house including the dog. The temperature rose nearly 5 degrees inside and took about 2 hours to come back down to where it was previously.

The single-most irritating part about the heat is that it's been a "bearable" 105 - 108 for the last three weeks. (To those of you in parts of the country or planet that don't experience that kind of heat, it truly is bearable when the humidity is between 15 and 25 percent. People can function.) But now that I've taken a whole month off the drugery of work specifically to build my cabinet, global warming has forced me back inside.

Grrrr....

http://weather.noaa.gov/weather/current/KPHX.html
temps have a variance of 3-4 degrees all over Phoenix. The airport is about 20 miles south of where I am.

Boz

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Re: Battle Chasers Upright
« Reply #26 on: July 16, 2006, 03:37:10 am »
Update: July 15, 2006

Too tired to write much. Day was filled with mistakes and problems. My photostream at flickr has more detail with captions beneath the pics.

« Last Edit: July 18, 2006, 03:16:19 pm by In2ishun »

theCoder

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Re: Battle Chasers Upright
« Reply #27 on: July 16, 2006, 10:26:29 pm »
Phoenix huh?  I was born & raised there.  I'm now in cool rainy Oregon.  Mucho difference.  It rains here a lot, we get as many rainy days as you get sunny ones, but right now its sunny and 75 degrees.

I'm also looking into a kickin' sound system for my next cab.  A neighbor has a huge set of 30 year old Marantz speakers plus an amp he's looking to sell.  He wants $100 for all.  Each speaker box has 1 tweeter, 2 midrange, and one 16" base.  The amp is only rated at 40 watts, but he says it cranks and has no distortion.  His wife confirmed the cranks part.  I'm not sure if I need that much speaker in a arcade cabinet, plus I'm not sure if a $75 set of Logitec 2.1's would not give similar performance with much less power and size.

odysseyroc

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Re: Battle Chasers Upright
« Reply #28 on: July 16, 2006, 10:51:11 pm »
My only beef is with your theme. If I could go the rest of my life without looking at another piece of Joe Mad art, I'd die happy.

Boz

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Re: Battle Chasers Upright
« Reply #29 on: July 17, 2006, 02:11:02 am »
My only beef is with your theme. If I could go the rest of my life without looking at another piece of Joe Mad art, I'd die happy.

Fortunately for me you won't be sitting around my house whining about the theme of my cabinet.  :cry:

Boz

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Re: Battle Chasers Upright
« Reply #30 on: July 17, 2006, 03:17:07 am »
Update: July 16, 2006

Due to my miscalculations yesterday (see "Update: July 15, 2006" above) I opted to simply move forward instead of redo-ing the base from scratch. I couldn't see the benefit, other than aesthetic, to having a shallow base. A full base is fine. After thinking about it, I came to the conclusion that "IT'S JUST WOOD". Given the total cost of this cabinet, the wood will end up being less than 10% of it. If it's so horrible that I can't live with it, I'll just get more wood and build another one.

Much better day today. The mistakes I made with cutting the sides are fixable and involve only filling in wood or sanding some rough edges down to meet the spec I laid out. One big surprise to me was that I'm actually quite straight with a circular saw. I bought all this material to create the sawboards that Drew gave instructions for, and I didn't even set them up. I took a chance with the first cut. I guess I've used the saw enough now that I have the hang of it.

The first mistake I made wasn't realized until after I had cut the sheets. I said I wanted a control panel that was 37" from the ground. This is the perfect height for me as I'm standing in front of the cabinet at the player 1 position. I took into account the 1/2" I'd need for the caster wheels and the 1/2" lip all around the cab (the two sides will be 1/2" expanded from the inner planes). I accounted for the control panel height as well. My problem was that I wanted at least *some* angle to the control panel (naturally). So, I added 1" to the back of the plane that the CP will be resting on. It provides the desired tilt, but drops the very front of the control panel more than an inch below the 37" I was going for. I didn't even think about it until after the sheets were done. I think I can fix this by cutting the CP resting place flat, then attaching some kind of angled wood to the bottom of the CP.

The other roll your eyes moment came when I drilled a 3/8" pilot hole for the beginning (or maybe it was the ending) of my jigsaw line before I was through cuting. Long story short, I wasn't paying attention to the *correct* cut lines amoungst the many miscellaneous lines I had drawn. Oddly, this same hole is on exactly the same angled piece that I was talking about above. Yup, I think that settles it then. I'll shear that angled piece off completely, and add angles to the CP itself.

One other thing has me a bit concerned and I don't know if I need to be. Several sheets of this 11-ply plywood has warped since being here in my home. It was perfect for about a week when I noticed it start warping. This warping has resulted in a deviation of at least 1 1/2 if not 2 full inches (!). I hadn't intended on adding that much of an inner structure (aside from the monitor base) given the strength of the two large sides. But now, I think I may have to frame out the entire thing so that I have something to push my warped wood against, forcing it into a square shape. The alternative is a cabinet that is exactly 32" wide at the very top and the very bottom, and 33 1/2" in the middle.

At any rate, here's today's flickr photostream.

« Last Edit: July 17, 2006, 04:31:12 am by In2ishun »

Boz

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Re: Battle Chasers Upright
« Reply #31 on: July 18, 2006, 04:27:28 pm »
Update: July 18, 2006

This was a really good day and for the first time since I began working with wood and power tools, I actually felt like a carpenter. My measurements were very accurate and my cuts were all very straight. It was a good day to be proud.

Pics and captions at flickr:


Setting up side 1



Setting up side 2


Cabinet Up-N-Rolling




Boz

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Re: Battle Chasers Upright
« Reply #32 on: July 20, 2006, 02:16:51 am »
Update: July 19, 2006

Not much of an update today. I got a late start and had to run to the depot for more wood.

I spent quite a bit of time figuring out how I was going to get the most out of the plywood sheets I had left. I was able to cut all the major remaining pieces with exception of the control panel. For the control panel I needed to make another run to HD for more wood. The three sheets I originally bought have gone by fast.

Now I'm in a bit of a quandry.

I would like my control panel to be 60" wide. Yeah, it's pretty big. A width of 60" won't allow me to use the width of a standard 4 x 8 sheet as the width of the control panel, so I have to lay it the other direction on the sheet. However, My CP mock-up, whose size I *do* like, is 27" deep. Standard sheet goods are 96" x 48".

27 x 2 = 54
60 x 2 = 120

Essentially, I need two full sheets to cut my proposed control panel to size if I am to keep it that size. I want this cabinet to be done right, but now I'm wondering whether or not to expend the extra dough for another sheet of plywood.

I could, potentially, use two smaller pieces that I'll have left over for the bottom considering no one will see it, but then I worry about structural rigidity. I could shore it up from the inside using 2x4's or 1x2's, but then I'm eating into the space inside the control panel.

What to do, what to do.

Oh... and here's an interesting little development. I couldn't find a particular hardware item at either Home Depot or Ace Hardware. It's called (I think) a "T-Nut". You'd use something like this to add steel threads to a thick peice of wood so you can use a machined bolt for attaching something.

Here's a couple of images (courtesy Arcade Bones - "Last Stand"):



I found it unfathomable that I couldn't find this piece in either of these two locations in a city the size of Phoenix. I may actually have to order some online. Crap!
« Last Edit: July 20, 2006, 02:23:17 am by In2ishun »

NightGod

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Re: Battle Chasers Upright
« Reply #33 on: July 20, 2006, 02:49:25 am »
I've seen those at every Lowe's I've ever been to, if you have one of those near you, check it out.

My experience so far is that Lowe's is, hands down, the best stocked and widest selection of the major hardware chains. Followed by Menard's, then Home Depot, with Ace Hardware running somewhere past that. Lowe's will have stuff that other stores don't, and have four slightly different choices of the same thing.
$6.75 the hard way-one quarter at a time.

Boz

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Re: Battle Chasers Upright
« Reply #34 on: July 20, 2006, 02:53:26 am »
I've seen those at every Lowe's I've ever been to, if you have one of those near you, check it out.

Fargin EXCELLENT!!! I swear, I was just about to order some online. Thanks NightGod, I have a Lowe's near the house.

Boz

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Re: Battle Chasers Upright
« Reply #35 on: July 22, 2006, 01:08:54 am »
Update: July 21, 2006

Just a heads-up: this is likely going to be a negative update with lots of complaining.

I've come to a few conclusions with this build, many of them culminating in a brown, moist, steaming, smelly lump sum just today. I'll get to those later, but first the progress (or "regression").

I was getting a little burned out on the whole heat thing and took Wednesday off completely. I did nothing but screw around indoors. Thursday, yesterday, I cut all the remaining plywood squares that I needed for the various planes of the cabinet: coin door front (lower front of cabinet), marquee top, bottom, and back; upper and lower access doors (rear of cabinet). Nightgod came to my rescue with the T-Nuts and I picked those up yesterday as well.

I mounted the T-Nuts as the last item of the day yesterday and noticed that one of them wasn't actually "staying put" where I pounded it in. Then it hit me that I mounted the dang thing on the wrong side of the 2x4. The T-Nut is supposed to be on the opposing side so that when you thread your screw into it and pull it tight, the prongs dig into the other side of the wood making a "wood sandwich", if you will. Since the screws I bought were definitely too short, I scheduled another trip to Lowe's where I picked up more screws. they only had hex head screws with about 15% of the bolt threaded and didn't have the length I wanted. Eventually I found fully threaded 5" jobs that are a bit long fully seated, but at least I didn't run out of thread. Of course I picked up what I thought were 5/16" bolts when one of the packages happened to be in the wrong bin (1/4 inch). It took a second to figure out why the bolt was sliding all the way through the T-Nut without catching anything. Arggghhh! Another trip for an exchange at some point later in the week.

Something occured to me... PAY ATTENTION!


The next bit I did today was put proper angles on two other pieces -- the marquee back and top. This is one of those moments where having a table saw would have save me a lot of time thinking about how I was gonna cut it (although, as you will learn later, I shouldn't exactly be cutting corners on "thought"). I cut the cabinet sides with a 45

johnperkins21

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Finish it. Even if it turns out like crap, you'll have the sense of accomplishment that you didn't let the wood or the heat beat you. I've been following your progress, and with the whole car problems, you continued to push through. Take a couple days off and work on the control panel and setting up the PC (things you can do indoors). Once that's done, attack the cabinet with renewed vigor.

At the very worst, all the mistakes you make in the future on this cab will only prepare you for your next cab. If you quit now, sure you won't make some of the mistakes again that you've already made, but what about mounting the monitor, bezel, marquee, etc.? Finish this one, learn from the mistakes, and make your next one using the lessons learned.
Bob Dole likes cheese.

NightGod

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Believe me, I'm trying to reason this away as much as I can because I don't exactly relish the idea of starting from scratch. I'm thinking, ok so the wood is warped, bend the "emm-effers" back into shape when you mount them. All carpenters / woodworkers do this, right? If it doesn't fit after you cut it, beat it into submission, right? But what kind of carpentry is that I ask? Shouldn't I be able to cut something to a specific dimension (assuming I've "paid attention") and have that piece fit where it's supposed to?

I looked at other stuff with this wood. The birch veneer is just eaten alive every time I cut into it. It splinters and cracks and comes away from the plywood as if it were held on there with spit. Maybe it's crappy wood. Maybe I have the wrong saw blade for this stuff. It's possible I need more teeth -- a LOT more teeth -- to make my cuts more aesthetic and clean. I'm new to woodworking and when I bought the saw I asked some knowledgable friends "When do you know when to replace the blade?" The answer was, "When it starts making sh***y cuts." That's probably true and I can't expect to rely on that answer for every different type of wood that I cut. It seems there's just soooo much that carpenters have learned over their years to impart to a novice with a few Q&A's.
For the warped wood-find somewhere level to lay them, put some weight on top of them, as evenly distributed as possible, should help alot with that issue.

For the rough cuts, two things-first, you want a higher tooth count saw blade. We're talking 100ish-they're generally called "Finishing blades". Second, cut from the back side of the wood, you'll get a cleaner cut on the smooth side.

Third-I second the stick-with-it suggestion. Take a couple of days, get some rest and perspective (and let the wood reshape back to level) and then jump back in.
$6.75 the hard way-one quarter at a time.

Kangum

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If you look at what you have learned so far it seems like its alot. Your not done yet so im sure there is other stuff you will learn on your way as you continue down this path.

I think everyone will disagree with me but i think you should stop because of your environment. The project will only become more and more expensive as you go on and if the effects of your climate are effecting your cab when its not even halfway done,that to me is a bad sign. I am also concerned how this warping will effect any expensive artwork you may use if it continues. If your environment will continue to hurt the cab then you should stop now and possibly change wood if you think it will increase your chances of not tossing it down the road. wasting all kinds of money.

if you think it will not get worse and it will hold fine then push on and continue to learn and finish.

Nobody here wants to see a project scrapped so if you do just make sure its for the right reasons and not because you are discouraged at the mistakes you have made.


johnperkins21

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Well, his environment sucks. It got up to 117 degrees out here in PHX today, and the monsoons are expected to continue. Which means, tons more heat, wind, dust, and (hopefully) some rain. But, it's a battle between him and the elements. There's no shame in holding out a couple of months until some of this inclimate weather subsides, but the satisfaction of actually finishing the thing through all the troubles will make it an even more glorious occasion to celebrate.
Bob Dole likes cheese.

  
 

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