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Author Topic: 3/4 Scale Lusid style Cab for Kids - Finished!!  (Read 18529 times)

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AtomSmasher

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3/4 Scale Lusid style Cab for Kids - Finished!!
« on: July 13, 2006, 06:55:27 pm »
I'm just starting on my second arcade project, which means its time to start this thread and get a little feedback.  This cabinet will be a christmas present for my neice and nephew who are currently 3 1/2 and 4 1/2 years old.  I'm trying to keep costs down as much as I can, so I'll mainly be using left over wood and I have an old 15'' monitor and 400mhz computer to power this with.  I've set my budget to $150, which shouldn't be too hard to pull off, and my mom has agreed to chip in some extra money for a trackball, so that won't be included in my budget.

I think I'm going to make the sides design similar to a pac-man machine, so I've already downloaded the plans from jakobud.com except that I'll be making it at 3/4 of the originals size.  I'll also be adding a keyboard tray so when the kids get older they can use this as a computer station.  Some other things I'm thinking of adding are a hinged front door (its a kids cab so its not supposed to be authentic) so they can easily access the computer and a master power switch inside along with a lock on the door, which will allow my sister to control when they use it, if needed.

It looks like I should be able to cut out both sides of the cabinet from 1 4'x8' sheet of mdf, which is nice because it keeps my cost down, and I'm pretty sure I have enough wood to make the rest of the cabinet (although I may make a few hidden pieces out of plywood since I have plenty of that laying around).  I'm thinking of getting 5/8'' thick wood for the sides which will help reduce its weight, and since it is a small cab it should still be strong enough.  If I can finalize my plan designs soon enough, then I'll go get the wood this weekend and get started on this thing.

So far I all I've done is format and install a copy of windows 98 onto the old computer, it only needs to run the older classic games so it should be enough to do that.  I need to start going through all the roms and figure out which ones to include.

I think the kids favorite colors are yellow and orange (one like yellow, the other orange) which works out nicely for a pac-man style cab.  I'll need to check and make sure those are their favority colors, I'll also need to find out how tall they are so I know I'm not making it too big.

I don't expect too many thoughts or comments on this project yet, but this thread had to start somewhere.

*edit*
The finished cabinet
« Last Edit: December 14, 2006, 05:10:30 pm by AtomSmasher »

Crafty

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Re: 3/4 Scale Pac-Man style Cab for Kids - Initial planning stage
« Reply #1 on: July 13, 2006, 11:45:09 pm »
Sounds like fun...

Any kid would love their own personal arcade machine..
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Re: 3/4 Scale Pac-Man style Cab for Kids - Initial planning stage
« Reply #2 on: July 14, 2006, 01:23:06 am »
I'm in the middle of building a 3/4 scale cabinet for my kids, as well.  I sorta winged it on the design though.  Had an old computer and a 19" monitor laying around so I put them to use.  If it turns out anything like your first project, it'll be a beaut!  Good luck!

Steve

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Re: 3/4 Scale Pac-Man style Cab for Kids - Initial planning stage
« Reply #3 on: July 14, 2006, 11:17:58 am »
I have a couple thoughts!

1. Try that computer using actual controls. My old 450 could handle the mame games ok, but it didn't care for multiple inputs from the ipac. I don't mean like 8 inputs at once, just running and jumping would cause the machine to beep and the action to stutter onscreen.

2. Check out MarkVP's 3/4 pac-man cabinet. He did an awesome write up! He used a Jakks pcb and you might be able to do something similar as well. What he did that is really cool is he made a peice of furniture. You can see his thread here: http://forum.arcadecontrols.com/index.php?topic=36591.0

3. Make sure the T-molding is available in the size you want before you buy your MDF.

4. Last thing I can suggest is an add-in drawer that would bring the height to full size, so as the kids grow, the machine can to. Your call on this one.

I look forward to seeing your project progress!

AtomSmasher

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Re: 3/4 Scale Pac-Man style Cab for Kids - Initial planning stage
« Reply #4 on: July 14, 2006, 04:55:37 pm »
1. Hmm, thats odd about it not liking the IPac.  I'll definately check that out before I buy any controls for this, thanks for the heads up.

2. I remember reading about that a while ago, but couldn't find it recently when I went looking for it again, thanks for putting up the link.  I've been debating about going the Jakks route, but its so few games and there would be no trackball that I decided against it.  If it turns out the computer can't handle an IPac then I may be going back to this.

3. I'm fairly certain 5/8'' t-molding is readily available, but I'll make sure to check before buying the wood.

4. Thats a cool idea, but I think I'll hold off on that one for now.  Maybe someday in the future when they are older I'll build that drawer for another present, but for now I'm trying to keep this fairly simple.

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Re: 3/4 Scale Pac-Man style Cab for Kids - Initial planning stage
« Reply #5 on: July 14, 2006, 05:02:15 pm »
5/8" t-molding is readily available but your choices in color are limited.  Check out here (I'm sure there are other places that carry different colors though): http://www.t-molding.com/cart/customer/home.php?cat=8  If you want any crazy colors you are better off going with 3/4" wood...

IG-88

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Re: 3/4 Scale Pac-Man style Cab for Kids - Initial planning stage
« Reply #6 on: July 14, 2006, 05:40:46 pm »
So far I all I've done is format and install a copy of windows 98 onto the old computer, it only needs to run the older classic games so it should be enough to do that.  I need to start going through all the roms and figure out which ones to include.

Definitely post some results on that IPAC thing I am curious as well. Also, what kinda software were you planning on running on it anyway? ie: Front End or just Mame gui or....?

And, I found that KLOV has nice lists of games to help a person decide what to put on a cab, top 10's top 100's ect. Helps when you might forgot a good one.  ;)
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Re: 3/4 Scale Pac-Man style Cab for Kids - Initial planning stage
« Reply #7 on: July 14, 2006, 06:02:32 pm »
Hmm, it does seem the color choices of 5/8'' molding is limited.  Red might look good though, I'm going to find out for sure what their favorite colors are before I decide on a color scheme though.

I'm planning on using a front end to control mame, since this is for kids I need to make sure its very easy for them to use.  I also need to make sure banging on the buttons won't cause the front end to exit or bring up menu's.  The only front end I have experience with is Mamewah, but I'm open to ideas for other frontends.

As for the list of games, one my main cabinet I have a list of 150-200 games which I enjoy, so I'm just going to go through that and narrow down which ones this older machine should be able to play.  I expect it will probably be around 75-100 games.  The slow part of that process is picking out the rom files.  I will check out KLOV's lists to make sure I haven't left any off my main cabs list though.

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Re: 3/4 Scale Pac-Man style Cab for Kids - Initial planning stage
« Reply #8 on: July 14, 2006, 07:11:13 pm »
Hmm, it does seem the color choices of 5/8'' molding is limited.  Red might look good though, I'm going to find out for sure what their favorite colors are before I decide on a color scheme though.

I'm planning on using a front end to control mame, since this is for kids I need to make sure its very easy for them to use.  I also need to make sure banging on the buttons won't cause the front end to exit or bring up menu's.  The only front end I have experience with is Mamewah, but I'm open to ideas for other frontends.

Check out Mala. It's amazing.

I wouldn't let the t-molding thing slow you down. I would just go 3/4 and be done with it. Any reason why your thinking 5/8? Is 5/8 available where you are? I hear some people have a hard time finding it.

IG-88

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Re: 3/4 Scale Pac-Man style Cab for Kids - Initial planning stage
« Reply #9 on: July 14, 2006, 07:51:47 pm »
I'm planning on using a front end to control mame, since this is for kids I need to make sure its very easy for them to use.  I also need to make sure banging on the buttons won't cause the front end to exit or bring up menu's.  The only front end I have experience with is Mamewah, but I'm open to ideas for other frontends.

Thats just it. Trying to find a current FE to run on your system is tuff.  You will probably have to stick with Mamewah. In my experience it's the only one that'll run on older equipment that still has support/updates ect. BUT, it isn't the easiest for little-ones to operate IMHO.


Check out Mala. It's amazing.


Will it run on a 400mhz machine? With less than 512mb (I assume) ram?
"I know what a HAL 9000 is... I was wondering if HAL 7600 was his retarded cousin or something..."
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Re: 3/4 Scale Pac-Man style Cab for Kids - Initial planning stage
« Reply #10 on: July 14, 2006, 08:39:03 pm »
Somewhere on this forum I remember someone commented that they made it so the control panel was at a comfortable height for anyone sitting in a chair.  This way it is good for small kids, and good for everyone large than that.  In the blink off an eye, they will be taller than you.

Regarding Mala, I've been playing with it and I really like it so far.  It has some very cool graphical features the Mamewah does not have.  I got a menu with a couple of different lists of games configured in about 2 hours.   There is practically no documentation, but the interface is fairly easy to figure out.  The author provides editors for all configuration.  Nice.

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Re: 3/4 Scale Pac-Man style Cab for Kids - Initial planning stage
« Reply #11 on: July 14, 2006, 09:51:01 pm »
Instead of buying the wood and starting the actual construction, I'll just tinker with the computer this weekend and test out various roms and the IPac.  It'll be over 100 degrees this weekend anyways, not exactly the perfect environment for working in the sweatbox I call the garage.

I'll probably just end up going with 3/4'' wood.  I was trying to keep the weight as low as possible, but its going to be heavy regardless of what size wood I use so it doesn't really matter.

I found out their favorite colors are yellow and red, so I'll plan my color scheme around that.

JamieMcShan

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Re: 3/4 Scale Pac-Man style Cab for Kids - Initial planning stage
« Reply #12 on: July 14, 2006, 10:04:18 pm »
So I guess Mini Cabs must be the in thing right now... as I too have started my Mini Pac Man project...



Regards,
Jamie


AtomSmasher

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Re: 3/4 Scale Pac-Man style Cab for Kids - Initial planning stage
« Reply #13 on: July 15, 2006, 12:35:43 am »
So I guess Mini Cabs must be the in thing right now... as I too have started my Mini Pac Man project...



Regards,
Jamie


Nice.  Do you happen to have the plans and or dimensions of the one your building?  I haven't gotten around to figuring out the specifics of what size to build this thing at.

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Re: 3/4 Scale Pac-Man style Cab for Kids - Initial planning stage
« Reply #14 on: July 15, 2006, 02:44:25 am »
They may be smaller, but they hit your pocketbook just as hard.  I'm into my current project (bartop cab - PartyBox) for about $150 more than my full sized cab.

AtomSmasher

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Re: 3/4 Scale Pac-Man style Cab for Kids - Initial planning stage
« Reply #15 on: July 15, 2006, 07:26:33 pm »
I loaded Mame v.55 onto the computer along with a few roms and tested it out with my control panel from my main arcade machine.  Everything seemed to work perfectly, no problems from the IPac or trackball.  I played a few levels of 1941, Alien vs Predator, and Burgertime and I didn't notice any problems.  I was surprised that Alien vs Predator was able to run smoothly since its a newer game (compared to the real classics), but it did.  I guess thats the benefit of using an older version of mame.

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Re: 3/4 Scale Pac-Man style Cab for Kids - Initial planning stage
« Reply #16 on: July 15, 2006, 09:13:35 pm »
If you go with authentic 3/4 Pac dimensions, you can easilly straddle an 18" wide cab from a chair or short stool.

If you're going to make it 3/4 high but wide enough for 2 players and a trackball, you might want to consider a riser. Make, paint and t-mould the riser at the same time so it'll match perfectly.  Check out mine linked from MarkRVP's thread.  It's not as detailed as his, but might give you some ideas.

Good luck.

Lots of pictures!

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Re: 3/4 Scale Pac-Man style Cab for Kids - Initial planning stage
« Reply #17 on: July 16, 2006, 09:59:40 pm »
My MiniPacMan is pretty much on the mark at 70% of scale. I used jakobud's measurements and then just divided by 70%.  I am still on the fence on using a 15" CRT or trying to use a 15" LCD to save cabinet space.  As you all know... when building a MAME reproduction cabinet... some measurements are often changed to help in construction or to add different features.  I am basically building this to fit in a certain place in my office so my 4 year old and 7 year old can play while I .... um surf...

Jamie

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Re: 3/4 Scale Pac-Man style Cab for Kids - Initial planning stage
« Reply #18 on: July 16, 2006, 10:18:15 pm »
I've been thinking about it and I think I might just make a mini Lusid design cab (Project Arcade cab).  Since I've already made one and have detailed plans for it, construction would probably go a lot faster and easier.  Its also set up for a larger control panel so I wouldn't have a hard time squeezing 2 joysticks and a trackball onto it, like I would with a pacman cab.  I only hesitate changing because a mini-pacman cab would probably look cooler.

Also, since red t-molding is available, I'm going to use 5/8'' thick wood.  Margenly lighter is still lighter.
« Last Edit: July 16, 2006, 10:19:53 pm by AtomSmasher »

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Re: 3/4 Scale Pac-Man style Cab for Kids - Initial planning stage
« Reply #19 on: July 17, 2006, 06:06:50 am »
Have you chosen an FE yet? Arcade.exe may be one to consider. Definitely easy to set up, and its kind to the older systems. I haven't messed with it much yet tho....
"I know what a HAL 9000 is... I was wondering if HAL 7600 was his retarded cousin or something..."
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AtomSmasher

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Re: 3/4 Scale Lusid style Cab for Kids - Parts are cut
« Reply #20 on: July 22, 2006, 08:41:27 pm »
Well I am tired.  I worked all day today in the 110 degree heat, but I got just about all the parts cut out.  The only parts left are the cabinet front coin door and a keyboard tray, but I want to wait till the cab is together so I can just measure and figure out exactly what size to make them.

Its amazing how much faster and cleaner I can make my cuts now that I'm more experienced at this.  I remember when I built my first cab I think it took me two weekends to do all the cutting, and I had to recut a number of the pieces.  Now one day of cutting, and I'm done, granted the pieces are a lot smaller, but still.

Anyways, I went with a 5/8'' sheet of mdf, and I also used a lot of other scrap wood I had laying around.  All of the cabinet back pieces and much of the control panel is actually made out of 1/2'' plywood, and the monitor shelf is made out of 3/4'' mdf.  I think the plywood will help a lot with the weight, even though this is 3/4 the size of a full cab, it will probably be close to half the weight. 

The control panel is going to be around 2 1/2 feet high, which is a bit tall for kids who are a little over 3 feet tall, but they should still be able to barely use it, plus I think its going to be a good height for an adult to be able to sit in a chair and play it.  I figure the kids are growing so fast right now, and they're not getting it until christmas anyways, that building it a little tall was the best thing to do.

Heres a pic of the side compared to my full size one.  Unfortunately other stuff was getting in the way, so it didn't turn out too good.
« Last Edit: July 22, 2006, 08:54:24 pm by AtomSmasher »

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Re: 3/4 Scale Lusid style Cab for Kids - Parts are cut
« Reply #21 on: July 22, 2006, 08:48:40 pm »
I should probably also mention that the depth of the CP is not at 3/4 scale because I didn't think I could get a trackball to fit if I did make it that small.  I cut the front part to be 2 3/4'' and the back to be 4 3/4'', and using 1/2'' thick wood for the bottom of the box will give an extra 1/4'' room instead of the 3/4'' wood the standard box size uses.  I adjusted the hieght of where the CP sits on the rest of the cab, so it will still be the same height as if it was entirely 3/4 scale.  I hope that makes sense, if not, well, too bad  ;D

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Re: 3/4 Scale Lusid style Cab for Kids - Parts are cut
« Reply #22 on: July 22, 2006, 10:27:42 pm »
What size monitor are you going to use?

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Re: 3/4 Scale Lusid style Cab for Kids - Parts are cut
« Reply #23 on: July 22, 2006, 11:50:16 pm »
What size monitor are you going to use?
an old 15'' monitor I have lying around.

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Re: 3/4 Scale Lusid style Cab for Kids - Initial Construction
« Reply #24 on: July 23, 2006, 09:37:49 pm »
Another day and another progress report.  I was able to put most of the cab together today.  I still need to put in the monitor shelf, and finish the CP, but the cab is mostly done.  The front edge of the control panel is 2' 3'' high, which I think will be perfect.  This project is screaming along a lot faster then anticipated, I guess I should start planning the contol panel and artwork already.   

« Last Edit: July 23, 2006, 09:40:59 pm by AtomSmasher »

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Re: 3/4 Scale Lusid style Cab for Kids - Initial Construction
« Reply #25 on: July 23, 2006, 10:09:09 pm »
Man, that is looking awesome!!  :cheers:

I worked on my MiniPac again tonight. First time in like 2 weeks... funny how work and family just seem to take all my time these days... Guess I could live without one of them... hum... which to pick... which to pick!  :laugh2:

Jamie

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Re: 3/4 Scale Lusid style Cab for Kids - Initial Construction
« Reply #26 on: July 23, 2006, 10:10:00 pm »
Looking good..

Maybe you should just continue with the scaling effort and keep the artwork the same as the full size cabinet.

Like a Mini-Me so to speak...
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Re: 3/4 Scale Lusid style Cab for Kids - Initial Construction
« Reply #27 on: July 29, 2006, 09:33:44 pm »
I'm so glad the temperature has gone down, it's so much easier to work now (it went from 112 last weekend to 88 this weekend, huge difference).

Anyways, the basic cabinet is now complete and ready for wood putty and painting.  On with the slideshow.




The keyboard tray flap is held up with a magnetic plate thingamabob if your wondering.




Here it is with the monitor I'll be using


One problem I noticed is the top of the middle of the monitor is sticking out too far.  I haven't decided how I'm going to correct this yet, the options I see are either decase for modify the case of the monitor, cut out part of the back of the cab so the monitor hangs out a bit, or make the plexi bend out around it. 
« Last Edit: July 29, 2006, 09:41:12 pm by AtomSmasher »

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Re: 3/4 Scale Lusid style Cab for Kids - Initial Construction
« Reply #28 on: July 29, 2006, 09:39:09 pm »
I'm going to hold off on painting it until I figure out and cut out the CP and get the t-molding so I can route it out with confidence that its dead center.  So that means the construction of this cab is on hold for a little while.  Remember, its going to be a Christmas present, so theres no rush and I'm way ahead of schedule anyways.

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Re: 3/4 Scale Lusid style Cab for Kids - Initial Construction
« Reply #29 on: July 29, 2006, 11:16:47 pm »
Its looking really good Atom.  I am currently working on my first cab.  I'd like to make a smaller cab, maybe a coctail or a bartop but definitely something small.

I've made sure to make my first cab the big one though.  I'll make sure I finish it before my wife realizes I could have made it smaller.   ;D

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Re: 3/4 Scale Lusid style Cab for Kids - Initial Construction
« Reply #30 on: July 30, 2006, 04:01:47 pm »
I've been tinkering around with a CP layout today.  I couldn't find a 2 1/4'' trackball mounting plate template so I shrunk the 3'' trackball template by 1/2'' since thats the difference in siaze of the mounting plates.  May not be perfect, but its close enough for my purposes.  Heres what I've come up with so far:


any thoughts or comments?  My only worry is that the buttons may be too close to the joysticks, which might make it uncomfortable.

*edit* also, ignore the measurement numbers of the control panel box.  I shrunk the original file to 75% so the numbers are wrong.
« Last Edit: July 30, 2006, 04:03:52 pm by AtomSmasher »

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That button/joystick spacing looks exactly like the Hypersports=>SF2 conversion I have, and it is plenty comfortable to play on, so I wouldn't worry as far as that is concerned.



« Last Edit: July 30, 2006, 04:33:01 pm by versapak »

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Just a thought on the artwork.  With yellow and orange I think it would be sweet to have a big sunshine ray burst for the side art, almost like some sort of crazy anime fighting sequence background with a pacman in the middle and or something similar. 

AtomSmasher

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    • Atomic-Train
Thanks Versapak, I'm glad someones made the buttons that close before and that its comfortable, 1 less thing to worry about :)

Just a thought on the artwork.  With yellow and orange I think it would be sweet to have a big sunshine ray burst for the side art, almost like some sort of crazy anime fighting sequence background with a pacman in the middle and or something similar. 
Ray of sunshine with an anime character fighting pacman......I think that has to be one of the most original ideas I've heard in a while.  To put it lightly, I'm not a fan of anime, so I don't think I'll be going that route.  Thanks for the idea though.  I've been debating what to do for the artwork for a while, but I think I'm going to go with the standard pac-man side art,
http://www.localarcade.com/arcade_art/details.php?image_id=129&mode=search

 and go with this for the marquee
http://www.localarcade.com/arcade_art/details.php?image_id=255&mode=search


and I'm going to make a custom control panel artwork based on the original pac-man CP art, kind of like I did with the galaga art for the CP on my main cab.

I'm debating whether or not to put artwork on the kickplate, maybe this:
http://www.localarcade.com/arcade_art/details.php?image_id=952&mode=search

or this:
http://www.localarcade.com/arcade_art/details.php?image_id=819&mode=search



I'm also considering using this for the sideart, but I think I'm going to stick with a pac man theme
http://www.localarcade.com/arcade_art/details.php?image_id=293


edit*the images didn't seem to be loading for me for some reason, so I added direct links.
« Last Edit: July 31, 2006, 11:23:34 pm by AtomSmasher »

AtomSmasher

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    • Atomic-Train
Well I worked on the CP for an hour or so today and heres what I've come up with for the overlay

Heres the CP with everything lined up


and here they are on top of each other so you can see how they line up


You may notice I labeled every button, I figure since its for kids, it will be a lot easier to tell them to press the #2 button or "L" button then it will be to tell them to press the top middle button.

Anyways, let me know what you think.  I'll post these in the art section to get some opinions from there as well

n3rrd

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I apologize if this is a stupid question, but the monitor is still on it's stand, so couldn't you angle it upwards a little more?  That would move the top edge back a bit... you might be able to even it out.  The only thing giving you a problem is the bezel, really.

AtomSmasher

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    • Atomic-Train
I apologize if this is a stupid question, but the monitor is still on it's stand, so couldn't you angle it upwards a little more?  That would move the top edge back a bit... you might be able to even it out.  The only thing giving you a problem is the bezel, really.
Its already angled so that the bottom of the monitor is flush with the edge of the cabinet, any more of an angle would push the bottom out making it no better then the top part.  Unfortunately theres really no way to get the monitor completely in the cab without modifying with the cab or the monitor case.  Its not sticking out too far so I'm hoping a curve in the plexi won't look to bad, but I'll figure that out when the time comes.

AtomSmasher

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    • Atomic-Train
With the help of the people in the artwork forum, I've made a number of minor changes to my control panel artwork.  Heres my thread in the artwork forum: http://forum.arcadecontrols.com/index.php?topic=56325.0

And heres the current state of my control panel:



I think it will works well with the pac-man theme, but let me know if you have any suggestions for it.  Also, I've decided to try and cut part of the monitor case to make it a better fit, I'll probably use a dremel to cut it and obviously I'll take the case off before I cut it.  I also just got the speakers and keyboard for this machine from newegg so this weekend I'll also be cutting out the speaker holes.  I'll actually be using the same exact speakers that I used for my full size cab so I already know how to install them and I know they're decent speakers for the money.
Heres a link to the speakers I got: http://www.newegg.com/product/product.asp?item=N82E16836150037

AtomSmasher

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    • Atomic-Train
One more update to the artwork:

JamieMcShan

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Very Sweet AtomSmasher!  I think I might build something like this next time. Something with a horizontal screen.

I think you might beat me on getting yours complete! But hopefully I won't be too far behind!

Again, very nice work!

What are your plans for side art?

Jamie

  
 

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