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Author Topic: Starfighter Arcade complete (mostly)  (Read 3691 times)

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rubberpoultry

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Starfighter Arcade complete (mostly)
« on: December 27, 2006, 09:09:37 pm »
I've learned a ton from this forum, and wanted to offer some slight contribution if I could. I searched this forum from one end to the other, and found answers to almost every question I had. What I didn't find, I got answers to with my own posts.

My cabinet isn't one for the record books, it's pretty prefab through and through, but I think it turned out pretty nice anyway. I bought a UAII cabinet, and a 2nd hand (great condition) SlikStik Classic off ebay. I got it for about $200 less than a new one, which was great. Prior to that I was thinking about picking up an X-arcade Tankstik. I was convinced after reading numerous posts that the Tankstick would leave me unhappy in the end, but I couldn't afford a brand new SlikStik Classic.

I'm a Mac guy, so this was kind of scary for me, but I broke down and bought a PC (first one since I began using computers 11 years ago). Although there is movement, MAME on the Mac just isn't quite there yet. I found a great deal on Tiger Direct the day after Thanksgiving for $200 (after rebates). It's a P4 3.2 GHZ system. I added a Saphire Radeon 9600 Pro 256MB video card, a wireless G Linksys card, a 160GB SATA harddrive and a new powersupply (after mine fried from all of the heavy computing). Attached to the 9600 pro is a DVI to RGB dongle that is set to 480i. Pretty darn simple really. I just plugged it in and it worked. I'm running mame at 640x432.

For the monitor, I bought the Insignia 27" with Component video. It looks great and with the help of the service menu, I got it tweaked to look just right. If you have this TV and want to enter the service menu, hold down the volume down button on the TV, and then press the number 9 on the remote for about 5 seconds (Thanks to jWin for passing that along. Here's another post I started about the TV:

http://forum.arcadecontrols.com/index.php?topic=60757.0

I got those items ordered and began to think about art. I started the thread below to get the creative juices flowing:

http://forum.arcadecontrols.com/index.php?topic=60861.0

So I ended up creating my own art which looked like this in Adobe Illustrator:



I contacted Scott at Mame marquees several times, but (as you can imagine) he was pretty swamped with Christmas orders and the recent acquisition of Classicarcadegrafix. I was impatient, so I found a local sign shop owned by a friend (www.quintcustomsigns.com) to do cut vinyl for me. Best part is that he installed, and had it ready in 2 days from the time I ordered it. You can see the way it turned out in the first photo. I bought some Lexan at Lowes, and he did that with vinyl too.

The UAII kit was pretty easy to put together. The construction is pretty sturdy, and the finish is very nice. I know it's a cliche, but had to add a shot of the bottom half put together since I've see a bunch of those in project posts. You can see the UAII portion of the cabinet completed in the third photo.

I decided to do a bezel and smoked glass after reading lots of great stuff about them on the forum. The most nerve racking thing for me was trimming that bezel down to size. I was very afraid I was going to mess it up, but I measured 2 or 3 times and cut once with an xacto knife. The one thing I didn't find instructions for, (but I didn't look for very long) was how to know exactly where to drill the hole for the remote IR.

Here's what I did:
1. Take the bezel off
2. Take a freshly cut scrap piece of bezel that is the same height and place it next to the IR thingy. Mark it with a pen.
3. Drill a hole in the scrap piece and place it in front of the IR thingy. Make sure the remote works.
4. Put a piece of tape on the shelf (where the TV sits) directly under the center of IR thingy.
5  Re-install the bezel and the tape will show you how far over to drill.
6. Place the scrap piece of the bezel over top of the installed bezel and the hole will give you your height.

There are probably other more sophisticated ways to accomplish this, but that's how I did it. I just put Velcro in the 4 corners and on the TV (pictured below) and the bezel holds up great.

From there I installed the glass. I had them slightly under cut it so I didn't have any trouble. It fits perfectly. I placed 4 corners of Velcro on that and the bezel. I also took the soft part of the Velcro and attached it to the back of the glass, and then brought it around to the front, and folded it in on itself. This created a small tab for me to pull the glass off when I need to. That Velcro holds great.

You can see a couple of nearly completed shots below.

More in the next post!

RubberP

« Last Edit: December 28, 2006, 12:16:54 am by rubberpoultry »

rubberpoultry

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Re: Starfighter Arcade complete (mostly)
« Reply #1 on: December 27, 2006, 10:01:32 pm »
I learned a lot about smoked glass from looking around here on the forum too. I had never heard of graylite 14 before, but the folks at the glass shop knew what it was, and I promptly ordered a sheet (tempered). It cost about $54.

Below are some comparison shots of with and with out the glass. I don't think it's possible to really capture either version with a camera, but I tried anyway using a tripod. Both versions look better in person. I'd definitely recommend the graylite 14.

I had have a friend in the arcade business who traded me a logo design for a coin door. I had to open the hole a little, but it man it looks great once it was in and the lights were conneced. Below is a shot after I got the hole big enough, but before installation.

Another thing I hadn't read much about or searched on much was how to install the speakers. I didn't care about having massive hi-fi speakers in my cabinet. I don't think most arcade games had great speaker setups, so I didn't feel the need to go crazy. I went over to Staples (closest computer store) and bought one with a decent sized woofer. They were 30 bucks. I've seen photos where people have used duck tape to install their seakers, so I tried something like that with gaffer's tape but the tape kept coming undone and the speakers kept falling down. I had enough of that and went out and bought some "L" brackets. A few screws later, and the speakers were staying in place perfectly.

I wanted a one button power up so I went with the Smartstrip. I never got it working right, and then it seems the POT broke on the side. They're supposed to be sending me a new one, so until then I'm just unpulgging things. I did install a momentary swich which will eventually power up, and shut down the whole thing.

Lastly, one thing I didn't like on the cabinet was all of the exposed raw wood. I took black paint and painted all of the sides of the drawer, an inside the speaker holes. I think it makes it look much nicer.

I'll include a couple of final photos in the next post.

RubberP

« Last Edit: December 28, 2006, 12:20:29 am by rubberpoultry »

leapinlew

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Re: Starfighter Arcade complete (mostly)
« Reply #2 on: December 27, 2006, 10:12:14 pm »
Great job! I love that movie. The little brother had the same name as me.

All it needs is a Cherry Blossom button that blows everything up.

rubberpoultry

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Re: Starfighter Arcade complete (mostly)
« Reply #3 on: December 28, 2006, 12:02:13 am »
Ok this is the last one. I thought I'd take a couple of shots of the finished cabinet.

The most fun thing about this cabinet is playing the fan created The Last Starfighter game (http://www.roguesynapse.com/). I like just turning it on and letting it run in attract mode. They did a great job recreating the game from the movie (which was never really created). It looks really great sitting next to my Cyclone pinball machine.

Thanks to everyone on the forum who posted something I learned from. I wish I had kept track so I could list them all here. If you're ever in Dayton, Ohio and want to check it out, drop on by!

Now I just need to get all of the other emulators configured and we'll be set!

If you have any questions feel free to post them or PM me.

RubberP
« Last Edit: December 28, 2006, 12:21:11 am by rubberpoultry »

rubberpoultry

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Re: Starfighter Arcade complete (mostly)
« Reply #4 on: December 28, 2006, 12:05:04 am »
Great job! I love that movie. The little brother had the same name as me.

All it needs is a Cherry Blossom button that blows everything up.

I think a Cherry Blossom might not be as effective as Death Blossom, but it sounds like fun Lewis. :)

theCoder

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Re: Starfighter Arcade complete (mostly)
« Reply #5 on: December 28, 2006, 01:13:58 am »
I love your artwork.  Looks like early vintage Atari.  Very nice.

leapinlew

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Re: Starfighter Arcade complete (mostly)
« Reply #6 on: December 28, 2006, 01:26:09 am »
Great job! I love that movie. The little brother had the same name as me.

All it needs is a Cherry Blossom button that blows everything up.

I think a Cherry Blossom might not be as effective as Death Blossom, but it sounds like fun Lewis. :)

Damnit! Even as I wrote Cherry Blossom I was thinking.... "man, that sounds wussier than I remember"

Organic Jerk

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Re: Starfighter Arcade complete (mostly)
« Reply #7 on: December 28, 2006, 02:14:33 am »
The logotype and Overall design is very well done, but I almost wish there was some more color going on overall on the sides...

Given the great two section design of the UA2 cabinet, I figure you could take advantage of that and accent it by giving the bottom section a slightly different look.... maybe a greyish black color for a little bit of contrast, perhaps?  Maybe a color taken from the logo...

Either way you do have an awesomely complete looking cab going... great work

( I shouldnt be talking as I havent even gone past planning on my sides yet  :P)

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leapinlew

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Re: Starfighter Arcade complete (mostly)
« Reply #8 on: December 28, 2006, 10:50:03 am »
I don't know if you guys are aware, but the cabinet is modeled after a famous cabinet. The game Alex wins in the movie to become the Last Starfighter. It's cool because it talks about using video games as a simulation.

There have been a few people who have built Last Starfighter games and you can see an example here: http://www.freewebs.com/starfighter66/cabinetphotos.htm

This cabinet is keeping well with the theme from the movie. Good work! I'm really digging it.

Organic Jerk

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Re: Starfighter Arcade complete (mostly)
« Reply #9 on: December 28, 2006, 02:02:50 pm »
Ahh... I didn't know that...

Well then my previous post is null and void.

Good Job!
« Last Edit: December 28, 2006, 02:04:28 pm by OrganicJerk »

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clanggedin

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Re: Starfighter Arcade complete (mostly)
« Reply #10 on: January 02, 2007, 03:17:54 pm »
I need to redo the artwork on my starfighter cab. Did you use the Starfighter logo that RogueSynapse did??

Here's the one I did when all there was available online to look at was the phot at KLOV.com.

http://forum.arcadecontrols.com/index.php?topic=24691.0

Great minds think alike I guess.

« Last Edit: January 02, 2007, 03:20:00 pm by clanggedin »

rubberpoultry

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Re: Starfighter Arcade complete (mostly)
« Reply #11 on: January 02, 2007, 04:07:51 pm »
I used Rogue Synape's  as a guide, but I completely recreated it in Illustrator. I also used some stills from the DVD to get it just right.

I actually looked at your cabinet after making the decision to do Starfighter. I thought it was pretty cool.

I don't know if I found your artwork or someone else's at one of the artwork repositories out there, but those gave me a foundation for creating my own version. I created the logo and stripes on my own and used the type from what I found online since it looked just like the movie's prop. No need to recreate the whee! If you want what I did, let me know and I'll email it to you.

 

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Re: Starfighter Arcade complete (mostly)
« Reply #12 on: January 02, 2007, 06:33:38 pm »
Cool cab.  Neat game, except for a few things: I can't get analog controls to registers - and this game NEEDS analog;  You can't change how the weapons work...you can map the controls, but you can't for example have no toggle/weapon activation and simply a fire button for each one; and the Xurian ships are saucers, whereas in the movie (note: there was no actual game, they just used CGI for the game screen scenes) they were more diamond-like.

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Re: Starfighter Arcade complete (mostly)
« Reply #13 on: April 07, 2007, 01:12:39 am »
The analog controls are there (joystick control combined with mouse). The Weapons were modelled after the actual prop with individual toggles for each weapon. The saucer ships are based on the portions of the game shown and not the movie per se. You see the green "saucers" in the game Lewis plays and ours are pretty close to the arcade game in the movie-

Doc

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Re: Starfighter Arcade complete (mostly)
« Reply #14 on: April 07, 2007, 12:32:57 pm »
Quote
Great job! I love that movie. The little brother had the same name as me.

he was named leapinlew too?
Back in MY day we lived on the moon and we had to build a rocket ship from scratch to get to the Earth before we suffocated.