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Author Topic: Wild Rover  (Read 3641 times)

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hng

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Wild Rover
« on: June 14, 2007, 09:22:10 pm »
Long Time/ First Time... quack quack...

I was finishing up doing a fridge to kegerator conversion, and I stumbled on this site. Figured I could use a new project to keep my mind occupied. A MAME cab seemed to be the perfect addition to my basement. I was a little bit leery about buying a box o' parts and just jumping in, so I got the X-Arcade dual stick.

flame...


continue flame...

now back to our regularly scheduled broadcast...

I figured if I didn't like playing the games, it  would be a heck of a lot easier to dump an actual product on e-bay, then just trying to unload a box of buttons and circuit cards. Fortunately, MAME lived up to the hype, so I started gathering more parts. Of course I would need dual driving controls... so I got 2 Pole Position wheels and shifters. I also got all kinds of trackballs, figuring it would be easier to use a PC ball then to hook up a Happs. After sorting through all my boxes of new "parts", reading threads about CP monstrosities, and  viewing crapmame, I realized I should just do a simple 2p CP with a Happs trackball. It also helped that I got a 2p Ivan Stewart machine.

I was able to get a Tekken cab: included board, PS, Marquee, but no monitor or sideart. Like most of my projects, the mechanical/ electrical part is simple... just start cutting. When it comes to style, that is where I spend too much time. I figured since it was originally a fighting cab, I should name it accordingly. I didn't want to name it "blah-blah-cade" , or "MAMEFighter". It needed a name that sounded like a real game, could be incorporated into a total thematic package, and it had to look badass. My original thought was to name it after one of my favorite childhood movies. The Outsiders. I spent a lot of time designing artwork for it, using "greasers Vs. Soc's" as the "game concept" but it just wasn't right.

After randomly listening to my Morristown Parade Day mix on I-tunes, I decided on "The Wild Rover". Aside from a "vs fighter", It had all the elements I needed... carousing, drinking, wenches, and catchy chorus.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wild_Rover

http://youtube.com/watch?v=Rq-ficChVzk (Dropkick Murphy's)





With the marquee and CP art finalized, I started working on the innards. I scored a 24" Sony CRT monitor off craigslist for $100. Once I got rid of the plastic, it fit in pretty good. I made an aluminum frame out of 3/4" square aluminum tube. The frame sits on the wooden supports in the cab, and there are four tabs on the monitor that bolt to the frame.

here's the monitor frame, and my X-arcade... and yes, I am using a keyboard.




The original plan was to use black foam core for the monitor bezel. But with the black, there is a definite visual difference between the paper surface and the actual foam. So then I was going to use black mat board (the framing stuff), but I don't like the "Oreo effect" it creates. I ended up getting "Black Presentation Board" at Pearl Paint. It's the same thickness, but doesn't have the annoying white center. I don't have a pic of the bezel yet, but here's the cardboard mock up.



I had been hoping to get it playable, and looking pretty good for my spring pub crawl. so instead of getting my art from mamemarquees, I went to Kinko's. The marquee was printed on Coated Heavy Weight Paper, and then laminated. I also got the CP printed on styrene. I went back the next day to pick them up... remember the part where I said I didn't go to mamemarquees?  Well, the Marquee looked good, but the CP... I've been involved with oversized printing for several years, and I told the guy exactly what it was for, so there should have been no confusion as to the viewing distance. The artwork would have looked great if it was on a passing bus, but at arms length, it looked like total crap. Plus, the colors did not match. I understand that the printing process is different, but I assumed that they would make adjustments to the colors so that they would at least be close.  I ended up not paying for the CP, and I had them re-print it on the HWC/Laminate.
Here's a couple pics of the marquee... its not backlit, but eventually I'll get my artwork reprinted from mamemarquees.





since these pics were taken, Ive put on my black bezel, and installed 1/4" plexi... or lexan... or whatever it is they sell at Lowes.  I've made my CP top, and installed all the buttons/ joys/ happ track ball. To mount the trackball, I took the top off of the "case", and cut some grooves in the bottom of the CP to recess the optic cards. I think I have it mounted 90degrees off, so when I hook it up to the opti-pack, I'll probably have to change the wiring a bit. I also have to swap over the wiring harness from the x-arcade onto my CP.

Hopefully this weekend I can get my CP finished, and take some more pics.

BobA

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Re: Wild Rover
« Reply #1 on: June 14, 2007, 11:40:59 pm »
Good start, too bad about Kinkos.  You cannot beat mamemarquees for quality work.  I think you will be pleased how it enhances your cab.  Keep us updated and why not show us some pics of your kegerator conversion too. 

BobA

hng

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Re: Wild Rover
« Reply #2 on: June 15, 2007, 01:06:08 am »
thanks for your support.

Just picked up a new camera, so I was able to get some of this past weeks progress.

This is how I mounted the happ trackball. I originally ran the top half of the case through a tablesaw, to increase the height of the ball, yet still retain the optic board retainer. That didn't quite give me enough height for the 3/4mdf. Somewhere in my research, I saw somebody mount by eliminating the top of the case, and cutting grooves in the cp... thats what I ended up doing. I countersunk the bolt in the cp top, and used bolts and washers as spacers.



 This is the top of the CP with the X-Arcade hardware mounted in. When exposed to direct overhead light (not a problem in my basement/ game room/ bar), the artwork looks pink. Trust me... just because I picked a snappy plaid pattern, doesn't mean pink is my favorite color. It really does look red with regular ambient lighting. I mounted the joys underneath without routing, and there didn't seem to be any clearance issues. It seems that they have the same mounting pattern and specs as the happs, so that will probably be a future upgrade. In the meantime, I'll probably be ordering some versa-ball shafts from GGG to make up for the stubbyness of the joys. As far as the button color, I'm currently using the black, because thats what the X-Arcade had. I would change to either red or green, but they look to "plasticky". Is there someone who manufactures arcade buttons in better colors? I also found out the easiest way to do T-Molding. Work next to a cabinet shop, and throw one of the guys $10. And another thing... a hockey puck makes a good hammer/ roller for installing the t-molding.



This is the black Presentation Board Bezel with a plexi / lexan / acrylic whatever over top. Neither the bezel nor the glass is secured. I plan on using 3M double sided tape (the thin stuff, not the foam stuff) to secure the board. The glass was a 24" wide piece from lowes... it is a tight fit, so no adhesive or mechanical fasteners will be required. I just have to figure out some stuff for an instruction card and other bezel artwork. BTW, when using adhesives, if someone recommends a  3M product, DO NOT USE THE HOUSE BRAND. I learned several years ago from a body shop guy that for certain applications, 3M is the ONLY thing to use. 




so uhh yeah... here's some pics of the kegerator. I got the fridge from a friend for "raising a cabinet to make room for the new fridge" If you ever need to paint a frige, start by using a chemical de-glosser, then a coat or two of a good primer (Kilz, Zinzer). Finally, the color coat(s) are either Krylon or Rust-oleum rolled on with a smooth mini foam roller. 

The Social Distortion Skeleton is die cut vinyl (Kinko's is good for some stuff). The flames are my first attempt at, umm... well... lets see... using automotive paint, shooting paint, airbrushing, drawing flames, masking flames, fading colors... etc. Aside from some blending issues (I can either blame lack of experience, or the $5 harbor freight airbrush) I think they came out pretty good. The great thing about a $5 airbrush is you don't have to clean it.



the tap handles were custom made by my sister... I didn't want to use commercial handles because they would interfere with the fridge. The backsplash is a $3 frame from walmart with a piece of diamond plate adhesive vinyl stuck inside. I was going to use real diamond plate, but this actually looked better, and is more functional.



Once again, the flames were shot by yours truly. The Dice are kinko's vinyl, and the trucker ladies are the real thing... 1/8" hunks of chromey goodness. I used 3M Emblem Adhesive for the trucker gals... they've been on for 6 months and haven't moved a bit.



to make room for a 1/2brrel, I ripped out the door lining, and replace it with "Brushed Aluminum Tileboard" from Lowes. gave me just enough room for 1 half barrel, and one sixtel. And because they use a wider keg, I can't fit in coors.  :cheers: The overflow tank is a fridge beverage dispenser, mounted in a magazine organizer.


 

BASSOFeeSH

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Re: Wild Rover
« Reply #3 on: June 15, 2007, 03:33:19 pm »
lol, LOVE the name and design.  p.s. thanks for the wiki link, cause I never heard about it being scottish!

javeryh

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Re: Wild Rover
« Reply #4 on: June 15, 2007, 04:25:48 pm »
Awesome job! 

And there's nothing wrong with pink!   :cheers:

hng

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Re: Wild Rover
« Reply #5 on: June 24, 2007, 08:12:32 pm »
I've been staring at my CP for a week and a half now, and have been putting off wiring it. I have also been dragging my feet on building the box for the CP. Originally I was going to use a piece of black melamine shelving that was in my basement, but I accidentally cut it wrong, so I would of ended up with an exposed unfinished edge. I've been searching high and low, and it seems they no longer make plain black melamine shelving. They make Espresso, or a really dark wood grain, but no black.

Continuing on with my "don't feel like painting" gimmick, I decided I'd use plain old black contact paper.
 
:soapbox:


WTF? Nobody stocks plain black contact paper. It can be ordered, but its $30 for a 75foot roll.  I couldn't even find "The Official MAME(TM)" blue marble crap. What is wrong with this world? I've been to half a dozen of each: Lowes, HD, Target and Wal-Mart. Not to mention every dollar store between Paterson and Dover (trust me... thats a ton of stores). Oh yeah, did I mention a trip to the Container Store? I can't go in that place without thinking Bill Burr.

We'll, I finally motivated myself to do some work. I'm using gloss black rattle can for the CP box. already put on a bunch of coats and did a bunch of sanding... might need one more coat.

After reading the "X-Arcade: Regretting Every Minute" thread, I figured I should do some more work on my wiring. Started lengthening the wires, but of course I ran out of butt connectors. Oh sure.. I've got a whole bag of spade terminals, but I don't need any freaking spade terminals. I guess I could have gone to Ace, but I'm going to be cheap and just snag more connectors from my shop tomorrow.

I connected the half wired CP, and after several restarts, and some searching on the x-arcade website, I realized I need to have the 5-way switch in the correct position AT STARTUP.  Actually, it doesn't have to be, but when you no longer have a programming button, or status LED, things get hard to figure out.

I also hooked up my trackball... got the buttons to work by connecting them with an old connector from a mouse. For some reason, the TB wouldn't move the cursor. I'm thinking it might have been because of my CP issues. I figured it would be easier to troubleshoot on my main computer, but now that I sit here, I remember all of the problems I have with my wireless mouse. Ugggghhhh

just wondering, does the opti-wiz with a happ TB require any special drivers? About a month ago I hooked it up to my main PC (fully updated version of XP) and it worked fine. The PC in the cabinet is running a much older version of XP... it doesnt even have SP1 on it...

Oh well, here's some pictures of my minimal progress:

Partially Wired CP





Comparison of New CP to X-Arcade




CP on Cab


hng

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Re: Wild Rover
« Reply #6 on: June 26, 2007, 11:49:07 pm »
Finished wiring up the CP... all of the buttons/joys work.

Finished the CP box... a ton of coats of rattle can gloss black and sanding with 1500 grit and  0000 Steel Wool.

HNG's Painting Tip: When you're done with the primer, PUT IT WAY. It sucks when the next day you grab the primer and start shooting over your color.

I'm having a problem with my used e-bay  Happ Trackball. About 1 month ago, I hooked it up to my main PC using the opti-wiz, and it worked fine (except one oaxis was backwards, but I can fix that anytime). Now when I hook it up, NOTHING happens. I thought it might have been a driver issue with the old XP install on the cab pc, but I tried it on my main PC, and no luck.

Question: what should I test for with my multimeter tomorrow?

Question: which direction should the ribbon cable be facing where it connects to the opti-wiz?

while I'm asking questions, maybe someone can help me out with colors... the trackball is supposed to be red, but it looks to me like a used mylec hockey ball. I'd really like a ball that matches the "Blood Red" T-molding. Same goes for buttons. Are there any sources for trackballs or buttons that have more "distinct" colors?

hng

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Re: Wild Rover
« Reply #7 on: June 27, 2007, 10:04:41 pm »
I tested the Trackball today...

turns out there is an open in the ground on the trackball to Opti-wiz cable. Molex connector looks okay, and the ribbon cable doesn't show any damage. I'm assuming the problem is in the board-end connector.

Now I just have to figure out how to open up this style connector.