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Author Topic: My Black Metal cabinet  (Read 1870 times)

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Crippius

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My Black Metal cabinet
« on: May 25, 2015, 10:25:06 am »
Hi all

After having anonymously lurked in this forum for years, I finally decided to write you something :)

I am a 37yo computer programer from Belgium which enjoys, io, handworking and electronics.

My cabinet is coming to an end, and this was a one year project, from brainstorming to playing.
This forum has been a huge source of inspiration, I have carefully read hundred of your threads and I followed a lot of different projects with enthusiasm, gathering ideas and knowledge, and always thinking that my turn will come one day... and this day has arrived :p

So I will take the time here to introduce my personal project and go in details through all the building steps like many of you have done. I wish this thread might inspire another generation of arcade addicts and that  it will be a tiny contribution to this great forum.


The cabinet

It is not finished, it is dirty and the pictures are of bad quality purposely  ;D
This is just to give a small glimpse on it before detailing the building process step by step..








The concept

The shape is largely inspired from Retro Space.


Since the cabinet will be placed in the living room, I needed something small and modern to accommodate with the wife's repulsive nature against that kind of things :D  I loved RetroSpace design and decided to slightly reproduce it's shape.

I have first drawn a mock up in Sketchup to have dimensions to start with

 As you can see, I initially thought to make a large cP with an additional 4 way joystick and a spinner. I changed my mind later when I build the wood structure, I found the cp way too large and shortened it.

I also changed my mind regarding the screen. I initially thought  to install a 20"  4:3 rotating monitor using a polulu motor. I abandoned the idea during the wood working for several reasons:
  • I could not find a 20" 4/3 monitor
  • A 27" monitor could fit in the space and its vertical size is alsmost the same as a 19" 4:3 in portrait mode.
  • It was a lot of worries for not the best looking thing (a lot of wasted space on screen sides) and only a great feature to have for mostly the pinball functionality a very limited number of games.

At that point, the shape was very clear, and also the colors : ALL BLAcK with blue lighting everywhere and a nice touch of highly polished metal for the cp. I have a friend which is a metal structure designer and who has access to the latest high-end technology for crafting metal pieces so I took advantage of that. 

Other things I was sure at that point:
  • I wanted a kickass audio system to turn the cabinet into a complete media station including karaoke, Jukebox, DJing.
  • I needed a drawer for a keyboard which was also a nice way of letting the bottom of the cp accessible for repairs or switching the joysticks 4W/8W

Ordering

I ordered most of the hardware at those sites:
Joysticks and PCB @ http://www.arcadeshop.de/
Buttons @ http://www.starcab.net/
IT Hardware @ http://www.materiel.net/


Arcade controls

Joysticks: 2x Ultimarc T-Stick

16 x chromed and illuminated buttons :
12 blue for the 2 players
3 white for 1P 2P and Enter/Pause
1 red Exit button on top of the CP

Plus
4 x small chromed buttons for mouse and coins
4 x  normal buttons for the sides (pinball), 2 red and 2 black.

Trackball: 2" illuminated. It was originally a green one (turning red when the mouse buttons are pressed) as I couldnt not find a blue when I ordered. I changed the LEDs myself later.

And finally I've got a Pacdrive for the 16 illuminated buttons and an I-PAC 2


IT Hardware

CPU Intel Dualcore 3.1Ghz + MotherBoard MSI H81M-P33 + 4Go G-Skill RAM
PSU Corsair CX430 Bronze - 430W
SSD Kingston SSDNow V300 - 240 Go

cooling
CPU FAN Arctic Cooling Freezer 7 Pro Rev.2
2 X Fans Antec TwoCool 120 (for the back of the cabinet)
2 x Fans Aerocool Lightning LED Blue - 120 mm
2 x Fans Silverstone Grille et filtre ventilateur 120 mm   

Lighting fancy things
Revoltec Kit 2 Néons PC - Bleu 30 cm
Lamptron FlexLight Pro - 60 cm - Bleu   

Handy thing to fix and remove the screen easily Ergotron Kit Extracteur express LCD - 60-589-060        

Frontpanel entries
Icy Box Lecteur multicartes / USB 2.0 / USB 3.0 - IB-868-B    
Silverstone Façade 3,5" USB, audio, Firewire - FP32B   



A lot of other stuff to come...
« Last Edit: May 25, 2015, 10:35:42 am by Crippius »

sc23

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Re: My Black Metal cabinet
« Reply #1 on: May 25, 2015, 01:06:26 pm »
Nice build. I like the way you did the front panel, hopefully you have some detailed pics . I have looked into doing something similar but can never find an external front panel with audio and USB, and my attempts and modifying an old case didn't look the part.

taylormadelv

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Re: My Black Metal cabinet
« Reply #2 on: May 26, 2015, 12:44:01 pm »
Very cool! Build pics with the metal would be great!

Crippius

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Re: My Black Metal cabinet
« Reply #3 on: May 26, 2015, 01:03:58 pm »
Nice build. I like the way you did the front panel, hopefully you have some detailed pics . I have looked into doing something similar but can never find an external front panel with audio and USB, and my attempts and modifying an old case didn't look the part.
I changed my mind multiple time regarding the frontpanel. Following the hardware I could purchase :)

Wood Working Part one (October 2014)

I made everything in my basement's workshop using basic handtools.

I begun to cut a first side and to test its stability when pressing on the edge of the CP. It's surprisingly good, I was a bit afraid. And when all the heavy stuff will be inside that will be even better.
If my daughter decide to hangs on from the edge I am not sure that it will still be OK but anyway I plan to fix it on the wall too so there shouldn't be any problem


Let's go for the second side, using the first one to trace the lines






The 2 sides done


Let's assemble this now

First I fix solid rafters. The 2 pieces on the back are placed just a the edge of the MDF.
For the 2 others, I put them at a random place as they are only there to handle the structure until I'll have built and fixed all the rest,  after that the whole thing will be solid enough and those will become useless and will be removed.



My fav woodworking building stuff: those lovely iron corners




Then I fix with only one screw the perpendicular rafters


And after that I can assemble the 2 parts and screw everything



SOme testing to see if the dimensions fit my needs and size (I am tall)


At that point I found the cp way too big and I took the decision to shorten it by one third, and to let down the 3rd 4-way joystick and spinner

cutting the cp board


Now I have a pretty good feeling






I vagely drawn the button and trackball on the MDF and spent hours imaginary playing....





Then I quickly build the top area, and it was late night, and I ran out of medium screws, which led to this temporary horror:




Now I am fine with overall dimensions and I know where I am going.

Crippius

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Re: My Black Metal cabinet
« Reply #4 on: May 26, 2015, 01:06:39 pm »
Very cool! Build pics with the metal would be great!
You'll see all the build steps of the metal cp later, with plenty of details  ;)

RxBrad

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Re: My Black Metal cabinet
« Reply #5 on: May 26, 2015, 01:32:09 pm »
Nice build. I like the way you did the front panel, hopefully you have some detailed pics . I have looked into doing something similar but can never find an external front panel with audio and USB, and my attempts and modifying an old case didn't look the part.

After spending too much time finding adequate speakers with a headphone jack, and a USB hub that I could wedge into my cab, I almost wish I'd thought of this.  Slick & simple.  I actually stumbled across these last week.  That same site also sells extension cables and Y-splitter cables for AC97 / HD-AUDIO, so you can connect them to your PC without cutting any wires.

Crippius

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Re: My Black Metal cabinet
« Reply #6 on: May 27, 2015, 09:32:49 am »
IT set up (December 2014)

So today I received the IT stuff for the cab

I choose a cheap build but largely good for what it's supposed to do: emulate old arcade games. I took a micro-atx motherboard so it doesn't eat too much space. I wanted fast response and SILENCE so I went the SDD-only path. I know Intel default CPU fans are not really quiet so I've changed it for this big freezer. I hesitated for PSU, wasnt sure that 450Watts was enough with all the Leds and other fancy things I plan to add later. We'll see.
 
Everything temporary set up for install :


I forgot something important when ordering... since I have no case, I have no Power/Reset buttons  ::) So I had to take this old PC and connects it's buttons to the MB in order to power it up. I am currently looking for a motherboard front panel that could also include USB entries and Mic/Audio, and I will put this on top of the CP. Not sure if that even exists

Perf benchmark after windows 7 install


I am very happy with the test perf results, I really thought the Graphic test would be bad and planned to order a better CG accordingly...but I won't finally, as this Intel HD chip is surprisingly good. The goal is not to play Battlefield 4 after all. Also it is as super ultra quiet as I would, I almost don't hear anything, and I it will be nothing for sure in the cabinet.  Last but not least, boot to windows desktop in 10 seconds without login prompt.


Crippius

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Re: My Black Metal cabinet
« Reply #7 on: May 27, 2015, 03:02:34 pm »
Wood working 2 (March 2015)

I was busy with too much work during the winter and I let the cabinet sleep in  the basements for 3 months.
But during all this time I brainstormed regularly what the next steps would be and how I'll arrange the rest of the cab.
I started to doubt about the rotating monitor idea.

And then the spring arrived  ;D

The latest big thing to do was to modify the control panel area to add a crafter. This was the very last step prior to make CP definitive plans in order to craft the metal piece.





It is gross work as all that will be hidden by the metal piece anyway :)




and here we have a crafter