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Author Topic: Modding UA2 Control Panel Mount  (Read 3031 times)

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jlfreund

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Modding UA2 Control Panel Mount
« on: October 22, 2007, 12:53:23 am »
MOTIVE:

Although the Ultimate Arcade II kits from Mameroom Designs are outstanding quality, IMO, there are a couple of serious problems with the construction.  First, the last panels in the back attach from the inside, so unless you're planning on climbing inside and trapping yourself in there, I don't see how you can complete the assembly.  This part didn't bother me because I like leaving the back open for easy access.

The bigger problem is that the control panel suffers from the same impossible interior fasteners, so it's extremely difficult to remove and replace the bottom side of the CP to get in and out of there.  Finally, the CP mounting hardware is very inadequate.  You'll want the CP mounting hardware to be both sturdy (to survive regular beatings) and easy to mount and unmount (for servicing the CP).  Unfortunately, the kit just comes with 4 small L-brakcets and some 1/2" wood screws.  Not only is this hardware very fragile and difficult to work with in a cramped space, but it's likely to wear out after removing and replacing the CP a few times.

CP BOTTOM REMOVAL:

My solution to the problem of removing the CP bottom without having to reach inside and fumble around to find the fasteners was to:

a) Glue the two black fasteners in the back of the bottom in place so they can't fall out.  This way, the back of the CP rests squarely on the fasteners, but I never tighten them because the weight of the CP keeps the bottom in place.  Instead, I rely on new fasteners in the front of the bottom side to keep the bottom in place when moving it around (Pic 1)

b) Although the bottom can't move around when resting in the cabinet, and it should stay  on pretty well when moving the panel around because it fits very snugly, I added 2 more fasteners to the outside of the panel so that I don't have to use the interior ones.  On the back end of the panel, I recessed two circles to insert two 6-32 tee-nuts, (Pic 2) and on the outside bottom of the panel, I recessed two more circles to insert a nut and bolt (Pic 3).

CP REMOVAL:

To partially solve the problem of removing and replacing the CP from the cabinet, I got rid of the wood screws into the CP, and replaced them with bolts and wingnuts.  The bolts actually attach to four 10-32 tee-nuts inside the bottom of the CP and point out of the bottom where they can be fed through the L-brackets (Pic 4).

The only part I didn't try to fix yet is the wood screws attaching the L-brackets to the inside of the cabinet.  Those old screws are still there, waiting to wear out and fall off.  I think they should be replaced with bolts, but I don't know how to get bolts that won't look too bad from the outside.

After reassembling and replacing the CP and tightening my new wing nuts to fasten the CP to the cabinet, I was thinking to myself how much I was looking forward to the next time I would need to remove and service the panel.   I didn't have to wait too long to try it out because I'd swapped the X and Y cables on my trackball, so two minutes later, I got to try removing the CP using all my new fastners.  It only took about 2 minutes to get the cables unplugged, the CP off, and opened up after that.  And 45 minute later, again, when I found out one of the wires to a button had popped loose.  Now it only takes 2 minutes to service the panel, and I don't have to worry about wearing out the MDF board or the phillips heads holding the panel in place.

[My original project was here: http://forum.arcadecontrols.com/index.php?topic=57847.0]

Jason
« Last Edit: October 22, 2007, 12:56:32 am by jlfreund »

jlfreund

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Re: Modding UA2 Control Panel Mount
« Reply #1 on: January 08, 2012, 05:33:05 pm »
I'm revisiting this problem right now in the context of a refurbish to my original cabinet from 6 yrs ago.  I have the new CP built, and am looking at the flimsy "L" brackets that came with the UA2 cabinet (see "CP_Underside_Attached.jpg" above), and I'm very worried about how those brackets are mounted to the inside of the cabinet.  The tiny screws have undergone a lot of pressure over the years holding the panel in place and the problem will just get worse.

I'm curious if anyone else has found a good solution?  I don't want to drill holes straight through the side of the cabinet in order to bolt the L-brackets more firmly.  But I was thinking about installing some kind of T-nut in the side, so I can use machine screws to tighten the L-brackets to the sides of the cabinet. 

HaRuMaN

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Re: Modding UA2 Control Panel Mount
« Reply #2 on: January 09, 2012, 09:32:25 am »
I have a UA2 cab that I acquired already built.  I can take a look inside and see if they did anything different.