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Author Topic: Freddo's MAME Arcade Cab (Adding Xbox 360 connectivity/SFIV upgrade)  (Read 56769 times)

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Namco

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Re: Freddo's MAME Arcade Cab Project
« Reply #40 on: December 09, 2007, 01:41:47 am »
Yay, finally got to page two!  :applaud:

So I got to the best part, where I finally have the overlay on and can start wiring up the control panel. First I had to cut the unsitely corners off of the overlay. I cut slowly and opened the razor knife all the way so I had a nice long blade to help follow the shape of the control panel corner.



Next I cut the button holes out carefully with an X-acto knife



Here's the overlay all done.



Time to slap some buttons in there and bolt the plexiglass on. I just resurfaced the bolts using a drill and sandpaper so they look nice.




Yes that's two different sticks in there. The left one is a weathered Happ Competition that came with the cab, and the right one is a Happ Ultimate. The Ultimate's going to go away soon whenever I get around to ordering some Supers or something. I installed the dust washers under the panel for the first time. I did it because it looks pretty cool. I've never seen a Street Fighter without dust washers on the top of the panel, so this is definitely a first for me.  ;D


« Last Edit: December 09, 2007, 02:47:22 am by Namco »

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Re: Freddo's MAME Arcade Cab Project
« Reply #41 on: December 09, 2007, 02:12:34 am »
Now I had the best intentions when I went to wire this thing up. I had my harness ready to go and I was going to use some self adhesive wire management clips to keep things looking nice. But I lost those clips. Also I found that hot glue didn't adhere to the smooth metal of the panel. Also I made some dumb choices on where to route the wire. In this picture I decide (unwisely) to route wire wrapping around and between the joystick and buttons.



On the 2up side, I just wrap around the buttons, but with no wire management strategy besides electrical tape, it all looks like crap.



Now that it's wired up, time to bolt it back on the cab and Zoe the cat wants to help!



Four bolts later (nuts actually) and it's on. Looks great!



Zoe inspecting our work.




Next I grab my marquee to try it on for size. I have it sandwiched between two pieces of plexi. The one behind is the old one and the one in front is a new one that I cut the other day. The thing about this marquee is that it had a top and bottom retainer, but it actually didn't need a top one. There was already a groove cut for it. To install this marquee I just slid the marquee in the top groove and screwed the bottom retainer on. (See that E in the background? That's my High School Varsity letter. Strangely enough as I'm writing this, I 'm watching the movie Superbad where all the school scenes were filmed at my old high school. Weird!)



After the marquee comes the bezel. The bezel I got from mamemarquees looked absolutely perfect. I cut the white square out of the middle of it to get it ready for mounting. Used my trusty straightedge and the razor knife.



Mounted up with the marquee, bezel and control panel. I take a step back and take a picture. Niiiiiiiceee




« Last Edit: December 09, 2007, 03:01:54 am by Namco »

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Re: Freddo's MAME Arcade Cab Project
« Reply #42 on: December 09, 2007, 02:44:26 am »
T-molding time. I have my order from T-molding.com.



I begin by starting from the top back. Cram the new t-molding in the conveniently pre existing groove and work it in with light taps of a rubber mallet.



When I got part way done, I started to wonder if I had enough t-molding to finish. Actually when I got to this point, I was almost sure of it. I was close to going to the computer to order some more as a matter of fact, but I pressed on anyway.



On the curved parts, you have to cut some materal out of the tmolding to allow it to bend without bunching up. But don't go friggin nuts like Dave Randolph and cut off a 4 inch part of it.



On the bottom the groove was full of spackle that I had to cut out. Used a dremel with a cutting disk.



With everything but the sideart and monitor blackout bezel installed. She's a beaut!





On my to do list tomorrow:
- Cleanup some of the dust off of the cab
- Hook up the computer
- Do some wire management inside the cab
- Get Mala and Wincab running how I want it.

Future stuff I'm putting off for later:
- Sideart install
- Install some black poster board to blackout the edges of the monitor
- Get new monitor glass or plexi
- Level one of the casters
- Replace sticks with something newer/better
- Replacing the marquee retainer with the PVC Happ retainer I have.
- Get the last few missing bolts for the control panel.
« Last Edit: December 09, 2007, 03:28:22 am by Namco »

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Re: Freddo's MAME Arcade Cab Project
« Reply #43 on: December 09, 2007, 04:09:39 am »
That looks great.
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Re: Freddo's MAME Arcade Cab Project
« Reply #44 on: December 09, 2007, 06:57:25 am »
Great job!!!!!!
 :applaud:

Looks like Zoe the cat is checking out her new scratching post..

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Re: Freddo's MAME Arcade Cab Project
« Reply #45 on: December 10, 2007, 01:31:14 pm »
That.......... Looks............. AWESOME!!!!  Great job!   :cheers:
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Re: Freddo's MAME Arcade Cab Project
« Reply #46 on: December 11, 2007, 04:37:04 am »
Okay. I have the computer running TinyXP. and it's setup to boot up and launch Mala. I set the background to black and added a Mame boot logo. I made a video of the bootup sequence from pressing the power button to the machine running Street Fighter 2.



After I made the video a couple odd things happened. I right clicked the Mala background and selected Exit. Ever since then, Mala won't startup SF2 automatically. After booting into XP, it just flashes the mala splash screen and disappears without actually running. I have gone back into the startup settings to make sure it's still set to run SF2 at startup. And SF2 does run when I manually launch Mala. Mala just won't run at startup anymore without crashing first. I added Mala to the all users startup folder too.

And it took a lot to get Mala to play SF2 properly. The machine had mame32 .64 .62 on it and the machine likes it alot. Everything runs well. (EDIT: I personally hate it because it is asteroids runs like crap on it and Shinobi, Out Run and Super Hang On are broken. I ditched it). On SF2, I just right clicked it and set the correct resolution and turned off hardware stretch and that was it. I added all the Mame resolutions to the Nvidia driver manually so they show up in Mame32 okay. When Mala launches it, it doesn't use any of Mame32's options at all, so I actually have to go to the advanced settings of the mala gui and set a rule that whenever Mala sees a ROM with sf2 in the name, to use the options -r 384x224 -refresh 70 -nohws. It's a shame it just doesn't use the cfgs that Mame32 already has in the cfg folder.

Also when you quit SF2, Mala does not have focus, the taskbar does. So you'd have to get a keyboard and alt-tab before Mala will regain control. Strange behavior! But it all doesn't matter anyway because Mala isn't launching anymore anyway. I think I'll work on having Mala run as the shell and running explorer on exit.  :-\

Also I made a cursor that's only about 3 pixels so it's not so obvious that it's a Windows box. (if the fisher price colors and taskbar didn't give it away already)
« Last Edit: March 05, 2010, 02:52:28 pm by Namco »

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Re: Freddo's MAME Arcade Cab Project
« Reply #47 on: December 11, 2007, 06:24:46 am »
Nice setup.
Sorry I cant help you on the Mala problem, Im just starting to explore Mala myself. (Im an old GLaunch man).
Whats the obsession with everyone wanting to hide the windows bootup logo? Is it really that bad? (Am I just asking for a beating here?)
Someone posted in a different thread about using a time delay on the monitor, leave it off until windows has time to boot. I like that idea, but Im a little impatient. I want to see something happening as soon as  I press the "ON" button.

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Re: Freddo's MAME Arcade Cab Project
« Reply #48 on: December 11, 2007, 04:13:35 pm »
 :applaud: :applaud:

Good work. Thats what I remember a SFII machine looking like.

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Re: Freddo's MAME Arcade Cab Project
« Reply #49 on: December 11, 2007, 07:19:52 pm »
One complaint that many have is that when their MAME boxes boot up, they can hide everything but the Windows Mouse Cursor sitting in the middle of the screen. A dead giveaway that you're running a box in the cab. Many use a blank icon to completely hide the mouse, but then it becomes pretty unusable unless you're really handy with the keyboard. A few have made little 1-pixel mouse cursors that are hard to see. They just kinda look like a stuck pixel or something. Here's a small cursor I made. It's a white pixel, with two black ones at each corner for added contrast in case you end up lost on a white background.  ???
http://fredgolden.us/mame/3_pixel_cursor.cur

It looks like this blown up 400%:


If you want to use it, copy it to your C:\Windows folder or your C:\Windows\Cursor folder if you have one. Then go to Control - Panel - Mouse - Pointers and change your Normal Select, Working In Background, and Busy cursors to the new cursor.

That was the easy part. Now I have to find a way to keep the taskbar from taking focus all the time. It won't autohide da bastad!

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Re: Freddo's MAME Arcade Cab (Cab Done - Wrestling with Software 12-11-07)
« Reply #50 on: December 17, 2007, 11:25:14 am »
I'm getting the hang of youtube. Very handy way of distributing video content on forums like this one. Here's a video of me applying my Street Fighter 2 sideart on the side of my cab. The quality of the artwork I got from Mamemarquees.com was absolutely perfect. It applied very easily without any bubbles and looks exactly like the real thing.

Here's the video of me applying it. See below for details.
[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j0a40QiFt_k[/youtube]

Months ago I read somewhere the measurements of where the sideart was supposed to be applied on the side of the cab. But searching for the info again, I just can't find it. There seems to be two schools of thought on the subject. The quick, fast, hasty conversion method is to mount it as high as possible. The Street Fighter aficionado mounts it a bit lower, between 3 to 6 inches from the top on average.

I looked at MKFan's application and it looked pretty good if not an inch too low.


Here's my first guess, looks too low.


If the rectangular shape of the sideart looks strange so close to the curve of the cabinet, here's a look at it lower and more centered to the rectangular area of the cab.


Working with the shape of the cabinet, here's an attempt to follow the line of the cab. Slanting the artwork at the same angle as the the cab.


Those were all just throwaway mockups, I knew I wouldn't use them. I was really debating between a high mounting and a medium one. Here's how it looks an inch from the top (measured from the right edge of the artwork):


And finally, this one is the one I settled on. Three inches from the top (measured from the right edge of the artwork). Looks spot on to me.


« Last Edit: December 17, 2007, 11:28:58 am by Namco »

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Re: Freddo's MAME Arcade Cab (Cab Done - Wrestling with Software 12-11-07)
« Reply #51 on: December 17, 2007, 11:33:50 am »
Looks good. I do have one bit of advise for your vids though. You need to have a hot chick run past the camera and shake her ta-ta's every minute or so.  ;) ;D

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Re: Freddo's MAME Arcade Cab (Cab Done - Wrestling with Software 12-11-07)
« Reply #52 on: December 17, 2007, 11:37:55 am »
uah, these 90s design cabs wont become my frinds.
but anyway: you've done a good work with it :)

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Re: Freddo's MAME Arcade Cab (Cab Done - Wrestling with Software 12-11-07)
« Reply #53 on: December 17, 2007, 01:12:52 pm »
Looks good. I do have one bit of advise for your vids though. You need to have a hot chick run past the camera and shake her ta-ta's every minute or so.  ;) ;D

Thanks, but if I could get my woman to run around shaking her ta-tas, I wouldn't be in the garage messing around with a wooden cabinet  ;D

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Re: Freddo's MAME Arcade Cab (Sideart applied 12-16-07)
« Reply #54 on: December 17, 2007, 02:45:06 pm »
Well, either way there would be some wood to play with and a joystick perhaps, plus at least one person would be having a good time.   :cheers:
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Re: Freddo's MAME Arcade Cab (Sideart applied 12-16-07)
« Reply #55 on: December 17, 2007, 10:38:36 pm »
So I think I have things running how I want. Here's a video of the bootup of the cab, then I go around to the back and show you the insides there.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WYJ4Oj4H7EU[/youtube]

I have the cab's power switch wired to the PC power button and a relay in the power switch. The speakers and computer are always hot (in case I want to plug a Zune into the internal speakers (I don't do ipods (Zunes are better) ) ) , so when I power on the PC, the monitor and marquee light go hot. The Bios screen is visible, no avoiding that. I have Windows configured to show a boot logo, which in this case is a 16 color 640x480 bitmap called logo.bmp placed in the C:\Windows folder. I used a mame logo from mamemarquees.com and pasted it into MS paint. It looks like crap without dithering, so I'll have to redo it in photoshop. Once Windows is done pre-loading, no logon prompt comes up because I have MaLa configured as the shell. You do see the mouse cursor appear momentarily before it loads my custom tiny mouse cursor. Mala has its own startup logo. I'll have to see if I can change that since there is an option to have it show an image or a video at startup. MaLa is told to launch the last played game automatically, which is usually Street Fighter 2. Whenever a game is started the DOS prompt is visible and it displays an error message about Mame not being able to open the Keyboard. I'll have to figure out what's causing that. The emulation in SF2 is pretty darn perfect. I can detect no lag and it's running at 384x224 with natural scanlines. Looks completely awesome! When you escape out of SF2, you see the custom background and layout that I used.


This one is Street Fighter 2 themed, but I plan on having one for classic games, and one for each emulator I add.

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Re: Freddo's MAME Arcade Cab (Marquee Lighting Fixed 1-6-08)
« Reply #56 on: January 06, 2008, 09:24:34 pm »
I was looking at my marquee and noticed how little of the blue or purples shined through. I looked at the many pictures out there on the Internet and comparatively, mine looked like crap with really yellowly, bad color seperation.

Others:


Mine:


I sent an email to Scott at Mamemarquees asking him if he had a picture of a lighted SF2 marquee printed with the Ultimate stock as I wasn't satisfied with the colors of my marquee printed on the Premium stock. Strangely (and awesomely), he replied within minutes and indicated that he would be reviewing the colors of the SF2 marquee scans that he had and offered to send me an Ultimate for free after the holidays.

Checking out my pictures, I realized that my lightbulbs might be at fault. They appeared to be really yellow and perhaps the cause of the lack of blue color in my marquee.


I went out to the store and got a set of light bulbs with the "Daylight" designation. These have a color temperature of 6500k. Once they were installed, the difference was clear. These new bulbs kick butt!!!

Left one is a standard soft white compact florescent bulb burning at 24w with a brightness equivalent of a 100w incandescent lightbulb. Color hotness is probably around 4500k 2700k. The right one is the 15w/60w Daylight 6500k bulb and shines nice and white.



Here's the new 6500k bulb installed on both sockets.


Here's the marquee reinstalled:
After: Look how nice the purple comes through here.


Before: Look how muted the red and purples are here.


Moral of the story: If you use a standard light fixture, be sure to use real light bulbs that burn at 6500k, and not that yellow "soft white" crap.   ;D

Side by side:
« Last Edit: January 07, 2008, 05:41:05 pm by Namco »

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Re: Freddo's MAME Arcade Cab (Marquee Lighting Fixed 1-6-08)
« Reply #57 on: January 06, 2008, 10:23:09 pm »
Wow. Lovin the cab and the in depth descriptions. Makes me wonder why I haven't built a MAME cabinet. I will definitely be using this as a reference as soon as I can get the clearance to get a 4th cab in the basement! Keep up the good work! 
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Re: Freddo's MAME Arcade Cab (Marquee Lighting Fixed 1-6-08)
« Reply #58 on: January 07, 2008, 01:25:42 am »
Yeah, those first lights are probarbly the ever so popular 2700K ones that are whats most common to get. Some one seems to think that people like their lights mimmicing the problems of incandescent lights so those are the ones that get sold. They have almost no blue or green in their spectrum, unlike an incandesent so things look wrong under them.

the 6500k daylights should be the norm, and are in asia it just seems to be a western thing that makes the crusty orange ones popular.

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Re: Freddo's MAME Arcade Cab (Marquee Lighting Fixed 1-6-08)
« Reply #59 on: January 07, 2008, 10:49:29 pm »
cool thread, nice cab!

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Re: Freddo's MAME Arcade Cab (Marquee Lighting Fixed 1-6-08)
« Reply #60 on: April 17, 2008, 03:10:26 pm »
Been awhile since I've added to this thread. Since getting the cab to where I wanted it, I've been playing it like mad every weekend. Not much time during the busy workweek. The new lighting got the marquee perfect except for some light leakage on the left and right edge of the marquee plexi. I may add a pic of how I "fixed" it with electrical tape... perhaps not as I didn't get it perfect.

I'd like to take some time this summer to work on it a bit more, but it's a bit hard since evertime I step into the garage, there's a fully functional Street Fighter 2 arcade machine begging "PLAY ME!!!!". So I indulge usually playing SF2 Turbo: Hyper Fighting. Someday I hope to attain Asperger's Syndrome level of experience with Street Fighter 2 and move up to Super Street Fighter 2 Turbo: The New Challengers, however that would require 15 hours per day of practice for two years and a time machine to make myself 16 again before I can aspire to beat the second character (or first if it's Fei Long or T Hawk).

Anyway here's the list of improvements I hope to start work on in the coming months:

Cabinet Finishing steps (FMAC 1.1.X project):

   +Rewire power switch
      -Find a good "Clicky" momentary contact switch
      -User longer wire (12ga or better stranded copper)
   +Screw down monitor frame to wood frame
   +Remove stupid cableties from wires and redo electrical tape wrap
   +Fasten down speakers better
   +Add sound dampening material around speaker and marquee area
   +Add layout switching to Mala
   +Buy actual glass for screen or better plexi
      -Consider tinted
   +Fix 2up stick, it's not responsive enough
   +Move dustwashers to top of control panel
   +Find better method of light seepage control at marquee edges then elect. tape
   +Implement wire management and strap down computer
   

Future Cabinet improvement steps (FMAC 2.0 project):

   +Upgrade computer
   +Upgrade MAME install to one that supports SF3 series
   +Play SF3 series
   +Goto previous step
   +Press Run/Stop key to break out of the SF3 loop
   +Get another control panel blank and install a trackball/spinner/tron stick (mousehack) and possibly 4-way
   
« Last Edit: April 17, 2008, 04:16:02 pm by Namco »

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Re: Freddo's MAME Arcade Cab (Planning updates 4-17-08)
« Reply #61 on: April 17, 2008, 03:57:43 pm »
Thats pretty sweet right there.  Hope you find those snap ties otherwise if you buy bread that has the twisty ties use those till you find the others.

I also hope that blank control panel will be installed in a new cabinet.   ;)
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Re: Freddo's MAME Arcade Cab (Planning updates 4-17-08)
« Reply #62 on: April 18, 2008, 03:24:58 pm »
oh man this is great, i have almost the same exact cab as you, just got a few days ago, i started a thread about it yesterday.

I just a few questions, (i might have skipped passed some details in your thread, sorry if thats the case).

My cab is without a marquee light or even a fixture, could you take some pics or explain how yours is wired up to the power supply? Also ive been trying to decide what to do with my control panel, i was thinking about removing it and installing a whole new wood built one. After taking some time to think about it though, mine already has the capcom layout, and being this is my first cab, my only goal is to be able to run a few common jamma games (UMK3, SF2, wrestlefest..etc)

great job on the cab, i love it!

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Re: Freddo's MAME Arcade Cab (Planning updates 4-17-08)
« Reply #63 on: April 18, 2008, 06:41:44 pm »
oh man this is great, i have almost the same exact cab as you, just got a few days ago, i started a thread about it yesterday.

I just a few questions, (i might have skipped passed some details in your thread, sorry if thats the case).

My cab is without a marquee light or even a fixture, could you take some pics or explain how yours is wired up to the power supply? Also ive been trying to decide what to do with my control panel, i was thinking about removing it and installing a whole new wood built one. After taking some time to think about it though, mine already has the capcom layout, and being this is my first cab, my only goal is to be able to run a few common jamma games (UMK3, SF2, wrestlefest..etc)

great job on the cab, i love it!

Great, you have a Dynamo HS-1 cab too eh? It's a great starter cab. very simple, roomy, not too tricky, well built. My light fixture is really simple. It's just a double-headed light socket with a cord coming out of it. The sockets have a threaded metal post attached to them that just bolts into a hole in the middle of a white piece of wood. Really simple design. It's not connected to the power supply however. It's a regular light socket so it takes 110v mains power. I chopped the wires and soldered them to the hot and neutral lines of a regular power cord. With a light fixture it doesn't matter which you use with AC power either. I just wired it up and plugged it into a power strip that I have mounted into the cab.


The way it was originally, I believe the mains went to the switch, then to the fuse, then it split between the isolation transformer (for the monitor) and marquee lighting. It doesn't touch the power supply at all if I recall correctly. Here's the wires before I took them out of the cab.


As far as the control panel, I had the same first instinct as you did. To use the existing mounting holes/bolts to mount a new wooden control panel. Then I thought about how much I wanted a SF2 cab as a kid, and how (no offense to many readers here), I did not want or need to have a big frankenpanel with tacky mame art all over the place. When I really thought about it, I realized that I would keep the metal panel I had. A bit of advice thought, don't mess around with the metal cutting too much. Maybe put a new metal blank in there, but if you must fill holes, use car bondo, not glue and wood putty like I did  ;D .

My plan for an updated panel is to just get another metal panel and mount more advanced controls like a trackball/spinner, etc and swap it out with my SF2 panel when I finally get the urge to play games like Tron, Centipede, and Major Havoc. But if you want to have everything on one panel, you'll want to consider making a wooden one to fit over what you have, but I eyeballed it and it's going to take some major surgery. Because the upper mounting support curves are so high and narrow, you don't have much room for controls to live under the panel on the extreme left and right sides. You'd have to *GASP* cut them  :o

But anyway good luck on your project. I don't think you have much to learn from my thread since you're leaving it Jamma, but hopefully the pictures are useful to you.  :cheers:


« Last Edit: April 18, 2008, 06:43:36 pm by Namco »

Namco

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Re: Freddo's MAME Arcade Cab (Planning updates 4-17-08)
« Reply #64 on: May 02, 2008, 09:12:33 pm »
Just picked up one of these:


Couldn't pass up the opportunity to upgrade the motherboard and processor for under $100 bucks. All I have to do is pull some ram from my computer, get a cooler, and maybe change the power supply. If I'm lucky, I'll get this upgrade done for under $150.... and then I'll be playing some SF3 baby!  ;D

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Re: Freddo's MAME Arcade Cab (Adding Xbox 360 connectivity/SFIV upgrade)
« Reply #65 on: March 03, 2009, 11:23:27 pm »
I'm adding connectivity for my Xbox 360. The thread for that is here:
http://forum.arcadecontrols.com/index.php?topic=90072.new;topicseen#new

Future tasks for this cab are: Hacking two Xbox 360 controllers, getting rid of the iPAC, adding a wired Ethernet connection, KVM switch, 12V wall wart to power the coin slots, a combination xbox headset and standard audio headphone jack; toggle switches for relay voltage, marquee light, coin lights and headphone jack. Gonna be fun adding the switches and stuff.

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Re: Freddo's MAME Arcade Cab (Adding Xbox 360 connectivity/SFIV upgrade)
« Reply #66 on: November 26, 2016, 07:16:05 pm »
I know this is an old thread, but I was wondering why not put the piece of sheet metal on top? Then you wouldn't have to worry about fixing the spacing on some of the button that aren't flush. Thoughts?

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Re: Freddo's MAME Arcade Cab (Adding Xbox 360 connectivity/SFIV upgrade)
« Reply #67 on: November 26, 2016, 08:25:54 pm »
I know this is an old thread, but I was wondering why not put the piece of sheet metal on top? Then you wouldn't have to worry about fixing the spacing on some of the button that aren't flush. Thoughts?


I wanted it to be flush so that when I applied the overlay there wouldn't be a crease at the bottom. If i had to do it again I would use bondo and not mess with the stupid spacers and wood putty. But the sheet metal reinforcement was needed I think because I didn't want just plexi supporting the controls.

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Re: Freddo's MAME Arcade Cab (Adding Xbox 360 connectivity/SFIV upgrade)
« Reply #68 on: November 26, 2016, 10:01:24 pm »
Sweet image!

Which bondo would you use? And do you think there would be an issue drilling partially through metal and bondo?

Some have suggested just ignoring all the holes. Just drill the new holes I want (even if they overlap with existing unwanted holes), wrap the control in vinyl and then put acrylic/plexiglass on top covering it all. It might look like swiss cheese underneath, but that will all be hidden and protected by the acrylic.

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Re: Freddo's MAME Arcade Cab (Adding Xbox 360 connectivity/SFIV upgrade)
« Reply #69 on: November 27, 2016, 03:56:56 pm »
Sweet image!

Which bondo would you use? And do you think there would be an issue drilling partially through metal and bondo?

Some have suggested just ignoring all the holes. Just drill the new holes I want (even if they overlap with existing unwanted holes), wrap the control in vinyl and then put acrylic/plexiglass on top covering it all. It might look like swiss cheese underneath, but that will all be hidden and protected by the acrylic.

Yeah, that's how the operators did it. Just drill the holes through the acrylic and everything and let the CPO hide it all. But for me, some of the buttons were only half supported by the sheet metal. I didn't want the button to bend bend or the nut to loosen itself. Plus I wanted to bang on it and not have it sound too thin, basically overthinking it probably. As for bondo, you just use whatever regular automotive bondo they have at the hardware store. It works great for our hobby (from what I've heard). Drilling through bondo is usually fine unless it's all on one side or very thin and you're drilling on the wrong side. It might just fall off.