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Author Topic: Mameroom Designs DIY Quad Panel Review  (Read 20508 times)

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DeLuSioNal29

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Mameroom Designs DIY Quad Panel Review
« on: April 29, 2008, 07:34:02 pm »
Hello all,

A friend of mine recently ordered a custom quad Panel from Mameroom Designs and I was very impressed with the precision of the cuts on the panel.  Really impressed actually, especially with the fact that the screw holes to mount the joysticks were pre-drilled from underneath!  This allowed for absolute PERFECT joystick centering when mounting.  Add the pre-cut t-molding groove and you have a potential winner.  I was a bit skeptical about Mameroom.com since I had ordered mine from ArcadesRFun.com and was very satisfied with the results.  But Mameroom held it’s own.

My buddy paid exactly $191.77 for his panel (custom designed including shipping, tax and delivery door to door).  Not too shabby.  Customer support was great and he even managed to get a human voice on the other end when customizing it (Scott) who was very helpful in the planning.

A few things I should mention:  In the layout design phase my buddy had to replace the spinner hole (slightly bigger by default) with a standard button hole so that the GroovyGameGear.com TT2 spinner would fit properly.  I recommend that people remember to change it (only if they own a TT2 spinner that is) BEFORE they get the panel or else they will be very disappointed.

We did have to take a jigsaw to the trackball opening to make it wider, since he had purchased the Electric Ice-T trackball from GroovyGameGear.com (Imperial Trackball) and it was slightly bigger.  Super easy to do actually.  We just had to cut off the “angle” on the trackball hole.  Then we sanded it to fit.

Last but not least, he took a router to the panel and routed out the groove for the trackball plate so that it would lay flush mounted to the rest of the panel.  He did a great job considering it was his first time ever using a router.  I thought it had come that way at first glance when I came over.  It was that good.


The top of the panel with the trackball plate "flush mounted".  Note the custom dual joystick design.



The front of the panel showing the pinball buttons and plunger button



The back of the panel for the cables to come out of.  Note the pre-routed t-molding groove



Pros:
-   Cheapest pre-made panel out there at a base price of $149.
-   Customizable layout available for an additional $19.99 (Very cheap and worth it!)
-   Packaging was not bulky since the panel arrived “flat” and unassembled resulting in cheaper shipping ($21.79 to New York).
-   Came with detailed instructions on how to assemble the panel with diagrams and labeled parts.
-   Pre-drilled holes for the joysticks which allow mounting to be PERFECTLY centered!
-   Surprisingly durable once assembled with all the cams and screws in place.
-   Looks amazing!

Cons:
-   Pin and Cam system does not allow you to mount piano hinges on the panel
-   Partially laminated Particle Board makes it feels a little cheap and tends to fall apart if handled a lot when you open it up.  Closed however, it is rock solid.
-   Cannot install piano hinges due to the Pin and Cam system (hard to access inside panel without unscrewing the bottom which increases chances of falling apart.
-   Does not come with screws to mount the joysticks (Home Depot/Lowes #10 x 1”)
-   Trackball is made for Happs only.  Other popular trackballs such as the Imperial (Betson) trackballs or the GroovyGameGear.com Electric Ice-T will not fit “out of the box” slight modification needed to the trackball opening.
-   Routed trackball groove is not available as an option in order to “flush mount” the trackball plate.

The design software to design the panel (latest version which supports the quad panel design) can be downloaded here:
http://www.mameroom.com/files/mameroomCPD.zip

Conclusion:  I really recommend this panel.  For under $200 you don’t have to worry about any major woodworking skills, if any.  The two player DIY panel is even cheaper.  I am seriously considering on purchasing a bar top kit from them now that I’ve seen the quality of the cuts.

 Now wiring… is a different story.  Check out my tutorial video here for a basic overview:


~ DeLuSioNaL
« Last Edit: October 09, 2008, 09:10:42 pm by DeLuSioNal29 »
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DrumAnBass

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Re: Mameroom Designs DIY Quad Panel Review
« Reply #1 on: April 29, 2008, 08:11:53 pm »
Very thorough and well written review!!

Sounds like a great product for those who want to have a bit of the do-it-yourself experience without the hassle that woodworking entails...!

 :cheers:

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paigeoliver

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Re: Mameroom Designs DIY Quad Panel Review
« Reply #2 on: April 29, 2008, 11:28:02 pm »
I'd ask for my money back, all that work only to install the player 3 and 4 sticks at the near unplayable diagonal angle (search on it, straight up and down factory machines outnumber diagonal ones like 20 to 1, and the diagonal machines were generally titles that flopped).
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DeLuSioNal29

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Re: Mameroom Designs DIY Quad Panel Review
« Reply #3 on: April 29, 2008, 11:39:38 pm »
Let's try to keep on topic, please.

The layout of the panel and what the user designed is not what is being reviewed here.  As stated above the "custom design" option is available so anyone can design it the way they want.

What's reviewed here is the quality of the product, not the layout.

Thank you.

~ DeLuSioNaL
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DJ Infinity

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Re: Mameroom Designs DIY Quad Panel Review
« Reply #4 on: April 30, 2008, 03:06:05 am »
I just got a 2 player one from Scott for my JAMMA & Mame cab. I paid a lil extra for assembling and shipping. Scott was great I didn't have to pay extra for mine cause all I wanted was a 7 button layout with joysticks with a player 1 & 2 start. Kinda like a fighter stick. I asked Scott to plz throw in some screws for my joysticks and he did. You'll see pics of mine when I get the time to write up in the project announcements section.  :cheers:
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Re: Mameroom Designs DIY Quad Panel Review
« Reply #5 on: April 30, 2008, 08:43:05 pm »
Just have to side-track this: I wonder if button pressing would be more precise if using NC and lifting up to trigger it? Kind of like drumming on the off beat.
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Games001

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Re: Mameroom Designs DIY Quad Panel Review
« Reply #6 on: April 30, 2008, 10:27:53 pm »
can we get some info on the 2-player one? :)

paigeoliver

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Re: Mameroom Designs DIY Quad Panel Review
« Reply #7 on: May 01, 2008, 04:00:25 am »
Ok, if diagonal sticks were ordered then that was unfortunate, but hey, otherwise it looks pretty hot to me.
Acceptance of Zen philosophy is marred slightly by the nagging thought that if all things are interconnected, then all things must be in some way involved with Pauly Shore.

nickeltitanium

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Re: Mameroom Designs DIY Quad Panel Review
« Reply #8 on: May 01, 2008, 01:59:17 pm »
I purchased the 2 player unit.  Basically a Slikstik Classic.  The product was very nice.  The only problem I had with them was a shipping mixup

DeLuSioNal29

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Re: Mameroom Designs DIY Quad Panel Review
« Reply #9 on: October 09, 2008, 08:13:16 pm »
Yes, I really recommend them.

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ragnar

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Re: Mameroom Designs DIY Quad Panel Review
« Reply #10 on: January 27, 2010, 11:21:03 pm »
Many newbie thanks for the video.  What gauge wire did you use for the ground wires?
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blownmaro

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Re: Mameroom Designs DIY Quad Panel Review
« Reply #11 on: March 03, 2010, 12:37:01 pm »
Hey, long time listener, first time caller.  How much did he have to route out to flush mount the trackball?  I just ordered the same kit and want to know what im getting myself into, but its definitely something I want to do.

DeLuSioNal29

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Re: Mameroom Designs DIY Quad Panel Review
« Reply #12 on: March 03, 2010, 01:16:04 pm »
Many newbie thanks for the video.  What gauge wire did you use for the ground wires?
18 gauge for ground wiring and 22 for the rest.  http://wiki.arcadecontrols.com/wiki/Working_with_Wire
However, I've found that doorbell wire works best (same gauge all around for ground or other connections).  Not sure on the gauge on that though.

D
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DeLuSioNal29

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Re: Mameroom Designs DIY Quad Panel Review
« Reply #13 on: March 03, 2010, 01:21:33 pm »
Hey, long time listener, first time caller.  How much did he have to route out to flush mount the trackball?  I just ordered the same kit and want to know what im getting myself into, but its definitely something I want to do.
Not really sure on the exact measurement, but it was about the thickness of the trackball mounting plate itself.  The best way to do it is to try it on a scrap piece of wood to make sure the router is adjusted properly for the thickness of the plate.

D
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Re: Mameroom Designs DIY Quad Panel Review
« Reply #14 on: April 21, 2010, 11:58:33 am »
Does anyone have an illustrator template for the mameroom quad?

DeLuSioNal29

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Re: Mameroom Designs DIY Quad Panel Review
« Reply #15 on: December 15, 2010, 01:11:01 am »
I believe Mameroom has a .dxf and .jpg on their website for download:

http://www.mameroom.com/files/QuadTemplate.zip

D
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Re: Mameroom Designs DIY Quad Panel Review
« Reply #16 on: January 27, 2011, 09:11:19 pm »
Thanks for review. >:D >:D

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Re: Mameroom Designs DIY Quad Panel Review
« Reply #17 on: November 22, 2011, 04:57:56 pm »
I know this is an old topic but hopefully somebody answers as I am currently looking at the mameroom control panel to purchase without the controls.  Somebody up above said,

I'd ask for my money back, all that work only to install the player 3 and 4 sticks at the near unplayable diagonal angle (search on it, straight up and down factory machines outnumber diagonal ones like 20 to 1, and the diagonal machines were generally titles that flopped).

I see in other threads people have mentioned this before yet most quad player setups have the 3 and 4 person controls at that angle.  Does this mean the up direction for these sticks is pointed towards the middle of the screen and not straight up like the 1 and 2 players?  I guess I am confused and if anyone can help me understand what the big problem is I would appreciate it. 

Peja

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Re: Mameroom Designs DIY Quad Panel Review
« Reply #18 on: November 23, 2011, 11:50:42 am »
Some people hate the player 3 and 4 sticks being angled in and others love it.   You can probably get the sticks angled or straight but it is probably your own preference that is the determining factor. 

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Re: Mameroom Designs DIY Quad Panel Review
« Reply #19 on: January 22, 2012, 04:16:05 pm »
I purchased Mameroom Design's (now "North Coast Custom Arcades") Quad Control Panel a few months ago and I agree with all of DeLuSioNal29's Pros; it's a very solid product. The price of a customizable layout is now $44.99 (no longer $19.99), but still a great value.  If you purchase the clear acrylic overlay for the control panel ($67.50) the customization price also includes the matching layout for the overlay, which was also cut to match perfectly with the same expert precision as the CP wood itself.  I didn't contact Mameroom/NCCA by phone, but I had several e-mails back and forth with Gerry about questions regarding prices/customizations, etc. and my inquiries were always very diligently responded to with the answers I needed.

To address a couple of the Cons that DeLuSioNal29 mentioned, particularly about the Pin and Cam system preventing piano hinges, I got around this by not closing the Cams that hold the top of the control panel to its base, and I used steel brackets to reinforce the strength of the front three boards of the CP base so it holds the weight of the open panel top (see photos).

I used two surface mount non-mortise spring loaded hinges that open at a 90 degree angle and mounted them with two pieces of square cut melamine (from additional wood I purchased separately). I like these hinges because they allow the panel to open and close smoothly, and you don't have to route out a space in the wood as you would with a typical cabinet hinge (which I don't believe would work well in the 3/4" thick melamine panel NCCA provides).  As you can see in the photos, I also added a support arm on each side to hold the panel up at a slight angle, taking some weight off of the hinges when open.

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Re: Mameroom Designs DIY Quad Panel Review
« Reply #20 on: January 22, 2012, 04:21:27 pm »
And for my 2 cents with regard to the player 3 and 4 controls being angled or straight, as  DeLuSioNal29 mentioned in the initial post, the Control Panel Design (CPD) software that NCCA provides will allow you to lay out your controls any way you prefer, straight or angled.  I used the software for my custom designs.  I personally prefer players 3 and 4 to be angled, as NCCA offers in their default design; this is because physically players three and four will have to stand at an angle to the control panel if playing alongside players one and two, otherwise four players would not fit around the CP unless the entire panel were longer (or the players are small children). The angle keeps players three and four parallel to their controls, so that if they push up from their perspective, the CPU reads "up" for the game they're playing, vs. having to push right or up/right from their physical position to process an "up" command if the controls were straight while the player stands at an angle.