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Author Topic: Reveal: The Alien Bartop (with rotatable LCD & interchangeable CPs).  (Read 6489 times)

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dmworking247

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At long last, the evil twin of The Taxi Cab is revealed.... THE ALIEN BARTOP.

The 'Build' thread of these two bartops is located here





More photos and details to follow tomorrow... its late here in Australia and I've got an early start.  ::)

Some things to look out for in the video:
  • Glow-in-the-dark space invader (fan exhaust)
  • Interchangeable Control Panel (not shown being removed in this video). Main control panel has a dedicated 8 way and a right-handed 4-way.
  • Illuminated buttons.
  • Side admin panel with audio in, audio out, video/brightness/volume on screen adjustments, USB input/output.
  • Rotating monitor. Note how you can still play a horizontal on vertical orientation, or a vertical game on horizontal orientation, if you couldn't be bothered rotating.
« Last Edit: September 10, 2008, 07:13:53 pm by dmworking247 »

IG-88

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Re: Reveal: The Alien Bartop (with rotatable LCD & interchangeable CPs).
« Reply #1 on: September 08, 2008, 10:02:44 am »
Freakin' awesome man!  :cheers:  I wish I had your skills.
"I know what a HAL 9000 is... I was wondering if HAL 7600 was his retarded cousin or something..."
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javeryh

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Re: Reveal: The Alien Bartop (with rotatable LCD & interchangeable CPs).
« Reply #2 on: September 08, 2008, 10:38:33 am »
Wow - awesome job.  How did you get MAME to display properly?  It must know somehow what orientation the monitor is in, right?  How did you do it?  I love it!   :cheers:

Oh yeah - that two-toned t-molding is badass!
« Last Edit: September 08, 2008, 11:03:56 am by javeryh »

DaOld Man

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Re: Reveal: The Alien Bartop (with rotatable LCD & interchangeable CPs).
« Reply #3 on: September 08, 2008, 10:55:04 am »
Great job! Only one suggestion: cover the finger holes in the monitor bezel to keep the marquee light from shining through, Im think something like a pill bottle on the other side that would block the light, but still allow you to insert finger. Or a cover over the light in that area.
I like this bartop..
 :applaud: :applaud: :applaud:

Bender

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Re: Reveal: The Alien Bartop (with rotatable LCD & interchangeable CPs).
« Reply #4 on: September 08, 2008, 01:29:54 pm »
man that thing rocks! :cheers:

that monitor soulution is fantastic

is it just held in with friction or did you use something else?

oh and I love the lefty layout

punxrus

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Re: Reveal: The Alien Bartop (with rotatable LCD & interchangeable CPs).
« Reply #5 on: September 08, 2008, 01:33:25 pm »
 :notworthy: :notworthy: :notworthy: :notworthy: :notworthy: :notworthy:
Dude...Wait...What?!

lettuce

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Re: Reveal: The Alien Bartop (with rotatable LCD & interchangeable CPs).
« Reply #6 on: September 08, 2008, 02:13:22 pm »
Mint!!, Very Nice  :notworthy:

Could you post some dimensions aswell

Games001

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Re: Reveal: The Alien Bartop (with rotatable LCD & interchangeable CPs).
« Reply #7 on: September 08, 2008, 02:54:19 pm »
SWEEETTTT!!!

ratzz

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Re: Reveal: The Alien Bartop (with rotatable LCD & interchangeable CPs).
« Reply #8 on: September 08, 2008, 04:44:36 pm »
Really nice ...  :applaud:

dmworking247

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Re: Reveal: The Alien Bartop (with rotatable LCD & interchangeable CPs).
« Reply #9 on: September 09, 2008, 08:26:49 am »
I'm not sure whether it was compressing them for the web or just the wrong settings on the camera but there's a LOT of low light noise in these photos. I'll try and take some better ones in the daylight this weekend.

In the mean time:


Bootup screen!


Side Profile



Front Profile.
Main control panel consists of an 8way sanwa, 6 illuminated buttons with chrome-look surrounds, and a dedicated 4-way zippy. The removable control panel is held in place by four rubber feet that 'slot in' to holes in the base, as well as being held horizontally by the side walls. It is connected to the IPAC:VE by a 15 pin VGA connector (10 inputs, 1 ground, 2 pins for 5v power to LEDs).


"Night Shot"
The "UFO Glow" is courtesy of a green EL wire on the bottom of the cabinet. It can be set to solid-on, off, or sound-reactive. The bartop is lifted about 10mm (2/5") by 4 rubber based, round chrome feet.



Alien autopsy.


Baby got back.
The green space invader is created with carefully placed 10mm (2/5") holes that were undercoated with the rest of the cabinet, then carefully painted with glow-in-the-dark paint, then 'plugged' before the cabinet was sprayed black. It is lit up by the marquee light, and stays glowing after the bartop is turned off.
The back door is secured by cabinet magnet-latches (as is the removable/rotatable LCD on the front).


CLOSEUPS


This 'matrix effect' was created from scratch in photoshop, using arcade and alien related fonts found on the web. I typed random text vertically, mixed it all up randomly, then spent a few hours fading and 'randomising' the effect. It was then integrated into the marquee, and printed in a laminated adhesive vinyl for the control panel.


The admin panel contains: 2x USB, 3 on-screen-display adjustments: Brightness/Contrast/Volume (once pressed they adjust up/down using the same buttons), microphone in, stereo out (volume bypass), bartop power, and independant LCD power (in case you want to turn off the LCD for power savings whilst using the Jukebox), and 2 power status LEDs.


Custom Mala layout (vertical and horizontal orientations in 1280x1024 fixed resolution).


Mr glow-in-the-dark-space-invader-fan-exhaust-vent.


The speaker grilles. The speakers are 4" and are powered by the internal amplifier on the LCD, which is why I was able to use on-screen-controls for volume control (speaker wires, control buttons and LED was hacked out out of the PCB inside the 17" BENQ LCD).


5V illuminated buttons with chrome surrounds.


Alien Marquee with alien-matrix-effect. I was really happy with how bright their eyes turned out.

patrickl

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Re: Reveal: The Alien Bartop (with rotatable LCD & interchangeable CPs).
« Reply #10 on: September 09, 2008, 08:43:53 am »
Impressive build quality and attention to detail. I really love how you keep with the theme all the way through.
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dmworking247

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Re: Reveal: The Alien Bartop (with rotatable LCD & interchangeable CPs).
« Reply #11 on: September 09, 2008, 08:51:18 am »
More photos of the final stages/internals:


Some internals. 4" speakers mounted over the 'alien grilles' and some additional grille mesh, then surrounded with some adhesive weather stripping to prevent unwanted light and computer noise escaping.


The system board is mounted on its original base-plate which was grinded out of its original computer case, which is mounted on the center support for good air flow. This base plate is then grounded by alligator clips to the power supply. This photo was taken before most of the internal wiring and other components were put in (eg hdd, encoder, etc).


The admin panel uses a 5 1/4" 'frontx' panel from www.frontx.com and hand-made or modified connectors (below)




Exhaust fan and 12V fluro, both powered from the molex connector of the PC power supply so it comes on/turns off with the PC.


Above: The PCB of of the 17" BenQ LCD gets hacked to allow brightness, volume, contrast and power buttons to be placed on the external admin panel of the cabinet.


Note how the top section wasn't painted black (it was masked off) to maximise reflection of the white light within the lightbox/marquee area.


This pool noodle gave its life to a hex socket on a power drill, in order to plug the holes of the space-invader to prevent it from the evil spray gun:


Note the patchy paintwork in this last photo. Originally the bartop (roughly February this year) was painted with a gloss black. I was so unhappy with the way it showed every finger print that I rubbed it all back. This photo was before a new undercoat was applied and respraying began with Matt Black Enamel.

lettuce

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Re: Reveal: The Alien Bartop (with rotatable LCD & interchangeable CPs).
« Reply #12 on: September 09, 2008, 11:19:50 am »
So whats the cabs dimensions?

DaOld Man

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Re: Reveal: The Alien Bartop (with rotatable LCD & interchangeable CPs).
« Reply #13 on: September 09, 2008, 07:25:41 pm »
Great job!!!

dmworking247

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Re: Reveal: The Alien Bartop (with rotatable LCD & interchangeable CPs).
« Reply #14 on: September 09, 2008, 08:08:42 pm »
Great job! Only one suggestion: cover the finger holes in the monitor bezel to keep the marquee light from shining through, Im think something like a pill bottle on the other side that would block the light, but still allow you to insert finger.
I like this bartop..
 :applaud: :applaud: :applaud:

Yes this is on the list of 'tweaks & enhancements':
  • Paint screws black (the ones) that hold down the marquee
  • Block out light from finger holes
  • Put a wifi card inside
  • Finish the already-constructed 'trackball' control panel
  • Build a USB stand-alone control panel (for second player simultaneous).

DaOld Man

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Re: Reveal: The Alien Bartop (with rotatable LCD & interchangeable CPs).
« Reply #15 on: September 09, 2008, 11:40:39 pm »
Keep us posted, I like this project..

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Re: Reveal: The Alien Bartop (with rotatable LCD & interchangeable CPs).
« Reply #16 on: September 10, 2008, 05:19:33 pm »
nice cabinet and that marquee is too nice ! very cool  :applaud:

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Re: Reveal: The Alien Bartop (with rotatable LCD & interchangeable CPs).
« Reply #17 on: September 10, 2008, 06:19:45 pm »
DM your are the Knievel of Bartops.

Awesome work mate. Its a shame you didn't post as you go because you would have gotten more than the few comments that you have here.

I personally believe you deserve a heck of a lot more with all that effort and thought gone into your 2 awesome projects.

 :notworthy:  :notworthy:  :notworthy:

*edit* 402 views and only 17 replies. Come on guys, that just isn't good enough in my books!!!

dmworking247

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Re: Reveal: The Alien Bartop (with rotatable LCD & interchangeable CPs).
« Reply #18 on: September 10, 2008, 07:13:05 pm »
Wow, thats a big claim right there Spacies, I'm not sure if its deserved but its certainly appreciated!

I actually do have a dedicated 'as you go' build thread located here, but I decided that the 'launch' of each bartop should be in its own thread otherwise the comments and questions would get totally mixed up.

That said, so much time past between the last bartop and when this one was 'nearly' complete that I probably skipped a few photos/steps with the finishing touches, so if anybody has any questions of how I did something, or photos of a particular stage of the build, please let me know and I'll post them.

Franco B

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Re: Reveal: The Alien Bartop (with rotatable LCD & interchangeable CPs).
« Reply #19 on: September 11, 2008, 03:02:07 am »
Simply awesome as always!!   :dizzy:  :applaud:

For your next project can I make a request? Can you tie one (or both!) hands behind you back to slow you down a bit please? Actually scrap that, keep 'em coming!  :)


dmworking247

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Re: Reveal: The Alien Bartop (with rotatable LCD & interchangeable CPs).
« Reply #20 on: September 11, 2008, 03:14:36 am »
Simply awesome as always!!   :dizzy:  :applaud:

For your next project can I make a request? Can you tie one (or both!) hands behind you back to slow you down a bit please? Actually scrap that, keep 'em coming!  :)



 :laugh2:  I think you've got me confused with leapinlew or someone else who churns out the projects like they were ikea kits.

I started these two 11 months ago, if thats too fast I'd hate to think what'd happen if I ever actually got any time away from work! :D

Franco B

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Re: Reveal: The Alien Bartop (with rotatable LCD & interchangeable CPs).
« Reply #21 on: September 11, 2008, 03:31:42 am »
Heh, it just seems you finished this one so soon after the taxi cab. I didnt realise you started them at the same time. Thats what you get for putting the eye candy in the first post, it makes me skip the text and look at the goodness   8)

Well let me put it this way, you started and finished both projects in 11 months. I started my cocktail 11 months ago and im no where near finishing. Ok maybe your arn't super fast, maybe im super slow! :)

dmworking247

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Re: Reveal: The Alien Bartop (with rotatable LCD & interchangeable CPs).
« Reply #22 on: September 11, 2008, 04:00:15 am »
man that thing rocks! :cheers:

that monitor soulution is fantastic

is it just held in with friction or did you use something else?

oh and I love the lefty layout

Bender,
The 'bezel' is made of 12mm (1/2") MDF, and there is 6mm (1/4") tinted glass sitting in a routed groove at the back. Behind that, the de-cased LCD is screwed into the bezel using All of the button wires, power cable and vga cable are bundled into a cable tube so that nothing catches and it looks nice and neat.

Whilst the weight of the monitor and the 30' angle keeps it in place, it is kept in place with a 4kg 'cabinet door magnet' on either side, effectively meaning you need you'd need to give it a really hard shove to dislodge it.

I'm actually right handed, but for the old classics like pacman/donkey kong etc that use 1 or no buttons, I actually like using the 4-way with my right hand. The Sanway 8-way is on the left hand side in the 'regular' position.

Bender

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Re: Reveal: The Alien Bartop (with rotatable LCD & interchangeable CPs).
« Reply #23 on: September 15, 2008, 11:35:28 pm »
Hey DM

I'm right handed too and like the lefty for the old school games

hey, what buttons did you hack into the frontex panel? those look cool

Thanks or the bezel info

dmworking247

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Re: Reveal: The Alien Bartop (with rotatable LCD & interchangeable CPs).
« Reply #24 on: September 16, 2008, 01:45:09 am »

hey, what buttons did you hack into the frontex panel? those look cool


Those buttons are from Jaycar:
Black
Red