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Author Topic: A Mame machine in an antique buffet - USB probs solved (I think!)  (Read 103677 times)

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Octo

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Re: A Mame machine in an antique buffet
« Reply #40 on: March 29, 2009, 12:11:20 pm »
This is so freakin sweet!  :hissy: I've always loved the HG Wells/Steampunk motif, and this has so much potential.

I was thinking that you could modify your buttons by screwing brass knobs through them to give a raised typewriter sort of feel without having to make them completely from scratch. Something like these:




And it would be pretty sweet to have a trail of copper gears that rotate the monitor. Offset a foot to the left, turning the main gear then turns each consecutive gear, which rotates the monitor. Clockwork stuff like that just looks so crazy :blah:

You could also craft some phonograph horns from tin flashing, which is pretty cheap at Home Depot or whatever you have around you. It comes in 10" wide x 10' lengths for ~$7. If you make a series of cones and solder/weld them together it would come out with that phonograph look, for much cheaper than the ones you found in an antique store... Fit the speakers in there, and put a copper wire screen over them and it would really kick.


OK, that's enough from me, for now.... :laugh2:

drventure

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Re: A Mame machine in an antique buffet
« Reply #41 on: March 30, 2009, 11:27:40 am »
Thanks for the comments!

 I like those knobs, my only concern with actually using some kind of metal would be the effect on the speed of the button. Adding a lot of mass might make the button slower.

That's funny about the tin for a horn. I actually picked up some sheet brass at Hobby Lobby to experiment with for precisely that purpose (and to fashion a frame around the monitor eventually). But I'm no metalsmith, so how it'll turn out, I'm not sure :-[

My biggest prob with the gears is finding a suitable set of gears. I just have no idea where to look. I thought about possibly using old bike sprockets and some chain... that +might+ look good. Of course, it might end up looking like a bike crashed into my cab, too  :-\


@bender
Thanks for the compliments! I wish I had your speed and quality of work! Those street fighter sticks are fantastic!

This cab is turning into as much an art project as a mame cab. But, it's all part of the fun.

Octo

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Re: A Mame machine in an antique buffet
« Reply #42 on: April 01, 2009, 12:10:53 pm »
Well, as for the horns, I can model some up in Blender and use Pepakura to unfold them into a sheetmetal template. You would just need to solder/braze/rivet the edges together.

Bike sprockets would look cool, as long as you changed them to a brass or copper finish to match the rest of the cab (chrome would look out of place) Usually there are bikes cheap or free on Craigslist, to harvest gears and chain from...

Good luck on this, really hope to see it complete :cheers:

drventure

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Re: A Mame machine in an antique buffet
« Reply #43 on: April 01, 2009, 12:25:24 pm »
Oh definitely about the brass, Chrome would just not cut it on this at all  :P

Never used blender or pepakura but they sound pretty cool. I really appreciate the offer. Let me get a bit further along and determine how much room I've got for those sorts of things before I commit to anything there, though. No point in spending the time if there won't be room anyway :'(

On a side note, I've gotten 4 of the vacuum tubes put together. I think it's looking pretty good. Once I find something suitable for a base and get them mounted, I'll upload some picks.

This EL Wire is very cool, but DANG it's tough to work with! Getting the sleeve stripped without ripping the corona wires is tricky business. If I was doing much more of this, i'd spring for one of the special wire strippers designed for this stuff.

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Re: A Mame machine in an antique buffet
« Reply #44 on: April 01, 2009, 05:18:40 pm »
Here's some more ideas for this theme--

Spark Regulator:


Knife Switch:


Or maybe some tesla coils or plasma balls on either side of the marquee? 

Man, you could have some fun with this setup.  :)
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drventure

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Re: A Mame machine in an antique buffet
« Reply #45 on: April 04, 2009, 01:39:58 pm »
I had to share this...

It's a miniature plasma globe that connects to a USB port!

I gotta figure a way to incorporate a couple of these into this cab!

What would be truly awesome is to work this into a trackball somehow (yeah, yeah, fragile, couldn't smack it for Golden Tee, I know  :) )

drventure

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Re: A Mame machine in an antique buffet
« Reply #46 on: April 17, 2009, 08:07:36 pm »
A little more progress, and this is pretty funny so I had to share.

I'd been trying to figure out some way to improve the look of control panel proper. I'd used a flat black, leather textured formica laminate on it that went on quite well, but looks a little, well, plain, for what this build is turning into.

Long story short, I was browsing a Van Dykes Restorer's catalog several days ago and came across Leather desk inlays (the kind you'd typically see on very high end executive desks).

But these all had various gilded borders around the edges. See the first pic

And that's when it hit me, gild a border around the top!

So I started looking for gilding foil and roller irons and that went nowhere.

The I happened across rubber stamps. You know, scrapbooking crap ;)

Next thing I know, I end up in a scrapbooking rubber stamp store over in Ft Worth. Definitely out of my comfort zone :)

I picked up a couple stamps, and found a gold ink pad too.

Since then, I've been experimenting with different inks, paints etc, to get a consistent effect.

The test results are below. This particular ink went on excellently, but doesn't appear to be permanent when applied to formica, so I'm looking for a different ink pad now.

Still, I think the results are promising.

I also found a compass stamp that's a little over 6" in diameter, Plenty big enough to surround a joystick or trackball.

Ok, it's a little weird I'll grant. But I think it could really make for a sweet control panel, circa 1862!





thatpurplestuff

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Re: A Mame machine in an antique buffet
« Reply #47 on: April 18, 2009, 03:06:18 am »
That compass stamp is going to be sweet for the sticks!  Can't wait to see where this project goes.

So once again, we find that evil of the past seeps into the present like salad dressing through cheap wax paper, mixing memory and desire.

drventure

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Re: A Mame machine in an antique buffet
« Reply #48 on: April 29, 2009, 03:04:28 pm »
I've done a pile of experimenting with the stamping technique, not to mention going through 4 different stamp pads and inks to find one that gives a reasonably decent stamp on black textured formica and +won't+ just wipe off anytime you touch it.

Also, I picked up a decent, extra fine pt gold paint marker for inking in solid lines using a straightedge (trying to stamp solid lines looks about as good as you'd imagine, no amount of tinkering is going to get that right).

So, I think I'm reading to actually pull the trigger.

But to be sure, I took a photo of the panel and mocked up what it'd look like, mostly anyway.

The mockup's not perfect but I wanted to get some opinions from anyone who's willing ;)

First, a few caveats

1) the exposed wood areas now have some additional trim that make it look much more period, but I'd already mocked it up using the older photo.
2) I know the gold color doesn't exactly match between the gilding and the compass roses, but it was as close as I could get.
3) I know that all the gilding clashes a bit with the "normal" bright colored arcade buttons. My long term goal is to replace the buttons (or somehow color them copper, nickel, brass, and maybe graphite...) Same with the black plastic and chrome sticks, not period, but it'll have to do for now.


So, the questions
1) should I even bother? Is it just too garish?
2) I could tone it down about by leaving off the compass stamps around the trackball (or doing the trackballs like the sticks)
3) I could also tone it done by not doing the imprints around all of the sticks.
4) I could also not gild the edges or possibly only put a single gold line around the edges, or possibly only gild the front edges and not the back.
5) finally, maybe I need +more+. Say, some imprints around certain buttons, or something else? There's certainly no shortage of swirly curlyque stamps for wedding albums and the like. Just don't want to overdo it  :) (like that's not gonna happen on this cab!)

Any thoughts?

Octo

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Re: A Mame machine in an antique buffet
« Reply #49 on: April 29, 2009, 03:36:32 pm »
With copper/brass controls I think it would look really good.

drventure

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Re: A Mame machine in an antique buffet
« Reply #50 on: April 29, 2009, 03:49:14 pm »
Thanks Octo!

Yeah, with the primary color buttons, it's just not quite right. But I do believe it's another step in the right direction.

I've looked into possibly painting buttons, just not sure how well that would hold up under typical abuse ;)

I do know that, masked properly, there's no worries of the paint jamming the button or causing added friction, at least not with the Happ buttons I've got here to experiment with.

Bender

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Re: A Mame machine in an antique buffet
« Reply #51 on: April 29, 2009, 04:41:40 pm »
yeah,

get some more retro controls and that thing will be awesome!

great Work!

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Re: A Mame machine in an antique buffet
« Reply #52 on: April 29, 2009, 05:49:49 pm »
Hey Bender.

Thanks for the feedback. I agree. I've got to get some bone or ivory sticks, and some kind of metallic buttons. And brass. Lots of brass.

I think the spinner knob will be pretty easy to fabricate from something. I just want one that "feels" as good as a normal knob, too. It's gotta look good, but I still have to be able to play the games in comfort<g>

thatpurplestuff

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Re: A Mame machine in an antique buffet
« Reply #53 on: April 29, 2009, 08:58:22 pm »
I really like the compass graphics.  If you're going to modify your design, I say you go with more rather than less because I really like what I see so far.  I agree that the brightly colored buttons are detracting from your overall theme, but I also don't have any ideas to fix that other than paint them or something.  Great job so far!

So once again, we find that evil of the past seeps into the present like salad dressing through cheap wax paper, mixing memory and desire.

Gatsu

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Re: A Mame machine in an antique buffet
« Reply #54 on: May 01, 2009, 10:54:29 am »
I love the look of it so far. I have one suggestion. How about overlaying the gold brushwork ontop of an old looking map of the world.



something like that maybe.


drventure

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Re: A Mame machine in an antique buffet
« Reply #55 on: May 01, 2009, 11:14:52 am »
Hey Gatsu

That's an excellent idea and I wish I'd thought of it earlier in the process. I really like that map graphic. The colors might be too much but I could always convert to sepia to tone it down a bit. But doing +real+ cp art at this point would probably be pretty tough.

1) all the controls are mounted, I'm guessing I'd have to take em all off to lay down the art.
2) I didn't really build the panel or tmold with any plex overlay in mind so that all might be a prob (spacing, tmold slot etc).

That said, I've got a pile of ideas going for what might turn into the next project, and the map graphs would be great.

Anyone know a way to cast a globe into a 3" happ translucent trackball<g>

drventure

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Re: A Mame machine in an antique buffet
« Reply #56 on: May 05, 2009, 10:26:35 am »
I noticed another thread asking about tips and techniques for painting cabs, which got me thinking about how I might address my pushbutton issues.

I've pretty much decided the common button colors just aren't gonna do it for this cab.

I'm thinking
1) rough em up with fine steel wool
2) a Krylon fusion primer base coat
3) a spray enamel metallic 2'nd coat. Possibly a third
4) some aging with waterproof india ink
5) dip it in Future acrylic floor wax for a protective seal coat.

I know that works quite well with models, and Future is floor wax, so it'll take a pretty good beating.

And this cab is going in my home, not an arcade, so it's not likely to take +too+ much abuse.

I've experimented on a single button just to check out the look. I've left the black one in for comparison. Also note this one isn't aged or sealed yet....

Any thoughts?

thatpurplestuff

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Re: A Mame machine in an antique buffet
« Reply #57 on: May 05, 2009, 10:48:52 am »
That button looks great!  It'll look even better with the india ink and protective seal.  It matches the molding on the bottom absolutely perfectly.  I say go for it with all the buttons!

So once again, we find that evil of the past seeps into the present like salad dressing through cheap wax paper, mixing memory and desire.

drventure

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Re: A Mame machine in an antique buffet
« Reply #58 on: May 05, 2009, 11:36:55 am »
Thanks Purple!

I definitely think it'll be a better with the aging applied. I'll post a pic once all that's done.

The color scheme there is "graphite" for the ring and "antique brass" for the button itself. because of the way these Happ buttons are molded, it's trivially easy to mask off the parts that actually contact  each other inside the button, so there's +zero+ effect on the action of the button from painting. Definitely a happy surprise there!

I'm thinking graphite rings all around, and bright brass (more gold really than brass), antique brass, nickel and copper for the 4 player colors.

Probably antique brass for various misc buttons. Graphite on graphite for the admin buttons (pause and esc) and since the player1-4 and coin 1-4 buttons are already white, i'm thinking I might try to yellow them slightly for an ivory look. I can get more creative on those buttons because they're mounted vertically so they aren't likely to get near the level of abuse that the actual player buttons will.

drventure

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Re: A Mame machine in an antique buffet
« Reply #59 on: May 19, 2009, 12:33:30 pm »
Well, I decided to go for it and refinish all my buttons.

All the various player buttons (7 each, yeah I know, total overkill, but I didn't realize it till I'd already bought the buttons and drilled the holes) I redid in nickel, copper, dark brass and bright brass, then aged each with a wash of india ink.

All the button rings i refinished seperately in a graphite, with an ink wash as well.

Then dipped the button heads and mounting rings in Future (an acrylic floor sealer, a trick modelers have used for years).

It  takes a few days to full cure, but the stuff seems rock hard once it's cured, and since my cab shouldn't get too abused, I decided to go for it. I think the results are much more inline with what I was invisioning than the original bright red/yellow/blue/green buttons.

I'd contemplated making additional mods for some lighting (ala a discussion I had with OND a few days ago). His prototype turned out fantastic, but I'm not sure that would be in keeping with the aesthetic I'm going for so, for now, anyway, lit buttons are on the back burner.

I didn't take many shots of the coin, player x start or admin buttons (just a pause and escape was all I believe is necessary), but they required a good bit more work. You can see them in the last pics.

Essentially, I sprayed them ivory, let it cure, then washed them with a brown and mottled it, so the end result looks a lot like old ivory or possibly an antique marble.

But, a plain marble look just wouldn't cut it. Since these were "admin" buttons (I won't have a coin door in this cab), they won't get bashed much at all, so I decided to get a little creative with them

I countersunk 1/2" holes in the tops of the buttons, blacked the insets and then epoxied gold plated jewelry finding (some convex lacy discs I had around) into the hole for the coin buttons,  and cut the middle of those discs out, and epoxied in some small brass stamped numbers and letters for the Pause, Esc and player 1-4 buttons.

Anyway, here's what I came up with. You can see the copper player buttons in the foreground in one of the last shots.


DOH! I typed all this and now realize I can't upload fotos! urg... Hmm. Well, nuts. They'll just have to wait...


emphatic

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Re: A Mame machine in an antique buffet
« Reply #60 on: May 19, 2009, 05:27:09 pm »
How many buttons do you need? I have a couple of metal pushbutton collecting dust somewhere in a box. But I think I only have 10 or so. Here's a picture of what they look like:


They tend to get dull, but can be polished if you want them shiny. Should you be interested, PM.

drventure

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Re: A Mame machine in an antique buffet
« Reply #61 on: May 19, 2009, 05:42:17 pm »
Hey emphatic

Thanks for the offer! But, I reasonably happy with the way they turned out, although that button in your pic does look pretty decent.

Thing is, I'd want 'em for the player buttons, and for a full set, I'd need 28 (7 for each of 4 players). Then they'd be all steel colored, and I wanted a little variety (though it's arguable how much variety there is between antique brass and bright brass  :) )

I guess I'll have to post the pics somewhere and link to them while the attachment support on the board is down, that'd give you a better idea.

Thanks again though

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Re: A Mame machine in an antique buffet
« Reply #62 on: May 20, 2009, 10:53:41 pm »
yes..please post pics..i have to see these buttons!!!!
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drventure

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Re: A Mame machine in an antique buffet
« Reply #63 on: May 20, 2009, 11:23:03 pm »
Trying to attach an image here


drventure

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Re: A Mame machine in an antique buffet
« Reply #64 on: May 20, 2009, 11:32:49 pm »
Ok. Looks like this might work.

Here's a shot of the buttons being disassembled.


And one of my super fancy custom spray jig  ;)



One of the buttons being masked off (use lowtack tape to do the inside, it's much easier to deal with).
You really only want the very tops of the buttons painted. Leave the inside of the barrel bare so the button action isn't affected in any way.


A bunch right after an initial coat. The rings got graphite, the tops got bright brass in this case. I used valspar and krylon metallic paints. Plus Krylon FUSION as a primer.


Here's a bright brass button about to get inked (basically, smear it with india ink and then rub it off with a paper towel). This gives the buttons a very real "depth". Otherwise, they just look spray painted.


Dipping them in Future (That's right, the floor wax!)


The money shots. All the buttons installed. The player 1, coin 1 and exit buttons are prominent on the vertical panel here. The player buttons in the foreground are an antiqued brass finish.
I did a little more modifications on the admin buttons because they don't need to take near as much abuse.


and from the other side



I know the images aren't super high res. I'll have to experiment some more and post a little better shots in a bit.


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Re: A Mame machine in an antique buffet
« Reply #65 on: May 21, 2009, 10:12:33 am »
A buffer state is a country lying between two rival or potentially hostile greater powers, which by its sheer existence is thought to prevent conflict between them. Buffer states, when authentically independent, typically pursue a neutralist foreign policy, which distinguishes them from satellite states.
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uh....thanks stephanie? :dunno


to get back on topic...those look great...i'd love to see some pics that are bigger than my cell phone screen though :)
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Re: A Mame machine in an antique buffet
« Reply #66 on: May 21, 2009, 10:31:15 am »
Fantastic job on the buttons!  They really look great alongside the wood grain of the cabinet.  I would love to see a walkthrough that explains every step in this process, because the end result is really nice.

So once again, we find that evil of the past seeps into the present like salad dressing through cheap wax paper, mixing memory and desire.

drventure

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Re: A Mame machine in an antique buffet
« Reply #67 on: May 21, 2009, 10:35:40 am »
Quote
A buffer state is a country lying between two rival or potentially hostile greater powers, which by its sheer existence is thought to prevent conflict between them. Buffer states, when authentically independent, typically pursue a neutralist foreign policy, which distinguishes them from satellite states.

Where the heck did that come from?

Here's a couple of bigger shots (Looks like I grabbed the wrong link from flickr)


And from the other side

drventure

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Re: A Mame machine in an antique buffet
« Reply #68 on: May 21, 2009, 10:42:22 am »
Hey Purple

Thanks for the compliments. I'm pretty happy with the results so far. I'll have to reserve final judgment till I see how well they hold up to real use.

Yeah, I had the best of intentions to photograph everything, and then, well, it just didn't happen  :-[

Anyway, I've still got all the pieces/parts so I'll write a walkthrough up in a bit.

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Re: A Mame machine in an antique buffet
« Reply #69 on: May 21, 2009, 11:13:38 am »
simply amazing....i'm curious to see how these hold up over time.  those admin buttons are awesome...that must have taken a long time.
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Re: A Mame machine in an antique buffet
« Reply #70 on: May 21, 2009, 12:33:56 pm »
This project is gearing up to be an award winner  fo sho!

The admin buttons look amazing. One potential suggestion on the player buttons, I would "antique" them a little more, and potentially coat them with a semi gloss/flat clear coat so they aren't so shiny. Have you considered throwing some turquoise around the edges to give them the "aged copper" look?

Someone else suggested Tesla coils, and other stuff, what about a small Jacob's ladder?

I am really liking where this project is heading, keep up the great work.
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Re: A Mame machine in an antique buffet
« Reply #71 on: May 21, 2009, 12:48:32 pm »
I'm right there with ya!

Actually, I experimented with giving the copper buttons a patina, but never could get the effect right. They ended up looking too "painted". So I rubbed them down with india ink as well, and let it go.

I'm kind of thinking the same thing about the gloss. They are a little on the shiny side. I think the photos actually make em look even MORE shiny than in real life, though. I'll probably wait any any further treatments till I get the rest of the panel finishwork done to see how it all comes together.

Believe it or not, I spent a LOT of time investigating a jacobs ladder, but what I found is that it requires an INSANE high voltage to get that effect (something along the lines of exposing a monitor flyback coil voltage), and that's getting just a tad over the line for me  :)

However, I did find this


It's a plasma sphere for a car cig lighter, all of about 1.5 inches in dia. And no chance of electrocuting anybody playing my cab! Remove the black rubber shell and mount it in some brass gizmo (I'm imaging an old astrolabe or something similar).

Could work...

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Re: A Mame machine in an antique buffet
« Reply #72 on: May 21, 2009, 01:44:18 pm »
this project is simply amazing....

WHen you mentioned the trackball, i started thinking....upon looking around the net, i found this site...

http://www.spherestoyou.com/Sshoppe/marble.htm



or





something like this would make an awesome trackball.  some of them are available in 3" diameter, so it should be a drop in replacement for a 3" trackball.  i'm sure it would be a little heavier though, which may take away from the performance of the unit....

or perhaps something like this:



which can be found:

http://www.jewelbasket.com/gemstone-paper-weight.html

That one is listed as weighing 2lbs, which is pretty heavy...i dont know if these things would be durable enough for this type of use, but it might be worth looking into.  they are a little expensive, but about the same price as a replacement ball from Happ.

just an idea.
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Re: A Mame machine in an antique buffet
« Reply #73 on: May 21, 2009, 01:55:06 pm »
Oh.wow!

That globe ball would be utterly awesome!

Not sure of the weight, you're right about that, but, oh heck yeah...

I'll do some digging on that.

In looking for plasma balls, I'd come across these glass plasma "discs"


If you look close, it's a matrix grid internally, so I started wondering if it'd be possible to get that grid into a solid "ball" such that the somehow the outer edge of the ball could be "powered" with a  lot voltage that would allow the whole ball to spark like the disk, but the ball could still free float in the trackball assembly, maybe using some kind of contact brushes. Yeah, that's pretty far fetched, but it'd be the most impress trackball ever!

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Re: A Mame machine in an antique buffet
« Reply #74 on: May 21, 2009, 02:07:57 pm »
That globe ball would be utterly awesome!

Not sure of the weight, you're right about that, but, oh heck yeah...

I'll do some digging on that.

If it's a paper weight, it should be flat on the bottom. That would make a terrible trackball.

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Re: A Mame machine in an antique buffet
« Reply #75 on: May 21, 2009, 02:47:53 pm »
Yeah, a paperweight wouldn't work, but a full globe would.

Maybe this (a 3" "desktop globe with stand")?



Looks like it's got the design silkscreened on the "inside" of the globe. That might make for a ball that's too light to be a trackball, though. Unless it was filled with clear epoxy or something...

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Re: A Mame machine in an antique buffet
« Reply #76 on: May 21, 2009, 02:56:30 pm »
Typically too light PLUS they tend to have a seam at the equator.

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Re: A Mame machine in an antique buffet
« Reply #77 on: May 21, 2009, 03:01:27 pm »
Hmm, Too true.

There's always this (it's solid crystal and 300$  :) )


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Re: A Mame machine in an antique buffet
« Reply #78 on: May 21, 2009, 03:02:46 pm »
Pretty nice, price aside.

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Re: A Mame machine in an antique buffet
« Reply #79 on: May 21, 2009, 04:05:15 pm »
I'm right there with ya!


Believe it or not, I spent a LOT of time investigating a jacobs ladder, but what I found is that it requires an INSANE high voltage to get that effect (something along the lines of exposing a monitor flyback coil voltage), and that's getting just a tad over the line for me  :)

You could "Fake" the JL by putting up the Wires and running some light conductive material across the wires, then have an LED stobe the "rung" to make it look like one. I've seen some fakes, decorative of course, but still give's teh "effect"
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