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Author Topic: Cheap Build?  (Read 3751 times)

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twist

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Cheap Build?
« on: June 23, 2002, 06:41:51 am »
Is it possible to build an arcade machiene for under $90? I want to build a Cocktail cabinet. I have an old mouse (its a microsoft mouse, it doesn't have that "gear" like newer ones, it just has 2 spinners and 2 very tiny buttons). I don't want to spend tons of money on this (for the fact that I don't have that kind of money).

Can anyone help me?
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 pm by 1026619200 »

rurdy4me

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Re: Cheap Build?
« Reply #1 on: June 23, 2002, 07:11:46 am »
If you have most of the computer equipment then that's a plus. I used a Data Transfer Switch and used my current computer to run MAME. I just switch from my Desktop to Arcade when I want to play games. The cabinet I got was $25 from a guy not to bad shape either.
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 pm by 1026619200 »

me

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Re: Cheap Build?
« Reply #2 on: June 23, 2002, 10:47:37 am »
you can likely make one cocktail if you have the atleast a monitor...and order some joystick..use the cheapest ply wood...plexiglass,and just like the other dude said..you can use data transfer switch to swich between you own PC and the cocktail cab....i hade my whole upright under $100..just the shell..not including marque,light,wheels,and other stuff...if you buy stuff cheap..its possible...good luck :o
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 pm by 1026619200 »

twist

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Re: Cheap Build?
« Reply #3 on: June 23, 2002, 11:32:05 am »
1. Yeah, I probably could get that stuff cheap. Hopefully I can get an old screen off a friend, or from my dad's office.

2. What is a "Data Transfer Switch"? Never heard of it. (No, I'm NOT a computer newbie!)
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 pm by 1026619200 »

me

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Re: Cheap Build?
« Reply #4 on: June 23, 2002, 01:21:16 pm »
hahahahah....the switch box is plain VGA switch box...so you swith between your MONITOR IN YOUR MACHINE and you WORKING MONITOR>>>so you use the same computer to play games and work or whatever you do with your computer,i used to do it when i had no second computer...sorry man...its kinda off topic :-/..
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 pm by 1026619200 »

twist

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Mameham

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Re: Cheap Build?
« Reply #6 on: June 23, 2002, 08:49:24 pm »
You could probably build a cab, but to look good it's going to start costing money... I'll look to rescue a cabinet bound for the trash... they're often on rgvac ( see link above ) or you can try an amusement vendor in your area... usually that's free.

For computer stuff you can probably even pick up a cheap 300 MHZ computer on Ebay for less than $50... ( good enough for most games... )

The cheapest route for lots of joysticks and buttons is, again, ebay. Buy some old control panels and cannibalize them... the only expensive part here is shipping... again, you'll save money ( sometimes free ) if you have a local vendor... TNT Amusements in PA if you're near there is always throwing stuff out... ( never been there myself... )

For an interface if you're using a dedicated computer I'd go with a joystick port interface Microsoft Sidewinder. 10 useable buttons and a joystick... can't be beat... Ebay again for like $5.

I wouldn't be surprised if I built my soon to be posted cocktail cabinet for less than $50 ( not including the cabinet cause I was too impatient to wait for someone to throw it out... :) )

- Eric
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 pm by 1026619200 »

twist

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yRe: Cheap Build?
« Reply #7 on: June 24, 2002, 06:09:43 am »
less than $50 (not including the cabinet)?! Wow!
How much was the cabinet tho?

I probably could get my stuff like you did. I actually have a MS Sidewinder joystick already  ;)
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 pm by 1026619200 »

Mameham

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Re: Cheap Build?
« Reply #8 on: June 24, 2002, 07:43:45 am »
Hmm... can't remember. I know I as going to pick up an upright for $35 and then asked the guy if he happened to have any cocktails instead and he did... I think it was more cause it was brand new ( never even had a game inside it... ) maybe $50? And then my friend bought the upright...

Then while I was still building the cocktail I found two uprights on RGVAC for free right down the road from me... I almost had them too then I realized 1) I didn't really have the space 2) I didn't really have the extra computers for it... :)

Yeah, this hobby can be very cheap or very expensive... :)
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 pm by 1026619200 »

twist

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Re: Cheap Build?
« Reply #9 on: June 24, 2002, 10:59:58 am »
Heh.

I just looked next door this morn. and saw a huge piece of wood! That will definetly help me.  :D
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 pm by 1026619200 »

Lilwolf

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Re: Cheap Build?
« Reply #10 on: June 25, 2002, 03:25:00 pm »
If your going cocktail... you will have some problems... not much... but some.

1)  cocktail tables are hard to find used... even gutted.  uprights you can usually get free from an arcade if you constantly go in and ask on a weekly basis.  But cocktails are MUCH harder to find.  So you will be stuck making one.

Wood is cheap.  Get some cheap wood (MDF).  Get some free plans (will help big time).  And now for the trouble... the glass.  You will have to go to a glass factory.  Go in and ask if they have any scrap pieces you could buy for cheap with scratchs maybe.  But your looking at problaby 50 bucks just for the glass!

Then the controls.  You could ask the local arcades and see if they have any old ones for sale... but they suck!  old joysticks really aren't worth it.  Spend 20 bucks from www.videoconnect.com and get two new supers or compitions.  And get a few buttons at the same time.  Also consider getting the oscar plates (20 bucks each) at some point in the future.

Hack the keyboard... !@#!@# no!  hack a game pad!  No ghosting problems.... no matrix problems!  Some people will sya that you buy keyboard brand X and you can do it... well, keyboard companies are netorious for using different keyboard encoders on the same model keyboard... so a friend might be lucky... buy you might have troubles.

Next...

building components.... You might want to spend some cash on some good hinges (like piano ones) for the top.  But that will be expensive.  I would make a plan that requires the glass to be lifted up.... and make it so that you have a simple latch of some nature.  

The paint... rollers...

oh yeah... the computer....

Ask friends who have new computers... they usually upgraded something.... I've given maybe 20 computers away free to friends in the past... Try for a 450+ to get most of the games running... don't expect any new ones thought.

good luck!
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 pm by 1026619200 »

twist

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Re: Cheap Build?
« Reply #11 on: June 25, 2002, 05:11:00 pm »
Lilwolf, I actually got all the parts and I will complete this project for about $40! Haha!

My neighbor was throwing out 2 huge pieces of wood, so I grabbed those. My whole cocktail plan (all pieces) fit on it fine.

I'm buying my controls from Happ, and I am going to hack a keyboard, because it isn't hard; ghosting shouldn't be a problem.

I'm getting a computer (and possibly a monitor) off a friend for free.
---------------------------------
Cabinet: $Free
Keyboard: $Free
Controls: ~$25
Computer: $Free
Solder Iron: $8
Covering (not paint!): ~$5-10
TOTAL:
about $38-40

---------------------------------

How's that for building cheap?! Tada!!
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 pm by 1026619200 »

fullerlee

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Re: Cheap Build?
« Reply #12 on: June 25, 2002, 05:14:52 pm »
...just wait til you're on your 10th trip to home depot.
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 pm by 1026619200 »

twist

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Re: Cheap Build?
« Reply #13 on: June 25, 2002, 07:05:32 pm »
Why? I don't need anymore wood.
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 pm by 1026619200 »

Elkor

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Re: Cheap Build?
« Reply #14 on: June 26, 2002, 09:08:23 am »
cause you don't want it to look like crap.
you want to do it cheaply, not poorly. and at some point in time you will need something to put the wood together. (it's not velcro you know  ;) )

oh and tell us how that keyboard ghosting thing is going when you are on your way to get something else to do the encoding!

don't get me wrong.. if you just want to do it to say you did, great.  but you will have issues later and at some point, if you are really looking at using this thing for any length of time, you will want to replace it.   Almost every person on this board who hacked a keyboard has.  (with the exception of some people who installed large diode matricies to prevent the ghosting problems).  If you don't have the $$$ for an ipac (understandable)  a $6 gamepad is good advice as an acceptable alternative.

-C
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 pm by 1026619200 »
The sudden sight of me causes panic in the streets. They have yet to learn
-- only the savage fears what he does not understand.
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fullerlee

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Re: Cheap Build?
« Reply #15 on: June 26, 2002, 09:14:59 am »
I've got a keyboard hack in my cocktail cabinet, providing 2 players with 6 buttons each and it works fine.
I've not encountered any problems whatsoever.

By the way, I had many trips to home depot.
More screws, contact paper, more spray paint, new jogsaw blades, new drill bit, more glue, wood filler, edging, casters, washers...in my case there were loads of things I'd forgotten, overlooked, or decided I'd like at a later date.
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 pm by 1026619200 »

Elkor

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Re: Cheap Build?
« Reply #16 on: June 26, 2002, 09:54:15 am »

Quote
Almost every person on this board


;)

So there are some working examples!  But I think if you look through the archives you will find MANY more examples of people who have had issues.

BTW:  for one or two buttons you shoud be OK.  The majority of problems seem to be newer games that require multiple buttons to be hit at the same time (i.e. fighter games)

Regardless, good luck with whatever option you choose!

-C
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 pm by 1026619200 »
The sudden sight of me causes panic in the streets. They have yet to learn
-- only the savage fears what he does not understand.
                -- The Silver Surfer

hyiu

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Re: Cheap Build?
« Reply #17 on: June 26, 2002, 09:56:31 am »
well... I'm currently working on my cab....

garage becomes my hangout place... especially on weekday nights before sunset.... (well... I still need to spend some time with my girl friend....)

I also visit Home Depot and Radio shack almost weekly... wires, sand paper, hinges, L brackets, different length screws.....

there are soooooo many little things that will come up... and my cab is nowhere near done.....
::)   :o   >:(
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 pm by 1026619200 »
Another Brilliant mind ruined by education....  :p

twist

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Re: Cheap Build?
« Reply #18 on: June 26, 2002, 11:46:58 am »
Well...today I got my soldering iron (finally) and some wire. I'm using wood glue, because my wood is to thin for nails or screws. I'm going to probably buy some covering for my cocktail off the 'net. I have many saws and nails and screws and etc, so I won't be having any problems w/that. I think I planned it all out pretty well...
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 pm by 1026619200 »

Mameham

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Re: Cheap Build?
« Reply #19 on: June 26, 2002, 01:03:20 pm »
I pretty much go down in history as having built the first Mame cabinet ( MAMEHAM, see link ) and it really seems like you're never "finished".... there's always something to add... Mameham certainly never is...

Granted, when I made mine, ( PowerRamp Mite hack... they don't even sell them anymore I think... ) there wasn't wonderful custom devices like the OptiPac and IPac... hell, when I made Mameham the first time a P100 ( which is what it started out with ) WAS enough... now people are talking P2 450's minimum... jeez. :)

Yeah, Home Depot and Radio Shack are my constant companions... and Mameham is finally "done" again ( with it's little sister Mamehac taking some of the slack... ) Well, that is until we get some reviews of those USB Act Labs joysticks... then I'm going to have to find some way of shoving those in there...

On the advice front, grab some joystick port MS Sidewinder joysticks... far easier to hack than a keyboard and fully Mame compatible... ( and you can get 2 for $10... that's 20 buttons and 2 joysticks... more than enough... )

- Eric
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 pm by 1026619200 »

rurdy4me

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Re: Cheap Build?
« Reply #20 on: June 26, 2002, 09:20:29 pm »
Where can you get 2 MS Sidewinders for $10? Sounds like a good price
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 pm by 1026619200 »

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Re: Cheap Build?
« Reply #21 on: June 26, 2002, 10:29:38 pm »
yeah where can you get sidewinders 2 for $10..wowowowow...good deal...post please...i love to make little good looking joystick only for mame..using sidewinder...or sell on ebay maybe...thanks in advance.. ;)
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 pm by 1026619200 »

Donor

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Re: Cheap Build?
« Reply #22 on: June 27, 2002, 07:13:08 am »
"I'm using wood glue, because my wood is to thin for nails or screws."

What kind of wood are you using? If the wood is that thin how will it stand up to the beating a cab takes from normal play? I Know your getting a woody from building the cab cheap but come on MDf is $10 a sheet. What's next, are you going to try to build it out of paper mache?
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 pm by 1026619200 »

Mameham

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Re: Cheap Build?
« Reply #23 on: June 27, 2002, 08:40:21 am »
Evidently I got lucky ( cause they're out of them ) but http://www.compgeeks.com/ is where I got them. It's an absolutely kick ass site for low cost computer stuff... like I just bought this -

http://www.compgeeks.com/details.asp?invtid=DBLGM-WRLS-K

"Intel Wireless Bundle with Base Station, Two Gamepads, and Mouse" for $24. Wow. :)

Wireless Mame Cabinet anyone?

hyiu

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Re: Cheap Build?
« Reply #24 on: June 27, 2002, 08:59:32 am »
yeah... I got like 7 from compgeeks before... but they're all out now....

try this place....

http://shop.store.yahoo.com/surpluscomputers/micsidjoy.html

« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 pm by 1026619200 »
Another Brilliant mind ruined by education....  :p