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Author Topic: Donkey Kong bartop (FINISHED! Final pics uploaded)  (Read 26365 times)

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LeedsFan

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Donkey Kong bartop (FINISHED! Final pics uploaded)
« on: July 14, 2009, 11:19:23 am »
I've decided to build a Donkey Kong bartop based on the original cabinet design. LeapingLews bartop Galaga really inspired me to have a go at this.

I'm at the scratch stage of just tossing ideas around in my head. I have a fixed idea of how the project will finish up. Basically the machine will boot up and autoload DK. But from there the player can escape to MaLa menu and select alternative classic vertical games. But I need some advice from the more knowledgeable/experienced people here.  :notworthy:

It will be as close to a replica as can be of the original machine (scaled down of course). I plan to include 1 extra button alongside the "Jump" button so that the machine can also play other classic vertical games such as 1943, Scramble etc. etc. That will be the only deviation from the original panel.

I need to decide on the size of my monitor. I belive the original used a standard 19" screen yes? From my final monitor dimensions I can scale down everything from the plans on Jakobuds website. The plans on Jakobud's website are great. But I can't see anything on there for the angle of the monitor position inside.  :dunno

I'm inclined to go with a small LCD screen. Dunno how easy a small CRT will be to find. I'm looking for nothing larger than 14/15". Smaller if possible. Any ideas/suggestion on the monitor as this is the starting point of the whole project.

I've looked at pics of the original DK cabinet (the blue one not red one). MameMarquees do all the artwork except one small graphic seems to be missing. I'm sure I can see an instruction card just below the bezel but above the CP. Is this available anywhere?

Did the original machine use leaf switches or microswitches? Looking at the pics seems the player select buttons were dark blue and the jump button orange. But I'm sure I saw a thread (maybe not on here) where a guy was trying to get the correct brown/orange hue buttons for his cabinet. Was ages ago though and I can't relocate the info. Maybe I'm being too picky but I just want to be as authentic as possible with the original look. If I can source the correct buttons then I will buy them.

I've done quite a bit of searching on various sites. Some of the projects on here are really awesome and inspire me to make more stuffs.  :cheers:


Jigenjuke

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Re: Donkey Kong bartop
« Reply #1 on: July 14, 2009, 07:30:00 pm »
Sounds like a great project.  I had a lot of fun with the three replica nintendo bartops I made.  I went with a 15 inch tft monitor.  I didn't find anything about the angle of the monitor but I put it at about 60 degrees and the bezel art was silkscreened onto 1/4 inch smoked plexi (enentually it was heh heh).  I originally had the bezel art sandwhiched between one piece of smoked plexi and one piece of clear.  Both looked good but I really like the silkscreened bezel much better.  You might want to check out a couple of links here...

http://forum.arcadecontrols.com/index.php?topic=81555.0  Really good project by DonkeyKong!!!

http://forum.arcadecontrols.com/index.php?topic=85596.0  My three projects

http://forum.arcadecontrols.com/index.php?topic=80178.80  LepinLew's awsome tempest project!!!

These are just ideas for construction.   If you need a good place to print artwork, also if you need the artwork let me know.  I have the illustrator files somewhere.  Goodluck and drop me a line if you have questions.




severdhed

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Re: Donkey Kong bartop
« Reply #2 on: July 16, 2009, 03:10:11 pm »
i've often thought about doing this, but i dont really have a good place to put it once it is done.  i can't wait to see how this turns out though
Current Projects:      Zak-Man | TMNT Pedestal | SNES Pi | N64 Odroid
Former Projects:     4 Player Showcase | Donkey Kong | iCade

LeedsFan

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Re: Donkey Kong bartop
« Reply #3 on: July 17, 2009, 03:43:56 pm »
Bought one of these today:
http://www.cclonline.com/product-info.asp?product_id=34366&category_id=37&manufacturer_id=58

Quite cheap for a new monitor. The angle of view is fine with the monitor in portrait mode. I'm quite pleased with it (even though it came with a non-UK power lead and I had to buy an adaptor)  :angry:

I could have got a 14" for even less but the specs on those looked really poor.

Now I just need to get the calculator fired up and decide on what scale the cabinet with be.

IG-88

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Re: Donkey Kong bartop
« Reply #4 on: July 17, 2009, 05:11:29 pm »
They're selling those in the UK and they dont come with the right power lead? That sucks.  :P
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retrofuture

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Re: Donkey Kong bartop
« Reply #5 on: July 20, 2009, 10:01:34 am »
I'd give CCL a ring and ask for an adapter. They're usually pretty good on the customer service front. There's no indication on the website that the monitor comes with a euro plug, so I think they owe you!
The future isn't what it used to be.

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leapinlew

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Re: Donkey Kong bartop
« Reply #6 on: July 20, 2009, 10:11:47 am »
Good luck dude.

I ordered side artwork to build a small Donkey Kong as well, but have decided since to pass on that project. I'll probably build a full size Donkey Kong again.

MameMaster!

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Re: Donkey Kong bartop
« Reply #7 on: July 20, 2009, 04:16:33 pm »
Here's mine from 2006--- I have this in my office. I built a duplicate for my brother as well.

http://forum.arcadecontrols.com/index.php?topic=61384.0
Seriously. Will it fit in my basement or what?

LeedsFan

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Re: Donkey Kong bartop (with progress pics)
« Reply #8 on: July 24, 2009, 06:16:47 pm »
The scale is gonna be half size. (Well it's 51.4% to be exact but that sounds anal  :laugh2:) I used Jakobud's plans and calculated every measurement and curve. I had both pieces of plywood clamped together so I only had to make one cut to ensure both came out exactly the same.




I discovered one problem after I cut out the sides. This plywood is supposed to be 12mm thick. On close inspection I noticed it was actually 11mm. Now that may not sound much at all, but it becomes a problem as far as T-molding is concerned. I'm gonna be using 1/2" white molding which is of course 12.7mm wide exactly. That meant I would have a lip all around the cab. What to do?

I hit up the idea of using vinyl floor tiles on the insides of the walls. These were cheap (less than £3 a pack from B&Q) and were the perfect 2mm thickness to bring the sides to 13mm overall. It also means I don't have to paint the insides black now. The only downside is you can see the joins. (It looks more pronounced on the right one due to the sunlight coming into the house). It's not as bad as that right one looks in all honesty, and you will only see about 1" of the join on each side when the cab is done.

I tried to source vinyl roll or laminate of the correct thickness, but it's very difficult to get hold of here in the UK for some reason.  :dunno




Here's the base attached with piano hinge for CP. I figured I'd need a flip down CP as I would never be able to reach the controls if I ever needed to otherwise. (Well not without removing the guts etc.)




Here's the top panel and back door fitted. One question to DK offianados.... is the very top panel (roof if you like) painted blue like the sides/front or left black like the back/inside panels?




Back door is hinged same as the CP. I plan to cut a hole for PC fan later on.




Next step is to get the monitor support sections installed. My woodworking skills are very limited and it took me ages to get this far. Two steps forward one step back every time. I had to keep removing and reinstalling brackets etc. to get the panels to line up just right. I'm pleased with it so far. It stands upright on a flat surface without wobbling now.  ;)

extendedplayarcade

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Re: Donkey Kong bartop
« Reply #9 on: July 25, 2009, 07:15:28 pm »
Here's mine from 2006--- I have this in my office. I built a duplicate for my brother as well.

http://forum.arcadecontrols.com/index.php?topic=61384.0

I love it dude.  Great stuff even though it isn't a replication of it.  It looks damn awesome.  I been meaning to build a barcade but just can't get my act together.


javeryh

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Re: Donkey Kong bartop (with progress pics)
« Reply #10 on: July 25, 2009, 08:05:27 pm »
Nice job.  The roof of a DK is black.

LeedsFan

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Re: Donkey Kong bartop (with progress pics)
« Reply #11 on: July 26, 2009, 09:21:36 am »
Nice job.  The roof of a DK is black.

Thanks for that. I was kinda hoping the answer would be blue though. You don't get to see the top of a full size cabinet, but you will of course see the top of mine. I was thinking blue might look better overall to match the sides. I may go for the blue... something to think about. I'm way off the painting stage yet though.

LeedsFan

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Re: Donkey Kong bartop (with progress pics)
« Reply #12 on: July 28, 2009, 03:32:22 am »
OK update time. I cut out the pieces for the CP. The angle of the slope was calculated to scale, and then the angle brackets were bent carefully to give the desired height at the the top. Took a while to get right.




Here's the CP attached to the cab. It's actually hinged at the bottom and is fixed by two double roller catches at each side. It fits really nice and doesn't wobble at all when closed even when I rub my hands on it to simulate gameplay. I did try magnetic catches before the roller catches, but they didn't work out so well. The magnets have a little bit of play in their housing which caused very slight wobble of the CP when "playing".




I did intend to use old PC parts I had lying around, but the be fair the parts I had were overkill for a vertical only Mame setup. (XP3200 processor, Radeon 9800 Pro). I figured I might use these for a future project (possibly Nebula for a Sega Model 2 setup to play Daytona USA etc.).

So instead I got this little baby for this project:




And here it is party assembled:



It's a Mini ITX Intel Atom 1.6GHz, 2GB Ram, 40Gb HD. The motherboard is the 330 dual core version, but without the ION graphics chipset (D945GCLF2).
Here's a link of discussion that discusses this board. The title of the thread is about the ION chipset version but they do discuss the one I bought as well:
http://forum.arcadecontrols.com/index.php?topic=93033.0

The HD was recycled from an old IBM Thinkpad, so I saved a bit of money there. I just had to get a 3.5" to 2.5" IDE cable adaptor to use it. Then I cable tied the HD to a piece of cardboard and velcroed the cardboard to the base of the chassis (no mounting points in the chassis for a 2.5" drive so I had to improvise). You can see the HD in the bottom left corner in the above pic. Sorry that pic sucks, flash ruined it.

At the moment I only have a fresh install of Windows XP on there. Gonna work on a slimmed down Mame install today. I did some research on here about Atom processors and I'm really hoping that all the vertical classics will play just fine. I'm 99% sure they will, but we shall see.  :P

saleem

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Re: Donkey Kong bartop (with progress pics)
« Reply #13 on: July 28, 2009, 07:32:37 am »
that itx desktop must have cost you a fair bit.

you could have got half decent dual core bundle from cclonline for slightly over £100,its not far from you if your from leeds (i am in bradford myself) i know dual core mobo might have been a tad bit bigger for you like but,when you think about what you spend it might have been a good compromise.

for vertical games i would say mount your monitor verticaly.downside to this is the horizontal scrollers have bars on the top and bottom.if you mount the monitor horizontaly,you get bars on the left and right of the screen but,your horizontal scrollers are right size.
:)
« Last Edit: July 28, 2009, 08:13:24 am by saleem »

javeryh

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Re: Donkey Kong bartop (with progress pics)
« Reply #14 on: July 28, 2009, 09:40:48 am »
Looking good.  Are you going to cut out the speaker holes?  That would make it really look like a DK.  Also, I think you should install the monitor vertically.  There are a ton of games you can play on a vertical monitor with a 4-way joy and one button plus it would be true to the original.   :cheers:

LeedsFan

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Re: Donkey Kong bartop (with progress pics)
« Reply #15 on: July 28, 2009, 10:48:18 am »
that itx desktop must have cost you a fair bit.

you could have got half decent dual core bundle from cclonline for slightly over £100,its not far from you if your from leeds (i am in bradford myself)

I got this from CCL!  :D  It was £145 total. The case cost me £40. I was thinking about not bothering with the case and just mounting the MB directly to the base. But then I'd have needed a PSU anyway, which ofc comes with the case. I was only gonna get 1GB RAM and the sales buy was pushing me to get 2GB for the system. When I saw the extra Gig was only 2 quid more I thought I'd be a fool not to.

The monitor will be mounted vertically. It has to be now... I based the cab dimensions from the full width of the monitor. The internal width of the cab is the exact width of the monitor (295mm). This cab will play joystick vertical games only with two buttons or less. To play other games I have another system here.

Yes Jayveryh... I will be cutting out the speaker vents the same as the original. I was toying with the idea of keeping it a one button cab, but there are just too many classic vertical games that use two buttons. I don't think the extra button will spoil the CP. You are right though, it will detract from the "authentic" look very slightly, but it's a compromise.

LeedsFan

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Re: Donkey Kong bartop (with progress pics)
« Reply #16 on: August 01, 2009, 12:10:02 pm »
OK a small update. Got the marquee box made and installed. Here a some pics.....








I think I will probably go with fluorescent lighting on this rather than LEDs. There is a small baton of 274mm wide that I can get from my local B&Q. It's actually slightly too wide when the power cable is plugged into the end, but I shall make some resourceful modifications.  ;)

Here's a shot of what the CP looks like when opened up. My camera is total sh!t so sorry for the piss poor quality.  :-\



I also got Mame installed on my new PC. I had to compile my own version of Mame to incorporate my own generic bezel to make the games all appear smaller on the screen. Using the full 15" of the monitor was way out of scale. Now all the games appear with a blank (all black) bezel with a size of about 10" diagonal. I had to offset it from centre slightly too as the physical bezel of the monitor isn't the same all round. But when the monitor is in the cab the games will appear dead centre. :)

LeedsFan

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Re: Donkey Kong bartop (with progress pics)
« Reply #17 on: August 04, 2009, 10:03:32 am »
More updates. I actually got a really productive day in yesterday. First thing to do was to install the mini fluorescent tube light I bought from B&Q. It's only 274mm wide and I had to "modify" the mains inlet plug as with that plugged in it took it over the 295mm maximum I had to fit it in. Here's a pic of it installed to the back panel of the marquee box.



Then I went to a local company in Leeds to get the Lexan pieces cut to size. The company is Barkston Plastics and they have a counter where anyone can go and buy pieces of Perspex, Lexan etc.etc. cut to size on their special machine.

http://www.barkstonltd.co.uk/

I'm using 2mm clear lexan on this project. There is one piece of 3mm smoked grey lexan for the screen (which will be covered by another 2mm clear piece sandwiching the bezel artwork in between, much like the marquee). I really don't know how this smoked lexan will turn out. It may be too dark for the games to show well, but I thought I'd give it a go. If it turns out to be poor then I can just get another clear piece cut. Someone in another thread advised getting grey over bronze/brown tint. I don't know why grey would be better, but I decided to get grey and try it for myself.

I also ordered this for my marquee retainer: (scroll down to the rigid lipping LIP/34)
http://www.pvcextrusions.co.uk/html/plastestrip/EDGING.HTM

Now I was gonna use normal Happs marquee retainer strip, until they insisted on a £50 minimum order placement. Errrrrm... no thanks! The stuff I bought turned out to be perfect for my project. It is very rigid and the "lip" will not bend to any angle like the Happs stuff does. But for a small project like this it looks really good. Here's a pic of the cab as it is now with the lexan pieces in place:



I'm really pleased with how it's turned out so far. I think it's starting to look a bit Donkey Kong(ish) at this point.

However I did come across my first main blunder later in the afternoon. I went to put in my ITX PC case and fit a template for the monitor. It's all fittted nicely.... until I realised I'd forgotten about the space the U360 body would take up. It wouldn't fit in the panel without the PCB assembly wanting to take up the same space as the ITX case. Bollocks!  :banghead:

I was about an inch or so out. In the end I had to lose the front panel of the ITX case. That gave an extra 1.5" or so to move the case further back. That's now enough to allow the U360 to be lowered into position without any problems. I was worried I was gonna have to lose the case altogether and have the motherboard, hard drive, etc.etc. all placed on the base individually. I suppose I got a bit lucky with that one.  :tool:

I even managed to get all my artwork ordered with Scott at MameMarquees. Now that I know the exact dims of all the lexan pieces I thought I'd better get the artwork ball rolling.

While the artwork is being prepared next up is to get on with other details... like speaker grille, sanding, priming etc.etc.

javeryh

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Re: Donkey Kong bartop (with progress pics)
« Reply #18 on: August 04, 2009, 10:25:13 am »
This project is turning out great!  With the lexan and marquee in place it is really starting to look like a DK cabinet.  Good thing you found a solution for the U360 and computer case - I'm ALWAYS making little mistakes like this.  It seems like I can never think of everything (at least on the first try).

Did you route the slots for the t-molding yet?  It's best to do that before you paint the exterior.

 :cheers:

Franco B

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Re: Donkey Kong bartop (with progress pics)
« Reply #19 on: August 04, 2009, 10:45:42 am »
Looking good  :)

Is there any reason you went for polycarbonate (Lexan) rather than acrylic? The polycarb will scratch easier than acrylic and acrylic is just as easy to cut in that kind of thickness. Acrylic is generally cheaper too.

Btw, do you live in Leeds? I like Leeds.

extendedplayarcade

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Re: Donkey Kong bartop (with progress pics)
« Reply #20 on: August 04, 2009, 12:30:48 pm »
Nice job and fast too

I am almost motivated to start mine.  :cheers:

LeedsFan

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Re: Donkey Kong bartop (with progress pics)
« Reply #21 on: August 04, 2009, 01:16:32 pm »
Did you route the slots for the t-molding yet?  It's best to do that before you paint the exterior.

 :cheers:

I don't even have a router yet.  :P  But I did order the correct router bit with the T-molding I ordered from T-Molding.com. So I will be investing in one shortly. Yeah I better do that before I do any painting.  :laugh:

To Franco...  I thought Lexan was harder to scratch than Perspex? People in USA call this stuff different names to what we do. When I said lexan they knew what I meant but they instantly called it something else. Oh well it's done now.  ;)  And yeah I live in Leeds. I work as a taxi driver here. (Or a cabby as some of you would say).

retrofuture

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Re: Donkey Kong bartop (with progress pics)
« Reply #22 on: August 05, 2009, 06:35:20 am »
Lexan (polycarbonate) does indeed scratch more easily than Perspex (acrylic). I wouldn't worry too much about it though.  :)

I'm using polycarbonate on my bartop, and l will swap it out if I have problems with scratching later on down the line.
« Last Edit: August 18, 2009, 04:03:11 pm by retrofuture »
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LeedsFan

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Re: Donkey Kong bartop (with progress pics)
« Reply #23 on: August 07, 2009, 02:17:26 am »
What do you guys think to this as a slightly modified DK CPO? Any feedback is appreciated, even if you think it's crap.



As I explained earlier I want to be able to play 2-button vertical games on this cabinet. All I've done is lose the "Nintendo™" logo on the right side of the panel in order to fit in the extra button. The circles have to be 28mm diameter in order to fit Sanwa OBSF-24 buttons. I had to make the word "Jump" smaller on the first one. Just gonna leave the second button with no wording.

Only other thing I did was lift the P1 and P2 buttons very slightly so that their Y-axis was more centralised with the "Donkey Kong" logo. (Though I hardly think anyone would ever notice that). For P1 and P2 I'm gonna use non-arcade buttons. They aren't "play" buttons so don't need to be of playable quality.

As you can see, my Microsoft Paint skills are complete poo!  :dizzy: Please forgive the pooiness of the image.

Or what about this one? Moved the play buttons to the left and lost the decal on the 2nd button so that the buttons can be closer (I think they too far apart on #1). This also gives me room to get the Nintendo™ logo back in, albeit smaller than original.



I'm leaning towards #2 right now. Thoughts?

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Re: Donkey Kong bartop (with progress pics)
« Reply #24 on: August 07, 2009, 08:33:14 am »
I like #2 better so far, but here is what I would do.  I would move the instruction card over a tad bit to the left to leave a little bit mor room on the right for the second button.  I don't feel that you need the orange casing for the second button, especially since it will not have a label to it.

Also, I would level the 1P & 2P tops to line up with the top of the orange surrounding the jump button.  That is more true to the original, it just looks "off" with those unaligned to me.

lastly:  I wouldn't worry about keeping the button within the orange surrounding, as you can see by this pic, the button is wider and hangs over the edges of the surrounding.  So if you set it up more like that, you will have more room to work with the full size letterering as well.



That's just my opinions though. . .

Looking great so far!

javeryh

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Re: Donkey Kong bartop (with progress pics)
« Reply #25 on: August 07, 2009, 01:19:50 pm »
I would go with #2 also.  The second button should be red to blend in with the background.  I'd even go as far as to find out the exact red that your button is and color match it to the red on the CPO.  I'd also be a bit concerned with shrinking down the instruction card to fit your CP.  Will the text still be legible?

Looks good!   :cheers:

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Re: Donkey Kong bartop (with progress pics)
« Reply #26 on: August 11, 2009, 04:20:16 am »
Chicken and Jave.... you guys both came up with great ideas. I decided to line up the the tops of the button decals and I'm also gonna go with red for the second action button. Dunno why I didn't think of that myself really.  :P

I actually forgot, or didn't realise that the original buttons overlapped the decals at the bottom. These little details make all the difference.

Here's the updated image. (I explained to Scott that the circle can overlap the bottom of the "Jump" decal. This is just a guide picture really). The final image Scott comes up with may not have the tops of the decals as close to the top edge of the image. We shall see what he conjures up.  ;D




This new panel graphic template has been emailed to MameMarquees and the artwork is all ordered now as we speak. I also received my stuff from Ultimarc and T-Molding.com. Just need to get the Sanwa buttons now.

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Re: Donkey Kong bartop (with progress pics)
« Reply #27 on: August 11, 2009, 08:17:21 am »
I like it, I think it really looks more like a smaller scale replica with some extras.  I think the idea of using a smaller 1P & 2P start buttons was a great call.  it really frees up the room to allow for a otherwise full scale control set-up.  I think it would look too cramped and odd if they were full sized.

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Re: Donkey Kong bartop (with progress pics)
« Reply #28 on: August 18, 2009, 09:20:00 am »
Time for an update me thinks. Haven't had much time to work on the project this last week as I was busy with work and other events. Still waiting on Scott for some artwork to verify, but I understand he's very busy. The quality will be worth the wait I'm sure.

In the mean time I managed to make some further progress. I cut out the grill slots for the speaker on the front panel.







The cable you see there is the fluorescent lamp cable. It will eventually be trimmed down to a suitable length. The grill slots were much easier to do than I imagined. I just carefully drew a circle with a pair of compasses the correct size (to scale) then drilled 3mm holes for the top and bottom of each slot. I enlarged the holes carefully until I could get a jigsaw blade in there then carefully cut up to each corresponding hole. Then I just spent some time with a small file set trimming up each slot. It's not 100% perfect but it's very clean and I'm really pleased with how it turned out.

One thing I would like to know though..... did the original DK cabinets have a grille mesh behind those speaker slots? I'm thinking they may have put something there as it would be very easy to insert something into a slot to cut through the speaker cone.

It's difficult to see in the pic but I have managed to cut the slots for the T-molding. Yes I finally invested in a router and the cutting was way easier than I thought.

The sanding and priming is not something I was looking forward to. It's part of a build that I have no patience with and not much skill. I fully understand that more care and time spent here will result in a better finish. But I just know that I won't get a piano finish no matter what I do, so if I get a decent finish (for my limited talent) then I will be quite happy.

I basically ran wood putty into any imperfections first. Then I sanded with an orbital sander first with 180 grit then with 240. A quick rub over with 1800 paper by hand was the last part of the sanding. I may not have done this totally right by other people's standards, but it seemed smooth enough to me. I had to be careful of over sanding because I'm using plywood and the top layer is quite thin. You can actually see where I've just gone through the top layer on the left side of the speaker panel.

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Re: Donkey Kong bartop (with progress pics)
« Reply #29 on: August 18, 2009, 10:44:44 am »
Your speaker cutout looks really nice.  I imagine you spent quite a bit of time on it and it wasn't easy to cut out.  You are right in your assumption that there is a speaker grille behind the panel and in front of the speaker.  I still haven't figured out what I'm going to do with mine.  I think the originals were metal mesh but I'm debating using some black speaker cloth so you won't be able to see inside at all.   :cheers:

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Re: Donkey Kong bartop (with progress pics)
« Reply #30 on: August 18, 2009, 02:14:29 pm »
Your speaker cutout looks really nice.  I imagine you spent quite a bit of time on it and it wasn't easy to cut out. 

Honestly, it really wasn't difficult. I think I spent maybe two to three hours doing the whole thing from start to finish. I had to be careful I didn't go too wide on the slots, which is why I started with a 3mm drill bit. For the scale I'm working to it was 3.0 to 3.5 for the slots.

So far the hardest part of this project was getting the panels to line up square and have the base sit flat without wobbling. Then again I'm no professional joiner so I'm probably making things harder for myself anyway by not using correct build techniques. The plywood I bought was very slightly warped (which I didn't realise till I got the cut pieces home) but once all put together (and tweaked several times!) it's all come out fine. So far so good.  :laugh:

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Re: Donkey Kong bartop (with progress pics)
« Reply #31 on: August 18, 2009, 02:57:10 pm »
So far the hardest part of this project was getting the panels to line up square and have the base sit flat without wobbling.

Amen to that  :cheers:
The future isn't what it used to be.

Xevious BartopRetroFuture

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Re: Donkey Kong bartop (with progress pics)
« Reply #32 on: August 31, 2009, 11:12:52 am »
It's been a short while since I posted. That's because not too much has been done this last week or so. I'm basically just waiting on the artwork before I can really get to grips with the control panel etc.




I have made some small progress. I painted the underside black and added the little rubber feet. These feet were self adhesive but I didn't trust that to hold them properly so I used Evo-Stick impact contact adhesive. If they come off now they will bring wood with them.  :P




I finally decided to go with authenticity and painted the top black (first coat only in the pic). I was thinking of painting it blue like the sides because with this being a bartop the top panel will always be visible (unlike a full size cab). But I decided on satin black anyway in the end.




I printed a mock up of the bezel and placed it in position. I'm not totally happy with the size of it here. All the full size cabs I've seen have the top black circles just touching at the top and sides. The larger bottom circles just touch at the bottom with a small orange gap to the sides. So I'm gonna resize this before giving the final dimensions to Scott. He's on holiday at the moment so I have a little time here to get it just right.





Here's the final CP layout that I have already verified with Scott. I have printed this out at the correct size to test (294 x 103mm) and I can get 2x Sanwa 27mm buttons in there nicely. The button placements were moved up slightly together with the DK and Nintendo logos. They needed to be moved up to give the buttons room to fit without intruding on the lower artwork. But the aspect ratio of all the artwork parts in the image is as the original. I've still not decided which buttons to use for the P1 and P2. Something to ponder.....

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Re: Donkey Kong bartop (with progress pics)
« Reply #33 on: August 31, 2009, 01:13:03 pm »
Looks sharp!  Love the final CP, I'm sure you can find buttons to work, but getting them in the right color may prove to be the tricky part.  what size do you need?

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Re: Donkey Kong bartop (with progress pics)
« Reply #34 on: August 31, 2009, 04:41:18 pm »
Looks sharp!  Love the final CP, I'm sure you can find buttons to work, but getting them in the right color may prove to be the tricky part.  what size do you need?

I've looked at all sorts of buttons. I'm thinking of using these sub-miniature buttons that come in various colours (7mm hole). I don't think they are really good quality but they aren't game buttons so don't need to be arcade standard. And I can get them in blue. Dunno yet, not made up my mind.

http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/MINI-PUSH-TO-MAKE-SWITCHES-X-10_W0QQitemZ230369949851QQcmdZViewItemQQptZLH_DefaultDomain_3?hash=item35a31e789b&_trksid=p3286.c0.m14

The width of the white decal on the panel is about 15mm. So anything that size or less would be OK (or maybe even 1mm/2mm larger to overlap the decal like the original panel)


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Re: Donkey Kong bartop (with progress pics)
« Reply #35 on: August 31, 2009, 08:57:16 pm »
Remember, that the real buttons overlap a bit as well, so that wouldn't be a bad solution.  In fact if they fit within the marked area, it may actually look less "authentic" to begin with.

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Re: Donkey Kong bartop (with progress pics)
« Reply #36 on: August 31, 2009, 10:19:00 pm »
these are available in blue, but have a black housing

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Re: Donkey Kong bartop (with progress pics)
« Reply #37 on: September 01, 2009, 12:40:51 am »
these are available in blue, but have a black housing

I might just try those. Looking at the specs the outside diameter (above the panel) is 17.5mm. That's just the width of the decal if you take up the black lines also.

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Re: Donkey Kong bartop (Artwork has arrived!)
« Reply #38 on: September 26, 2009, 12:12:08 pm »
Long time no post. I basically took a short break from the project as I awaited the artwork from Scott. I didn't really time it right as he went on holiday for a fortnight and he couldn't actually start it until he got back. But as the saying goes... all good things come to those who wait.  :D





Now you will notice that there's no marquee in that shot. That's because I was so hyped to receive the goodies that I instantly went and fitted it to the cabinet.  :P  The bezel did get printed too large for my glass though. Even if I trim it down I will end up cutting into the images within the black circles. But not to worry... I managed to get it reprinted and resized at Staples for less than £2 on a nice glossy card. Now it fits perfectly!





So now it was time to get some more work done and stop slacking.   ;D
Here you can see the monitor from the rear and how the ATX case fits snugly inside. I fitted a plug to the fluorescent lamp cable and tried it out with my new marquee. It rocks!!!  :applaud:





Control panel coming along fine together with a "butchered" U360. I had to cut down the mounting plate and drill new mounting holes because the plate simply wouldn't fit without fouling the front panel or the cross piece across the top of the CP.

The CP assembly didn't go without it's problems however. I knew this was the most delicate part of the project and I tried to be so so so careful. I clamped everything hard down and drilled through all the pieces together to ensure the holes all matched up. But still the artwork tore between the two orange buttons.  :cry:

I then spent ages looking for bits of card that colour matched the original artwork and cutting little pieces like a jigsaw to make a good repair. It does look pretty good because I was determined for it not to look bollocks. But it's still there and I know it's there. One of those annoying things I will have to accept. Protip.... don't drill through artwork! It's easy enough to trim afterwards with a craft knife. Wish I'd done that first now. Oh well.   :dunno





First coat of blue paint applied today. I tried using the paint codes for DK blue from this site in other project threads. But the staff at B&Q just looked at me as though I was talking Swahili.  :P  I did however try a sample of Dulux Azure Blue #3, and that was pretty much spot on from what I see of peoples projects. It's certainly the closest I could find without getting technical and seeing a paint specialist. I'm certainly happy with it.





Another shot of the rear but this time with the mains socket wired up. I'm gonna get some kinda door stops or stays so that the door doesn't fully open up past around 80 degrees. It's attached with a piano hinge at the bottom so it will open fully right past 90 degrees and more if the cabinet is sitting on the edge of a table. And that could pull the wires out. So that needs sorting soon.





A shot of the back door closed. I installed a red leaf switch button which is perfectly placed to push the PC switch on and off. Saved me having to open up the PC case and splice the wiring etc. The case cannot move at all as it's been fixed in with angle brackets, so no danger of it moving out of line.

Also I must again apologise for the shittyness of these photos. They really don't do the project justice. But I will be borrowing a camera from a friend for when the completed pics are be taken.

severdhed

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Re: Donkey Kong bartop (Artwork has arrived!)
« Reply #39 on: September 26, 2009, 04:47:31 pm »
looking very good....makes me want to play some DK
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Re: Donkey Kong bartop (Artwork has arrived!)
« Reply #40 on: September 26, 2009, 04:59:05 pm »
This looks bloody fantastic mate  :applaud:

I know what you mean about cruddy cameras  ;) all my shots look like they were taken inside a smoke filled room.
The future isn't what it used to be.

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Re: Donkey Kong bartop (Artwork has arrived!)
« Reply #41 on: September 29, 2009, 02:42:36 pm »
Last couple of build pics here guys.....





Bezel cut out and ready for fitting. CP built up and also ready to be attached.





Sideart being very carefully applied. Went on with no drama. (I was worried about this bit to be honest)  :P

And I can now tell you that this project is now FINISHED!  Well... 99.9% finished. I've just spent the last day or so fettling those little awkward jobs that sometimes get left. Fitting a door stay to the back door, securing the ball top so it doesn't come off while playing, tightening up the plexi areas so that no light seeps through the gaps. Getting the software side of things complete with MaLa shelled and booting right into DK. All that kind of thing. (Still can't seem to hide the MB splash screen though  :dunno)

The only job I have left to do is fit a bezel around the monitor to fit the smaller size of  the game screen. I have a friend coming over tomorrow for the official unveiling (lol!) and he's bringing a decent camera with him for some completed pics. Will post tomorrow.

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Re: Donkey Kong bartop (Artwork has arrived!)
« Reply #42 on: September 29, 2009, 04:34:33 pm »
looking great.  i cant wait to see some quality pics.  those motherboard splash screens are difficult to get rid of...not all boards support custom images.  I generally just leave mine alone and just live with it.  there is a trick where you install a PCI video card and set it in the bios as the first card, this will keep your monitor from activating until windows loads though, which means just a long time with a black screen.

i have created a DK themed boot skin that is designed for vertical monitors, as well as a DK themed MALA layout, that i used on my full size DK cab...if you are interested.
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Re: Donkey Kong bartop (FINISHED! Final pics uploaded)
« Reply #43 on: September 30, 2009, 10:03:39 am »
Thanks for that Severdhed! I might take a look at the boot image actually as I'm just using a black screen. Couldn't find anything suitable searching Google images. But the MaLa menu took me a while to get right so I'm gonna stick with that.

Final pics as promised. Again some are better quality than others but at least my mates camera is better than the one I have. Any comments or criticisms are welcome. I'm really pleased with how this turned out. It's 100% finished now with just the odd software tweak to make.























































































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Re: Donkey Kong bartop (FINISHED! Final pics uploaded)
« Reply #44 on: September 30, 2009, 10:57:12 am »
Awesome!  :cheers:
Last Project



Epyx Tutorials:
Tutorials

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Re: Donkey Kong bartop (FINISHED! Final pics uploaded)
« Reply #45 on: September 30, 2009, 11:04:35 am »
Simply put. . . FANTASTICAL!!

It all turned out great, the art was spot on, and it "feels" right.  You should be very proud of the work you put into this. 

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Re: Donkey Kong bartop (FINISHED! Final pics uploaded)
« Reply #46 on: September 30, 2009, 11:09:26 am »
Its turned out great! Awesome job  :applaud:

I bet you must be really pleased  :)

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Re: Donkey Kong bartop (FINISHED! Final pics uploaded)
« Reply #47 on: September 30, 2009, 11:13:11 am »
that looks great...very awesome.

here are the bootskins that i created for DK.  there are two of them inside the zip file, one is rotated clockwise, the other is counter-clockwise, depending on which way you rotated your monitor.

www.severdhed.com/images/arcade/dk/DKBootskins.zip


that is a great little cabinet you got there....you should be very proud
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Re: Donkey Kong bartop (FINISHED! Final pics uploaded)
« Reply #48 on: September 30, 2009, 12:02:05 pm »
Sublime.  :applaud:

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Re: Donkey Kong bartop (FINISHED! Final pics uploaded)
« Reply #49 on: September 30, 2009, 12:03:33 pm »
Wow! Great Work!
that looks fantastic! :applaud: :applaud: :applaud: :applaud:

What buttons did you end up using (the blue ones)?

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Re: Donkey Kong bartop (FINISHED! Final pics uploaded)
« Reply #50 on: September 30, 2009, 12:42:36 pm »
Wow - this thing came out GREAT!  Very nice job!!   :cheers:

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Re: Donkey Kong bartop (FINISHED! Final pics uploaded)
« Reply #51 on: September 30, 2009, 01:36:51 pm »
Thanks for the kind words guys.  :notworthy:

To reply to a couple of things... I downloaded the bootskins Severd, but how can I look at the images? I'm a bit of a n00b when it comes to art and files etc. I tried opening them in MS Paint (lol). I will need to edit/resize them anyway I would think, as I need to scale them down to fit my smaller "screen".

Bender... these are buttons I bought off eBay:
http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItemVersion&item=380150380748&view=all&tid=0

They aren't arcade quality of course, but are adequate for admin buttons. They mount in a 12mm hole with 14mm above the panel, so they were a perfect fit. I did consider the buttons suggested earlier but I feel they may have been too close together with the Jump button. I think the spacing came out just right in the end.

The second action button was gonna be red (I bought 2x orange and 2x red) but the buttons were a much deeper red than the colour of the CP. In the end I felt 2x orange just looked better. Was a good idea though and worth a try.

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Re: Donkey Kong bartop (FINISHED! Final pics uploaded)
« Reply #52 on: September 30, 2009, 01:41:26 pm »
oh, sorry, i just assumed you were using the stardock bootskin program to do this. you shouldn't need to resize anything because no matter what screen size you are using, the windows bootscreen should always be 640x480 i think.

if you want to look at them, just rename the file from .bootskin to .zip, then extract it
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Re: Donkey Kong bartop (FINISHED! Final pics uploaded)
« Reply #53 on: September 30, 2009, 02:08:05 pm »
awesome job

it really came together.

I wish i had one. :cheers:

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Re: Donkey Kong bartop (FINISHED! Final pics uploaded)
« Reply #54 on: September 30, 2009, 08:35:56 pm »
Wow this looks great! Two questions:

the on switch in the back, where did you get it, is it from the PC?

what front end are you using?

Really awesome work   :cheers:

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Re: Donkey Kong bartop (FINISHED! Final pics uploaded)
« Reply #55 on: October 01, 2009, 03:22:59 am »
Two questions:

the on switch in the back, where did you get it, is it from the PC?

Not sure which switch/button you mean. Basically there is a standard 240V Euro input socket with a built in on/off switch that I got from Maplins (our version of your Radioshack I would think). http://www.maplin.co.uk/Module.aspx?ModuleNo=1497  (Although this one doesn't have the built in on/off rocker switch. That one isn't listed on their site for some reason)

The red button is just a standard leaf switch button I had lying around. It's perfectly placed so that it actuates the power button on the PC when it's pressed. No wiring up of any external switch was needed for that.


what front end are you using?

Just standard MaLa. Took me a while to get the menu just how I wanted it. Those aren't screenshots of the games in the menu listings either. They are small videos. I downloaded the video pack from Emumovies.com.

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Re: Donkey Kong bartop (FINISHED! Final pics uploaded)
« Reply #56 on: October 01, 2009, 07:13:42 am »
 :cheers:
       Great I'll definitely look into it. And thanks for the links.

Any plans for another project?



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Re: Donkey Kong bartop (FINISHED! Final pics uploaded)
« Reply #57 on: October 01, 2009, 09:15:48 am »
:cheers:
       Great I'll definitely look into it. And thanks for the links.

Any plans for another project?




Not right now. Although this one didn't take that long it still cost quite a bit. I didn't keep a rolling tally of the costs but from the top of my head (roughly):

Monitor £55
Artwork £70
Wood £30
Mini ATX PC £140  (I could have saved here by using bits I already had... but what the hell   ;))
Arcade parts £65
USB Speakers £15
Powered USB Hub £15
Paint (black, blue, primer) £33
Plexi pieces cut to size £35
T-Molding £10
Fluorescent light £10

That's £478 total there... then there's all the other little bits like screws, brackets, electrical connectors, power socket and extension, etc.etc. If you added those bits up it would take it over £500. So it's not cheap really but the result is worth it to have something kinda unique. Most people will look upon their finished projects like that. Time to let funds replenish.  :P

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Re: Donkey Kong bartop (FINISHED! Final pics uploaded)
« Reply #58 on: October 03, 2009, 02:22:15 pm »
Well after a few days of play-testing I've had to make one or two design modifications. One of my friends said that the bezel screen seemed to reflect a lot. I can't say it's been a problem for me at all, but I decided to see what I could do. I found a local company that would cut anti-reflective glass to size... and I couldn't believe how cheap the prices were for glass!

The anti-reflective stuff was no good for my project though. It's great if you have a piece of art right up against the glass (like a bezel) but anything a few centimeters or inches away then becomes just a dull blur. But I did end up getting two pieces of glass cut perfectly to size (one grey tinted the other clear) so I swapped out the lexan for glass to get a more sturdy finish. The grey piece of lexan I had fitted had a scratch in it that I always noticed and it annoyed me like hell. Though nobody else seemed to notice it.  :P

The main modification though came with the CP. It was hinged at the front and secured with two double roller catches. Generally the games played with no problem... but on anything that received a more vigorous or enthusiastic joystick action then the CP would flip forward when I used "down". (Hello to you Ms.Pacman with speedup hack!) I had an idea that this might happen with my design... so I had to do something.

The top panel was secured to the front panel with angle brackets. These were removed and instead I screwed in two small latch type slots, one on each inside wall of the cab. Then I just screwed two tabs bent at 90 degrees to the underside of the CP to fit right into these slots. I made sure they were a nice tight fit first and gave no movement of the CP when playing. The front speaker panel is still hinged as before but the top panel rests on this to hold it in place. Now any vigorous movements no longer produce embarrassing CP flying openness!  :D

EDIT:  By the way Severd, I used the bootskin you linked. Thanks a lot. :) I had to modify it though as the self skinning program I use insists on the image being 640 x 480 - 16 colour only. I had to tweak the colours to get it to be accepted, but it's better than a black screen for sure.  :cheers:

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Re: Donkey Kong bartop (FINISHED! Final pics uploaded)
« Reply #59 on: October 03, 2009, 10:02:42 pm »
cool, glad you liked it.  i didnt really do anything other than take the sideart and save it in the proper format for bootskin to work.   sometimes the simplest solutions are the best.

as for your mala layout, how are the videos working for you?  i had video snaps on mine for a while, but it seems to make everything respond too slowly.  i thought maybe it was because my PC wasnt super fast (athlon xp 2500, 1gb ram) but it seems to be equally slow on my main PC (athlon 64 x2 5000, 4gb ram)

i had it loading regular snaps instantly, then after a few seconds if you didn't move on to the next game, it would start playing the video...but once the video started playing it seemed to take a little while to move on to the next game...have you noticed this?
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Re: Donkey Kong bartop (FINISHED! Final pics uploaded)
« Reply #60 on: October 03, 2009, 10:53:19 pm »
I can't believe i missed this one. Hard to describe how great that turned out. I want one!

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Re: Donkey Kong bartop (FINISHED! Final pics uploaded)
« Reply #61 on: October 04, 2009, 03:08:48 pm »
cool, glad you liked it.  i didnt really do anything other than take the sideart and save it in the proper format for bootskin to work.   sometimes the simplest solutions are the best.

as for your mala layout, how are the videos working for you?  i had video snaps on mine for a while, but it seems to make everything respond too slowly.  i thought maybe it was because my PC wasnt super fast (athlon xp 2500, 1gb ram) but it seems to be equally slow on my main PC (athlon 64 x2 5000, 4gb ram)

i had it loading regular snaps instantly, then after a few seconds if you didn't move on to the next game, it would start playing the video...but once the video started playing it seemed to take a little while to move on to the next game...have you noticed this?

I had the exact same problem. It's your video codec you have installed, I'm sure of it. I can't even remember what they are called (I'm a n00b basically at this) but the first codec I had was crap.... took each video about 5 seconds to start playing. Once I changed codecs they come up almost instantly, as fast as the snaps even. I will look into it for the names, but I reckon someone might post the answer before i come back.

EDIT: DivX was the sh!t codec iirc. I bet that's what you're using. And I'm sure I swapped to XVid. Try that one.

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Re: Donkey Kong bartop (FINISHED! Final pics uploaded)
« Reply #62 on: October 04, 2009, 08:21:35 pm »
i'll have to check...i thought i had the xvid codec installed, but it is worth a try, even if i do have xvid, it is a pretty old version...i'll look into that
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Re: Donkey Kong bartop (FINISHED! Final pics uploaded)
« Reply #63 on: October 07, 2009, 06:13:10 pm »
great little machine you got there leedsfan. well done! :cheers:

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Re: Donkey Kong bartop (FINISHED! Final pics uploaded)
« Reply #64 on: October 07, 2009, 10:06:29 pm »
Great looking little machine.

Well done :applaud: :applaud:

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Re: Donkey Kong bartop (FINISHED! Final pics uploaded)
« Reply #65 on: October 07, 2009, 11:29:43 pm »
Odd....I'm not getting any pictures....

Weird....as soon as I typed that, they all loaded.

Man, I've been wanting to make a bartop, and now you're killing me. I want one so bad!
« Last Edit: October 07, 2009, 11:32:35 pm by Ginsu Victim »

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Re: Donkey Kong bartop (FINISHED! Final pics uploaded)
« Reply #66 on: October 12, 2009, 02:18:39 pm »
Very sexy little thing :) love it. Think i have to try to build one myself next year  :angel:
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Re: Donkey Kong bartop (FINISHED! Final pics uploaded)
« Reply #67 on: October 12, 2009, 04:01:50 pm »
Really nice job. Great work!  :cheers:
Seriously. Will it fit in my basement or what?

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Re: Donkey Kong bartop (FINISHED! Final pics uploaded)
« Reply #68 on: October 12, 2009, 04:32:39 pm »
That's awesome! You need to sell plans for these, incld. pt. nos, image files, templates, etc.!

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Re: Donkey Kong bartop (FINISHED! Final pics uploaded)
« Reply #69 on: April 17, 2011, 02:59:18 pm »
Well kind of a shameless necro bump for this thread... but I thought I'd share my latest alteration to this project.

Since I completed my Neo-Geo mame-in-a-box I decided that I don't need this bartop to play as many games as it does. So I bought a repro Nintendo 4-way from Mike's Arcade to give this little machine the real 4-way feel of a proper DK cabinet. I had to redo the entire CP with new artwork as it meant dropping the second action button too, as I was going with the traditional single "Jump" button.

I also ripped out the Intel Atom Mini ITX board I had in there some while back, and put in a board with an XP2400+ with Gefore 400 graphics card. Reason for this was because the games were not running at 100% in Mame with the Intel Atom. DK for example was at 96%. Not good enough.  :angry:

It's not a fault of the motherboard either. It simply must have something to do with the monitor I'm using in this bartop because when I test Mame on my other monitors it runs at 100% no problems. It's just a problem with this particular monitor. But the new beefier processor and card sorted out those probs anyway.

With this new board in there I needed a fan on the back door to help dissipate heat. The Mini ITX produces hardly any heat at all and will be used in my Defender/Stargate bartop I'm working on right now. It's already been tested and works perfectly fine. So here are some updated pics....







This stick is gonna take me a bit of getting used to . It plays fine and the real 4-way gate is nicer than the round restrictor I was using in the U360. But it does have a larger throw than I would have liked. Then again I wanted authenticity, and that's what I've got. So I better get practicing!




With the new CP I also included the dust washer under the panel together with the clear dust washer on top of the panel which came with new DK cabinets. Though they all tended to be removed or junked over time. I'm not happy with the centre hole on this one as it's not very clean. I also went to the trouble of putting in the CP bolts... or in my case round head rivets for that extra touch of authenticity.

Only thing I have to do now is set the software to be a DK dedicated. I might include DK Jr. and DK3 as well. But other games probably won't play too well with this stick, and as I say I can play them all on my other project anyway.

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Re: Donkey Kong bartop (FINISHED! Final pics uploaded)
« Reply #70 on: April 18, 2011, 04:07:48 am »
What resolution did you use when the game couldn't run @ 100%? Sometimes I notice that 640x480 works better (less processing needed) than the native resolution of the monitor.

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Re: Donkey Kong bartop (FINISHED! Final pics uploaded)
« Reply #71 on: April 18, 2011, 01:36:34 pm »
What resolution did you use when the game couldn't run @ 100%? Sometimes I notice that 640x480 works better (less processing needed) than the native resolution of the monitor.

The monitor in the DK has a native resolution of 1024x768. I just had the res set on Auto and Windows was set at that as well. So does this mean that Mame would just use whatever the desktop was at?

But the Asus monitor I'm usingin the Defender bartop has a native res of 1440x900. So I dunno.  :dunno

I did change to D3D when I swapped it into the Defender cab, so it could have been running on DDraw that caused it. Whatever it's all sorted now.

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Re: Donkey Kong bartop (FINISHED! Final pics uploaded)
« Reply #72 on: April 18, 2011, 01:59:35 pm »
Do you have the plans for this cab? Or did you wing it?
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Re: Donkey Kong bartop (FINISHED! Final pics uploaded)
« Reply #73 on: April 18, 2011, 05:08:19 pm »
Do you have the plans for this cab? Or did you wing it?

I took the plans from Jakobud and just chopped all the dims by 50%. I did put my own mods in for the way the CP attaches and lifts off and also the back door was just a simple affair to make up. I just astarted with the dimensions and then made those parts work within them.

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Re: Donkey Kong bartop (FINISHED! Final pics uploaded)
« Reply #74 on: April 18, 2011, 06:25:30 pm »
Would you be willing to share the art files? That CP is just fantastic!    :cheers:
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Re: Donkey Kong bartop (FINISHED! Final pics uploaded)
« Reply #75 on: April 19, 2011, 03:22:13 pm »
Would you be willing to share the art files? That CP is just fantastic!    :cheers:

The control panel is just the standard DK panel which is found easily with a Google search.
http://arcadeartlibrary.com/arcade_art/details.php?image_id=972&mode=search

I did however tweak the positioning of some bits very slightly with it. It's not 100% authentic in that sense but you'd probably have to look at a real one side by side to notice stuffs. I had to move the P1 and P2 start buttons slightly to the right because P1 button was in the way of the top right mounting of the joystick. And the Jump button was mover slightly so that the outer edge of the button did not sit over the "arch" of Pauline. Just wanted to make it look as neat as possible.

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Re: Donkey Kong bartop (FINISHED! Final pics uploaded)
« Reply #76 on: April 30, 2012, 10:01:57 am »
Fantastic bartop! In fact I wonder if I perhaps met you at R3Play Blackpool in 2010 and even got to play a game of Donkey Kong on this machine!

I have been itching to start my own arcade project and really wanted to make a full scale replica (but Mame based), but your project has convinced me to start a bartop instead.

I went ahead and ordered an Ipac-2 (overkill for this project I know), a joystick and some buttons, and I will be using an older mini-itx system I have here if it has enough oomph for mame (perhaps running an older version). In fact I hope to use an incoming Raspberry Pi if there is a good enough mame binary for it in the near future. But until then a WinXP will be used to get up and running quicker.

To get me started I just want to make a cardboard box mockup to test out the measurements. I think perhaps I want it to be a tad bigger than yours, I see you used 50% measurements of the original, and I wonder if I would try out a 60% scale as I'd like to use standard sized arcade buttons for the P1/P2, but will also add another button like you to enjoy a wider selection of games. My other option would be to to remake the instructions card as part of the sticker above the CP although that would make it less authentic ofc. Although that area also doubles as a restingplace for the left hand controlling the joystick and I really dont want it to have to rest on the edge.

Just a few questions if I may ask you. How wide is your control panel? And how wide/tall is the side art? I am wondering if I could perhaps get away with printing my own on a Canon injket, both CP and side art. It would surely save me a bundle on artwork. Assuming your sides are 50% width of the original they should be around 30cm wide on the top and I see an A4 sheet is 21 cm wide so that might be a bit smaller relatively to the original, but not by much I think.

Will start a build thread here once I get going. :)