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Author Topic: First build! 4P MAME *now with pics!*  (Read 14677 times)

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Jefferson

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First build! 4P MAME *now with pics!*
« on: August 18, 2009, 07:49:14 pm »
Hi nerds! My name is Jeff. I'm here to infiltrate your ranks and learn how to build my own arcade cabinet. I've enjoyed spying on these forums for the last few weeks and look forward to documenting my own process. It may take weeks or even months to truly take the plunge but I figure its never too early for the 'statement of the goal'. I've got a lot of newbie questions but hopefully I'm a little further along than those 'whats the difference between 4- and 8-way joysticks' guys (idiots, am I right?) Plus, your answers ought to help me figure out the best road to take and thus, how quickly I can start this bad larry...

Goals for Upright Arcade Cabinet
-4 Player. 6 buttons for players 1 and 2, 4 buttons for players 3 and 4 (more on that later.) I guess a start/'coin' button for each player, also as few additional aux buttons as mame/ the frontend need ('menu' and 'exit'?) and some volume + and - would be sweet.
I'm so-so on the trackball but who am I to eliminate game options? I probably love Golden Tee and just don't know it yet.
-A cheap but powerful PC running MAME32 and Hyperspin on Windows 98/XP. I switched to Macs in college so I do this begrudgingly.
-That^ being said, its important to me that its retains as much arcade-ness as is possible. Meaning, one power switch to rule them all (like it, nerds? You're too easy. Give me your secrets!) no Windows startup crap, hi-scores kept, authentic resolution/frame rate, etc.
-Wheels baby!

Goals for Later:
NES, SNES, 64, Sega/PS emulators would be awesome. But then I'd want 6 buttons for players 3 and 4 (4P 'arcade' games use 3 buttons per player max I think?) Stuff like the coin door and side art are just icing on the cake. I'm not really worried about that stuff yet. Abom's The Answer (http://forums.bit-tech.net/showthread.php?t=99144) is beautiful with his lit up buttons and sticks but c'mon now that guy is funding his nostalgic arcade dreams with leftover muscle car money!

So also I'm not interested in instilling my MAME with an mp3 jukebox or DVD movie library or the ability to love or some such.

It'll be used for games like
-4P Konami style sidescrollers (X-Men, Simpsons, Turtles)
-Fighting games (SF 2, Children of the Atom, Marvel VS Capcom)
-Classics (Ms Pac, Donkey Kong, Galaga)

Things I have going for me:
-I'm kind of artistic. I can draw and paint simple stuff. I feel like theres no way I'll end up with one of these... (http://www.wickedretarded.com/~crapmame/1.html)
-I'm also kind of 'handy'. I painted houses for a few summers and did some light construction and took a shop class so I know what a router is.
-I've also circuit-bent a Speak and Spell (80% finished for over a year) and made a theremin out of a kit (completed and sucks) so I'm no stranger to the hot lovin of a soldering iron. Of these formidable skills, I am least confident/lack tools in woodworking.
-I live in LA (big market, lots of opportunities for advice, handouts, etc.)

Things working against me:
-Time. I work full-time and have many projects both silly and serious on the side.
-Money. Don't got none.
-I am not a programmer. I am okay with creative programs (photoshop, FCP, dreamweaver, DVD Studio Pro) but coding and stuff is beyond me. No experience with MAME.
-The fear of creating a haunted arcade cabinet
(http://kotaku.com/366370/the-haunted-ms-pac-man)
-I live in LA (errand driving sucks, people know how much their stuffs worth, etc.)

So I'm Leaning Towards (/ some QUESTIONS):
-An Ultimate Arcade II 4-player kit (http://www.mameroom.com/ProductDetail.asp?ID=UAIICAB27E4) I know you people consider this the dark side. It lacks character and I hear they might need some extra reinforcement but I could throw this puppy together in a day and get right to the endless hours of wiring up a 4 player control panel. Thats the clincher, the nice wide 4P CP. Alternative: How hard would it be to integrate a wide 4 person CP into an existing cabinet? I assume its a nightmare from which I would never wake up.
-What's better, a 27" Phillips TV with component in (speakers are on the sides though making it kinda chubby) or a 19" computer monitor. I'm thinking TV. You decide.
-How much more taxing are add'l console emulators on the comp? How much more taxing to finesse the actual nerd-code to make it work?
-I'm hearing that 4 players furiously mashing buttons can confuse MAME and result in missing keystrokes. Poppycock. How can we overcome this? Is it a comp processor issue? Initially I only wanted to deal with JAMMA, after all the appealing thing about arcade machines is that they are cut and dry and NOT pc's. Of course though, JAMMA soon led me to MAME which seems like the way to go. Especially after I heard that 1XXX-in-ones like these (LINK REMOVED! My bad...) are basically running mame-ish front ends anyway. I live with a group of dudes so I dont expect to regret the bulky 4P controls like so many others do once their shits built and they realize their friends were imaginary all along. I want to ensure my Turtles in Time seshes are as smooth as they'd be on a classic dedicated cab.
« Last Edit: February 18, 2010, 08:04:47 pm by Jefferson »

GaryMcT

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Re: First build! 4P MAME
« Reply #1 on: August 18, 2009, 08:22:28 pm »
I might be able to help out with advice on getting everything to run at the right resolution, etc.  I also code and I'm contemplating rolling up all my favorite diffs and some stuff that I'm working on for a Mame dist on here.

For the "running at the right resolution" part, my advice is to try to find a 19" multisync CRT monitor if you want the classic to look right.  If the monitor is much bigger than that, games like Pac-Man look funky.  Even the anniversary legit release of Ms. Pac-Man/Galaga looks funky to me on a 25" monitor (I think that's the size).  If you can find a Wells Gardner D9500, I love 'em.  I haven't had much experience with other arcade monitors, so there are likely others out there.  They are getting pretty hard to find new these days since the tube industry is drying up.

If you are willing to be cheap and try to use the hardware you have, try using soft15khz to do your video modes.  That's what I use and it is great.  The only games that aren't running properly for me with it so far are those that are vertical that I'm trying to run on a horizontal monitor, and with some tweaking, those are okay (until I get a vertical machine set up.)  If you don't already have a card, get an ArcadeVGA 2 if you are sure that you are going to be sticking with Windows.  The AGP and PCI-Express version are different chipsets. . I would assume that the PCI-Express version would be faster since it's a more modern ATI chip, but I don't actually have much experience with it.

If you are going to use soft15khz, dig up the thread on the German forum (I think there is a link to it from the wiki here) for a list of cards and how well they work.  I probably wouldn't bother with a card that isn't known good on that list unless you already have the card and want to give it a try.

You may want to start with cabmame for now.  I'm not sure that it has the most complete high score support, but most everything else is in there.  I personally don't like the audio tweaks that are in there, and they aren't configurable. . I'll probably have a derivative dist that at least makes that configurable by the time you are ready.
My blog on learning how to develop FPGA versions of arcade boards: http://garymct.blogspot.com


Epyx

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Re: First build! 4P MAME
« Reply #2 on: August 19, 2009, 12:59:54 pm »
Quote
Hi Nerds!

The correct term is geeks...geeks look outwardly "normal" whereas nerds are pocket protector, flood wearing, social inverts...big difference! :)

Additional Emulators are no problem at all given the right front end. There are numerous front ends that can handle arcade/console/computer emulators and PC games (Maximus Arcade, Gamex, Mala just to name a few).  The general rule is the more commercial ones tend to be easier to configure (less "geek" code...).

I would go with the 27" Philips with component hands down as you really haven't mentioned PC games as being a requirement (although there are some excellent cab friendly pc games).  A larger monitor would be different but in this case and based on your requirement I would go 27" over 19" given you will have up to 4 people crammed around the screen.

The 4 player button mashing shouldn't be an issue with any of the commercial encoder options if mapped correctly for the game in question.










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javeryh

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Re: First build! 4P MAME
« Reply #3 on: August 19, 2009, 01:13:52 pm »
Welcome!  Don't build a 4P cabinet unless you are really really really sure about it and then you think about it some more and you are really really sure about it.

Aabra

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Re: First build! 4P MAME
« Reply #4 on: August 19, 2009, 03:23:27 pm »
What's wrong with 4p cabs?  If you don't have many parties/get togethers at your house then it doesn't make sense sure but if you've got people coming over on a regular basis then 4p is the way to go.

mwong168

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Re: First build! 4P MAME
« Reply #5 on: August 19, 2009, 03:40:04 pm »
http://www.wickedretarded.com/~crapmame/1.html

 :laugh2:  I sure hope my cabinet never makes it on this guy's site.

4 player control panels are also good if you are a SF and MK fan.  You can get the best of both worlds like me:



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javeryh

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Re: First build! 4P MAME
« Reply #6 on: August 19, 2009, 03:50:08 pm »
What's wrong with 4p cabs?  If you don't have many parties/get togethers at your house then it doesn't make sense sure but if you've got people coming over on a regular basis then 4p is the way to go.

IMO, in order to justify it a regular basis would have to mean multiple times a month, minimum.  Maybe if you lived in a dorm or fraternity or shared an apartment with 3 roommates or if you have a bunch of kids.  I just don't think 4P cabs are practical and more importantly, necessary.  There are less than 10 games I can think of that are worth playing with 4 people (mostly clones of each other) and all of those games are plenty fun with 2 players.  What's the list?  NBA Jam, Gauntlet, TMNT, The Simpsons, X-Men, Sunset Riders... um... anything else?  Building a 4P cabinet adds unnecessary bulk and unnecessary expense for a feature that I just don't think gets used as much as people envision it will when they first start building.   :blah: :blah: :blah:

That said, I've seen plenty of super sweet looking 4P cabs around here.  The Gold Mine cabinet by KrawDaddy is awesome, for example.   :cheers:

Ryglore

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Re: First build! 4P MAME
« Reply #7 on: August 19, 2009, 03:51:27 pm »
I'm also building my first cab. For me though I decided that it would be best for a 2 player cab, construction, space, play and $$ wise. See for me I plan on playing games like 1942/43/galaga/xevious/etc and most shooters are a max of 2 players so I'm fine with a 2 player cab w/ 6 buttons and a trackball.

But hey, looks like you've got a pretty good idea of what you're going for. So bravo on the decision to take the plunge! Hope to see any progress soon!

Epyx

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Re: First build! 4P MAME
« Reply #8 on: August 19, 2009, 04:39:39 pm »
This is why both of my cabs are 2 player...even with 2 player...how many games are 2 player but share just the 1p stick/buttons? Most of the ones I play...Black Tiger/Trojan/Galaga etc etc...
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Ond

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Re: First build! 4P MAME
« Reply #9 on: August 19, 2009, 05:21:09 pm »
Welcome!  Don't build a 4P cabinet unless you are really really really sure about it and then you think about it some more and you are really really sure about it.

What he said.

GaryMcT

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Re: First build! 4P MAME
« Reply #10 on: August 19, 2009, 05:27:10 pm »
If you think that you may occasionally have more than 2 players, but not that often, can always keep a couple 360 controllers around for players 3 and 4.
My blog on learning how to develop FPGA versions of arcade boards: http://garymct.blogspot.com


drventure

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Re: First build! 4P MAME
« Reply #11 on: August 19, 2009, 05:53:45 pm »
I'd have to agree, even though I'm guilty of my first (and current) cab build being a 4p.

Knowing what I know now, I would have gone 2p.

Oh well, In for a penny, in for a pound!

GaryMcT

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Re: First build! 4P MAME
« Reply #12 on: August 19, 2009, 06:01:20 pm »
Doesn't help at all that I think that most 4-player machines are really ugly.  I think it's a generational thing though.
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jeef

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Re: First build! 4P MAME
« Reply #13 on: August 19, 2009, 09:46:11 pm »
It's pretty simple to convert an existing cab into a 4p cab: http://forum.arcadecontrols.com/index.php?topic=94966.0
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Epyx

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Re: First build! 4P MAME
« Reply #14 on: August 19, 2009, 10:07:48 pm »
Hehe from the first 3 words alone I knew you were gonna pull up that thread ;)
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GaryMcT

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Re: First build! 4P MAME
« Reply #15 on: August 19, 2009, 10:10:55 pm »
That poor Stargate!!!!!  :(
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jeef

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Re: First build! 4P MAME
« Reply #16 on: August 19, 2009, 10:16:39 pm »
Hehe from the first 3 words alone I knew you were gonna pull up that thread ;)
Yeah sorry, didn't intead to thread-jack :P

On 4P cabs, I do love em. I grew up with Simpsons and Ninja Turtles 4P. When I started my project I was initially going go to try for 4P, but most people when I asked: "How many players do arcade machines have?" everyones response was "2".
But if you've got 3 other buddies and you're going to seriously get some 4P turtles, simpsons and nba jam then I'm jelous :P
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severdhed

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Re: First build! 4P MAME
« Reply #17 on: August 19, 2009, 10:24:19 pm »
i agree with just about everyone else.  a 4 player cabinet is probably not needed.  my friend built a 4 player panel, and i dont think it has been used for 4 player games more than 4 or 5 times in the year or so that he has had it.  i built a 2 player cabinet, with 6 buttons and a trackball.  after using it for a few years, i could have probably just gone with a 4 way stick 1 button and a trackball and been perfectly satisfied.

you can always use some game pads for players 3 and 4 if the need arises
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jeef

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Re: First build! 4P MAME
« Reply #18 on: August 19, 2009, 10:30:53 pm »
That's right, the other thing I was going to say, re: money. I'm on a very limited budget too. I'm currently putting like $20 a fortnight aside for controls etc. I've almost finished most of the woodworking and I havn't even ordered buttons/joysticks yet. So it is possible to just grab a monitor and some MDF and start saving for the expensive parts :)
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Re: First build! 4P MAME
« Reply #19 on: August 20, 2009, 01:11:59 am »
If you set up a 4 player game correctly you can also use it as a two player tank style game also the buttons from two different players can be used by both of your hands at the same time to play games like space warswith rotate being used by the left hand and move fire and hyperspace by the right
I own sarge, assault, spacewars,old chicago and an upper deck and I love combat slope soaring the ultimate real life video game

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Re: First build! 4P MAME
« Reply #20 on: August 20, 2009, 06:30:54 am »
I built a 4 player cab for my 1st one with Happ rotaries for players 3 and 4 and I don't think I ever had them wired up properly. We used to have A LOT of parties and people over at our old house and I can't remember a time when anyone wanted to play a four player game.

Jefferson

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Re: First build! 4P MAME
« Reply #21 on: August 20, 2009, 05:11:53 pm »
Oh man! I am so pleased with the activity on my first thread. QB1DABOMBs 4P thing is quite the cautionary tale hahahahah. Poor guy. Im so glad he got honest reviews though. It looks like a coffin bolted to an ATM.

Regarding 4P: 5 guys live in my house. After work 4P mariokart64 was almost a daily occurrance for a while there, always with the 5th guy calling dibs on the last place controller (simply put, 'fourthies') So im really, truly not concerned about lack of activity on the far left and right of my CP.

That being said, I had kinda considered the UAII as the most tasteful and quick-n-easy way to get 4P X-men underway. But shipping is 200 on top of a kind of unreasonable $549 so now thats out. The way I see it, my best option is to replace the CP on an existing cabinet with my own entirely new 4P CP (since adding 6 buttons (P1+2) on an existing X-men or turtles seems cramped. Likewise, adding P3+4 to an existing 6 button streetfighter seems cramped.)

Have you guys seen any examples of a full CP switchout on an existing cab? I'd love to see how that process might work. I feel like a lot of cabs control panels are kind of 'deeply integrated' and its not a matter of gluing on a new flat surface.

or, are there other 4P kits somewhere out there I'm somehow not finding?

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Re: First build! 4P MAME
« Reply #22 on: August 20, 2009, 05:35:49 pm »
Quote
It looks like a coffin bolted to an ATM

Now that's funny  :D

Quote
shipping is 200 on top of a kind of unreasonable $549 so now thats out

Those are nice panels, but that does seem a bit high. I suppose it all boils down to whether you want (or can) build it yourself. It'll take some time, some tools and patience but they aren't tough to build.

Switching out a CP shouldn't be too tough either, esp if you've got the cab you'll be switching out of. Take a few measurements, cut, fit, repeat till it's all nice and snug.

If you're on a limited budget, 4p might not be a good choice. The Keyboard controller is more, more controls, more buttons, more wire, joysticks, etc, etc.

And the utility likely won't be there.

Plus it's just a LOT bigger.

zelony

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Re: First build! 4P MAME
« Reply #23 on: August 27, 2009, 06:46:53 pm »
In my opinion, 4 Player is the only way to go. ;-)  

That being said, just buy a 4-player cab and convert it to MAME.  That's what I did for both my cabs.  My daughter's cab is a 4 player Dungeons and Dragons: Tower of Doom that I converted to MAME.  She and her friends play 4-player Guantlet 2 all the time and love it.

My other cab is a 4-player NFL Blitz '99 showcase cab that I converted to MAME.  The best part is that even vertical games look great on the 36" SVGA monitor that I put in the cabinet.

I bought both of these cabinets in prime working condition and then converted them.  I know that some people think it is wrong to convert a working cab, but I believe the better the cabinet's condition the better the converted MAME cabinet.

Good luck and have fun.
« Last Edit: October 04, 2009, 03:00:55 pm by zelony »

Beretta

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Re: First build! 4P MAME
« Reply #24 on: August 27, 2009, 10:23:56 pm »
i agree with the suggestion of buying a 4 player cab to start with.. on the other hand those are highly desired for mame even if going with a 2 player setup because of it's already large control panel.

on the other hand any cabinet can be converted to 4 player if one was inclined to make the nessary modifications.

it also depends on what kinda games you're into.. as well as how often do you think it wil be used?

my first project was gonna be a konami 4 player cab converted to mame.. was gonna have to 2 panels, 2 player and 4 player and just swap them when needed.

but then i ran across joust cabinet and though i'd give it a go first as a practice run.

if you know you have some people who will play the games.. NOTHING beats 4 player games in the arcade NOTHING..

but i grew up on fighters and side scrollers, there are a lot of great 3&4 player side scrollers out there.

tmnt, simpsons, sunset riders, alien vs preditor (OMG This game rox), D&D series, knights of the round, battle toads, rampage, gauntlet.. just to name a few great beat'em up side scrollers that can handle more then 2 people.

then you got sports games like nba jam, my favorite would have to be wrestling games that are absolutely a blast to go ape scat on the CP with see if you can break some joysticks.

there is always the gamepad option for 3&4, but come on  that is just lame i for one would absolute hate standing at a arcade game holding a gamepad :(

although i guess it's better then not playing at all.
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Re: First build! 4P MAME
« Reply #25 on: August 31, 2009, 01:25:00 pm »
I bought a cabinet! its a 4P Turtles/Simpsons combo... its got Turtles side art (a little wear and tear) and a white button under the CP that toggles between simpsons and turtles. I had to take the CP off to get it in my front door but it basically taught me how easily I could attach my own, which was a major concern of mine (Its oversize as-is, but only 2 buttons per player. I want to get 6 buttons for P1/P2 and 3 for P3/P4, some coin buttons, maybe a rollerball/spinner) The monitor is bright, crisp and newish, altho there is some slight wiggle distortion at the very top (maybe this is fixable with a little calibration? If not I can live with it). The 4P coin door is BEEFY and cool as shhiiit. Theres a thick hinge bar thing that locks over the dual doors rather than having keys for the doors themselves.

things to do, meantime:
light the marquee
get a turtles marquee (this is a janky simpsons/turtles split)
wheels would be nice

Pics and actual specs coming soon, I could actually use some help identifying some of the guts. Just wanted to announce some progress...

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Re: First build! 4P MAME
« Reply #26 on: August 31, 2009, 02:06:08 pm »
cool, i got a 4 player konami also.. not sure what it was originally either TMNT or punk shot i think.

really nice cabs, that was gonna be my first project but i decided to take a practice run on a more budget constrained joust 2 player first.

that cab has a lot of potential look forward to seeing what you do with it.
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Re: First build! 4P MAME
« Reply #27 on: September 19, 2009, 08:12:09 pm »
Hey guys, having some trouble with turning my coin return buttons into 'coin buttons'...

I attached cherry switches to the guts of my coin door so that when the coin return button is pressed, a part of the mechanism hits the switch, activating a 'coin'. The placement seems perfect and the dot of contact cement gives it both hold and 'give'

NOW, this is wired so it works, BUT the normal coin insert function doesnt work anymore  :hissy:
I did it by daisychaining the existing switches to the ones I put in to try and be like "now BOTH can trigger 'coin'" but it seems like an either-or situation. Like they cancel eachother out.

Does anyone have it functioning both ways? I'm JAMMA not mame btw
« Last Edit: September 19, 2009, 08:32:39 pm by Jefferson »

jeef

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Re: First build! 4P MAME
« Reply #28 on: September 20, 2009, 01:06:53 am »
Have you wired them in serial? Try wiring them in parallel.
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Jefferson

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Re: First build! 4P MAME
« Reply #29 on: September 20, 2009, 07:23:04 pm »
Problem solved thanks to the forums... my orig coin mechanism switches have NC and NO placed backwards, so they werent actually wired correctly.

Jefferson

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Re: First build! 4P MAME
« Reply #30 on: September 28, 2009, 02:23:10 pm »
Some shots of the cab. The white button toggles between TMNT and simpsons. Notice: Aprils eyes scratched out :-\, the lame and grimy CP, and the janky split marquee (since replaced with a TMNT courtesy of MameMarquees. Oh and the new marquee plexi cost me exactly one dollar at the California Do-It Center. I just asked if they could cut me something from scrap rather than from a 50 dollar piece for lexan.)






take a look at sweet sweetback's baadasssss coin door and security bar!  :afro: The coin reject buttons have been fitted with cherryswitches so they act as secret 'coin insert' buttons. I'm particularly proud of the placement of these cherries and will get some up pics of the guts up soon hopefully)


The flash accentuates the lovely scuffing^. The paint job actually doesnt look THAT bad.

Here's the monitor distortion at the top of the screen. Its about 2% of the screen. Its annoying that its near the scores etc, and if it can be fixed, great, but if not I can totally live with it. Its a real crisp and vibrant (and big!) screen otherwise. I think 27".


So late at night I'm walking to my car in my friends neighborhood and I see a TV stand sitting on the sidewalk. Its a double layer swivel sort of thing and its in pretty good condition. Its got nice rounded off edges and I'm thinking "thats my new CP, baby!" I'm caught caressing it and this lady says to take it. So after struggling to get it in my car, I kick the legs off and cram it in the trunk. I thought it was decently wider than the existing CP but really its only an inch or 2 wider (which really, keeps it tasteful. I'm sure the 4P naysayers will be pleased.)

I unscrewed the 'swivel' mechanism and separated the panels. Here's the bigger one (to be used)




...and heres the smaller one (to be used as a guinea pig every step of the way) You can see I've already stripped the vinyl (I think its vinyl?) from it pretty cleanly (I've since stripped the big one too.) The edges were an asspain cause they glued the bejeezes out of them, but the bulk came off all in one shot...




I'm going to cut in from the upper flat part for a wrap around effect too. AND I'll get to use the smaller version as the CP of my NEXT cab! For now Im thinking this TMNT will toggle between the orig turtles PCB and a 1069+-in-1 (blasphemy, I know. I can't resist the plug n play.)

Jefferson

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Re: First build! 4P MAME *now with pics!*
« Reply #31 on: October 07, 2009, 07:14:23 pm »
So I'm crunching the numbers trying to get a PC, ArcadeVGA and J-PAC down to the same ballpark as a 1069 (about $420.) Its worth it to have some better control that way (and I adore the Hyperspin frontend). I've got to wire a new CP anyhow. Will I need more than the J-PAC to support 6 buttons for P1+2, 4 buttons for P3+4?

Got my buttons from Tornado Terrys and quick disconnects from Parts Express. Now I'm looking at these 12 pin connection harnesses from Mouser (my Konami Cab uses 6pin ones now but I'll soon have 6 buttons for P1 and 2):
http://www.mouser.com/ProductDetail/Tyco-Electronics-AMP/1-480278-0/?qs=sGAEpiMZZMv%252biIcQSKafBTNeN%252bYLvR2x3jFxgullNFk%3d

http://www.mouser.com/ProductDetail/Tyco-Electronics/1-480275-0/?qs=ko0lFLRalIP99kyHMACrIA%3d%3d

http://www.mouser.com/ProductDetail/Tyco-Electronics-AMP/60618-1/?qs=sGAEpiMZZMt24PW2WNEtLzPm7d0%2fhCxg

http://www.mouser.com/ProductDetail/Tyco-Electronics/60617-1/?qs=pn%2fzyis3XjG6Wy%2ftO7VV5g%3d%3d

I'm not planning on switching CPs but I had to take the orig CP off to get it in my house in the first place so If I ever move itd be nice to have some quick CP harnesses per-player at least

emphatic

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Re: First build! 4P MAME *now with pics!*
« Reply #32 on: October 08, 2009, 03:39:38 am »
Wow, nice find of that CP!

The monitor "distortion" you mention should be easy to fix by just adjusting the "vertical hold" pot on your monitor chassis. By the looks of it anyway.

Know3l75

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Re: First build! 4P MAME *now with pics!*
« Reply #33 on: October 08, 2009, 05:47:25 pm »
Pizza boxes for a work bench.  :o
It's not that serious


Jefferson

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Re: First build! 4P MAME *now with pics!*
« Reply #34 on: October 08, 2009, 09:18:05 pm »
Pizza power!

Haha yeah that was to simulate proper CP height and angle. Not saying I'm not a slob or an amateur. I am.

ammitz

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Re: First build! 4P MAME
« Reply #35 on: October 09, 2009, 04:47:08 am »
It's pretty simple to convert an existing cab into a 4p cab: http://forum.arcadecontrols.com/index.php?topic=94966.0

Thank you for bringing my attention to this thread. Very humerous and sad at the same time
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Jefferson

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Re: First build! 4P MAME *CP updates!*
« Reply #36 on: November 16, 2009, 09:00:55 pm »
Nevermind that stuff about Molex connectors^. I've firmly decided I'm going MAME so the IPac4 will serve as my quick-disconnect. Anyhow, I got myself a jigsaw and router and made some CP progress this weekend...

Mocking up the controls with some helpful printouts from slagcoin.com (I ended up going with the US SFII layout over the ergo). This CP top isn't much bigger than the orig TMNT one, so im trying to keep the buttons and joys 'in bounds' of the CP box. Its re-spaced to give P1 and P2 some shoulder room without cramping the already-cramped 3+4.





Test piece. Pleased to see the buttons still fit the chubby CP (securely too)...





...But not pleased to discover this isn't a solid piece of wood. The top and bottom are 1/8" thick (thin), and there are 3 columns of reinforcement running thru it, and plenty of cardboard webbing. More on that later.





I had to route the bottom of the monitor side edge in an inch^, to allow the CP to be pushed flush to the monitor glass. The orig CP's monitor edge was cut inward at an angle. Here it is nice and flush, allowing me to doublecheck my button/joy placement (P4's buttons did need to be adjusted so I'm glad I checked...)





Next I drilled some pilot holes. I had already discovered how easy it is to make the straight SF buttons look sloppy on a test piece...





Forstner bit time... here you can see how thin the shell of the CP is. I even drilled through some of the reinforcements. I know anyone could easily break it by sitting or putting an elbow through it, but surprisingly it feels solid enough to manhandle during cuts and clamping etc.





Button holes drilled, picked out the frayed cardboard guts, vacuumed out the holes... Not perfect, but I'm pretty pleased with the button alignment.





Womp womp, damage on the backside. For the first few holes I went straight through top to bottom levels (these are those holes.) For most of it afterward I only did tops, cleaned it out, then did bottoms directly onto a chunk of 2x4 so I could really press. That being said, the buttons screw on just fine and don't wobble. Should I worry bout this? No? Okay.





Here it is placed onto the cab...






You'll note there's a lot of luxurious palm space. Luckily this is one of the parts of the CP that is solid wood. Lord knows the 1/8" would not be able to hold the piano hinge, and would def not be able to sustain the CP weight when its flipped up. So I got lucky there.

I'm thinking I'll add 4 player-colored start buttons and 3 black buttons (Play/Pause/Exit) to the top center, but my biggest things are, how do I reinforce this thing? do I just glue in little rectangles of wood between controls? Expanding foam adhesive like Great Stuff? Will the mere presence of all these buttons reinforce the wood at all? And how am I gonna mount my Happ Competition joys? 1/8" is surely way too thin and may flex and break. The orig CP was routed down to 3/8", I assume I'd just glue in a 3.5x3.5 piece of 1/4" pad? That would also reinforce it too, right? Is there a way to do it without showing bolts on top of the CP? Either way I'm looking at routing out the bottom of the CP and that may weaken the whole. But I'm determined to find a way to make it work.

Turnarcades

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Re: First build! 4P MAME *now with pics!*
« Reply #37 on: November 17, 2009, 10:39:19 am »
Shame about the material consistency, but the chunky look and the way it conveniently wraps around the side a little makes it look good. If you want to add a little strength to the unit, Get some expanding insulation foam and spray it into the holes once your controls are fitted - this will fill the air space and add some pressure resistance to the surface.

Epyx

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Re: First build! 4P MAME *now with pics!*
« Reply #38 on: November 17, 2009, 01:35:08 pm »
Quote
but my biggest things are, how do I reinforce this thing? do I just glue in little rectangles of wood between controls? Expanding foam adhesive like Great Stuff? Will the mere presence of all these buttons reinforce the wood at all? And how am I gonna mount my Happ Competition joys? 1/8" is surely way too thin and may flex and break. The orig CP was routed down to 3/8", I assume I'd just glue in a 3.5x3.5 piece of 1/4" pad? That would also reinforce it too, right? Is there a way to do it without showing bolts on top of the CP? Either way I'm looking at routing out the bottom of the CP and that may weaken the whole. But I'm determined to find a way to make it work.

Honestly, at this point...I would scrap this piece...go to Home Depot or said lumber store and buy yourself a proper piece of MDF 5/8" (plexi/laminate added after) or 3/4" (Painted after). You can get a 24" x 48" piece for $10 or even an offcut if you are lucky in the offcut bin. I honestly wouldn't keep this piece. Look at all the questions raised that would be solved for $10. Ditch it...start again and save yourself the headache...the design is nice the material sucks (which isn't your doing) :(
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Gamester

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Re: First build! 4P MAME *now with pics!*
« Reply #39 on: November 17, 2009, 02:00:34 pm »
I agree with Epyx.  Do it right from the beginning and then never have to worry about it again.

The nice thing is, since you already have a template, it would be fairly quick work with a router to transfer the shape onto a new piece of material.  And once you match the outside shape, you can use the existing button holes as a template for re-drilling them on the new piece.  

« Last Edit: November 17, 2009, 02:03:45 pm by Gamester »
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