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Author Topic: The Arcade  (Read 4972 times)

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GeeF

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The Arcade
« on: September 16, 2009, 04:08:49 am »
Hi!

It started like this:



Well..not really, it started in the past........back in the 80's I had the luck to play with  some arcade machines.
I remember playing Scramble , Kangoroo and Dig dug.I also played with a pinball machine but I don't remember which one. Then come the 8 bit home computer revolution. I used  some Z80 CPU based machines like the HT1080Z. (which was a Video Genie - Tandy TRS-80 clone), and also the hungarian design Primo.
I was amazed by the first video game I played on a home PC - Galaxy Ivasion.It is like Galaxian....but the programmer used ascii graphic only. Later I owned a Commodore 16 and a Sinclair ZX Spectrum 48K model too.I loved my Spectrum :) Of course I played sometimes with a C64 too, but that was way expensive to buy back then. I found this forum, and saw all the nice machines you built.I had to have one !!! The problem was, that I live in a flat and have no woodworking skill.Luckily I have a friend who has some knowledge about wood. My cab based on Rasmus Kønig Sørensen's Project mame, with some modifications.First a professional carpenter cut the pieces and made the side panels with silver T-molding....

(sorry for my english , I'm hungarian  :lol ) to be continued....

GeeF

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Re: The Arcade
« Reply #1 on: September 16, 2009, 08:38:55 am »
Next phase....
Bottom and back panel is in it's place

I had an older Acer 17" TFT monitor, which I use in this cab:


The computer is based on Intel's D945GCLF2 dual-core atom motherboard, with 2 Gb RAM, 160Gb hard disk.
I bought a cheap mini itx house for the board with power supply, but this was a very bad choice. The power supplies vent was very loud - like a vacuum cleaner   :banghead:

syph007

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Re: The Arcade
« Reply #2 on: September 16, 2009, 08:46:59 am »
Looking good!  What's that big thing to the left with all the lights?  Is that part of the arcade?

GeeF

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Re: The Arcade
« Reply #3 on: September 16, 2009, 09:01:52 am »
Thanx ! Uh....no , that's part of my photography equipment. A home made ringlight !

syph007

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Re: The Arcade
« Reply #4 on: September 16, 2009, 09:19:18 am »
Ah ok, that makes more sense.  I was trying to visualize where that fit in.. lol

Epyx

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Re: The Arcade
« Reply #5 on: September 16, 2009, 11:38:36 am »
Hehe I gotta admit at first glance I thought it was a mechanism to maybe rotate the monitor...then I realized it was a ringlight. Good luck!
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GeeF

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Re: The Arcade
« Reply #6 on: September 16, 2009, 03:42:50 pm »
Thank you! The cab is already finished, I'm just showing some construction shots  ;D
The next step was the planning of the control panel. I ordered  2 "magstick s" joysticks,and 24 buttons from arcadeshop.de.
You can see in this picture the place of 20 buttons and the joysticks. The other four button was placed later on the side panels.
I wanted to play visual pinball on the machine.




GeeF

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Re: The Arcade
« Reply #7 on: September 18, 2009, 02:17:37 am »
The screen bezel was made by a carpenter.

opt2not

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Re: The Arcade
« Reply #8 on: September 18, 2009, 02:58:12 am »
Looking good, but it's too bad you don't have a bigger LCD to throw into this thing. It would look awesome with a large screen, not to mention the play experience would be much better!

GeeF

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Re: The Arcade
« Reply #9 on: September 18, 2009, 03:51:21 am »
It started as a low cost project, and I used some things I already had. Like the monitor and an 5.1 sound system. I would do a lot of things differently now...but this is my first cab, and sometimes I wasn't sure what's good and what's not.....

The screen bezel in it's final place with the pioneer car speakers I bought for the cab.
These speakers gives surpirisingly good sound.Notice the different computer case. I had to buy a new one which has a notebook like silent power supply. The other case was too loud for my taste.


jmike

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Re: The Arcade
« Reply #10 on: September 18, 2009, 07:42:37 am »
Looking good so far. You could always upgrade to a bigger screen later. Any thoughts about the artwork?


 :cheers:

GeeF

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Re: The Arcade
« Reply #11 on: September 18, 2009, 08:34:48 am »
Yes...maybe the tft won't last forever   :angel: I wanted full artwork first but later decided, that I will put graphic on the controlpanel + marquee only. This cab is not a classic one, because I wanted a multi function machine. The speaker placement is very strange, because I use this machine as a jukebox too (and there was plenty of space to use below the monitor...). So I'm not sure how many people would call it  an arcade machine.Some will call it crapmame  >:D It is more like a multimedia center.Jukebox, arcade gaming, pinball, mp3 and movie file server for my other PCs. I use Space Fractal's MultiFE jukebox program, which is very nice, and configurable, to work with only joysticks and buttons.You don't need a touch screen, but the program work with that too ! Thank you Space Fractal  ;D



Epyx

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Re: The Arcade
« Reply #12 on: September 18, 2009, 12:11:16 pm »
Its got a Jukebox type of feel with the speakers lowered like that which I think lends itself well to the "multi use" you are aiming at.

Just make sure you put the gamepad, keyboard and mouse away and resist the urge to "tweak" and "test" or progress will come grinding to a halt (IE test LATER!) ;)
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GeeF

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Re: The Arcade
« Reply #13 on: September 21, 2009, 02:49:42 am »
Thanks Epyx! I like your wastecab design. I wanted something similar myself.

Wiring. Before:



After 3 hours work, and 13m cable later, it looked like this:



I use Ipac VE. I can't recommend this encoder, because it's not well documented.
The informations I found sometimes were not correct. I had to reprogram the keycodes, and
had hard time to figuring out the winipac program for this board. After some experimenting it worked well.
First I used the Mala frontend but it had problems with some snaps and videos.Now ,I use Maximus Arcade, which sends my keycodes to the encoder (as it  forgets the codes after shutdown). I had to change the ESC keycode to the END key, because maximus has an own exit hook which can interfere with the emulator when ESC  pressed. Otherwise I'm pretty happy with Maximus.

GeeF

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Re: The Arcade
« Reply #14 on: September 23, 2009, 04:25:47 am »
The CP with the graphic installed. It has a 4mm plexiglass on top. This is the 2nd plexiglass.The first was only 2mm and  cracked during drilling....  :angry:



The CP with the LEDs illuminated.



jmike

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Re: The Arcade
« Reply #15 on: September 23, 2009, 06:59:43 am »
Great job on the control panel. I really like the artwork. Also the wiring job is very impressive (wish mine looked like that). Keep the pics coming.



 :cheers:

Epyx

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Re: The Arcade
« Reply #16 on: September 23, 2009, 11:27:07 am »
I like the art too...im a sucker for fantasy art. By the looks of it is a TSR/Wizards of the Coast piece?
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blackwatchplad

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Re: The Arcade
« Reply #17 on: September 23, 2009, 01:53:19 pm »
i like the placement of the speakers. its different from the usual speakers placed up top.  Also i love the art work, it looks professionally done and professionally installed in the CP.  For some reason it reminds me of warhammer.
« Last Edit: September 23, 2009, 03:38:02 pm by blackwatchplad »

GeeF

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Re: The Arcade
« Reply #18 on: September 24, 2009, 01:54:36 am »
Thank you for your comments ! The CP is based on a HQ Warhammer online wallpaper. I liked the theme of good and evil. The good guy got white buttons, and the dark side has black ones.



Yvan256

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Re: The Arcade
« Reply #19 on: September 24, 2009, 09:02:07 am »
Sorry to nitpick but shouldn't the good guy also have a white joystick?  ???

Namco

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Re: The Arcade
« Reply #20 on: September 24, 2009, 04:55:05 pm »
Beautiful control panel.. but you may need to redo it. It can't feel good to play it without somewhere to rest your wrists.

Anyway, great build. I am dying to build a slim cab one of these days. The chrome t-molding really sets it off. Great job!

GeeF

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Re: The Arcade
« Reply #21 on: September 25, 2009, 01:54:23 am »
Yvan256 - good point about the joystick  ;D
Namco - thanks, it doesn't feel bad to play on this CP.Playing visual pinball is also nice, because I can rest my hands on  the T-molding.

There is a strange thing about the led buttons. They aren't the same level.The yellow seems a lot  brighter than the others.I'm not sure why.....maybe the led spectrum is stronger on that color, or the yellow button is more transparent than the red or the orange one.


Yvan256

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Re: The Arcade
« Reply #22 on: September 25, 2009, 09:36:05 am »
There is a strange thing about the led buttons. They aren't the same level.The yellow seems a lot  brighter than the others.I'm not sure why.....maybe the led spectrum is stronger on that color, or the yellow button is more transparent than the red or the orange one.

What we really need is transparent, frosted buttons (to diffuse the light) with calibrated RGB LEDs underneath (i.e. each color should light up to the same strength). That way we could have true multi-colored buttons that don't look like neon lights. ;)

The best would be electric-sensitive plastic that can change color based on voltage or something, kinda like sunglasses change darkness with sunlight. Unforunately electrochromic plastics/polymers don't seem up to the task we need.
« Last Edit: September 25, 2009, 09:48:37 am by Yvan256 »

GeeF

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Re: The Arcade
« Reply #23 on: September 28, 2009, 06:43:09 am »
Yes , good ideas.  :)

Here is a shot with the marquee installed. Of course it looks  a bit fifferent in real life.
I'm not entirely happy with it, looks a bit dull. I use a 8w neon for the marquee illumination.
Perhaps it is a too strong. The guys on the graphic are the same as on the CP.


GeeF

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Re: The Arcade
« Reply #24 on: September 28, 2009, 08:10:12 am »
It should look like this:

Yvan256

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Re: The Arcade
« Reply #25 on: September 28, 2009, 09:29:28 am »
It should look like this:


I would print a black and white "light blocking" sheet, i.e. put black where you don't want the artwork to be lighted up. Mask the characters area in black and leave the text area white.


 

GeeF

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Re: The Arcade
« Reply #26 on: September 30, 2009, 03:38:43 am »
Good idea, thanks for your suggestion ! I will try it sometimes when I have more time.
Some more pics.


I put an USB hub on the machine.I want to use gamepads for emulators, like nintendo SNES, or N64.
It works well.There is a small handy knob on the door for easier access of the inner things of the cabinet.

GeeF

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Re: The Arcade
« Reply #27 on: October 01, 2009, 01:57:25 am »
Finished:

 

.....and in action...a friend playing visual pinball (Attack From Mars):

LeedsFan

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Re: The Arcade
« Reply #28 on: October 01, 2009, 03:02:55 am »
This is really good!  :)   Especially for a first attempt at a cab. It's definitely not crapmame lol. I take it you seen that site? Made me laugh out loud really. You could always replace the TFT for a larger screen later on. It wouldn't take much effort. But I totally agree with you on using what you already have on a first project. Let's you get the feel of doing things and learning from any mistakes while keeping costs as low as possible.

Congratulations on the build.  :applaud:

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Re: The Arcade
« Reply #29 on: October 01, 2009, 04:13:29 am »
Kudos on the build.  :applaud: Congrats on the hot girl.   :P

Lewis Black

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Re: The Arcade
« Reply #30 on: October 01, 2009, 09:21:46 am »
Looks nice.  I would never paint a cab after having used Laminate on my cabs.

GeeF

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Re: The Arcade
« Reply #31 on: October 02, 2009, 03:31:24 am »
Leedsman - yes, I'v seen that site  ;D  I learnt a lot from this project. First...the cheaper solution is the most expensive  :'( there are some things that must be decent. Like the computer+graphic....I should buy a stronger motherboard+cpu not this Intel atom based MB.It's simply weak for some games. Like... I can play visual pinball pretty well mostly, but...when there is a multiball, the screen starts to lag....  :timebomb:
Not all mame game runs at decent speed...3D fighter games are pointless on this MB.

Emphatic, Lewis Black - thank you for looking and for your comments  :laugh: