Finally I got started on my micro bartop after recieving the acrylic parts from laser cutting.
The cabinet is build with a 10.4 inch monitor, mini-ITX motherboard and a Ultimarc Ultrastik 360 with build in encoder. The cabinet itself is made from acrylic sheets only and they are cut with laser.
The cabinet is designed to be small enough to sit comfortably in you lab while playing. This makes it possibly to play in your bed or on your couch. So this is really more of a laptop than a bartop
I made it this way because I found out that a bartop is really only comfortably while standing on a bar top. But I have no bar in my home, so I figured it had to be made for the couch, bed or dinner table.
The size of the cabinet is just perfect for using 10.1 inch netbooks too. It will fit perfect and the widescreen 10.1 inch monitor will fit easily.
The Nanocade KIT i also for sale now here: http://www.nanocade.com
You can see more pictures and read more here:http://www.koenigs.dk/mame/eng/stepnanocade.htm
Complete specifications here:Complete specifications added to homepage:
[url=http://www.koenigs.dk/mame/eng/specsnano.htm]http://www.koenigs.dk/mame/eng/specsnano.htm]Complete specifications added to homepage:
[url=http://www.koenigs.dk/mame/eng/specsnano.htm]http://www.koenigs.dk/mame/eng/specsnano.htm]http://www.koenigs.dk/mame/eng/specsnano.htm]Complete specifications added to homepage:
[url=http://www.koenigs.dk/mame/eng/specsnano.htm]http://www.koenigs.dk/mame/eng/specsnano.htm]http://www.koenigs.dk/mame/eng/specsnano.htm]http://www.koenigs.dk/mame/eng/specsnano.htm]Complete specifications added to homepage:
[url]http://www.koenigs.dk/mame/eng/specsnano.htm]http://www.koenigs.dk/mame/eng/specsnano.htm]http://www.koenigs.dk/mame/eng/specsnano.htm]http://www.koenigs.dk/mame/eng/specsnano.htm]http://www.koenigs.dk/mame/eng/specsnano.htm]Complete specifications added to homepage:
I will keep posting new pictures of my progress the following days
It feels good to be back in business!
Here is a little teaser of the control panel:
Here is all the parts it's made from:
I made two control panels, one that to be bended with a heat gun and one to be glued. It did this because I thought it would be very hard to bend nicely and it really really was
But it looks good.
Originally the sides were orange, but they were cut the wrong way and I didn't have any more orange acrylic, so new ones were made in black acrylics.
The intial bond is made with a fast curing solution called Acrifix 116. I reinforce the T-bonding on the inside with Acrifix 192, a solution that becomes acrylic when exposed to UV light.
The bond becomes so strong I can't brake them with my bare hands.
The bottom of the cabinet. The holes are for mounting the mini-ITX
PCB mounting feet bonded with epoxy (Araldite)
Back panel and one of the sides are glued together.
The foil on the inside is removed to see how the black acrylics look. They are actually pretty sexy.
This is where I mounted the moulding for the side of the cabinet.
The other side
You can almost see how it's going to look now. I actually forgot the panel for the monitor at first, but remembered it just before the glue bonded.
The edge of the top panel and back panel is sanded down to make less of a gap between the two panels.
The monitor and motherboard is installed to test if they fit. It's much closer than I like it to be. I had to grind the monitor panel a bit to make the PicoPSU fit. But for a moment there I thought that I was never going to make the parts fit. Pew. It really is a tiny cabinet.
The back of the control panel is sanded to make the epoxy stick better. The steel mounting bracket is also sanded.
The joystick mounting bracket is glued on with the epoxy 2-component solution. I have to use this every time two different materials meet. It's very strong, but not anything near the acrylic adhesive. Still, I recon you could easily lift a car with the bonding strength between the bracket and the control panel. I'm pretty sure this is never going to brake apart.
The marquee is installed with the acrylic adhesive and hold into place with some tape. I wish I could have made a bigger marquee, but the monitor takes op all the space in such a small cabinet.
This is probably the part that makes a MAME cabinet look like a MAME cabinet. The control panel really is the heart of the machine, no doubt about it.
I finally decided to use the heat bend control panel. It just feels much nicer to the hand and eye, even if it doesn't have the perfect fit of the other control panel. You just have to follow your heats in these matters
A small bracket for the two usb ports is placed in the corner. This should increase the surface area for the glue. Some moulding is also mounted to stop the bottom panel from bending to the inside.
You can also see the grinding I made to make the PicoPSU fit under the monitor panel.
Yet another reinforcement and another moulding to stop the bottom panel.
Looks just perfect. Time to install the inserts.
The inserts is placed in the holes along with some epoxy to make them stay there for good. I really love the these inserts, they look super professional and compared to making the thread directly in the acrylics, these inserts can be used again and again without ruining the thread.
The cover for the monitor is mounted behind the marquee, where it can be pushed upwards and dragged out, for cleaning, installing the monitor ect. Simple and effective system with no visible screws.
The cover is made from a 3 mm grey transparent acrylic sheet with 49% transmission. This hides the LCD monitor better and it makes the contrast look better. The drawback is that it makes it a bit more dim.
An orange moulding is placed in the bottom to compliment the whole colour scheme.
This wasn't something I planned from the beginning, just a last minute change.
The Sanwa and Seimitsu pushbuttons are installed along with the 10 mm buttons. There isn't much room for your fingers here, but it's just fine.
The orange moulding looks good with the buttons.
On the back you see the screws are flush with the Plexiglas surface.
The SSD is mounted with stainless Allen bolts. I like there small details.
The mini-ITX motherboard is mounted to the bottom panel. The mini-ITX board is only 160 x 160 mm and the panel is the same length as a sheet of A4 paper. Just to give you an idea of the size.
All the sharp edges are grinded with the edge of a knife. I also use a file, but not sandpaper, it makes the edges grey and matte.
Here is the USB plugs. It's just made of two shortened USB extension cables mounted to a piece of plexiglas with epoxy. This is a very inexpensive way to make some nice USB plugs.
On the outside it looks more professional than most panel mounting USB plugs you can buy for this type of work. That's why I decided to make my own instead and they also take up less space.
Windows XP is installed from an external DVD writer. The day after I actually installed Windows 7 Starter edition instead, it's just runs that much better and only uses about 5 sec more to boot.
As you can see, there really isn't much room in the cabinet with all the cables installed. It was very hard to close it afterwards. 10 % more space wouldn't have hurt
It's alive! Always a good feeling when, against all odds, it actually works. Especially when you have shortened most cables yourself.
It would have been much easier to use a netbook instead
And cheaper. It's actually designet to fit a netbook too.
Finally the bottom panel is mounted and some rubber feet is applied. It really took some effort to get it all to fit in there.
I also wanted a front-end that could be totally changed to match the style of the Nanocade.
After working with the front-end for some days and changing it about 7 times, hence v1.70, I ended up with this design.
It shows a screenshot, marquee, year, manufacturer, players, number of buttons used and the type of control.
It looks more smooth in full resolution.
Now it's more or less finished. If you like to see more pictures of the finished cabinet and my comments look here:http://www.koenigs.dk/mame/eng/stepnanocade.htm