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Author Topic: TIME-OUT... my project  (Read 6171 times)

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rcub3

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TIME-OUT... my project
« on: May 08, 2011, 03:03:39 pm »
As a kid, like many of you, I spent countless hours at the arcade.  Then years later, I stumbled upon MAME back when it was around version 0.30's.  Since then I've wanted to build my own cab.  Finally this year it seems like the stars just lined up perfectly for me:  I had the space, the moolah, the new version of "Project Arcade" had just come out, AND on the weekend I decided to start buying parts, North Coast was offering free shipping. 

Now the only thing I'm needing more of is time.  With a full time job and family (including a 9mo old daughter), plus too many other hobbies to count (guitar, drums, golf, boardgaming, minitature gaming AND painting, etc.), it is just hard to find time to work on my cab.  Having said that, I am at peace with the fact that this will likely take a few months to complete if I want to do it right.

So here are some of the "specs":

Name:  "Time-Out"  (as in the old Time-Out Tunnel arcade)
 I will be making my own marquee, but I'm still undecided on the design.  Same for the CP and sideart.  I guess I'll just leave that for last.  I am going with the overdone dark blue and black color scheme, and likely lean more towards a "serious" retro space theme or something....

The hardware
I going to build 2 cabs, still in the planning stages:
Main control panel:
2 u360's with octagonal restrictor and harder springs (for player 1-2).  I'm mainly playing fighters, but versatility is important to me.
2 Jsticks for players 3 and 4).
6 buttons for players 1 and 2, and 4 for players 3 and 4.  I'm currently undecided on which I'm going with.  Definitively LED's...
Using a PACLED64...

So far I picked up a GGG Electric Ice w an RGB LED, and a Paradise IL translucent with an RGB LED...





Ooooh....shiny....

Still undecided, but likely going with the IL's with the 50gm or 20gm microswitch.  The GGG's are definitively better in terms of setting up the LED in the button, and has extra long wires.  The RGB PCB fits perfectly, and the plunger's legs can hit the switch button without any interference from the PCB.  That PCB once set up, looks like it'll stay there forever w/o any issues.  The Paradise RGB LED is also very easy to set up, but doesn't fit as snugly as GGG's.  And there seems to be the potential for the pcb wires to be squashed by the plunger legs.  Still, w/o power, the translucent looks better.  The IL feels smoother when pressing it compared to the GGG, IMO.  Also the basic GGG switch seems to have some wiggle to it (part of the reason it doesn't feel as smooth.... nothing that can't be easily fixed though with a bit of glue or something), whereas the IL has a firm grip on that switch.  Of note, I'm only comparing a single IL with the 75gm Cherry switch (VERY "clicky") and a single ICE with the standard switch which feels like it is A LOT less than 75 (nice!). Also I have NOT tried them on an actual game. 

The second panel     
This will be a smaller panel that will have the frankenpanelling stuff:
-Tron Stick (Happ 8 way trigger joystick with GGG's blue handle, and the custom 4 way restrictor made by a BYOAC user...can't recall the name!)
-The GGG up/down spinner
-Ultimarc trackball with RGB LED and likely 3 buttons.

More tonight...
« Last Edit: January 27, 2012, 05:44:05 pm by rcub3 »

rcub3

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Re: TIME-OUT... my project
« Reply #1 on: May 08, 2011, 03:18:11 pm »
So i picked up an ultimate arcade II because it seemed (and it is) very easy to assemble, and would save me some time... And again, shipping was free!

The cp's i'm building from scratch as above.

Now question for owners of the UAII:
1. Has anyone tried adding some form of cabinet hinges to some of the rear panels?
2. How about making a swappable CP with this model?  Seems like CP clamps (Happs) would work well because you could reach them from where the keyboard sits.

rcub3

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Re: TIME-OUT... my project
« Reply #2 on: May 08, 2011, 09:18:11 pm »
Here is the cab almost complete.  No creative woodworking, no custom cabbing, nothing out of the ordinary.... just a cookie cutter Ultimate Arcade II from North Coast. 



The super expensive, but oh so nice, Happ coin door:

 

« Last Edit: January 27, 2012, 05:46:27 pm by rcub3 »

rcub3

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Re: TIME-OUT... my project
« Reply #3 on: May 08, 2011, 09:24:43 pm »
I did modify something actually.  I wasn't happy with the speaker openings.  Fist of all I prefer speaker grills, and second my old Logitech speakers are bigger than the original openings, so I had to make them bigger. 



So I cut them out, and.... well, pictures speak louder than words.







I didn't like that you could see the egg-shaped cut I made to the panel through the speaker grill, so then I added a piece of fabric between the speaker and the grill to hide that (not shown).  Now it looks great! 
« Last Edit: January 27, 2012, 05:50:58 pm by rcub3 »

rcub3

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Re: TIME-OUT... my project
« Reply #4 on: May 08, 2011, 09:43:49 pm »
Before I started to work on the cab or even purchased any of the controllers, I scoured the internet looking for a way to use my old Logitech Z680 5.1 PC speakers without the control pod but with the included amplifier.  If you know this system, and have ever tried to get a replacement of some sort from the company using the warranty, you would know that they usually ask for the control pod (the preamp) in exchange, which essentially decapitates the system (making it almost useless).  Without the control pod/preamp,  the subwoofer stops working completely, and you can't use the amplifier for the speakers.  You are essentially left with 5 speakers to use with any other sound system, and end up discarding a perfectly good amp and 10" subwoofer.     

So eventually I found a way to make the amplifier work to power the subwoofer AND the 2 speakers that I was going to use for the cab.  Thanks to Google, I found the answer at http://www.diyaudio.com in an old forum post from 2006.  Essentially, you solder an 1/8" coax cable to the subwoofer input and another one to the front speaker inputs DIRECTLY on the PCB.  Then simply connect these coax cables to the subwoofer and front speaker out on the PC sound card.  I have probably soldered once before in my life, so I was really second-guessing myself.  Plus, the instructions on the site were very brief, written for the audio and electronics aficionado, which I certainly am not. 

I was floored when after much soldering and resoldering to fix some screw ups, it worked!  Saving $ is a great thing...

Here is the subwoofer with the amp detached, which normally is screwed on its back.  I was literally freaking out when I took this picture:



 
« Last Edit: January 27, 2012, 05:52:44 pm by rcub3 »

elkameleon

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Re: TIME-OUT... my project
« Reply #5 on: May 08, 2011, 10:12:31 pm »
Nice work! I like the speaker hack.

rcub3

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Re: TIME-OUT... my project
« Reply #6 on: May 09, 2011, 02:29:59 pm »
Thanks.  Very simple mod, but it worked. 

Overall, I was very happy with the Ultimate Arcade II cab.  The only thing that bugged me was this:



The drawer is not wide enough to have the rails reach the side rails on the actual cab.  Basically the drawer just doesn't roll well because the wheel doesn't engage the side rail like it should.  Looking for a way to mod that...

WindDrake

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Re: TIME-OUT... my project
« Reply #7 on: May 09, 2011, 05:49:47 pm »
Hey, saw your response in my thread, here's the response I got from Northcoast about the drawer.

The instructions show that the screws should be attached from the sides of panel "Y".  Due to manufacturing changes made to the rails, which caused the rails to be slightly narrower, this step required an update.  My apologies, the owner has not updated the PDF yet to reflect this change.  On the bottom of panel "Y" are piloted holes where the screws should be located for attaching the slides.  For best results use a coin as a spacer between panel "Y" and the slide before screwing it in.  This will provide the necessary spacing required to keep the slides in the rails.
 
Thanks,
Gerry Greene
 
MameRoom Designs LLC / NorthCoast Custom Arcades
34601 Mills Rd. Unit B
North Ridgeville, OH 44039
 
440-327-2482
http://www.mameroom.com/home.asp

elkameleon

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Re: TIME-OUT... my project
« Reply #8 on: May 09, 2011, 06:35:40 pm »
excuses are like a$$holes, everybodys got one :lol

Donkbaca

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Re: TIME-OUT... my project
« Reply #9 on: May 09, 2011, 06:38:12 pm »
That's the one thing I don't like about that design; the keyboard drawer, it makes the coin door sit too close to the ground IMHO.

I love the speaker hack! Hackery is the best part about this stuff

rcub3

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Re: TIME-OUT... my project
« Reply #10 on: May 12, 2011, 10:03:03 pm »
The coin trick above actually worked.  We'll see how long it'll last. 

Had a little bit of time to work on something that is really minor at this moment in my project, but it was still very cool.  I replaced the trigger joystick's black handle with the blue cover from GGG.  Also replaced the restrictor to a custom 4 way restrictor, for that extra Tron feel. 








« Last Edit: January 27, 2012, 05:57:35 pm by rcub3 »

rcub3

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Re: TIME-OUT... my project
« Reply #11 on: May 22, 2011, 10:19:58 pm »
Not much progress this weekend... no access to the tools I need to work on the cab.  In the meantime, I installed the octagonal restrictors on my u360's.  Also, I've been playing around with some of the artwork I'm thinking of using.  I am definitively going for a retrofuturistic space theme.  Here are some of the images I'm thinking of using. 

The space station one (Orion.jpg) will be for the marquee (got the idea from Arcade Odyssey project... in fact, my cab is heavily inspired by that project). The second image will be the CP art.  I'll likely mute the colors quite a bit, and maybe even add more blue tones, so it doesn't look too busy.  The side art2 image will be just that.  I'm thinking of adding some space invaders to that image, or something.

Just thought it would be cool to have a space station on the marquee, the side art depicts the humans looking up ready for action (or freaking out), and the CP art looks like the base on the ground.

Still a work in progress....

alfonzotan

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Re: TIME-OUT... my project
« Reply #12 on: May 23, 2011, 07:02:47 am »
So you went with the Tron stick... well done.  I really ought to get one of the new restrictors and replace the old one in my mechanism.

Fear not the villagers and their puny pitchforks, Dr. Fronkensteen!  Totally worth it!   :cheers:

rcub3

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Re: TIME-OUT... my project
« Reply #13 on: May 23, 2011, 07:15:37 am »
Yes I did. But i'm keeping that second panel locked away in a closet, so it'll only show its ugly face when needed.

Btw, if by any chance anyone has seen the art above at decent resolutions, please let me know. As you'd expect i'm having issues enlarging those images. PS does a decent job adding "non-existent" pixels, but i'm afraid it will look terrible once i get it printed.
« Last Edit: May 23, 2011, 07:21:01 am by rcub3 »

Rando

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Re: TIME-OUT... my project
« Reply #14 on: May 23, 2011, 01:15:07 pm »
The instructions show that the screws should be attached from the sides of panel "Y".  Due to manufacturing changes made to the rails, which caused the rails to be slightly narrower, this step required an update.  My apologies, the owner has not updated the PDF yet to reflect this change.  On the bottom of panel "Y" are piloted holes where the screws should be located for attaching the slides.  For best results use a coin as a spacer between panel "Y" and the slide before screwing it in.  This will provide the necessary spacing required to keep the slides in the rails.
Woot!
Same problem, will try this as well!

Doing a very similar build, mostly vanilla with a few tweaks.  I haven't decided on a plan for my speakers yet but like what you've done.  Luck!

Rando - My build thread: http://forum.arcadecontrols.com/index.php?topic=107741.msg1142843#msg1142843 (work slowed but still progressing!

Vigo

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Re: TIME-OUT... my project
« Reply #15 on: May 23, 2011, 02:52:23 pm »

Btw, if by any chance anyone has seen the art above at decent resolutions, please let me know. As you'd expect i'm having issues enlarging those images. PS does a decent job adding "non-existent" pixels, but i'm afraid it will look terrible once i get it printed.

I recognize the first image as being poster artwork from 2001: a Space Odyssey. I have found a larger poster scan, but it would need some photoshop touch up.

It is attached in the zip file

Vigo

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Re: TIME-OUT... my project
« Reply #16 on: May 23, 2011, 02:53:52 pm »
Here is a smaller version of the image as well....it is bigger than your version though. It won't need much touch up, though.

rcub3

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Re: TIME-OUT... my project
« Reply #17 on: May 23, 2011, 05:28:53 pm »
Excellent.  Yes indeed that is where it came from.  Thanks!

The other 2 are from a German site on "retro futurisms".  I would google it if I weren't so busy at work..........

rcub3

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Re: TIME-OUT... my project
« Reply #18 on: May 24, 2011, 05:48:49 pm »
Ok, this may sound like I'm being too picky but that poster is narrower than the one I have, my a smidgeon.  I can always stretch it on PS.... Will do more Googling myself.  (EDIT: found a bigger one.)

The side art is probably the one I'm more concerned about.  I got it from http://www.retro-futurismus.de/buergle_boje.htm
« Last Edit: May 24, 2011, 06:20:38 pm by rcub3 »

elkameleon

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Re: TIME-OUT... my project
« Reply #19 on: May 26, 2011, 01:57:14 pm »
The faces on that side art remind me of this Queen abum cover:



rcub3

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Re: TIME-OUT... my project
« Reply #20 on: June 05, 2011, 09:23:21 pm »
Brief update...

Have been working on the CP....PICS to come once ready. 

Also received my marquee from GoG, and found out today that cutting plexi (to sandwich the vinyl marquee) is a lot easier than I thought.  Good, because both CP's will be getting the plexi treatment eventually.  Also received a Makvision monitor.  Nice...  I'll probably play around with it next weekend. 

Here is the unlit marquee:

 


Vigo

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Re: TIME-OUT... my project
« Reply #21 on: June 06, 2011, 10:27:35 am »
I have to say, I really like the theme you are pulling together on your cab. I can't wait to see the rest of the art come together with the marquee.  :applaud:

alfonzotan

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Re: TIME-OUT... my project
« Reply #22 on: June 06, 2011, 10:39:37 am »
Brief update...

Have been working on the CP....PICS to come once ready. 

Also received my marquee from GoG, and found out today that cutting plexi (to sandwich the vinyl marquee) is a lot easier than I thought.  Good, because both CP's will be getting the plexi treatment eventually.  Also received a Makvision monitor.  Nice...  I'll probably play around with it next weekend. 

Here is the unlit marquee:

 

VERY nice.  And I see you and I are using the same t-molding...

rcub3

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Re: TIME-OUT... my project
« Reply #23 on: June 06, 2011, 12:33:37 pm »
Thanks guys.  Yay for dark blue t-molding. 

It's interesting how having a marquee makes it so much more "real"... like it's got a "face"...character even.... or am I just going crazy dreaming excessively of the day that it'll all be finished?

rcub3

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Re: TIME-OUT... the sleeper has awakened
« Reply #24 on: January 27, 2012, 06:22:03 pm »
After a 6+ mo hiatus, I'm back on trying to finish my cab.  Simply put, sometimes life gets in the way of our hobbies. 

So I ended up finishing all the woodwork for the CP, which I was making from scratch.  I glued on the CPO art (thank you game on grafix), and started connecting everything.  What a mess...




So at this point, some questions have come up. 

1. If you run out of space on the PACLED64, because I'm using color LED's, can you add another PACLED64 to cover the last few LED's, and will LEDBlinky be ok with that?

2. How the heck do I force MAMEUI to use my hacked speakers?  Of course, the actual speakers work.  The subwoofer for some reason doesn't.  As stated above, I don't have the "preamp" anymore.  So the connection now goes from soundcard directly to the amp circuit board input for front speakers and for the subwoofer, then from the amp the signal goes to speakers and subwoofer.  Volume control and EQ is of course now done all on the PC directly.  When I play music, everything works just fine, inluding the subwoofer.  I use Creative's software to control volume, bass, subwoofer volume, etc. But for some reason, the subwoofer doesn't work on any game running on MAMEUI.  It doesn't matter if I change the speaker configuration on the speaker's software to 5.1 or stereo.  Any other ideas?


05SRT4

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Re: TIME-OUT... my project
« Reply #25 on: January 27, 2012, 07:06:23 pm »
Holy cow this is awesome, Killer control panel!!

rcub3

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Re: TIME-OUT... my project
« Reply #26 on: January 27, 2012, 08:05:37 pm »
Why thank you.  Not entirely original... I just followed the North Coast CPO plans.  The art I got as described above. 

Now if I could only get the subwoofer working...  :banghead:

Vigo

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Re: TIME-OUT... my project
« Reply #27 on: January 27, 2012, 09:08:09 pm »
wow....i really have to say I love the art direction you went with, and seeing the control panel makes me love it even more. That is really awesome looking!  :applaud:

rcub3

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Re: TIME-OUT... my project
« Reply #28 on: January 28, 2012, 11:14:42 am »
So yes, I found out that I can use 2 PACLED's.

May try to hook it up this weekend, because technically, the CP is usable at this point (everything's connected to the iPAC).

rcub3

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Re: TIME-OUT... my project
« Reply #29 on: September 02, 2012, 10:38:59 pm »
Finally....an update. 

I finally finished everything in the Spring.  Took me about 10 months overall.  Access to power tools to make my custom CP is what held me back.

Here are some pics.  It's already been put through rigorous stress testing (3 game nights running for about 3 hours each), and it works better than I could have ever imagined.  The games work great, and the sound is amazing with that punchy Logitech subwoofer.  Not shown, but I'm using both MameUI (for when I'm gaming by myself), and HyperSpin (for when I need to show off).  I still haven't configured LEDBlinky with MameUI (that's why all the buttons are lit white with NBA Jam in the pic below) because I'm not sure I know how to.   :dunno

LEDBlinky certainly works like a charm with HS.  I've included a pic of what it looks like running a NeoGeo game.  Sure the blue one is kind of in the wrong place, but you get used to it quickly, specially if you haven't played these games at an actual arcade in a while.  I guess I could rearrange them in the settings... 

Huge fan of those red LED's that I used on the coindoor.  I tried using white ones, but the return buttons didn't look red enough.  I got them off some LED/lighting website (non-arcade related). 

The CP wiring?  Well, it certainly could have been cleaner.  Still, I know where everything is, and can troubleshoot quickly if I need to. 

NEXT UP? 
- Light guns!   ;D
- Get LEDBlinky working with MAMEUI
- Switch the two side joysticks for Ultrastiks (so that I can painlesly switch back and forth between two-joystick games like Total Carnage/Smash TV and others). 
- Faster PC so that I can run some of the 3D games. 
- The second CP... just for Tron games.   :o

  
 

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