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Author Topic: Project Slimtendo - scratch build  (Read 10251 times)

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artyfarty

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Project Slimtendo - scratch build
« on: October 12, 2015, 09:49:09 am »
Hi there,

I've been reading these forums for a while, but just signed up. There's a great community here, and great advice - some of which I should have taken a while ago, some of which gets buried amongst the mass of opinions, and some of which I'm still choosing to ignore for now.

I decided to build a MAME cab a few months ago, and did lots of research here. Read lots about Frankenpanels, about CRTs vs LCDs, about joysticks and buttons.

Made some decisions:
- LCD for space reasons (and because the wife *might* allow a slim cab in the house if it looks "tasteful") - but a 4:3 21" LCD that would rotate between horizontal and vertical
- 2 player six button plus trackball - Ultra Stik 360, GoldLeaf pushbuttons, U-Trak trackball, all from, Ultimarc

Found OND's fantastic wiki and thread for Metropolis, and being a complete woodworking novice really appreciated all of the woodworking explanations.

And built the cabinet. And hated it. I just didn't like how it looked and how it felt. It wasn't the "classic" look and feel from my youth.

Some of this was because of the screen/bezel - the matching of the bezel to the game being played is a big part of the experience for me, and there's not enough space on a 21" LCD to have MAME show the bezel artwork with the game in the middle. So I took out the 21" LCD and put in a 40" LCD TV mounted vertically. That was much better - MAME displaying the bezel that matched the game, with the central play area the right kind of size in vertical games. Not so great in horizontal games, but using MAME to display the play area across the width of the (vertically mounted) screen, filling the space above and below with the top and bottom parts of the bezel artwork, was definitely better. The ability to display both bezel and game area at close to original size may be a  reason to prefer an LCD over a CRT - don't know if I've seen this listed as a plus for big LCDs anywhere?

More of a problem was the positioning of the controls. Putting the trackball in the centre of the panel forces the other controls further away from the centre. I didn't realise how much this would affect the gameplay until I actually tried playing some of the 80s classic one player games. It felt odd. I should be standing right in the centre of the screen, but I was all the way over on the left edge of the cabinet in front of the player one controls.

And I also realised I didn't like the design of the cab. Some strange angles at the top of the cabinet (I had created a plan that was kind of a cross between OND's Metropolis and Koenig's Project MAME, but not in a good way). And I had the front glass mounted as far forward as possible with the LCD right behind it. This didn't recreate the "closed in" feeling of playing arcade games in the 80s; although this may not be a cabinet problem, but more that I used to play games in arcades, where the cabinets to your left and right helped create the "closed in" feeling. (But I absolutely don't have space for a row...).

All of this has caused me to now call my previously unnamed project "Project Scrapped", although perhaps I should call it "Project Prototype" because I've learned a lot more about what I want from a cabinet.


Anyway....


I've started this thread to document my new project, "Project Slimtendo".

Inspired by many of the Donkey Kong and other Nintendo cab recreations, in particular ChanceKJ's DK Ultimate thread and WYO's Fix It Felix & DK Pauline thread at KLOV, I'm building a Nintendo style MAME cab.

Well almost.

Because I'm now a fan of using a big LCD to show bezel artwork and game, and because I still don't have space or wife approval for a deep cab, my build is based on the Gaetan plans but 300mm less deep.

And because my woodworking skills aren't good, the cab is 600mm (plus 18mm sides) wide - as you can get 600mm wide MDF from Bunnings which won;t require so much cutting.

It'll have removable control panels, so I can get the right feel for one player games and also have a panel for two player games (mostly for 2 player fighting games for the kids). And later, maybe a panel for trackball games, and maybe a dedicated Defender panel.

And it'll be Nintendo blue with white t-molding. But I don't know about artwork, because I don't want physical bezel artwork if I'm using MAME to display bezel artwork, but I do want some artwork for the marquee and control panels. And I can't put full size Nintendo artwork on the sides because I've got 300mm less width on the sides. But I have some time to make those decisions while I make the cabinet.

I've started, got as far as priming - which is why I've got time to post while the paint dries. Photos coming soon when I work out how to post them.

Martin




JDFan

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Re: Project Slimtendo - scratch build
« Reply #1 on: October 12, 2015, 10:02:18 am »
For the Sideart you could probably modify the Vs. unisystem side art to fit ( good size image here (http://orig07.deviantart.net/5106/f/2013/104/4/e/nintendo_vs__system_side_art_by_banesbox-d61rhkm.png)


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Re: Project Slimtendo - scratch build
« Reply #2 on: October 12, 2015, 10:51:34 am »
Drawing the template:




Template cut:



Building the base:



Sides routed from the template, and drawing on the details:


Making the speaker panel:






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Re: Project Slimtendo - scratch build
« Reply #3 on: October 12, 2015, 10:55:25 am »
I have actually seen a slim Nintendo build before. I also believe it's on this site. I can't find it though. Maybe some other knows where it is? Personally I didn't like the appearance of a slim Nintendo cab. It kind of looked.... strange... The cabinet originally IS quite deep, 85 cm at the deepest. But that's a part of it's design and changing only that may affect the overall appearance of the cab. Do a mockup in cardboard or whatever first. (Or find the thread I've seen).

Edit: Found it:
http://forum.arcadecontrols.com/index.php/topic,145747.msg1515603.html

« Last Edit: October 12, 2015, 10:57:56 am by johnrt »

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Re: Project Slimtendo - scratch build
« Reply #4 on: October 12, 2015, 11:46:31 am »
I'm with Johnrt. A slim Nintendo cab just looks weird.

But good luck with your build.
***Build what you dig, bro. Build what you dig.***

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Re: Project Slimtendo - scratch build
« Reply #5 on: October 12, 2015, 12:00:19 pm »
I'm sorry man, but that makes 3 of us.


I have built 2 mini cabs and I think those only work because they are scaled exactly to the originals so they still look proportional. Plus the kids love them. But if I'm being honest with myself, I wish that I would have just built them both full sized. I know that you are already well down the road of your build so this doesn't mean much now.  Since it appears that you only cut the depth of the cab down, you are not really saving yourself that much space anyway.

There is just something strange about a Nintendo cab on a diet. But, I hope you can somehow prove us wrong. I'm also a little worried about your LCD marquee and swappable panels but it sounds like you really want that.

Good luck, I'll be watching either way.  :)
« Last Edit: October 12, 2015, 12:29:41 pm by vwalbridge »
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Re: Project Slimtendo - scratch build
« Reply #6 on: October 12, 2015, 12:08:21 pm »
Meh I think it's cool man, for a slim LCD cab anyway.

I for one commend you on the skill to route that speaker panel, to biscuit join, and to post pics to the forum  :cheers:


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Re: Project Slimtendo - scratch build
« Reply #7 on: October 12, 2015, 12:20:24 pm »
Nice biscuit work.   :cheers:

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Re: Project Slimtendo - scratch build
« Reply #8 on: October 12, 2015, 12:30:08 pm »
Meh I think it's cool man, for a slim LCD cab anyway.

I for one commend you on the skill to route that speaker panel, to biscuit join, and to post pics to the forum  :cheers:
Yeah, guy can do quality work, but that doesn't change the weirdness factor.

If it works for the OP, it works...
***Build what you dig, bro. Build what you dig.***

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Re: Project Slimtendo - scratch build
« Reply #9 on: October 12, 2015, 01:34:53 pm »
When you're standing in front of the cab playing it, you don't see the sides anyway.
Better to save the space!  :D

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Re: Project Slimtendo - scratch build
« Reply #10 on: October 12, 2015, 04:24:21 pm »
When you're standing in front of the cab playing it, you don't see the sides anyway.
Better to save the space!  :D

I agree ! -- Plus it leaves more room in a narrow hall or room to get past while someone is playing. Figure the originals were likely made so deep so that the big CRT could fit inside the cab so if not using the CRT you don't really need that extra space anyway.  :dunno

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Re: Project Slimtendo - scratch build
« Reply #11 on: October 12, 2015, 04:55:47 pm »
I bet you drive a SmartCar, don't you.
***Build what you dig, bro. Build what you dig.***

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Re: Project Slimtendo - scratch build
« Reply #12 on: October 12, 2015, 05:14:08 pm »
Personally, I think the Nintendo cabinets are one of the smaller cabinets to begin with an shouldn't be "slimmed" (as opposed to bigger cabinets - Midway anyone).

If you want to make a slim cab... why not go with a Vigolix or Knieval's The Woody cab?  http://knievel.webs.com/thewoody.htm
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Re: Project Slimtendo - scratch build
« Reply #13 on: October 12, 2015, 05:21:48 pm »
Personally, I think the Nintendo cabinets are one of the smaller cabinets to begin with an shouldn't be "slimmed" (as opposed to bigger cabinets - Midway anyone).

If you want to make a slim cab... why not go with a Vigolix or Knieval's The Woody cab?  http://knievel.webs.com/thewoody.htm

sawdust has flown.

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Re: Project Slimtendo - scratch build
« Reply #14 on: October 12, 2015, 05:29:04 pm »
***Build what you dig, bro. Build what you dig.***

artyfarty

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Re: Project Slimtendo - scratch build
« Reply #15 on: October 12, 2015, 07:22:27 pm »
Looks like those opinions are coming in thick and fast :)

I'm hoping it'll be a bit like gajaman's slim defender cab http://forum.arcadecontrols.com/index.php?topic=89163.0, in that you won't notice the depth when you're in front of the machine.



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Re: Project Slimtendo - scratch build
« Reply #16 on: October 12, 2015, 07:35:53 pm »
Those sides look really good.  How hard was it to transfer the lines from the plans to your template?

artyfarty

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Re: Project Slimtendo - scratch build
« Reply #17 on: October 12, 2015, 11:11:40 pm »
It wasn't nearly as hard as I expected. Careful measurement of the straight lines, double checking everything against the points on the plan.

And then wandered around the house trying to find circular objects that matched the radius measurements on the plan, to draw the curves.

I jigsawed fairly close to the straight lines, and used a router to finish them. Freehanded very close to the curved lines, and sanded to finish them.



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Re: Project Slimtendo - scratch build
« Reply #18 on: October 12, 2015, 11:26:08 pm »
You did the curves exactly like I do. :cheers:


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Re: Project Slimtendo - scratch build
« Reply #19 on: October 13, 2015, 12:51:22 am »
More biscuit work, and testing the fit for the marquee area:





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Re: Project Slimtendo - scratch build
« Reply #20 on: October 13, 2015, 12:55:52 am »
Nice biscuit work.   :cheers:

Thanks - I've never done any woodworking before I made the first cab. For that I only had a jigsaw for cuts, and used screws to join the wood - but wasn't pleased with the result.

Reading up here on how to use a router and biscuit machine, and listening to the advice about glue being strong (rather than believing that screws gave the strength) gave me the confidence to go and buy both to use this time round.
« Last Edit: October 13, 2015, 02:21:57 am by artyfarty »

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Re: Project Slimtendo - scratch build
« Reply #21 on: October 13, 2015, 01:05:04 am »
Glueing the pieces together. I don't have enough clamps, so I improvised...





Glued together and looking like a cab (a straight on photo so the slim haters can forget it's slim):



« Last Edit: October 13, 2015, 01:09:47 am by artyfarty »

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Re: Project Slimtendo - scratch build
« Reply #22 on: October 13, 2015, 03:38:50 am »
The word **haters** sure does seem to get thrown out a lot, doesn't it.
***Build what you dig, bro. Build what you dig.***

artyfarty

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Re: Project Slimtendo - scratch build
« Reply #23 on: October 13, 2015, 03:47:01 am »
Perhaps "the slim disinclined" or "the slim doubters" would be a more appropriate description.  :dunno

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Re: Project Slimtendo - scratch build
« Reply #24 on: October 13, 2015, 03:50:03 am »
Perhaps "the slim disinclined" or "the slim doubters" would be a more appropriate description.  :dunno

How about "people with... opinions".

Anyway, you have woodworking skills. Good job. Good luck on the build.
***Build what you dig, bro. Build what you dig.***

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Re: Project Slimtendo - scratch build
« Reply #25 on: October 13, 2015, 03:53:09 am »
Anyway, you have woodworking skills. Good job. Good luck on the build.
I have to agree! If this is OP's second cab, I'm very impressed!  :applaud:

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Re: Project Slimtendo - scratch build
« Reply #26 on: October 13, 2015, 06:08:32 am »
Excellent building skills,  :applaud: Liking the way it looks from front on (mind supplying a side on photo ?)

I was tossing up building a slim or 3/4 size Nintendo cab, so waiting to see how this turns out.
Currently building http://forum.arcadecontrols.com/index.php/topic,137777.0.html Mass-Replicate
Built "n0tsq3" cocktail cab http://forum.arcadecontrols.com/index.php/topic,133913.0/all.html
..and restoring a Sega MegaLo 410 Candy Cab & Moon Patrol Cab

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Re: Project Slimtendo - scratch build
« Reply #27 on: October 13, 2015, 07:27:05 am »
Photos from a few angles after a bit more woodwork.

I know the coin door hole is from the wrong kind of coin door - it's for a small coin door I'm going to put in there temporarily. There's talk of fabricating some Nintendo repro coin doors in Australia, and I'm waiting to see if this happens before I place an overseas order. (International postage to Australia is $$$, almost doubles the price.)







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Re: Project Slimtendo - scratch build
« Reply #28 on: October 13, 2015, 09:01:28 am »
Looking good so far!

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Re: Project Slimtendo - scratch build
« Reply #29 on: October 13, 2015, 11:54:29 am »
Ah.  You took off the back part of the Nintendo cab that serves no purpose but to take up room and be aesthetically pleasing.  I just can't...OMG...Psh.

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Re: Project Slimtendo - scratch build
« Reply #30 on: October 13, 2015, 11:59:58 am »
Ah.  You took off the back part of the Nintendo cab that serves no purpose but to take up room and be aesthetically pleasing.  I just can't...OMG...Psh.

They have medicine for your condition.
***Build what you dig, bro. Build what you dig.***

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Re: Project Slimtendo - scratch build
« Reply #31 on: October 13, 2015, 01:01:15 pm »
Ah.  You took off the back part of the Nintendo cab that serves no purpose but to take up room and be aesthetically pleasing.  I just can't...OMG...Psh.

They have medicine for your condition.

Nuff Said


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Re: Project Slimtendo - scratch build
« Reply #32 on: October 13, 2015, 02:17:10 pm »
I also like slim cabs. Currently i am on a build of a slim cab (55cm depth) wich also had my wifes aproval.

I love the Nintendo cabs even if it is a slim cab.

Keep up the good work. I will "follow" your build.  :applaud:

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Re: Project Slimtendo - scratch build
« Reply #33 on: October 13, 2015, 02:56:32 pm »
wich also had my wifes aproval.
What is is with you guys and your wife approvals? Grow a pair of these:  :lol

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Re: Project Slimtendo - scratch build
« Reply #34 on: October 13, 2015, 03:00:11 pm »
Stop being a hater, John!
***Build what you dig, bro. Build what you dig.***

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Re: Project Slimtendo - scratch build
« Reply #35 on: October 13, 2015, 03:57:29 pm »
Excellent progress. Love the slim look, still screams Nintendo.

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Re: Project Slimtendo - scratch build
« Reply #36 on: October 14, 2015, 08:15:44 am »
Ah.  You took off the back part of the Nintendo cab that serves no purpose but to take up room and be aesthetically pleasing.  I just can't...OMG...Psh.

Not so much I took it off, but I haven't put it on yet - because I haven't made it. The plan for the rear door isn't in Gaetan's plans, but johnrt kindly pointed me to his thread, that has the necessary measurements.

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Re: Project Slimtendo - scratch build
« Reply #37 on: October 14, 2015, 08:26:41 am »
Note for anyone wanting to use biscuits for the joins, and hasn't used a biscuit machine before.

I had real trouble cutting the biscuit holes straight in my first few attempts. This turned out to be for two reasons:

1. The biscuit machine needs to be held in place firmly against the wood as it starts up. The machine kicks hard when the motor starts, and it is easy for this to move the machine out of alignment from where you want to cut the hole.
2. The biscuit machine needs to be fully extended when you start it up. The spring on mine isn't very strong, and it is easy to "push in" before the motor is spun up fast enough to make the cut cleanly; this means that the blade pushes the machine out of alignment as it spins up against the surface of the wood. This is a particular issue when making cuts down into the wood, as gravity and the weight of the machine is working against you.

I ended up positioning the machine and using my thumb to firmly hold the fence in place against the wood. Then the other hand can pull the machine back to its full extent as it presses the button to start the motor.


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Re: Project Slimtendo - scratch build
« Reply #38 on: October 14, 2015, 10:06:16 am »
I think it really looks nice. If you like the Nintendo look but don't have too much space this is a great solution  :cheers: :cheers: It's not authentic. So what. I would round the top back corner like at the bottom.

Superfrog

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Re: Project Slimtendo - scratch build
« Reply #39 on: October 14, 2015, 10:43:18 am »
Looks nice and slick.
What I would do with the side artwork is print it in the original size and cut it so it looks like it's coming out of the wall.

I did see some pictures ( Link from John ) where the side artwork was resized and it didn't look good.