LATEST PLANS AND PICS...
(full project progress from the beginning follows after these pics)
FULL PROGRESS FROM THE START FOLLOWS FROM HERE...
Inspired by ARTIFACT's awesome scratch designed and built cab, I've decided to try out my Sketchup skills and FINALLY design my own cab! I'm no Sketchup expert, but I'm learning more each time I use it. I've also never built a cab (erm.. actually anything) before so this is all a first for me.
I've um'd and ah'd for ages about what I want from a cab should I build one, and decided that I just wouldn't be happy if I couldn't play my favourite game (Flying Shark) vertically on an arcade monitor. I also wouldn't be happy with one big control panel where I'd have to lean over other controls to get to the ones I wanted for a particular game.
Size is an issue too... We don't have a massive house, I'm building it in the garage, and to put it upstairs I'll have to make it so I can take it apart. The missus has also promised that I can have it downstairs in the lounge *if* it looks like a nice stained piece of furniture, not an "ugly black behemoth"... so we'll see what happens.
I want the cab to be a social thing... so putting it downstairs rather than upstairs would be a major plus.
So, requirements for the cab are: -
- Rotating Arcade Monitor (I've gone for a Hantarex Polo/3 21")
- Hot-swappable control panels
- Narrow enough to fit through doorways, pull-apartable!
- Made from Plywood (don't want to work with MDF for various reasons)
- Stained not painted/artwork (not 100% decided on this one yet!)
- Will run my own frontend, and play MAME/C64/Amiga/Snes/PSX etc.
Enough waffle... here's some pics!
Here's the finished article (so far). As you can see there doesn't seem to be a way to rotate the monitor... well that's because there isn't!
I'm considering either making it so you have to remove the plexiglass to rotate it (I mean, how often will I be rotating it?), OR... cutting a small "door" on each side panel, which I can open, rotate by hand, and close. There's a keyboard drawer and a lockable door below it on the front panel (I want easy access inside the cab without having to go round the back). I plan on having a coin door in the middle of the lockable door too.
After the top/back/sides come off, this base will be the largest bit that's "stuck together" that I'll have to move. It's just small enough to get upstairs and through doors
It has the keyboard drawer attached to it, plus if you look closely you can see the mounting holes for the swappable control panels, and the hole in the middle for the control panel cables.
Here's a closeup showing how I plan to attach the control panels. I'm planning on having bolts glued and then coming down through the panel, through the holes, which I can then easily tighten/release with wingnuts. I may also secure the panels with some velcro for extra strength/stability.
The idea of rotating the monitor like this was not mine... I found some similar ideas on the examples on this site. I wanted the biggest monitor I could get, without making the cab too wide/deep, so I've gone with a 21" arcade monitor, supported on casters, both behind it and below it.
This shows how I plan to mount the monitor... the timber baton glued/screwed to the side panel is set at 45% to give me my favourite viewing angle, and you can see how the monitor sits on the front of the base. The monitor will be mounted by sliding it in from behind (wow that's gonna be heavy lifting it up that high). There's enough room in the cab for the monitor to rotate without hitting anything.
Still to design before I start building: -
- The cab's back door (I'm thinkin' camlock at top)
- Hinges/camlocks on the keyboard draw and front panel door
- Speaker holes (need to decide on speakers too)
- Holes in back/base for cooling fans
- Add some curves to the sides / tweak shape of side panels
- How to turn the monitor?! Maybe holes in the side (or hinged "doors" held with magnetic catch)
- Coin Door
I may be a while longer before I start building this thing, but I'll keep this post updated as I go along. I'll also post my sketchup project file when finished for anyone that wants it. Bear in mind they are in millimetres not inches, since I'm in the UK and everything is done that way over here. Should be easy to convert tho!
Comments, opinions and critiques welcome!