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Author Topic: paulscade - First Build - MAME - Blastoff!  (Read 30953 times)

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paulscade

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paulscade - First Build - MAME - Blastoff!
« on: July 13, 2008, 01:41:16 pm »
SO... after watching a podcast [Systm] of Patrick and David building a MAME cabinet:
http://revision3.com/systm/mamecase
I decided that I could do it too.  It's something that I've always wanted to do and watching this "inspired me".

Over the next couple of days or so... I'll post the progress of a cabinet that I started in Mid-March 2008.

The first thing to do was to arm myself with some information.  The podcast recommended the Project Arcade book... so that's where I started.

I went to a few local book stores but the book was nowhere to be found.  Everyone could order it (but, then, so could I).  A little shopping on the Internet and I found one for a good price.

I'd say that I spent a good 3 months reading and researching before I finally decided to begin.

I had picked a "two-part" cabinet for my build because I liked the way that it looked.  At first, I didn't know that it (the cabinet style) had an official name.  I saw photos on this board and elsewhere but didn't know what it was called.  I searched everywhere for plans without luck.

Until... right under my nose... I found plans... on the CD in the back of the very book that I was using as reference.... the cabinet... The Ultimate Arcade II.

I decided to build my cabinet from 5/8" MDF.  I was planning on some modifications to the original plans (more on that later) so I wanted the cabinet to be as light as possible while still using MDF (as it's easy to work with).

Little did I know that I wouldn't be able to find 5/8" MDF anywhere.  I ended up ordering it from a local lumber store and I had to wait about 3 weeks for delivery.

And so the project started... with my 3 sheets of 5/8" MDF...

« Last Edit: March 17, 2009, 09:14:53 pm by paulscade »
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paulscade

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Re: paulscade - First Build - MAME - No Name (yet)
« Reply #1 on: July 13, 2008, 01:56:43 pm »
The original plans called for the cabinet to sit directly on the ground... no casters.  I wanted to be able to move the thing around.  I modified the plans a bit to allow for a recessed base that would accommodate nice heavyweight casters.  I didn't want to see wheels.

I also did some rough weight calculations.... 5/8" MDF sheets were in the neighborhood of 70 something pounds each.  The monitor I chose is 100 pounds.  Controls, computer, etc... this was going to be a heavy cabinet.

I didn't think that 5/8 MDF would be good to hold all that weight, so I decided to build the base using a 2x4 frame with a 3/4" Plywood base.  I would then mount the casters to the 3/4" plywood.

Time to start cutting:




Many of the parts have been cut, it's time to start building the frame for the base:
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leapinlew

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Re: paulscade - First Build - MAME - No Name (yet)
« Reply #2 on: July 13, 2008, 02:04:22 pm »
2 things -

First, the 5/8ths material will limit your T-molding options. Assuming your doing T-molding and paint. If you use 1/16" laminate on each side - you'll hit the 3/4" mark that will allow you the most options for T-molding. Even at 5/8ths though - you get a decent selection of colors:
http://www.t-molding.com

Second - on the show they routed for T-molding after the cabinet was assembled. This is much more difficult and dangerous (if you hit a screw). Route your t-molding slot BEFORE assembly.

Good luck - have fun.

paulscade

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Re: paulscade - First Build - MAME - No Name (yet)
« Reply #3 on: July 13, 2008, 02:06:10 pm »
Time to put some more of this together... Let's see... Tab A into Slot B...
(up to now... I've got about 16 hours invested in the project)







Time to install that plywood base and the casters:

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paulscade

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Re: paulscade - First Build - MAME - No Name (yet)
« Reply #4 on: July 13, 2008, 02:11:17 pm »
Hey leapinlew,

I decided not to use laminate as the plan called for.  I'm [possibly] going with a custom paint job.... this artist did an excellent job on my neighbors wall... real talent... I'm considering custom art for the sides (I'm still undecided).

... I've already got the 5/8" T-Molding and the slots cut.  More on that later.. I just thought that I'd post a quick response.

Tkx! though for the comments!!
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paulscade

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Re: paulscade - First Build - MAME - No Name (yet)
« Reply #5 on: July 13, 2008, 02:22:15 pm »
Ya know what... I just realized that I didn't mention the slot cutting.

BEFORE any assembly I did the slot cutting for the T-molding.  All the way around the base sections and all the way around the top sections.  It was the first time ever that I used a router.  No problems... the MDF cut like butter.

There a bit of a story about that too.  I had a heck of a time trying to find a 1/16" slot cutting bit at the local home stores (Home Depot, Ace Hardware, Harbor Freight).  I bought a slot cutter bit from Harbor Freight... and then later realized that I had purchased a 1/2" shank and I had a 1/4" shank router. :hissy:  I returned it but found that they had no 1/4" left on the shelf.  After more searching, I ended up finding the 1/16" slot cutter bit at Home Depot... on the clearence rack... for $8.  What a deal.

Edit: corrected mistake of specifying 1/6" slot cutter.

If you look... you'll see that the slots are already there.

« Last Edit: July 13, 2008, 06:54:19 pm by paulscade »
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paulscade

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Re: paulscade - First Build - MAME - No Name (yet)
« Reply #6 on: July 13, 2008, 02:32:00 pm »
I realized that my base modification had left me with an exposed 2x4 frame... with bolts sticking through.  This makes it a bit clunky when trying to place a computer in the cabinet (having to workaround the bolts).

I decided to add a MDF base above the frame.  I used the extra space to my advantage... to make a coin box (of sorts).  Later, I'll find a plastic bin that fits in the space that I've created.

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paulscade

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Re: paulscade - First Build - MAME - No Name (yet)
« Reply #7 on: July 13, 2008, 02:39:35 pm »
The base section is now almost complete.  I'm 33 hours into the project.







Humm... I don't have a good shot of the keyboard drawer.  But I was working on that at the same time as the base.  The slides came from Home Depot.
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paulscade

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Re: paulscade - First Build - MAME - No Name (yet)
« Reply #8 on: July 13, 2008, 02:50:00 pm »
Just a slight setback.  There's even a warning on the plans... REMOVE the keyboard drawer when moving the cabinet.

I've been wheeling this cabinet in and out of the garage to work on it.  We normally park both cars in the garage.  There's a step up to get to the garage door leading to the house.

As I lifted one end of the cabinet to get it up the step... the keyboard drawer came flying out of the cabinet... it hit the concrete at just the right angle to snap it (the front of the drawer from the bottom with the slides).  :'(  I wasn't happy.  Fortunately, the screws bent but held it together enough to make repair relatively easy.

Another mod that's not shown in the photos... to protect the lower edges of the cabinet, I bought some steel angle iron at Home Depot.  The angle iron runs along the left and right sides at the bottom and it's mounted on the inside of the cabinet so you don't see it.  I figured that it would protect the delicate MDF as I move it up and down the step in the garage.... and wherever else I move it.
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paulscade

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Re: paulscade - First Build - MAME - No Name (yet)
« Reply #9 on: July 13, 2008, 03:35:54 pm »
Time to get the top section into place.

I should say... I've been using #8, 1.5" screws and a good wood glue to put this thing together.  I first drill 1/8" pilot holes.  Then, each hole is drilled about 5/16" deep with a 3/8" bit.   I bought a 3/8" plug cutter and drilled plugs from scrap MDF.  Once the screws are in place, I hammer in a MDF plug with a rubber mallet.

Here the top section going together.






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leapinlew

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Re: paulscade - First Build - MAME - No Name (yet)
« Reply #10 on: July 13, 2008, 03:40:32 pm »
After more searching, I ended up finding the 1/6" slot cutter bit at Home Depot... on the clearence rack... for $8.  What a deal.
one sixth of an inch? Have you tested your t-molding in the slot yet? We normally use 1/16th.

paulscade

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Re: paulscade - First Build - MAME - No Name (yet)
« Reply #11 on: July 13, 2008, 03:47:27 pm »
Time to work on the monitor mount.

I actually ordered and received the monitor early in the project.  I needed to order early because I wanted to insure that the cabinet width would accommodate the monitor.  I also wanted to be sure that I built the cabinet wide enough for the monitor but not too wide that it wouldn't fit through the doorways.

The monitor that I chose was the 27" Makvision High Resolution monitor from Happ.  Shipping was killer... but I really wanted that monitor (I hope that I made the right decision).

My wife and I lifted the 100 pound monitor into place so I could mark up the cabinet for the mounts.  I used 2x4 in just the right places for the mounting bolts.  The monitor came back out and I glued and screwed the mounting 2x4's into place.



Edit: I had originally posted that this was the Tri Mode from Happ.
« Last Edit: September 24, 2008, 03:11:30 pm by paulscade »
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javeryh

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Re: paulscade - First Build - MAME - No Name (yet)
« Reply #12 on: July 13, 2008, 03:49:02 pm »
After more searching, I ended up finding the 1/6" slot cutter bit at Home Depot... on the clearence rack... for $8.  What a deal.
one sixth of an inch? Have you tested your t-molding in the slot yet? We normally use 1/16th.

heh... that's got to be a typo.   ;D

The arcade is looking very nice so far.  33 hours is nothing - I'd probably only have the keyboard drawer cut out in that time.

paulscade

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Re: paulscade - First Build - MAME - No Name (yet)
« Reply #13 on: July 13, 2008, 03:50:33 pm »
Yup... I fixed the typo.  The spell checked didn't catch that.   ;D  Let's make that a 1/16" slot....
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paulscade

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Re: paulscade - First Build - MAME - No Name (yet)
« Reply #14 on: July 13, 2008, 03:58:21 pm »
Well, I'm at 40 hours now... and it's time to build the control panel box.

After some measuring, I came up with box.


3.5 hours later... I had the control panel box built.
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clockwork

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Re: paulscade - First Build - MAME - No Name (yet)
« Reply #15 on: July 13, 2008, 04:11:27 pm »
Looking really good. Nice, clean, solid. I haven't been counting the hours I'm spending. If I did, I'd cry.
Charlie Brown: I'm still hoping that yesterday will get better.

paulscade

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Re: paulscade - First Build - MAME - No Name (yet)
« Reply #16 on: July 13, 2008, 04:14:20 pm »
... and what an UGLY box is was.

The longer I had it sitting on the cabinet, the more I hated it.

Needless to say... that control panel box now sits in the garage holding household cleaners.

I decided that 3.5 hours wasn't that much time to throw away so a redesign was in order.  BUT... I had used up the larger scraps of MDF.  It was time to visit the store for some more MDF.  Luckily, I still had a largish piece of 5/8" for the control panel top (perfect, as once I add plexi, it's be the perfect 3/4" for the T-molding).

I decided to build the new control panel box from 3/4" MDF (mainly because I wasn't about to special order a sheet of 5/8" just for a control panel).

When I went to the check out at Home Depot, my 1/4 sheet of 3/4" MDF rang up at about $27.  Ouch.  I knew that there was a problem so I took it back to the racks and found a sales person.  It happened that my little piece of MDF had the barcode for the entire sheet attached.  I suppose that they forgot to remove it when the cut the sheet into pieces.

With his trusty can of spray paint, the salesperson sprayed over the bardcode and said... there!... now it's $1.  Excellent... "such a deal".  I was happy.

With my wood in hand... I started my redesign.



This time... I'm going to add some character.





I also realized that I didn't have any slant on the UGLY box... so this new one is 1 inch lower in the front than in the back.





This one took me 6 hours on Memorial Day to build.
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paulscade

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Re: paulscade - First Build - MAME - No Name (yet)
« Reply #17 on: July 13, 2008, 04:30:35 pm »
I needed to finish up the top of the cabinet a bit... in the speaker mount area.  I was searching and searching for just the right speakers.  I've read posting after posting.  I wanted the speakers to be as low as possible so as not to interfer with the [future] light in the marquee area.  I just couldn't find any PC speakers anywhere [that made me happy].

So... I decided on some car speakers.  Sony Explod 5 1/4".  I found a nice 40W per channel amplifier on e-bay to drive them.... NOW I can cut the holes and finish the top.



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paulscade

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Re: paulscade - First Build - MAME - No Name (yet)
« Reply #18 on: July 13, 2008, 04:34:20 pm »
I also cut out the control panel top from that 5/8" MDF.
I decided to allow 1/2" overhang on the left and right... and 3/4" in the front.
I used an old cookie can to trace out the rounded corners.

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paulscade

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Re: paulscade - First Build - MAME - No Name (yet)
« Reply #19 on: July 13, 2008, 04:43:04 pm »
Hardware... oh, yea... I'll be needing some hardware...

I went hunting around for some way to mount the control panel box onto the cabinet.  Yes, I know that Happ sells those panel latches (and I'm not sure, I may still need some of those).  I found these friction catches at www.rockler.com .  I mounted them and the panel now snaps into place.  I used 4 of them.  Since the catch uses a "pin and socket" sort of design, I didn't want my panel to be sitting on pins (the part of the catch that's mounted to the bottom of the control panel) when it's removed from the cabinet.  I decided to place two pieces of MDF (one on each side) on the bottom of the control panel.  I cut them at an angle so the panel really does center itself as it snaps.





« Last Edit: July 13, 2008, 05:57:34 pm by paulscade »
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paulscade

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Re: paulscade - First Build - MAME - No Name (yet)
« Reply #20 on: July 13, 2008, 04:52:29 pm »
Another "thinking" problem.

I wanted to hinge the top of my control panel at the front of the control panel box.... so that the control panel top will lift up from the back (like other panels you've seen here on this site).  I had a requirement of not wanting to see the hinges from the front.  BUT... my panel top overhangs the front of the control panel box by 3/4".  Standard hinges wouldn't work.... because the top needs to lift and separate from the box to accommodate for the overhang.

Again, at Rockler, I found what I think will work.  I don't have these mounted yet but my initial tests with scrap wood, it seems that these hinges give me the right amount of lift and separate that I need.  They weren't cheap... $15 for the pair + shipping.

Here are some photos of the test.

Simulated 3/4" overhang on the front of a test "panel"


A closed panel top


Some of that lift and separate


This just might work



« Last Edit: August 31, 2008, 10:50:33 am by paulscade »
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paulscade

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Re: paulscade - First Build - MAME - No Name (yet)
« Reply #21 on: July 13, 2008, 05:00:07 pm »
Time to place the monitor back into the cabinet for some fine tuning.

I'm now 57 hours into the project.

I placed the monitor back and marked up the holes for the mounting bolts.  This was also a good time to cut the bezel to size.  A sharp box cutter and a steel ruler did the trick nicely.

Measure twice (I probably measured 4 times)... and cut once.  I didn't want to have to buy another bezel.

I also noticed that there was a gap between the top of the bezel and the speaker mounts... humm... time to cut a small MDF filler.

The filler panel for the gap


The first time that the bezel meets the cabinet



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paulscade

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Re: paulscade - First Build - MAME - No Name (yet)
« Reply #22 on: July 13, 2008, 05:10:00 pm »
Once the monitor is removed, that bezel will need a frame to rest against.  The frame will also serve as something to "push against" once I install the glass.

** By the way... I ordered glass from www.onedayglass.com.  Smoked, tempered, pencil edges.  I haven't received it yet but they had the best price around... I checked a number of local shops and this place beat them all.

The frame needed to be removable as the monitor would hit if I needed to remove it.  I built an MDF frame with countersunk screws and attached it to the cabinet.

While I was "in the area", I also sealed up the speaker section.  This would provide a for a speaker box and also give me somewhere to mount the marquee light later.

The frame


The bezel resting against the frame and the sealed up speaker area
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paulscade

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Re: paulscade - First Build - MAME - No Name (yet)
« Reply #23 on: July 13, 2008, 05:24:30 pm »
Well... this is where I am today.

63 hours into the project with endless research time.

I bought some primer yesterday but I didn't feel like painting today.  I also brought back some paint chips to decide on a color... to go with my, yet undecided, theme.

I have a good amount of parts already... as I've been ordering throughout the project.  I plan on having the following components on my panel:

1 x Groovy Game Gear (GGG) Electric Ice Trackball
1 x GGG TT2 Spinner
1 x GGG KeyWiz 40-ST (a recent decision)
2 x Ultimarc MagStik Plus
1 x Untimarc Ultrastik 360
23 x Happ concave buttons

I've got some control panel layouts drawn up in Visio... but I'm not ready for you guys to beat me up on the design just yet.... so for now, I'll keep them to myself.... but check back later.  ;)
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leapinlew

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Re: paulscade - First Build - MAME - No Name (yet)
« Reply #24 on: July 13, 2008, 06:03:22 pm »
You use those magstik+ yet? Curious what you think... they weren't right for me to use on 8 way games. The throw was too short.

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Re: paulscade - First Build - MAME - No Name (yet)
« Reply #25 on: July 13, 2008, 06:13:47 pm »
Hey lepinlew,

I'm still waiting for the Magstiks to arrive.  I've read many of the postings here about them.... both the positives and the negatives.  The feature of being able to switch them from 4 to 8 way from the top made the decision for me.... that's really nice.  I'm hoping that I don't regret the purchase.... because I really don't plan on buying more sticks and reworking a control panel (that's not yet built  :) ).

My thoughts right now are to top mount everything (yes, extra work routing out space for the sticks, etc).  I figure by top mounting, I take advantage of the full stick length of any of the sticks.  I know that this doesn't really address the throw... I'll post my opinions of the sticks when I get them.
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paulscade

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Re: paulscade - First Build - MAME - No Name (yet)
« Reply #26 on: July 27, 2008, 05:23:01 pm »
Well... I've received all of my controls.  Magsticks and U360 from divemaster.  Electric Ice Trackball, Happ buttons, Novamatrix marquee light, and TurboTwist2 spinner from Groovy Game Gear.  I must say... I'm impressed.  This is all quality stuff.

I hooked up the U360 just to play a little (because it's easily plugged in via USB).  Pretty nice.  I bought the medium spring because many on this board seemed to like it.  I haven't installed it yet... but the one that comes stock isn't bad at all.  I can't really give it a good run because it doesn't work very well while holding it in one one hand while playing with the other.  ;D

I haven't tried out the trackball or spinner yet (they are next).... but both feel like quality made items.

I also received my glass from one day glass.  3/8", smoked, tempered, beveled edges.  It fit perfectly.
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paulscade

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Re: paulscade - First Build - MAME - No Name (yet)
« Reply #27 on: July 27, 2008, 05:31:28 pm »
I worked on the cabinet again today.

I wanted to add a cooling fan to the rear of the cabinet.  I'm sure that the big 29" CRT is going to generate some heat.  Since the hole is going to be seen... (if you look)... I wanted it to be perfect.  I decided to build a circle jig for the router.

I've only used a router one time before... and that was to do the slot cutting.  After reading a few articles about circle jigs, I figured that it would be easy... and it was.

Cool... a perfect 360:


I mounted a scrap piece of MDF to the bottom of the router... measured out the radius (Yes, radius, tkx! shmokes  :) ) of the circle that I needed (I needed a 4.5" diameter hole for the fan)... and drove a nail in the MDF to serve as a pivot point.

I drilled a small pilot hole in the back of the cabinet where I would insert the nail from the jig.  Cut like butter and produced a perfect hole.  :applaud:

Here's the router with the jig attached:

« Last Edit: August 09, 2008, 07:24:03 am by paulscade »
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paulscade

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Re: paulscade - First Build - MAME - No Name (yet)
« Reply #28 on: July 27, 2008, 05:36:48 pm »
The cabinet also got its first coat of primer today.  I decided to paint both the inside and outside of the cabinet.



Next week... sanding and paint.  I haven't decided if I want another coat of primer.  Right now... I'm leaning towards skipping that.  I figure on painting a number of finishing coats anyway... so there's probably no need for more primer.

I'm now 68 hours into this project that started mid-March.
« Last Edit: July 28, 2008, 09:47:39 am by paulscade »
... Why is it that you always find it in the last place that you look? ...

GAtekwriter

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Re: paulscade - First Build - MAME - No Name (yet)
« Reply #29 on: July 27, 2008, 10:03:14 pm »
You better be careful with that primer around that Beemer :)

Your project is looking good...

Jim

notanoob81

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Re: paulscade - First Build - MAME - No Name (yet)
« Reply #30 on: July 27, 2008, 11:37:36 pm »
You are well on your way to putting Patrick and David's cabinet to shame. I quit watching Systm, because I can only take so much of Patrick's witty sarcasm.

Looking great.

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Re: paulscade - First Build - MAME - No Name (yet)
« Reply #31 on: July 28, 2008, 12:20:19 am »
Awesome work Paul.  Cant wait to see it finished...

Timstuff

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Re: paulscade - First Build - MAME - No Name (yet)
« Reply #32 on: July 28, 2008, 03:36:23 am »
Two coats of primer (sanded between coats) is my preference. Also, two or three coats of paint with sanding in between will give you an excellent top layer.

paulscade

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Re: paulscade - First Build - MAME - No Name (yet)
« Reply #33 on: July 29, 2008, 12:52:55 pm »
thankx! for all the encouragement guys!   :applaud:

Yea GAtekwriter... my wife has already said more than once... "I can't believe that you're building that Arcade Cabinet so close to your car".   :o

It's not really that close... it's all camera angles.   ;)
... Why is it that you always find it in the last place that you look? ...

soup

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Re: paulscade - First Build - MAME - No Name (yet)
« Reply #34 on: July 31, 2008, 05:10:14 am »
Nice Job - very clean looking  :applaud:

My UAII is at the point where I need to work out the Gfx, how to mount the monitor and how to mount the glass.
My biggest whinge with mine is I think that my 21" monitor will be waaaaayy too small.


Spaced Ace

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Re: paulscade - First Build - MAME - No Name (yet)
« Reply #35 on: August 01, 2008, 12:22:50 pm »
thankx! for all the encouragement guys!   :applaud:

Yea GAtekwriter... my wife has already said more than once... "I can't believe that you're building that Arcade Cabinet so close to your car".   :o

It's not really that close... it's all camera angles.   ;)

At least she said you could build it.  ;D

paulscade

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Re: paulscade - First Build - MAME - No Name (yet)
« Reply #36 on: August 02, 2008, 12:10:07 pm »
Nice looking cabinet soup... looks familiar.  You're not too far behind me on your build.

So... I mentioned before that I had received all of my controls and the glass.  Even though you've seen controls before... I thought that I'd post these photos anyway.

Groovy Game Gear Turbo Twist II Spinner [and interface board]:


Groovy Game Gear Electric Ice Trackball (top):


The business end... including the custom interface and lighting by GGG:


Ultimarc UltraStik 360:


A pair of Ultimarc MagStik Plus':


And a whole lot of Happ buttons (23 for the CP + some spares):


The whole pile looks like this:

... Why is it that you always find it in the last place that you look? ...

paulscade

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Re: paulscade - First Build - MAME - No Name (yet)
« Reply #37 on: August 02, 2008, 12:20:12 pm »
I'm really pleased with the way that the glass turned out.  It was ordered from One Day Glass (http://www.onedayglass.com/).  This was only $40.  I thought it was a great deal compared to other local shops.

Here are the specs that I decided on:

Shape: Square/Rectangle
Width: 24 13/16"  Height: 23 7/16"
Glass Type: Tempered
Glass Thickness: 3/16"
Glass Tint: Solar Gray (Light Gray)
Edgework (Step 1): Pencil Grind Satin Finish
Edgework (Step 2): 1, 2, 3, 4
Option: No Tong Marks

In the cabinet, it fits like a glove.

Glass photos are a bit difficult.  I placed a sheet of bright white paper behind the glass so you could get an idea of the tint (but other factors like my camera, lighting, your monitor, etc. will make it difficult to really tell).

Here's the glass:


... and a closeup of the edgework:

« Last Edit: September 01, 2008, 10:33:19 am by paulscade »
... Why is it that you always find it in the last place that you look? ...

paulscade

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Re: paulscade - First Build - MAME - No Name (yet)
« Reply #38 on: August 02, 2008, 12:27:35 pm »
I went with the Groovy Game Gear NovaMatrix lighting for the marquee.  I hooked it up for test and it was pretty bright.  I don't have any art for the marquee yet... so it remains to be seen if it will provide enough light.  I think that it will be fine.  I really like the idea of generating less heat in the cabinet.

Here's the NovaMatrix:


... and a close up of three of the 16 LEDs:
« Last Edit: August 09, 2008, 11:24:33 am by paulscade »
... Why is it that you always find it in the last place that you look? ...

miles2912

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Re: paulscade - First Build - MAME - No Name (yet)
« Reply #39 on: August 02, 2008, 05:21:54 pm »
I like the way your cab is shaping up.  One thing I wish I did on my cab was route the bottom of the cp for t-molding.  Protects it and looks nice.  Kudos on the 29" monitor.  Should look great!
  Scratch built upright MAME Cab

  
 

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