What all is involved in a DIY Arcade Cabinet? Suggestions? - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #1 of 10 Old 02-06-2015, 08:16 AM - Thread Starter
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What all is involved in a DIY Arcade Cabinet? Suggestions?

Hello All,
I was browsing CL barters and noticed someone selling an old ratty cabinet that had emulators on it cheap and got me thinking about trying something like this.
I have a few spare laptops that should be able to support specs needed to run anything I would want to run. I have an extra 25" LCD computer monitor or extra 32" tv's I could use.

Some questions I have are more for the cabinet and PC specs.
More worth wild to try and build something to fit my monitors I have? Or buy prefabbed? Im not great with wood, but might be able to get someone to help or learn.
Next is on PC specs. Any outlandish video card specs needed? Or since 8-16bit graphics, could i run pretty much anything?
For sound since going through a PC, just run right off the internal video card and get PC speakers?

Any insight would be great on this so I know if this is worth dipping into or what to look for on older cabinets

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post #2 of 10 Old 02-06-2015, 06:40 PM
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Hey there, couple questions first.

What emulators or games do you want to play? Only mames or if you are looking at lots of emulator? The laptop might enough to run up to Nintendo 64 if you are lucky.

Also, did you have an idea of the style of the cabinet? Upright, pedestal, cocktail, using an existing arcade cabinet (jamma)? If you start from scratch you'll need an interface to hook up the controls to the computer like an ipac made by ultimarc. You'll also have to check for controls (joysticks, buttons, etc.)

I'm not good with tools and wood either but managed to built a control panel, once everything was working the way i want i built a box to have a proprer pedestal.
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post #3 of 10 Old 02-12-2015, 12:06 PM
 
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There is a lot of youtube videos and online articles on this subject.

Did you have specific question on the woodworking ? Or the PC set up ?
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post #4 of 10 Old 02-13-2015, 06:11 AM
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I bought a dingy, ratty old 80's arcade stand up cabinet and then gutted it and re-built it. I bought xarcade joystick for it, put in a 26'' led tv with plexiglass, light guns, cup holders etc. I then used a dual-core dell pc with hyperspin and emulators/roms setup for the backend. When I first brought home the cabinet my wife wanted it gone ASAP as it stunk and looked hideous, she was shocked when I completed the project. Out of all the things in my game room and theater room people are most impressed and interested in the arcade machine. I think I invested less than $1000 total in the project. They sell for 3-5x's that online if you buy outright. And they aren't nearly as custom as the one I built myself. And on top of it I had a lot of fun working on the project.

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post #5 of 10 Old 02-14-2015, 09:00 PM
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What type of design are you going for? Building yourself will give more flexibility to get the way you want, but buying a pre-fab cabinet could save time if you don't have alot experience with woodworking. Everything I have read it is pretty straight forward build even if you dont have the experience.
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post #6 of 10 Old 05-17-2015, 07:23 PM
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I built mine using a old first generation xbox modded with MAME and CoinOps 5. I purchased my cabinet from RecRoomMasters.com Xtension Arcade Pedestal with the X-Arcade Tank Stick and a 32" LCD. Everything works great and I really have enjoyed it extremely! All in I'm less than 800.00 into the project. I'm building a second unit now that will use a HP Touchsmart IQ524 for the brains and display for a video slot machine/jukebox.


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post #7 of 10 Old 05-18-2015, 05:59 AM
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You can also have a look a the Raspberry Pie with Retro Pie or Recall Box (much easier to setup than the first one), you won't be able to play dreamcast game or higher but it's a pretty easy setup.

ALso works with an Ipac.
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post #8 of 10 Old 05-30-2015, 06:00 AM
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Hello, I'm new here.

It's probably worth taking a step back and deciding ultimately what you REALLY want from the build.

I've built a couple. The original one was my first 'proper' project and took me through the 'I'm not sure I've got the skills to do this' phase. I learned a lot. This was made about 7-8 years ago so would have been using what's considered fairly ancient hardware now. It did just fine with 'classics' to modern shmups.

Having realised that woodworking isn't really that difficult provided you have the basic tools and some patience, I realised that what I REALLY wanted was one which would run everything, including new PC game releases, particularly fighters. The PC driving this is very high spec. It uses a 24 inch monitor and is a lot less imposing than traditional cabinets.

There's a great deal to be said for the satisfaction in building something - you may find that you really enjoy it and want to progress on to other projects - it does open up a whole new world of possibilities ... if you have the room.

For the record, I do really love the original arcade cabinets, I just have too many other project builds in my room to accommodate.

If you're really interested in progressing this, ArcadeControls.com is probably the best resource on the net.

I will add pictures once my post count is at 5!
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post #9 of 10 Old 05-30-2015, 06:27 AM
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I can't seem to edit my original post so here are the pictures:

First DIY arcade cabinet; basic but functional:



Second DIY Cabinet:



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post #10 of 10 Old 06-16-2015, 09:57 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by General0 View Post
I built mine using a old first generation xbox modded with MAME and CoinOps 5. I purchased my cabinet from RecRoomMasters.com Xtension Arcade Pedestal with the X-Arcade Tank Stick and a 32" LCD. Everything works great and I really have enjoyed it extremely! All in I'm less than 800.00 into the project. I'm building a second unit now that will use a HP Touchsmart IQ524 for the brains and display for a video slot machine/jukebox.


Sweet

I see a roller ball- does it play golden tee?

Man would I love to do this- I have an old Xbox and like to tinker but have no skill

In the olden days I used to run direct tv through a PC to get all the channels so I do have the ability to follow instructions
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