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DIY Arcade/Console Machine

post #1 of 37
Thread Starter 

This is going to be a build thread for my new gaming machine. My girlfriend and I rent the top two floors of an old house in a historical district. We mainly live on the 2nd floor, but the 3rd floor is awesome. It's wide open, covering the entire area of the house and has really cool wood floors. We're going to turn it into a game room/rumpus room.

Current game goals:
Bumper pool (getting from friend)
Stand up arcade/console machine (planning build)
Arachnid soft-tip dart machine (already have)
Rod hockey table (already have)
*more games may be of interest in future*

Arcade/Console Build:
PC - 1+Ghz, 256Mb Ram, Sound, Tv-outs, 40Gig hard drive
TV - 27" analog beast
Controlers - Xbox controllers for now, arcade joystick/ buttons to come in future
2.1 pc speakers and subwoofer
Homemade standup arcade style cabinet

Maximum Arcade frontend
Sega Genisis

I'm going to be acquiring parts for this arcade/console build over the next week. I'll post info and pics as they become available. As the entire room starts to come together, I should have some pretty cool pics of our setup.

- Fightingfish
post #2 of 37
<---awaiting pictures
post #3 of 37
Thread Starter 
No pictures yet
I acquired a free pc to run my game machine. Spent about five hours cleaning up the hardware, then reformatting and installing xp pro. Now loading drivers, emulators, and roms. Things are starting to shape up. As of right now I have a huge collection of nes games on there, playable with the x-box controller.

PC specs-
800mhz AMD Atholon Cpu
Geforce2 MX Graphics Card
Augigy2 ZS Sound Card
512 Mb Ram
CD-r/w Burner
25 Gig HD
10 Gig HD

Post some pics when I get the entire game machine running. Think I'm gonna call it the "Concade".
post #4 of 37
I want to use a 32 inch westy LCD as the monitor (about 500 bucks), then just buy the joysticks all together. Then, you can create a real modern looking arcade cabinet because the monitor is so light
post #5 of 37
Awaiting pics, sweet.
post #6 of 37
Thread Starter 
In order to continue with my 'budget' build, I acquired a free cabinet. I called a local vending company an inquired about a used cabinet. The guy told me to come on over and I could have one for free. When I got there they showed me four draw poker cabinets that were headed to the dumpster. "I'll take one!", I said. We stood there a moment looking at the large game cabinet and then at my 88' Volvo sedan. Hmm...how to get this baby home...

I grabbed my skateboard out of the trunk. The guy looked at me like I was smoking something funky. So we layed the cabinet on it's side, with the skateboard under it. I proceeded to roll the cabinet home...Across Market street, up onto the sidewalk, down the block...turn left, down the next block. It's here that a local crackhead became inthralled with my little mission. He walked behind me asking me questions.."does that work?", "do you need help?", ect, ect. I partially ignored him, and he eventually became interested in something else and left me alone. So I turned right down my block, pushed it a little further down the sidewalk, and was home. Skateboarded back to the vending company, got in my car and drove home.

Mission accomplished! Now to clean and gut the machine. There were a lot of un-needed parts in this thing. First I took out the old t.v. screen, busting the vacuum tube. Scared the crap out of me. I wasn't sure if what came leaking out was dangerous. I pushed on, removing all the electronics from the interior. Then I busted out a shelf I didn't need in the lower part of the cabinet. Next, I cleaned the cabinet with a rag and some multi-purpose spray. Removed a few pieces of hardware from the exterior and Voila! Cleaned and gutted. Now I'm waiting for somebody to help me get it up the stairs, and into the apartment. Here's some pics, for all you patient forum-goers.

Free pc, Emulators and Roms loaded, X-box controller configured.

Free cabinet, formarly draw poker machine.

Cabinet gutted, except for some hardware and a shelf I removed later.

Removed Cabinet Guts
post #7 of 37
Thread Starter 
*Caution* This Mame machine is not pretty!! View following pictures at your own risk. Like my friend told me about the internet, "You CANNOT UNSEE THINGS!!"

This project is far from completed. Basically I have my pc, monitor, and speakers all in the cabinet. The cabinet needs refinished, and I need to add a bezel around the monitor. I also need to make a custom control panel with joystick and buttons. Eventually I'll get a dance game pad and a light gun. I'ld also like to get an 80 gig hd so I can add chd images, and play some more interesting games. So far I have spend $0 on this project. Everything I am using was either given to me, or I had laying around the house. In fact, I found 75cents in the bottom of my 'free' cabinet!

Front of Game Machine

iz sick of mame, going fir cheezbergrz

Very Un-Finished, but Works!
post #8 of 37
You cannot UNSEE things, LOL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
post #9 of 37
Thread Starter 
After a day of thinking about my cabinet, I have some tentative plans. I'm going to remove the two plates from the front, leaving the coin slot plate intact. Fill in the plug the two fronts with pieces of wood, then fill cracks with wood filler. Also fill any screw holes around cabinet with wood filler. I'm going to sand the entier outside of the cabinet, roughing it up real good. Then roll on black truck bed liner. This will give the cabinet a nice textured appearance. It'll be soo much better than the cheesey woodgrain it has now!

I'm going to remove the control panel for now, and replace with a solid plank of wood, which will also be truck bed lined. Gonna make a bezel out of maybe 1/8" plywood that will also be truck bed lined. It'll be sanded down to a taper where on all sides where it meets the monitor screen. My two speekers will go in the top corners of the front of the cabinet. I'll have to cut out ovals from the bezel I make, to fit them nice and flush with the bezel. Last thing I'm thinking about is putting two female USB dongles right in the front of the cabinet. This will allow easy connection and disconnection of different controlers. IE: xbox controller, dance pad, light gun.
post #10 of 37
Lookin good. I'll be sure to keep an eye on this project.

Do you have a link to the Maximum Arcade frontend? Any other good frontends that you recommend checking out? I've been wanting to build a machine like this, but just haven't had the time to read up on it. This may make a nice fall project.
post #11 of 37
Thread Starter 

Today was a good day of altering the cabinet to my desired setup. I took out the slanted control panel and replaced with a flat one. There should be room enough for two joysticks, six buttons to each, 1player and 2player selection button, and a insert coin button. Total of two joysticks and 15 buttons. I also built shelves to hold the speakers in top right and left corner of cabinet. Removed some plates from front of cabinet and plugged holes. Tomorrow I'll use wood filler to fill gaps, and holes around cabinet and start on bezel. Bezel will be 1/8" masonite, tapered around monitor screen. I'll post some pics as I make more progress.
post #12 of 37
superior job fighting fish, i'm in cleveland mind if i visit when it's done
post #13 of 37
Thread Starter 
No problem elmalloc, it would be great to have you by for a visit. My HT and game room aren't much, but I like em'. The arcade machine should be virtually done in the next week. With the exception of a real arcade panel. When I scrounge up the moolah, I'll buy joysticks and buttons, dance pad, and light guns. For the time being it's gonna be x-box controller input. I'll let you know when it's 'show-able'.
post #14 of 37
Thread Starter 
Sorry for the double post. But keeping with the 'budget' theme of this build. Here's a crude drawing of the side view of want I want to achieve, rendered in MS Paint...

post #15 of 37
Thread Starter 
I'm so terribly sorry for the tripple post. But it's my thread right? So far on my arcade/console machine I have mainly been playing 'Gradius'. I really hate the third level...that one with all the Easter Isle.-like statues that spit big circles at you!!!

Anyways, I realised that the side view of my cabinet(shown crudely in last post) will be similar to the silhouette of an Easter Island statue.
post #16 of 37
Lol! hey can you make your MAME cabinet internet capable?

Then we can play life force (NES) 2 players...
post #17 of 37
Thread Starter 
It could be internet capable..but it won't be. I installed all the software on it by downloading to my main pc, then transfering of LAN to my game rig. Actually, the name of my game machine is probably going to be Retro Encabulator. Named after this funny/ spoof video:


A true retro encabulator, just wouldn't have internet access. Plus then I don't need to do virus scans!
I guess a retro encabulator could have internet access...however it would have to be 14.4k. At that rate internet gaming would be virtually useless.
post #18 of 37
Thread Starter 
I loaded a .chd file onto my game computer to test it out. The game was Killer Instinct 2. I was surprised that the game booted up no problem. However, this game ran way to slow to make it 'play-able'. I attribute the lagginess to my 800mhz cpu and GeForce2 MX video card. I think I have plenty of ram to play these type of games, just not the processor power or graphics acceleration. Oh well...a retro encabulator shouldn't play these fancy schmancy games anyway! I was surprised that playing Kinst2 didn't crash my computer, it just ran very slow.
post #19 of 37
post #20 of 37
Great cabinet for this. In my eyes, with a modern arcade machine, size and clarity of the monitor are the most important thing to wow guests and for your own enjoyment. I'd want a huge monitor like a 32 incher. Here's my idea: jigsaww the monitor area (just the front of it) to accomodate a flatscreen 32 inch LCD westy from tigerdirect. It'll be a little wider, but you could mod the cabinet to make it look decent, then fix it up so it doesn't look like a horse arse. That's just me. I like things to be light and a standard tv is damn heavy.
post #21 of 37
Thread Starter 
Originally Posted by whiskey > work View Post

Here's my idea: jigsaww the monitor area (just the front of it) to accomodate a flatscreen 32 inch LCD westy from tigerdirect. It'll be a little wider, but you could mod the cabinet to make it look decent

I'm using a 32" Olevia for my pc monitor right now. It's rather large. I'm going to be using this 17" Sony Trinitron CRT for my cabinet. Mainly because it was free, but also because it has good picture quality and fits well in the cabinet. Later today I'm going to look into taking the plastic bezel off the monitor. That way when I put my arcade bezel in, it will be flush with the screen.

Also later today I'm going to be picking up a circular saw from my brother. Gonna move the cabinet up to the third floor of our house and do some sawing.
post #22 of 37
Thread Starter 
Construction Update
Moved the cabinet to the third floor to do the rest of the work on it. Got the bezel roughed out and cabinet sides modified. Currently designing and building the marquee. The marquee will house my the speakers (downfiring) and have a plex-glass front with illuminated artwork.

post #23 of 37
it's starting to look like stone you posted earlier
post #24 of 37
Thread Starter 
This project is moving right along. I'm not going to post any new pics until this weekend. The cabinet will be virtually done at that point. Next week I'll be ordering the joysticks and buttons for the control panel. I'll also be fitting two female usb ports into the side of the cabinet. These ports will be used for the occasional gamepad, dance pad, and wait for it......the guitar hero guitars! My current Mame computer can't handle guitar hero, but I'll upgrade sometime soon. I'll have to decide to either buy the pc version of guitar hero, or use x-box guitars modified for the pc. Using x-box guitars would allow me to play frets of fire or freetar. Both of which are free guitar hero clones.
post #25 of 37
you are superior
post #26 of 37
Well let me begin by saying I am impressed. At first I was unsure of this project... you have brought this one home big time. I have put this project off personally because, well I have a habit of over complicating things. Plus I have to re-finish the theater in to version 3.0 ( are we ever done?) Now you have me thinking of calling the local vending companies (I'm in the Chicago area so there are tons , I also have a truck in place of a skateboard) To see of I can score one free/cheap .... wife isn't gonna like that but the garage isn't full YET. lol

Thanks and keep posting the pics ...... you never know who your gonna inspire

Jester 2
post #27 of 37
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the kind words Elmollac and Jester. You guys are too much!

Here are some updated construction pics. When I get some money later this week I'm gonna buy some roll on truck bed liner and black spray paint. Also going to be ordering some joysticks and pushbuttons. Here's a link to the conrtoller interface I'll be using: http://groovygamegear.com/webstore/i...roducts_id=234

I'm including some pics of other games that will be in our rompus room.

One other note: I have not used a level or square while modifying this cabinet. Thus I have a lot of sanding to do. For future projects...I think I'll be more precise!

Front of Cabinet

Side of Cabinet

Rough Marquee Box

Totally 70's Bumper Pool we acquired last week for free!

Bar Soft-tip Dart Board

Stiga Rod Hockey Table
post #28 of 37
Thi sman rules
post #29 of 37
Thread Starter 
Here are a couple of pics. I ran out of funds before the entire cabinet was painted. I needed about $15 bucks to go get two cans of bedliner at wally world. However, in the mean time my joysticks, buttons, and gp-wiz eco came in! So I figured, "why wait till the entire cab is complete, lets wire this baby up and play now!".

So here are some pics of my wired and working control panel. You can also see how the truck bed liner worked on the bezel.

post #30 of 37
oh snap looking great
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