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cloudrat7
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My first arcade cabinet, built from scratch

by cloudrat7 Thu Sep 06, 2012 11:17 am

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After debating whether to just purchase an arcade cabinet or build one i decided to build my own bartop arcade. What could've taken me a few days went on for about two weeks because of certain drawbacks, But it's my first and i learned quite a few things about building a cabinet. So if you've been thinking about building one here are a few tips you definitely should know. I will skip simple things like painting and priming.

1. Forget about just going out and buying t-molding. No one really sells it, you can buy it on ebay. 20 ft for 9 dollars is not bad.

2. Do your measurements! make sure all of your components will fit inside, especially for a bartop arcade, which is much smaller. dont be afraid to stick the monitor in there prior to building everything to see how much room you can work with. Trust me.

3. You must know how to wire components. installing the on/off switch from the motherboard and especially the joystick wiring. you can just purchase jpac or you can do it the extremely long way and hack a usb joypad and run all the wiring from the usb controller to the cabinet joystick and buttons. I chose the latter and it took me a few hours.

4. Hot glue gun will be your greatest asset! absolutely choose this method over soldering for hacking the controller, you can also use it for holding down components inside your cabinet too. Very easy to use!

5. Know how to cut plexi! it is very easy to make a mistake and crack it. And please, don't use a jigsaw to cut one. I tried it and it does more damage than good. Just use a hot knife and just sand the edges after its cut.

6. 2 ways to do the marquee. you can just order one which is rather expensive or you can just print 2 halves on photo finish paper at Staples and just tape them carefully together. ordering cost you somewhere from 10 to 50 bucks. printing on photopaper only five.

7. i use Sheller to autostart my pc to go straight into the maximus arcade front end. Both programs are very easy to use. highly recommended.

I hope my first cabinet experience will help other people out there hoping to build one, This is my very first time, i have absolutely no experience doing this. It definitely was a learning experience for me. Feel free to ask any other questions you may have and i will be happily obliged to answer.

1.
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stencil drawn on mdf board

2.
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initial setup, simple brackets and wood screws.

3.
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a few layers of black paint

4.
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mounting monitor just to make sure it fits.

5.
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everything ok so far.

6.
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everything works,



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speaker setup with mini hacked amp.

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the cpu, a laptop with the screen removed.

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monitor bracket. this thing will not move.

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back panel with 2 fans attached, one intaking air and the other blowing out. notice the power button up on top.

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I did not take any pics of the t-molding portion and the controller hack either, i was so occupied making sure everything ran smoothly that it didn't occur to me. my apologies.
Last edited by cloudrat7 on Thu Sep 06, 2012 11:00 pm, edited 3 times in total.
http://www.artwanted.com/cloudrat7
Sega master system, Sega genesis, Sega saturn(mod), Dreamcast, Nes, Super nes, Turbografx-16, Playstation 1, Playstation 2, Gamecube, X-box 360.
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Re: My first arcade cabinet, built from scratch

by AppleQueso Thu Sep 06, 2012 11:46 am

Well it certainly looks nice from the pic.
cookie monster
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Re: My first arcade cabinet, built from scratch

by cookie monster Thu Sep 06, 2012 1:36 pm

That looks beautiful does it play as good as it looks?
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CRTGAMER
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Re: My first arcade cabinet, built from scratch

by CRTGAMER Thu Sep 06, 2012 1:49 pm

Very Nice, interested in how you put it all together. Your OP describes "the must do this and that" but no details such as wiring the controls or how the screen and PC is mounted inside. Maybe EDIT in a complete Guide at your OP in how you made this nice tabletop cab? Throw in some clear pics with a decent focused camera and lighting of the front and inside to really do your beautiful work justice.
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deathsled
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Re: My first arcade cabinet, built from scratch

by deathsled Thu Sep 06, 2012 5:58 pm

Looks like you did a good job. I hate to always be a negative nancy, but why a widescreen? All your games are going to be stretched, doesn't that bother you?
cloudrat7
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Re: My first arcade cabinet, built from scratch

by cloudrat7 Thu Sep 06, 2012 9:17 pm

sorry about the low res pic, i had finished the cab last night in my basement and took a quick pic. i will upload better pics. the monitor is 17 inches in width. i wanted the cab to be as small as possible and to make everything fit inside.
http://www.artwanted.com/cloudrat7
Sega master system, Sega genesis, Sega saturn(mod), Dreamcast, Nes, Super nes, Turbografx-16, Playstation 1, Playstation 2, Gamecube, X-box 360.
cloudrat7
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Re: My first arcade cabinet, built from scratch

by cloudrat7 Thu Sep 06, 2012 10:35 pm

CRTGAMER wrote:Very Nice, interested in how you put it all together. Your OP describes "the must do this and that" but no details such as wiring the controls or how the screen and PC is mounted inside. Maybe EDIT in a complete Guide at your OP in how you made this nice tabletop cab? Throw in some clear pics with a decent focused camera and lighting of the front and inside to really do your beautiful work justice.


new pics up, with some details.
http://www.artwanted.com/cloudrat7
Sega master system, Sega genesis, Sega saturn(mod), Dreamcast, Nes, Super nes, Turbografx-16, Playstation 1, Playstation 2, Gamecube, X-box 360.
cloudrat7
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Re: My first arcade cabinet, built from scratch

by cloudrat7 Thu Sep 06, 2012 10:37 pm

cookie monster wrote:That looks beautiful does it play as good as it looks?


yes! it has nes,snes,gba,sega master system,sega genesis,turbografx 16, mame32 and kawaks. everything plays wonderfully smooth.
http://www.artwanted.com/cloudrat7
Sega master system, Sega genesis, Sega saturn(mod), Dreamcast, Nes, Super nes, Turbografx-16, Playstation 1, Playstation 2, Gamecube, X-box 360.
deathsled
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Re: My first arcade cabinet, built from scratch

by deathsled Thu Sep 06, 2012 11:28 pm

can you force the correct aspect ratio through software? Actually, I would think that would happen by default and you would have to intentionally be stretching the picture through settings.
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Re: My first arcade cabinet, built from scratch

by D.D.D. Thu Sep 06, 2012 11:39 pm

Very nice set up. :D

deathsled wrote:can you force the correct aspect ratio through software? Actually, I would think that would happen by default and you would have to intentionally be stretching the picture through settings.


Almost every emulator has this feature.
 (FC, AVFC, NES, SFC x2, SNES, N64, GC x2, Wii x2)*(G&W x7, GB, GBpocket, GBASP, DS-L x2)
(GEN, SS x3, DC x3)*(PCE-Duo)*(Xbox:500GB)*(NGCDZ, NGPC)*(PS1, PStwo, PS3:160GB, PSP.3K)
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