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Old 11-26-2009, 08:48 PM   #1 (permalink)
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im buildind a mame cabinet

so im gonna take on the task, some feartures im hoping to incorperate:

-2 joysticks with 6 buttons each
-glowing led buttons, the ones used in the particular game are going to be the only ones glowing, so donkey kong will only have the one glowing button for example
-trackball
-lit up markee
-programed to go directly to mame, so no windows explorer to be seen
-i wanna end up with a, not only perfectly functional machine, but also one thats nice to look at, its going to be retro but im not sure about the looks at all at this point

anyone ever done this before? any tips for a beginner? im probably gonna buy the wood and build the cabinet from scratch. i still have alot of research to do before i start getting really down and dirty with it all. but i dont think its overly complicated overall. i wanna keep it cheap, so itll probably be a case of buying a few parts at a time, so its gonna take awhile, but it should be fun. (and how fun is it gonna be when its finished)
what do you guys think? im looking for feedback and suggestions no matter how insignificant you might think they are.

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Old 11-26-2009, 08:52 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Re: im buildind a mame cabinet

Maybe first go to your neighborhood stores to see if they are throwing out any wood. Good place to try. I know my work does that. I also know Kong used to build this stuff too.
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Old 11-26-2009, 09:01 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Re: im buildind a mame cabinet

I know absolutely nothing about the technical side of doing this, but +1 for taking on such a huge task.

Here's a couple of articles I found on the subject. I don't know if there is anything helpful there, but they might be worth a read:

How to Build a Kick-Ass MAME Arcade Cabinet from an Old PC | Maximum PC

Home Arcade Project

If you're going to go all out you might also want to think about putting in a Light Gun. I hear the TOPGUN II is prety good, though I haven't used it myself.
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Old 11-26-2009, 09:16 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Re: im buildind a mame cabinet

I've never built anything of the soft, but the technical side of an arcade machine is really pretty simple from what I can gather.

I've seen tutorials for this type of thing and to me it seems like the hardest part is building the cabinet, all the inside stuff seems to just be a matter of putting it in there and piecing it together.

And when you get it done I want pictures. Good luck.
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Old 11-26-2009, 09:20 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Re: im buildind a mame cabinet

Best of luck putting it all together. But the reward is priceless at least.
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Old 11-26-2009, 10:51 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Re: im buildind a mame cabinet

Buy a used cabinet. You can get one for under $50 off of Craigslist if you live near a decent sized city. Look around for a place that sells or has arcades. They will have old junkers.

ACT LABS - Light Gun Shooting System, PC Light Gun, TV Light Gun, House of the Dead 2 <-- Used to be the best light gun. Might still be.

Arcade Joysticks and Game Controllers <-- not as good as a custom job but super easy. A track ball on the deck is a big bonus. Saves you from mounting a mouse somewhere. You can also get keyboards that have mice build in.

You can get custom marquees and even full size side art stickers online.

Flat panel monitors are starting to get cheap. You can get 21 inch tube monitors at a thrift store for under $20. You should get the biggest monitor that will fit in the cabinet.

Add a computer and games a power strip and you are pretty much done. Make sure there is good ventilation so the PC doesn't over heat. Find somewhere to put the keyboard and a way to access the power button and cd. You can remove the cd drive and power button from the pc box.

vlite.net is probably the best for the OS. You can use RU for the game menu system Good luck.
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Old 11-26-2009, 11:29 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Re: im buildind a mame cabinet

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tails View Post
Maybe first go to your neighborhood stores to see if they are throwing out any wood. Good place to try. I know my work does that. I also know Kong used to build this stuff too.
i might take the kongster's advice and pick up a used one, if i can get it cheap enough and its in decent shape.

---------- Post added at 04:08 AM ---------- Previous post was at 04:06 AM ----------

Quote:
Originally Posted by Winnebagel View Post
I know absolutely nothing about the technical side of doing this, but +1 for taking on such a huge task.

Here's a couple of articles I found on the subject. I don't know if there is anything helpful there, but they might be worth a read:

How to Build a Kick-Ass MAME Arcade Cabinet from an Old PC | Maximum PC

Home Arcade Project

If you're going to go all out you might also want to think about putting in a Light Gun. I hear the TOPGUN II is prety good, though I haven't used it myself.
thanks wb, those articles seem good, plus in the middle they posted this funny link: What is this CRAP?



---------- Post added at 04:11 AM ---------- Previous post was at 04:09 AM ----------

Quote:
Originally Posted by TrakMastaTom View Post
I've never built anything of the soft, but the technical side of an arcade machine is really pretty simple from what I can gather.

I've seen tutorials for this type of thing and to me it seems like the hardest part is building the cabinet, all the inside stuff seems to just be a matter of putting it in there and piecing it together.

And when you get it done I want pictures. Good luck.
yeah, i guy i know posted some pics of his and it is stunning, so i researched a little and found out its not that complicated. ill post pics as i go

---------- Post added at 04:12 AM ---------- Previous post was at 04:11 AM ----------

Quote:
Originally Posted by samejamesbond View Post
Best of luck putting it all together. But the reward is priceless at least.
you bet

---------- Post added at 04:29 AM ---------- Previous post was at 04:12 AM ----------

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kong View Post
Buy a used cabinet. You can get one for under $50 off of Craigslist if you live near a decent sized city. Look around for a place that sells or has arcades. They will have old junkers.

ACT LABS - Light Gun Shooting System, PC Light Gun, TV Light Gun, House of the Dead 2 <-- Used to be the best light gun. Might still be.

Arcade Joysticks and Game Controllers <-- not as good as a custom job but super easy. A track ball on the deck is a big bonus. Saves you from mounting a mouse somewhere. You can also get keyboards that have mice build in.

You can get custom marquees and even full size side art stickers online.

Flat panel monitors are starting to get cheap. You can get 21 inch tube monitors at a thrift store for under $20. You should get the biggest monitor that will fit in the cabinet.

Add a computer and games a power strip and you are pretty much done. Make sure there is good ventilation so the PC doesn't over heat. Find somewhere to put the keyboard and a way to access the power button and cd. You can remove the cd drive and power button from the pc box.

vlite.net is probably the best for the OS. You can use RU for the game menu system Good luck.
that link to the controllers and track ball is super sweet, and its exactly the set up i want, if im reading correctly i wont need to buy an ipac or other keyboard encoder with it? im worried i might not be able to install the led buttons, or easily replace the vinyl though.
i think im gonna leave the light gun for an upgrade.
for the monitor, i might go with an old tv, i want it to be convex to add a little more retro to it.

usisng ru for the game menu system? im not sure i follow, would this require having it hooked up to the internet, cause i dont really want to do that, if i would be able to submit scores to ru through it that would be freaking cool though. now im kinda torn though because i really want to hide the fact that this is a pc, i wanted to keep my menus entirely controllable by the joystick and buttons like: turn it on, mame loads and i select a game.
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Old 11-26-2009, 11:36 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Re: im buildind a mame cabinet

here are the photos of the guy i know's completed project. omg how sweet is that?
Attached Thumbnails
arcade1.jpg  arcade3.jpg  arcade4.jpg  arcade6.jpg  arcade7.jpg  

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Old 11-27-2009, 12:11 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Re: im buildind a mame cabinet

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Originally Posted by stevencassidy13 View Post
thanks wb, those articles seem good, plus in the middle they posted this funny link: What is this CRAP?
No problem. Hopefully some of it will be good info. I didn't even see that bit. That's pretty funny.
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Old 11-27-2009, 10:09 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Re: im buildind a mame cabinet

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that link to the controllers and track ball is super sweet, and its exactly the set up i want, if im reading correctly i wont need to buy an ipac or other keyboard encoder with it?
Yes. It is plug n play. Very easy.
Quote:
im worried i might not be able to install the led buttons
They also sell kits for doing custom jobs. Not sure if their kits are the best or not.

Quote:
easily replace the vinyl though.
To do that you would have to dismantle it with a screwdriver, easy. And then revinyl it (I don't see why it wouldn't work but not positive) or put it in a new wood cabinet that you created and vinyled (defeats part of the perk of buying it a ready made one). If you are not careful then reassembling it might become a pain. If looks are important and you are handy with wood and tools then you might want to go with a different option.

If you make it yourself include a keyboard tray What is this CRAP Trust me, a slide out keyboard is so much better than a doing everything with a joystick. There will be times when you just can't do something without the keyboard.

I don't know how much effort you are planning to put into this but you don't really want to end up with something like this What is this CRAP By that I mean do everything perfect and then through a generic control box on it.

Choose xarcade if easy, cheap and functional are you priorities. Custom if perfection is your main goal.

Quote:
for the monitor, i might go with an old tv, i want it to be convex to add a little more retro to it.
I think a mistake. At least experiment with it before committing. If you use a TV make sure it supports S-Video or VGA. I think only LCD tvs support VGA and not all video cards support s-video. If you want a more authentic feel then this is probably good NEW: Wells Gardner 27" Flat-Screen VGA Arcade Monitor D9800

I suggest getting something like this http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16824254026 It is more energy efficient, more heat efficient, can rotate, decent price, has a nice sharp image when you want that and you can add artificial scan lines for a retro feel.


Quote:
usisng ru for the game menu system? im not sure i follow, would this require having it hooked up to the internet
Yes. Either use the RU webpage like you do on a PC or make your own special mean that links to games on RU. Three huge benefits of this, IMO, 1. if you install emulators on the cabinet you will probably either install every ROM known to man and have a horrible time sorting through them or install one at a time. RU has sorted through lots of the crap for you already. 2. Your favorites will be instantly transferred and since you are a game mod you can customize descriptions and such while you play. And 3...
Quote:
if i would be able to submit scores to ru through it that would be freaking cool
Yes, of course.

Quote:
i really want to hide the fact that this is a pc, i wanted to keep my menus entirely controllable by the joystick and buttons like: turn it on, mame loads and i select a game.
This is possible with RU, though it would take more work. One simple option, attach a button to tab and a button to enter. Second option you can find emulator front ends and you can program them to think a web page is a rom so that when you select a game from the front end it will load a web page. You use the front end to find and select a game. You use the front end to launch the RU page that will launch the game. Would take more effort but would have very nice result. Next time I build a cab this is what I will do. Although I would probably make the front end myself instead of using a ready made one.

Those King of Kade pics are great. Is that the quality you are envisioning for yourself? I think the led buttons are over kill.

Remember you don't need a button for every function. Example coin can one function button. 1p coin = 1p Up + Function. 1p start = 1p down + function. Menu = 1p left + function. Escape = 1p right + 1p function. Save = 1p button 1 + function. And so on.

Read all the way through all of the what is this crap link you posted. It is not just funny. Educational too.
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Old 11-27-2009, 03:23 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Re: im buildind a mame cabinet

thanks for all your help at this kong, i didnt know you were experienced in this. I think im gonna have to go with the able to submit scores route, that would be awsome. My issue is that i dont have alot of cash, i cant really afford a new monitor so im gonna go with an old tv with an s-video.
Im gonna try my hardest to keep this project under 500 dollars.

for buttons, i want 15 total, 6 each side for fighting games, 1 player button, 2 player button and an insert coin.
I think im gonna forget about the track ball for now, and save it for an upgrade.

it would probably be cheaper and easier to buy the arcade x duel joystick and rip it apart, rather than ordering all the parts seperately correct?
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Old 11-27-2009, 03:58 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Re: im buildind a mame cabinet

Parts are pretty cheap. Buttons are about 2 bucks a piece and sticks have quite the range depending on what you need, but I think a cheap 8 way would do for you, about 10 bucks.

Lizard Lick Amusements - Arcade Machines and Arcade Machine Parts is a good site for arcade parts.
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Old 11-27-2009, 04:58 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Re: im buildind a mame cabinet

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Originally Posted by stevencassidy13 View Post
My issue is that i dont have alot of cash, i cant really afford a new monitor so im gonna go with an old tv with an s-video.
You can also get 21 inch crts from thrift stores for under $20.


Quote:
Originally Posted by stevencassidy13 View Post
it would probably be cheaper and easier to buy the arcade x duel joystick and rip it apart, rather than ordering all the parts seperately correct?
No. You can buy all the parts separately directly from them.

You have to have one of these
X-Arcade Build Your Own Arcade Machine Kit
Welcome to Ultimarc, the Ultimate in Arcade Controls.
X-keys Matrix Boards by P.I. Engineering
Or you can rip apart an old keybaord. Real cheap and hard.

And you need some of these
Arcade Parts Bundle: 2 Joysticks, 20 Buttons $39.95
Ultimarc > Controls

King of Kade went with the ulitmarcs.
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Old 11-27-2009, 04:59 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Re: im buildind a mame cabinet

Do you plan on adding console games as well?
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Old 11-27-2009, 05:40 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Re: im buildind a mame cabinet

okay so im looking at:
old arcade cab: $50
old crt monitor: $20
the byo arcade kit: $49.95
mini-pac: $69.99
usb x-keys: $59.95
arcade bundle: $39.95
and the pc: $100?

total: $389.94
this number is obviously an under statement, after taxes, shipping, canadian dollars, ect. plus im not sure if im gonna be able to find an arcade cab for $50

im gonna take it one step at a time i think, ill start with the cabinet.

@tmt, thanks for the link, but i think im gonna go with the 2 joystick 20 buttin kit for $39.95

@ten, the consoels are not really a priority, my main goal is to re-create the arcade experience

---------- Post added at 10:40 PM ---------- Previous post was at 10:36 PM ----------

also, i found this ad online: Spare MAME Arcade Cabinet Equipment Kanata, Ottawa
this guy lives right in my neighborhood, is that a good deal if he happens to put the ad back up? unfortunatly ive got no way of contacting him to see if he still has the stuff unless he repost's the sale.
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Old 11-27-2009, 06:04 PM   #16 (permalink)
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Re: im buildind a mame cabinet

If you make your own controls then don't forget wood and tools and paint. Plus marquee and speakers and side art and bezel.

These do the same thing. You only need one.
the byo arcade kit: $49.95 - 28 switches
mini-pac: $69.99 128 128 switches
usb x-keys: $59.95 32 switches
1 stick is 4 switches.

For cab call around to everywhere that would have new cabs and ask if they have junkers. And check ebay and craigslist.
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Old 11-27-2009, 07:37 PM   #17 (permalink)
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Re: im buildind a mame cabinet

I think the biggest draw for me would be the actual building process. Putting in nearly a year or so to make it completely perfect.
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Old 11-27-2009, 07:53 PM   #18 (permalink)
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Re: im buildind a mame cabinet

yeah, cosmetically its going to be nice, im just trying to settle on a motive, im thinking maybe a timeline of all the old games, like starting with space war and ending with street fighter alpha 3 or something. im picturin a custom "retro uprising" marquee that looks super slick too.
i just contacted this guy,Garry's Wireless MAME Cabinet he lives in ottawa and seems to be an encyclopedia of knowledge for this stuff. hopefully he can hook me up with some info, cause right now i cant even find an empty cabinet for sale.
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Old 11-27-2009, 08:00 PM   #19 (permalink)
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Re: im buildind a mame cabinet

Doesn't have to be empty. You can gut it yourself.
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Old 11-27-2009, 08:15 PM   #20 (permalink)
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Re: im buildind a mame cabinet

yeah, im just thinking empty equals cheaper, the only ones i can find locally are functional machines at $750 - $1000
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Old 11-27-2009, 08:25 PM   #21 (permalink)
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Re: im buildind a mame cabinet

@Steven: idea, maybe you could use actual quarters for games? All proceeds go to more MAME stuff for RU or something like that. Would be cool.
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Old 11-27-2009, 08:37 PM   #22 (permalink)
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Re: im buildind a mame cabinet

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@Steven: idea, maybe you could use actual quarters for games? All proceeds go to more MAME stuff for RU or something like that. Would be cool.
Adds about $50-100 to price plus nearly a days work and in the end is rather inconvenient. The novelty wears off fast. Great though if you want to make a few bucks off your friends to pay for the cost of building it or to keep tabs on how much you play. Infinite continues can make an arcade game boring. Setting a limit, like how ever much money you have in your pocket, can bring back the challenge and fun.

It is something that can easily be added later. Don't worry about it until everything else is finished.
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Old 11-27-2009, 08:45 PM   #23 (permalink)
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Re: im buildind a mame cabinet

Quote:
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Adds about $50-100 to price plus nearly a days work and in the end is rather inconvenient. The novelty wears off fast. Great though if you want to make a few bucks off your friends to pay for the cost of building it or to keep tabs on how much you play. Infinite continues can make an arcade game boring. Setting a limit, like how ever much money you have in your pocket, can bring back the challenge and fun.

It is something that can easily be added later. Don't worry about it until everything else is finished.
could you imagine? ru brand arcades all over the world, hook-up to a single high score database, that would get some revenue.
as far as my cab is concerned, i almost want to recreate the arcade experience.
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Old 11-27-2009, 11:19 PM   #24 (permalink)
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Re: im buildind a mame cabinet

Steven:
Keep looking for cabs. You will find one. I've seen plenty of empty or busted ones for cheap around my area, and I bought my Neo Geo for $100 and it just needs 1 thing repaired.

Be patient and I am sure you'll find something soon.
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Old 12-03-2009, 12:51 AM   #25 (permalink)
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Re: im buildind a mame cabinet

so it looks like im gonna have build one from scratch, i cant find any leads for a cabinet. im gonna check out a place tommorrow, if it falls through, im gonna build it.
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