ArcadeCab

7/21/2016

Converted site to Mobile-friendly, responsive site.
Over the course of the last month, on weekends and evenings (and some very early mornings), I have made the website more mobile-friendly. The layout of ArcadeCab.com had not changed since 2003, so it was time for a little overhaul. The pages looked like the two examples below. They just did not work well on phones, which is where more and more visitors were coming from.
Previous Plans 2 layout Previous Main page layout












I did some research and finally came up with a reasonable layout, then went through the laborious process of manually converting all the pages. I used Notepad++ and got fairly quick toward the end. Hopefully you like the new design. It is a little more simple, and quicker to load. (The Original set of plans did not get converted; you'll just have to muddle through them if you are on a phone. Sorry.) You might find somenumber of inconsistent fonts throughput the pages. Maybe when I get some more more I will go through and convert everything to CSS a bit more cleanly.
New Plans 2 layout New Main page layout











4/30/2016

Jonathan M's Project
Jonathon M's arcadeJonathan built this beauty.  He used a 24"  1080p LED TV, a Raspberry Pi 3 with 64GSD running Retropie with Emulation Station on it.

Snippets from his emails:

"The bezel is a modified version of what you used for yours.  I have a vinyl cutter here at the house so I just did the portions I wanted, in the colors I wanted.  I'll be honest, I tried coming up with a 100% custom bezel but it was so difficult making up my mind, and then coming up with something that looked stylish without being overbearing.  So I resorted back to your design and modifying it a bit to suit my tastes ... As to the monitor size, I started with a 32" and felt it was far too big when I "mocked" it up.  Dropped down to a 28" and still felt it was just a hair too big to have that "authentic" arcade cabinet feel.  So I went down to a 24" and it felt better to me.  ...  We're probably going to add some Classic Arcade characters to the sides for some color - i.e. Pacman and ghosts, Donkey Kong, Mario, etc.  Still haven't decided exactly what to do.
Jonathan M's control panel
I used Retropie with Emulation Station on it.  There are a few "front end" views you can use but I found that Emulation Station worked best in my opinion.  There are several MAME emulators, Daphne (Dragons Lair, Space Ace), Atari, Sega, NEOGEO, and many others built right in.  It's really quite an amazing system!  (Link: https://retropie.org.uk/)  I just downloaded their OS image, formatted and unpacked it to the SD card and it was practically done. ...  I'm using ADVmame and Mame4All for most of the mamegames. I'd say 95% of the games I have work between those two.  And ADVMame was the one I use for Trackball games as Mame4All hates trackball from my experience."

Very nice!  

 Jonathan's marquee

6/7/2015

David M's Arcade
This week David M sent me information on his recent build.  This was a project that he enlisted the aid of a buddy to help on.  It was completed in three months, working just one day a week. 

From his pictures I noted some very unique design elements (the sideart shown down below immediately caught my eye), so I got more details from him.

From his email:

"The side art was made of 1 1/2” by 1 1/2” faring strips that came in 8’ pieces. I took a circular saw and just cut a thousand or so of them into various lengths - from half an inch to three inches. Then I found pixel art online and painted accordingly. It took some time, but was totally worth it!!

 I used a 27” Dell monitor and built the thing around that.  It seemed like a good size."


I included a picture of how he integrated the monitor into the cabinet; very clean and custom. I get a fair number of questions on monitor size and think this is a great example of how to do a larger monitor correctly.
 

I also think the sideart is just so cool.  My son spotted these pics and was fascinated by the work.  Well done.

 Several more assembly pics are on the Visitor Page

 

12/28/2014

Ben's Arcade
Ben sent me the results of his month-long project.  From his email:

"I was inspired by your arcade plans to build my own MAME cabinet. The end goal for my project was to build an arcade machine that was inexpensive as well as light. Also, it would need to be small enough to fit through the doorways in my house as I built it in the basement and moved it into the game room upstairs. My initial cut in size and weight started with a modification of your first set of arcade plans as shown below.


The shaded area is your cabinet design and the white overlay is mine.

I decided to go with 5/8" plywood to cut down on the cost. I used a circular saw to cut my sides where possible and a jigsaw in the tricky spots. I used a sanding block to straighten my jigsaw cuts. Then I glued on 4" pieces of 2x2's to be used as ledger board to support the sides. This cut costs since I could use screws to attach the front, back and top panels instead of buying a table saw or router to make dados. I also glued on a 10" strip of 1x2 on each side to support the monitor shelf.

I drilled holes for the speakers and the coin and start buttons and then painted it. Then I mounted up the speakers, monitor, glass, light, and buttons and here's the final result. I decided to go with an integrated control panel to save on lumber. I just use a wireless mouse and keyboard for the computer operations. And given the cost of the router and bits, I decided to skip the T-molding. I think it turned out just fine never-the-less.

It was a long 3.5 weeks building this arcade machine, but now I've got a finished product that is super fun to play and always entertains any house guests that stop by.

I appreciate you publishing your plans online. It really helped give my a starting point for my project.

P.S. If there was one thing I learned during this project that might help out others, it was that garage door bottom molding does a great job of filling the gaps on the edges of the plexiglass.
"

I liked how Ben made some smart design choices in order to save money as well as better fit the cabinet into his home.  Very nice job.  Several assembly pics are on the Visitor Page

 

12/20/2014

Changes to my arcade
Last month we did a little remodeling work in the room where the arcade sat, so it had to be relocated to another room for a couple weeks (where it did get played).  When I moved it back in, the power supply decided it had not liked the moving about and died.  As the PC was from 2002, I wasn't going to spend any money fixing it, so I hit ebay.  After a few attempts, I won a nice little machine

 

This being Win 7 64-bit, my old mamewah setup wasn't going to work, so I went to MaLa.  I fashioned a similar look to what I had before, and am still working on learning its nuances.  A project page about my specific setup has been added.

 

 

 

 

Dragon's Lair, after some work, is now running again.  My son was initially concerned about its 'violence' but soon realized it was tame and now loves to play it.  I added a project page up for how I set Dragon's Lair up on Daphne for the 64 bit machine.

 

 

 

 

I also took the time to swap out the burnt marquee light bulb, and to create a new method of powering the coindoor lights.  I have created a project page for that might help others.

 

 

 

 

 



* Click for Archived News Items *


6/2/2014

Alfie's Old School Arcade
Alfie T sent me a note about his arcade:

 "I thought I'd sent you a pic of the arcade machine I've just finished building. I stumbled across your website by chance earlier this year and it inspired me to have go at building a machine from scratch. I followed the 2nd set of plans and the only major change was reducing the depth by about 10" as I was only using a 19"TFT monitor."

 

 

 

 



5/30/2014

Shawn's Arcade
Shawn created this beauty, and has a great blog of the entire process, with tons of pictures (http://shawnsarcade.blogspot.com/).  I always enjoy reading these; they bring back so many fond memories of my builds.

 

 

 

 

 

 



Jeremy's Street Fighter II Champion Edition tribute cabinet
From Jeremy's email:

"Your site was invaluable. Over the course of eight months, I was able to produce my own MAME cab. It's primarily 3/4" MDF with some 1/2" panels. Made some slight custom tweaks from your plans, but this is mostly from your Arcade Project 2 series. So, this is my Street Fighter II' Champion Edition tribute cab. Runs a laptop on a 27" crt tv. Chrome t-molding felt more '90s."

The chrome is very cool!

 

 

 

 

2/11/2014

The KOTLI Cab
Alexandre K modified the second set of plans by reducing the depth of the cabinet.  He took the resultant plans to a local kitchen cabinet maker, who used a CNC machine to turn two sheets of black melamine into the arcade's boards.  I would have done the same thing had the opportunity been available (he paid only $150 for the boards and the machining- a steal).  He used a 21" flat screen for the monitor.

I have included several assembly pics on the Visitor Page

   

 

 



9/22/2013

R.J. P's Michael Jackson Arcade Cabinet
R.J. constructed his three-player Michael Jackson Moonwalker cabinet using a modified second set of plans.  He is running it off an old Compaq laptop, with emulators for MAME, Nintendo, SNS and Sega Genesis.  He even constructed a bartop cabinet from the spare parts from this build.  Very cool.

He created a Tumbler page with plenty of details.  I found a couple interesting construction ideas in the page, including his discussion of the stenciling found on the cabinet.  Great job.


 

 

 

 

William M's "brocade"
William sent me a youtube link to his barcade, the "brocade".  Watch it to see how it was named.  He built this primarily from my barcade plans.  It is a enjoyable little video.  He also has a video of the arcade midway in its construction process that I also found informative as well as taking me back about nine years during the construction of my own barcade.  Give these two links a view.

 

 

 

 



* Click for Archived News Items *


7/7/2013

Chris M's arcade
Chris used the second set of plans, adjusting the cabinet's width to 26" to accommodate a larger monitor.  He also added a couple 2x4s to the interior (as in the first set of plans) to make it a bit more sturdy.

 

 

 

 

 

 



5/26/2013

Chris P's arcade
Chris sent me a picture of his cabinet.  He based his artwork on Scott's "Blue Meanie" cabinet, with slight alterations to fit the cabinet's design.  Nicely done.

 

 

 

 

 

 



5/4/2013

David D's "Project X"
David Dahlstrom completed Project X last summer and created a great series of blog posts about the project.  They are a good read and bring up many topics which every builder needs to consider before embarking on an arcade cabinet build.  I especially enjoyed the section on monitor selection.  David also did my breakdown technique one better by using bolts and threaded inserts.  Very nice! 

There are more pictures on the Visitor Page

 

 

 

Wes B's "The Mame Gold Mine"
Wes built his cabinet around the TankStick using the second set of plans.  He widened the cabinet to accommodate a 24" LCD monitor as well as chopped 10" off the depth to better fit in his living room. The name "The Mame Gold Mine" was based on the Gold Mine arcade (below) where he worked as an attendant 20 years ago. The project went quickly, taking only four weekends.

I like how well the cabinet fits into the space.

There are more pictures on the Visitor Page

 

 

 

 

3/30/2013

Wade P's "Super Arcade"
Wade finished his project after "13 months of hard work."  He built the "Super Arcade" to better utilize the TankStick he already owned.  He added two light guns, which is something I have always thought would be cool.

From Wade (excerpted):

"Toughest parts? Hard to say. Figuring out details with about everything I suppose. I'm a perfectionist and not an experienced woodworker. That makes for a slow project cycle. Tough items were the bezel, front plexiglass configuration, finding a proper lightgun holster, finalizing my cabinet side template...it goes on and on.

Like most projects it always takes longer than you thought right? Lots of smaller details that I didn't realize on the onset that I would have to deal with. The impetus for the whole project was A) I'm an arcade fanatic, B) I had a older, larger CRT monitor that I didn't have use for otherwise that made MAME game look about as good as an arcade monitor and C) I'd been using this huge X-Arcade Dual Tankstick to play games and it was getting unwieldy . I had to do something with it. I wanted to combine all these things into a cohesive whole.

Truly, it has been a journey to get to the point I'm at. At times frustrating, but mostly fun. My wife will tell you that I've been obsessed."

He posted a project thread on ArcadeControls.com that details the construction, as well as a software blog postUpdate 5/26: Wade completed the second blog post about the cabinet's construction, as well as a YouTube video.

There are more pictures on the Visitor Page

 

3/17/2013

Chris M's arcade
Chris sent me the result of his work that he produced during his final year at University studying Robotics in the UK.  From his email:

" I had the opportunity to build something on my placement
year, I ambitiously asked to build a MAME cabinet, which I was
surprisingly received the reply "If you supply the plans than OK".

As I was also paying for accommodation and student fees with my earnings, I had to create the cab on a very tight budget. It was at the company also that I managed to gain possession of most of the materials from industrial size off cuts, the speakers and the monitor for free as the company was about to throw them out. As well as the paint as the cab is painted in company colours. The finished cab totaled for £300 (about $450) and took about two weeks to build.

Extra features if the cab include if you look closely at the photos you notice a line halfway down the cabinet, that is because although the cab moves on castors, for ease of transport the cab can be separated in two. Both halves are then fixed together by two panels that each half are screwed on to. The panels also hold the control panel to the cab by friction (no screws or glue required).
The light for the marquee is a bathroom strip light that is activated with the monitor via a smart power adapted controlled by activation of the PC where the switch is on a shelf right behind the coin door. On that shelf I also keep the keyboard and spare mouse that came free with the PC."

Very nice work.  There are more pictures on the Visitor Page

1/28/2013

"Blue Meanie" as Arcade Machine sculpture
Phil Nolan created a nice 3D rendition of Scott's "Blue Meanie" cabinet, and added it to the Shapeways site where you can order a physical copy in sandstone.  It is 2.133 w x 6.194 d x 3.928 h.  It looks very cool so I thought I would share.

 





 

 

 


* Click for Archived News Items *