Suzanne C's Megacade
Suzanne sent me the pictures of her Megacade and the first thing I noticed was the fantastic sideart she painted herself. Incredible!
She and her wife used the plans to the cabinet earlier in the year (2019), with a few modifications of their own. They used a Raspberry Pi and an old monitor they had lying around.
I have included more of the progress pics on the Visitor Page.
From his email:
"Hey there. I’ve been meaning to email you these pics for a while. I started this project a year ago and spent about 3 months on it. Your “cabinet plans 2” plans and guide were instrumental in my design and build. I don’t have much carpentry experience (just enough to be dangerous - no joke). I’m very pleased with the result.
I modified the design to accommodate a 32” lcd monitor. Cabinet height is 74” width is 32” and depth is 37” including the control panel. Built of 3/4” birch plywood.
All CP components from ultimarc. Buttons are gold leaf rgb led.
I’m a child of the eighties so I play mostly the classics, but wanted the capability to play Capcom fighters and neogeo stuff, hence the slightly frankenpanel controls. Button layout has 3 sort of dedicated missile command fire buttons as well as an excellent Defender layout, which makes me happy. "
Good stuff! More pics on the Visitor Page
Jared P's Retrocade
Jared P and I exchanged a fair number of emails as he worked on his build. It was enjoyable watching a build through another's eyes again. I was very excited when he finally said it was "done enough" to send along a pic of his creation.
"My Retrocade is finished!I might do something in the way of side art later but for now I'm going to spend time playing it and getting to know Launchbox/BigBox so I can get it set up the way I'd like on the software side.
I've inspired a friend to also build one. His son is on the spectrum and is a Pac Man fanatic and he is very excited about it. They came over and I put on Pac Man and that kid was over the moon!!! I showed them your site and they will also be following your plans. They already cut out the side boards and they look great. Thanks again for your time and encouragement throughout the process!"
You are very welcome, Jared, and I am so happy to hear you brought another into the fold as well.
From his email:
"Attached photos are from my arcade build. I found your site extremely helpful in guiding me through the build process. I’ve never built anything out of wood before so I was definitely a beginner. I made the cabinet slimmer and wider to accommodate a 24” flatscreen. It’s using a raspberry pi to run Retropie and an Arduino Uno to control the marquee leds. Again thanks for the great information. I wouldn’t have been able to build my arcade without it.
Long stretch since last visitor update
It has been a lonnnng time since the last update. My apologies. I have a number of visitor's cabinets still to put up that I hope to get uploaded before the end of this month (October) of this year (2020). Despite it appearing the site is no longer being maintained, I do reply to emails when they come in, sometimes even providing the exact answer being inquired about.
I have moved to a new arcade PC, too (used Dell T3500 workstation with Win10). This necessitated very few changes from the Win7 in there previously.
Added Dragon's Lair original disks.
A few visitors have contacted me with Daphne questions. Apparently, I am one of the few (only?) sites with Daphne instructions. I ended up uploading all three of the original disks I had from 2003(!), and that was exactly what Clifton needed to get his Retropie setup with Dragon's Lair 1 and 2, Space Ace, etc. Dragon's Lair page
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.
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.
Snippets from his emails:
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
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."
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
"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.
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.
"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."
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.
"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!
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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):
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 post. Update 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.
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.
"Blue Meanie" as Arcade
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.