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Thread: Cabinet design progress

  1. #1
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    Cabinet design progress

    This is the progress so far of my custom MAME cabinet based loosely on some Data East cabinet measurements floating around. I've modelled up all the bits and pieces and everything seems to fit quite nicely and scales well. There're a fair few hours of bumming around after work in these pics, and there'll be a fair few more to go to...
    I've received all my parts (cheers OzStick) and went for Sanwa more-or-less across the board. I'm glad I did too, because the quality of the convex pushbuttons far surpasses the others, and has a very light feel perfect for tap tap tap TAP TAP TAP TAP TAPTAPTAPTAP ARRGH! gaming without causing RSI. To accomadate, there's a bit of trickery around the design of the control panel to allow the 3-5mm mounting plate as well as maintaining strength. It also allows the joystick to sit rather proud with no exposed screws.
    I intend to use a flat screen 51cm TV with Jomac chassis installed, complete with ArcadeVGA for gaming goodness. For audio (I love my speaker building), I've got an 8" subwoofer and 2 x 4" metal cone woofers and Foster ribbon tweeter. It may lack authenticity, but if I get the crossovers right it'll sound shit-hot. The CRT at 15 kHz should hopefully complete the experience. If I had a curved screen I would use it, but you just can't buy them in shops any more.

    You can see in the pic below that on the view with the side panel cut out the monitor squeezes in nicely. However, I've noticed on a lot of cabs the front face of the screen sits much further back from this front edge. Do people think this will be too close the the player? I can always make the cab deeper, but I this will take up more real estate that my wife is already pretty cranky about. My 4.5 month old son will appreciate it when he grows up though... but she doesn't understand that.
    I've only gone for the 6 button layout with no trackballs or anything because I don't think I've ever played an arcade machine with one. I'm 27, so I'm in the era of Wonder Boy, Golden Axe, Bubble Bobble, Mortal Kombat and R-Type - though latter three which will get a hammering on this system. I've got some black overlay for the control panel (which a friend installed on their system) which will couple perfectly with the rounded edge on the leading part.
    No bracing you ask? All in due time. Once I establish the lengths of the panels I will add bracing. I'm going to produce AS1100 drawings for all components, and I intend to put it together into a document in case anyone wants to build the same cabinet.

    Any feedback or queries? Something I haven't thought of I can address before the model becomes the real thing? If anyone wants more detailed pics (or plans later on) I'd be happy to oblige. I'm giving back what I've got out!




  2. #2
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    Nice Work!
    Cab looks good

    The screen is not too close, but you could always lay it down onto the same plane as the control panel, then the monitor neck isn't protruding as much

    Good effort on the theory

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    Beautiful cabinet, will you have easy access to a keyboard with it? Otherwise how will the control panel work for the non-game options?

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    Try Aussie made mca joysticks(usually blue or red plastic, no knobs)they are tight and anything else makes the gameplay sloppy.
    How are you going to mount your marquee with the curved light box? Screws thru the marquee never look right.
    Xmen vs SF etc will sound great in stereo(Q sound).
    Ask a kindly local operator if they can supply a nice 20-21' tube in exchange for your new tube, the smaller tubes seem to hold their color/contrast and brightness well. Hopefully they will see your ambition and help out.
    Coin door is a nice easy way to stash the key board.
    Nice work and good on you, a lot to finish but very rewarding.

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    Thanks for the comments. Here's some feedback on my intentions:
    dazbaz - good point. I actually search for a pic of the cabinet I was basing my design on and found this:



    You can see here the screen isn't parallel with the front 'face' on the side panels, so I tilted the screen back to suit. I figure if someone's been out there and done it before if I go changing it to look nice I'll build it and think "Hang on... this screen should be tilted back more". I went one better and modelled my eye height onto the assembly, and drew a line directly from my eyes through the screen. Then I made the screen face perpendicular to that line - presto! Wiggman-matched cabinet. Here's the revised design as a response:



    Taverner - very good point. I've got some old USB ports that normally get hooked up in the back of a computer that go straight to your motherboard that I'm going to mount on a panel somewhere. This way I can hook up some peripherals with little fuss. I think what I'll do though is use my sub-par wireless adapter in my desktop in the MAME, and buy a new one. Then I'll use VNC to hook up remotely so that file transferring will be a BREEZE.

    brettv8 - man if I had known I could buy Aussie made then that's what I would have done, but I've bought the parts already. And yeah the intent was to screw the acrylic on. I could maybe use countersunk black screws and add a black border to the marquee, this would at least hide them a bit. I'll play around with a few shapes and see if I'm satisfied with a flat face rather than the rounded one. I'm with you though, I want to avoid exopsed screws wherever possible.
    As for finding used/old parts... I live in Middlemount. Don't know where that is? Then you'd live at least 5 hours away from me. I'm 2.5 hours drive (at 100km/h the whole way) away from a shopping centre and our town has little to offer apart from a 5 aisle IGA. It's why they pay you the $$$ to work in the mines, because you have to spend half of it just to go somewhere to spend it.

    I just realised I need to add beverage holders.

    Here's the control panel exploded (representation isn't 100% correct, but I included the joystick discs and screw for the buttons in each part so they can't be move without redesigning them). This design means I can't replace the joysticks without replacing the entire panel, but I can live with that. If I ever needed to by adding / changing something, the panel would have to be discarded anyway.

    Last edited by TheWiggman; 14th February 2010 at 08:48 AM. Reason: Auto Merged Double Post.

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    Quote Originally Posted by TheWiggman View Post
    Nice Graphics, what was the program that did this again?

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    Pro|Engineer Wildfire 4.0. It's a pure engineering package but has a funky rendering component to make mundane engineering modelling look somewhat respectable. Producing drawings from a model is an absolute cakewalk. I could run some FEA on the cabinet too to see what kinds of loads could be applied before the structure collapsed - possibly useful considering some of the parties I've had. I've had people dancing ON my subwoofers before so it's lucky it was sturdy. It could have even been me
    Last edited by TheWiggman; 14th February 2010 at 12:30 PM. Reason: Typo

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    Final design



    ... and here it is in all its glory (save for the marquee). I opted for the non-curved marquee because simply, I couldn't be stuffed with the effort to make it look good. I've started on the build and progress photos shall follow.

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    Wow.

    Looks unique

    All the best with the practical side

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    4 x panels of 16mm 1.2x2.4m MDF. A good start to any project.



    Marking out side panels #1. A prime example of the motto 'measure twice, cut once'.



    Once you know the distance of the cicular saw's cut (between the blade edge and the frame of the saw) the rip fence can be set up using a sliding square, as shown here. Note I tested the distance by making a rough cut, shown on the bottom left. I've always used this method and provided care is taken, particularly on which side of the blade you intend to cut, you can't go wrong. Saves a lot of time and hassle.



    All clamped up and ready to go. Front car port by weekday, work site by weekend.



    Once successfully cut side panel.



    The side panel was then clamped to the other panel and traced for a rough jigsaw cut. I cut at about a 2mm offset in preparation for the flush trim bit.



    A probably-unnecessary pic showing the benefits of using a flush trim bit.



    Side panels standing at the ready. Quote from wife in the background "Holy crap is that how big it is? Why the hell are you doing this?"



    I cut a single panel down the centre to create two 600mm halves. The panels are actually 1240 wide, so I cut them down the middle so both were oversize (using a peices of scrap as a fence, pictured). I then used the straight edge of the other half to create a peice exactly 600mm wide using the flush trim bit, then used THAT peice to cut the other half the the same size, again with the flush trim bit.



    The obvious next step was the control panel. After marking it all out by hand I realised most people use a stencil to do this. A fair point too, considering I did this all using CAM and creating a stencil was a matter of opening a file I already created and clicking 'print'.



    I then routed out the holes as shown to suit the Sanwa clip-in buttons I bought from OzStick. I've never seen them mounted before, but what is shown in the pic worked very well.

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