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Cabinet Building


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This has been on my mind for sometime now. I have a rather substantial amount of roms and isos I've collected over the years and I almost never play them. I think, because I have alot of space in our basement, I could build a couple of game cabinets. One would be a stand up so I could get off my butt and play games. The other would be a cocktail style I would use more to read retro magazines and other homework type stuff. You can also rest a coffee mug and a breakfast plate down.

I have a couple extra and fast computers that can handle Playstation 2 emulation I will use but one trick is deciding what to use for inputs. Although Street Fighter Alpha 2 joysticks with 8 buttons are cool they go for 200 bucks. I could use a couple of Twin Analog joysticks I own instead as, when properly configured with your emulator, they will work with 99% of the emulators out there.

It will be a toss up for which operating system I will use. There's pros and cons with each but I'm thinking of going with Linux because it can squeeze the most performance out of a machine, but I know Windows like I know myself and it will take less time figuring stuff out.

Before I can even start I need to make a blueprint for the dimensions which will take as much time as cutting and drilling all of the pieces. Any help or input on this would intrigue me.

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I almost got around to building one. Bought the oak veneer plywood, was just waiting to come across an old PC, buy a control unit, and find an old tv. After a while, I just lost interest and sold the plywood. I'd like to but it's a lot of work and all just for imitated authenticity. I still have loads of plans in digital format for building some along with links to various control manufacturers.

For an OS, I'd go with Windows XP. There's lots of various frontends you can use. One under-rated frontend is 3D Arcade which, afaik, is not in development anymore. It can function as a virtual arcade with videos of the games being played as you tour the arcade. Walk up to it, press a button, and you're playing it. If you're interested, videos can be found here. The guy must pay a fortune in bandwidth costs. But if you just mostly want utility and have a lower end machine, I'd go with another frontend. There's some that also function as jukeboxes and video players. But I've tried emulators on Linux and there's not as many and they're generally not as easy to setup.

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I don't envy you this task. When I decided to install an arcade cabinet for general emulation, I went for renovating an existing cabinet. The main reason was cost, which was $75 (used cabinet) versus building one, which could be over $200 if you use MDF (which you should). I still ended up spending an extra $100 for extra parts, such as parts for the CP and tools.

About blueprints, the best thing you can do is to just Google. Here is a page for cabinet examples , look around, you could find something. Also try this book , though it will only help if you want to build your own cabinet.

This is a fun hobby, but the only reason it isn't more popular is the price of entry, which is high.

If you have any more questions please PM me.

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I have a frontend called "hyperspin 3D mame" It does what you were saying with videos of different games from all the old systems with a 1 click system and your playing. This emulator is in early stages and you have to know how to make .dat files. It's too complicated for me. I spent a full day trying and got no games working but this guy on youtube apparently did.

name="allowFullScreen" value="true"></param><param name="allowscriptaccess" value="always"></param><embed src="
type="application/x-shockwave-flash" allowscriptaccess="always" allowfullscreen="true" width="425" height="344"></embed></object>">
name="allowFullScreen" value="true"></param><param name="allowscriptaccess" value="always"></param><embed src="
type="application/x-shockwave-flash" allowscriptaccess="always" allowfullscreen="true" width="425" height="344"></embed></object>" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" width="425" height="350">

I have one 19" LCD I am going to use for the stand up arcade. It used to be easier to look at a phosphorus monitor from greater angles but LCD's are cheap at that size and the only bad angle is from below. An LCD allows more room for air circulation and to work with.

I'd like to start building my blueprints with Adobe Illustrator because I have studied the Adobe creative suite and know where everything is. What format are your plans in and do you mind sharing your favorite one?

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The Hyperspin setup looks saweet! If I done it though, I'd be tempted to go with an old crt for authenticity. I know the older arcade games didn't use a standard crt but at least it would go well with the nes and other console emu's. I still have an old 80's crt tv I found last year just to hook up my nes and atari to.

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This has been on my mind for sometime now. I have a rather substantial amount of roms and isos I've collected over the years and I almost never play them. I think, because I have alot of space in our basement, I could build a couple of game cabinets. One would be a stand up so I could get off my butt and play games. The other would be a cocktail style I would use more to read retro magazines and other homework type stuff. You can also rest a coffee mug and a breakfast plate down.

I have a couple extra and fast computers that can handle Playstation 2 emulation I will use but one trick is deciding what to use for inputs. Although Street Fighter Alpha 2 joysticks with 8 buttons are cool they go for 200 bucks. I could use a couple of Twin analog joysticks I own instead as, when properly configured with your emulator, they will work with 99% of the emulators out there.

It will be a toss up for which operating system I will use. There's pros and cons with each but I'm thinking of going with Linux because it can squeeze the most performance out of a machine, but I know Windows like I know myself and it will take less time figuring stuff out.

Before I can even start I need to make a blueprint for the dimensions which will take as much time as cutting and drilling all of the pieces. Any help or input on this would intrigue me.

Okay, I am a little out of sorts today because of a long day at work, but if you just break it down for me what you want to know I can help. I have made a bunch of arcade cabinets from scratch...both Jamma and Non-Jamma. I also have made a couple of Emulator machines. When it comes to building a cabinet, I have all kinds of advice that might help you out. Just give me the cliff notes version and I should be able to help.

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I looked at arcadecontrols.com and there are thousands of beautiful cabinets. I have decided I don't want arcade sticks. I want to build this quick and dirty but still be able to upgrade the control deck for sticks in the future. I need a place to put two usb game pads out of the way as well as a keyboard and mouse for making adjustments. My monitor is 17 5/8 Wide 12 inch tall and 2 7/16 deep. I don't need coin slots and have no plan for that.

The deck where 2 or four joysticks usually go will remain open until in the future when I find all the buttons and sticks. I will use wireless mouse and keyboard so I can put it underneath the deck or on top while there aren't joysticks in the way.

I can type comfortably standing up between 41 and 48 inches.

I want to hang the motherboard somewhere so the dvd drive can be accessible on the side or front. Inside the box, on the motherboard I have a wireless ad hoc network for sending and recieving files. The power supply unit should breath outside the box and the power cord should have a pre-out.

Edited by Jake
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