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Arcade Standup
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TOPIC: Arcade Standup

Arcade Standup 7 years, 9 months ago #812

I'm trying to build my own standup arcade using MAME and my computer, but I need some help.

First of all, where can I get the shell of the cabinet. I'm looking for one about 2.5-3' across so that I can fit a decent-sized monitor inside of it. All I can find is the completed cabinet.

Secondly, I need to find a good Mac compatible joystick that I can use with MAME, so that I don't actually have to solder or cut (much), I'll just have to plug in the joystick, monitor, and, possibly, the unit that allows you to insert coins, and make the cabinet work around them.

I have everything I need, program wise, I just need to get the fancy and special stuff.

Another thing, I would like a price estimate on this because, I'm not exactly the richest guy on earth and may need to wait a while to get everything set up.

I just thought it would be cool to convert my Mac into a stand-up with holes in certain places for other USB wires to go through, such as my iPod. This is in NO WAY supposed to be MAME only. I can't afford to buy a whole new computer, but I think I would be able to manage looking at a stand-up while I type (Maybe I'll put in a way for the keyboard and mouse to slide out so that they are hidden). All help is appreciated. Thanks!

Re:Arcade Standup 7 years, 9 months ago #814

Well I know you are cutting a lot of corners it sounds like. I did everything from the ground up using an old Bad Dudes cabinet. I got all of my parts from Happ Controls (www.happcontrols.com/). My monitor is an arcade monitor wired to a vga adapter so it's running at the same refresh rate as an arcade cabinet would. There is no shell on the monitor so all the guts stick out and it's kinda dangerous if you touch the wrong spot I found out once...OUCH!

Coin doors when I built it were wired into the JAMMA harness using a JPAC (www.ultimarc.com/jpac.html). Then I custom built my controller using parts from HAPP and plexi glass so I could put my own custom graphics under it. However as of 2 x-mases ago I upgraded and ditched the whole JAMMA rig for a Dual X-Arcade (USB). I highly advise you use this if you get a cabinet that will fit it. Lucky me it fit perfectly into the control board area. 100% fit. (www.xgaming.com/store/arcade-joysticks-a...rcade-dual-joystick/) compatible with Mac. Also I didn't have to program anything in MAME it all just worked like a dream.

I was going to go Mac over 7 years ago when I built this thing but at the time Mac Mame in my opinion sucked next to a PC in performance. Now it might be a bit different but even on my G5 and Macbook it can't compete with the PC I have in there. Plus I can force refresh rates with my vid card better on the PC for some reason.

The inside of mine now only has a motherboard mounted to a bracket on the base. An HD mounted next to it and a USB Wi-Fi card. I custom rigged a power supply to run off of switches I ran to the front of the cabinet to power on the computer and reset it. You could easily get a pc bare bones kit 2 years or older for under 200 bucks and be done with the computer. I know we all love our Mac's and I only use them for everything BUT my MAME cabinet. Oh I did have to do one thing. The speaker in the top back of the cabinet over the monitor was bad. I had to rewire it so I used a Pioneer 6x9 car speaker it looks like it's part of the cabinet and man is it LOUD! Considering all the games I play were designed for one speaker this puppy rocks!

As far as finding a cabinet I found 2 on ebay from a local seller I spent $80 bucks one was my Bad Dudes and the other was a Space Invaders. I went with the Bad Dudes and made a quick $50 on the Space Invaders. Try craigslist as well. Look for local auctions you might be able to find an old machine for cheap that you can gut or use the parts.

If you want pictures or anything I'd be happy to send them along just send me a PM.

Re:Arcade Standup 7 years, 9 months ago #815

I basically have the main stuff I need. Building the cabinet to make it like the older stand-ups would be cheap and pretty cool. The only supplies needed would be sturdy wood, paint, and that thick plastic that they put over the sides and in front of the screen. I think I might need a cheaper joystick, though, unless I can't find one. Thanks for the help.

Re:Arcade Standup 7 years, 9 months ago #816

If it were me building it (and I've often thought about doing a mini arcade version) I would use MDF as the wood as it is lightweight yet durable...plus easily cut with a simple jigsaw cutter.

For the finish, I think you are looking for some plastic based spray paint as it would be more durable for the bumps and knocks it would take, and give you that shiney finish.

The decal, or stickers are probably large format vinyl stickers. You could probably take your design to a print shop and they could help you out no doubt in getting it setup for print and the right color format.

Re:Arcade Standup 7 years, 9 months ago #817

Mucx wrote:
If it were me building it (and I've often thought about doing a mini arcade version) I would use MDF as the wood as it is lightweight yet durable...plus easily cut with a simple jigsaw cutter.

MDF is not light, it is heavier than plywood. That said, it is much easier to work with (though much more toxic because of the glue). I went with good quality plywood on mine for less weight and resistance to expansion from moisture. Plywood will last you a lot longer than MDF, though MDF is cheaper.

Making your own cabinet isn't easy and most newbies I tell just to get an old JAMMA cab from an auction for cheap (don't get any classics, that's just mean to those of us who restore cabs). However it is really fun to make your own. I probably put over 400 hours into building my cab and with all the parts and whatnot it came to about $2,200. I went all out though, obviously you can go cheaper. Much of what Pixelcade says is spot on.

If you build your own, start by getting dimensions of an actual cabinet shape you like. You can modify from there. Don't try to do it all on your own as most likely you will end up making some costly mistakes. Making a MAME cab is fun and while super time consuming is a blast once it's done. I absolutely love mine, and I built it about 7 years ago. Still gets a lot of play in the house. Here's some pics if you're curious:


Re:Arcade Standup 7 years, 9 months ago #818

I'm putting the finishing touches on a CNC machine I've constructed (based loosely this), and one of my first projects may be an arcade cabinet. My current plan is to use birch plywood; and although I'm far from an expert on the topic I have found birch plywood to be a great material for my projects so far. The table I constructed my CNC machine uses a large amount of MDF, and I found that the edges of the material after being cut and the material's weight made it less attractive for actual construction of projects.

Re:Arcade Standup 7 years, 9 months ago #820

Gotta agree with Mucx on the classic cab unless it's beyond all hope and you can repair it. I picked the Bad Dudes cab as it's not that in demand and I didn't total it I just did a full restore for the most part. I used lexan as the plastic to cover the monitor much stronger than plexi and I found it to be clearer. Plus it's a LOT stronger but honestly unless you are the type of gamer to hit your stuff it doesn't matter. Find a local industrial plastics shop they'll cut you a piece and it won't cost much. Then again being in the Detroit area finding things like that are easy. I have always thought of putting my own custom marquee on the cab but I like the Bad Dudes one it's so cheesy like the game that I can't help but keep it on there

Re:Arcade Standup 7 years, 9 months ago #821

vitaflo wrote:

This is a little more professional looking than what I expected. I wanted to make more of a classic-looking one, like this: www.kids.casinopartyevents.com/Midway_video_arcade_rental.jpg although, yours is really cool looking.

To everyone else: your comments are very helpful and I appreciate them, especially the ones about materials and the joysticks.

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