My arcade cabinet started as an idea years ago when I discovered MAME and that I could play Centipede (my college game) exactly as I had then.. the desire to build one came and went until last year when I ran into a real Centipede cabinet that was operational but unplayable.. it was infuriating.
I spent about 6 months designing a cabinet in Sketchup, acquiring components and perusing the Arcade Controls Forum formulating and overall design. In December of 2017 I started the actual cabinet construction.
The design goals were rather simple – build a cabinet that was reasonably modular and that I could take apart if needed. It has a relatively powerful PC so that I can add newer games down the line. My research led me to a 32″ monitor to give the height needed for vertical games which seems to be working nicely.
Ultimately the machine will end up at our lake house once I get all of the software sorted. I’m using Bigbox as the front end and LED Blinky to show us all the buttons and controls for the games I don’t know – the pause/help feature is really useful. I’m also no artist so the overall look is pretty basic when it comes to that. The control panel mirrors some design points of a traditional wooden boat – but overall – I didn’t want it to be too busy.
Construction complete! Shop is all cleaned up and ready for the next project.
Dell PC, Coin door, Arcade power supply and small subwoofer for Jukebox mode.
Coin buttons under the CP on each side, lighted PC power switch and on the right – volume up/down.
Moving handles and cooling fans – so far the fans have not been needed.. I’ll keep an eye on the cabinet heat. They make a little more noise than I like – maybe there is a variable speed fan controller/thermostat out there I can rig up..
Relatively slim profile – overall less than 28″ deep.
The fun part – wiring up the central nervous system.
Next steps are to start over on the software installation and create a little documentation to keep track of all the little changes and make it a bit more bulletproof. Right now I have to jump through a bunch of steps to get it ‘ready’ for someone to use. I’ll be pinging the forum for help on that too. Maybe add some other emulators? Not sure which ones even like arcade style controls.
I’d like to create some side art that matches the lakeside theme – that is quite the undertaking – we’ll see if I get that far.
We have a LOT of people who are ready to play some old school games.. I need to get the software done!