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You are here: MacNN Forums > Community > MacNN Lounge > Laminar's Build Threads 002: MAME Arcade Cabinet

Laminar's Build Threads 002: MAME Arcade Cabinet (Page 2)
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Laminar  (op)
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May 20, 2014, 04:33 PM
 
Here's a rough draft of the control panel artwork. Illustrator was able to import a PDF and correctly identified all of the shapes that I exported from CAD. The background image is a raster. The cake (insert coin button) and sentry (1/2 player start button) images I tried to make vectors of, but whenever I'd do a "Live Trace" of a png file with a transparent background, Illustrator would always add in a white background, so I just went with rasters. I drew the companion cubes (joystick locations) in Illustrator so those are native vectors. The four buttons up top will be for pause, escape, and whatever else I need.



I think I'll make the speaker holes below the monitor in the shape of portals. Some LED strips from eBay should make cool blue and orange glowing effects. I also ordered a slim keyboard and a pop-up USB hub this morning. The USB hub will be integrated into the area above the control panel, it will pop up when I need to plug in a USB controller. I'm thinking about making some sort of slide-out keyboard tray under the control panel for configuration purposes.
     
subego
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May 20, 2014, 04:40 PM
 
Shit... I can vector the cake for you. Give me until tomorrow.

I can Google the image, but if you want to link the exact one you're using, put up a link and I'll use that.

If you do, throw in the Sentry Robot too.
     
Laminar  (op)
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May 20, 2014, 04:46 PM
 
Originally Posted by subego View Post
Re CS2... if you think the most up-to-date Illustrator may swing a proper import, hook me up with a DropBox link or something and I'll gladly give it a shot.
My issue is that CS2 doesn't like anything newer than Autodesk 2004. So a newer version of Illustrator could import Autodesk 2013 files, or the non-education version of Autodesk could import files in the 2004 format. Either way, my pdf hack seems to have worked.

Originally Posted by reader50 View Post
I still like the live marquee idea. Not only could you change the base image whenever you want to, and show the current game logos. But you could also sneak in the occasional comment on the gaming skills of Player A/B. A snarky comment/advice visible for 2-3 seconds. Then back to the game logo. It would help with audience involvement.
That's waaay deeper than I want to go. The hardware is scare (try finding an LCD in that aspect ratio), and though some front ends support it, you're mostly on your own. Given that my build is highly constrained by time and budget, I'm happy with my marquee which happens to fit the theme well. Here's a thread about them:

http://forum.arcadecontrols.com/inde...tml#msg1228998

No way am I shelling out $1000 for a LCD of that size.

Based on my cabinet size, if I do want to upgrade in the future the cab will hold a 22" widescreen monitor, like the one currently sitting in my garage. I didn't go for that this time as it's meant for 4:3 arcade games, and 16:9 23" screen doesn't give a whole lot of height advantage over a 4:3 19".
     
Laminar  (op)
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May 21, 2014, 04:40 PM
 
Originally Posted by Laminar View Post
Here's a first draft of the marquee graphics - the marquee is 4.5"x16" and will be backlit. You can probably figure out the theme I'm going with.

I went ahead and redid the marquee in full vector graphics (minus the background):

     
andi*pandi
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May 21, 2014, 05:00 PM
 
Looks pretty good, although I think the outlines on the Aperture logo/little graphics got a bit too thick, and the lettering seems off.

this is a pretty nice png to start from:
http://fc05.deviantart.net/fs70/i/20..._ChrisInVT.png
Hold on, converting png:
https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/107870/aperture.eps

and here's another one in vector, although the lettering is not quite as nice.
http://vector.me/browse/756962/aperture_laboratories
     
subego
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May 21, 2014, 05:12 PM
 
I'll still vector the cake for you. I was on deadline yesterday.
     
Laminar  (op)
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May 21, 2014, 05:18 PM
 
Originally Posted by andi*pandi View Post
Looks pretty good, although I think the outlines on the Aperture logo/little graphics got a bit too thick, and the lettering seems off.
I switched to a different source for the vector graphics, the one I used most recently was from Wikipedia. I'm not sure how close it is to the "official" logo, though.

Originally Posted by subego View Post
I'll still vector the cake for you. I was on deadline yesterday.
I got it figured out - if I check the "strokes" box in Live Trace settings the transparency works as expected.

Everything is vector now, plus I added the dotted paths.
     
subego
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May 21, 2014, 05:21 PM
 
Oh... good deal!

I'll use that time for drinking. It's a win-win.
     
Laminar  (op)
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May 28, 2014, 05:31 PM
 
I started out last night laying out the first cuts:


Then started in this morning with my circular saw, jigsaw, and little router table:










And eventually I ended up here:




Tomorrow I should be able to finish up the rest of the body and start in on the control panel. I should probably get my artwork ordered so it's here soon.

I cut a bezel for the display out of 1/2" MDF that goes around the entire display, not just the visible screen. If I use the Dell stand, the monitor will stick out of the front by about 1/4". I can detach the display and make my own VESA mount that would let me set the display wherever I want it, which will probably be easier than trying to build a platform to attached the Dell stand to.

I also need to look more into how to paint this MDF. The cut edges especially seem to just soak up any paint applied. I might have to slop on a coat of Bondo, wood filler, or drywall compound first.
     
andi*pandi
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May 28, 2014, 05:37 PM
 
Fast work!

Judging by the many episodes of Trading Spaces I've seen, yes MDF drinks paint. However, beyond multiple coats, they never did anything special to it... but you've got more attention to detail, I think.
     
reader50
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May 28, 2014, 06:02 PM
 
Looking good. You could give it a first coat of white Kilz as a seal layer, then a color coat.

I couldn't tell from the pics, but the lower front / back panels. Are either hinged for easy access? Besides hiding the server in there, you might have space for some small shelves. You mentioned earlier some optional peripherals, that would be an efficient place to store them.
     
Laminar  (op)
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May 28, 2014, 06:22 PM
 
Still trying to decide where the access door will be. I'm also planning on some ventilation in the back, and maybe a port for the subwoofer to fire out of.
     
MacinTommy
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May 28, 2014, 08:04 PM
 
Looks awesome! Now for the real question: how about a pic of you with the unit or perhaps eating a sandwich?!
     
Mike Wuerthele
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May 29, 2014, 11:44 AM
 
I've got a big-ass jealous right now. Nice pics!
     
Laminar  (op)
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May 29, 2014, 01:58 PM
 
Originally Posted by MacinTommy View Post
Looks awesome! Now for the real question: how about a pic of you with the unit or perhaps eating a sandwich?!
How about me eating a sandwich in the unit?



Sidenote: I got stuck.
     
The Final Dakar
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May 29, 2014, 02:03 PM
 
I'll bet you wish you had a portal gun then.
     
Laminar  (op)
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May 29, 2014, 06:35 PM
 
I would have settled for a screw gun.
     
Laminar  (op)
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May 29, 2014, 10:37 PM
 
Had a friend come over today and ended up doing more brainstorming than actual work, but we still got stuff done. I found an old VESA mount I bought off of MonoPrice on a whim a while back that I cut up and will use to mount the screen. I got the speakers mounted and just need to cut out two familiar oval-shaped holes in the frontmost bezel. I got all of the control panel top pieces cut out. I rough cut the Lexan with a jigsaw and used the router table to flush cut it to the piece it sits on top of, but it slipped and I cut about 1/8" into the Lexan - this piece is probably toast.









I also got my artwork ordered from FedEx/Kinkos this morning and picked it up this afternoon:


I had them leave 1/4" around the artwork so I can make everything fit nicely - I can trim it flush if I need to. The artwork is printed on a matte adhesive vinyl decal and the two pieces cost $47. I have no idea if that's a good price, but I can't beat that turnaround and the quality seems really good.

I'll pick up another piece of Lexan tomorrow morning and redo that portion, so I expect I'll be able to wire up the control panel tomorrow as well.
     
Laminar  (op)
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May 30, 2014, 09:27 PM
 
More progress today! Started out by getting everything attached to both panels. Then we got the screen attached and centered, it turned out pretty good. I'm still thinking of doing some trim around the bezel to get that edge perfectly straight. This morning I picked up some 0.220 plexiglass to replace the polycarbonate I improperly routed yesterday. This time I drilled and countersunk four flathead machine screws to hold the plexi to the mdf base so that it could be routed perfectly.









I used a Forstner bit to drill the button holes in the MDF:


Then I used a 5/8" spade bit to pre-drill the plexi:


I bolted the two pieces together and used the router table to flush cut the holes so the two pieces would match perfectly. Then I put the joysticks in place. In the future, I may route out a pocket to get the joystick a bit higher; as it sits now the top of the joystick is probably 2" higher than the CP top.




Then I got the control panel wired up and hooked it up to the PC for a test run. I figured out I needed to hit Tab while in-game to configure my inputs. Each of the players has a button 1-6. The top two large buttons are for coin entry and player start, and the four small buttons are Escape, Pause, Vol down, and Vol up. So far it seems to work great!

I have the first layer of wood filler on the cabinet filling in the cracks and covering up the visible screwheads. Tomorrow I'll drop in a shelf and figure how everything will be situated within the cabinet. I may start on the marquee, depends on how motivated I feel and how much other stuff I find to do around the house - gotta finish up the soffits in the theater room before Sunday, too.
     
ShortcutToMoncton
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May 31, 2014, 06:41 AM
 
Hah, that looks awesome. I assume you have one of those x days on, x off jobs? Or is this vacation time? Cause you're plowing through this I like crazy - very impressive. :d
Mankind's only chance is to harness the power of stupid.
     
Laminar  (op)
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May 31, 2014, 07:52 AM
 
Not officially - when I'm not traveling I'm expected to be in the office 8ish to 5ish but there's always some leeway after a trip, especially a longer one. I keep my phone on me and respond right away so they don't complain.
     
Laminar  (op)
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Jun 2, 2014, 10:24 AM
 
I hosted a dude baby shower this weekend, that was the big push to get the arcade cabinet functional so soon. I got everything installed and running, it ended up being a great time - Tekken, TMNT, WWF, Marvel vs. Capcom.









This week is busy, I'm traveling to a wedding next weekend, and I'll be in Detroit the week after that, so progress will be slow for a bit, but I'm looking forward to finishing this thing up.
     
 
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