Ryan's Upright Arcade

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15 Jan 07 
     Going off the lessons learned with my first arcade cabinet attempt -> cocktail cabinet, I decided to make an upright cabinet.  While it will take some time to actually make this cabinet (we are moving from Thailand to Japan this summer) I will eventually get around to making it.  So, since I have a few days off and nothing to do, why not start with the drawings?  The drawing cans be downloaded here (when finished). 

17 Apr 07
     I recently sold my cocktail cabinet and now my wife has given me the "okay" to build an upright arcade.

01 Jun 08 Yeah I know, it has been a while.  But moving and changing jobs does that...
     So far this is what I have designed
  (the different colors are to help me differentiate between the different panels during the design process). 
 I have also decided to use  joysticks and buttons from Happ Controls instead of the ones from Ultimarc as in my last cabinet.  I wasn't too excited with the feel of their joystick.  The buttons, joysticks, spinner, trackball and keyboard emulator have been ordered.  The Control panel is the first to be built.   First I began by reading Project Arcade.  Even though I have already built a cabinet, I thought it best to see what other people have done.  Also, it is a good reference for some tricks and nuances I didn't incorporate in the first cabinet.  The included CD is also nice for color pictures of the B&W images in the book.

04 Jun 08
     I now live in Yokosuka, Japan so I had to go to the local hardware store to see what they had in stock.  I did find what I was looking for, but the use the metric system here so the largest sheet of cabinet grade plywood is 910mm x 1820 mm (3' x 6') and is not 1/2" thick, but 15mm (close enough).  So I had to modify my drawings a bit to accommodate the overall size being limited by my materials.  Plexiglas is also in interesting sizes, but I will find what I need.  Also things are a bit pricier here.

14 Jun 08
     So I convinced a friend to build a cabinet too.  We have begun the first stages of the control console.  Cutting some of the angles are rather tricky.  But we re getting the hang of it.  Also my order from Happ came in so things are moving along nicely.

03 Jul 08
     Finally got started on the control panel.  I found out that I will be moving back to the states in the immediate future, so I need to use the tools at work while I can!.  Picture are below in the controls section.

06 Jul 08
     Well the wife and kids are out of the picture today, so I took advantage and spent the day working completing the control panel.  I admit a few mistakes, especially in the design as I had to notch the back a bit for the spinner and 8-way joystick to fit properly.  But none of it will be visible to the user, so I am okay with it.  Pretty much finished the control panel to day.  I wasn't sure how to attach the top and still have access to the interior but I came up with some cool hinges and a truck opener that keep that top up when opened.   I have to still attach a magnetic latch and route the slot for the T-molding.  That is going to be tricky on most of the edges as they are at 70 degrees and the router cuts at 90.  I guess I will have to make a jig to get the right angle. 

24 Jun 08
     Just got the word that we are moving back to the US. so it looks like this project will be on hold for a while.














I decided to use my old Sony computer for this cabinet.  As much as I don't want to get rid of this computer, I think it has done more than it's fair share of computing for me.  It is a Pentium III 800 MHz with 512 MB RAM (that is all the RAM it can handle).  Currently it has Windows 2000 on it, but I might try to upgrade it to XP if I can find the drivers on the Sony Support site. (12June) Windows XP installed correctly...











  The control panel will each have, one 4 way and two 8 way joysticks, and six action buttons, a track ball, a spinner, one/two player controls and four misc buttons for controlling the MAME interface.








Lessons Learned:

         After having played the games for a few days, I would change the following if I were to build another cabinet.

  •   Increase the width of the control panel.  When I use the joy stick, my hand rests on the edge of the control panel.  After five minutes or so, my hand begins to ache.  Maybe in time I will build a callous?!?

  •   RTFM -Read The F%@king Manual.  I figured out my issues mapping the buttons - I forgot to change a jumper.

  •   Make sure everything works before you install it or make any cuts.  My monitor, even though it was new, tends to change aspect ratio on it's own.  I also installed a newer CD-ROM and my old PC does not "see" it.  Luckily the network card works and I can plug  the game cabinet into my Router and fix everything (so far).

  •   Make the top panel 1" thick.  This way the joysticks will have plenty of clearance between the top of the joystick and the bottom of the glass/plexi-glass.  I used 3/4" wood that was available and my joystick clears the plexi-glass by 0.100".  But if you lean on the plexi-glass, the joysticks rub due to the flexing...

  •   I think I would mount the computer board and the coin  assembly on the opposite sides in which I mounted them.  I think access to the computer board is more important and since I have been having to plug a keyboard in a few times a week, it would make it a lot easier to do.  All the examples I have seen did it the way I should have done it, but my computer has an accessory board that is perpendicular to the motherboard and had to be secured to the cabinet.  This precluded me from mounting it on the removable panel.

  •   I think my next cabinet will be an upright.  Some of the ROMS have issues with Cocktail settings and switching to the other side when player 2 is up.  Maybe I have bad ROMS?!?

     I think that is it!!!  Please email me with questions or comments and look for the upcoming PC Extreme 7, due in mid-July 2003 for more on game cabinets!!!