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My arcade console - WIP


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#1 Master Phruby OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Sep 27, 2017 8:25 AM

I've been working on this for a while. I've finally gotten to a point were I can put the controls on it. I need to finish the box for the PC. It will be a bigger version of an x-arcade. There will be an hdmi port and power supply plug on the back. I'm still looking for a low powered PC mother board. The buttons, track ball and Tron stick all light up. I added el wire to make the board glow. There is a piece of plexiglass over it. I don't like the feel of the red joystick. I need a different one. Building one of these things is harder than it seemed.  It's a work in progress.

 

p7GfN3m.jpg


Edited by Master Phruby, Wed Sep 27, 2017 8:26 AM.


#2 TPA5 OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Sep 27, 2017 10:37 AM

I'm digging it. Have you considered doing a tint on the plexi so it hides the wires when they aren't lit up? I only mention it because of the way the EL wire is made, it looks almost like a shakily-painted line. I'm sure when it's lit up it looks great though.



#3 Master Phruby OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Sep 27, 2017 10:47 AM

I'm digging it. Have you considered doing a tint on the plexi so it hides the wires when they aren't lit up? I only mention it because of the way the EL wire is made, it looks almost like a shakily-painted line. I'm sure when it's lit up it looks great though.

I didn't even think of that. I'll look for some tint. 



#4 TPA5 OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Sep 30, 2017 8:48 PM

I didn't even think of that. I'll look for some tint. 

I think you can buy it in sheets (like a film) or in a spray can.

You mentioned looking for a low powered PC for the machine, what about a Raspberry Pi? They can run a lot of the arcade games through to the 90s, and lots of console games. Super low power consumption, and a nice price point.

I have an arcade cab build on the (slow) go right now, seeing this gets me motivated to work on it.

Any pics of the inside?


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Edited by TPA5, Sat Sep 30, 2017 8:50 PM.


#5 Master Phruby OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Oct 2, 2017 7:41 AM

My last project was a Raspberry Pi inside a X-Arcade Tankstick. It worked out pretty well except for the limit of games I could put on a 32gb sd card. I did see some slow down on some MAME games. Sure I could have put in an SSD but there wasn't enough room for that and I really didn't want to mess with Linux config files again.  For this machine, I wanted something a little more powerful but still not some $800 gaming rig so I went with Pentium processor and ITX board. 

 

https://www.newegg.c...N82E16813157731

 

This has 16gb of ram and an SSD would be plenty of space for MAME and all the emulators up to N64. It's also stays cool and takes very little wattage. Sure I can't run Wii or Gamecube or PS2 emulators but those machines take different controllers to run well. It's not easy to play a Wii game without the proper controls. 


Edited by Master Phruby, Mon Oct 2, 2017 8:22 AM.


#6 TPA5 OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Oct 2, 2017 8:56 AM

My last project was a Raspberry Pi inside a X-Arcade Tankstick. It worked out pretty well except for the limit of games I could put on a 32gb sd card. I did see some slow down on some MAME games. Sure I could have put in an SSD but there wasn't enough room for that and I really didn't want to mess with Linux config files again.  For this machine, I wanted something a little more powerful but still not some $800 gaming rig so I went with Pentium processor and ITX board. 

 

https://www.newegg.c...N82E16813157731

 

This has 16gb of ram and an SSD would be plenty of space for MAME and all the emulators up to N64. It's also stays cool and takes very little wattage. Sure I can't run Wii or Gamecube or PS2 emulators but those machines take different controllers to run well. It's not easy to play a Wii game without the proper controls. 

 

That board looks pretty sweet, will definitely run it better than a RasPi! Especially with that much ram and an SSD.



#7 Master Phruby OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Oct 2, 2017 11:18 AM

I'm pairing it with an 180w power supply. Anymore than that is a waste. We are going low power here. 

https://www.newegg.c...=9SIA6PW3T70487

 

I'm also using a small 60mm fan with blue leds to push air in to keep it cool. 

https://www.newegg.c...N82E16835119021

 

The box the board lays on will be about 6" in depth. I'm going to reroute the HDMI and usb plugs with this. The plug is the same size hole as a standard arcade button.I used this on my x-arcade tank stick. They have one that has two usbs or one usb/ one audio plug. 

 

https://www.amazon.c...d usb car&psc=1



#8 Keatah ONLINE  

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Posted Mon Oct 2, 2017 2:54 PM

I like these little ITX boards because they look less PC-ish, are low-power, and can fit in many projects. You get efficiency and a wider choice of emulators. And an even wider choice of utilities and tools to support those emulators by virtue of being in the Windows ecosystem.

 

Not having to mess with those fart-knocker Raspberry Pi's and Linux is a blessing.



#9 Master Phruby OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Oct 3, 2017 7:20 PM

The motherboard came today as well as the hdmi/usb plug. Hopefully I can build the box/base for this thing and start wiring it soon. I want to finish by our church's Trunk or Treat party so the kids can play some REAL video games for a change. If not I still have my backup moded x-arcade.



#10 Master Phruby OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Oct 6, 2017 9:52 AM

I built the box for the controller and test fitted it. I don't need that much room in side it. I think I'm going to reduce the height by about two inches. 

 

h6DdbWB.jpg



#11 TPA5 OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Oct 10, 2017 3:59 PM

I built the box for the controller and test fitted it. I don't need that much room in side it. I think I'm going to reduce the height by about two inches. 

 

 

 

Are you going to have this on a coffee table, or on some kind of pedestal cab? Just curious. It's looking good; if you can reduce the height I'd say go for it. Slimmer is better :P



#12 Master Phruby OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Oct 10, 2017 8:41 PM

Since that picture, I reduced the height by two inches making it 5" tall. I've added blue 1/2 round molding around the board and 1/4 round the sides to finish it off. It's painted gloss black. It is also hinged at the back. Its designed to sit on a coffee table in front of the family TV. The computer, PSU and ssd are inside the box.

New pictures to come.

#13 Master Phruby OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Oct 13, 2017 9:49 PM

Updated picture. Now I have to wire the controls to the controller board and nail down the motherboard. I'm thinking about moving the coin select buttons to the front center of the cabinet

 

PJWKlfd.jpg


Edited by Master Phruby, Fri Oct 13, 2017 10:09 PM.


#14 TPA5 OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Oct 17, 2017 9:59 AM

Looks slick, I'd agree with you on moving the coin select buttons to the front center of the box. It would look sweet! Are the coin select buttons lit? I'm working on a slim stand-up cab and those would be awesome for adding credits in MAME.


Edited by TPA5, Tue Oct 17, 2017 9:59 AM.


#15 Master Phruby OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Oct 17, 2017 1:38 PM

Here is an internal shot of the mother board, PSU and storage. The CPU doesn't need a fan but I decided to add one based on my heating experience with the Raspberry Pi. This is 128GB SSD as drive C and 640GB hdd for drive D. It runs Windows 10 with LaunchBox - BigBox interface. The coin slots are lit and I'm going to move them to front of the board. The two cables next to the PSU are for HDMI and USB 3.0. There is a hole for an ethernet cable.

 

 

FpK7dGY.jpg


Edited by Master Phruby, Tue Oct 17, 2017 1:39 PM.


#16 Keatah ONLINE  

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Posted Tue Oct 17, 2017 3:37 PM

When I build a premier hi-quality emulation rig I'll use some shock-absorbing material or mounting with rubber grommets for the mainboard and mechanical HD to absorb physical shock.

 

Do you plan to tie down the usb and other cables?

 

This class of motherboards doesn't need a fan, but they do get used in cases where there is a definite convective flow, or perforated top.



#17 Master Phruby OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Oct 17, 2017 5:49 PM

When I build a premier hi-quality emulation rig I'll use some shock-absorbing material or mounting with rubber grommets for the mainboard and mechanical HD to absorb physical shock.

 

Do you plan to tie down the usb and other cables?

 

This class of motherboards doesn't need a fan, but they do get used in cases where there is a definite convective flow, or perforated top.

The fan is there for ventilation mostly of the hdd.  Everything else should stay pretty cool. I only used that fan because I had one laying around. The motherboard is secured to the board by those brass stands you use in computer cases. The psu and storage are all secured with velcro. I am going to tie down the usb and other cables with cable stables. I'm still waiting on a usb mother board header and some wires for power and reset switches. I've also got an Intel Centrino 2230 Mini pci express wifi/bluetooth card for the mother board coming. 

 

So many little parts that you never think to buy until you need them. 

 

https://www.amazon.c...0?ie=UTF8&psc=1

 

https://www.amazon.c...0?ie=UTF8&psc=1

 

Moved the coin buttons to the front. They will be replaced with a red LED button and another white button for system controls.


Edited by Master Phruby, Tue Oct 17, 2017 5:51 PM.


#18 Master Phruby OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Oct 18, 2017 8:56 AM

I started wiring the controls and found out that a lot of the controls are out of reach of my wiring harness. I need to pick up a crimper and some crimp connectors at Home Depot today. It's amazing the number of little things you need for this kind of project. It's not just controls, wood and computer. The controls have to be wired in series and then individually wired to the encoder board. For some reason, Ultimarc sells their spinner control and track ball with only four inches of wire on their connectors. This makes wiring and placing the encoder board a lot harder. The trackball's wire comes out at the bottom of the unit making it hard to plug in the spinner and trackball at the same time without extending the wires. 


Edited by Master Phruby, Wed Oct 18, 2017 8:57 AM.


#19 Cynicaster OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Oct 18, 2017 1:18 PM

 It's amazing the number of little things you need for this kind of project. It's not just controls, wood and computer.

 

Quote for truth!

 

All of the little tweaks and finishing touches make up a significant portion of the overall time investment, and it feels like you get nickel-and-dimed to within an inch of your life. 



#20 Master Phruby OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Oct 19, 2017 7:43 AM

 

Quote for truth!

 

All of the little tweaks and finishing touches make up a significant portion of the overall time investment, and it feels like you get nickel-and-dimed to within an inch of your life. 

Ultimarc will happily sell you 7" wire extension for the trackball for $3. For the trackball you need two of them. They make $6 out of pennies of materials. I wish Radio Shack was still around.



#21 Keatah ONLINE  

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Posted Thu Oct 19, 2017 12:29 PM

Quote for truth!

 

All of the little tweaks and finishing touches make up a significant portion of the overall time investment, and it feels like you get nickel-and-dimed to within an inch of your life. 

 

When I build a rig for someone that part of the BOM takes about 20% of the cost. Screws, ties, cables and extensions, clips, brackets, fitments, hinges, headers, sealant, adhesives, standoffs, washers, nuts & bolts, all of it..



#22 Master Phruby OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Oct 24, 2017 1:56 PM

I did most of the controller wiring last night. I picked up a set of crimp connectors from Amazon. No one sells this stuff! 

 

https://www.amazon.c...0?ie=UTF8&psc=1

 

I have a green  led button for the computer's power button. It lights up when the computer is on. I added a red led button for computer reset and lights up with HDD access. I mounted the encoder board to the bottom of the controller lid board and found some wire leads to extend the trackball and spinner to the encoder. I need to finish wiring up player one's controls with lengthen wire. The fan guard has been added.

 

LaunchBox has been added and I've imported, MAME, SNES, Genesis, Sega CD and 3DO. I have to download retroarch for the 2600. I'm having trouble getting the PSOne stuff running. I have a license for Big Box and I like the way it works. It's much nicer than Hyperspin.


Edited by Master Phruby, Tue Oct 24, 2017 1:56 PM.


#23 Cynicaster OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Oct 26, 2017 10:20 AM

I picked up a set of crimp connectors from Amazon. No one sells this stuff!

 

I know, it's annoying!  For years I've had a pretty big stash of the red crimp connectors that fit nice on arcade button terminals, but last year I was working on a project and realized I was getting really low on those.  I didn't place any priority on getting more because I figured it's a commodity I could go pick up at any time.  I finally got to the stage where the connectors were needed so I went out to get some and was a bit disappointed to find that every local store that carried them was selling them in small packages of 4 pieces for like $5.  That ain't gonna fly on a project that needs dozens.  The big kits of assorted connectors are a decent value, but not for me because I only really need one kind.  So I went to the internet to order some, and the prices were better, but the shipping would be stupid unless I was willing to wait like 2 months for a shipment from China.  All said and done, there was no way to get all of the connectors I wanted without spending at least $20.  Which isn't the end of the world, but the idea of paying more than a few pennies per connector seems off to me, and it's just another example of the types of unforeseen costs that these projects can bring.



#24 Master Phruby OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Oct 30, 2017 8:47 AM

The wiring here is almost complete. I need to put in the wiring for player 2's led lights and make a wire to connect them in series. Th red El Wire will light up the bottom of the trackball.  I haven't put in the Tron flight stick yet. I'm still looking for a why to convert the Night Mission arcade flight stick to use the Tron handle. I may have to bit the bullet and invest in a real Tron flight stick ($140) :-(

 

Once the wiring is done, I can put the hinges on the main box and put in some wire management tie downs. I want to be able to open it completely without disconnecting wires so there will be alot of slack in the coin button wires. 

 

http://groovygamegea...products_id=399

 

Does anyone know where I can get one of these cheaper and not have to wait until the end of the year?

 

https://na.suzohapp....icks/50-9980-00

 

 

 

qcy78l0.jpg


Edited by Master Phruby, Mon Oct 30, 2017 8:48 AM.


#25 Master Phruby OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Nov 11, 2017 10:41 PM

Sorry for the long time to report in. I've got the machine up and running now. I currently have some problems with the led lights. I think I just plugged them in backwards for a few of them. That is why some are on and off. All the controls work. I had the trackball doing sideways instead of up and down. I had to reverse the plugs and it worked. Same deal happened with the spinner. It was going up/down instead of left/right. I've put the hinges on and added a chain so the lid doesn't fly backwards when opened. I had to redo some of the connections due to shorts. After I reverse the polls on the leds, I need to get that Tron stick working. 

 

The system is running BigBox from Launchbox. It's a very nice and simple interface for running multiple emulators. I'm still configuring it. 






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