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Jaguar Arcade Cabinet

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This is a step-by-step of our newest creation..The Atari Jaguar Arcade Cabinet! It also houses a 7800!!


First we build a frame (this is our own plan devised by me..Papa.)..






..if you look in the background you can see that we've done this sort of thing before..




Shelves are added. The lowest shelf lifts up for easy access to power. The others are screwed in with room on each side for cords to drop down through.




We use a 4X8 cut down the middle and shortened for both sides. The angle cut from the top flips over and becomes the sides for the panel!




A basic layout for the control panel is conceived..




..as are the art schemes.




Everything is done in a certain order.




The marquee is added and stabilizes the top.




The paint is added..




..the panel is cut (special methods are used to cut plexiglass without cracking!!)




Panel art is embedded.




The panel is finished!!




The panel is added, the screen is set, and inside paint is done (not in that order..)




The front panel is prepared..




..and test fitted!




A massive amount of soldering went into this cabinet..




Ultimately, 164 solder points are made!!




Trim is added.






The system is tested and safety corners are added.




Plexiglass is added to the front along with the decorative cover..




I present..


The Jaguar Arcade Cabinet!!










From Rayman to Rampage! Jaguar and 7800 (and,of course, 2600) compatibility!!


Thanks for viewing!!




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Nice Jag/7800 arcade cabinet, :thumbsup: :thumbsup: I would find it odd to use the number key's where they are on your cabinet, DOOM comes to mind when your in a firefight trying change weapons. :-o ;)

Edited by walter_J64bit

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Where do you switch cartridges?

You don't. You put Tempest 2000 in and that's job done. Lock the door/throw away key.

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You don't. You put Tempest 2000 in and that's job done. Lock the door/throw away key.


I'd need a lot of Jaguars then! ;-)

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The back is opened to allow access to the two shelves. Games can go on the top shelf as the systems are both on the bottom. Simply reach down and put in a cart. I found that playing games with the front panel was very easy! Hoverstrike is extremely fun, launching missiles and locking on to targets with the top three buttons is very easy. Doom is very fun, reaching down to swap out weapons.


This is my Jaguar game list..





Trever McFur


Checkered Flag



Wolfenstien 3D

Pinball Fantasies

Ruiner Pinball (and yes, the side buttons are pinball flippers)



Ultra Vortek

Kasumi Ninja

Total Carnage

Alien vs. Predator

Iron Soldier

Theme Park


..And my 7800 collection combined with my 2600 collection are well over a hundred games! This was built for games like Rampage and Double Dragon that use the extra button. There is a custom made switch box in the back that swaps the controls over to the 7800 or back.


The buttons on the front feel really great when pressing and have a strong arcade feel! Using a stool while playing more time consuming games, like Syndicate or Doom, line up your hands so that the buttons are extremely easy to use!


I used to have Defender and Tempest for my second or third Jaguar (or fourth..) and will likely be getting them again soon. I would also really like to get Protector, as the background movements in Defender were dizzying and I've heard a lot of good things about Protector.

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Two sizes of cylindrical bits, yup! The button size can be used for all the cuts on a panel that uses Zippy joysticks. As this one uses Happ controls we used a slightly larger one so as to not interrupt the throw.


The key to cutting holes is to use pilot holes and start with the bit spinning backwards until you get through the plastic, then switch to forwards for the wood. I use skateboard bolts to attach the joysticks before the art and plastic is put back on, to hide the bolts. My older design had exposed bolts, but my last two before this one..


(..,the white cab on the right,..)



(..and this one..)



..use the flat topped locking bolts to hide the joystick fittings. (The bend at the top of the front art on the last one has been fixed, by the way.)

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Can you guys put together a parts list and instructions suitable for a novice? I seriously want this!!


I'd love to add a paddle controller for Tempest.

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Sure! I will have the old lady do that for you, as she did the parts run and could list them better than me. I'm glad you're interested! I may make one for sale one day!

Once she get's back from work today I'll put her right to it listing up the instructions and parts here!! If you want 7800 compatibility it may go beyond novice for the wiring!

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About the only negative I can think of is that it would be great to have some kind of cool artwork on the sides...

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Thanks everyone!


I thought this project would take only a couple of days, but ended up taking eight! I recently had a baby with my wife (our second son) and we have a 1 1/2 year old daughter, and four other older kids. Bit by bit we got it done and I must say It's one of the best cabinets I've ever made. The joysticks are excellent and use regular (button style) micro-switches instead of the joystick style ones with extended metal pieces, which makes them easier to deal with. X-Arcade has great joysticks and I also really love Zippy, switch driven sticks. They have many different colors and lengths and are the perfect price for hobbyists. Sanwa is good and all, but as they moved away from switches and have analog designs as of late, I have moved to clones (Zippy) and Happ parts. Nothing is as good for Atari games (with sometimes frustratingly stiff joysticks) as micro-switch joysticks. I've found that even systems with smooth pads, like the 3DO and the Saturn, are still extremely good with arcade sticks and buttons. They last a very long time and can be easily repaired, whereas pads can mess up quite easily and are just a cramped mess compared to the ease of use to be found with real arcade parts.


For a more modern system I would recommend I-Pac or, for the 360 or PS3, the X-Arcade DIY kits with adapters. The modern habit in today's custom cabinets seems to revolve around PC rigging and emulation. BAAAAHHH!! I use real hardware and actual controller pcb's from the actual systems and sometimes converter adapters to get multiple systems in there..

My Saturn cab uses real Saturn pads and then a Saturn to Playstation adapter that then goes through a Playstation to PC-Engine adapter for SuperGrafx and PC-Engine compatibility! So you have a Saturn, SuperGrafx, and a PC-Engine (mine has a Region switch to play TG-16 HuCards, if I choose) all in one cabinet!


My 3DO cabinet uses SNES controllers with the SNES to 3DO controller adapter, so the cab contains a 3DO and a Super Nintendo (modded for Super Famicom compatibility) and a Fighter X disk system on top. A RetroPort (for NES games) and a RetroGen (for Genesis/Mega Drive games) are also in there! I use system selector boxes to switch between systems.


An easier cabinet uses Sega Genesis pads, which can be used with several systems. My Sega Genesis arcade cabinet has a Gemini, a Flashback 2, and a Model 1 Genesis with Sega CD, 32X and the Power Base converter. This requires no adapters and still supports all of these systems!


My SegAmiga cabinet has a powerful 64-bit PC with Windows 7 for games like Street Fighter IV and emulators (..meh.) of the many systems including the Amiga (It used to house my 2500, but I wanted to cover AGA and found that emulation made that easier for me) through Amiga Forever, and a Japanese Sega Master system. The PC uses a Genesis Pad to USB converter and the cab is wired with two 6-Button Sega pads, so no adapters are needed for the Master System. I also use a VGA converter to port the video from the Japanese Master System to the VGA monitor.


My next cabinet will use a FOAC system!! I have a flimsy one that can barely be played due to the cheapo controllers, but has perfect graphics. That coupled with several multicarts will make this a formidable system! Eat your heart out Players Choice 10!! :grin:

Edited by Papa

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Mrs. Papa here with more info.


Parts List for Cabinet:


  • Tools: Drill, jigsaw with blade for wood and blade for metal, clamps, carpet or exacto/hobby knife, plexiglass cutter, straightedge, tape measure, pencil, 1/2" countersink drill bit, circle hole bits (whatever the dimensions are of joystick buttons, and larger one if happ joysticks are used), pilot drill bit, phillips head drill bit, glue gun, solder/iron, graph paper, scotch tape, packing tape, heavy-duty screws (1-1/4”, 2-1/2”)


  • Wood: 2-4'x8' plywood, one thick (5/8" or so) cut to 6' and cut longways down the middle; one thinner (1/2" or so), cut longways at whatever internal width you have (based on tv)

7-6'-2"x4" (or whatever combo you need to accommodate your internal width and transportation capabilities)


  • Machine screws/nuts for control panel--#10-24x2”; we also used skateboard hardware with locking nuts (1" bolts) to secure joystick
  • Plexiglass/Acrylic screen (screen uses .22 I think--thick; control panel, marquee use thin)
  • PVC trim: Dakoramine PVC Banding, attached using Locktite Indoor Adhesive
  • Paint
  • Angle Aluminum--support trim for marquee
  • 2-Corner protectors for bottom of marquee
  • Corrugated cardboard and poster board
  • Whatever internal parts--game system, surge protector, corresponding hookups for the screen; 22-16 AWG Disconnect female wire ends; stranded wire


Note: Each one of our cabinets are customized based on the available TV/Monitor we had. Dimensions of the cabinet are dependent upon what screen is used.


This is a rough draft just so you have the info. I'll try to attach a pdf tomorrow with instructions.

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Here's a great controller/switch mod:



Don't care much for click switches...


These leaf switches from arcadeshop.com are just right!




Edited by SoundGammon

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I like the switches because I can order one type of switch for all of my buttons and joysticks! If the switch goes bad that is controlling a direction then I have to have those types of switches (or remove the internal extension piece and install it into a regular switch). The Happ design uses a cube activator and can be set to thick or thin panels all in one joystick. It's what a lot of machines use, so it's what I like. I would hate to have dead switches that I have no replacement for. I also really like the resiliance of Zippy switches, although Happ stuff is rated higher. The most expensive I've seen are Cherry. X-Arcade matches the feel, if not the standards of Cherry, though. Either way, I try to keep it as close to real arcade hardware as possible!

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I use a lot of WICO controllers in my machines...with leaf switches, it was the standard in games like Pac Man, Asteroids, Joust, Defender, Rampage, Jungle King, Galaga, Xevious.


They give faster response for rapid firing in games like Defender & Galaga. Better flap control for Joust. Try playing Joust with click switches and you'll see what I mean!


Your pushing down when the switch hasn't reset yet!

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I play a lot of Street Fighter II, Street Fighter Alpha 3, Final Fight, Ghouls & Ghosts, Groove on Fight, Shock Troopers 2, Voltage Fighter Gowkaiser, King of Fighters, Golden Axe, Altered Beast..etc.. JAMMA used the Cherry switches and they were the standard after JAMMA+ came about. I don't see how a leaf over a switch could make the switch faster!? Even with an extension you're still waiting for the switch to come back up. The speed of the reset would have to do with the quality of switch you're using and the resilience of the button itself. Cherry switches are soft and fast, whereas Zippy switches are tough, clunky and strong. Happ stuff is so good I would recommend it to anyone using an arcade machine. I agree,though, that those leaf switches were all the norm in those older pre-JAMMA vintage cabs and if you want authenticity pre-JAMMA, it would be required. My wife scores super high scores on our Galaga with Cherry switches and a restrictor plate Zippy short stick. Better than the vintage Galaga at Pizza King down the street. WICO uses little leaf extenders in everything..even the Command Control joysticks. They are easy to tweak, but I will always prefer Happ, Cherry and Zippy for my stuff. I can get a great big bag of switches for both buttons and joysticks and don't need to worry when the joystick needs a new one. Several of my joysticks use the extended switches..


these ones do..









these ones don't..




Both these guys have great deals on buttons, switches, and joysticks!

Edited by Papa

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