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Arcade cabinet advice - looking to buy a working system or DIY?

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Hey everyone, i'm new to the arcade thread here.

I'm looking to buy a cabinet for my game room, and am very interested in the multi game systems.

I found a couple on craigslist, but not sure about the price.

 

See the Mario Bros cabinet here - has 2 boards with over 600 games each. My guess is that they are jamma boards???

He's asking $1600 for the working cab with both boards of Roms.
What do you think?? Worth the price? Or should i find and old cabinet and DIY one with a Jamma kit?

 

http://newjersey.craigslist.org/ele/5658644920.html

 

 

Thanks in advance for any advice.

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Hey!

 

Nice cabinet - the only ting I can see is those look like 8-way joysticks.

Just make sure that if you want to play any 4-way games (i.e. pac-man, donkey kong, etc), that you put a 4-way stick in there, otherwise it will be very difficult to play them.

 

Nice screen as well. Do you not want to build one? The only thing is that way you can set it up exactly how you want it...

Edited by PacManPlus
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Thanks....i'll look at those sticks to make sure.

 

Well, i'm not against building my own, but don't know really where to start.

 

I see that you can get the kits and parts here: http://www.diyarcade.com/

But what about a cabinet? Screen? Do i just find an old game that maybe doesn't work anymore and convert it? Or do I cut all the parts from scratch?

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Hey there I'm new also. Just purchased a pole position 2 upright arcade need a few pointers anyone know about these machines?

I'm looking for a new cardboard bezel that sits behind the monitor and I have some dip switch issues,thanks

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Thanks....i'll look at those sticks to make sure.

 

Well, i'm not against building my own, but don't know really where to start.

 

I see that you can get the kits and parts here: http://www.diyarcade.com/

But what about a cabinet? Screen? Do i just find an old game that maybe doesn't work anymore and convert it? Or do I cut all the parts from scratch?

 

 

Never saw that site - cool!

 

I used to be a member of 'Build Your Own Arcade Controls' site: http://arcadecontrols.com/arcade.htm

they have a bunch of info about where to start, what monitor to get, etc. (Along the left side of the screen)

 

Also, and I'm only posting this for reference (I don't have any of these cabs any more since I moved to Florida), these are the ones I've built. The 'MegaMAME' (to me) had the best layout. I was a more 'vertical' arcade game player, so I took my 29" monitor and put it on its' side. It was big enough that the few horizontal games I've played were a good enough size. The button / spinner layout worked (for me anyway).

http://pacfan69.tripod.com/cabinets/id2.html

 

To get back to your original question, the cabinet you are looking at looks nice and clean. If you didn't want to go the way of building one, that would be a nice one to get. :)

If there's any specific questions you have, and I'm able to answer them, I will be happy to do so.

 

Bob

Edited by PacManPlus
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Hey everyone, i'm new to the arcade thread here.

I'm looking to buy a cabinet for my game room, and am very interested in the multi game systems.

I found a couple on craigslist, but not sure about the price.

 

See the Mario Bros cabinet here - has 2 boards with over 600 games each. My guess is that they are jamma boards???

He's asking $1600 for the working cab with both boards of Roms.

What do you think?? Worth the price? Or should i find and old cabinet and DIY one with a Jamma kit?

 

http://newjersey.craigslist.org/ele/5658644920.html

 

 

Thanks in advance for any advice.

 

To be honest $1600 strikes me as a lot for that cab. You could build one yourself for way cheaper, if you have the woodworking equipment and the chops for it. Turning an old cab into a multi-cade can be more work that it's worth, especially if it needs repairs and whatnot.

 

I highly recommend checking out the Build Your Own Arcade forums and seeing what the guys do there.

 

If you want to make it even simpler, just get an IKEA-esque flatpack arcade cab from a company and assemble it yourself. These guys are in Canada, but they ship worldwide: http://gameroomdesigns.ca/shop/full-size-cabinet-kit/full-size-arcade-cabinet/

 

It's only $375 to get a flat-pack full-size cab with a pre-cut control panel. You just need to get the controls together, a JAMMA if you go that route, and a screen. You can buy all that stuff from that shop, if it makes it simpler. Assemble it and you can have a brand-new CNC-cut machine for less than a thousand bucks. I'm not associated with them at all, I've just heard good things about their work. If you look in their gallery you can see what their customers have assembled: http://gameroomdesigns.ca/photo-gallery/

 

I would highly recommend looking into a DIY or semi-DIY option, Craigslist sellers are notoriously skeezy in the arcade world and $1600 is simply too much for that cab he is selling. Also be warned, those "xxx in 1" JAMMA boards are nearly universally shit. Poor emulation, glitches, crap control response, lame sound, and zero support are pretty par for the course. I would recommend either doing the ArcadeSD: http://www.phoenixarcade.com/ArcadeSD.htmor building a MAME PC.

 

The downside of the ArcadeSD is that it is quite pricey, somewhere around $350, but is supposedly easy to use. Doing a MAME PC is cheaper for sure, as hardware requirements aren't that high for running most older games and you get the benefit of also being able to run console games if you'd like as well. Downside is it can be a bit of a bear to get setup, but like anything the cheaper way is often the more time-consuming way. There's such a large community surrounding MAME that you will find help if you need it.

 

Ultimately the choice is yours, but you can do a cab cheaper and better if you're willing to put some time in.

 

 

 

EDIT: Here's a couple videos that might help you out:

 

 

An overview of the ArcadeSD:

 

A brief how-to on getting started with MAME (be warned, ear-splitting intro):

 

 

 

Edited by TPA5
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Just make sure that if you want to play any 4-way games (i.e. pac-man, donkey kong, etc), that you put a 4-way stick in there, otherwise it will be very difficult to play them.

 

I'm not doubting the word of the Pac-Master, but is it truly 'difficult' to play those games with a 8-way stick? I've been doing it for quite a while on my home cabinet, and they really seem to play fine for me... with the single exception of doing Pac-Man patterns. Those seem to be kind of hit-or-miss. I had been blaming emulation inaccuracies for that, but I'm certainly open to the idea that it's really the 8-way stick causing the problems. Any thoughts?

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Can't a small plastic guide be made? It'll have to be in two sections and snapped together under the ball handle. Then you could switch between 4-8 way

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I'm not doubting the word of the Pac-Master, but is it truly 'difficult' to play those games with a 8-way stick? I've been doing it for quite a while on my home cabinet, and they really seem to play fine for me... with the single exception of doing Pac-Man patterns. Those seem to be kind of hit-or-miss. I had been blaming emulation inaccuracies for that, but I'm certainly open to the idea that it's really the 8-way stick causing the problems. Any thoughts?

I believe so. (lol at Pac-master - I think that title goes to Billy Mitchell) :D

 

The 8-way sticks favor the corners, which make it difficult to hit *direct* up, down, left, and right in the heat of gameplay. IMHO, they put 4-way restrictors in those games to eliminate the diagonals (otherwise they would have just left the restrictors out altogether). I mean, I've seen videos where they talk about 'dead space' and how even 8-way restrictors (i.e. the octagon shaped ones) have less 'dead space' in the diagonals than the other directions... but that isn't the point of a restrictor. A restrictor is meant to help you hit the exact direction you are trying to without hitting another accidentally.

 

Again, IMHO. :)

Bob

Edited by PacManPlus
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Thanks for your input, Bob! At some point, I guess I'll try to put a 4-way/8-way switchable stick on the old Mame cabinet. It's one of those things like upgrading the spinner and finding a large CRT that would make for small improvements, but would really rarely be noticed.

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That ad is a bit odd, looks like 2 different cabinets?

 

There a new multi-boards streaming out of China that run anywhere from 400 to 600 games on a single Jamma board. These typically run around $60-$80 for the board. Check eBay or even Amazon, usually sold under the name 'Game Elf' or 'Pandora's Box'.

 

The quality of emulation isn't bad (not perfect mind you) but OK on most games. If you want a cheap easy arcade machine this isn't a terrible option. Buy a Jamma cabinet (typically $200-$400 but a BIG YMMV depending on where you live) then throw one of these boards in it. You've basically got an instant multicade setup. Shouldn't cost you more than $500, so paying $1600 or whatever this original CL post was for is a bit nuts.

 

A straight-up MAME is better for sure. I don't know if i'd completely build a cabinet from scratch.. I'd probably once again just find a local game and use that.. If you can use the original CRT monitor that's the best option.

 

Getting into an arcade machine doesn't need to be insanely expensive.

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