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Metal Jesus

My Arcade MAME Cabinet - UPDATED for 2017!

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We recently upgraded the computer, software, joystick controller and monitor plus other physical aspects of our standup MAME arcade emulator cabinet for the game room.

Originally a Centipede/Capcom Bowling cabinet

Computer Specs:
Dell x8900-2506BLK
Intel Quad Core i7-6700 3.4 GHz Processor
16 GB DDR4 RAM
1 TB HDD Storage
Monitor: 19" ViewSonic VG930m
Controller: X-Arcade Dual Joystick w/ USB
The age old question: Do you prefer CRT...or LCD for your retro gaming goodness? Being this is posted on AtariAge, I think I know the answer ;)
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Upgrades are always fun.

 

The marquee light can be connected to a smart power strip so that it automatically turns on when the PC is powered up. On most PC’s it’s a simple matter to wire in a button for power that you can externally mount on the cabinet somewhere. That way you power up and power down with a single button press without having to open any doors, etc.

 

I have an X-Arcade stick and I like it. It’s not the absolute best way to play arcade games, but I think the more “hardcore” MAME cabinet guys and the arcade collector guys go a little overboard in trashing X-Arcade products. I’ve got a custom-built panel on my “daily driver” MAME setup that uses some pretty top-notch parts; I obviously prefer that setup over my X-Arcade, but I still think the X-Arcade does exactly what it is supposed to do and, as mentioned, it can take a beating. The fit-and-finish is pretty good, too; better than the vast majority of home builds I’ve seen. The only problem is, you’re stuck with their logo, whereas custom building allows you to easily incorporate your own artwork.

 

My only real complaint with X-Arcade units is the cheap Happ Super knock-off joysticks that they use. A fairly low-cost (but very worthwhile) upgrade to an X-Arcade stick is to swap out those stock sticks for a pair of Happ Competitions, which usually run about $10-$12 each. They bolt right up without any modifications needed, and they are 100x better, IMO. Very solid all-around joysticks that work well for a wide variety of games (including some 4-way games—I have no problem using my Competition-equipped X-arcade unit to play DK or Popeye, for example; maze games not so much.)

 

As for CRT vs. LCD—that’s another area where I think the dogma in online communities gets annoying. Yes, there is something special about having an authentic-looking arcade display for MAME (and retro gaming in general), but unless you’re going with a real arcade monitor (which is possible with a special video card in your PC) or at least an old CRT television, then it doesn’t matter much. A CRT television can be interfaced to the PC via S-Video, for example, and that provides a slightly more authentic look. But a CRT computer monitor is different—it suffers from the same basic problem as LCD monitors, namely, being too sharp for classic games. I’ve got a CRT computer monitor in my main cabinet and an LCD monitor on my garage setup. Neither of them is remotely authentic. If/when the CRT in my main cabinet dies, I’ll be replacing it with an LCD, because you get more or less the same result without having to deal with a display that weighs 5000 pounds and is 16 feet deep.

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I think the more “hardcore” MAME cabinet guys and the arcade collector guys go a little overboard in trashing X-Arcade products.

 

As for CRT vs. LCD—that’s another area where I think the dogma in online communities gets annoying.

 

 

I'm getting a little beat up in the YT comments about these two issues...but honestly, I have so many people in my game room and at parties and I've never had one complaint. It's all about the FUN and not having to worry to much if somebody spills a beer on it. If I see smiles on faces, my job is done. :)

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As long as it is fun to play on, who cares! :thumbsup:

 

My little mini cab is low rent as heck so far as tech....original Xbox with coin ops/mame as the brain, a cheap Target TV mounted, an X arcade stick, an old arcade marquee, and a small light from the hardware store. The "cab" is made from pre-fab furniture from Wal Mart.

 

Nobody has ever complained, only asked if I have TMNT the Arcade game and can they be Donatello.

 

d11d5ba0-e3d5-4ee0-875f-bc486c7ef634.jpga9d79dd0-8cb1-4f03-930c-576e0d6c3810.jpg

 

Originally I had made a 5 foot tall cab of plywood with a 27 inch CRT TV in it. Now THAT Was low rent! And top heavy! :D

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As long as it is fun to play on, who cares! :thumbsup:

 

My little mini cab is low rent as heck so far as tech....original Xbox with coin ops/mame as the brain, a cheap Target TV mounted, an X arcade stick, an old arcade marquee, and a small light from the hardware store. The "cab" is made from pre-fab furniture from Wal Mart.

 

Nobody has ever complained, only asked if I have TMNT the Arcade game and can they be Donatello.

 

d11d5ba0-e3d5-4ee0-875f-bc486c7ef634.jpga9d79dd0-8cb1-4f03-930c-576e0d6c3810.jpg

 

Originally I had made a 5 foot tall cab of plywood with a 27 inch CRT TV in it. Now THAT Was low rent! And top heavy! :D

 

That is very similar to what I built for my X-Arcade tank stick. If you just want to play some arcade games with arcade controls, without having to hunch over a desk or coffee table, and without having your controller slide all over the place, a pedestal like this is a very nice and easy-to-build solution.

 

post-27528-0-87720100-1483728407_thumb.jpg

 

Edited by Cynicaster
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I wish I had room in my place to put a dedicated MAME cab. I am in the process of setting up a Home Theater PC hooked up to my 42" Panasonic plasma TV in my living room instead. I've been using a Hori Virtua Fighter 5 fight stick for the 360 as the controller. It works pretty well, but I have trouble with the MAME32 GUI mapping buttons. It also gets tricky playing 4-way directional games (like Pac Man, Lady Bug, etc) with it, but it gets the job done.

 

I've been looking for a better frontend, so I'll have to watch your video to see what Launchbox is like!

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I've been looking for a better frontend, so I'll have to watch your video to see what Launchbox is like!

 

 

Launchbox was original designed for a regular Windows setup and then they added Big Box for arcade machines like mine, so it's pretty flexible. And keep in mind that it works with MS-DOS and Steam games too. You'll love it.

Edited by Metal Jesus

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Never liked the look of the X-Arcade stick since it tends to be tacky in the arcade enclosure

 

Would look awesome if you could hardwire arcade Jamma controls and have it go to some usb encoder so you could use it with mame

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Launchbox was original designed for a regular Windows setup and then they added Big Box for arcade machines like mine, so it's pretty flexible. And keep in mind that it works with MS-DOS and Steam games too. You'll love it.

 

Over the long weekend, I downloaded LaunchBox on my HTPC and started setting up MAME. It seems really easy to use, and I like how it pulls in data for each game to display on-screen while you are perusing your digital collection. Very cool. And it seems to have built-in stuff for DOSbox, which is a nice bonus. I have a few old-school games I haven't played in a LONG time, so that feature will definitely get used. Thanks for the recommendation!

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post-3814-0-73244700-1487226634_thumb.jpgpost-3814-0-04043600-1487226671_thumb.jpg

Sweet!

 

This is mine,

Which I've shown off before but now it is a PC/JAMMA/Console hybrid so that I can plug JAMMA boards in or my original Xbox running Coinops (with 128MB RAM) and of course any PC

 

Photos show two of the three JAMMA boards that I have

Darksoft's CPS2 Multi, and a Neo Geo MVS

 

I also have a Tekken 3 board. Normally I use either the original Xbox or Dreamcast as the brain but I also have a PC with MAME and a few other emulators. I custom wired the controls so they can feed to USB or various consol control inputs or switch to the JAMMA harness

 

I have to make audio and video switches as well when I go back and forth

It is a real arcade monitor (15Khz / 27")

 

The cab was originally an NBA Jam

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10 More ARCADE GAMES - Hidden Gems for MAME you need to play!

 

 

GAMES SHOWN:

Ninja Baseball Bat Man
Demon Front
The Cliffhanger Edward Randy
Light Bringer
Elevator Action Returns
Zero Team
Mars Matrix
Mystic Warriors
Magical Crystals
Wild West Cow Boys of Moo Mesa

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