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Max_Chatsworth

Anyone built their own MAME arcade cabinet?

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I would love to ask you some questions about the choices you made and hear/see about your process/product. 

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I found an old arcade cabinet a guy was selling cheap and I put a PC inside it. A coworker tried building himself an actual cabinet out of wood and he told me A-V-O-I-D at all costs! He said it was rickety and prone to leaning and unbalanced.

I say if you can possibly convert an existing cabinet, doesn't even have to be an arcade machine, try some kind of wardrobe or something, that will save you a lot of headaches (unless you're a professional carpenter by trade).

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Posted (edited)

I gutted an arcade1up cabinet and turned it into a MAME cabinet.  It was very easy to do. Let me know if you have any questions.  Here it is in its current configuration with a steering wheel, but I had standard arcade controls and games on it for a couple years before recently re-imagining it for driving games.

PXL_20210510_232250823 - main2.jpg

Edited by sirlynxalot
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Yep 63a31ab0aed82f2e0ebabd3fec6808a2.jpg82340e269295ab3e250373dba54036c3.jpg

 

I built these from scratch cad and CNC routed the cabinet and control panel for drop in happ controls trackballs and another brand spinners

Sent from my LM-V600 using Tapatalk

 

 

 

 

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Best to modify a factory-built "something". I also prefer avoiding fighting games button layouts. Too non-optimal for other genres. If possible make the controls modular. The arrangement for Dotron isn't really compatible with Assault for example.

 

And there is no need to skimp on PC power these days. No need to using something old just to save a buck. It's always more trouble thank its worth.

 

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I built a bartop that I bought off Gameroomsolutions.com   Got to make my own custom graphics too.

 

It was not easy, but I got it done.  So glad I bought it.  I have so many great games that need the 2 player, 6 button setup, like Street Fighter.  Also, gotta have those twin stick shooters.  Can't play Robotron any other way

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On 5/11/2021 at 4:15 PM, sirlynxalot said:

I gutted an arcade1up cabinet and turned it into a MAME cabinet.  It was very easy to do. Let me know if you have any questions.  Here it is in its current configuration with a steering wheel, but I had standard arcade controls and games on it for a couple years before recently re-imagining it for driving games.

PXL_20210510_232250823 - main2.jpg

Where do you get these Arcade1up cabinets?

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On 5/12/2021 at 9:33 AM, arcadeshopper said:

Yep 63a31ab0aed82f2e0ebabd3fec6808a2.jpg82340e269295ab3e250373dba54036c3.jpg

 

I built these from scratch cad and CNC routed the cabinet and control panel for drop in happ controls trackballs and another brand spinners

Sent from my LM-V600 using Tapatalk

 

 

 

 

Yeah..i'm gonna need you to move into my basement for a few months....

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22 hours ago, Keatah said:

Best to modify a factory-built "something". I also prefer avoiding fighting games button layouts. Too non-optimal for other genres. If possible make the controls modular. The arrangement for Dotron isn't really compatible with Assault for example.

 

And there is no need to skimp on PC power these days. No need to using something old just to save a buck. It's always more trouble thank its worth.

 

Yeah..I think I am of the same mind. I never like the "unversal" fighting game layouts. For one thing I never liked or played Streetfigher type games much and don't really care to support them as much. I am very, very interested in the possibility of building a modular control panel that I could swap controls out , but that seems like it would be very difficult to do right. 

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14 hours ago, Mik's Arcade said:

I built a bartop that I bought off Gameroomsolutions.com   Got to make my own custom graphics too.

 

It was not easy, but I got it done.  So glad I bought it.  I have so many great games that need the 2 player, 6 button setup, like Street Fighter.  Also, gotta have those twin stick shooters.  Can't play Robotron any other way

I wasn't even familiar with "bartop" form factor. Whenever I read it somewhere, I was confusing it with cocktail cabinet, which is a format I really enjoy for nostalgia purposes.  I think I just thought...."bartop..cocktail..." and so forth. 

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14 hours ago, Mik's Arcade said:

I built a bartop that I bought off Gameroomsolutions.com   Got to make my own custom graphics too.

 

It was not easy, but I got it done.  So glad I bought it.  I have so many great games that need the 2 player, 6 button setup, like Street Fighter.  Also, gotta have those twin stick shooters.  Can't play Robotron any other way

I would want to play robotron, but also things like Front Line and Ikari warriors..which have very non traditional controls. 

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A bartop is simply an arcade cabinet but with the bottom half missing....haha.

 

To be honest, you would probably be fine just building an arcade control panel kit and calling it a day.  It was a lot of extra work to build the bartop box itself and then get the speakers wired and working. And then get the monitor and bezel to fit.  Wiring the joysticks and buttons to the USB converter it hard enough work.  Of course, if you have the extra cash they will build it for you.

 

In my opinion, the only way to play arcade classics is with arcade controls.  I might get the arcade control panel kit with trackball support next. Once you start playing emulated games, it is amazing how many games used interesting controls like track balls and dials among other things.

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Well, I've made a couple MAME cabinets, but I they are not the universal type. I made what I called "Thincades". I have a topic over on KLOV for it.

 

BosconianRobotron.jpg.de062e2d90d16075342dfea811a37f9b.jpg

 

Here's a link to the topic (on going project):

ThinCade: DIY arcade project.

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1 hour ago, pboland said:

Well, I've made a couple MAME cabinets, but I they are not the universal type. I made what I called "Thincades". I have a topic over on KLOV for it.

 

BosconianRobotron.jpg.de062e2d90d16075342dfea811a37f9b.jpg

 

Here's a link to the topic (on going project):

ThinCade: DIY arcade project.

KLOV?

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2 hours ago, Mik's Arcade said:

A bartop is simply an arcade cabinet but with the bottom half missing....haha.

 

To be honest, you would probably be fine just building an arcade control panel kit and calling it a day.  It was a lot of extra work to build the bartop box itself and then get the speakers wired and working. And then get the monitor and bezel to fit.  Wiring the joysticks and buttons to the USB converter it hard enough work.  Of course, if you have the extra cash they will build it for you.

 

In my opinion, the only way to play arcade classics is with arcade controls.  I might get the arcade control panel kit with trackball support next. Once you start playing emulated games, it is amazing how many games used interesting controls like track balls and dials among other things.

"..you would probably be fine just building an arcade control panel kit.."

Can you expand on that?

 

".. I might get the arcade control panel kit.."

How does that compare to the one you suggest building above?

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Posted (edited)
5 hours ago, Max_Chatsworth said:

Where do you get these Arcade1up cabinets?

These are mass produced and often available at Walmart.  In certain parts of the country places like Target and other similar department stores might have them as well. On a good day, you might find older models for sale for $200 or less.  Arcade1up has been putting out new models with higher quality components and those tend to be $400-$500 when brand new.  Here's their website.   https://arcade1up.com/

 

There's a whole cottage industry around modding these by installing your own computer or raspberry pi, applying custom cab decals and graphics to "re-skin" the cab, installing a coin door, installing a larger screen, etc.  Here's one vendor as an example  https://arcademodup.com/arcade1upmods/

Edited by sirlynxalot

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Posted (edited)

I cheated.

 

My wife bought me an X-Arcade Tankstick for my birthday back in 2011 and then we bought a 22" X-tension X-Arcade cabinet. I have been using this setup ever since. The PC has been through a few upgrades and I slotted a 720p HDMI tv in a while back (no idea when I did it) but the cabinet, tankstick and K400 keyboard are original.

 

22" Rec Room Masters Xtension Arcade (discontinued) - They don't make a 22" cabinet anymore but considering how close we are to the cabinet when we play it I am quite happy with that size. They do make other sizes though and I can vouch for the quality and longetivity! It's survived 4 moves plus multiple upstairs/downstairs shifting.

 

X-Arcade Tankstick - I have yet to have any problems with it beyond cat hair in the trackball. Still works like Day 1. :)

 

I have a USB 3.0 hub and USB adapters so I can use original controllers (feels better) - Atari 2600, Intellivision, NES, SNES, Playstation. I also have an XBox 360 controller for everything else.

 

The Cyber Acoustics system is NICE for the small cabinet and sounds amazing.

 

The PC currently in the system is running an i5-6400 CPU, SSD drive, 16GB RAM and a GTX 960 - all cheap, used parts. It is FAST.

 

The cabinet will emulate anything up to Playstation 2 and Dreamcast smoothly and even play some more modern titles on lower settings (like Fortnite at 80-90 FPS). It is running GameEx as the front end which ties it all together and makes it look professional and easy to navigate and play!

 

Arcade Cabinet.jpeg

Edited by ClassicGMR
Couple of corrections
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5 hours ago, Max_Chatsworth said:

Where do you get these Arcade1up cabinets?

 

29 minutes ago, sirlynxalot said:

These are mass produced and often available at Walmart.  In certain parts of the country places like Target and other similar department stores might have them as well. On a good day, you might find older models for sale for $200 or less. 

Keep an eye on craigslist also. I have seen the occasional 1UP going for $100-$150 after the novelty wears off for most people.

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6 minutes ago, ClassicGMR said:

 

Keep an eye on craigslist also. I have seen the occasional 1UP going for $100-$150 after the novelty wears off for most people.

Thanks!

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24 minutes ago, ClassicGMR said:

X-Arcade Tankstick - I have yet to have any problems with it beyond cat hair in the trackball. Still works like Day 1. :)

I second the high praise for the X-Arcade, I have it on my MAME machine, going on 20 years now and it's still as great as when I first got it (and I've had plenty of people put it through its paces at parties)

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29 minutes ago, ClassicGMR said:

I cheated.

 

My wife bought me an X-Arcade Tankstick for my birthday back in 2011 and then we bought a 22" X-tension X-Arcade cabinet. I have been using this setup ever since. The PC has been through a few upgrades and I slotted a 720p HDMI tv in a while back (no idea when I did it) but the cabinet, tankstick and K400 keyboard are original.

 

22" Rec Room Masters Xtension Arcade (discontinued) - They don't make a 22" cabinet anymore but considering how close we are to the cabinet when we play it I am quite happy with that size. They do make other sizes though and I can vouch for the quality and longetivity! It's survived 4 moves plus multiple upstairs/downstairs shifting.

 

X-Arcade Tankstick - I have yet to have any problems with it beyond cat hair in the trackball. Still works like Day 1. :)

 

I have a USB 3.0 hub and USB adapters so I can use original controllers (feels better) - Atari 2600, Intellivision, NES, SNES, Playstation. I also have an XBox 360 controller for everything else.

 

The Cyber Acoustics system is NICE for the small cabinet and sounds amazing.

 

The PC currently in the system is running an i5-6400 CPU, SSD drive, 16GB RAM and a GTX 960 - all cheap, used parts. It is FAST.

 

The cabinet will emulate anything up to Playstation 2 and Dreamcast smoothly and even play some more modern titles on lower settings (like Fortnite at 80-90 FPS). It is running GameEx as the front end which ties it all together and makes it look professional and easy to navigate and play!

 

Arcade Cabinet.jpeg

Whoa...nice.  So are you able to play Robotron, Front Line, Ikari Warriors and the like?

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5 minutes ago, Max_Chatsworth said:

Whoa...nice.  So are you able to play Robotron, Front Line, Ikari Warriors and the like?

I'll be honest I haven't played Robotron on here - was never my game of choice. :) However I know you can set MAME to use specific game controls and I've read that others have set the controller up to use both sticks. It shouldn't be hard at all. Just a matter of settings in MAME.

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1 hour ago, Max_Chatsworth said:

KLOV?

Yes KLOV.com under the forum section. Did you click on the link I provide in my post?

 

KLOV stands for Killer List Of Video games. The forum over there is dedicated to Arcade video game machines however they do have a section on emulation which is where I posted my Thincade topic.

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30 minutes ago, pboland said:

Yes KLOV.com under the forum section. Did you click on the link I provide in my post?

 

KLOV stands for Killer List Of Video games. The forum over there is dedicated to Arcade video game machines however they do have a section on emulation which is where I posted my Thincade topic.

I did, thanks! There is a lot of information coming at me on this topic so I'm trying to sort it out.

 

 

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