Adventures in DIY arcade building

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KSubzero1000
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Re: Adventures in DIY arcade building

Post by KSubzero1000 » April 21st, 2017, 12:41 pm

That looks really cool! Are the systems being properly ventilated, though? You of all people should know the old 360 will use every excuse in the book to overheat whenever it can. :D

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Re: Adventures in DIY arcade building

Post by Joshihatsumitsu » April 21st, 2017, 1:40 pm

KSubzero1000 wrote:
April 21st, 2017, 12:41 pm
That looks really cool! Are the systems being properly ventilated, though? You of all people should know the old 360 will use every excuse in the book to overheat whenever it can. :D
Very true! The third model I bought, and used in that little cab, is the very unexciting in design but practical E model. My original obviously suffer from the old red-ring syndrome (but replaced for free minus postage). Then I bought the beautiful S model, which got fried when the TV aerial of my group of units got directly struct by lightning (along with other consoles... so many lost save files :( ). And finally the conservative yet reliable E model.

And I think because its the E model ventilation is not too bad. But maybe luck is a factor too. :D
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Re: Adventures in DIY arcade building

Post by Michiel K » April 22nd, 2017, 11:00 pm

ratsoalbion wrote:
February 11th, 2017, 10:16 pm
That last one in particular is a wonderful picture!
Agreed.

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Re: Adventures in DIY arcade building

Post by Joshihatsumitsu » May 24th, 2017, 6:08 am

Maybe it's the boredom of my day-job that's driving me, but I've decided to create another cab - a cocktail cab this time around.

Another motivating factor is that the screens on the two cabs I've built so far are both horizontally orientated, so if I were to do something stupidly impulsive, like say buy a Taito F3 PCB of Twin Cobra II by Takuma, I would get the following result:

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So as you can see, motivation for a vertically orientated cocktail cab is now provided.

I won't start building anything until after my August trip to Japan, but I can start doing research and planning out the design.

And I'm planning to blatantly steal this design from another DIY'er from Melbourne - link here - which is based on a Nintendo cocktail design. I'll have to make my own variations too, as the hardware I'll use will be different to his.

So I'll update in here occasionally as I go along. There will be many hurdles, and obstacles, but like I said, I am bored, and this keeps my idle hands busy. :D
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Re: Adventures in DIY arcade building

Post by Suits » May 24th, 2017, 8:08 am

Cool man, that looks great fun.

That Nintendo cocktail cabinet looks fantastic, I love that colour way - I very nearly bought a Nintendo DK cab a while back but backed out after the selling started getting weird when I started asking about original parts.

I swear, if I had the space, I'd have a few of these. Especially a glass topped cocktail cab.
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Re: Adventures in DIY arcade building

Post by ratsoalbion » May 24th, 2017, 8:16 am

Great project!
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Re: Adventures in DIY arcade building

Post by Joshihatsumitsu » May 27th, 2017, 12:41 am

At the risk of turning this into a personal blog, I'll just keep this entry brief.

I thought I'd just share some of my cabinet sketches, not because they're great (because they're not), but to demonstrate that you don't have to be the best designer, artist, carpenter, programmer, etc, to take on a project like this. In other words: I've never let a lack of talent stop me from trying something! :D

First sketch, very rough, just a starting point to get some idea of size, space etc:

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This one was based on the Donkey Kong Cocktail cab, and in terms of cutting panels it would be very straightforward. After some Instagram critical feedback about legroom (which is a fair point), I tried another variation:

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In an ideal world, I would be able to source the type of metal T-legs that were on Taito's original Space Invaders cocktail cab. In the real world, where I live on a geographically isolated country like Australia, that type of hardware would be hard to find, and probably not come cheap.

Like I said previously, I won't be doing any building until at least September onwards, so there's plenty of time for revisions and problem solving.

So yeah, never let a lack of talent prevent you from taking projects on.
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Re: Adventures in DIY arcade building

Post by Suits » May 27th, 2017, 6:57 am

Yeah, good shout regards the leg room on the first design - I'd have not seen that myself.

Good work.
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Re: Adventures in DIY arcade building

Post by Joshihatsumitsu » June 6th, 2017, 2:14 am

I purchased a second hand control panel that once belonged on a Sega Aero City Candy cab:
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It was in pretty good condition with Sanwa sticks and buttons, with only one button that really needs replacing. This should cut down on a little bit of building, plus it's much easier to replace parts or conduct any future maintenance.

Doing a bit of design research, to figure out ways to build around this purchase, I came across the Sega Aero Table. It is so ugly, yet, I cannot look away... it's not elegant, yet it has a strange appeal.

But I have developed a new love: The Jaleco TablePony:

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I mean, really, how 1980's-futuristicly beautiful is this thing?
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Re: Adventures in DIY arcade building

Post by ratsoalbion » June 6th, 2017, 4:44 am

Lovely!

I strongly associate cocktail units with certain titles, mainly late 70s/very early 80s stuff (Asteroids, Galaxian, Pac-Man) that I remember seeing in bars when taken for smoky evenings out back as a nipper.

There are at least a handful of MAME cocktails in pubs in and around Brighton these days anyway.
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Re: Adventures in DIY arcade building

Post by Flabyo » June 6th, 2017, 8:56 am

Friend of mine has a Robotron Cocktail cabinet.

He bought it as new. Bunch of them were turned up in a warehouse, still in their original boxes.

It's a lovely thing.

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Re: Adventures in DIY arcade building

Post by Joshihatsumitsu » June 7th, 2017, 12:13 am

In the last month a new arcade opened up in Brisbane (or Bris-Vegas to the locals) called 1UP Arcade. It'll be interesting to see how they survive business-wise.

And in Melbourne, hipster-capital of Australia (and the city I'd easily recommend over Sydney), there are a few bars with similar MAME cocktail cabs. I imagine it would be a similar set-up to what they have in Brighton?

And in Sydney... uh... there's pokies and Keno? They're kind like gaming? Right?

Edit: I'm being harsh on Sydney, the closet capital to where I reside. After all, they do offer flights to better cities, like Melbourne and Bris-Vegas. ;)
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Re: Adventures in DIY arcade building

Post by Joshihatsumitsu » June 27th, 2017, 2:04 am

Minor update: I finally Caved. :roll:

And by that I mean I bought my first Cave PCB: ESP.Ra.De:

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I decided on that game because I didn't receive a port of any kind, and every Cave game I could possibly get on Xbox 360 I already own.

It's in great condition, from the Cave 68000 family of PCB (first gen), and works without any issues. Being a vertically orientated game, and both cabs I have a horizonital, I haven't been getting deep into it. All I need to know now is that it graphically it works, sound is good, and no issues with inputs.

I now have plenty of motivation for my post-holiday cabinet build, and it will certainly help with post-holiday blues, as getting back to the real world after coming back from Japan can be jarring.

So this takes the list of games for this new cabinet to four:
  • ESP.Ra.De - Cave 68000
  • Kyukyokuu Tiger II (aka Twin Cobra 2) & Gekirindan - Taito F3
  • SD Gundam Neo Battling - Banpresto PCB (cuz it was cheap)
In the meantime, all those boards are resting safely, wrapped up on bubble-wrap, and sheltered from the elements, just waiting for this new cab to be built, and a chance to be played again.
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Re: Adventures in DIY arcade building

Post by ratsoalbion » June 27th, 2017, 8:37 am

NICE!
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Re: Adventures in DIY arcade building

Post by Joshihatsumitsu » July 20th, 2017, 12:01 am

Minor update #3890:

I recently retrofitted my two cabinets (plus bought one extra for the next) with an SLG3000 scan-line generator:

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It is just VGA to VGA, so it won't suit everyone's needs. But it's pretty much plug and play, no extra power supply needed, it's super small, and because it has a pot it can be dialled it manually to the levels you want. I needed to up the brightness level on the monitor a little bit, but once you get things set up you can pretty much leave it.

And it works pretty well. If, like myself, LCD screens are the way you're going, and you're not using MAME (which has scan-line options anyway) then it's a pretty affordable solution (it was on sale when I bought them). It does justice to the beautiful sprite work on these older JAMMA PCB's.

If you're going the MAME, Retro-pi route, then there's no reason to invest. But it did suit my specific needs perfectly.
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Re: Adventures in DIY arcade building

Post by Joshihatsumitsu » August 15th, 2017, 1:16 pm

Attempting to post on my iPhone, so let's see how this works out...

As I'm in Japan for three weeks, I thought it best to take advantage of the situation.

While I was in Tokyo I went to Mak Japan . I picked up two games (plus some pushbuttons):

The first was Dogyuun (Toaplan):

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And the other game I picked up was Blazing Star (MVS). Needless to say, with the amount of money I spent (which I won't disclose, but some simple Google-detective work would give you an idea) means I'm welcome back anytime. :lol:

Mak Japan is one of the easier ones to find for arcade PCB's. The other place I went to was BEEP. It has a pretty descent collection too.

As Tokyo bookends my trip, I'm spending minimal time there. There are some other shops I'll try to find before I fly home, but those two, as if August 2017, are still very much in business.
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Re: Adventures in DIY arcade building

Post by Joshihatsumitsu » September 2nd, 2017, 10:30 am

To wrap up my Japanese trip, I ended up taking home three PCB's (plus an MVS cart):
  • Blazing Star (Yumekobo) - MVS (from Man Japan)
  • Dogyuun (Toaplan) - also Mak Japan
  • Tatsujin (Taito/Toaplan) - from Surugaya
  • V-V (aka Grind Stormer) (Toaplan) - BEEP Akihabara
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Broke, but happy.

So basically, from my personal experience, if you're in Japan (in this case Tokyo) and just want to browse and nothing else, Mak Japan, BEEP Akihabara, and Surugaya all have straightforward physical shops you can wander around in and droll over various items.

There is another place, G-Front, that also sells PCB's, but there is a catch. It's not quite as straightforward: you find the Lawson building near the Suehirocho subway station, go in the elevator up to the sixth floor, outside the elevator and to your left there will be a door (602) with a green and yellow sign. The door is closed, so you need to ring the buzzer, and then you'll be let in. Basically, if you had a list like I did, you can ask for very specific boards, so if you decide to visit G-Front, do so with the intention to buy, because there is no browsing (I believe Batsugun was on my list. They did not have it, but the guy was nice. It's not a board that's readily available, so thats understandable).

And that concludes my real world PCB buying guide to Akihabara. I'm sure I'm missing shops, so add any secrets you have!
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Re: Adventures in DIY arcade building

Post by Chopper » September 2nd, 2017, 11:13 am

I have absolutely nothing to add except that I enjoy reading these updates very much.

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Re: Adventures in DIY arcade building

Post by Joshihatsumitsu » September 3rd, 2017, 12:23 am

Chopper wrote:
September 2nd, 2017, 11:13 am
I have absolutely nothing to add except that I enjoy reading these updates very much.
Thanks! I'm happy to share the experience. :D
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Re: Adventures in DIY arcade building

Post by Joshihatsumitsu » September 16th, 2017, 1:16 am

The stage I'm up to now: I got the glass for the table-top, cut and ready to go. It's basically a rectangle, measuring 800x600mm, with a beveled edge, and cut locally. I can't really make that sound more exciting than that ready, but it's done, it's got a bit of reassuring weight to it, and I can move confidently onto cutting wood to size.

Also, to keep that piece of glass in place, I bought some Taito-esque reproduction corner clips online, and arrived in the mail yesterday from Andy's Arcade. Not the cheapest way to go, but it's good quality, and it's a nice design nod to the past.

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Fortunately this build is not a race. I'll put those new acquisitions to the side for the moment, pay off some bills and other expenses, and after a few paydays move onto the next part.
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