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Old 9th August 2017, 9:49 PM   #1
azzachaz Thread Starter
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Default Build log: Vigolix inspired arcade machine

Hey Guys

I've always wanted to build my own arcade machine.
Because of things like cost and the sheer bulk/size of traditional machines i put it off.

Then Elvis linked to a build log of a guy who built a simple arcade machine which is very cheap to make and smaller in size.
He called it the Vigolix: http://www.instructables.com/id/A-Su...eet-of-Plywoo/

Perfect! Cheap, easy to build, and takes up less space.

I have begun building a machine inspired by this, making changes along the way. For example I didn't grow up with 'real' arcade games so i'm going run RetroPie and SNES emulation mostly.
I'm pretty time poor so my focus is on completing the build rather than getting everything perfect. The kids will want to help too so that can make it hard to concentrate.
Basic rundown of my build ideas at this stage:

Controls
2 player arcade buttons and sticks. I haven't chosen a layout yet but I want it to be SNES friendly layout. It will probably be a tight fit to fit everything within the Vigolix form factor but I will work this out later.

Compute
Raspberry Pi 2 running RetroPie. I already have this up and running on the upstairs telly with fake USB SNES controllers and it's been in regular use.

Monitor

Spare 24" Kogan LCD I had laying around. It works out to fit nicely in landscape in the Vigolix. Unless anyone can recommend I run it in portrait instead?

Progress
Read the Instructable.
I have gone with 16mm MDF. I also brought 1800x600 sheets which saved me cutting the larger sheet in half later on.

A few bits and pieces like glue and screws

Click to view full size!


The MDF sheets (I brought 3 because it is cheap)

Click to view full size!


Sheet marked out to cut diagonally with a circular saw.

Click to view full size!


Main sheet cut. I'm not the best with accuracy but I find a circular saw is pretty good for long straight cuts.

Click to view full size!


As you can see I have limited space in the garage.
__________________
Quote:
Originally Posted by phoenix: I got pissed off after 30 mins of irresponsive controls and mindnumbingly stupid gameplay, threw the NES back in the corner and went to play CS.
Originally posted by spectral: Times change. Pity "old rev heads" don't and will maintain to their grave that "hi tech turbo whiz bang computer car" are bad
Originally posted by .Net Developer: I could check it in, but it's gonna look like shit.

Last edited by azzachaz; 9th August 2017 at 10:26 PM.
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Old 9th August 2017, 9:57 PM   #2
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Monitor mount.

I haven't exactly worked this out yet. At this stage I am going to mount the 24" Kogan monitor in landscape.

Looking at the mounting points on the back of the monitor I decided to go as simple as possible. I actually had some spare bolts from a TV mount kit that fitted perfect.

Click to view full size!


I then marked out the centres on 2 lengths of 40mm square pine and drilled holes to match the TV mount pattern. The holes were drilled full depth at the bolt shaft width and then drilled half depth to allow the bolt head to recess in.


Click to view full size!


The mounts are cut to be just shy on the cabinets internal width. I will work out how to mount this in the cabinet at a later stage.


Click to view full size!
__________________
Quote:
Originally Posted by phoenix: I got pissed off after 30 mins of irresponsive controls and mindnumbingly stupid gameplay, threw the NES back in the corner and went to play CS.
Originally posted by spectral: Times change. Pity "old rev heads" don't and will maintain to their grave that "hi tech turbo whiz bang computer car" are bad
Originally posted by .Net Developer: I could check it in, but it's gonna look like shit.
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Old 9th August 2017, 10:04 PM   #3
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Cutting out the control panel arms

As per the Vigolix I cut out the 'notches' in the back of the side panels. These notches are then reused as arms for the control panel to sit on.

I clamped both side panels together and made the cuts in one go.


Click to view full size!


Drill a hole to make the corner navigation easier when cutting with a jig saw.

Click to view full size!


Did anyone see the mistake I made? Not the end of the world though.


Click to view full size!
__________________
Quote:
Originally Posted by phoenix: I got pissed off after 30 mins of irresponsive controls and mindnumbingly stupid gameplay, threw the NES back in the corner and went to play CS.
Originally posted by spectral: Times change. Pity "old rev heads" don't and will maintain to their grave that "hi tech turbo whiz bang computer car" are bad
Originally posted by .Net Developer: I could check it in, but it's gonna look like shit.
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Old 9th August 2017, 10:19 PM   #4
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Initial chassis assembly

So the side panels are cut out.

Click to view full size!


As the 16mm is already pretty heavy I decided to use a sheet of MDF as the base rather than something more substantial (And I had the extra sheet of MDF handy).

I offset the base board with the batons. This will mean the side panels will take the weight of the cabinet unless I decide the add feet/castors later on.


Click to view full size!


Click to view full size!


Click to view full size!


Assembly was pretty simple. Clamp, glue, screw.
The design allows for a fair bit of wiggle room if you don't care exactly how it goes together. I did use a square to make sure the cabinet right before I screwed them together.
I was aware at this stage that as the side panels are now separate any changes to the top of the cabinet and finishing will have to be done one side at a time.

The main front panel I cut at 950mm, which ends up being about 900mm high on the angle. Just above that height is where I want the control panel to be.

I didn't care though because I was keen to get the build moving along

Click to view full size!


Click to view full size!

It sits pretty nicely on the concrete and doesn't feel unstable at this stage. I can always add another base board if I need to later on.
I held up the monitor and it looks like it's gonna fit pretty nicely.

I wont make any changes to the side panel tops until i've decided on the monitor height.
__________________
Quote:
Originally Posted by phoenix: I got pissed off after 30 mins of irresponsive controls and mindnumbingly stupid gameplay, threw the NES back in the corner and went to play CS.
Originally posted by spectral: Times change. Pity "old rev heads" don't and will maintain to their grave that "hi tech turbo whiz bang computer car" are bad
Originally posted by .Net Developer: I could check it in, but it's gonna look like shit.

Last edited by azzachaz; 9th August 2017 at 10:23 PM.
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Old 11th August 2017, 8:44 PM   #5
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Looking good so far.

My last cabinet build took me over 6 months to get done. It was a gift for a friend, which was heaps of fun to make, but it was saddening to take so long.

I've been wanting to find something much easier to punch out for future gift-cabinets. I think these Vigolix cabs are the way to go.
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Old 12th August 2017, 1:29 PM   #6
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Watching with interest Considering doing one of these myself.
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лучше живот от пиво чем горб от работа!
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Old 12th August 2017, 2:13 PM   #7
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I love the simplicity of the "Vigolix" design. I made one about 18 months or so ago for my nephews ... still a work in progress actually...

Documented the build process over on Aussie Arcade if anyone is interested.

http://www.aussiearcade.com/showthre...d-mini-upright

I made 2 other sets of side-panels at the time and you have just inspired me to get back into finishing them off.

Cheers, and good luck with the build.
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Old 12th August 2017, 8:27 PM   #8
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Control panel

I decided to go ahead and build the control panel even though the buttons/joysticks haven't arrived yet.

I decided on a very simple design. One difference from the Vigolix is I decided to run the support arms inside of the chassis.


Click to view full size!


Click to view full size!


Glued and screwed the control panel board to the arms. I still need to fit a front plate to finish it off.


Click to view full size!


Then I clamped the control panel to the chassis and used a level to make sure everything was sweet.
A couple of things; I decided to have the control panel come out as far as the base and I wanted the panel to be removable.


Click to view full size!


Click to view full size!


I used M12 bolts (3 on each side) to attach the panel to the chassis. I used a 1/2" spade bit to make the bolt holes and it worked out really well.


Click to view full size!


I will buy some stainless bolts later. I only had some old gal ones laying about and they are too long.


Click to view full size!


First ideas of where the monitor will mount.
__________________
Quote:
Originally Posted by phoenix: I got pissed off after 30 mins of irresponsive controls and mindnumbingly stupid gameplay, threw the NES back in the corner and went to play CS.
Originally posted by spectral: Times change. Pity "old rev heads" don't and will maintain to their grave that "hi tech turbo whiz bang computer car" are bad
Originally posted by .Net Developer: I could check it in, but it's gonna look like shit.
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Old 22nd August 2017, 2:19 PM   #9
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Mounting the monitor

I kind of changed course with the way I mounted the monitor. Originally I had planned to be able to remove the monitor/mount at any time, but once I got into making the bezel i decided that removing the monitor from the mounts will be easier if I ever need to remove it (such as for painting the cab).


Click to view full size!


Click to view full size!


Click to view full size!


I those pics you can also see the stainless M12 x 65mm cap head bolts I used to secure the control board to the cab. Once tightened the control board is absolutely rock solid with no play at all.
__________________
Quote:
Originally Posted by phoenix: I got pissed off after 30 mins of irresponsive controls and mindnumbingly stupid gameplay, threw the NES back in the corner and went to play CS.
Originally posted by spectral: Times change. Pity "old rev heads" don't and will maintain to their grave that "hi tech turbo whiz bang computer car" are bad
Originally posted by .Net Developer: I could check it in, but it's gonna look like shit.
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Old 22nd August 2017, 2:31 PM   #10
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Monitor bezel

I went simple simple with the bezel and simply glued/screwed 4 pieces of 16mm mdf to the cab. To move the project along I just screwed the MDF from the outside of the cabinet.
The bottom piece I cut the bottom edge at 30 degrees with the saw so that the edge could sit flush over the control board. The bezel is not attached to the control board to allow it to be removable.


Click to view full size!


Click to view full size!


Click to view full size!


I also fitted a board to the front of the control panel and to the top of the cabinet. The space above the monitor will be used for a back lit marquee. I have some spare Plexi for this but I haven't worked out how to fit it yet.


Click to view full size!


Click to view full size!


Click to view full size!


Progress so far.
My daughter (16) has not taken an interest in this now that she has seen it need to be painted soon. I brought a heap of flat black and some neon green but things might change if I let her run with her own ideas.


Click to view full size!
__________________
Quote:
Originally Posted by phoenix: I got pissed off after 30 mins of irresponsive controls and mindnumbingly stupid gameplay, threw the NES back in the corner and went to play CS.
Originally posted by spectral: Times change. Pity "old rev heads" don't and will maintain to their grave that "hi tech turbo whiz bang computer car" are bad
Originally posted by .Net Developer: I could check it in, but it's gonna look like shit.
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Old 22nd August 2017, 5:28 PM   #11
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Something that I thought you guys might like to see if my grandfather's (RIP) band saw. He worked as a woodworking teacher at the ANU when he first came to Australia and liked to make his own tools. Some of his tools were left to me when he died and I love getting a chance to use them as they help me remember the times I spent with him.

This band saw was completely hand made. The blade is probably over 3m in length. The bed angle can be adjusted and there are sliding adjustable angles to make angled cuts. If you look inside you can see the original motor/gearbox he fitted and later upgraded. The original gear is left in to add stability/weight.


Click to view full size!


Click to view full size!


Click to view full size!


I also have his hand made wood lathe which I used extensively with him over the years. I have my own lathe but nothing ever beat his!.
__________________
Quote:
Originally Posted by phoenix: I got pissed off after 30 mins of irresponsive controls and mindnumbingly stupid gameplay, threw the NES back in the corner and went to play CS.
Originally posted by spectral: Times change. Pity "old rev heads" don't and will maintain to their grave that "hi tech turbo whiz bang computer car" are bad
Originally posted by .Net Developer: I could check it in, but it's gonna look like shit.
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Old 22nd August 2017, 7:00 PM   #12
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Nice build, looking very good so far

@azzachaz I started a quick Vigolix after seeing your thread a few weeks back. Quick Q, did you increase the dimensions, as yours looks quite large compared to the 1200 tall uprights I've ended up with - and the fact you can shoehorn a 24" in there

Anyway I bought a single 1200x900 sheet of 12mm from Bunnings as I wanted to try as cheap as possible build either using some old C2D bits I have (free) and buttons and stick I also have already. Cut it out - similar to you, using circular saw so a few nicks and wobbles along the way - nothing a belt sander won't tidy up later. Only took me an hour to mark it out and chop it up which is great as I can build it over a couple weeks only needing the odd hour here and there.

You made the right choice going landscape - when I built my first bartop I only had a 14" LCD so mounted it portrait thinking it would be too small if you played portrait games on landscape - I was very wrong, at the distance you sit from a bartop 14" is decent for portrait games on landscape.
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how useful is a 3/4 violin? aren't most songs written in 4/4 ?
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Old 22nd August 2017, 7:10 PM   #13
azzachaz Thread Starter
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Awesome. The more builds the better 😀
My MDF is 1800x600x16. This makes the cab quite a bit taller once you cut down the diagonal.
__________________
Quote:
Originally Posted by phoenix: I got pissed off after 30 mins of irresponsive controls and mindnumbingly stupid gameplay, threw the NES back in the corner and went to play CS.
Originally posted by spectral: Times change. Pity "old rev heads" don't and will maintain to their grave that "hi tech turbo whiz bang computer car" are bad
Originally posted by .Net Developer: I could check it in, but it's gonna look like shit.
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Old 22nd August 2017, 7:36 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by azzachaz View Post
Awesome. The more builds the better 😀
My MDF is 1800x600x16. This makes the cab quite a bit taller once you cut down the diagonal.
Yeah and it looks still in proportion. In the original thread you linked there was some discussion about how making it twice the size would lead to some weird dimensions and a much bigger monitor requirement. Anyway, thanks that makes sense I saw you said you got 1800 sheets but didn't realise you meant you used the full height. Great dimension IMO, I will try that next. Once I see if the 12mm is too flimsy or not for the 1200 tall option I'll decide on that or 16mm too.

Cheers.
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how useful is a 3/4 violin? aren't most songs written in 4/4 ?
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Old 23rd August 2017, 9:09 PM   #15
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Looks great. Love that custom bandsaw too!
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