Moon Patrol arcade machine

Discussion in 'Modding Worklogs' started by elvis, Dec 15, 2014.

  1. elvis

    elvis Old school old fool

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    [tl;dr]
    I made a Moon Patrol machine!

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    [/tl;dr]

    Consolidating random posts into a worklog for the modding forum.

    Moon Patrol was released in 1982 by Irem. It was a popular arcade game, later ported to home console and computer. It had a very distinctive cabinet with great layered stencil side art and a great control panel and marquee that really stood out in arcades.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Moon_Patrol

    This cabinet is a scratch build. All components with the exception of the marquee (the back-lit graphic at the top) are custom made reproductions. The marquee is an original 1982 piece that I purchased off the Aussie Arcade forums.

    This is a surprise gift for a good friend who has helped me immensely over the last three years battling my cancer, depression, and weight problems.

    Project goals are to replicate the look and feel of the original cabinet as closely as possible, while keeping the cost reasonable without sacrificing too much. Plans come from Jakobud, which I've converted to metric (I'll release these CAD drawings a bit later on in a pack with artwork, config files for the Linux system and other resources). The system will be powered by a Raspberry Pi model B running Raspbian Wheezy, AdvanceMAME and AdvanceMenu.

    Click photos for high res. (Some of them only - I'll try to replace the low res ones with high res soon).

    Starting with three sheets of 2400x1200x18 MDF, and a Sony 21" TV that was going to be thrown out by my parents. The original Moon Patrol cabinet had a 19" monitor, but this is a good compromise for $0.

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    I coat the MDF sheets with a three-in-one sealer/undercoat/primer all in one. This ensures the MDF won't swell if the weather gets humid (and during Brisbane storm season, it did get very humid).

    Cutting the timber with a circular saw and a jigsaw for the cruves quickly gives it the distinctive side shape.

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    The Raspberry Pi model B arrives. I'll be using composite out to the decased TV.

    http://photos-e.ak.instagram.com/hphotos-ak-xpf1/10431865_684708518243524_1198377959_n.jpg

    The basic shell is put together very quickly, as it's not much more than a simple box. 30mm square pine is used in the corners, and the box is screwed and glued to be very sturdy.

    http://photos-a.ak.instagram.com/hphotos-ak-xpa1/10518205_1505976449617112_374463441_n.jpg

    The base is cut out of some pine that was reclaimed from an old bedroom wardrobe

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    The pine base is 100mm, and the wheels are 95mm tall. This is perfect, as the cabinet will sit on the pine while in normal operation, but can be leaned back on it's wheels and pushed around without the need for a trolley when it needs to be moved.

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    I tape together a few A4 prints that make up the artwork to test for various dimensions. I've bought the glass from Logan Glass, who have always supplied me for my cabinet builds. They're cheap, good quality and accurate. The glass is 6mm thick with polished edges, is "50% grey" (aka "smoked"), and has been chemically hardened to make it a bit safer.

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    Here you can see the start of the frame that will hold the glass on one side, and the monitor mount on the other side.

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    And this is the monitor mount, cut out of MDF and propped up with some angle brackets reclaimed from an old desk

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    The marquees I purchased in a pack arrive. Gives me an excuse to build some more cabinets in the future, much to the wife's dismay. :)

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    The control panel is cut and assembled. Some odd angles and lack of CAD guidance make it a little tricky, so I'm playing it by ear

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    Here's the control panel held in place for measurement. A 1" diameter quarter-circle bit of edge-moulding is pretty close to what's needed to fill in the curve. Some putty and sanding will sort the rest out

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    I cut some bits of pine that will later be used with clips to pull the control panel down into place, and clamp the glass into place.

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    Internal and external views of the control panel

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    Glass goes in for a test. Starting to look good.

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    Shots of the framework used to hold the monitor mount and glass in place. Sealing/undercoating as I go.

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    Painting begins. Using cheap flat black enamel spray paint. Painting, sanding with 600 grit, and repeating until it's perfect.

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    A steel access panel from Bunnings will be used as the coin door. Nearly 1/3 the price of buying an actual coin door, and it should look the part.

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    Choosing the paint was extremely difficult. I had US brand paint codes from a guy in the US who used a proper electronic colour matching probe, but not a single paint supplier in Australia could give me equivalent colours. In the end, I collected as many photos as I could of original cabinets in different lighting conditions, and get the helpful eye of my wife and kids to try and pick matching colours.

    We settled on the following British Paints colours:
    http://www.britishpaints.com.au/Colours/Colour-Wall/ColourWall
    Light Blue: Hot Pop Blue 280
    Dark Blue: River Watch EB 255
    Yellow: Yellow Mania YEL 49

    First coat of paint goes on the side, which will be the base for the stencil.

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    The control panel overlay and bezel art was printed and laminated at OfficeWorks. They were less than 1/2 the price of any other print mob, and did a fantastic job for colour.

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    A friend who used to run his own sign writing business helped be convert some vector art into stencils, and have them cut to adhesive stencil vinyl. This will be applied in layers, painted over, and peeled off. Left and right sides are slightly different due to the alignment of the cab, and the text direction. His cutter was only 600mm wide too, which made it quite tricky to apply the stencils, but his steady hand helped me out immensely.

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    I apply the control panel overlay to the control panel, and it's held down with spray adhensive. On the sides of the control panel I stick some black cardboard as a slight buffer for when the control panel is opened and closed, to not scratch the surroundings.

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    The dark blue layers of the stencil art are complete. There's some bleed here and there, but I'll fix this up by hand at the end.

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    Next goes on the yellow layer. It gets its own undercoat (yellow going on top of dark blue isn't easy). Due to the much more detailed yellow layer, I borrow my wife's delicate hands to do the tricky peel back without lifting the paint.

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    Some of the detail is so fine, tweesers are needed to peel off the vinyl

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    Again, a little bleed here and there. I'll fix it up by hand later.

    I decase the monitor, and mount it to the MDF frame. This is pretty tricky, as the CRT monitor contains a very high voltage (up to 30,000 volts) and can do so for quite some time. Noting the high-voltage components like the flyback transformer and anode cap, I take great care not to go near them. Likewise the very fragile glass neck and neck board are dodged, as if they snap, the monitor is destroyed.

    I solder extension wires to the TVs controls for selecting A/V and volume controls. These will have buttons added to them later. The TVs speaker wires are cut and extended so that the speaker can be repositioned above player just behind the marquee.

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    The montior is slid into the cabinet via the supports, and tested with the Rasberry Pi. Everything fires up first go!

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    Brisbane storms hit, and water invades my shed. Luckily the cabinet escapes, even if it's only just. Scary!

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    Buttons and joystick purchased from GameDude Arcades:

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    An old Thrustmaster USB gamepad I found buried in the bottom of a box in my games room gets hacked up for the controls:

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    The bezel artwork is applied to the glass with spray adhesive, masking out the bits with high detail (like the instruction text). The control panel is applied, and the whole lot is assembled to test for sizing. It all fits first go!

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    It's starting to look like a real arcade machine now.

    The marquee is tested behind a small flourescent light

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    I use iron-on edging. Normally t-moulding would be used, and the edges routed with a slot-cutting bit. My router literally exploded on me a few years back, sending my bit flying across the shed, embedding into some timber. Had the bit flown in my direction, I wouldn't be here to tell this story. As such, I'm a little fearful of routers. As this cabinet only required black edging, iron-on worked fine for me.

    Aluminium edging from Bunnings costs about $2 a linear meter. A few meters of it make for a nice way to hold the marquee on. It's painted black in the same flat black as the cabinet, drilled, countersnuck, and attached.

    Here is the cabinet without the glass, control panel and coin door open.

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    A detailed view of the open coin door with the coin mech in place. My super ghetto coin box (plastic tub) is visible.

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    Here you can see the clips that pull the control panel down into position, and ultimately clamp the glass in place. Also visible is my terrible wiring.

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    Internal shot of the cabinet, with the RPi, clips, coin mech, coin door, and terrible wiring all visible. Also visible are the buttons that connect to the TV controls for A/V and volume. There's also one button there to exit the current game.

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    The full back of the cabinet, with monitor exposed:

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    Here's the solder job on the TV's chassis, with extension wires for the TV controls coming off the board. The cobweb looking mess is just hot glue strands.

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    And finally, the finished product, ready for delivery.

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    Last edited: Oct 17, 2017 at 1:35 PM
  2. oculi

    oculi Member

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    Very nice!
     
  3. PsydFX

    PsydFX Member

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    Wow, that's really well done! Good job!
     
  4. Spork!

    Spork! Member

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    I loved that game.
    Awesome build!
     
  5. elvis

    elvis Old school old fool

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    The cabinet was delivered today. Its new owner won't return until Saturday, when he'll see it for the first time. I'm very exited. :)
     
  6. power

    power Member

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    Holy Shit!

    That's amazing I just love Moon Patrol and that build so much care and attention, cheers for sharing - epic :thumbup::thumbup::thumbup:
     
  7. elvis

    elvis Old school old fool

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    Loaded up, heading to it's new home.

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  8. Andyj965

    Andyj965 Member

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    Amazing job. Nice work
     
  9. Slug69

    Slug69 Member

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    This brought a tear to my eye. That Williams logo brings back fine memories of Defender and some amazing pinball games.

    You have great vision and amazing willpower. Your friend will be blown away. Fantastic post and thanks for sharing.
     
  10. Sphinx2000

    Sphinx2000 Member

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    So Jelly.
    You could sell your work, I'd buy one. :D
     
  11. elvis

    elvis Old school old fool

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    Delivered to one very happy recipient. :D

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    Last edited: Dec 21, 2014
  12. elvis

    elvis Old school old fool

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  13. power

    power Member

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    you aren't wrong some of those cabs are just gobsmacking.
     
  14. elvis

    elvis Old school old fool

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    The quality of scratch-built cabs out there in the world grows year on year. Some of these are truly pieces of art in their own right.

    My cabinet was a clone of other peoples' efforts decades ago, but some of the cabinets nominated are brand new designs. I'm honoured just to be nominated beside those.
     
  15. hsvguy

    hsvguy Member

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    Awesome worklog elvis, I had actually seen it prior to my thread re: Rasberry Pi, wish I wasn't so useless at carpentry/lazy I'd love to build a basic mame cab. I'll probably end up buying one.

    re: pi, can I ask what version of pimame and which version of romset for Moon Patrol?

    I have pimame up and running perfectly, the demo game works fine, but I can't seem to get the roms to show. I have them in a "roms" folder on the base level of the sd card, but still no luck.
     
  16. elvis

    elvis Old school old fool

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    Check out "Vigolix":
    http://forum.arcadecontrols.com/index.php/topic,119533.0/all.html
    http://forum.arcadecontrols.com/index.php/topic,141778.0/all.html

    A very simple design, and a great "my first cabinet" project. Highly recommended if you want to learn the basics of a build.

    I had problems with the TV-out of the Pi and PiMAME. Many of the aspect ratios didn't work properly (no problem via HDMI out, but a big issue over composite TV out). A real bummer, as PiMAME plays a lot of games way better. I was forced to switch to SDLMAME, which I think was around version 0.106.

    You need to match the ROMs to the version of MAME you are using, and ensure your mame.ini is told where to look for the "roms" (the zipped files - don't unzip them, and if you've got the .7Z versions, you'll need to either convert them to ZIP with clrmamepro, or re-acquire them) and the "snaps" (screenshots for preview).
     
  17. -Antiskeptic-

    -Antiskeptic- Member

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    Fantastic build, congrats!

    Some fond memories too, this was the first game I ever played in Prep @ Primary School on a Apple II on 5.25 floppy from memory!
     
  18. Recharge

    Recharge Member

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    Amazing job, amazing work, so jelly!
    your friend must be gob smacked!

    ahh the memories.
     
  19. elvis

    elvis Old school old fool

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    It's getting quite a bit of play. Their kiddies love it, which is great to see. Always happy to give the next generation a real education. :)
     
  20. kbekus

    kbekus Member

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    Lovely work, and great to see that Sony TV repurposed... I've got a couple of them in the shed... hmmmm.
     

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