Hawkade - An Arcade Cabinet on the Cheap

Discussion in 'Retro & Arcade Worklogs' started by th3_hawk, Jan 9, 2020.

  1. OP
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    th3_hawk

    th3_hawk Member

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    I used the laser to track the line the whole cut, correcting as it went, but was a little surprised as just how much of a bow was in the line. I really think my straight edge just wasn't straight otherwise it would have been fine. The circular saw doesn't have a laser guide but seems to follow a line reasonably, although I don't think I'm cutting quite square and getting things *just* the right size isn't quite my skillset at the moment. I think that even 800mm cuts are a bit long to be reaching over and where a table saw or track would come in handy. That said, I think there is only one gap that will need a little filler to hide it, otherwise, it's pretty good.
    I have needed a little persuasion with a hammer to seat a panel or two just where I want it, but that's also reflective of how I've screwed everything together as I have gone without leaving any slack for new panels.

    I've been digging around the internet and am failing when it comes to perspex/acrylic. For the marquee I need 795 * 250 (ish) but I can't seem to find much in that sort of size unless I'm buying a whole sheet. I wasn't planning on putting a full front panel in, but if I had to buy a whole sheet that would probably be the plan... mind you, it looks like it would *DOUBLE* the price of the build. So no. If I do put a front panel in I think glass is looking like the best option.

    I have found this stuff which might just do the job on the cheap (ish).
    https://www.bunnings.com.au/sunlite-8-1-2-x-0-61m-clear-twinwall-polycarbonate-sheet_p1010852

    This morning I have added in a bottom shelf and a second smaller shelf inside out of scrap pieces. Next it's off to get some paint.

    In other news, I got an AusPost shipping confirmation, apparently my buttons might be delivered tomorrow :D :D :D
     
    Last edited: Jan 12, 2020
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  2. OP
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    th3_hawk

    th3_hawk Member

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    Next update:

    My cheap cabinet is getting more expensive by the day. I tried to take the easy way out and as it turns out, gloss black rattle cans do not work so well on plywood. The finish was terrible. A wiser person may have known this already. At this point I’m calling that some very expensive undercoat. I also picked up some beading a light for the marquee, a power board and some core flute to see if that works possibly with a light behind it.

    My buttons arrived today! So I also had the chance to measure them up and realise a few more things.

    I needed a 28mm hole saw / spade bit.
    I needed a sander to get a better finish.
    I needed a router to recess the joysticks.
    I also needed some gloss paint, brushes, roller and tray.

    Which brings my tools bill to close to about $300. I’m still enjoying it and can now do more things and have more toys to play with, but bloody hell.

    At this point the holes are all drilled, I’ve got a coat of black gloss on there and I’m waiting for it to dry. Tomorrow will be a light sand, a second coat and then we will see how we go for assembly either late tomorrow or Wednesday.

    While I’m waiting for the paint to dry I might setup the raspberry pi and test out the buttons.
     
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  3. greencamel65

    greencamel65 Member

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    Fixed it for you....budget is blown anyways!
     
  4. WuZMoT

    WuZMoT Member

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    Ah the rabbit hole of tool acquisition
     
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  5. elvis

    elvis Old school old fool

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    Just use something straight as a guide for your saw. A bit of scrap timber, etc.

    Prep is king, my friend. Spray is fine, but put down at least two undercoats.

    I use a really cheap water based gyprock 3-in-1 (primer/sealer/undercoat) with a light sand in between. Once done, even the crappiest wood will take a spray.

    When I'm working with MDF, I seal it with a single coat immediately, even before cutting, to prevent swelling. Then again after cutting on exposed edges. Then it only needs one more after assembly before spraying.
     
  6. OP
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    th3_hawk

    th3_hawk Member

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    You’re totally right, Prep has been much better this time around. Last time I used my small sander but clearly didn’t spend long enough. The new one made pretty light work of it.
     
  7. OP
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    th3_hawk

    th3_hawk Member

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    So a couple of coats of decent paint with sanding inbetween and it's come up reasonably well.

    [​IMG]

    I'm still working on setting things up properly and working out which roms work, which need tweaking (or a different emulator).
     
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  8. WuZMoT

    WuZMoT Member

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    holy crap that was a quick build.
     
  9. OP
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    th3_hawk

    th3_hawk Member

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    Yeah, sort of just dove in and didn't stop. I've learnt alot of ways to improve the next one (should I ever do one) and could get a better finish if I were to spend some more time on prep, but this is alright now.

    the challenge now is to work out how retro pi works and what needs to be configured.
     
  10. OP
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    th3_hawk

    th3_hawk Member

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    Retro Pi on the Pi4 is manually installed and working (reasonably) well, although there are some ROMS I just can't get to run just yet. There is something about playing all those gameboy games on a 32" monitor!

    My issue now is where to actually put the thing... my Wife has already (not so quietly) asked that question, apparently, I also need to get some more bar stools and stop stealing the ones from the kitchen :p

    I made the mistake of adding up all the receipts... Rule #1 of hobbies... don't do that :p

    Tools: $288.23
    Buttons: $64.88
    Materials: $278.43
    Paint: $136.80
    ------------------
    Total: $768.34

    I already had the 32" LCD I already and the Raspberry Pi4 4GB... had I needed to purchase those this 'cheap build' would be over $1,000... ooops. Even just the cabinet materials and paint have almost cost me what an off the shelf kit would have cost... but it was fun and educational.


    For next time around (should that come to pass), I already have the tools which will make a huge difference. If I also used 16mm standard MDF it would cost <$110 to build the frame, the electronics for a Raspberry Pi 4 and arcade buttons add up if you don't already have them laying around, paint can be expensive (but at least I won't be double painting next time around which would make it much cheaper), but assuming a 100% black finish that's $75 inc disposable consumables as well as the optional light up marquee. You also need a screen of some sort (and maybe speakers) and a Micro SD card.

    This is what it would look like to re-build what I have done in MDF knowing what I know now.
    upload_2020-1-24_13-53-50.png



    Which also while I have no use for it and really don't know what I would do with it... I'm considering building a smaller/bartop machine. A single sheet of 600x1200mm MDF is only $19, a single set of buttons is about $30 and throw in some left over ply, screws and other bits and I'm just about done. I also have a 19" 4:3 LCD in the garage which would work nicely, just need some speakers and I might just have a set of USB powered Logitech speakers being retired shortly too.

    For powering the whole thing I have an old 08/09 white MacBook with all it's 2.0GHz of C2D power! (T7300??) Add in a mini DVI to DVI adaptor and MAME should be good to go, although it might be a little underpowered, it's also got a bodgy backlight which makes setting it up require that adaptor before I know how well it works (or doesn't).
    Alternatively, I also have a HP Steam 11 although that's only rocking a 2.16 GHz Intel Celeron N2840 with Intel HD Graphics (would need a HDMI to VGA/DVI to get this hooked up)... But given this is fully functional at the moment I could fire this one up and see how it would work. Between the two it's a bit of a line ball on CPU power. In short I could have something up and running for under $50, maybe even painted depending on how much paint I have left.
    I also have a slightly newer Dell desktop that doesn't want to post last I tried to use it that is probably a little more powerful, otherwise, there is plenty of early i3/i5 machines on sale for <$100.

    I might pull out the stream and fire up a Debian installer and see how well it performs... I'm sure I could find someone who needs a birthday present or something...
     
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    th3_hawk

    th3_hawk Member

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    Unsurprisingly the HP Stream seems to play MAME alright but isn’t capable of PSX. CPU usage does max out but it’s all over the shop and I got a warning over slow CD read speeds... which is probably reflective of the eMMC drive in this beast.
    Maybe not running from within the GUI would help, but I’m not 100% up to date with my Linux skills. On the upside I now have a running Debian install to play with should I be so inclined.
     

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