MAME Over

Discussion in 'Modding Worklogs' started by Constructacon, Jul 7, 2007.

  1. Constructacon

    Constructacon Member

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    MAME Over - Updated 21/10/07

    As I've had to put The New Black on hold for a while I've decided to kick along another of my projects - a full size MAME arcade cabinet.

    About 2 years ago I decided to look into the whole MAME thing as I loved the arcade as a kid growing up in the 80's and early 90's. MAME can work off just your keyboard but I found that it lacked in feeling.

    [​IMG]
    Enter the MK 1 design. I bought a basic set of buttons and joysticks off ebay and created this desktop version as a rough draft. It sat on top of an ironing board in front of the computer to allow you to play.

    [​IMG]
    Control of the buttons was through a keyboard hack. This involves disassembling a keyboard and drawing up the matrix table for every key press. Every key on the keyboard connects 2 contacts on a film sandwich that run to a small circuit board. It was then just a matter of wiring 1 side of each button up to the corresponding terminals on the circuit board. The use of terminal blocks (in the centre of the picture) make this easier. That way you only have to solder 1 wire to each terminal rather than about 5 or 6. While crude, this desktop solution is a cheap way to get into the MAME scene for those interested and MUCH more fun than just playing with a keyboard.

    EDIT: Below are links which will jump you forward to each update (and associated comments)
    07/07/2007
    23/09/2007
    11/10/2007
    21/10/2007
    02/01/2008
    25/04/2008
     
    Last edited: Apr 25, 2008
  2. OP
    OP
    Constructacon

    Constructacon Member

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    While the desktop unit is fine for a bit of fun, I've decided to step up to the next phase. MK2 has begun! Because I'm well over 6ft tall I wanted to make this cabinet proportional to me for comfort. This plan is the largest I could make it so it would still fit through the internal doors in the house.


    [​IMG]
    I started with 2x sheets of 2400x1200 18mm MDF from my local hardware mega-store. I had them first cut 500mm off the top, then rip the remaining sheets down the middle. They even kindly forgot to charge me for the cuts. The sheets now fit in the back of our hatchback and are the perfect size to work on.


    [​IMG]
    The first cuts were for where next to the display. If you look closely you can see where the tv will sit.


    [​IMG]
    The control panel supports were then mounted to the front edge. By doing it this way I saved heaps of wastage and get more use out of the sheets. While I dropped out of my engineering degree, by just eyeballing it I don't think these will come off.


    [​IMG]
    I then filled the outside of the join with wood putty. This will be sanded back smooth later once it's dry and painted.


    [​IMG]
    After the first side is cut, the second side is cut roughly into shape and then clamped to the top of it. When trying to hold large objects together ratchet straps come in real handy.


    [​IMG]
    I then used a flush trim bit on my router to trace around the bottom template.


    [​IMG]
    It turns this.....


    [​IMG]
    ...into this.

    [​IMG]
    A new bit for my router - a slot cutter for the T-moulding around the edges.


    [​IMG]
    I routed a groove almost completely around the edge of each side plate.

    [​IMG]
    I screwed on battons 18mm from the edge to allow flush mounting of external pannels. At this point I decided to test assemble to ensure that the 68cm TV will fit inside.

    Stay tuned for the next update.
     
  3. OP
    OP
    Constructacon

    Constructacon Member

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    Small update time. Unfortunately Real Life(TM) has been interfering recently so not a great deal has moved forward on the cabinet. However, I'm happy with what small gains I've made.

    [​IMG]
    I've enclosed the front bottom of the control deck. This was more difficult than anticipated due to the small surfaces.

    [​IMG]
    This was fixed with 2 metal brackets in the corner. I then ground off the screws protruding through. All screw holes and the small gap at the end of the face will be wood puttied later and sanded smooth. I've tried to make this section as bulletproof as possible at this is what will be taking the most force on the cabinet.

    [​IMG]
    I've also put the back half of the top of the cabinet on. In the center I've cut a hole and routed a lip on the inner edge to match up to a 150mm fan. I'm thinking of forgoing the fan and just letting the hot air vent itself with a grill covering the hole.

    Apart from my recent birthday presents, the mailman (and courier) brought me some new toys for the cabinet :clap:

    [​IMG]
    One Ipac controller. This is so much easier than using the keyboard hack. As you can see each side has all it's inputs for a joystick, 8 buttons, a start button and coin button. While I can have 8 buttons per player, I'll on be using 6.

    [​IMG]
    2 illuminated credit buttons. Ah... I remember when games were 20c each. Those were the days. The flash makes them look really washed out. They're really a much deeper red.

    [​IMG]
    I've decided to go with a purple and blue theme similar to the MAME logo. The blue buttons are actually a dark blue (I couldn't get it to photograph right). I'm not sure if I'm happy with the colour. I may end up buying lighter blue buttons and finding another use for these. In the same parcel came 14m of black T-moulding.

    I've also decided to go with the name MAME Over for the project. I've also been putting together a custom marquee for the lightbox in Photoshop - but more on that in a later post.

    As always, comments, praises or criticisms are welcomed. Bye for now.
     
  4. Butcher9_9

    Butcher9_9 Member

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    looks good

    hope you have a nice large space to put it in
     
  5. Suki

    Suki Member

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    Very, very cool my friend.
    Yeah, I remember two bob in the slot, too.
    Hope you get the light box and external paint just so. It deserves it.
     
  6. ojk007

    ojk007 Member

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    loving this mod, oh and props on a username.

    Real Lifeā„¢ is a total bitch, i have a program... HermitĀ® that seems to slow it down, but nothing works quite as well as CyanideSE to get rid of it... havent tried it but apprently theres some nasty side effects..
     
  7. alvarez

    alvarez Member

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    Mind if I ask how much all this set you back?
    I too am A huge fan of the arcade Ive been wanting to make up one of these myself for a while.

    Good job on making up the plan youself got any technical drawings you want to share.

    Cant wait to see how this comes together. Youre doing a good job but the correct tools always help.

    Im realy interested in this. But Ill let you finnish it rather than ask what youre going to do next.

    :thumbup: :thumbup:
     
  8. s4mmy

    s4mmy Member

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    Looks awesome!

    ps. love the "A night at the roxbury" poster.... one of my favourite movies! :D
     
  9. dexster

    dexster Member

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    nice work :thumbup:

    my 2 cents worth, i noticed u 'only' had 5 buttons for player 1 and 2 , on the mk1 design :confused:
    if u want i would add another button on the top row of buttons on each players side, simply for sf2 action ;)

    u choose if u want to round it down or not :o :D

    edit: btw... do u have any 'plans' for this, or dimensions etc i would be able to get my hands on???
    i play all of my mame games through my snes controller using a smart adapter , it works well but it is only time b4 i set up a cabinet
     
    Last edited: Jul 9, 2007
  10. elvis

    elvis Old school old fool

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    Good to see another MAMEr in action.

    Some reference sites for you:

    1) My own first cabinet build log:
    http://benchmark.mameworld.net/cab1/

    There have been other cabinets since, but the build logs aren't done yet. :(

    2) Aussie Arcade:
    http://www.aussiearcade.com.au

    Australia's best resource for arcade collectors and cabinet builders.

    Keep up the good work. It's looking great so far.
     
  11. Turorit

    Turorit Member

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    Wikkits, I liek it!
    Keep us posted mate!

    I was born in 1991, so I don't remember any of these MAME arcade things. There was some street fighter thing at the fish and chip shop, but I don't think I ever played it, I was only 4 at the time.
     
  12. elvis

    elvis Old school old fool

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    Hot damn I'm getting old...
     
  13. GooSE

    GooSE New Member

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    The I-PACs are great, aren't they?

    Like you, I've been using a hacked up keyboard for a while, but ghosting/masking gave me the shits. Instead of buying an I-PAC I've taken it upon myself to design and build my own version using a USB-capable PIC microcontroller. I'll make the circuit and software freely available. I just need to decide whether to emulate a USB keyboard or a USB joystick (digital x/y axis).
     
  14. alvarez

    alvarez Member

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    No updates on this project yet, I hope its still running.

    Im very interested in your project as well goose, If i may suggest perhaps you emulate a keyboard. Im sure digital X,Y axis would feel out of place in a retro arcade.
     
  15. flain

    flain Member

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  16. elvis

    elvis Old school old fool

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    Posting a 70KG monitor from Victoria is going to cost you a bucket.

    GameDude sell recondition arcade monitors in Brisbane, and they're pretty cheap. They're 15KHz only (won't do VGA like the Wells Gardner ones), but will give you that authentic arcade picture. You will however need to either do some low-res hacking, or invest in something like an ArcadeVGA.
     
  17. GooSE

    GooSE New Member

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    Digital x/y axes would act like a keyboard - either on or off. No in between like analogue.
     
  18. OP
    OP
    Constructacon

    Constructacon Member

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    Construction had stalled because I wasn't sure how I was going to finish the surface and didn't want to have to redo too much if I started again. However last week I found a solution and in my garage now have a nice roll of..... well that will come in a further update. Hopefully I can recommence construction soon.:leet:
     
  19. CS-Phr34k

    CS-Phr34k Member

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    Why not make it compatible with everything ;) ?.

    The schematic and all the code is there as well if you didn't want to buy a PCB.
     
  20. Franc

    Franc Member

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    Has anyone here tried using a 51cm television? Id think that a tv would do the job better than a monitor using tv out?
     

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