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My Astro City Project

Discussion in 'Retro & Arcade Worklogs' started by Revenger, Apr 14, 2015.

  1. OP
    OP
    Revenger

    Revenger Member

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    Over the weekend I went to dads for easter brought him eggs and a couple gifts, did a little work to the admin box not much but enough to show that its starting to really come together.

    I also found a old midi only keyboard in the recycle bin a neighbour chucked out as he didn't know how to use it, so I pulled it out and took it to dads and we took it completely apart and are cleaning it up I'll post in music instruments on that.

    I have taken the box stuff home to do markups and work in my own time to finalise placements and testing etc.

    Here the box is glued together and just a basic position test.
    No issues with interfering with the coin chute.

    IMG_20190421_153919.jpg

    I glued a back piece on the box to make up space as a buffer where the hinges will go.
    I am toying with cutting a bit of the piece I glued on for a square tube for the wires for the lid detection switch, I'll post later with my idea and for input once I get everything out again.
    Also I need to work out the magnetic lid catch and may need to cut and glue another 'micro' buffer to the front of box/cp once we glue everything together for that, so there are still adjustments to be made.

    IMG_20190421_160249.jpg

    I had some test pieces the old test box I modified slightly to be a test of the lip with the led strip so I could see roughly how the inner module will be.

    IMG_20190421_170657.jpg

    I placed the test in the box as the back piece isn't all the way it has gaps on the ends for the lip and leds to fit snugly into.

    IMG_20190421_171036.jpg

    My dad had some spare thin aluminium I marked up for a better test of the inner box, he also had some thicker pieces I put aside which will be the proper inner shelf and bottom plate where the key latch is both of those are thicker and sturdy and just need sanding down (facing) once cut.

    IMG_20190422_111356.jpg

    Needed to adjust the test box as it was 1-2mm too wide (it's now 1-2mm undersize you can see), which is fine for testing as its a test the proper will be measured more accurately.

    It is starting to show how things are going to fit together,

    IMG_20190422_114333.jpg

    Here I am putting the test box under the cp with metal test insert holding the 100 Yen sticker as a mockup of everything mounted, so you can see the box and the lid etc.

    The led strip inside will fit inside the lip space on the sides and bottom you can see.
    You can also see I am leaving all the acrylic protector covers on until the box is finished glued, fiberglassed etc etc only peeling it where I need to work.

    Question? Just had a thought typing this right now, should I diffuse the light strip?
    If I do it would look way better and more pro all I need is a milky strip over the strip and I think that could look great.
    Yea I'll look into this once I build things more up, It'll look awsome than just having the stip showing bare on the edges.
    Answered my own question :cool:

    IMG_20190422_115329.jpg

    I will be cutting into that test aluminium for component fitting and a proper mockup and led testing as I have enough I can use 3 segments as a test.

    So here is things starting to work itself out.

    Next stages are working on hinge mounts the lid switch for the lights, lid magnetic catch and gluing fiberglassing the box onto the cp.

    As well working out the component circuitry etc.

    I will have another post asking some questions in a few days to a week or so on the lid catch and other things once I pull the stuff out again and start looking at marking things up.

    I have another question.
    Question 2? Thinking I could replace the parallel port with 2 network ports.
    Some custom game controller converters and video cards and other things have used network ports as the way to plug in controllers so was wondering if I should do that instead of parallel ports, that would allow each controller to be plugged in separate via adaptors.
    Was originally thinking it at the very beginning but chose parallel due to being able to use 9 pins like on the PS2 controllers even though the 9th pin is classed by some as unused.
    So may just stick with paralel.
     
    Last edited: Apr 23, 2019
  2. elvis

    elvis Old school old fool

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    A lot of third party arcade joystick stick makers use network ports because they're easy to plug in and out quickly, and cables and connectors are cheap.

    The thing to remember is most video game controllers use a serial encoded connection (different to direct-wire arcade controls), so typically all they need is ground, VCC and a couple of data lines at most. 8 pins is typically plenty for them.

    If you're wiring a full set of controllers yourself, you might need more. [ U/D/L/R, 6 fire, start, coin, ground ] adds up to 14 pins total per person.
     
    Revenger likes this.
  3. OP
    OP
    Revenger

    Revenger Member

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    Cheers for the info.

    The parallel port is there to accommodate my PS2 that uses 9 pin controller connectors.
    Don't think I've seen a console etc with more than 9 pins for each controller.

    Basically it's a breakout a extension cable for actual console cables but I may use it for other things also if I can find uses for it.

    I also have the Jamma interface which has its own connectors under the CP.

    Plus there is usb 3 on the admin panel to accommodate standard pc controllers or diy usb gamepad interfaces.

    So I should be covered I think.
     
  4. OP
    OP
    Revenger

    Revenger Member

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    I just did a mockup on the spare metal.

    Cutting out didn't go too well and I ended up over cutting and cutting / split it open between the parallel port and USB port.
    It kinda still works as a test and I had to mask the issues with a bit of paper over the top.
    As the inside of the proper piece will be painted white anyway it is all good.

    Apart from the led strip not being fixed to the sides and no diffuser yet for the leds this is the box with all components loosely placed.
    When I mark up the final panel the components will be properly placed as this is still 'rough but in the right area'.

    I don't know if anyone locally has a cnc they could cut the final piece out with so I don't have to do it by hand.

    IMG_20190425_143554.jpg
     
    Last edited: Apr 25, 2019
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  5. OP
    OP
    Revenger

    Revenger Member

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    Another small update.

    Went to my dad's and stayed over and today the box got glued on.
    I'll be fiberglassing it to the CP next to strengthen it as adding the standoffs in, which will be in a week or so mby.

    Also have some ideas on going forward with the electronics in the box and other things.

    IMG_20191020_122540-01.jpeg
     
    Last edited: Oct 21, 2019
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  6. elvis

    elvis Old school old fool

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    Glad to see you still plugging away at this. I know it's been tough going for you. Don't give up, as you'll have a fun toy (and good memories) when it's all done. :)
     
  7. OP
    OP
    Revenger

    Revenger Member

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    Yes it's been a slow going project especially last free years a few reasons why.

    Going to Dad's as he has all the tools etc can be a bit messy just like the shed misc pic is actually true as I spend hours trying to find clamps etc and moving stuff around just to do a small thing.
    Trying not to make a mess and getting what's needed is always hard.

    But I'm working through stuff bit by bit, had a good think what's needed to go forward.

    I think instead of more slow work after the admin area I'll start rebuilding from the new wheels tackling any extras as we go, that should help speed up the rebuild a little hopefully.

    That means finding a decent space to work and keep things spread out which is doable if I move some stuff at his place to use the now spare bedroom.
    I'll look into that next time.

    Screwing everything back I have no idea where all the screws go but I have the New Astro City service manual.

    His health varies so I'm doing more if the work nowadays, which is fine.

    As for me socially locally things are still pretty much nothing, could use more mates.

    I got a Rift S and started the VR gaming thread as a extra to the headset thread as we didn't have a dedicated thread for VR game discussions.

    Been making friends in VRChat though the usual people seem to not get back or keep in contact still happens though I have a couple of good people.

    ---

    With that box, it glued on fine but needs strengthening, as I pulled it very slightly and head the small flex crack sound so that will be the fiberglassing to do that.

    As mentioned after this I will start rebuilding and doing extras as I go, though the progress may still be slow at least things will get moving.

    As for extras, will still be doing a lot but some stuff will be once it's fully built now as a post, so allowances for that will be made during the rebuild.

    Overall things will get done.
     
  8. OP
    OP
    Revenger

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    The next stage will be bonding the hex nuts onto the cp I know just the way to do it.

    Post #99 I mentioned about a test bond my dad did with 'plastibond' that worked wonders.
    I can put that on and squeeze it into the end of the hex so it plugs up the bottom in the thread and that will bond the bottom of the hex threads onto the cp then I can fiberglass wrap around everything which is the plan.

    With heat and generally how I am feeling which has been crap since new year will be a bit, though my dad is starting to go through everything he has cleaning and sorting stuff out.

    I do plan to do a big chunk this year on it hopefully get it completed to a degree.
    Cant believe its been 5 years already but lack of motivation, going to dads and being tired or doing stuff with him instead of the cabinet sorting out pc's and other things things have stalled.

    I looked up stretch-bar lcd's on aliexpress and alibaba they are reasonable cost and alibaba have types than more than the consumer end user focused aliexpress.
    So a option for the future, they come in many sizes from small 5/7/13 inch ones common on aliexpress to the big ones you see in shopping malls.

    So you can get ones for the main top game name arcade display to ones that can be a digital game card.
    From what I recall mame and other front-ends support the 3 monitor setup main screen, artwork and gamecard display.

    No idea when I'll be doing more hopeful when I am better as I am soo weak and tired atm and when its cooler.
     
    Last edited: Jan 8, 2020
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  9. OP
    OP
    Revenger

    Revenger Member

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    I brought the control panel home a couple weeks back and just started looking at placement of the hex threads.
    Here is what the idea is but I can use some advice on both the area where the control panel will sit and where the coin chute goes.

    I am thinking the best way is to bond the hex threads on and fiberglass wrap around but that will probably create a overhang on the bottom hex and on the right where the coin chute is I will need to fiberglass then wait for to that to cure then calve it out for placement of the coin chute.

    I am worried also the bottom hex thread will be too weak and just break off.
    The hex threads are brass so I could solder them I think with extra bracing.
    I can use some advice on the best way to do this.

    I'll need to start by sanding down the glue around the box prepping the area.

    IMG_20200402_023535.jpg
     
    Last edited: Apr 2, 2020

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