Author Topic: Arcade Cabinets  (Read 1446 times)

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Offline 65Cobra427SC

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Arcade Cabinets
« on: August 19, 2017 - 05:08:12 »
My plan over the next couple years is to build a Virtual Pinball Cabinet and at least one Arcade Cabinet. I'm saying at least one Arcade Cabinet because a MAME cabinet with a CRT display is a priority, so another cabinet with an LCD or OLED display is on the list as well. Once I start the project, I plan to start a thread and post pictures as I go along.

I'm fine with the design and build of the cabinets and hardware, and don't expect any issues getting MAME up and running, but it's the vast number of game collections that are throwing me off. Meaning which machine should they go on?

For example, should my MS-DOS game collection go on the MAME cabinet since it will have a CRT display? And what about all the other collections... which should go with the CRT display and which should go with the LCD/OLED display?

Any help would be appreciated, and thanks for reading.


Offline BustAGroove

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Re: Arcade Cabinets
« Reply #1 on: August 26, 2017 - 06:52:30 »
I have often wanted to and planned to build an Arcade Cabinet (multiple cabs) and had Hyperspin and GameX and a few others tested and running and all my systems setup on my PC before going ahead and ordering the cabinet parts.

However I always abandoned the project at the same point, how do you map the controls of the various systems in to a way that translates well to arcade controls? Eventually realised that pretty much only Arcade games will be comfortable and so my advice would be to think of the games you really want on your cabinet and think about how you would map the controls to a stick and up to 8 buttons.

Offline 65Cobra427SC

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Re: Arcade Cabinets
« Reply #2 on: August 27, 2017 - 03:23:14 »
Not that I've made any drawings but I felt the best way to handle that situation was to make multiple control boards that can be easily swapped on the cabinet... i.e. use quarter turn locks and male/female wire connectors. Basically unplug one control board (i.e. trackball and buttons) and plug in another control board (joysticks and buttons). It wouldn't bother me if I ended up with 10 or more control boards but it's better than trying to jam everything onto a single control board. My thought is to retain game play as close to the original arcade machines as possible.


Offline cannonwillow

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Re: Arcade Cabinets
« Reply #3 on: August 27, 2017 - 04:48:54 »
Until input buffer overflow issues are solved with mame trackball games such as centipede & millipede, I'm not investing in full scale cabinet construction/design. Spin a real centipede, millipede, or even combo centipede/millipede/missile command arcade trackball as fast and hard as you can. max speed is hit and stays constant. on mame you jitter, stop or reverse direction. unacceptable with the time, money and effort of building a cabinet. Input issues are absolutely the most important concerns. fiddling with analog settings within mame is a bandaid for a shotgun wound...

I,ve cleared 1,000,000 on centipede machine 3 times in my life and never ever get under 400,000 (not by using mushroom cloud, but by keeping center row clear and instantly killing almost every flea) this requires max speed and precise stopping (and shooting) all the time. I dont think Ive ever cleared 350,000 on mame centipede, trying many different analog settings, and even after reducing emulation speed to .8  ???
« Last Edit: August 27, 2017 - 05:19:43 by cannonwillow »

Offline 65Cobra427SC

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Re: Arcade Cabinets
« Reply #4 on: September 10, 2017 - 05:50:24 »
Good point cannonwillow but there will always be issues and at some point someone may come up with a fix. But in the meantime, for me it's all about having a good time and if the trackball issue even comes up when I use it, there's always something else to play. Nothing is perfect... me included  ;D


Offline cannonwillow

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Re: Arcade Cabinets
« Reply #5 on: September 27, 2017 - 11:52:58 »
the strange thing about using a trakball with mame is that it works better with spinner type games like tron or tempest than with actual trakball games. spinner games in my opinion are more about speed control (sometimes barely). trakball games are really about braking

other than analog issues, just make sure you have a dedicated 4 way joystick for games like burgertime, food fight, donkey kong, dig dug, mr do, let alone pacman type games (and many others). without you will be frustrated by getting stuck just to the edge of ladders (or any up/down to left/right transition, or visaversa)

there is a big difference in arcade games designed for 4-way joysticks compared to 8-way or more joysticks. very little uses 4 way sticks (consoles or non real arcade), atari 2600 joysticks are even 8-way
« Last Edit: September 27, 2017 - 12:17:08 by cannonwillow »

Offline Niro007

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Re: Arcade Cabinets
« Reply #6 on: September 28, 2017 - 17:06:00 »
That's also my plan ever since i returned back to the scene and boy did i return to a whole lot of different things  :P

Offline cannonwillow

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Re: Arcade Cabinets
« Reply #7 on: September 30, 2017 - 09:19:42 »
not sure how swapping out different control panels on the cabinet will affect mames controller configs. Just using my computer with usb ports I have 10 different control adapter devices (double snes, double nes, double n64, double sega, afterglow ps style controller, and old style pc adapter that I can also use with atari controllers). if any one of these are unattached when I start mame my cfg folder (especially default.cfg) gets all messed up. I do keep this backed up because of this. they all remain attached to a usb strip that is either on or off before starting computer, all control adapters or none when computer on. what is plugged into the adapters doesn't affect the computer nor mame settings. I need to get to the point. When different arcade style control panels are changed on the cabinet, will it act as an adapter or as a controller for the adapter. Must each control panel plug into its own unique dedicated plug under the panel to keep settings from constantly changing :-\
« Last Edit: September 30, 2017 - 09:24:28 by cannonwillow »

Offline cannonwillow

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Re: Arcade Cabinets
« Reply #8 on: February 10, 2018 - 16:09:43 »
5v still prob with pedes. need way to have robotron code slowdown like in original arc machine (not only emulate but imitate hardware, screen, and input limitations)

Offline bodkinz

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Re: Arcade Cabinets
« Reply #9 on: February 10, 2018 - 19:30:07 »
You need a good 8 way joystick for Scramble.. thats for sure!!

Last time I played an original was when I was 15... still play Mr. Do with MAME..

Never was very good with the originals of Centipede and Missile Command... never did really get on with the old trakballs.. very big and heavy..
« Last Edit: February 10, 2018 - 19:33:38 by bodkinz »

Offline 65Cobra427SC

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Re: Arcade Cabinets
« Reply #10 on: June 25, 2018 - 06:17:42 »
Just wanted to say thanks for the information and apologize for abandoning this thread. Unfortunately I had to put multiple projects aside due to a head injury that's plagued me since last year. It takes me longer to do most everything I used to, and finally realized the time had come to shorten my list. Hopefully I can pick up on this project again at some point in the future, but in the meantime I haven't lost my interest. Again, thanks.

Offline BustAGroove

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Re: Arcade Cabinets
« Reply #11 on: June 25, 2018 - 11:45:51 »
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Just wanted to say thanks for the information and apologize for abandoning this thread. Unfortunately I had to put multiple projects aside due to a head injury that's plagued me since last year. It takes me longer to do most everything I used to, and finally realized the time had come to shorten my list. Hopefully I can pick up on this project again at some point in the future, but in the meantime I haven't lost my interest. Again, thanks.

How far did you get with this project? Sorry to hear about your injury.

Offline 65Cobra427SC

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Re: Arcade Cabinets
« Reply #12 on: September 08, 2018 - 05:29:19 »
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How far did you get with this project? Sorry to hear about your injury.

I never got far enough to finish the plans, let alone purchase anything, but considering my situation it was better that way. The head injury was over a year ago and I still don't know/remember what happened or when. It wasn't until months later, when I started having seizures, that I was hospitalized and found out I had multiple white areas on the top of my brain. I'm somewhat better now but I still have what I describe as 24 hour migraines. Some days are better/worse than others, but the pain never goes away. It takes me a lot longer to do things so between that and sleeping 10-12 hours a night, it will be a while before I catch up. Still, I don't want to lose touch with the things I love and would still like to see if I can come up with a plan. I could always purchase a cabinet then have someone else do the work.



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not sure how swapping out different control panels on the cabinet will affect mames controller configs.... When different arcade style control panels are changed on the cabinet, will it act as an adapter or as a controller for the adapter. Must each control panel plug into its own unique dedicated plug under the panel to keep settings from constantly changing :-\

Yes, I would have separate wiring for each control panel. I'm thinking of making a list of all the controllers I would need... trackball, spinner, joysticks, etc.... then decide how many control panels I would need to create... and finally work out the connectors. I could not only color code the connectors to make it simple where they go, but also design the connectors so it's not possible to plug a control panel into the wrong connector(s).

On a final note, there may be other times when I don't respond immediately, but please don't let that discourage anyone from posting. As time goes on I'm hoping I'll improve, but there isn't any way to tell how much, or how long that will take. Thanks again.