How to build the ultimate home arcade machine.

Project Start 11/02/2020

Project Description:

As before I started this website, I used to run an arcade modification site I have decided to reunite my passion for all things retro. In my holiday home,

I have an old wooden arcade cabinet that has seen some action over the years I had started to modify it but didn’t have the tools or the technology to do the job at that time.

This I going to be a long project that will be updated in instalments. As will get to hopefully tinker once a month a lot of the configuration will be done off-site. This will be installed time permitting when I go for my breaks.

So, what am I going to do, well I am going to start off by striping the machine down to bare bones I will then make a custom control panel.

So the custom control panel will house

  • The control panel will house 2 x 4/8 motorized changing joysticks. 1 analogue stick 8buttons per player

Layout I am going for player 1 and 2.

  • Adding a spinner for some of the classic arcade games.
  • Adding a flight stick analogue controller.
  • Trackball
  • All buttons will be RGB LED on the main control panel.
  • Complete custom graphics for the control panel.
  • Pinball flipper buttons on each side of the cab and pull handle for pinball
  • Light gun support for shooting games.

I am hopefully going to use the existing arcade monitor so will have a true retro feel and use a converter so I can connect it via SVGA or I will install arcade VGA card not sure as yet.

Will do a 3d carbon fibre wrap with new t-mouldings with inlay cutouts for custom graphics

Going to hopefully by a custom marquee led monitor for added effect. If not will do custom backlit marquee out of acrylic till I can afford the custom monitor.

Build custom i7 pc for powering the 1tb image of launch box running off SSD drive for added protection.

The budget for this build I don’t have one do have most of the parts in storage.

Will do most of it my self but will need to outsource main vinyl as don’t have cutter big enough to do the main body of this project.

Let’s go.

existing control panel i modified back in the day
As you can see apart from the mess of wiring the true space of the control panel is not as large as it seams.

Time to get started going to measure up the control panel and inner box .

So i have a max depth 24cm and width of 61cm not a lot of space so i am going to have to make some modifications to the layout of the machine as to house the custom control board i will need some more space.

So how am going to get more space will it’s going to involve cutting the cabinet with 2 90 degree steps in the existing cabinet and removing part of the front of the cabinets. i will then build a box for the new control panel to sit on top of.

will work out the size and depth of the cutout after i have figured out the layout of the control panel.

I have started with a 100cm x 40cm rectangle which i will lay my controls out on first .

have taken drawings of Ultimarc for the relevant joysticks and trackball and the cutout for buttons are 30mm so same as the spinner cutout just need to work out the top size of the spinner but i am sure that’s mentioned somewhere.

current layout still got to add player 1 and 2 start reason for it being 2 parts going to test cut on my laser make sure all fits.
old project that i will salvage bits off.

will do some more of the build over the next day or so also going to test out light gun set up as well. as a test to see if the front end works with ipac controller.

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