Photos of my Home Arcade Machine from when it first arrived back in February of 2006

Bill Loguidice's picture

I had recently blogged about and posted photos of the current state of my home arcade machine and the surrounding area. I've been going through my network backup drive and came across some interesting photos from when I first got the machine in February of 2006 that I never did anything with. When it was shipped, several wires inside got knocked loose and I was planning on documenting the restoration and the internals in great detail. That never happened, but I did take a few photos in anticipation of that. These are those photos (this is back when we were living in our previous house). I'm not going to describe each photo like I did in the previous blog entry, but they should still be interesting nonetheless for those wanted to know just a bit more about what's going on inside of the thing. When I power the coin slot in the future, I'll take updated photos, but these should suffice for now. Click here for the album of 38 photos or here for the slide show. Enjoy.

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Statsman1
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Joined: 01/02/2009
MAME Arcade - just a beginning

You haven't lived until you've built one from scratch, Bill!! The pain, the agony, the frustration, the MDF dust - it's quite the rush when the cabinet is done!

Then after you've blown a bunch of money and time, tell your wife you need a new computer and screen to go into it. THAT'S the extreme part of the whole experience!!

Of course, with the right setup, you can make your cabinet an emulator for EVERYTHING...

Bill Loguidice
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Joined: 12/31/1969
Expansion
Statsman1 wrote:

You haven't lived until you've built one from scratch, Bill!! The pain, the agony, the frustration, the MDF dust - it's quite the rush when the cabinet is done!

Then after you've blown a bunch of money and time, tell your wife you need a new computer and screen to go into it. THAT'S the extreme part of the whole experience!!

Of course, with the right setup, you can make your cabinet an emulator for EVERYTHING...

ha ha, yeah, I had considered it, though my days of even building PC's are well behind me (saving time is my mantra these days). I also considered expanding the use of the cabinet, but I figured why mess with it too much.

Vintage Games book!
Xbox 360: billlog | Wii: 1345 2773 2048 1586 | PS3: ArmchairArcade
Bill Loguidice, Managing Director | Armchair Arcade, Inc.

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Statsman1
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Joined: 01/02/2009
Arcade Cabinet

I don't blame you, your cabinet looks GREAT! Painting and finishing is the one thing I wish I had done better - next time!! Maybe this summer, I'll redo the control panel and make it look a little snazzier.

Tell you what, though, it's GREAT playing a little Lode Runner on a 22" wide-screen! Way better than the green screen of 1985!!

Bill Loguidice
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Wow!
Statsman1 wrote:

I don't blame you, your cabinet looks GREAT! Painting and finishing is the one thing I wish I had done better - next time!! Maybe this summer, I'll redo the control panel and make it look a little snazzier.

Tell you what, though, it's GREAT playing a little Lode Runner on a 22" wide-screen! Way better than the green screen of 1985!!

Absolutely impressive. I love the flight stick and the tiered design. The only major thing missing besides a light gun is a steering wheel. A steering wheel is the major thing that I'm missing (besides more exotic sticks), so I end up just using the spinner as a wheel.

I've considered doing other emulation on my machine (though with my collection I tend to prefer to use the real thing), but right now I just use MAME mostly and media stuff, as well as use a commercial Dragon's Lair collection and commercial pinball games. I used GameTap for a while on it, but haven't reupped my subscription.

Vintage Games book!
Xbox 360: billlog | Wii: 1345 2773 2048 1586 | PS3: ArmchairArcade
Bill Loguidice, Managing Director | Armchair Arcade, Inc.

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Statsman1
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Thanks!
Bill Loguidice wrote:

Absolutely impressive. I love the flight stick and the tiered design. The only major thing missing besides a light gun is a steering wheel. A steering wheel is the major thing that I'm missing (besides more exotic sticks), so I end up just using the spinner as a wheel.

I've considered doing other emulation on my machine (though with my collection I tend to prefer to use the real thing), but right now I just use MAME mostly and media stuff, as well as use a commercial Dragon's Lair collection and commercial pinball games. I used GameTap for a while on it, but haven't reupped my subscription.

I wish I'd figured out a way to put a steering wheel on properly, but I didn't have one at the time that would go into the USB port (the one I have uses a gameport and isn't 100% reliable) so I gave it up, and yes, I use the spinner and buttons. The light gun - I didn't play light gun games when I was a kid, they weren't that appealing to me. My son loves them NOW, so again, if I do this again one day...

The flight stick is awesome playing Falcon 4.0 or other games of that nature, and people seem to really like it.

It's a blast. My wife thinks I'm crazy, but I love playing games on that thing. I spend WAY too many hours on it. Luckily, the Wii and PS2 are across the room, so the whole family gets into things together.

Mark Vergeer
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Joined: 01/16/2006
Arcade cabinets
Statsman1 wrote:

You haven't lived until you've built one from scratch, Bill!! The pain, the agony, the frustration, the MDF dust - it's quite the rush when the cabinet is done!

Then after you've blown a bunch of money and time, tell your wife you need a new computer and screen to go into it. THAT'S the extreme part of the whole experience!!

Of course, with the right setup, you can make your cabinet an emulator for EVERYTHING...

So what is your arcade cabinet looking like? Did you use MDF to create our own cab? I am crurious!

Xbox 360: Lactobacillus P | Wii: 8151 3435 8469 3138
Armchair arcade Editor | Pixellator | www.markvergeer.nl

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Statsman1
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Joined: 01/02/2009
Arcade Cabinet

Cabinet1Cabinet1
Cabinet2Cabinet2

Yes, it's 100% MDF. Weighs about 120lbs, I think.

So far, it's a MAME cabinet, and emulates VPinball, Atari 2600, Atari 5200, Atari 7800, Commodore 64, Vic-20, Commodore PET, Apple II, Super Ninendo, Nintendo, Nintendo 64, Odyssey2, and Sega Genesis. Everything works (joystick, I have two gamepads that you don't see there) with every emulator, once it's configured properly. (USB is the best thing EVER!)

It is 27" wide at the base, 38" wide at the widest part of the control panel. It protrudes from the wall about 35", if memory serves.

I am utterly hopeless at woodworking, but this worked out. Took forever, but worth it!

Mark Vergeer
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Joined: 01/16/2006
Impressive!

Statsman1 - you did an awesome job. I like the way the PC is sitting below it is easy to take it out and replace it with a more powerful machine if needed. You could even use a laptop with your cab. You're far from hopeless at woodworking - this looks great!
So what paint did you use on it - did you cover the surface of the paint with some sort of varnish?
A very cool sit-down cabinet with all controls ready to be used. Do you use some sort of front end to access all the emulators and programs?
I lack the space for a cabinet like that as I have created a TV-set/console lounge like thing in my study.

Xbox 360: Lactobacillus P | Wii: 8151 3435 8469 3138
Armchair arcade Editor | Pixellator | www.markvergeer.nl

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Statsman1
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Joined: 01/02/2009
Thanks!
Mark Vergeer wrote:

Statsman1 - you did an awesome job. I like the way the PC is sitting below it is easy to take it out and replace it with a more powerful machine if needed. You could even use a laptop with your cab. You're far from hopeless at woodworking - this looks great!
So what paint did you use on it - did you cover the surface of the paint with some sort of varnish?
A very cool sit-down cabinet with all controls ready to be used. Do you use some sort of front end to access all the emulators and programs?
I lack the space for a cabinet like that as I have created a TV-set/console lounge like thing in my study.

Xbox 360: Lactobacillus P | Wii: 8151 3435 8469 3138
Armchair arcade Editor | Pixellator | www.markvergeer.nl

Thank you! It took a long time to get this thing to this point, including one aborted attempt (I'll spare you the gory details), that set me back about 3 weeks.

Yes, the computer comes out without dismantling too much - everything above it is hooked up via USB (Ipac, Opti-Pac and direct USB hookups), so it's really easy if the computer suffers a problem (or you need more RAM or HD space because you've got too much going on down there - ahem). Wireless networking comes in really handy too.

The paint is just this stuff that Home Depot said is good for MDF - 2 layer coats of primer (actually, I sanded them in between), and then 5 or 6 cots of that red stuff (just a water-based paint, not really semi-gloss). As I mentioned, I wasn't very happy with the way the paint turned out - I had taken my time with every thing else, but then I hurried through the painting a bit. With MDF, you have to do a LOT more sanding than I did. Live and learn.

There are many front-end programs to access the emulators, but the problem with using one of those with MY setup is that the control panel needs to be specifically configured for each emulator (for instance, the MAME programming for the control panel is different than the Commodore 64 emulator), and the software that programs the control panel needs to be loaded every time you want to change emulators. So I just created a bunch of shortcuts to run all the emulators, and different key assignments for the control panel.

Perhaps not as elegant as using the front-ends, but it works for me!

There are certainly a ton of different plans out there for space-limited setups, should you want to investigate this kind of thing. One of my friends built one into his laundry room door (the door still operates like a door, no less), and though I wonder about all that weight on it, it really seems to work. (I would definitely recommend the flat screen for that, though!)

Bill Loguidice
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Front Ends

I experimented a great deal with front ends when I first got my cabinet. I've found that they were more trouble then they were worth. Some didn't work with everything, others didn't allow full configuration, etc. Since the trackball functions the same as a mouse and the joysticks as arrow keys, there's no particular disadvantage to keeping the game/emulator/media shortcuts on the desktop.

This one was the most promising of all the ones I tried, but it had trouble keeping my MAME32 settings and it's own settings were not satisfactory for MAME: http://www.gameex.net/ . Of course that was two years ago, so it's probably worth it to give it one more try, particularly since I have a license for it.

Vintage Games book!
Xbox 360: billlog | Wii: 1345 2773 2048 1586 | PS3: ArmchairArcade
Bill Loguidice, Managing Director | Armchair Arcade, Inc.

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