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Anyone collecting Arcade Cabinets or building a MAME conversion?


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#1 of 27 OFFLINE   Sam Posten

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Posted March 17 2014 - 03:36 PM

Note up front that I have gotten owner permission to post this, lets try to keep the conversation geared towards the building and collecting side and avoid the discussion on where to find and trade ROMS. =)So I think this is my next project, taking a full size arcade cabinet and converting it to a MAME box. There's quite a few different ways you can go with this:-Buy a classic arcade game, gut it and put in new components as necessary, keep them if you can-Buy a cabinet from premade components, build your own controls-Buy a fully furnished multiplay cabinet (Midway, Arcade Legends)-Build your own cabinet from scratch-Add a stick set like this to a computer and just hook up an LCD panel:http://www.xgaming.c...des-usb-cables/I'm leaning towards the first two.I have been scouring the biggest forum I've found on the subject:http://forum.arcadecontrols.com/And I have ordered the 'bible' on the subject, 'Project Arcade':http://www.amazon.co...95099124&sr=1-1In fact, ArcadeControls has a forum dedicated to and run by the author of the book himself:http://forum.arcadec...board,19.0.htmlSome other resources I have found helpful while just getting started:http://www.tmsoft.co...icle-arcade.htmhttp://www.arcadecab.com/You can even buy customized arcade cabinets fully finished these days:http://www.mameroom.com/home.aspThis one would be nice but it's over $5k!http://custom-arcade.com/barracuda.htmSo has anyone here built there own or collected old Arcade / Pinball machines? Post em if you got em!

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#2 of 27 OFFLINE   Sam Posten

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Posted March 17 2014 - 04:04 PM

The conversion certainly seems like the optimal way to go to me, but doing this combo would be really easy to pull off:http://www.ebay.com/...5493308?lpid=82Orhttp://www.ebay.com/...=p2054897.l4276Plus a tankstick:http://www.xgaming.c...des-usb-cables/Plus a PCPlus a 27" Ultrasharp or a 32" LCD

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#3 of 27 OFFLINE   Todd H

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Posted March 17 2014 - 06:57 PM

I built one a few years ago. Still gets played all the time. Here's a link to mine over at BYOAC.

 

http://forum.arcadec...ic,85149.0.html



#4 of 27 ONLINE   Jason Charlton

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Posted March 18 2014 - 05:01 AM

The conversion certainly seems like the optimal way to go to me, but doing this combo would be really easy to pull off:http://www.ebay.com/...5493308?lpid=82Orhttp://www.ebay.com/...=p2054897.l4276Plus a tankstick:http://www.xgaming.c...des-usb-cables/Plus a PCPlus a 27" Ultrasharp or a 32" LCD

 

Of those two cabinets, I much prefer the second - it just doesn't look right to me without the arcade top.

 

I think coin-op games are a natural companion for home theaters. Those that know me, know that my passion leans towards pinball. I briefly explored some of the options out there for virtual pinMAME systems - but since physical interaction with the machine is such an integral part of pinball, and real world physics come into play so much, a virtual pinball machine just isn't the same (despite all the attempts to add nudging support and real solenoids in the cabinet, etc.).  Building one would have been an adventure, but ultimately I find it less satisfying to play.

 

However, when it comes to video games, MAME is the way to go, IMO. That tankstick looks fantastic - a nice plug and play control system. It might be a good approach for a 'first timer' to get something modular and relatively straightforward that will have you up and running in no time. That would let you get familiar with the software side of it, have fun playing it, then maybe you can consider a custom-built cabinet as "phase 2".

 

The same suggestion is often made for pinheads - get a machine that's working 100% for your first. You will eventually learn to repair them, but getting a machine right off the bat that needs work leads to frustration and heartache. Even if you pay more for it, the payoff later is worth it.

 

I have two pins in my collection at the moment. Here's an older pic of them side by side at the back of my theater (the speakers you see are the rear surrounds).

 

199677_1870773578750_48387_n.jpg

 

At the moment, the Mata Hari pinball is dismantled and is the subject of my first ever pinball playfield swap/complete teardown and restoration. I have a blog set up, but haven't updated it in a couple of months. It's a time-consuming project, but a labor of love and so far the results have been great.

 

Have fun with the project!


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#5 of 27 OFFLINE   Sam Posten

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Posted March 18 2014 - 05:09 AM

Thanks Jason, sage advice. I may do.... both!

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#6 of 27 OFFLINE   MarkMel

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Posted March 18 2014 - 05:21 AM

Here's the one I built from scratch;

 

http://forum.arcadec...9.html#msg70439

 

Ha, in 2003, boy that was a while ago - we still use it and my kids love playing on it.


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#7 of 27 OFFLINE   Sam Posten

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Posted March 18 2014 - 08:06 AM

I will check out those builds tonight Mark and Todd, thanks!

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#8 of 27 ONLINE   DaveF

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Posted March 19 2014 - 04:44 PM

Good luck! I've long seen the appeal, but it turns out I don't actually like replaying videogames from my childhood. So I am satisfied with watching others' build threads. :)

#9 of 27 OFFLINE   Sam Posten

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Posted March 24 2014 - 06:44 AM

I found a kick ass cabinet on Craigslist but it's about an hour away, checked it out and everything seems legit. Just need to figure out if I wanna take the time to rent a pickup from Home Depot, go pick it up, and bring it home. Bit of a hassle.It's a fighting game box with 2 8 way joysticks and holes drilled for 6 buttons each side, with only 4 in use. Has plenty of room in the middle where I could put in a trackball and a spinner.If I get it I'm thinking of putting 4 casters on it while still in my garage, 2 swivels and 2 locked in straight, which seems to be the recommended configuration, any input on that?

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#10 of 27 OFFLINE   RabbitMan3000

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Posted March 24 2014 - 11:10 AM

That seems about right. When I outfitted mine with a MAME and had to move it from the garage to the den I cannot tell you how much I wish I had put it on casters.

 

What fighting game is it that you found?

 

And what are you guys doing as far as decorating the outside of the arcade? My wife is planning on painting a mural of 8 bit characters on mine.



#11 of 27 OFFLINE   Sam Posten

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Posted March 24 2014 - 11:20 AM

Please pardon me for being a bit cagey on that while still in negotiations with the seller =)

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#12 of 27 OFFLINE   RabbitMan3000

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Posted March 24 2014 - 11:32 AM

More than fair! I wish you the best, the project is almost as much fun as playing it.



#13 of 27 OFFLINE   Sam Posten

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Posted March 25 2014 - 05:58 AM

Might have to check this place out over the weekend, bout 100 miles from us Jason:https://www.facebook...coinopwarehouseLooks dusty and overpriced, but fun =)

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#14 of 27 ONLINE   Jason Charlton

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Posted March 25 2014 - 06:30 AM

Yeah, I'm familiar with the business but not been there yet, nor do I know the guy (I think his name is Lloyd).  You might also want to get in touch with Mike at GameTime. He's much closer, and I can vouch for him personally (he's a member in our pinball league). When the time comes that I'm in the market for another pinball machine, I will let him know as he seems to be able to locate and acquire a decent number of games. His prices are probably lots better than coinop (though often times games are fresh off route, so might need some cleaning), but he's a stand up guy.


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#15 of 27 OFFLINE   JoeDoakes

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Posted March 25 2014 - 07:19 AM

Ok, what's a MAME?  I guess you're not talking about the Lucy film. 



#16 of 27 ONLINE   Jason Charlton

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Posted March 25 2014 - 07:51 AM

Multiple Arcade Machine Emulator - essentially a modern way of configuring a PC/monitor and arcade controls to revisit and enjoy the arcade classic games of the 80s and 90s.

 

Since the code and graphics are so primitive (by today's standards) MAME systems can contain literally thousands of arcade classics in a single cabinet. Modern "front end" applications create menus and make game selection a breeze, even for systems with tons of games to choose from.


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#17 of 27 OFFLINE   Bryan^H

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Posted March 25 2014 - 09:49 AM

Sam, my friend built a mame machine from  his Mortal Kombat 2 cabinet.  It was a lot of work.

Whenever I go to his house we have a blast playing all those old arcade games(and newer ones Golden Tee golf is very fun with the trackball).

 

He was going to help me craft my own cabinet but now he says this is the better way:

  http://www.xgaming.c...me-mame#gallery

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#18 of 27 OFFLINE   Sam Posten

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Posted March 25 2014 - 10:08 AM

Thanks Bryan.Jason.... Pinball League? WAT?!?!?!Will check out Gametime too thanks!

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#19 of 27 ONLINE   Jason Charlton

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Posted March 25 2014 - 10:33 AM

Jason.... Pinball League? WAT?!?!?!

 

LOL, the Free State Pinball Association. There are three locations, the closest to us is in Elkridge at The Volleyball House (south of BWI). I'm in my first season (though I've known members for years, I only now made the effort to play). We meet Wednesdays at 8PM. Guests are always welcome! We're not meeting tomorrow, though, because most of us are going to Pittsburgh for Pinburgh 2014. Yes, pinball is making a comeback.. this year's tourney filled up (400 players) in less than 2 hours!!! Going to be a blast.


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#20 of 27 ONLINE   Jason Charlton

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Posted April 03 2014 - 05:59 AM

Any updates, Sam? Did any of the CL ads pan out?


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