MAME cabinet

Discussion in 'Home Theater Projects' started by Colin Dunn, Jan 2, 2006.

  1. Colin Dunn

    Colin Dunn Supporting Actor

    Oct 10, 1998
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    Colin Dunn
    I've been reading some stuff on the net about MAME cabinets - arcade-style video game cabinets that contain arcade-style controls and a standard PC. This PC can run any ordinary PC game title, as well as MAME (software to emulate arcade-game hardware, enabling playing old arcade video games).

    I've gotten MAME to work on my regular PC, but now I want to plan out and assemble a cocktail-style MAME cabinet, with "real" arcade controls.

    I think I would prefer the size/shape of a cocktail or bartop-style cabinet, rather than a full-size upright cabinet, though I have some doubts I can get all the controls I want (at least 2 joysticks, a trackball, spinner, 6 buttons for each joystick, and the 1/2-player start buttons) onto these types of cabinets. Having these sets of controls replicated on both sides for head-to-head play would be nice but probably unattainable.

    Over at MameRoom Designs they have a ready-made cocktail cabinet kit that can be assembled with a screw-and-cam system like IKEA furniture. A customized version of this (they do offer custom control panel layouts at extra charge), in conjunction with some arcade-style controls (joysticks, spinners, trackballs, and lots o'buttons) looks like just the ticket.

    Then I would build up a basic computer system (2.8GHz P4 or equivalent AMD) with an arcade-to-keyboard interface, hard disk drive, sound card, video card (nothing too fancy), and PCI WiFi interface (to allow interfacing to my normal PC to exchange data). Stick this all in the cabinet, wire it up, load software, add speakers, and I should be on the way to having a MAME cabinet.

    Has anyone here undertaken a project like this and can offer advice on the planning, purchase, and assembly of a project like this? I would prefer not to build a complete cabinet from scratch (lack of tools and woodworking skills), so those pre-fab cabinets from MameRoom Designs look particularly appealing to me. The remainder of the assembly and computer stuff should be within my abilities.
  2. JohanD

    JohanD Stunt Coordinator

    May 22, 2003
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    I have a scratch-built mame cabinet in progress.. and most of my information I got from Build Your Own Arcade Controls.

    What I would do is take a look at the BYOAC website.
    Specifically the forum:

    If you do not have the tools,time, or woodworking skills a premade kit sounds like it is for you. You may also be able to buy a used machine at an auction and refit it.

    But please do take a look at the BYOAC website there is a lot of information on not only building your own, but also the kits.

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