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Slimline BAS themed Arcade cabinet

  • Hi if anyone's interested I'm going to be making a slimline wall hanging Arcade machine using my new raspberry pi I got last week.

    I've always fancied building a mame cabinet but I'm not great with my new device should make it possible. I make furniture for a living so a cabinet is easy for me to make.

    I'm going for more of a feature rather than a replica arcade machine but I'm happy to help or post share subscriptions of using any tools to make yourself a basic cabinet if anyone's interested or have any projects on going.

    Before I design what I'm going to make, please may I ask what people think is the best type of screen size for authenticity and the best functionality (screen modes etc)? Because I struggle with the tech and I'm doing a slimline project I'm thinking about hdmi tv's or monitors.

    If anyone has a tool questions or building questions if be glad to help so fire away...

  • @MattyL42 Here's my 2 cents regarding the screen: For true arcade authenticity, I would recommend a 4:3 aspect ratio screen. Many decent monitors can be found at second hand stores like Goodwill in the US for about $10. 17 or 19 inch screens often have DVI inputs which can accept HDMI with a small adaptor. Most are 1280x1024 resolution, or 1024x768 which is more than enough pixels and allows you to use the CRT shader for a very pleasing scanline effect.

    You could also take a different route with a modern widescreen display and use some of the nice overlays that have been developed that "mask" the unused areas of the screen with original game cabinet artwork.

  • @caver01 Hey, cheers for the reply. I looked at your project and thought you made a great job mate! I liked how it was completely flush... I thought it was a really original idea. Your wiring job looked awesome....ive seen some sets of usb buttons on an e auction you have to wire them all into a board like you've done?

    I can try old skool mono i just dug out an old dell 17inch. It seems so tiny after using mame on my tv! The CRT sounds good overlay is that something feautures on my raspberry or do you stick something to the screen? (I can hear people snigger lol). Same goes for the game bezel overlays on a wide screen?

    Cheers for the advice dude

  • @MattyL42 The USB buttons you have probably seen still get wired to something--some kind of controller board has to accept the switch inputs and turn them into either gamepad button presses or keyboard keypresses. In my case, I am using the Ultimarc IPAC4 which is a keyboard controller. So, for me, every button and joystick switch is like pressing a different key on a keyboard. I am using the IPAC4 because that's what I had, and I wanted to do a 4-player arcade system which requires a lot of inputs--something the IPAC4 can handle.

    There are other controllers besides the IPAC. If you are looking at buying something, check the controller used, and do some research on the forum here to see if others have used that controller. Chances are a lot has been asked and answered about most controller hardware possibilities. If I did another system, say a 2-player bartop for instance, I might just wire my buttons directly to GPIO pins and use software to trigger keys (adafruit's Retrogame, or mhogatem's GPIOneer). That way, I would not need a USB controller at all.

    As for overlays, I was referring to the digital images that have been created. You launch a game using a retroarch emulator (lr-mame2003 for example) and you have already configured a retroarch.cfg for the ROM such that it loads an image over the top of the gameplay. Such overlay images have cabinet art on the sides and a transparent center area. This effectively "masks" the unused portions of a widescreen with artwork. It's a nice effect that makes it look like you are playing the old arcade system and it can be especially effective when playing vertical games, as only the narrow center of the screen gets used for gameplay. You could also forget the overlay configurations and simply have black bars on each side, which to me is the second best option over stretching the image to fill the screen--that would distort the gameplay on a widescreen.

    All of this is widescreen stuff is really not an option for me since I have a 4:3 display (well, technically mine is 5:4, but I ignore that distortion). Horizontal games fill the screen, while vertical games play rotated 90 degrees on my system (I have the controls on the sides that work with these games). A handful of vertical games must stay rotated to the horizontal side for me, as they are co-op multiplayer, or they use the trackball. For these alone, I might explore using the overlay images to hide the black sidebars.

  • @caver01 Yeah I think I'm going to have to do a fair bit of research before I choose the controls. I can do a bit of wiring but it's mainly fixing stuff so that's going to be a headache allocating the buttons via the software etc...i can't do stuff like that really anymore!

    I'm abit ignorant because I don't know what many of the terms mean regarding the boards so sorry mate if I can't do your advice justice! I'm more bearing guided routing and producing lol. I'll see though. Like you I've been building this in my head for ages!

    The Raspberry I picked up last week is already set up so I have no knowledge of how to configure anything so I guess that rules out using overlays for until that becomes a feature. I'm want to keep it a fun project I can do in my lunch breaks so i although those options sound great thats abit beyond my skill set right now.

  • My project is well on the way im nearly ready for the easy part...constructiom. Ive got my mono sorted complete with crt shaders and overlays which I love! All my joysticks and buttons plus iPac and wiring have arrived....all this ive learned about on here so thanks very much.

    Im lining up reproduction BAS cabinet cp and Marquee artwork...which im planning to go with a medium grey laquered finish on my cabinet so aiming for the original look just a modern bachelor pad finish.

    Im in need of some measurements or plans for the Classic BAS to use as reference if anyone has any or even a cabinet to measure. I'm not doing a full depth replica cabinet but it's going to be heavily based around the cabinet frontal profile.

    If anyone needs any help or pictures with routers/ set ups/ jigs/jigsaws/templates while I'm making it let me know.

  • 0_1500139420444_dsc03343.jpg .

  • how are you planning to mount it to the wall?
    I have made a cabinet over the past two to three weeks that I intend to wall mount, I have made it so that it will sit 40cm off the ground, and is barely deep enough for the monitor I had lying around (not 4:3 but it was free)

    this has been my first time using a router, and i have never really done any wordworking, so it is far from perfect, but it looks cool none the less. I should have had mine srayed though, using a roller and oil based paint in the living room was a bad idea.

  • I received the awesome BAS laminate and marquee at the weekend so started my cab, here's a pic from yesterday. Only notable stuff worth explaining so far is that ive got the joysticks mounted so the fixings are invisible. I've also been brave and gone for classic 3 button set up but I've been careful and arranged them (and made a template) so i can bang another 3 in anytime if need to. I made the cp first and experimented with heights first then drew up the template. Height of the cp makes a lot of difference is the main thing I've learned so far. Im happy with the shape and I've made most of the bottom half tonight...i will post a few more pics later on. I can only seem to fit the cp in the picture lol.

  • 0_1502455839655_20170811_133411-2241x3984-1680x2987.jpg

  • @mattyl42 Looks nice and clean. Are you going to install a coin mech?

  • @caver01 Hey buddy, I'm not doing coin mechs on this one. That area is going to be a hidden storage cupboard. I'm doing fake cash box doors so it doesn't look too obvious .

  • that looks sweet, coming along nicely

  • I've got my cab nearly finished, I'm just fairing the few bits into it. I was thinking about hiding a usb bus face under the control panel? I don't have my iPac2 wired up yet but I'm just wondering is there any type of usb priority issues...what I'm thinking it might be nice to plug a controller in for racing games. Not sure how this works with the iPac 2 setup or if its worth doing? Is there anything I should be aware of?

    Here's a pic
    0_1503228964226_20170818_103101-1494x2656.jpg cheers

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