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My Asteroids-Themed DIY Upright Cabinet

  • Thank you all very much. :)

    @retroprogrammer I bought the shell before anything else, and the rest along the way. The shell has pre-drilled holes for the joysticks and the buttons that dictate some parameters like the diameter of the buttons (28 mm).

    There were some obstacles I had to address, like the mounting holes for the screws of the joysticks. They were pre-drilled for Zippyy joysticks, but the Mag-Stiks' screws are spaced differently from those, so I had to widen the holes by 1/2 diameter inwards. That surprised me, because I thought that those holes were standardised; I learned that they're not. Fortunately, the quite strong vinyl foil for the control panel masks the bigger oval holes very nicely.

    Some equipment required more research to find the brands and models that suit my preferences, and some of it wasn't available for some time. For example, I had to wait for the Mag-Stiks approx. two months and bought cheap Zippyy joysticks and non-illuminated buttons for test purposes from the shell's supplier in the meantime.

    The illuminated buttons and their controller were also sold out for a week, but luckily came right before last weekend (tip: don't order on the verge of public holidays like Easter.)

    So, my advice would be to acquire those parts first that define the parameters of others, and be prepared to handle surprises. Do wide-ranging research beforehand to learn what your options are; e.g. I only discovered the Mag-Stiks after I already bought the shell. [edit] Order a good time ahead so that you have everything ready when you're going to build. [/edit] And measure, measure, measure to ensure that everything fits together. ;)

  • how did u setup player 1 and player 2, do you need to do this? and what are the yellow buttons for?

  • @retroprogrammer I don't know exactly what you mean, I'll try to answer to the best of my assumption.

    The six buttons and the joystick's four microswitches for each player are connected to the Pi via USB by the Qumox zero delay encoders you can see hanging from red, white and blue wires in the second-to-last picture above. They appear as "DragonRise" controllers in Retropie that can be configured like any gamepad.

    edit: I just saw in your thread that you're planning to buy an encoder kit with exactly the same kind of encoders that I use.

    The yellow buttons are for coin/select and also RetroArch's hotkey. I plan to put either ¥ or $ or € symbols beneath their transparent button caps, but I haven't decided on the currency yet. The six buttons are configured as Y, X, LS (top row) and A,B,RS edit: B,A,RS (bottom row).

    If you want to know anything else, ask away.

  • did u have to make a custom script for the coin button?

  • @retroprogrammer No, I just set it to "select" in Retropie's Controller Configuration.

  • mind blown o'okay

  • @clyde said in My Asteroids-Themed DIY Upright Cabinet:

    Mag-Stik Plus joysticks can be switched between 4 and 8 way restriction just by pulling the sticks up and turning them (anti-)clockwise.

    How do you like those? I was looking at them for a long time and wasn't sure how well they worked or how well they switched between 4 and 8 way. Never got up the nerve to buy them.

    Nice build. I like the car foil idea. I had never heard of that before.

  • @lurker Did you happen to stumble upon my review of the Mag-Stik Plus in my Open Joystick Talk? If not, be sure to also check the test results of me and a friend's comparison of the Mag-Stik and the Sanwa JLF-TP-8YT-SK in the same thread.

    In short, I like them very much for their sturdyness and their stiffness. Others might prefer smoother sticks. Also, they're very exact to the point that they demand a high accuracy in the players' hand movement. Some might find that too demanding.

    The switching takes a little patience and practise, but then it's done very easily. That said, you can read about some problems another user had with it here.

    Thanks for the feedback. I also never heard of car foil until I read about it on the website of the printing service. It isn't cheap compared to normal vinyl foil – the brand I used for the unicolored planes ranged from 25-35 €/m² depending on the amount acquired – but I think that it's definitely worth it. Look for videos about its application on cars and be amazed. ;) Like everything, it takes care and (some) practise to master, but for me, it was way more workable as painting would've been.

  • Nice job on your machine @Clyde!
    alt text

  • @clyde brilliant Clyde! ... great work! ... looks fantastic!

  • What does the player one and player 2 buttons do?

  • @retroprogrammer They're player 1+2 start buttons.

  • @Clyde are they selected as 'start' in the config menu

  • okay

  • Hello mate.
    Firstly, you've done a great job on it. Looks fantastic. I've already built myself an IKEA hack table arcade but want to convert it to one like yours. Can you just give me a few details about where you got the flatpack kit and t-moldings? Would really appreciate it.

  • @smeffron Thanks for the compliment. 😊 The kit I used is linked in my opening post right after the first two pictures. It's this kit from the German vendor Arcade4You. I used no t-moldings, as this kit doesn't have pre-milled notches for them. I just bent the car foil around the edges as it is shown here:

    The small round corners of my cabinet gave me some trouble, though, as you can see on my pictures in high magnification. They have some small wrinkles, but I can live with this little imperfection of my own work. 😌

    You can also look at ArcadeWorldUK for more Flatpack kits. They have increased their product range significantly since last year.

  • Update: Nearly two years after completion of "v1.0" of the cabinet, and mostly thanks to a good friend with a semi-professional workshop in his cellar, I finally got around to add two SpinTrak spinners that I bought over a year ago!

    picture of the control panel

    Finally, I can play my childhood heroes Arkanoid, Tempest, and TRON (with a little finger acrobatics). 😆

  • Looks good! I like the colors. I actually have a red and a blue mag sticks if you want them (trade shafts??).

    Someone made this:
    I was interested in it for two games: Battlezone and Assault which I play on my two stick machines. As long as it was temporary...

    You can do Heavy Barrel, Ikari Warriors etc but you'd have to have a good trigger.

    Trying to think what other games you could play with two spinners: Warlords, a few steering wheel games like Super Sprint, Off Road, Demolition Derby...

    You like Major Havoc?


  • @wstanek Thank you. Although your offer is nice and tempting, I chose the black version of the MagStik at the time of purchase to match my mostly black cabinet and the black parts of the control panel's design.

    I plan to try Warlords, Major Havoc and other games that I don't know yet, after I finished setting up my beloved favourites. Arkanoid I + II and Tempest were finished yesterday, more will follow.

    Alas, contrary to some guides on the net who state that the SpinTrak has 1200 counts per turn, the calculated analog settings don't fit my spinners (e.g. 6% for Tempest to move 5 spaces with one full turn, or 40-41% in Arkanoid to move from edge to edge with a 120-130° turn). Thus, I have to get the correct values by time-consuming trial-and-error.

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