Ray's Cabinet #1
I first secured 2 cabinets on Ebay for $85. One was an old
"Vanguard" cabinet that some poor soul had converted to
"Caveman Ninja". Judging from the beating, this was a
frustrating game at best. The second was an old "Tron" game
that had been stripped and retro-fitted with a game called "Two
Tigers". From the lack of abuse (or use) this machine took, I can
only assume that even the "attract demo" to this game blows. I
had lost a previous auction for a "Rusty Asteroids Cabinet left out in
the rain (non-working)" which went for $145, so I think I may have gotten
a good deal.
Link to the FAQ on parts and labor: http//www.arcadecontrols.speedhost.com/arcade.htm
I used the KE-72 interface. HAPP arcade trackball, contact buttons, and the
Some Guys Garage
Ed and his truck accompanied Jacqueline and I to pick up the cabinets.
They were in a garage, which resembled a "Arcade graveyard".
There were cabinets and parts everywhere. The guy fixed up old machines
and resold them. This we learned through his wife, as he did not show
up. "He does this all the time", she said.
What the heck game is that?
A solid inventory assessment resulted in an absolutely raped Vanguard cabinet
(Now dubbed cabinet "A"). IT had NOTHING inside but a blown
marquee light ballast, a single car speaker, and a transformer bolted to the
bottom of the cabinet. I decided to start with this one because the
control panel (made of metal) had a serviceable layout.
The Two Tigers cabinet (dubbed Cabinet "B") is bigger, had a
salvageable marquee panel, glass cover, bezel, and control panel featuring dueling spinners. It is also a much bigger
cabinet. For this
reason, I decided to learn my craft on cabinet A.
The Journey Begins
After gutting (Saw off rusted out bolts) the cabinet, I started by attempting
to mount a monitor inside the case. I had a 15" monitor, so I
decided to use it. There is a 17" at my house also, but it is Neal
or Ed's old Gateway monitor. So, I used the smaller one. Did I say
smaller?! It is 18" deep!!! Well the cabinet is 17"
deep. So, It is sticking out the back. By using only wood scraps
that Tom Lemense taught me long ago never to throw out, I have video.
I went to office max and bought a piece of black poster board (for a test) and
a 1/4" thick foam board (for giving presentations). The
wrapper for the foam board showed an "office-y" looking girl with a
pointer. 'Nuff said. After testing the little know fact that
"Black is cool as a border" with the poster board, I cut the thick
stuff (measure twice, cut once) and fit it around the monitor.
Looks 10, Dance 3
I decided to fix the marquee first, as this was the simplest way to make the
empty cabinet look cool. I went to Home Depot and bought the cheapest
cabinet light I could find and took it home. After reading many stories
about mame projects on the web, I chose a cheap solution to the rest of the
marquee. Henderson glass cut 2 clear Plexiglas 7" x 22 3/4"
panels. Then, utilizing the superior technology of borrowing resources
from work, I printed out a Mame banner on transparency film on the color laser
printer. I picked up a big piece of Plexiglas while I was at it and
placed it over the poster board. Well, I scratched it first. Then
and only then I placed over the "Bezel". This is a real
word, but according to Webster (that short kid from TV), it applies only to
gems. Nevertheless, in the arcade trade, the stuff the hide the sides of
the monitors are bezels.
Cum on feel the noize
After looking at the rusty high school car speaker, I decided to go a
different route. I got the Altec amplified speakers I had and decided
that they would work great. I wanted to use them without the cases, but
there were no screws. A hammer and flat edge screwdriver quickly
convinced them to open. I drilled "noize holes" and mounted
the speakers directly to the cabinet.
The tale of Sir Hole-cutter.
I needed to cut a 3" hole in the control panel for the track ball.
I chose the 'Happ authentic 3" Atari license track ball in blue'.
The hole needed to be cut in sheet metal. So, I bought a 3" hole
cutter that said, "cuts through metal". Alas, I forgot the
"arbor". Back to Home Depot (x2). At home Depot, I
realize that the arbor size is the same of a door handle hole cutter, so I
figure I can use the one I already have and leave. Back to Home Depot
(x3), since that is a false assumption. So I buy the special made arbor
for hold cutters of 2 ½" or more. It fits like a glove. Back
home. Little did I notice that the hold cutter now has a1/2" chuck.
I did not even know what a 'chuck' was, but now I know that men drills are ½"
chuck, home drills for girlies are 3/8" chucks. Back to Home Depot
(x4) where the tool guy tells me the only solution is to buy a new drill
($99). Screw that, the chuck is 7/16", so give me a 7/16" hex
driver (cost $4). Worked like a charm. (During the last trip, I
also bought those 'floor slider' thingies to help me slide the cabinet around.
I'll let you know if they work.)
Mike gave me a tiny case to transfer to, since I had a 3' high tower. It
was even called the "high tower". The 3' high tower did not
fit inside the cabinet! The tiny case, however, had a blown power
supply. So, I took a nostalgic tour back in time to when we had to build
pcs for fun. I have 3 nice deep cuts on my hands.
At this stage, I figure I am 2/3's done. I have a working box, all the
software, the marquee (very important), the Atari trackball is working, and all
my button and joystick parts are in. I just have to wire the all the
button and joystick parts to the KE72 keyboard encoder and its back to Bosconian.
(I originally thought I was screwed as the trackball had the X axis reversed,
but tech support explained to me that this was a simple encoder setting.)
I may have something useable by game night
The Big Finish
Wiring was a simple exercise in soldering. Easy. Everything is
working and my high score on Robotron still sucks.
A New Beginning
I started on the second cabinet, but here is my advice. Get a new style
cabinet where the monitor is more exposed and there are not cave like
sides. The newer cabinets allow for more control panel space and more