Category: 5) Arcade Controls

Lighting Effects

With its wood-tone laminate sides, the cabinet looks somewhat furniture-like when off. One of my stated goals for this project has been to have as close to a realistic arcade experience as possible when playing it.  What better to evoke the gaudiness and neon from an ’80’s arcade than LED lighting?

The lighting is actually pretty elaborate. I’ll break it down by type of lighting.

1) Button lighting.

The Control Panel player buttons have clear plungers with black surrounds. You can’t buy these, I made them from the parts of black and clear buttons.  To get a ‘frosted’ effect inside the buttons I put some scotch tape on top of the plunger springs and trimmed it prior to assembly.   I then drilled holes under the buttons and wired up RGB-Drive LED modules from Groovy Game Gear (GGG).   The RGB-Drive LEDs are wired up to two GGG LED-Wiz USB Lighting Controllers.  The LEDBlinky plugin for the MALA Front End controls the patterns.  It’s a very robust combination.

The Atari volcano buttons are also wired to the LEDWiz but they are using a single built in LED and need a resistor wired in series to step down the voltage appropriately.

Here is a preview.  Sorry for the clothes dryer racket in the background.


2) Cabinet Lighting

I ordered 16 feet of 5050 RGB LED Strip from eBay. You can cut this to the desired length then solder leads to the pieces.  There is a strip of LEDs across the top/back, and on the back sides of the cabinet.  These are driven by their own dedicated GGG LED-Wiz USB Lighting Controller.  At this time there is no way around buying a separate lighting controller if you want cabinet lighting.  Again, the LEDBLinky plugin for the MALA front end controls it all.




Glass Bezel and Light Gun Sensor

Here is the new and improved painted safety glass. It’s a thousand times better than the matteboard.. I am delighted with how it looks.  The monitor image seems to hover in the blackness of the glass.



Here you see how I mounted the Aimtrak LED Lightgun Sensor.


The foam board bezel I was using just wasn’t doing it for me.  I could see it through the tinted safety glass and it looked homemade. To make a painted bezel, I masked off and painted on the back of the tinted glass.  The little notches are for the Aimtrak LEDs.


Progress Check

The cabinet is 90% finished.  As soon as I get my new high-lip trackball I can wire up the control panel and move my focus to the software configuration, artwork, and LED-lit bling.


Arcade Controls

Here’s a quick overview of some of the parts I will be using.

Ultimarc Ultrastick 360 Joysticks.  This electronic joystick will be configured to adjust it’s behavior based on what game you are playing.  This will eliminate the need for a separate 4-way stick for games like Pac Man.

Happ 3″ Blue Translucent Arcade Trackball

A pair of Groovy Game Gear LED-Wiz ‘s for controlling the lighting effects.

Groovy Game Gear Novamatrix LED Marquee Light

Happ Controls Over/Under Coin Door.