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.