Category: 1) Planning

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.


It’s the little things

While I know that due to it’s design this machine won’t look like an ‘old-time’ game, I do want it to feel like a commercial machine when complete.  This means that I will be spending a lot of time doing re-work to eliminate errors and sweating the smaller details.

An example of this mindset is my choice of screws.  In past machines I had used black drywall screws to hold the misc parts including the marquee retainers.  These screws are the wrong type to use but Home Depot didn’t carry any other black wood screws (and I didn’t want to paint steel screws for fear of scratching and rust.)  At the end of the day the drywall screws really cheapened the look quite a bit.

For this machine I have purchased black anodized square-drive commercial screws.  These were surprisingly hard to come by, but I was finally able to find them at McFeely’s:


Most of the features and design elements on this cabinet have been done before.  This cabinet was inspired by Knievel’s original “Woody” and “Evolution” cabinets.

Some of the Sketchup components I used (Coin Door, Pushbuttons) were created by BYOAC’s Xylosesame.  Those models can be found here.

I borrowed the ‘roll out bottom’ idea from the Solocade website.

Thanks to the above for the great ideas!

Bling, Baby!

This game machine is going to have a prominent spot in my family room for the forseeable future.  Because of this, one of my goals is that it be ‘furniture-like’ day-to-day and that it not be enormous and tacky.  The downside of this is that arcade machines of the 80’s were enormous and tacky, so I will be losing some of the realism and nostalgia.

So, how to regain some of that lost tacky retro-arcade nostalgia when the machine is being used?  I have a few ideas….

  • I will be installing red cold cathode lighting under the cabinet for a neon effect.  It will be similar to the picture at right. (Thanks to LeapinLew for the pic.)
  • The control panel will have a layer of sidelit lexan on top.
  • Most, maybe all, of the buttons will be backlit and feature computer controlled blinking patterns in attract mode.  During Gameplay, only the used buttons will be lit.  This will all be done in conjunction with the LED-Wiz controller and LEDBlinky application.
  • When you power up the cabinet, Arcade sounds from the 80’s will play from dedicated speakers on the back of the cabinet.  These sounds will be completely isolated from the game and front-end menu sounds emitted from the front stereo speakers.  This feat will be accomplished using 1) Andy Hofle’s “Arcade Ambiance’ tracks, and TheShanMan’s Ambiance App.
  • Of course, added realism will be achieved using lots of my own shiny arcade tokens.  Buy some today!
  • I have a few other ideas (original or stolen) that aren’t fully-baked yet so I will save those for later.

Construction Techniques

Tomorrow is when I will hopefully be putting together the main cabinet shape.  While my sketchup plan has ledgers holding the sides on, I have been thinking about it and I think instead I will use glued biscuit joints to hold it all together (where there isn’t laminate hindering a good glue bond.)   For structural integrity and to create a place to securely fasten the control panel, I will also be adding a horizontal shelf under the control panel.

I have been very concerned about safety when designing the cabinet.  I am concerned that due to the decreased weight and depth, it might be prone to tipping forward.  To help reduce that likelihood, I have decided to use heavier MDF boards instead of plywood for all the rear-ward panels and shelves.  I think the design itself is stable enough, but this should help a little more.

If it turns out that the cabinet is tippy despife these efforts, I will need to consider replacing the back-bottom perf-board panel with MDF also.

(No title)

Welcome the the Arcade Replay cabinet site. This is where I will be posting construction details for my new slim LCD Mame cabinet.  There will also be some discussion of this cabinet in >My BYOAC Announcement Thread<. When the cabinet is complete I will be posting my Google Sketchup plans.

Thanks for your interest…


Getting Ready to Build It

I finally sold Mamenation to make room for this machine.  We anticipate staring work this weekend., and the kids are going to help a lot on this one now that they are older.  I will post an album of the progress as we go.

No Progress

No news since October 2007…  yeah I know.  Work is super-busy and I started a regular workout routine so hobby time is a little sparse lately.  I should be able to start on it in the fall.  *crosses fingers*

Plans Firming Up

I made some significant improvements to the overall shape of the cabinet. This is close to the final design.


Replacing MameNation

It’s been four years since I built my “Mamenation” arcade machine, and we have enjoyed it thoroughly .


The technology has come along way in those four years and Mamenation is HUGE, protruding rudely into our den. With the recent LCD price reductions it is now possible to build a slimmer arcade cabinet than was previously possible with large, deep CRT tube-style monitors. All these facts, combined with the fact that I haven’t built anything cool in a few years, made me decide to build a new, slim arcade machine. I will be selling Mamenation to fund the new project.

Last time around I did paper sketches and it wasn’t conducive to quality work. This time around I used the opportunity to learn “Sketchup,” a free 3D modeling program from Google. It has a rather steep learning curve. I have spent about 15 hours with it so far and am now just starting to not be spastic with it. In the end it was worth it because it gives you the ability to look at your creation from any angle before it ever exists.

Here is the fhe first draft of the design I am leaning toward:


I have ordered all the parts that I need and should start construction soon if work doesn’t keep me working late too much.

Update 10/6/2008 – I sold Mamenation.  :{